This is bat country


Crochet circles – little bits of time

My window of opportunity to get every nook and cranny of the stuffed-to-the-gills house sorted and de-cluttered is closing.  But even so I feel I need to make a little time every day to do SOMETHING crafty.  It might not be much but it has to be SOMETHING.  The key is it has to be easily contained (cause the last thing I want to do is create MORE mess so soon) and something that can be done in small 10-20 minute blocks of time.  Making the smaller granny squares seems perfect.  I changed my mind, opting to design my own pattern for the two sizes of blocks, rather than simply copy the original.  You can see my design there to the right


The larger squares aren’t going to be just the two colours, and the smaller ones not all the same, obviously, but the basic design  is there.  And as I am using a mix of larger skeins (but only a few bought specifically for the project) and small balls of leftover yarn from in some cases quite ancient projects, I got a bit fed up with those small balls rolling al over the place.  I recalled seeing old 2-litre plastic drink bottles used to corral rolling balls of yarn but we just don’t drink those sorts of things.  I remembered reading about yarn bowls so had a look.  Didn’t take much to see an image that had all the info I needed – having sorted thru the occasionally used ceramics cupboard, and retained just ONE teapot, there was my solution


The ball rolls around inside the teapot and the yarn comes out the spout tangle free.  Better for the outside rounds, cause hardly worth the effort when doing one round of 12 stitches, for example, but still….I have another idea I might try to set up with a couple of other things I found kicking around.  One thing about mindless cleaning, it does leave your mind free to roam….

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Round Robins – merry, happy, dated or not

This was much more of a struggle than it should have been and I am heartily sick of them now.  I designed them, created them, then updated my program and it seemed to cause me no end of trouble.  I would arrange a page, all looking fine, then I would save it as a PDF, open the PDF only to find there were bits missing – a wing here, an inked circle there… Drove me crazy.  I think I finally worked out the “rules” and then it was better, but still.

I ended up making just two versions – a HAPPY CHRISTMAS version, for those who use happy and a MERRY CHRISTMAS version for those.  There are six WITH 2014 and six WITHOUT a date.  You can either use a mix of dated and not dated this year or print as many dated ones as you need then tuck the un-dated ones into your Christmas wrap box for next year!

I printed them on canvas paper


and on matt photo paper


The difference in the reds is more due to the angle and the light than the paper.  Here you can see the paper-piecing version and the printed version side by side


I figure they work for gift tags (just write your message on the back) or as simple card toppers (maybe just add a nice mat behind the circle or ink the edges more and pop-dot it) as well as an ornament style hanging circle.  Now I am off to locate an oven-cleaner.  Has to be my least favourite job ever, and I have high hopes for a steam-cleaner rather than stinky chemical one.  Wish me luck…


Dated robin ornament printable

A couple of people did ask for the robins with the date on the front so I am adding that today.  The PDF is just the one page so if you print the original PDF once and this one once you will have a backer to match up with each paper piecing set2014robindatedQ

Remember, this is what you see as the sample from yesterday.


Sorry if it is all too confusing – let me be clear:

The robin ornament WITHOUT the date (6 sets) and 12 backing circles (two sheet PDF) can be downloaded HERE

The robin ornament WITH the date and no backing circles (one sheet PDF) can be downloaded HERE

And to further confuse things, if you com back tomorrow I should be able to add a printable sheet that has the ornament digitally “pieced” so all you need to do it print and punch.  I expect I’ll just go ahead and do them with the date and without the date and I guess I have to do MERRY and HAPPY Christmas and probably Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays and…..

DOH!  You see, one of the reasons I started making printables to begin with was that I hated it when I bought some set of embellishments that I loved and they didn’t have exactly what  needed – so maybe I wanted the label or tag or other item, but with a RED border and not a pink one, or I wanted no date so I could use it another year.  But no matter how I try to guess what people want there are always options I simply never think of.  And when I DO think of them, this happens – I wind up making a gazillion sets of basically the SAME thing with very slight variations.

{sigh} I suppose it’s better than moving furniture and cleaning under the fridge….



Christmas printables – ornament card

{sigh}  Even I am aware that the holiday season will be upon us all too quickly.  Every year I design a card with an ornament to go with it, for DD to give out at school and at skating.  It usually takes me a while to make the 20-30 that I end up needing so I figured I should do it soon so I can work on a handful at a time. I’ve only gotten as far as the “ornament” part, not the card base yet.


You can download it here.

OK so a couple of things – first the printable does NOT have 2014 on it.  But I had already printed a sheet of that version and took photos of the assembly, and wasn’t going to do it all again.  Instead, I created a back that has the date and a greeting on it:


I still have the PDF with 2014 on the front, like you see in the photo, so if you REALLY love that one for some reason, drop a comment on me and I can probably add it.

You will note that the bits have a digitally inked edge.  You can still dust it with ink to make it more obvious but you don’t HAVE to. Also, the print out has feet.  A note about them – they are always going to be prone to catching and ripping, even if you print them on heavy card.  I left them because if you wanted to paper-piece the robin as a card topper you might want to use them, but my recommendation for the ornament is to skip them.


Looking at them you can see they are basically a couple of upside down Vs – if you REALLY want to use them,  if you have an appropriate letter die you might make life easy and just cut a pile of them to stick on, or draw them on or anything else you can think of.

The large circle fits a 2″ circle punch.  Various other dies will work – test what you have.  you might lose a smidge of the inked edge, or have a small white halo, but it’ll still probably look fine.


You can cut the wings by lining up one side with your 2″ punch and cutting that


then cutting the other side with scissors OR by sticking the uncut edge to a bit of scrap and use the punch to cut the other edge



Now, you will lose a bit doing it this way, but it’s easier than hand cutting for some.


The same thing works with a 1″ punch and the wing


Sure, there are better wing shapes but I am going for ease of mass-production and there are always compromises with that. I like to add the wing flat on the red, with a thin pop dot under the top edge. You can change the wing shape by trimming it or maybe even cut or punch a shape you prefer from some of the spare backers. Punch a circle from black cardstock for the eye.


And cut and add the beak, then back it with the backing circle – there are more of those than you need so you can either print page 1 of the PDF 2x and the backer once, or print as it comes and use the extra backers for gift tags or simple card toppers.


The background comes from a Graphics Fairy piece but just certain sections of it.  I may end up using that in some way for the card base. Watch this space.

{sigh} DH is here and keeps asking me questions about HIS part of the sorting and de cluttering and I have stuffed peppers to make and pop in the crock pot for dinner … and just when I was finally being creative….


Experimental printables

I was playing around with this but never 100% happy with the results.  Still not 100% happy but maybe at least in the 90% area, so I’m going  to add them and keep sorting my stash. The PDF download is here, just a single page.


It was a collision of a couple of things I liked individually – one set of textures from Lost and Taken and a “font” called Futuracha from Behance.  The font isn’t a standard font, in that you don’t just type the letters and see them, the characters are available as an EPS file.  What THAT means is each element of the font is able to be altered.  So if you look at the .eps file on the left you can see all the defined elements that make up each individual letter – and on the right what each letter looks like if you group the elements.


I’ve always liked text that borders on unreadable LOL!  I suspect not many will agree, but I made them, I enjoyed the process, even if it was a bit challenging to my limited skills, so I’m adding them.  Off to skating with DD, then to the grocery store and then back to cleaning, sorting, organizing.   I do have to add that all my hard work has already paid off.  An old class taught at a weekend crop 10 years ago came up casually and not only did I recall I had the class handout, I knew exactly where it was.

There is the cover, the date info and the canvas I made from the class.  I don’t dare allow myself to feel even slightly smug, but I am pleased. Makes it all feel worthwhile….


Stencil storage – finally happy!

Just a handful of return visits for WOYWW, then more cleaning, food shopping, blah, blah, blah.  It’s just endless.

BUT I keep finding things I bought ages ago and always intended to use for one thing but now find them perfect for another.  This is one of those things.  It’s a fairly big (A2, so about 16.5 x 23.5 inches) with just a handful of sleeves and 4-hole ring binder set up.  Of course virtually all my 12 x 12 sleeves are 3-hole punched but I solved that easy enough by punching a template or the 4 holes


clipped it securely to a stack of page protectors – matching up one of the holes seemed to be the best placement


then used the Big Bite to punch new holes.  I found punching thru a stack of them (three to four) was actually better/easier/cleaner than punching thru ONE, and the Big Bite was better than the Cropadile.


I kept most of the A4 size stencils, paper and report cover ones I cut with the Cricut, in an A4 binder in A4 sleeves.  There are too many of them and the binders and sleeves are cheap (free, in fact, cause I have so many of them kicking around!)


and I found a cheap, thin, paper pad that I used between the back-to-back stencils so I can clearly see what they look like


In the portfolio, I have the 4-6×6-to-a-page sleeves but to keep the centre from being too bulky I used only some of the holes – does that make sense? So some are towards the top, using maybe the top three rings, some in the middle and some at the bottom, using the bottom two rings.



Then I have the 12×12 sleeves with all the standard stencils – some of the old Crafters Workshop ones that are punched for storing in a binder have been added without a sleeve.


In the larger sleeves that came in the portfolio (annoyingly they are NOT 12 inches across) I have some of the oddball ones – plastic canvas sheets, teflon cooking mat, big letter and number stencils from the hardware store, and one sleeve full of crappy magazine freebies that I haven’t used yet, but MIGHT, someday …. LOL!  Not totally mended my wicked ways, have I?


The front has a sort of flap/pocket area that fits the cardboard that has textured wallpaper on it, some of my favourite texture tools for Gelli printing.



They are painty and hard to get into a sleeve sometimes so this is better, having them all grouped like this.

Now there are just these two places, rather than the Crop in Style binder, the A4 binder, a large file box, and a couple of book rings, to look thru when wanting a stencil.


There is still room in the portfolio for more, so I have room to grow!

Now, back to those visits….




WOYWW 275 – more progress…

Could this be the WOYWW shot?  for reals??

You saw the pile o’fibres yesterday?  Well they are all sorted neatly. See them nicely organized on the small satellite table?


I am being sneaky with that shot, cause my desk does have that bin of stray small bits awaiting sorting, you just can’t see it unless you look from another angle…


{sigh} Hope your desk is lovely and crafty.  Sorry mine isn’t inspiring at all….


Forgotten papers – still love them

Will it ever end?  At this point I am fearing it won’t.  Everywhere I turn there is another pile or box to be dealt with.  The down side is that I am shocked by some of what I find – did I ever really think these papers were a good idea?


But the up side is that I found these (mostly) Wordsworth papers and I love them as much now as when I bought them.


I have a pile of fibres on my desk that I aim to sort thru today


and a bin that I used to collect up stuff  like buttons and eyelets and brads and charms, etc that will get dumped out on the desk as soon as the fibres get sorted.  I am trying to avoid the bomb-site method from last week, where EVERYTHING comes out and gets dumped in a heap, going for a more controlled chaos at this stage. Oh I am so looking forward to doing some ACTUAL crafting soon…

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Hello Fall printables for PL

When I am really busy and don’t have time to do proper sticky inky messy crafting I usually fall back on digital stuff.  I always have a stash of things that I make as they occur to me, ready to add when life gets crazy.  This is a set of Fall/Autumn printables that are similar is style to the Summer and Spring ones I did.  The difference is in the texture, mostly, a burlap effect rather than the plaster one.


You can download them here.

I also wanted to make them more versatile – rather than have them only work one direction, I thought these twisted words work (at least on some of them) portrait or landscape.


Rally, these two work best, IMHO


The Hello Fall one is the only one that really needs to be oriented as it shows.  By adding something like an arrow, for example, pointing to a photo, I think the CHILL and SWEATER ones would be acceptable rotated as well.

Back to sorting for me….hope you find them useful!

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finally – 2016 Doily variation

I found that making the 2016 version of my doily calendar wasn’t all that bad – it turns out there are a number of months where one month from 2015 fits a 2016 month perfectly, without needing a single day added or deleted.  But I just can’t make myself just copy the exact format.  So the 2016 version shares some elements with the current one but the doily is WHITE on a coloured background and the font for the month name and date is different.  You can download it HERE.  (the two or three of you who are looking this far ahead – I’m betting there won’t be more than that, including the commenter who asked for it!)

I now must return to my decluttering – I am determined to finish!  Once I have I feel like I can scrap, as I now can actually find stuff that I know I have without wading thru stuff that should have been tossed in the bin years ago.  I have a bag full of UFO scrappy projects and I have a quilt that just needs the border sewn down, two crochet blankets that needs sorting before winter, and another quilt that I am holding off on till my MIL arrives because I need some advice on a particularly thorny issue.  Really, I feel like I need to just attack the UFOs like I have the house – start and just work my way around, one thing at a time till it’s done!

SO boring, but SO necessary…



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