This is bat country


Long labels sized for Project life – with an addition

So I am still working to satisfy the request from a UKS member for labels.  I have a couple more designs but somehow I managed to overwrite my working file – DOH!  It may have to wait for more time till I complete them.  Anyway the labels look like this:


The PDF has both the larger (about 3 1/2 inch long) ones and the resized smaller about 2 1/2 inch ones.  That SHOULD make them work on any size PL card!

What’s the addition, you ask?  WELL – the original requestor asked for a mix, some with words, some plain.  I REALLY struggle with those design decisions.  I can’t tell you the number of times I sat staring at a set of printed embellishments and thought Blast!  I wish that perfect-for-my-photo little label or star or circle was in BLUE not PINK! So coming from the other side of things I was left with a choice – do I make them all blank so people can add what they want to what colour they want OR do *I* arbitrarily decide to make THIS one red and THAT one purple and tough luck if you really wanted them the other way round? OR (heaven forbid!) do I make each colour with each word??

Now I know what I usually suggest is that you just either write (or stamp or print) what you like on them and you can surely do that.  But I also considered that some people may not have any idea WHAT they want on there.  And don’t want to think too hard about it.  When I ASK people to give me specifics they often say things like Oh just a nice mix or give two examples and say Words like that... I considered how I might address that.  So I made two sheets – the same set of words/phrases, repeated four times, in four different fonts.  So if you don’t want to think about things too hard just pick the ones you like, rough cut them and stick the label size and colour you like over the words with temp adhesive  then run it thru the printer again - to be honest I don’t see why you couldn’t stick them to the printed sheet and cut thru BOTH sheets, if your printer paper is fairly thin weight so you only have to trim closely ONCE! The advantage is you can position the words left, right, centred, however you want.  They are spaced so you can over print a lot of them at once. And see the one green roundy one?  I cut that in half before printing on it so I got two smaller ones.  Just another option for you!

Here is a little gallery of some of them, shown printed in different positions and on both sizes – click on one to see it slightly bigger:

The fonts are a mix – personally, I think the heavier ones work on either the blank (white) ones OR the grid ones, but the finer fonts stand out less on the grid.

And if you REALLY hate cutting out, leave them as true rectangles – I don’t think they look horrible like that!


The rounded edge ones look cute but I know a lot of people struggle to cut nice rounds.  You can always drag a chisel tip pen around the edge or Distress Ink them if your trimming is less than precise, to hide the white halo.

Why can’t you print the whole word sheet over the large label page?  Well, keep in mind your printer will “grab” the paper slightly differently every time – look at the printed sheet – you can see the first print doesn’t line up perfectly (and of course you are then going to only get one word or phrase on one colour choice!  Kinda defeats the purpose of the word sheet, doesn’t it?  {wink} And you can see even the larger labels work on the 3 x 4 cards or photos.


You can always print JUST the word sheets on plain cardstock too, if you like them and can’t be bothered to create your own text file!

Two sheets – I didn’t combine them into one PDF because you may not love all the fonts so you can grab just the ones you do like.  One slightly grunge, one very plain set here and one fairly funky, one pretty and scripty here.

Hope they prove useful to you.


Creative Palette with pigment ink

I had a further play with the Creative Palette with acrylic paint the other day, and my results, no matter what I tried, were equally disappointing.  I tried a prussian blue chalk ink on it, thinking inks might work, but it stained the circle very BLUE and nothing I did would remove it. I stuffed it in the sleeve and on the shelf and decided that I would waste no more time with it.  I was going to blog all the things I tried but then I thought Why bother? I’ve already said it was an epic FAIL for me and nothing I said was going to expand on that.  But then an odd thing happened – I turned on the TV at just about 6 pm, ready to set up a recording for DD and the TV happened to be on Create & Craft.  Odd, cause I haven’t watched it for DAYS.  In the seconds before it went off the air on Freeview I noticed mention of CREATIVE PALETTE!  I went to the website to watch the show, which had been on at 3 PM, I think, and watched the bit where the guest demoed the CP with Crafter’s Ink re-inkers.  Crafter’s ink is just pigment ink that can be heat set and becomes permanent.

A dim memory surfaced.  I had a handful of little bottles of pigment ink re-inkers that I swear I bought 20 years ago, most of them had never been opened.  I dragged them out and sat down to have a play.


One thing the guest mentioned was that she brayers on some hand sanitizer first, then adds the pigment ink.  I did do that for the first few ones, but to be honest in the end I mostly skipped that step – the pigment ink stays wet enough without it.

It worked.


That is a couple of colours, with one of my Gelli Plate anaglypta wallpaper samples pressed in to it then the print pulled.

Very Gelli plate like! But with pigment ink not paint.  Softer, chalkier.  Pretty. But worth the effort?  Maybe.

So then I tried a stamp. In general my success was only with removing the ink on the palette and letting the lighter/white space do the talking:


This was a big, rubber background stamp. The tone-on-tone look is OK, I just wonder how worth it it is.  Could I get close enough to a similar effect by just stamping?

Foam stamps really remove the ink – not ones that are caked with paint from Gelli play, but fairly clean ones:


The was probably the last one that I used the hand sanitizer first.  I think that and the too heavy layer of ink muddied the print too much:


Still it was mildly interesting. A MUCH thiner layer of ink now, but I didn’t clean off the blue.


I really liked that one.  And this one – more blue over the top, big bubble wrap, and you can still see the foam stamp impression.


One of my favourites for sure.   Another foam stamp cut from one of the Die Delights.


I thought I could brayer on the pigment ink from an ink pad, so I did – this is one of those multi-colour strip pads. It is very light, and as the bubble wrap still had wet ink on it I pressed that to the palette to transfer the ink for another layer


Keeping the brayer in position gave me a rainbow effect when I brayers the ink on.  It is a bit more vibrant than it looks here.

I tried brayering on gome mossy green then stamped over that on the palette with some copper:


Again, the photo doesn’t do it justice, but why not just brayer the ink onto paper then over-stamp?  The palette really doesn’t ADD anything to the process, except for a slight more…atmospheric look, I guess.

I then HAD to try a stencil.  I still felt that HAND CUT (so much thinner) stencils would give a better impression and they did, but still not what I would call sharp and defined.


You maybe can see I first ran one of my foam shape rollers over the plate to give it some added interest.  Again, the stencil was loaded with ink so I pressed that onto another earlier attempt that wasn’t brilliant – I think I tried something I thought I heard on the show, which was that hand sanitizer would re-activate the ink.   I brayered it on over some leftover ink after that first, very un-defined foam stamp print and that gave me the background you see here:


And that one was REALLY cool.

So here is the array:


Some maybe worth keeping (probably great for ATC backgrounds) but I am still not convinced this is something I am going to do a lot of.   Oh, I just noticed – that single foam stamp towards the right?  Between the blue and bubble one?  Fo THAT one I simply pressed and small pigment ink pad onto the palette.  The pattern of small overlapping squares was neat, and def worth playing with.

Final thoughts on this?

  • if you are using re-inkers keep he application light – small dots of ink scattered across the palette.  Hand sanitizer first will help a think layer cover.  Too much ink produces a blotchy impression
  • removal tools (foam stamps, rubber stamps, textured wallpaper samples, combs, etc) produce the best images
  • you can brayer on or press on an ink pad rather than droplets from re-inkers but you will get a lighter colour.  AND if pressing on use ONE colour or yo will cross contaminate your ink pads.
  • stencils are best f ones yo cut from thin material – so far.  I really need to try a thick one again at some point to be sure.
  • do press whatever you used to REMOVE the ink back onto a print or even onto the ink on the plate.  Those are def. my favourite effects.
  • acrylic paint is CHEAP – I don’t think re-inkers are.

One BIG warning is keep in mind pigment inks dry super slow – that’s their benefit for embossing, for example.  But you have to put the prints aside to completely dry for a LOT longer than you would do with a print from paint on the Gelli plate.

I might try Distress ink at some point, but as the Chalk ink so badly stained my plate (but made NO DIFFERENCE and did NOT transfer to future prints) I’m kinda afraid it might end up brown and opaque at some point if I carry on.  The jury is still out on this, for me.  Except on one point – do NOT buy this thinking it will work anything LIKE a Gelli Plate.  It doesn’t. Well, maybe if you take the added step (and expense) of adding Flow Medium to every application of paint, it might, but I just don’t see the point when a Gelli plate doesn’t need that and works for paint better.

But at this point I can’t say the Creative Palette is a TOTAL FAIL.  That’s as far as I am willing to go at this point LOL!

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Lots o’ labels – for Project Life…or not.

Again, a UKS member asked and I took up the challenge.  ChelleBelle wanted labels, and lots of them.  She showed a sample of the kind of thing she had in mind, but I really wanted to try to come up with some shapes that were more unique rather than just copy what else was already out there.

These are the ones I made – the first group I call Corner Adorners cause (well DUH!) the fit the corners.  I almost just added the larger ones (that I see as working on 4 x 6 photos, or even filler cards, so long as the pattern and shape works) but then I thought I would make it easier, and I made a second page to the PDF that has the larger ones printed two to a page, to reduce them in size.  You can opt to print just one of the pages, in your print dialog box:


How can you use them?  Well, lots of different ways!  Some (but not all) can be used on more than one corner and still “read” right. The small ones work equally well on the 4×6 photos and the 3×4 ones.

The triangles can also be added on the side of a photo, not just in the corner. As you can see, depending on the photo, the large corners CAN work on the smaller 3×4 size.

The other set is small labels – I did a page of plain filled-with-white ones as well as filled-with-a-grid ones, and a page of the smaller sized ones for a 3 page PDF.


That shows you the overall shapes.And again you can use them in many different ways – here are a few ideas shown in the different sizes.  You can add a stamped image, your own printed text, handwritten journaling or tiny embellishments to the open areas. And some of them could be cut for a smaller or different shape – like the round-y rectangles could be cut in half, lengthwise or crosswise, and the box-with half-circle could be cut into a box and a half-circle.

You get the idea.  I am working on a set that is more strips, but I don’t know there is the scope to do anything unusual, IYKWIM.  Rounded sides, arrow points, flag/banner notches…they have all been done 100 times before.  Still, I’ll carry on.

These are, over all, slightly leaning towards pastel rather than super intense.  The labels are brighter than the corners.  But if there is a colourway you are dying for  you can always comment and if I have time, I may just create them to your spec.

Keep in mind they can all be tarted up by Distress inking the edges, for example, or dragging a Copic or other marker along the edges.  I didn’t do any dotted or dashed lines, especially for the corners, so rounding them wasn’t going to be a problem.

And They obviously work for photos on layouts too, and might even, with a little creativity, work on a card -
As ever if you download them I would love feedback, and LOVE to see a sample of them in use.

Have fun!



What is on my desk is still the debris from my experiments with the Stampendous Creative Palette – a version of a gelatine plate.  Read back to yesterday for the whole sordid story.


The only real item of interest is the bits that show you I not only cut the palette up into smaller pieces, I also die cut it with a Sizzix die (just the scraps leftover from the useful sizes.)


It worked perfectly – shame the palette itself was such a disappointment after the Gelli plate!

Off to skating with DD – lovely once again to have an hour or so in the chilly rink as it is meant to be another hot one here today!

Stay cool and have a happy WOYWW day!



Stampendous or Gelli? Monoprint plate comparison

This product was NOT provided to me to review – I bought it with my own hard earned £s.  Not that that fact would matter to any review, but I would have been happier if I hadn’t paid for it LOL!

I was quite excited when I saw there was another “gelatine” plate on the market!  It was a bit cheaper than the Gelli plate, and thinner.  It was the thinner that really got me excited.  Cause I was hankering after a round plate, and then after the smaller sized ones, and I immediately thought I can cut that! And indeed I could.  And did.


I started by cutting some paper shapes to check the size, although in the end I got more than my first plan.  I got:

  • one  6  x  4
  • one  5 1/4-ish round
  • one  4  x  4
  • one  2 3/4  x  3 3/4

And looking at the scraps I had left I thought What the heck? and cut a large heart, a 1 inch circle and a slightly bigger than 1 1/2 inch circle using one of the Sizzix thick dies.  Yep. You heard me.  I die cut my Creative Palette.  And this was all before I used it for the first time.  Evidence, you ask?


This was all before I used it, cause, you see, I expected that it would work pretty much EXACTLY like the Gelli Plate.  Ha   HA   HA. The joke was on me.

Excited to have a play, I pulled a print.  I was using the Basics paint, so slightly better quality acrylic.


What? That was a simple print – bubble wrap that had a bit of purple on it, pressed to the plate.  OK so I tried the cheap craft paint, lighter body, not so quick to dry.  Better.


OK so then I tried the craft paint and tried to pull a print thru a stencil.  WTF?!


This was NOT going as I expected.  I hopped over to You Tube to see what sort of demo videos I would find.  Found this one. What was obvious was that the techniques shown did NOT include many of the ones I love with the Gelli Plate.  So I carried on experimenting.  I tried the small shapes.  Added the paint, laid on the stencil, brayered off the paint (tried to)


Then printed with them.


Not very crisp, but possibly with some work it could be OK.

I grabbed one of my home made foam stamps and tried lifting off the paint with that – again, I’ve done this 1000s of time on the Gelli, but….


DOH!  To be fair it is hot here, but the paint dried so quickly and the plate gripped the paper so strong it tore it.

The video shows slow-drying medium, which I don’t have, but I certainly have used Glaze medium to increase the open time of paint so I gave THAT a try:




I had plenty of dried paint on the various plates so I grabbed my packing tape and …


DOUBLE DOH!  I know that is hard to see but at the top left you can just about see the yellow smudge and you can clearly see the plate is still loaded with paint.

I had a look at the packaging and saw mention made that spritzing the paint with water would allow you to pull further prints.  I first tried the stencil again, this time doing the normal process – paint on plate, stencil over, thinner (printer) paper over to pull thru but gave it a bit of welly, as they say:


Then I rubbed really quite hard with my thumbnail, really pressing into the paper –  I almost embossed it, I was rubbing so hard!


And that gave me an almost acceptable print:


I then tried the water spritz, which improved things a lot – first pulling thru the stencil and then printing with the stencil removed:



Just for comparison, I grabbed my 6 x 6 Gelli plate and tried the same, with Basics paint as well – just to be fair, cause if it was the heat of the day that was causing the problem that would matter:  Nope.  Gelli plate pulled thru the stencil just fine


and the second pull was just as dark


What have I concluded?  If you want a Gelli Plate, get a GELLI PLATE.  While I have no doubt with a little practice, and more experimentation I can make these plates work in some way, I think the unpredictability of them will make for a frustrating printing session.  I would perhaps pull the paper away more with dread than anticipation! Perhaps if I scale back my expectations I might be OK with it, but is that really what you want to do when being arty?  Expect less so you aren’t disappointed?

Why does this plate perform this way?  It FEELS different.  The surface is …firmer, I guess, and it doesn’t have nearly the give in it the Gelli plate does.  The thinness of it might be nice on one hand, but it works against it on another – when you press the paper to it you don’t feel that sense of yielding like you do with the Gelli.  I don’t think the recipe can be the same either, and I think that has to be the core reason why this was such a disappointment – it just doesn’t react with the paint the same way.   I had a lot of ideas for experimentation but the reality of it is that (as is so often the case) I, as a consumer, was lured initially by the slightly lower cost (I’ve seen them as low as about £14 ) initially, but seriously seduced by the thought I could chop it up.  In all other aspects I EXPECTED it to work just like my Gelli Plate did – and it didn’t.

So, to add to the I make the mistakes so you don’t have to …. list, I’ve tried the Creative Palette so you don’t have to. But if you have, and had a better experience with yours, please, do share.


Summer printables for Project Life

It’s been hot here and finally feels like proper summer.  That made me think summery thoughts so I made these quick printables.



The turquoise looks quite intense on the screen, but it could be my monitor colour sync settings – just for comparison I printed them and on my printer they come out like this:


Your printer and monitor are likely to show different colour values than mine do, but maybe seeing the screen grab beside the printed version you will have a better idea of what to expect when you print them?  Maybe not, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

Just one page and you can download the PDF here.  I did SAVE AS using the Quartz filter, so the file size is reasonable at under 1 mb.  It shouldn’t have any loss of quality but feedback to me if you feel they don’t print well – I suggest Matte Photo Paper and High Quality for the printer settings.

Because people often want to know, the font I used is called Alpaca Solidify and can be found here.


A different sort of crochet bracelet – Cloud knot

Firstly, apologies to my followers – I stupidly had a spelling error in the title of yesterdays post.  I corrected it, and the slug (the thing that is made up of the title of your blog post and creates the URL link, more or less, ) but that happened seconds after the post went live.  And in computer terms “seconds” might well be YEARS.  The email to followers had been sent, but when you clicked the link  it would have taken you nowhere.  I figured if you saw the email and the synopsis was of interest, you’d have been able to get there eventually.  In future I’ll first be more careful about spelling in the title or if I edit the title, I won’t edit the slug.  I did at least two monumentally stupid things yesterday and this wasn’t the stupidest, I assure you.

There will be a few links in here, tracing my meander across the internet and how this came about.  First the bracelet:


This is made from a crochet i-cord in two colours.  The “clasp is a button and loop.


The sizing is easier with a single colour.  What I would suggest is you crochet the i-cord as long as you need – and this one for this knot was about 20 inches – then pull a scrap of yarn of another colour thru the three loops on the hook.  Once the knot has been made, sew the loop on the beginning end then lay it over your wrist to get the size right.  Just unravel the end of the cord then pull the tail thru and weave in the ends to finish it off and sew on the button. Start off with about 16 inches for a very fine wrist or maybe 18 for a larger wrist, then try the knot and see how close you are.  Mine was about 20 inches and I did have to unravel an inch or so.

Now the links.  I saw this bracelet using a KNITTED i-Cord and I thought it was cute.

So I went looking for a crochet i-cord.

And I found THIS.  But OMG – I am completely incapable of the whole drop-two-loops-but-hold-on-to-them part. She is clearly more adept than I am or has younger, nimbler fingers!  I kept losing one and then it would unravel and trying to pick the stitches up again was doing my head in.  Sure, I could have found however many double-pointed needles (three or four, I forget) I would need and KNIT the i-cord but that’s not what I wanted.   After fighting with it for far too long I took a step back and thought how I could keep track of those loops and my sanity.  The double-pointed needle was the key.

This does make a slightly looser cord, but if you can manage to use a smaller hook than the yarn actually requires and make sure you tighten up the tail when the two loops are on the needle, it’s tight enough.

Start the crochet as she says, Chain 3 then pull up a loop in each of the first 2 chains – 3 loops on the hook.


Her instructions say “drop the first two loops but hold on to them”  - yeah, right.  If you can manage that it’s a lot easier!

What I did was slip the double-pointed needle (or a short, thin knitting needle, the double-pointedness doesn’t really matter) into the first two loops and scoot them off the hook.  I found I could hold both the yarn and the needle like so:


The first stitch is to chain in the loop on the hook.


I did that behind the needle.  Make sure you tighten the tail so the loops on the hook are SNUG but not massively tight.


The next step is to chain in each of the other two loops.  She slips them BACK onto the hook but I found it easier and faster to slip the hook into the stitch on the needle, BEHIND the needle, then work the chain and THEN slip it off.


and then repeat with the final loop


The slip off the first two loops and repeat until the i-cord is as long as you need it to be!



You can see it looks just like a knitted i-cord, if ever so slightly looser.  Maybe.  I didn’t knit one for comparison as that would have required me finding MORE double-pointed needles!

And funnily enough when I was writing this, in going back to look for the link to the crochet i-cord so I could add it,  I found ANOTHER link that does almost exactly the same thing I show here! So not a new idea.  She does slip the loops back on to the hook the do the chain, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same thing.  Nothing new under the sun….

While I liked the original knot, the cord I made was pretty long so I went looking for other sorts of knots.  And I found this one, which is cute and slightly more complex.  And THAT is the knot I used.  Because it is from a single cord and not two, there isn’t the double side strands like the original one I saw – it’s a thinner bracelet and doesn’t need to be tied on.  Pulling it on and off that way stretches the yarn too much, I think.  And overall this knot seems flatter on the wrist.  I am dying to try it with the smooth, slightly shiny WI yarn – I think I have soft and cuddly but they also have a soft and shiny (?) version that I didn’t buy.  Have to check my stash and see if I have something similar, or get some, cause the less wooly, smoother yarn might make for a better (and certainly more summery) end product!

How’s that for a meander across the net? Pulling together knowledge from various crafters to create something inspired by them all, but at the same time, new.  MAYBE.  Who knows,  if I took more time to look, that I wouldn’t find someone else out there who did EXACTLY the same thing?



Crochet braid bracelet

Really, it is BRAID not BRAIN – DOH! Corrected, but not sure the email link will work as a result if the slug is edited.  Sorry.

If you read here at all you are aware that it only takes a stray comment to set me off on a quest.  At crop a few weeks back, Julia’s mate Ally showed a photo of a knitted cable bracelet, and said she wanted one.  She doesn’t knit, so I said, Oh, I’m sure if you Google crochet braid bracelet you will probably find one for crochet that you could do instead. Yeah. Right. Famous last words. I DID Google it and I DID find a fair few versions, but I didn’t like them.  You might, but to me they all support the comment knitters make, that crochet is gross – and by that I don’t mean gross as in disgusting but gross as opposed to fine.  They all seem to use a combo of front post and back post triple crochets (UK double treble I think) that just don’t appeal TO ME.

I had an idea that I thought would work but it took me a while to sort a pattern.  Do please remember I am not a professional crochet gal, nor am I experienced at writing patterns.  I hope I have made it clear, and the instructions suit ME but might not be exactly like a professional pattern.

The method is crocheting three long fingers, off a base block, then plaiting those fingers then joining them to carry on with an ending block.  It looks like this:


What I like about it is that the parts are clearly defined and maybe a bit finer than the FP/BP combos, which are pretty thick and a totally different look.

I used a US D/3 (UK 3.25 mm) hook and Baby weight yarn.  It was a scrap and the ball band is long missing, but that is my best guess. The pattern is written in US crochet terms so for UK folk:

SS (Slip Stitch) and Chain are the same in both, so far as I can tell.

UK stitch termsdouble crochet (dc) USA stitch termssingle crochet (sc)
half treble (htr) half double crochet (hdc)
treble (tr) double crochet (dc)


Initial Block:

Chain 10

SC in 2nd chain from hook and across (9 SC)

Chain 1 (turning chain)

repeat this row till the piece measures about 1/2 the width of your wrist, ending with a WRONG SIDE row


You now have 9 SC or three 3 SC groups

The Braid – this is composed of three “fingers” – the italic stitches are worked on the base, the chain up  and DC back works the fingers.


 SS in the 1st stitch

Chain 20 – 30

This might be a bit of trial and error to begin with and will depend of the weight yarn you are using, how tight you want it in the end,  as well as how big your wrist is.  As a general guide, the chain should be long enough that when you wrap the piece around your wrist, the end of the chain will meet, or very nearly meet, the beginning chain of the SC block. (astute UK viewers ignore the hook – that was a photo from a previous sample )


DC in the 2nd chain from the hook back down the chain.  BE CAREFUL not to let the chain twist.

HDC in the next stitch of the base

SS in the next stitch

That was worked over the first 3 stitches of the base

Repeat for each of the two 3-stitch groups left


Break off the yarn with a LONG tail and pull the tail thru the loop on the hook to finish off.

Braid the three fingers, just like you would plait hair! Don’t pull the plait tight, and keep the two ridges on either side of the DC flat and upwards.


You MAY prefer to make the back of the piece the front, if you prefer the smoother look of it.


Thread the ends of the fingers onto a knitting pin to keep them from moving around. You can see that above.

Chain 2 with a new strand then SC in the 2nd chain from the hook.  Working with the WRONG SIDE facing, 2 SC in the end of the first finger. You are working in the SIDE of the DC at the tip

Chain 1, 2 sc in the next finger, Chain 1, 2 SC in the final finger, Chain 1 (turning chain).  You should again have 9 stitches across the base and your turning chain on the hook.

You can now remove the pin! Sorry, I think I missed taking a photo of this step but you can see the result in the final piece. This joins the separate fingers into the plait/braid and “locks” them in place.

SC across in each SC and Chain 1 space (9 SC)

Chain 1 (turning chain) then SC across (9 SC)

repeat this until the end block meets the initial block when wrapped around your wrist, then do two more rows.

Sew a button( or buttons) on the initial block

SS in first 3 SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS in final 3 SC for one large  button



SS in first SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS 5th SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS in final SC if using two small buttons

Test the fit before breaking off the yarn.  If it is too tight, just pull back the final row with the loop/loops for the button/buttons and carry on with another few rows of SC. When you are happy with the fit…

Break off yarn and pull it thru the loop on hook to finish

Making up:

As this is going to be worn and probably washed weave in the ends (all but the long tail one) but double back on yourself a couple of times to make sure the ends are secure and won’t work loose.


This is optional – if you want to make sure your braid doesn’t twist around in the wearing, weave in that long tail loosely but take it all along the back of the braid, catching the loose fingers and securing them in place.


Again, double back on yourself a few times to really secure it.


My first attempt was with a slightly thicker wool (DK I think) and looks like this:


And I did a CHUNKY version just to see how it looked.  Might be TOO chunky, not sure.  Def. too chunky for a hot summer day LOL!.


Maybe you can see it better here:


So there you go.  It is def. DIFFERENT to the cable bracelets Ally showed me, but I think it has a charm of its own.  And def. works better for crochet, even it is it a fairly bizarre construction.  If you make one I would sure love to know if the pattern made sense to you and to see your bracelet.  I wonder if Ally would deem it good or a disappointing crochet version of a knitted project.

BTW I think this would make a cute headband as well, just by making the beginning and ending blocks longer and at least doubling the chains that make the fingers, then  adding a chunk of elastic between the two ends.




Stencil letterpress

I saw this video late one night and fancied having a go, but I have very few wood veneer pieces.  A star from last year’s advent calendar and a couple of trees, I think, and that is about it.

The star worked, although I had the same problem she had with one area impressing too deeply and cracking:

 I was looking for other things that might work and decided to try some chipboard.


It worked too, although the pigment ink soaked in to the chipboard more than I would have liked on some pieces – and getting the pieces down on the cardstock in any sort of reasonable alignment was tricky,  The pigment ink is so wet and stays wet for so long, even the tiniest dot on a finger tip ends up on the final piece.



But the emboss is quite deep, which is nice. Also some cracking…not so nice.  I did play around with the idea of coating the chipboard with gel medium to keep the surface from peeling away when you pull it off, but the brush strokes (and even the texture from the brayer, using my Gelli plate-to-coat trick) show.  Maybe the kind of chipboard that has a coating on it would be the best kind for this.

So I have done faux letterpress with embossing folders but the real problem with that is it’s so hard to skim the paint or ink on just the raised bits and not into the open areas.  But as I had the big shout out anyway, and a couple of new stencils, I thought why not try those?


Not bad – some darker areas along the lines where the ink was heavier, and the stencil has a border around it, like many stencils do.  I played around with cutting a mask, which helped, but you still get the embossing even if you don’t get the ink:


I may play around with it a bit more, but the best plan seems to be just to trim it – which makes it less like letterpress!  But overall it looks better.


Stencils without a border are clearly the best choice for this, but I only have maybe three like that so not ideal.

You can see on the back the emboss is decent – not as deep as the veneer but it doesn’t crack at all.


Well work further play.  I must go back and watch a few more of her videos – I always liked her work in scrapbook mags and books and her cards are cute, but she seems to have a lot of technique videos.  I am ALWAYS on the look out for them!

Off to make falafel.  Should have bought some while I was out, then I could keep playing…. oh well….


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English speakers look away! French and Spanish 2015 Project Life calendar cards

This started as a bit of an experiment.  In the past I have done Spanish calendars and they were popular.  As I had a flurry of visits from France, I though I might as well go ahead and do a French one too.  The major thing is that if what I see online is to be believed both commonly  use the Monday to Sunday format.  As I had taken the time to do both this year, it seemed an easy thing.  The real issue turned out to be the DAY abbreviations!  I found a LOT of variation.  For the formatting, it is far easier to standardize the day abbreviations and that SEEMS to be acceptable but it is hard to know.

I used slightly different fonts.  The French one is Fontleroy Brown and the Spanish one is Sevillana – why?  they FEEL right, but then what do I know?  At the end of the day, they look good to me so there you go.

I will be very interested in any feedback from native French or Spanish speakers – how wrong did I get it?  It’ll all feed into my future calendars so if you like them and use them, take a moment to let me know.  If I got it horribly wrong tell me that too!


The FRENCH version is here.

The SPANISH version is here.

Now, that really MUST be the end of calendars for a bit.  Much as I love the process and designing them, it’s just time to get obsessed with something new, for a while….. {wink}


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