SDC 11 – Christmas in July

Arrgghhh!  I usually try to avoid the C word (no, not THAT one, the December holiday one) until at least November.  Must be because I’m American.  Most of Autumn is taken up with planning and prep for Thanksgiving, which is HUGE for us.  We always have a big feast, invite over friends, and spend a week recovering from stuffing-and-pumpkin-pie overload.  So to be asked, in JULY, to make my brain focus on something I try to avoid is not just a challenge, but a monumental one.

So when the Stampotique Challenge was Christmas in July, I bit the bullet and made a card.  Looks innocent enough, with the panel-door effect and the wreath made from that old leaf-frond punch we all seemed to have 10 years ago.  Brads for doorknobs, the ubiquitous mini-letters and a bit of ribbon:

And then inside, (and do feel free to groan – you know it’s a really bad play on words):

I knew what I wanted to do, but finding the stamps was harder.  The missile is part of a stamp I got in a grab-bag about 15 years ago (If I had to guess I would say it was probably Viva StampVegas) of a dog, with goggles, and a missile strapped to his back.

<slight deviation – Yep, I was right, and they still sell it here>

The toad is a cute little frog from a Banana Frog set (Charming Prince), with the crown cut off.  To be fair, when I showed it to DS, who usually “gets” my bizarre train of thought, and asked him what it made him think of, in the context of Christmas, he looked and looked and finally said “What does a rocket-frog have to do with Christmas?  And why are you asking me this in JULY?” So I am aware that even with the little warty dots I added to the smile-y frog face he really isn’t toad-y enough, but with the words it works well enough

I also punched out a heart, then had to do a bit of surgery on the Stampotique chappie and on the heart to snuggle it in his arms.  But it works.

And now I have to wait two more weeks for another challenge.  <sigh> I could always, oh I don’t know, CLEAN THE HOUSE, but really, is that the BEST use of my time?


WOYWW 14 July 2010

Another WOYWW – I love seeing everyone’s desk and what they are working on. Check it out!

My desk is almost CLEAN this week as I had a bit of a tidy while prepping for a crop on Saturday.  But even so, you can see a quick birthday card I made for DS to give to a girl – friend (but not girlfriend) that he declared too goth and creepy (feel free to insert eyeroll here – I know I did), a little fold out book thing that I MAY use for some very old photos of a weekend break in Toulouse, another planned card with a coffee cup and coffee stain (I caught a bit of Desert Island Discs last week, I think it was, and heard Black Coffee In Bed by Squeeze and it took me right back) and that is enough.  Oh and I did finish the card organizer from last week, so if you came expecting that, sorry.  You can see it here tho’ so I hope that is OK!



I went to  crop on Saturday – very exciting as it is very local to me, in Basingstoke – and managed a couple of layouts.  Not earthshaking ones, but ones that I rather like.  This one is inspired greatly by one of Shim’s from the last SI Idea Book.  I loved the light stamping on back card and the funky title letters, which aren’t like hers at all but they are funky.

Lots of the bits are made from the packaging of the K&Co ephemera pack.  Love the grid-y look of it.  Tha layout is about a climb some mates and I took to the top of Skyline Drive.  DH and another friend had to stay down below, studying for a Calculus test, but the rest of us hiked up to the lookout and hung out in the sunshine for a bit.  These pre-date my DS who is nearly 18!

Next, one I took for the mag, of Maddie looking thru her scrapbook.  She loves looking at them and I never have the camera to hand so luckily, this time I did,

The leaves are stamped with brown ink on blue paper and slightly curled – I think it makes it all look very dimensional.  It was a fairly tricky photo to work with because of all the colour, but I like to think I picked out ones that work, without having to resort to turning the photo to B&W.

I hope to make this crop a regular appointment.  It’s close and I was productive, so that makes it a winner in my book!

Leave a comment


With summer holidays looming, finding fun things to do with the kids is always a priority. While my DD wouldn’t really get on with these, because of her foot brace, other kids might find it a nice diversion for the afternoon.

From the Disney, site, it’s PAPER SHOES. OK, so not hugely practical in often wet England, but it did make me smile. I wonder if a good coating of Mod Podge would weather proof them a bit and maybe a bit of fabric or rubber rather than paper on the insole would make them more comfortable – although to be honest I can only see these as a bit of fun for a day, and I can see a gaggle of tween girls having fun making and modeling them.


Origami bookmark

After finishing the card keeper I had lots of scraps of thinnish, single sided patterned paper left.  What to do with it?  Oh, sure, I could make more cards, and will do with some of it, but I remembered making a little origami bookmark for my DS and thought that might be something useful to do with the scraps – and frankly, I don’t need THAT many cards, after my marathon last week!

I’ve deviated from the instructions a bit so have noted where and why.

If you are using double-sided paper (and really, thin is good here – cardstock is too thick, for this many folds) you can skip the folding back – I just didn’t like the white side showing after the tucking-in part:

I added the decorative scallop, but that us also not a requirement.  I just thought it looked nice.

You can add it to either side of the book.  I’ve been reading the Holly Black books (this one is Valiant – a very enjoyable and quick read) so used that to show it in place:

Fast, easy, cute and useful.  Perfect use of scraps!


Card organizer – done!

But is it a success?  Not sure yet.  I love the colours and papers, some aspects of it I really like, but I am not sure about the box and the BIA double binding.

Basically, what I did was scored mat board (which I got for free from my local framer – they are the bits he cuts out of the middle of mats for large frames) and covered it with paper.  In the end I went for two binding wires which let me add more inserts.  Had I had bigger binding wires I may have stuck with one.  That’s the final photo in the group above.  The inserts are large (254mm x 381 mm) Kraft envelopes from Staples UK, flap removed then cut in half (in inches they measure 10 x just shy of 7 1/2 when cut) I scored a 12×12 sheet of thinnish scrapbooking paper in haft and wrapped it round (this let me “close” the half of the envelope that has two open sides without using the flap, which makes it all a bit too thick) and added a 2 inch strip to make up the difference, which I then covered at the join with ribbon.

The tabs are just circles – I printed the card type in a circle then punched it out.  Two larger circles of thin paper and one of thick card give is better stability.  It’s attached to the front side of the insert (white circle on top of thin paper on top of thick card circle on the front, then thin paper circle on the back, matching the tab and sandwiching the insert between) and they are staggered along the edge so you can see them all.  I had thought I would have it open as a book, but in the end made it more like one of those accordion files so the writing on the tabs is oriented differently in the final project.

Lots and lots of BIA binding – which I find quite hard with a non-standard size, but managed in the end and I also tried a magnet closing with magnets and a washer.  Given how STRONG the washer attached to the magnet I was annoyed once installed it really doesn’t hold the keeper closed, hence the added ribbon tie.

There is room to add a list of birthdays or other card-giving events, and you could even attach a small notepad between the wires at the bottom so you can add things, then rip it off and copy over additions (or deletions!) You can add a calendar to the front of the inserts and change the tabs to a month rather than a type, and organize them that way, if you prefer.

So far I have about 30 cards in there and it’s holding up ok.  The inserts expand to hold quite a few cards, and the box part is big enough to hold the full inserts.  But as with most things like this, you have to USE it for a while before you start to discover the little annoyances that need changing in any future iterations!

I’d do a slideshow/video, but I changed it so much as I was making it the photos I took make little sense.  Maybe if I make another one…one day.


Card organizer on my W (WOYWW)

Well, it’s another W – how do they manage to come around so quickly?  Lots of summer colds round mine this week – knock wood, all but ME at the moment but that is usually how it goes.  I stay well just long enough to take care of the rest of them, fetching drinks and cool cloths and making Lem-Sip and then get sick just when they are all better and getting on with life LOL!  I’m just hoping Blogger is over it’s problems from last week so that I can tuck DS up in bed and blog hop the day away.

Here’s my W this week:

Not very exciting this week, although I think it will be when it’s done – after my cardmaking blitz last week I decided I needed a card organizer.  I looked at quite a  few on t’internet, some really nice ones, then went my own way.  With luck I’ll finish it soonish and can share it then!

I picked up this paper pack in the USA and while I love it, the papers are a bit on the thin side so they are perfect for the way I am doing the organizer. The image is for the 5×7 pack although wha I have is the 12 x 12!


AI monoprint card

Firstly, I have no idea why the SSE didn’t appear yesterday.  Sometimes, for some unknown reason, posts on a Sunday are saved as a draft but don’t appear when I say to publish them.  It seems WP wants me to sign in again once a week and if the sign in request happens at the same time as the posting, it won’t post – or at least that is what I am guessing.  It’s the only thing I can think of.

No matter, it’s there now.  And I am still looking for the “right” image for my take on the AI monoprinting.  Two versions.  Not sure which I prefer.  First an oblique angle so you can better see the Versamark stamping and Pearl-ex, in case you missed the info in the post here.

Next, two different images.  I like the Stampotique teardrop one, which I thought might work as a sympathy card, or a “Sorry  you’re not well” card, and I like the man-with-umbrella but not sure what “sentiment” works with it.  Any input?

Leave a comment


If somehow you’ve missed it, Vintage Printables has some fabulous goodies for altered art, ATCs, scrapbooks, mini-albuns, and more.

They seem to be working on organizing the site at the moment but this is def. a site you can get lost in, in the best possible way.  Grab a cuppa and plan to spend a while there. Here is a new image to tempt you!


Alcohol Ink monoprinting

In my travels through the WOYWW posts this week I saw a number of AI monoprint items, based on a challenge from Studio L3 working from A Compendium of Curiosities (Tim Holtz book) and decided to give it a go.  A couple of problems – I have no glossy cardstock, being the major one.  But I do know from past experience that while regular photo paper does NOT work well with AIs, the HiTi dye-sub printer sheets DO give a great effect.  I really didn’t want to waste a sheet, given that the print packs should be matched perfectly (eg colour ribbon to photo paper) but I DID have some sheets that came with my printer that were sticker sheets.  These are little rectangles, designed to print multiples of a photo.  They have the added advantage of being stick-backed and in, oh, 5 years I have found no other use for them.  Perfect.

Instead of doing exactly what Tim says in the book, I used two sheets and sort of smooshed them together, then turned the top one and smooshed again.  All well and good – a nice mottled effect, but a bit indistinct.

I then dropped spatters of straight AI onto the sheets, which allowed the inks to interact in interesting ways. I did a few of these LOL!

Then I got the brilliant (or very stupid) idea to put the blending solution into a mist bottle,  although in the back of my head I was thinking “I’m sure I read ‘Don’t do this’ someplace!” so I did hold the bottle well away from me and turned my head when misting (if I could have found the breathing masks I know I have I probably would have used one) and got a nifty speckled effect.

That gave me some really neat backgrounds, but I wasn’t done yet.

The fact the AIs dry so quickly and thoroughly made me wonder – would Pearl-ex stick to the whole surface? So I stamped a swirl, with Versamark, over the dried background and dusted on Pearl White Pearl-ex (and I assume Perfect Pearls would work too) and got this:

I peeled off the stickers and added them to  plain black cardstock, spacing them as they are on the original, for a sort of grid.  Now I am just considering the perfect image to top it. I’ll share it when I get it done.

I discovered a few other things that I need to refine a bit before sharing as well, so all in all this has been a fun play-time.  I see no reason why this wouldn’t work on glossy cardstock just as well, with the advantage of not being limited to little rectangles, so I guess I better add that to my shopping list LOL!