1 Comment

12 Tags of christmas warm-up

It’s that time again!  Every year Tim Holtz does his 12 Tags of Christmas – you can see a short intro video here and there are links to the last three 12-tags posts for 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the sidebar.  This morning I reviewed the last two years (and saved them as PDFs for future reference – be warned that uncompressed the PDF was over 100 mb (!) and even compressed it is approaching 25 mb.  I know how to save it on a Mac just by clicking PRINT then Save as PDF but no idea how to do this on a PC.  I’ve heard you can do it using Tiny PDF but can’t vouch for it) and decided to do a “warm-up” tag to get ready.  I haven’t done the whole 12-tag thing in the past, although I have used some of the techniques seen in the tags at various times.  I dragged out A LOT of stuff and basically made  huge mess.

In the end, this is what I came up with:

The holly sprig is an old stamp, bought at least 5 years ago, from The Angel Company, I think, and it was still unmounted, in it’s little plastic box.  I stamped it, coloured it with Copics, then spritzed on some Cosmic Shimmer.  I squirted a bit of the shimmer mist into a little dish and painted it on the berries, just on the shadow part.

You can’t really see it there but hopefully this angle shows the shimmer better:

The words are also a stamp – I think I bought that at least 10 years ago, from a book club I was a member of, and there is no info on the stamp itself as to who makes it.  The frame stamp is one of Tim’s, and it’s stamped and embossed with Distress embossing powder.  The tag is smudged with Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy.  All in all, a bit of fun, and it got my creative pump primed for tomorrow!

For me, the challenge with the previous 12 Tags sets was that I didn’t have much of the product.  This year I do have a bit, and enough of alternative product that I hope I can have a go at the tags using the TECHNIQUES even if I have to use different stuff and different stamps.  I have to say it was a real struggle to find anything even remotely “christmas-y” in my stash, so I know it’ going to be an interesting ride.  But that makes t a challenge, and I love a challenge so lets see how far I get.

Leave a comment

Sunday-someplace-else (Steampunk images)

I love the look of steampunk.  I love these free collage sheets.  Seems like a good post for a SSE.

And check out these hairstyles!

Be sure to have a look at all Betsi’s lenses – there is a lot of interesting stuff to explore. I found this wreath idea that might help me use up some of the little balls of yarn I have leftover from various projects.  She has a sort of overview of brayer techniques, where to source steampunk costumes and supplies, really good list of zombie gift ideas (not gifts FOR zombies, you understand – they really are just about the mindless killing – but gifts for zombie obsessed fans) including a great I ❤ Zombies image for tee shirts, mouse pads, etc.  and even a craft book about making felt zombies.  Honestly, I got a bit lost on the site, exploring all the sections.  I don’t know much about Squidoo, but I think I’ll take the time to explore it further after this.

Sorry this is a bit late in the day.  DS and I snuck out at 9 AM to see the new Harry Potter, then it’s been the UKS home page stuff, laundry, and trying to block out the sound of DS and his band all day.

Leave a comment

Surprise Saturday redux

As promised.  I didn’t get a comment on the last downloads so I am just not sure if they worked for anyone or not.  If you got them and they worked please let me know.  If they don’t work then I need to figure out what I am doing wrong!

Here is a .jpg this time. so a white background.  It should still be editable – ar at least I hope it is!

This is what my recipe “bags” look like finished and in the album!

You can see these recipes are well-worn so obviously favourites!

Here are the two recipes.  Give them a go – both are delish and make fabulous gravy. Hope you can read them! Sorry for the American measures – don’t let it put you off.  Oh and “salad oil” just means and sort of non-Olive oil, like sunflower or corn oil.  Nothing strongly flavoured and not Olive oil because it smokes.  No cooking times or temps.  Just follow the directions on the meat package as to time and temp by weight.



SDC20: bling!

Oh me, I love a bit of bling in my crafting.  Not so much ON ME, but cards, pages, minis…they all benefit from a bit of bling.  I rather cringe when thinking back to a Governor’s meeting, when, after arguing long and hard to make my point, and seeing slow agreement drift across a few of the sceptics faces, I sat back and crossed my legs and a glint caught my eye.  Yep.  There, stuck right too the knee of my jeans, a hot pink sticky-backed gem.  DOH!

So here is my effort – I stamped Bat Boy on white card and coloured his face and hands, trimming off his wings.  I stamped again onto sticky backed glitter sheets – funny, I mentioned them yesterday in the Treetop-angel-from-your-kid’s-photo post too! – then embossed with white embossing powder.  I had done it first, with black glitter embossing powder, which I really liked, but once I settled on the quote I felt like white wings worked better.  You have to be REALLY carefull embossing on the sticky backed vinyl or it will bubble up (which may be cool for some things but not the look I wanted here. When I cut Bat boy out I trimmed off his ears and when I added the wings I altered the position – this way they are more angelic and less…ominous.

You can see the array of goodies and the discarded black wings here.

The background was a multi-step thing.  I painted on a thin layer of glitter glue then let it dry, stamped the snowflakes with Versamark ink and embossed with white, then dusted on Perfect Pearls (I have a pot!  Most of what I have, and use, is Pearl-ex, but I think I got a pot when I bought the Compendium book) and finally spritzed on some turquoise Cosmic Shimmer.  I think I’d omit the PP layer as I’m not sure, in the end, it made much impact.

The quote is from William Cowper, slightly edited, to have the effect I wanted:

O Winter…

I crown thee

king of intimate delights,

fireside enjoyments,

of long uninterrupted evenings

The font is called Doris Day (yes, again – I really like it!) and was printed on white card then cut and the edges daubed with glitter glue.

Added the blingy crown like gem cluster and pop-doted Bat Boy. DONE! This photo is at more of an angle to catch the light:

If we have a long, cold, snowy winter like the last, I can see this for my DH (long suffering, very dear man) – I think it would be perfect with “Stay in with me” as the sentiment inside.

I will probably pre-set a post for tomorrow – and yes, I know that makes TWO Saturdays in a row I will have posted – don’t get used to it, my followers, who I like to think of as The Precious and the Few!  I will be cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, of sorts (I will not even go in to the after-dinner negotiation with DS as to what will be Thanksgiving dinner, what for Christmas Eve, what for Christmas day) but I will post more of the Thanksgiving journal, a downloadable blank recipe card as well as two recipes for Garlic roasted Turkey and Savoury Leg of Lamb.  If any of that appeals to you, drop by.


Treetop Angel

This is harking back a fair few years – at least 10 – and I’ve certainly shared it on UKS before, but it when I saw Carmen’s post on It’s a Creative World, and her comment on my WOYWW, it felt like a good time to share it again. I love Carmen’s angels – it would have been fab to have a whole set of family angels when we were all a bit younger (and dare I say thinner?)

This is not a very good photo, but I hope you will get the idea – I took this photo (in 2001!) of the angel on a layout, and I don’t have a good photo – that I can find anyway –  of just the angel standing free.

UPDATE: Now that we have dragged all the stuff out of the garage and set up the tree, I can share a much better photo of the angel! As you can see, it looks great for being 12 years old and getting dragged out, packed away, and dragged out again year after year!

Here is what I did to make my customized treetop angel:

1.  Take a photo of your child.  DD was in just  knickers so there was no distracting clothing to cover up.

2.  Enlarge the photo to whatever size you think appropriate.  This was done waaaay before digital photography, so I took the photo then took it to the copy centre and had the image enlarged to about 10 inches.  Today I would have probably printed it at home on photo paper.

3.  Cut out the figure. Laminate it and cut out leaving a thin border so the lamination stays closed.

4. Dress the figure.  The way I did it was to cut out a duplicate of the body and use it as a pattern for the “body suit” which I cut out of sticky-backed glittery vinyl.  I know you can get this from Hobby Craft, their own brand. I added a little silver braid at the neckline, just to smarten it up.

5. To make it a “tree topper” I fashioned a cone shape from a piece of acetate (I think it was actually a laser printer transparency) and glued it to the BACK of the figure, before adding the skirt. A covered kitchen roll tube would also work – you just need something to allow you to put it on the top of the tree.

6. I hot glued the wings to the back and twisted a little starry halo from wire garland and left a straight bit off the circle.  I hot glued this to the back of the head.

7.  I made the shimmery skirt by cutting a piece of sheer, starry fabric  to the length I needed for my figure then sewed on a little edging to the bottom and then turned over the top edge, stitched it down and gathered it to fit.  I sewed up the seam in the back then hot glued it to the figure, OVER the acetate cone, adding the silver braid over the join.

And there you have it!  A very sweet little personalized tree topper.  I had always intended to take a photo of DS and turn him into a Nutcracker or Toy Soldier, to minimize any potential sibling rivalry, but once it was clear he didn’t really care (and actually disliked the idea)  I gave it up.

On years DD kicks up a fuss and insists that the tree needs a star on the top, the cone allows me to stand the angel up on the mantle and still have it on show.


WOYWW – Thanksgiving journal…still!

My desk is still in a state as I work further on my Thanksgiving mini.  I am trying to document it … well, I’m not really sure why.  It occurred to me that a lot of the stuff is only in my head, not in the recipe file or written down anyplace and it seemed a good time to try to collect all that up, while in the process of actually preparing for and making the feast.

You can see the cover here on the left, and some of the bits and bobs, but I would suggest hopping back a day or even two to see the progress.  And maybe grab the .png of the menu title cards.  No one has thus far said if they work or not, so maybe one of the WOYWW crowd will have time to give them a go! Here’s one but you can grab the whole set in yesterday’s post.

Happy WOYWW all! Pop over to Julia’s to see all the desks. Kudos to those who manage every desk.  I am in awe of you.

Leave a comment

More of the Thanksgiving journal

My word but this is turning into a project!  No change I will finish it before Thanksgiving this year, but at least I will have it on hand for next year.  I figured I’d better set aside some time to quickly post or it will be WOYWW before I know it and I will have missed out a day!

I did a log sheet for the front.  We have moved around a bit and may not be done yet, so I thought it would be interesting to note WHERE we were when we celebrated. I also included a bit of history about Thanksgiving and on the reverse a visual note of when Thanksgiving falls, as it isn’t a DATE but always the 4th week in November.

Next, I added a divider and will make a modifed paper bag holder for recipies.

The divider only has FOOD on the tab at the moment.  I’m undecided if I want to have photos of this year’s feast on there (I think I do – an overall shot of the whole table) but in any case it will remain blank till the photos are taken.  You can just see the paper bag for the recipes behind it.

The approx. 4 3/4 x 9 inch paper bags are altered a bit:

Hope you can make sense of it – the flap is stuck to the body, the left side pleat is stuck together all along the side of the bag. With this done, the holes for the book rings are punched through the stronger stuck-together pleat on the left, while the right side is still free to open for the recipes.  The front of all of the bags will have paper strips with the menu items.

Anyway, there will be more tomorrow.  The menu titles I made with the UKS font of the week this week – doris day, which I think is so cute – and an old CK font, CK  McCormick, which has little dingbats of kitchenwear (McCormick is a big spice manufacturer in the USA).  I am not good it this sort of thing, but I did give making it a .png a go.  Let’s see if it works – anyone who want it can grab it HERE and then comment for me if you were able too do anything useful with it.  At the very least I am hoping you can delete my title and replace them with your own. doris day is free so just download and install it, or pick one you like better.

I want to include info on where I find the bits I need, what UK substitutes there might be, and maybe have a go at converting my US recipes to UK measurments.  Not sure how well that will work, but I need to do it someday.  Maybe DS will marry a Brit, and then how will he get his twice yearly fix of American stuffing?



Thanksgiving Mini-book

I am making progress on my mini.  To start with I am constructing the album cover. I have a habit of keeping cardboard boxes from packaging, if for some reason they seem a good shape or size.  I had tucked away this FINISH dishwasher tablet box and dragged it out as it seemed the right sort of size for my album.

I opened it out and trimmed off the sides and top/bottom, except one – you can see why.  I want a tab the will tuck to the inside to help hold all I plan to put inside..inside!  You can see the side flap on the right, which I scored at just over 1/2 inch.  You’ll see more on that when I put it all together.

I distressed the front cover, as in the original from yesterday, just ripping back the top layer of cardboard to reveal the corrugated center

A little Distress ink, and bits and pieces from a single sheet of Graphic 45 paper ( with a bit of a Creative Imaginations sheet for the brown lined paper) and letters from Scenic Route and SEI and there you go:

And a little tip for you:  I love the postage edge look, and do have a pair of postage edged scissors, but the scissor edge doesn’t always “fit” the printed elements I want to cut out.  When that happens I simply use a tiny hole-punch to punch away the postage edge

You can do the same one any image, even one without a printed postage edge.

So far I have collected my internal papers and made the covers – the back cover is dead boring, just the cardboard, ripped and inked a bit, so I won’t bore you with it.  I have started collecting the info I want to include, like recipes, and will get double use out of it all as I have to shop for our Thanksgiving dinner later in the week.

Once I get THIS done I can get back to my other mini-book, started and abandoned when this one seemed a bit more pressing.


1 Comment

Sunday-someplace-else (The Creative Place)

I just love this blog.  She has great tutorials and one of them, the Travel Journal, is one I am using to create the Thanksgiving Journal I mentioned yesterday.

Pop over to The Creative Place and check it out.  I am sure you will find something you are just DYING to try there.  This is such a simple, useful idea, and will work perfectly for so many journaling situations.  And do be sure to check out the Christmas related posts. Her idea for archiving old Christmas cards is also simple but stellar.  It sure beats storing them in a box!

1 Comment

Surprise Saturday!

I usually don’t post on a Saturday but I am today.  One is a limited time thing – Chank has a new font, sooo cute, from a set of letterpress woodtype found at a flea market in Antwerp.  a unique letterpress style from 20th-century central Europe called MUSTACHIO.  It’s only free for a limited time (expires TODAY, the 20th November, so grab it quick!


Next is something I am setting aside the project from yesterday for – this week is Thanksgiving, and I realized that I have a wealth of info in my head that may never get passed on if I don;t take the time to make note of it.  When my MIL was here we looked back at the recipe box she gave me when DH and I got engaged – it included a bunch of his “favourite” meals.  I considered the traditional Thanksgiving meal I do every year and thought it would be a good year to document it.  I saw something that sparked me so I began today amassing some of what I need.

More on this as the week progresses!