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Oddball post – not remotely Christmas related!

I got a few movies, finally, from LOVEFilm – one of them was American – the Bill Hicks Story.  Bill Hicks was a comedian who died at 32 of pancreatic cancer.  He was more popular here than he was in the States, which at once makes complete sense and no sense at all.  The thing that struck me was the stop-action animation that comprised most of the film, and which was done very much in the collage style.  The filmmakers took still images from photos and captured from video, and animated them to create movement.

It was such an amazing visual, interesting to watch, although having read the book American Scream and seen other documentaries on Bill before I can’t say it was a COMPLETE picture of the man, although it was, perhaps, the most intimate.  The film interviewed the 10 people who were closest to him. I love that something like altered art has been used like this, and so effectively.  Sometimes I got carried away by the visuals to the extent that I had to reverse to catch the audio!

Here is a trailer that has some clips that that showcase the style:

That clip also has two of my favourite bits – the “positive” LSD story and the Christians.

My favourite quote:

Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right? There’s another 90 percent of our brains that we have to illuminate.


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More last minute tags!

I’ve been rubbish at blogging this week – too many last minute things and too many driveway clearing sessions!

But I’ve seen some new tags posted so I thought I would follow up the last post with some updated ones.

Saying it Sweet has some cute ones:

My Owl Barn has a very retro set:

Sweet Little Parties has another colouring one for kids:

Jolly Allsorts has some really adorable ones:

Simply Frugal has some elegant ones:

And I really like the Cristin Michelle ones here:

I have a few more on another device which I will add in a bit!

And here they are:

Sweet Jessie has fab pink ones:

and Scrapbook and Cards has two colourways here:

If you can’t find a set you like between the two posts then I give up!

Happy Holidays to all!


Mary Anne

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Bad blogger!

Well it has been the most manic week!  On all fronts.  DD had her Ice Show this week, which has been 4 nights of not getting home till near midnight, plus the havoc created by the weather uncertainty (last year she missed the final performance due to snow and ice so wasn’t in the DVD and there was no way we wanted that to happen THIS year.)  Luckily the icy roads didn’t affect our specific route from home to the rink an hour away and her Dad is a champion driver in all weather!  But that, combined with all the UKS sponsorship stuff and the pre-Christmas planning, shopping, wrapping, etc. meant blogging was pretty far down on my list.  I even missed WOYWW totally this week – and didn’t get to the Stampotique challenge yet either.  Shocking.

It’s not let up yet, as I have a day of cleaning in front of me.  DH, who rarely mentions the state of the house when it is slightly messy, suggested that this weekend we might “tidy this place up a bit” so I know it is clearly out of control, as that was even lower on my list than blogging!

So after some real work in the AM that will keep me busy for the rest of the day.

I hate to leave my very few regular readers without something, as I know from experience how annoying it is to keep checking back on a blog and see nothing new for weeks at a time, so I am going to share a past Christmas layout.  DD, in another “angel” themed piece, wearing some big wrapping paper bows as wings.  And mugging for the camera.  That kid.  She keeps me on my toes every day. Luckily I can glance up on the treetop to see her in a more angelic pose anytime the stress of the holidays bubbles up.

Hopefully I’ll be back with a cxrafty something soon, but for now it’s all about UKS, the cleaning, the laundry and the wrapping!

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Sunday-someplace-else (Creature Comforts)

I just love all the inspiration on this blog!  The link should go to the freebies and printables section so have a good browse around as there is quite a lot to see.  I missed this one out on the gift-tag round up, but it’s a lovely one:

And this little project, re-purposing old magazines into Christmas trees, is also quite adorable – and makes use of something you would normally recycle or throw away.

As an aside: I do hope the annoying denial of service attack stops soon.  Frankly, I am a bit fed up with the whole thing as it is killing web traffic – as someone who spends A LOT of time online its is infuriating.  I do wonder if the perpetrators of the attack have considered the fall out for kids across the world?  We do much of our shopping online, and it is putting those being able to place those orders in jeopardy.  If there are gaps under the Christmas tree, how, exactly, do you explain? “Not our problem” they may mutter, but have they really considered the implications?  and if so, how do they live with themselves knowing they are ruining Christmas (or at least stressing out already stressed parents?) for many.  Sure there is still time to shop in the traditional way, but I can’t believe that they are choosing to make the holiday season more difficult for whatever obscure reason.  And given how small businesses are struggling  already,  denying them access to online orders during a time that could be make-or-break for them seems seriously unfair.  Hopefully it will get sorted sooner rather than later.


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Stamping with bubblewrap

I have been having fun using bubble wrap to stamp with.  The problem is that I keep finding wads of scrunched up bubble wrap while I am cleaning up my craft room, and the flip side, that I keep looking for bubble wrap when I want it and can’t find it, or can’t find the SIZE I want.  Another thing I found was a handful of naked wooden block mounts that I bought at some point before acrylic blocks for stamps existed.  A match made in heaven!

Pretty basic stuff, but handy for me – I just wrap the..erm, WRAP around a wood mount, and tape it.  I tried to make sure the front was smooth and at least one of the sides was as well, that way I can get either a block of dots or a line of dots.  I did ne for the different sizes that I had, and once the bubbles get deflated after repeated tamping to cover with ink and then stamping, I can just remove it and add a new piece.  Keeping it with my stamps reminds me I have it, which is a good thing because I sometimes forget stuff like this, when using it would be the perfect solution!


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Polish Star

I know it’s spelled right, but I can’t help but read that as Polish – as in polish the silver!

Anyhow, I’ve seen these lovely spiky stars in a few places – good basic instructions are here and a video is here.  The wrapping was giving me no end or trouble when I used scrapbooking paper, but then I tried it with some lovely, thinner but quite sturdy wrapping paper I got from Paper Chase.  It’s basically a mulberry paper, with a design foiled on to one side.  It stands up to the rolling very well, and allows you to ge really crisp points.

I just have a couple of tips to add to:

When you have cut your circles, you can snip a whole stack of them (5 or 6 if it is this sort of thinner paper) so long as you secure the stack.

For the rolling, I used a bamboo skewer.  I did it this way – which, to be honest, I’m not sure if it isn’t the same as the instructions.  The skewer is a lot thinner than the pencil, so I think my way the roll if much tighter – it works, which is all I care about!

I lay the skewer in the middle of the section

Fold over the left side

Roll it up into a pointed cone

Add a daub of glue to secure

and it looks like this when done!

One section totally rolled

and the final ornament!

I like this one, but I can’t see making a ton of them!  Each spiky ball is 10 to 14 circles and it takes some time to curl them all.

Anyone else going to give it a go?

Oh and to say I lost steam a bit with yesterdays tag – I didn’t really like the original much and ave been dreading going back to make one.  So I’m not going to.  I loved the first 7, even if I didn’t have the right stuff, and liked what I made for my own, but tag 8 totally left me cold.  I did like the townscape tealight, but alas, no die.  I have an idea though, so I may see if that comes to fruition, and will get on with tag 9, which I really like, and already know how to make rosettes without the die. Eight out of nine is still a pretty good hit rate, so we’ll see what 10, 11, and 12 are like.


WOYWW – 8 December 2010

This will make Julia smile!  And maybe a few other WOYWWers too. What is on my W this week is something she watched me struggle with as she sat across from me at the crop on Saturday.  I rolled up, and announced I was going to do a little “warm up” project, one of the ubiquitous paper globe ornaments.  I figured that I would do something that didn’t take a lot of concentration so I could chat and get to know the crowd at this new and unfamiliar crop.  HA!  After about 2 hours of struggling with the set of instructions I had printed I gave up in disgust.  Maybe I took a wrong turn at some point but I just COULD NOT get any farther than a weirdly misshapen mess.  After eating too much at lunch (some stellar sweets were brought by other crop-goers) I moved on to  a layout, still unfinished.  But I was determined to sort out that globe!

And I did – but not with what I am convinced was a bad, BAD set of instructions!  I went looking for others and found a perfectly understandable set at a favourite site, Hello! My name is Heather.  If you fancy doing them, there is a PDF link in her sidebar – click it to download the instructions.

What this confirms is that there is great info out there on the net, as well as cr*p info.  If I had taken a bit more time to begin with I wouldn’t have wasted those hours and had something lovely at the end of it.

I have to admit I was worried it all might go pear-shaped, even with what looked like good instructions. so I opted for some scraps of Amy Butler paper I used on another project.  The next one will be from heavier paper and will be more “finished” (I had been Distress Inking the edges of all the circles on the discarded one, and toyed with the idea of mica-misting so def. planning that for another one!)  but I am just happy as Larry that this one turned out as well as it did – and in less than 30 minutes too.

So there you go, Mrs. Dunnit!  Mary Anne Dunnit! Still not sorted out the stacked tree you suggested but will possibly get to that after some actual work-work and the final tags from T!M.

So, what’s on YOUR work desk this week?  I can’t wait to find out.


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12 Tags – tag 6 and 7!

Caught up now – tag 6 and 7 are here.  As with most of the rest I didn’t have “the stuff” but made a reasonable facsimile.  Tag 6 uses silhouette cut out for the reindeer, a bit of twisted starry garland for the wreath, another Miss Cutie Pie ticket and some ribbon.  I dragged out an old snowflake charm and a star.

Tag 7 uses embossed felt for the poinsettia.  I realize I forgot to add the little dangling bits and the ribbon.  I’ll get to that tomorrow, I guess. I’m sure I have a big button that would look good in the middle but I can’t find it at the moment.  I DID have the wood print texture fade, so that was nice.

Time is short, so not sure when I’ll get to the rest of them but I will!


Tag catch-up – Tags 4 and 5

I was out at a crop on Saturday and busy setting up the tree on Sunday so I am only now getting a chance to catch-up on the Tags from the last few days.  So far I’ve managed 4 and 5.

Tag 4 – this one is totally different as I had none of the supplies.  I used an image from The Graphics Fairy that is so cute – it’s way more “vintage” than Tim’s version but I like it a lot:

Tag 5 is closer to the original, except I used a santa stamp and holly stamp that I had in my stash.  I like this one too, although I am thinking I will colour the hat red, and maybe add some of the sparkly stuff to the beard .  I really need to make note of the techniques that I didn’t get a chance to try and go back and do them at a later date.  Now I have to have a look at tag 6 and see how I can manage it without the embossing folder and the reindeer – or anything that is even remotely similar.



Sunday-someplace-elses – christmas tags and labels

Well, I have been collecting up links to Christmas tags (now I actually have some gifts purchased and ready to wrap – and today, THE TREE goes up so it will need a few goodies under it very soon!) but then I saw a link to this blog that has a fair few of the ones I picked to add so I am going to just link to it!

In addition to those, you can find some cute ones at these places:

I really like these (from quite a while ago) from A Fanciful Twist:

AND these:

If birds are your thing, Lollychops has a cute set:

and Creature Comforts has this pretty set:

One of my favourites of all time, by momomushy:


Just a sample one – you can download the tags as a PDF

Paper Crave:

From Paperseed:

From Martha Stewart – there are 52 slides in this collection! a sample:


Family fun has a cute Disney set to download. Also as a PDF. has a bunch of stuff, including shopping lists, letter to Santa, gift jar labels, and gift tags, Many print on standard Avery labels but you can also print them on 8.5×11 cardstock and cut them out.

Cute ones for kids from Ziggity ZoomIt does have a silly kids voice on roll over for some things so don’t have your volume up LOUD!

If you like elegant, this Creature Comforts (yes, again) is a good one – it includes printable pillow boxes and gift tags too!

And pretty ones from Amy Butler (at the bottom of the page) here:

Perhaps the oldest ones are from kittygenius.  I’ve used these before and still think they are so whimsical and cute (two sets – here is one):

Eat Drink Chic has some fun ones:

and some Typographic ones:

and a lot more – the link is to the archives so browse around.

I loke the simple look of this set at marchari:

I could go on for days, but I’ll stop (finally) with Printable ones for the kids to colour: