Sunday-someplace-else (weekly list download)

Hello all!  I’ve been a bit rubbish this week at blogging, partly due to the 1/2 term break and the kids demands (will it surprise you that I am attempting, once again, but this time un-aided by my sew-talented MIL, to prove I have the spirit of endeavor and improvement ?) but I did want to make sure to share this one.

TC Sheeley has a download on her blog for a weekly planner.  Like her, I always have lists laying around to remind me of things that I cannot forget.  I am forever finding them in coat pockets, in my purse, on the kitchen counter…. Anyway I love the look of this one, and think it could easily be turned into a mini-album just by adding photos to the daily spots and a bit of journaling


I am reminded of the book Life Among the Savages.  Shirley Jackson wrote this in the early 50s about life with her kids.  It is still one of the funniest things I have ever read – the father’s battle with a bat in the house, the musical beds and drink cups when the family is all sick with flu, and the author and her love of lists and where they take her are all classic moments.

My spirit of endeavor is flagging a bit today but I shall carry on….



Origami wallet

I was a total no-show yesterday as it was a Mom&Daughter day all day – we went to HMV to look for Anime movies, went to see the Justin Beiber movie (I know, I know – the things we do for our kids) and out to lunch, then hair cuts and home for girly movies. I understand from DD that yet another doll is in my future and the current one needs a school uniform!  OMG.  When, if ever, will “the last doll” sink in??

On a more crafty note, as it’s 1/2 term I am always looking for kid-appropriate things, even if it is just me making them.  I found this little tutorial for making an origami wallet and thought it was very cute, and would totally work as a little album for DD to hold a few photos of her and her particular buddy from school – we are hoping to meet up with her outside of school in a couple of weeks and I thought I might try to grab a couple of photos then.  I altered the original instructions a bit and here is my version:

I did a little PDF to document how mine differs from the original which I hope you can get by clicking here. I’ll add it to the sidebar as well. When you click you will see a new page.  Click the file name that us UNDERLINED (in this case wallet4photos) and the PDF should download.  Same with the sidebar link. Have fun – def. something the kids can do, especially if you use double sided paper.  Might also be a fun little party-project if you let them all make one then send the kiddies home with a few snaps from the party as a memento.

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Still with the digi stuff

I made a digi layout.  Not sure why this is appealing to me at the moment, except that I got hooked on making the alphas, once I got the process down, and I figured I should use what I made.

I am hopeless at organizing my digital element so I’m not 100% sure what all I used.  The background is just white, with a texturizer filer of canvas, and the patterned paper is by Traci Turchin for 2Peas and the stitched circles were from a very old post, a 4Shared file by Seebee. The paper clip was from the Designing with Digital book dick.  I made the letters from another commercial-use Font Squirrel font so I think I can share it with no copyright issues.

Again, I think you need to click the image to make it BIG, then right-click to save it – then you can open it in PSE or whatever and cut out the letters you want.  They are lightly shadowed.  If you use them, do come back and share the layout link with me.  And if you have problems, LMK that as well!


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More digital playing

I discovered a pretty neat trick!  Having had a good play with the tools needed to make the digital alphas I knew I couldn’t rest until I was able to make something like that original ones that I liked so much.  Now, a true digital pro would probably knock this sort of thing out in a flash, but it took me ages to work it out.  But along the way I had an idea – I didn’t want to  have to do a new set every time I wanted a different colour or font, so I made myself a master sheet of boxes. I created the boxes in black, laid out in a grid, as many as I thought I would need for a basic set of letters.  I overlaid that with some freebie textures, sort of splotchy old paper de-saturated to B&W, that I downloaded, then Grouped With Previous. I went ahead and applied an Inner Glow to give it the look of inked edges.  That was then all merged into one layer, boxes, filled with texture and the inner glow effect applied.

Then the hard work – I typed out the font in white and laid the letters over the boxes – there has to be a faster way to do this using Guides or Grids or something, but I don’t know what that is.  I hid the boxes layer and Merged Visible alllllll the letters.

That gave me something that looks like this:

It is two layers only, boxes and letters. This is saved as a MASTER which I then duplicate when I want a new colourway.

Please keep in mind that these images are much reduced .jpgs so the quality is not very good, nothing like the actual .pngs.

OK, so now having that master, it is a simple process to create a new set with any colour I want.  I simply open a duplicate of the file and rename it usually the colour I am using. I add a New Layer between the letters and the boxes.  I hide the letters  then fill the in-between layer with colour. I Group with Previous so the colour layer fills the boxes only. I play about with the opacity of that layer, until the correct (for me) amount of the box texture shows thru.  Turn back on the letters and SAVE  as a .PNG while leaving the MASTER safe, with just the original black boxes and letters, and the letters can be changed for any other font if I want, although given the different spacing of fonts that isn’t going to be a fast process.

Again, the quality of THIS image is crap but the .png is fab.  I could have added a drop shadow if I wanted to use them as proper digital elements but as I don’t, there was no need.

I actually feel a real sense of accomplishment at this.  One thing I will def. do is create another master of just the black boxes – that way I can add any font, and any texture, with ease.

Hope the idea helps someone else streamline their process.



Last crop layout and digital playing

I’ll start off with my last crop layout.


Ancient epoxy stickers, more tiny alphas, a rare rub-on (this moment), which I get in kits ALL the time and almost NEVER use, and some letters bought back in the USA oh about 4 or 5 years ago – I only realized the first time I went to use them that they aren’t paper, they have sticky stuff on the back!  DOH!

Now, what is currently obsessing me is the idea of making my own digital letters.  I mentioned last week how much I liked the hybrid elements from a GoGo kit (no idea what one, but I know it was def. a GoGo kit) and found them so useful, I thought Well, I can do that! and set about making it happen.

And it actually wasn’t that hard.  I had to use a combination of PSE6 and my old PS7 (it’s all to do with fonts appearing or not appearing in my PS7 version and what I can do in PS7 that I can’t do in PSE6) to make it all happen but here are a few sample – I can’t really share the first as I am not sure of the TOU on the free font:

That one I like A LOT. No shadows or anything as I would only ever cut it out, like a proper hybrid element.

The other one is more “digi”, and  I made sure I used a free-for-commercial-use font from Font Squirrel – you can’t really see it in the small .jpg here, but the letters are crumpled paper-bag, with a thin brown outline, and a  drop shadow.

I am going to add that one as a download and I would be really grateful if anyone who actually knows anything about digital elements either commented or dropped me a line.

What I think will happen if you click the image above (or at least what happens for ME) is you get a bigger image which you should be able to right-click to download as a .png then you can select and use the individual letters.

I love the idea of making the letters, learned a few new things  while playing, and had a lot of fun.  NOW I have to go shopping. Yuck. I hope someonae will LMK if they are complete crap or if they are at all usable. I enjoy the process even if I don’t ever get around to using them LOL!

Note:  There may have been a problem with the images, which I think is fixed now.


Layout 3 from the crop

This one uses quite an old photo of my now 18 YO son.  I don’t even know why I took this photo, I suspect because I wanted to make a silhouette, but it was so long ago, who knows? I adore the curve of his chubby little cheek!

I have had the monster doodads for a while, not ever finding a current photo they were appropriate for, and the letters are from a company now out of business, also kicking around my scrap room for too long, unused.  It all came together pretty well, I think.

I am stuck on my mini from yesterday.  Emily did a really cool technique where the photos sort of sit above the page, I think they might be folded in half, as they spanned the center line on every page, and I need to find a little bit more about that from her before I move on with it.  I have some more tidying to do, and am trying out a few techniques I have an idea will work, but that will have to wait for next week.  One more layout to share then I’ll have to sort out some stuff for the NEXT crops coming up.




Hello all!  My desk is (as ever) a horrible mess.  I got a Grand Calibur a month or so back and a couple of sets of Grand Nesties at the crop.  Emily had made the cutest little mini book using the Grand Labels Four and that is what is mostly on my desk today.  And a set of stamps, the remnants of the Valentines, and stuff that needs tidying up and putting away.  I had planned on sorting out my flowers today but never managed it.  Maybe tomorrow.

I’ll be happy when the days don’t start dark and get dark again early.  Hope it’s brighter where you are.  WOYWW at Julia’s is the place to be on Wednesdays, so messy or neat, I look forward to seeing your desk today!


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Layout 2 from the crop

Really, I don’t know where my head is at!  This one would have been prefect on Valentine’s day rather than the Christmas one, but oh well….

This is the first time I used the colour correction on my scanner – the original photo was more than 29 years old, very faded and pale, and the scanner brought it if not back-to-life then at least back a bit.  DH, taken while we were dating, at the Zoo in D.C., perched atop a large statue of an eagle.  Sad to use the last bit of that 7 Gypsies paper – I must look for more, as it has to be one of my all time favourite every papers.  The quote is a good one: Our days weave together the simple pleasures of daily life, which we should never take for granted.  The grid paper is something I printed on my printer, using a fill pattern that comes with my ancient AppleWorks program.  Very handy. I’ve had those white letters for something like 12 years, and always drag them out then decide they aren’t QUITE right, but in this case they ARE!!  Another old supply utilized LOL! Journaling needed and I am TRYING to use my handwriting, crap as it is, a bit more.


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Crop layout One

I feel like I had a pretty successful crop on Saturday.  I managed to finish 3 layouts and completed the 4th one when I got home.  I also scored a few Grand Nesties and a couple of interesting edge dies by The Cat’s Pajamas called CutUps.  I really like the bracket shape, as I think it will useful in a lot of ways. There were a few new faces there this week, one a long time UKS member who had fallen out of scrapping but is now getting back in to it.  Always a good thing!

Here is the first layout:

The little strips of words I printed on my computer.  The paper is ancient, as are the title chipboard letters.  I have about a gazillion brads and eyelets, too many to ever use, so I spent some considerable amount of time setting them around the circle – which was in my scrap pile, already cut and ready to go.

A rare Christmas layout, too, as for some reason the day itself tends to be the focus, rather than taking the photos of it.  I don’t know why, but it’s almost always been that way – I guess it lets me be a part of it, rather than trying to capture the images, which, frankly, in the low light of early morning are never good.

It felt weird working on this one, on a bright and sunny day, in a warm crop room.  And now there is the chaos of my crop bag to sort out, and too much laundry to do.  Back tomorrow with another one.  This is the only one that doesn’t need the journaling added to it, as the word strips and the title really say it all!



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Sunday-someplace-else (Carole Janson)

There are tons of blogs out there. Hugely inspiring scrappers who have styles I admire. One of them is Carole Janson, an Aussie scrapper, who’s blog, 3 Dimensional Me, never fails to make my jaw drop at the amazing complexity of her layouts and other projects. I have always been a fan of multi-level elements, often using three or more heights of pop-dot like items on a layout, or overlapping items to create height, but Carols takes it all to a new level (ha, ha) Her cards also incorporate very dimensional elements, with layer upon layer of cut-paper work, another thing I have made use of on a lesser level.  Given the amount of paper I have at this stage in my scrapping, I am a lot less hesitant to “waste” a sheet of paper by cutting out an element or two to put it on a layout, saving the background bits for stamping or printing titles, journaling, whatever.

I want to particularly highlight a technique she uses, seen above first on a layout and then on a card, of cutting a little strip of paper, usually with text on, and mounting it so it is raised above the surface in a convex arc. I just love how it looks and how it really focuses your eye on the words.  Great idea, and one I think I can make use of in my scrapping.

If I could have a chat with Carol, I would ask her how she manages to store these very dimensional pages in an album!  When I have done very “high” layouts I either have to trim off a bit of the sides to make sure the pages fit in a page protector, and then have to worry about the pages getting flattened when the album is closed.  I would love to know her tricks for keeping them looking 3-d! At one point I know they sold thick, hard PPs, much like the packaging the Fancy Pants 12×12 stamp sets come in, but I can see having an album with only about 10 pages in them using those.  Not practical when you have 100s of layouts LOL!

Anyway, I hope you will pop over to Carol’s blog and have a look.  She really is an amazing talent and I’m sure she will inspire you to new levels of scrapping  (again, ha,ha)