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I am still making much progress but it is a hard slog.  I am at the point where I am dealing with my “scraps” and sorting them for my scrap bin.  As I was working on this last night, it occurred to me that adding even more scraps to my bin is a bit pointless.  I do use them, honestly, even quite small scraps sometimes, and they are fab for cards.  But looking back thru that bin is a bit like an archeological dig – “and here we see a layout of the long extinct Mustard Moon paper line, with pockets of Beary Patch.  Near to the top we see a colourful layer of Junkitz, with a more substantial layer of Scenic Route…..” I feel like the splitting of my patterned paper into “kits,” collecting papers that go together into a single baggie, was a success, so I though rather than shove all my paper scraps into the bin, why not collect them up into card kits?

So I am working on that. And so far I think it is going to be good.  One thing I am trying is to use things that I have cut or punched as is – so, for example, if I have a half-circle of patterned paper leftover from some previous project, I would try to use that as a half circle on the card.  No further scraps! Die cut a Nestie bracket?  Use it as a bracket on the card.  Punched a lacy border?  Use it as is.

When I am sorting them, if a natural card layout springs to mind I draw a sketch on a scrap of paper and slip it into the bag. If I have a card blank that goes in too and if there is enough coordinating cardstock to make a card that will fit a standard envelope, that goes in.  I know I have been quite disparaging of the Crafters Companion box thingie in the past, but I actually used that to create quite a thick box-olope for a card I had to make for DS (well, for DS’s mate to give to his girlfriend – but more on that tomorrow) and although I have to get creative to make it the right thickness, and used not the rubbish scorer from the board but a bone folder, I can see that I might possible use it for making envelopes to fit non-standard cards – although I will test it out with my MS board and see how easy that is to use before I revise my judgement to a more positive one. I know there are 1000s of people who love this tool but I never have.

I think this is going to be good.  It remains to be seen if it actually WILL be good, but it’s worth a shot.



Thankfully WordPress doesn’t seem to have issues this week – YAY!  I am not done, although I had hoped to be, with my sort out (read back to read more) but I have made progress.  In fact, if I only showed you the photo of my paper and card:

or of my neatly sorted letter stickers, thickers, etc:

(and clearly the children’s blocks holding up the 1/2 shelf will get sorted into a more stable solution once I get around to it)

You would be tempted to think I WAS done.  But, in the interest of full disclosure I have to share the areas that you can’t see in those carefully framed photos:

that is just below the sticker book shelf, and here is my actual W:

Shocking, isn’t it?

I hope ther is something crafty on YOUR desk, because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone LOL!  And once I get all tidy I will seriously need some inspiration to mess it all up again so I’m counting on the talented ladies who hang with Julia to provide it!

Happy WOYWW!

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Still sorting

OMG!  I recall way back when I had two relatively small bins – one for patterned paper and one for cardstock.  It was easy – I had things arranged more or less by colour, along the ROYGBIV spectrum, and they were in hanging folders (the US legal size, so a bit of the paper extended from the top, on view), very easy to flip thru.  The box was about 20 inches wide, so the papers were staggered, so in any folder I could see an inch or two of all the papers in that folder. The two things happened: I got way too much paper and paper manufacturers started putting out double-sided paper and card.

So while struggling with my papers yesterday I sat, immobilized by indecision, for way too long.  I kept trying to recreate the easy system I had but hit the wall every time.  Colour didn’t work when one side was multicoloured stripes and the other pale dots!

That also rules out another of my organizational plans, having things loosely organized by style of pattern (stripe, swirl, floral, dot, grid, text, etc.) because that is sort of how I tend to pull papers. mixing usually something linear (lined, grid, stripe) with something softer (floral or swirl) and something that reads solid (smudges, faded dots like the one above or ink spray or just cardstock)

I thought about organizing it into manufacturer, as any paper line by any maker will coordinate, but that makes for pretty run of the mill layouts.  I prefer to mix things up across lines – plus in some cases I may have only a couple of papers from a give maker or line.

In the end, after stopping and starting and sorting and re-sorting for about an hour, I finally decided that the only thing that made sense FOR ME (and this is totally a personal thing) was to make up KITS of papers that I think will work together according to my own preferences.  Given that much of my papers originally came in kit form and I immediately split them out, used bits, left others in a pile, it would have been a lot easier to leave them all in kit form – although I may not agree with the combos, so maybe that isn’t the answer either.  The leftover bits I just am trying to sort in general patterns or “style”. What I hope will happen is when I have my photos by the paper array I will find a “kit” that I like (or maybe two) and then go to my scrap bins or stray papers and browse this smaller collection for stuff to fill in.  It may not work, but I just have NO IDEA what else to do.  I might as well give this a shot, at least till I get frustrated with it!

Here is one of the “kits”:

It has all the elements I feel would work well together, I like the colours, and I think I should be able to find photos that work well.

A real added bonus is weeding out stuff I know I will NEVER use and familiarizing myself with what I have. Like I’ll actually remember individual papers…HA!

So the sorting continues. I may finish one day….

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Cleaning the room

While I am loathe to add a post without a photo, I have been hard at it, cleaning my scrap room. This time, it wasn’t just the horrific mess of it that prompted me – although that would have been reason enough!

My MIL is a quilter. Years ago she had her fabric stored across from large windows and one day took a bit out to find that the sun had faded the fold facing the window. She then added long “curtains” over the shelves, which solved the problem. We spoke of this at length, so you think I would have remembered it. I was horrified to find that many of my darker cardstock sheets (which had been, you guessed it, stored in open shelves across from a window) were faded. Cue panic. So in a massive undertaking I have unloaded all my shelves of card and patterned paper and re-located it along the window wall. HUGE job. As long as I was going to do THAT there seemed little point to ignoring the rest of the mess so what was once a huge job became an almost insurmountable one.

Also noted at DDs parents evening a bin in the lobby asking for donations of your “crafty bits” to the school, so timely on that count.

The real problem is storage. While I admire enormously those people who have scrap rooms that look tidy and neat because stuff is all stored away in boxes and bins, all colour coordinated and neat, nothing annoys me more when I am trying to create then to have to open this box, then that box, then realize I forgot THAT box, that had the perfect whatever I needed. Unlovley, for sure, but I tend to have lots of stuff in open boxes, or stuff in clear things so I can see what hides within (I make great use of laundry pod tubs, £4 cheap drawer units etc) and try to group like things with like things and thus have a chance of remembering to check them all.

At this point I have all wall surfaces covered, have units under my desk (leaving just about enough room to carefully slide my knees in) and am at the limit of what I can add. I’ve gone UP as far as I can go (handy to be tall!) but I am not sure with the exception of one slightly difficult to access corner between some drawer units and a book case there is anywhere else to expand. As it is some of my least looked at books, my photo storage, and my completed albums are all OUTSIDE my room (only just but still….)

I am toying with the idea of selling off my Craft Robo Pro – not because I don’t love it, I do, but I am just not making use of it. It only works on a clunky old PC, not my Mac, is too big to fit in my room and takes up a lot of space just outside my room that could hold at least two 7 ft bookshelves! I do have a Cricut (which does work with my Mac and SCAL and which I can store than take out for a session with little hassle, so if I HAD to cut a title I could, although it is only a baby one, not the full size one) and while at some point I may regret giving it up the Robo, at the moment it makes the most sense. I’ll probably dither over it for a while.

My hope is to get myself as sorted as I can and do one of my semi-annual WOYWW that ISN’T an assault to the senses. It remains to be seen if that actually happens! I need a trip to Tiger for some more open bins before I can sort out some of the stuff in piles around the room, but am trapped at home awaiting a FedEx delivery for the next day or two. I also have a You Tube thingie in progress for the “kennedy book” from last week, three different ones, that I need to finish editing and do a PDF for, and photos to sort out so I can actually complete one of them at the upcoming crop. Add that to the usual UKS stuff and it makes for a pretty hellish week for me.

Sorry for the dead boring post, the missing out of SSE yesterday, and the warning that I may still miss out a day or two this week, but hopefully I will get back on track and get creating again. Just in time for the l o n g Easter break for the kids! With luck I can ignore the hints from DD for another doll……


Primark finds

People comment often that Primark offers a wealth of potential scrappy goodness.  I don’t often shop there but I did find the doll-skin cloth there (in the form of apricot-y coloured tee shirts, if you recall) so thought I might pop back and see what else there might be.

My haul was small, compared to some I’ve seen, and at least two bits made it on to yesterday’s slider book. First, the flower centre:

One flower from a bracelet made up of five or six the same. I am gaining a greater appreciation for my glue gun and no WAY simple glue dots would hold this bad boy in place.

Next, the closure:

It’s hard to see, but the closure is actually a bit of a charm necklace.  The part with the little clasp fits through the (what the heck are they called?  The circle with prongs?  No idea – they are eons old, 8 years at least, but the perfect size) thingie, but the larger loop at the other end doesn’t fit through.  Once you un-clasp the closure you can slip it out of the front cover and the pull tab and clasp it to itself so you don’t lose it.  Handy!

So you can see a gold charm bracelet, the rest of the silver necklace (with loads of charms left, all that can be used individually if I prefer – the silver one had 19 items on it, and the gold one 10), a little hair scrunchie flower ball thing that would work as a mini-book cover decoration as is or which you may be able to dis-assemble to get seven little roses (I wouldn’t), a silver bracelet of 6 metal roses, very flat, each centered with a small diamond gem (one missing as I coloured it with a Sharpie for another project), the rest of the flowers from the bracelet used in the cover flower above (and one more, again, altered so not shown) and perhaps my “best buy” from a bowl near the checkout, two sets of graduated-size pearl earings.  £1 each for 12 total, the biggest are flat at the back  but even the round ones would be fab for flower centers.  I think you could easily poke the earring stem through the flower then bend it flat and pop a glue dot over it to stick it, or snip off the post and just stick the pearl.  I also got a hairband of grey fabric flowers, to disassemble.

So all in all a good haul for under £15. The individual charms alone were worth the trip – hearts, butterflies, flowers, keys  leaves, a watch face…all useful, and working out to under 20p per charm.  And that doesn’t even include the bits of chain for closures LOL!

Happy shopping!


Slider book

Settle in – this could be a long one!

OK, I don’t think I an unique here, but as a crafter I often see something and become obsessed with it, especially something that is available to buy that I think I can make from scratch, but putting my own unique twist on it.

Case in point: I saw this 37 second video and loved the idea

Not really much info in there.  So I Googled KENNEDY book and got a lot of books about JFK and Ted. Adding Johnson, I got a lot about  JFK and Lyndon Johnson.  Stupid novice search mistakes and laziness, trying to put in as few search terms as I had to to get what I wanted back out. MARAH  and “kennedy book” and scrapbook worked well and I found the basic book, finally, as a pre-packaged product from Creative Imaginations Bare Elements line. Even less there.  I found maybe one or two samples in galleries but nothing else.

I watched that video about 20 times, thinking it was simple to re-create but convinced I must be missing something. Nope.  It’s dead easy – IF you make it with a cardstock cover and plain rectangular pages!

My twist was I wanted to have different shaped pages (still pushing the limits of the Grand Nesties) and include some coin envelopes, as well as plain pages.  So I did.

Sorry about the colour – the light was fading a bit when I took it.

It will eventually be called Handmade by Mom – I figure I spend so much time and effort making those darn dolls, I really should document them in some way LOL!  And when DD asked me to take a picture of her two newest, complete in their “school clothing” it gave me the idea.

You can see the little hanging chain of charms – that forms the closure, and more on that tomorrow, along with the little flower on the cover – this post is going to be too long already! The green bit will eventually say “PULL ME” (very Alice, that)

Note: that is canvas you see on the spine – I still need to add the inside piece but keep dithering between more canvas and maybe ribbon.

When you open it it looks like a normal mini, but if you watched the video (37 seconds! surely you have 37 seconds….) you know what will happen next:

The first half and now, the second half:

And the envelopes:

One thing I like, and there is no way to show it with still images, is that once the book is fully extended, as you flip the “pages”, they sort of shift to the left (or at leasy you can make them do so) so the right edge moves left, left, left with each turn, and the pages “collect” up so you can simply close the book when you get done viewing it.

A different view to give you a better idea.

It works pretty much as you would expect it to, with the pages attached first to the pleated accordion, then the pull attached to the last accordion flap and the first flap attached to the cover.  It was a little tricky as mine was quite heavy, so my covers are matboard and the attachment was a bit unorthodox, for strength.  I have to admit I dived in with no thought of making a video or a PDF so sorry about that. THIS is the state of my room at 5 pm yesterday – oh yes, WOYWW was only the barest glimpse of the horror – that was just the DESK.  The floor, satellite table and desk was so much worse in the end:

So there you go.  If I get the urge – and the stamina – I’ll do another one and photo it, but really, for $5 to buy one (not found it in the UK but I suspect Hobby Craft may have it as they do stock CI Bare Elements) I think I would do that if I really wanted another one.  Isn’t that the way?  I figured it out, made something pretty, and now am happy to settle for ease over style…




Well, WordPress is acting up so not sure if this will post or not!  As usual my desk (and floor, and satellite table) are all a mess today as I continue to work on my project.  I had hoped I would have it ready and assembled but no such luck.  Maybe later today, if I focus!

It’s not letting me add a photo so I’ll try later.  In the meantime you can look back a day and see where I was yesterday! Lots of sticky scrappy paint-y mess!

Edited to note:  SUCCESS!

Hope your WOYWW starts off better than mine LOL! Do stop by Julia’s place and see what everyone is up to.  It’s always fun.

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That project

This is turning into the project from hell.  It’s tricky because I can’t use very dimensional elements or I don’t think it will work like I need it to so I have to think about how I want to embellish it without adding any depth.

Here are the bits – I’ve been painting on the edges, because I didn’t want to do the default Distress Ink, which I love but seem to do on everything. The paint gives a more matt finish which I like and fortunately I had the perfect colour in my stash.

I love the look of it but boy is it messy!

I should be able to start assembling it once I get all the photo mats in place and a few journaling spots, then I can add anything flat once I see if it works!

More tomorrow – I hope!  The house is a tip and I really should be cleaning but I just want to put it all together and see if it works.  If it does, great, I can set it aside for an upcoming crop and fill it them.  If not, I’ll probably SCREAM.

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Such a bad blogger!

It’s been a bit of a busy week so not much on the blogging front.  BUT I am working one something that I hope is going to be neat when it gets done.  I saw the shortest video on YouTube, with virtually NO info in it, and became, as I sometimes do, obsessed with figuring it all out.  Be patient with me – I think I have but have to finish before I know for sure!

In the meantime, here is a link to an interesting tutorial on one of my sidebar favourites, How About Orange?

I think her method for making fabric using paint and tape could easily be adapted to making a background, fr an art journal or a scrapbook page, and I think using shimmering mists would make something fab, as would smudged on Distress ink – especially if you were to add in some stamping over the mists, inks or the paints.

And her final pillow covered with the fabric:

So cute! Hopefully that will inspire you while I work out my project!




Again, we are on the floor, not my workdesk this week for WOYWW:

Quite a huge and colourful collection of scraps that need turning in to cards to set by for a rainy day – I was at a crop last weekend and managed a couple, but I settled down to the card-making late in the day so that was about it.


A bit of a circle thing going on, clearly, but when using scraps there isn’t always much more that a scrap of the papers I really like so they work well.

Hopefully I will improve on my much better showing last week in getting around to see your desk – I am always so inspired but finding the time is often a challenge.

Have a good one – hope it’s sunny where you are!