Faux Baker’s Twine you can make!

I was looking to add a bit of the popular Baker’s Twine to something but only had a small amount of red & white that I got, I think, in a ScrapaGoGo kit at some point.  Not the right colour.  I’ve looked in the past for Baker’s Twine in the UK but find it either has food starch added to it (if cotton) or is some kind of rayon.  I know in the US you can get massive reels of this for under $10 (although who needs 1000s of metres of one colour??) and I’m not really keen on buying 100 metres at a premium, so, cheap cow that I am, I decided to see if there was a way to get the look, totally customizable on the fly, as needed.  I had a quick Google but the one I did find involved twisting your own two-colours of embroidery floss together.  Yes, it looks exactly like the original stuff, but frankly, life’s too short.  So this is what I did.

What I like is you can use ANY colour of permanent ink to make it, especially if you can find a chisel tip marker (Copics and Promarkers work, although as expensive as the markers are, it’s a bit of a false savings – Sharpies are cheaper and as colourful and I just saw pastel coloured Sharpie chisel tips in Hobby Craft!) and you can vary the look by making your lines quite thick and close together or thinner (bullet point tip) and farther apart.  OK, so not perfect, but they look close enough and you can make a couple of metres pretty quickly.

Both DH and DS have had rotten colds – typically I’ve held off catching it till they are both on the mend, so a day wrapped up with hot tea on the sofa may be the order of the day for me.  I’ll charge up the iPad and try to meander thru a few more WOYWW posts if I can, but I’m not expecting I’ll feel up to much.



Getting close the the 102 WOYWW week now!

My room is still clean, and my desk not a disaster.  YAY ME!  Working on the little box from the art sheet I made yesterday.  Stamping in place and I am “auditioning” things for the bobbing acetate strips.  I like he hearts but not 100% sure about them.

Tidying up always unearths a few gems.  Remember beadlings?  They were so popular back, oh, 8 years ago.  I found this little lady – isn’t she sweet?

I just love her little bead-boobies!

And remember I mentioned a sweet little paper flower using a punch, that I saw on Kirsty’s blog? at least I think I mentioned it here.  Maybe only on UKS – no matter, I got the punch and used a little scrap from the box to test out the method.  I like it.  Quite tiny, but cute.

Black was not, perhaps, the best choice – I do think it would look lovely in pink, in yellow, in red…any colour really.  Slightly time consuming to make but perfect for a lazy night in front of the TV.

Have a great WOYWW.  I did better than usual last week, hitting a fair few blog, and plan on doing even better this week.  I was very inspired by all the interesting things I saw.  What I love best about WOYWW as it really gets those creative juices flowing!


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Having a play

I enjoyed making the magic box card and decided to have a play at a slightly more artistic one.  I keep seeing samples of arty paper using bottle lids to make designs so I figured I might give that a go and see how I liked it.

I started off with an A4 sheet smudged with a variety of Distress ink colours:

Then I added a few circles using an old milk carton lid and some Dimensional Pearl paint:

Then I added some smaller circles with some spray ink and then added my cooking screen and sprayed Cosmic Shimmer all over for the final effect:

I’ll hack this up into the appropriate rectangles and add some stamping, I think.  Now I just need to figure out what will go inside!

I’ve seen these making an appearance on YouTube recently, with the box part made into a mini-album, and the center bit filled with some themed items – ScrapChica is one user who has done a few.  They look darn cute! Mine is planned to be quite small, from the original tutorial using an A4 sheet, but that is just because I am fiddling about with the technique.  I keep making mini-albums and not getting around to filling them, so I am TRYING to focus more on finishing up old projects before I make a new thing that will then sit, awaiting photos, or smaller projects that I can COMPLETE in one sitting.  And scrapbooking actual layouts!


Why, oh why….

…am I incapable of just whipping up a basic card when DS gets that “I love you Mom” look in his eye and asks for a card for a mate?

I had so much crafty stuff planned for my crop on Saturday and instead spent much of the day waffling and making this, for him to take to a party that night:

We never got a ton of stuff as Scrapbook Inspirations DT members but we DID get a box of this AMM paper and I thought it might do for a girly card.  I’ve never made an exploding box (well, sort of) and thought one might be fun for a birthday card.  Then DS dropped the comment that it needed to include a gift card slot. Every the cooperative Mom, I managed it.

Of course when I texted him from the crop to ask the recipients name the first text came back as “Hilly” which I thought was an odd name (Hildegard?) then a few minutes later came back corrected as HOLLY!  All I can say is thank goodness I wasn’t stamping the name and in mid-ink or I would have wring his neck!

I had featured this site in, I believe, a UKS Library post eons ago, and always remembered it.  Check it out – she has good instructions for an easy way to add the little springy elements that bob and quiver when you open the box.  And her work is very pretty, much more elegant than this.  Mine is large, the tags are about 4″ wide, to accommodate the gift card slot, so different to her instructions in the dimensions.

I pop dotted the embellishment rectangle so the card slips in.

I expect she liked it – DS handed it off to a sister as the birthday girl was busy dancing when he arrived.

I think, having made one, I can surely streamline the process a bit and make them faster.  Just in case he gets that look in his eye again any time soon…..

Happy Monday!



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Two videos – one totally NOT scrapbooking!

I got this video link from my brother, of his DDs soccer (football to  all the UK folk) highlights reel. She plays for her University and is just an amazing player.  So proud of her.

The video is quite long, but if you pop to about 4:17 minutes you will see one game where she set the school record of FIVE goals scored in one game.  Shame it is filmed at such a distance – you can’t see her speed or amazing footwork or her deadly accuracy.

I did finally manage to edit the slide show for my homemade Kennedy books. Not managed the PDF yet – I did a few versions (gave two of them away, including the one that had, I think, the best binding arrangement) and now need to at least make another spine so I can show that.

Sorry about the music – it’s LOUD.  You just have no control over the sound level when you do an audio swap.  I wanted to use the Hank Dogs but that is one that is not just a show-an-ad one, it’s an audio disabled one.  I do love them.

Anyway, I hope you give it a go – they are so cute when you pull out the stack of pages!


WOYWW 96 – my tidy space

Well, that was a marathon!! But my room is as clean as it has been since…the last WOYWW tidy up!  Ages. 

I still have to sort my cardstock into rainbow order – I keep putting that off LOL! – and I have a few random piles of things that I unearthed that need putting into their proper place like that brown box in the corner that has stray flowers of all kinds.

Love my cheap foldable photo boxes – faux leather and only £1.64 at Staples.  Very sturdy.  Basically that whole shelf is letter stickers, chipboard alphas, and embellishments.  Another box of random stuff that needs to find a home, bins of stamps, and things like Alcohol Inks and Stickles.

Ribbons in colour-organized bins at the top, all my mags and books on the bottom, paper bags, envelopes, chipboard, Nesties and Grand Calibur.

More ribbon, inks and paints, collage elements, pile of ribbon needing sorting still, card stuff…

More inks and stamps under the desk, a load of stamps needing cleaning (from the SDC challenge card from yesterday – do look back to see it and my Anniversary card.  I’m really pleased with both of them! – and all my most used stuff like adhesives, glue sticks, pop dots, etc right in reach – oh and a couple of things that I use to takes stuff to crops on the desk.  Hard to tell from these photos but I re-claimed a good couple of feet of space on my desktop by moving some stuff off and other stuff over.  No satellite table this week!  Woo Hoo.

This never changes much – computer station.

Now I can get to the fun work of messing it all up again!


SDC27 – Triptych card

Well, the Ludgershall ladies will recall me spending the better part of a 9 hour crop working on this anniversary card for my DH.  I have had the box (one with a clear window in the top) for ages and every time I tidy up I come across it, consider just tossing it in the bin, and decide to save it in the end.  Glad I did!

Here is the front of the card:

I’m in danger of using those wedding flowers too frequently so I may have to make a conscious effort to avoid them for a bit, although I do love the look!

Anyway, you can just see, at the top, two little pegs.  They are the key to it all! Here is the first panel:

When you turn the pegs, the panels move, curling around the post (a bamboo skewer) that goes down inside the box.  The long piece of paper is stuck to the skewer.  Here is a mid turn shot so you can get the idea!

I missed out snapping a photo of the second frame, but I think you can get the idea from what you can see here!

Third frame:

Fourth frame:

Final frame:

As today is our 25th wedding anniversary I had to wait till today to share it because I know DH reads my blog!

The real problem with it was that in order for the paper to rotate and curl around the skewers, it had to be pretty thin paper.  But thin paper tends to be a bit more porous than you really need for Copic markers – again, the gals from the crop will recall the cursing and whingeing I did when the green on the 4th panel bled well outside the stamped lines!  You can just see some of the brown that bled from the hair – that I couldn’t fix at all.  But I totally did a happy dance in my seat when I figured out I would add some scratchy lines and extend the trousers so the bleeding wasn’t really noticeable!

The entire quote is: To my love. Of all the men I have known in my life, only you have my heart. Sappy but then 25 years does deserve a bit of schmaltz.

I had hoped that eventually when I was ready to share, I might be able to use it for the Stampotique challenge.  I have been SO busy recently it seems it’s been months since I have had the time to take part it what was always the one and only challenge I did routinely (at ALL, if I’m honest!) but the challenge this week time was for a Triptych card and no matter how I tried to justify it I just couldn’t twist this one to work.  So, I had to buckle down and make one – hey, anything to avoid the final push in my scraproom tidy!

I immediately had an idea. I figured as long as I had already cut masks for the stamps from the box card I might as well make use of them before I lost them LOL! And the girl with the heart was out anyway, so….

You may remember that DS is something of a whiz with cards – he does amazing tricks, with great dexterity.  Last year for Christmas, as a bit of a joke, I bought him a HUGE deck of cards.  I’ve placed it by my Big Bite so you can get some perspective:

I used one of the huge cards as the basis for the triptych (as DS says it’s too hard to do a proper trick with such monster cards, I figured he wouldnt’ mind if I cut a couple of them up!)

And inside….

I also found the tiny deck of cards, from a set of Christmas crackers, I think, and decided to use them for some additional decoration – it’s quite hard to do the Stampotique only week when all you have are people.  I would have used maybe some swirls or texture stamps but not allowed so I had to come up with something else.

Here you can see a bit better the central figure – with one of my head-swaps  and a BIG crown – on the transparency that fills the area of the card that would usually have the queen.  The masking and layering of all the Stampotique “men” worked better then I thought it might.  I liked them B&W, I wasn’t just being lazy about my colouring in, I promise you!

So now there really is no avoiding it – I must drag out the hoover, sort the stray piles of crafty stuff, and prepare for WOYWW tomorrow!

And for my hubby:

Happy Anniversary sweet pea!  Still love ya!


Maybe-I-should-finish-it Monday!

Nearly ready for the big reveal!  Look carefully and you will still see piles of stuff to sort and store, but I am def. seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!  Phew.

There was a post last week on UKS about unfinished projects. We all have ’em – you know you do too – and one of the things I did while tidying up was to set aside all the part done projects I found in one place.

In reality, what I need to do is keep this someplace inconvenient – like under my desk, so I can’t sit without moving it.  Then, once the annoyance factor really kicks in maybe I will take the bull by the horns and complete them!

This is one of the unfinished ones – a Star Book from a previous cyber crop.

I loved the class “Death Star” from the Star Wars CC by fruitysuet) and made a few of them, but this one, which I was trying to complete fairly last minute for DH to take back to the US with him on some trip to Apple or another, where he was going to see relative who ask for photos of the kids occasionally, didn’t get finished in time to go with him on the plane.  I always INTENDED to finish it, but as you can probably see, if you know me at all, that the photos of the kids are alarmingly out of date (DS is 18 now, DD 14) so really other than as a historical exercise it seemed a bit pointless.

I had altered the instructions to make the star points a bit more like pockets, so they would hold plain 4×6 photos, so they recipients could make use of them in any way they wanted, which was an idea I loved, but now (OMG!  six years later!) I have to decide – finish it as it is? try to pry off the photos and update it?  Shelve it forever?

There are a few like this – things that had a sort of time limit on them.  Other things can easily be updated (my THanksgiving recipe/tradition book for example), all I need is a push.

So what do YOU have that is unfinished?

Alas, they will still have to wait a little bit longer while I finish up my sort & organize.

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Sunday-someplace-else (Paper Phenomenon)

I’ve been a bit lax on my SSE posts, as the weekends have just been so busy the last few months, but I did want to share this one with you.  You probably recall how much I like paper bag books, having done a few alternative versions of the standard one myself, but this one is really clever!  I have an idea for making a version that will be more UK-friendly but need to get in to town to get a few bags, ones that are easy to get here, rather than use my stash of US bags from Target! Have a look – she has a 9-part series on this book, construction as well as decoration, and it’s well worth a look.

I like it a lot.  click the link to go to her blog as well as she has some fab stuff there.  Some stuff to buy (kits, tutorials, etc) and U-Stream classes so much to explore.  Check out the Easter Basket Exploding box!



A request from DS

Apparently, DS went to a birthday dinner with some mates a month or so back.  He came to me last minute for a card.  I had one I had made for a previous birthday that he took but never delivered, so I gave him that back.  The girl loved it.  Her boyfriend, unlike most teenage boys (or MEN for that matter) duly noted this fact and as they are approaching their 1st anniversary (awwww – how sweet) he asked DS if DS would ask me to make a card for him to give to her.

With crafty things I cannot seem to do things by half when I have the time – heck, even if I don’t have the time, I like to do a job well – and a 36 hour lead time was just too much for me to simply throw together some half-assed card, especially when the girl was so impressed with the last one.

This is what I ended up with:

This is the box – as I mentioned I used the CC box to to make it – basically I started with 11 inch square card, scored the G and F lines on two sides then rotated it and scored the E line. Then I lined up the E line with the G line marking and scored the F.  I still had the little bits to cut away but ended up with a quite thick box-olope.

I thought the closure was clever – it’s a stack of punched hears, to give it some weight, popped on foam squares.  The point of the flap just fits inside the foam squares (which are added like a V along the heart-point) to hold it closed.

Front of the card:

The swirls are the Marianne Creatables ones (love them) cut from glitter card – boy does it make a mess! I should have Diamond glazed over it, will do next time.

and inside:

The card is actually ivory although it looks a bit yellow here. And the pull-tab activated:

and angled:

I actually used, of all things, some QuicKutz alphas – I still really like that font, and as I was dealing with little scraps of paper it was the perfect solution.

Hope she likes it!