Embossed flower

I really should be cleaning, as we have a mate from the states coming tomorrow, but it’s been too long since  just had a creative playtime and I had an idea that I just wanted to try out.

I was playing with the idea from last week of brayering ink over the embossed cardstock, and I spied the new punch that I got, the one with the big holes and scallops.

I embossed a thick strip of cream cardstock, scooching the embossing folder along so the whole thing was covered.  You can see the join, but it doesn’t really matter for this.

With chalk ink I brayered over the embossing to highlight it.

I punched the edge with the hole-y scallop and trimmed ita 1/2 inch or so above the scallops. I scored it in my usual way, between the scallops and at the apex, then stuck the ends to make a circle and squashed it to make a rosette.

Topped with a button, they look very pretty.  BUT, I think they are perhaps better on a card or maybe hanging on a ribbon as an ornament.  I suppose they aren’t all that much thicker than a normal rosette but still, they might be a little bit thick for a scrapbook page.  Maybe on a band to create a napkin ring?  Anyway, it was just my first experiment with it, and as I usually do I’ll probably play around with it a bit more till I perfect it.

I like the look of the strip, punched, before it gets scored and THAT I might play around with to use as a border on a scrapbook page.  Lucky I have a crop this weekend!



Calendar blocks for 2012

I’ve been promising these final PDFs and simply couldn’t get to them.  I kept running in to positioning problems.  It’s too stupid to explain, but it had to do with how I saved them and how I made them into PDFs.  Sorted now. As one six-page PDF, two months per page.

They SHOULD work that you print the 6 sheets, then cut them at 4 inches and 8 inches, giving you two months on a 4 x width-of-paper blocks.  This way I hope they will work for both A4 International paper and US Letter size paper.  They WILL BE NARROWER than a standard CD hold, but they are this way so if you want to emboss the top half as I did for the Faux Letterpress post last week, you can.  Or you can trim them height-wise to fit in a cd case.

The font, and I always try to share that if I can, is Water Street.



Scrapping mags

You may recall I did a little set of printables for Shimelle’s blog a few months back. There was a small prize, a set of printables for the random winner, and through that I made contact with Sanna, a scrapper in Austria.  We had a little to&fro via email, and she kindly offered to send me a copy of her  scrapbooking magazine, one she contributes to.  Well, it arrived, and even without being able to read a word of the text, I can see that there are some lovely projects in it.

It is just loaded with layouts, art journal pages, mini-books, how-tos, and more.  Luckily for me DH lived in Germany for a few years and still retains some of the language.  He managed to get us around Austria and Germany when we visited a fair few years back so I’m hoping he can translate the jist of anything I am really curious about.

There isn’t a lot of “white space” in this mag, but I think the fact I can more or less ignore the text makes that not an issue – I haven’t counted the layouts, but goodness me there are a ton of them.  One article has seven larger layouts and eight smaller ones on the topic! And I am guessing that the project called RAM BOOK is pretty much like a SMASH book?  Or is that simply a linguistically logical but actually wrong assumption, given the spine is an old circuit board?

There are also a couple of sheets of scrapbooking paper to tear out, but oh! how different to the ones in the UK mags.  These are on proper cardstock – thinner, to be fair, but matt, not slick, one double-sided patterned and one with a pattern one side, coordinating tags and labels the other.  Very nice.

It makes me anxious for Scrap 365 – where I can actually read the text LOL! and it makes me wonder about the scrap mags in other countries.  I’ve seen US ones, obviously, and Aussie ones, but other language mags, not so much.  Wonder what I am missing…..


WOYWW 125 – virtual son

Birthday a great success yesterday.  DD was quite happy with her gifts, and loved having her brother in attendance over the internet.

You can’t see him very well in this photo, but we moved him to the mantle so DD could show him her gifts.  It was quite sweet, her holding them up and giving a little description.

But you aren’t here for that, you’re here for WOYWW!  I was rubbish last week, so wrapped up in calendar making, and I’m afraid to say I am still working on a few.  This week I’m testing out combinations of things on some slightly mis-printed bits.  I have a variety of inks, a couple of different brayers, and a whole selection of embossing folders. I’m trying to work out which folders to use with which month, what colour, and how the different ink work with the different brayers.

But basically it’s just a huge mess.

Shocking, I know.

But here you have it.  I still owe DD a shopping trip to spend some of her birthday money, so I’ll be in and out but am determined to hit as many desks as I can – I missed my weekly jolt of inspiration and can’t afford to miss it again!  Have a good one!


My baby is 15 today!

Not much from me as it is DDs birthday – 15!

We have a day of ice skating and lunch out, movie, then dinner and cake.  We’ll call DS on Skype and now we’ve worked it out, will have him on screen on the iPad at the dinner table.  Can’t imagine what his roommate will make of him singing Happy Birthday over the internet.  There goes his street cred!

Sharing an old layout that I still love of my not-so-little little girl. Love you, baby.


Changing multiple layers of text – amazing Photoshop trick

I have to quickly document this for you.  I posted it on UKS but realized I really didn’t mention it here, and it makes all the difference in using your calendar master file.

I realized that making the master was all well and good, but if I had to change the font and/or font size in every cell of a gajillion layer file it was going to negate a lot of the work that went in to it.  So I had a hunt for info.  I used to be a librarian.  My job was doing searches for the engineers on their research topics.  The one thing it taught me that has been useful was HOW to search for things in order to find what you want.  It isn’t always a matter of just plunking a few keywords into Google and trolling through the results in the hopes one of them has what you want.  This post was the top hit in my search and it was EXACTLY what I needed. Note that it tells you this is a Photoshop feature, but it certainly worked for me in PSE.  But note this: at various places I’ve seen that for a Mac you should use the Apple option key to select multiple layers but I cannot seem to make that work.

Basically, what this allows you to do is create your calendar master and then, with just a few clicks, change the font for everything. At once.

The trick is to select multiple layers.  I do this on my Mac in a couple of different ways.  If I am clever, and re-organize my layers so all the MONTH NAMES are grouped, all the DAY NAMES are grouped, and all the single cells that are the DAY NUMBERS are grouped, I select the MOVE tool, then can click the first layer in the Layers window list,  go to the last layer, and with the shift key held down, click that layer.  That selects those two layers ALL the layers between as well. I can also hold down the SHIFT key and click on any layers I want in my selection but that is best done with just a few things (like the year bits, for example) and likewise I can select things by holding down the shift key and dragging a selection box around the items.  This works best for things like the vertical date strips, for example, if you wanted to align the along the right edge rather than centered under the day name.

Then, with the shift key still held down, I click the TEXT tool.  That brings up the little bar at the top showing my font info.

I can then set the new font name, and size, and any other info (like whether I want the text centered in the text box or not) and effect the change across all the layers I’ve selected!  This corrects the problem of needing to have everything in the same font size, as I can select just the month names in my file, or just the day name strips and change them to the font I want and keep them bigger or make them smaller.

I created a folder I call FONT CHANGE TRIO – this has three files, each one with 4 months.   I don’t mind having to change  each of the three as PSE seems to like it better when I do a smaller group – although it will handle the whole gajillion layer sheet, it takes it a moment or two. Yes, I’ve tried it.  And it does work.

I think this trick is a fab one for so many things.  If I were a digital designer, for example, and I wanted to change the font and colour used across multiple layers of a sheet of tags, for example, I could do it in one step, if I had grouped all the text layers together in the layers palette. Everything else would remain unchanged.

It should be obvious that you can’t merge or simplify the layers or this won’t work.  But if you have Photoshop or PSE, give it a go. Create a file with 10 layers,  and try changing the layers in group – change the colour and size on some, the font and colour on others, change all of them in one go, etc.

Cool, humm?



Sunday-someplace-else (Other calendars)

I’ve been planning to do a round-up of some calendar bits for a while, and here are a few that I found that I quite like. Some are available now, some are 2011 ones I liked a lot  with a hint a 2012 version might be coming, and some are just printable months so you can create your own.

Who doesn’t love owls? Check out the stunning one at My Owl Barn.

OK, this one is for 2011, but I think the bits would be fab on a scrapbook page, and they alert you to the free 2012 one due 1 December.  Bookmark it now!

This subway art set at I Love It All is the last installment of the 2011 calendar set – just to take you to the end of the year.  But comment to let her know you like it and maybe we’ll get lucky for 2012 and she’ll do a new set.

This one, from CreativeMamma, has big blocks for adding lots of notations.  But I love this little Kokeshi Doll mini one:

And this one covers Oct 2010 to March 2012, but it’s so sweet, and the technique for making the calendar might be useful with other printables.  See the 2010 post here with links back to the original instructions.

And this one from Alice Cantrell is just so pretty I don’t even care it’s from 2011.  Sounds like a 2012 one may be on the way.  Another to watch for.

A nice vintage one at Crafty Secrets.

One of the best collections for basic printables is at  Portrait style, Landscape style, CD case size, a digital stamp set in .png format, and printable month names, good for calendar-style scrapbook pages.

Free digital layered templates and PNG files at Happy to Create (shop) and  the collection will build over the year.

Hope you find a couple you like!


Faux Letterpress calendar

OK, so I lied, a bit.  I thought I was done with the whole calendar thing but not QUITE yet.  Given I don’t normally blog on a Saturday, this post is sort of an extra, and therefore I feel less guilty about returning to this topic.  And due to a couple of comments and a few emails about how to use the PDFs, and me mistakenly thinking that in general most people would be able to do what I do, copy nd paste the info into files the size they need to use the little calendar bits, I feel like I have to carry through on my promise to make a PDF that is ready to print and use, with no additional work.

BUT, I have tried, over the years, to make something that looks a bit like a Letterpress calendar.  It came up a few years back with my friend Nat and ever since I’ve felt there must be a way to make one, without a letterpress.  I know there was a commercial scrapbooking letterpress tool a few years back, but I’ve since seen them for sale on various sites, always with the same complaint – too hard to use, not a good quality outcome, messy, and the plates are prone to cracking.  That was what kept me for getting one when I saw them on some shopping channel or another.

Well, this is the state of my floor today:

…the most enormous mess.Having said that I do think I sorted out a method that I like.  I did a few samples to share.

Basically all I did was print the calendar bits, two to a page, centered at 2 inches and 6 inches landscape on an A4 sheet of white cardstock.  That lets me cut at the 4  inches and then shift that edge and cut at 4 inches again, easy peasy.

Then, I place an embossing folder over the top, above the printing – you should be able to see that in the photo above.  I emboss.Then, with a fairly light touch, hitting just the raised bits, I brayer chalk ink over the top – best to mask the bottom edge, just in case.

And here are some close ups so you can see more detail:

Where you have to be especially careful are the open areas at the edges.  Without the raised areas, the brayer will sometimes make contact with the depressions in the embossing, and you can see that even though I thought I was being careful I still got a little over-roll on the very edge. Still looks good overall.

I’ve tried and tried to get rid of the faint line from the botton of the embossing folder, but nothing seems to work.  Still, so long as it’s straight, I suppose I can live with it.

and finally, April.  OK so here’s the deal – you have to make sure that you are using the folder the right way round.  I let my attention wander, and I didn’t.  Rather than ditch it, I brayered over, to see the effect.  I like it.

This version is with the flourishes de-bossed (ie pressed in) and gives a different effect (which is actually less clear in the detail shot, I think – go back to the top and look at it there to really see the difference to the other months) to the EM-bossed version (on the back, so I just inked it to help you see)

Because they are too tall for a CD calendar I have to think of some other way to display them.  Not sot sure, but I have a few ideas.

Now, back to making those PDFs….


Final Calendar Post with all info!

I’ll bet you are as sick of this as I am, but I think I now have it all sorted for the various versions. So here, in one post, is all you should need to know!

My post on how I created the calendar grids in PSE with the tips and tricks I learned is here.

The two-sheet PDFs to download, for copy/pasting and printing: Jan-June and July to Dec, both in this post here.

Here are a few samples from my CD case version, using a simple stamped image at the top of each page:

The simple swirl has to be my favourite version,  this one on cream cardstock.

My WOYWW post about creating a tear-off calendar is here.

This one is the fridge one, with the tear-off calendar block. Just a little reminder to myself!

And here are the three PDFs with faint lines so you can cut all the calendar months to the same size for making the tear-off block! SeptDecJanFeb MarAprilMayJune and JulyAugOctNov 2012.

Phew.  Having put in the work, I now know it will  be easier to create a calendar in my style each year.  How do I know this?  From yesterday, these two PDFs, each 3 sheets, created to easily cut at 4 inch increments, to get a set of same-sized blocks, took mere minutes to convert. And because I know that this year I have a month with the 1st of the month beginning on every day of the week, I know I can re-use the months, with minor additions or deletions, at most 3 days to delete (February) and at most a day to add)

I’m going to do one more, slightly different, and will add it when I am done.  This one will be designed to print on either an A4 or US letter sheet then slightly trimmed to the same size, if it works.  Now it’s time to move on (Thank goodness! I hear you mutter) to something else crafty.

And deepest apologies to the WOYWW crowd, as I was so immersed in this I didn’t make it to a single desk this week (hanging head in shame) but hope to get to some of them, at least, over the weekend.  I missed all the inspiration!


Two new Calendar PDFs

I was amazed at how quickly I was able to knock out two new versions using my master files.  I had to work out a few things (like I wanted more space between the month name and the day strip, and I wanted to re-order the layers so marking groups of things that were different sizes was easier)  but once I did that I would guess it didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to creat a totally new set.

What I wanted to do was to be able to share them so they would be immediately useful.  So, each PDF has three pages.  Each page has four months on it.  They are arranged so simply by printing them and cutting along the 4″ and 8″ marks, you should then have uniformly sized blocks, with the month fairly centered on them.

Of course you can still open them in PSE and select a chunk and move it so it prints on a page of any size you want, but these are useful as is, print and cut.

Two font and colour choices for you – one is Lobster2 and the other is FFF tusj for the month name and BonvenoCF for the rest.

Grab ’em.  I’m working on the PDF of how I accomplish this (and in the process found that after doing this  year, all future years are going to be a SNAP, even less work than I thought) so I hope I can share that soon.  I think I need to convince DH to let me put PSE on a laptop with an up to date OS so I can do a screencast, as that will explain things better than text and photos will.  Watch this space …..