WOYWW 139 – playing with watercolours

I am in an arty place at the moment.  I really need to focus on scrapbooking, and figure out a way to bring the arty techniques to layouts, but I’m just not there yet.  Maybe I’ll find the inspiration and motivation looking at YOUR desk today!  Nothing gets the creative juices flowing more than a WOYWW hop.  And Julia helpfully reposted s link that will solve the commenting problem for many of us, if you care to look back a post when you drop by her Stamping Ground.  I just hate visiting and not being able to leave a comment so I hope many who don’t let the comment box open in a new window will make the small change needed and let me say Hi!

This is a technique I’ve seen but not played with – watercolour wash covered with cling film.  I really like the final effect – and have mentally filed it away for a future BIG CARD – and thought it might make a good background for the foils I used on the last one.

I was thwarted in my attempt to get to Hobby Craft and peruse the foils yesterday – I came out of Morrison’s to find my tire flat.  Good thing I noticed and didn’t just drive away.  That would have been so like me LOL! But my internet searching told me the Provocraft foils that I have are no longer for sale, and I love the technique so if I want to play more, I’d better find some soon.

I’ll add a card I made as well – I did a YouTube quickie for that, and it differs from the stamp-with-glue version from Monday and instead extends the brayer-ed glitter-glue technique from Christmas,  I embossed some Distress Inked cardstock, brayered over a layer of glue, then added the foil.  I do love how it looks!

If you do Project Life, I have some printables back a few posts that you may want to grab, as you are here anyway. You can also click on Freebie Printables at the top and find links to them there.

Lastly, something I almost never do, a share of my DD on the climbing wall, at the top!

Regular readers may recall DD has Cerebral Palsy (she’s a right hemi) so her managing this, albeit with help from one of the instructors, guiding her hand and foot placement, was quite an achievement – Mom is very proud of her!

Have a great Wednesday!


And to add:  Blogger is still thwarting me!  A few people change their commenting so it opens in a new window (yay!) but still not allowing comments on box-at-bottom – and a new wrinkle! This week no matter HOW MANY TIMES I try to do the word verification it tells me I am doing it wrong.  I’m NOT!  Nowhere near being thru the list but I’ve seen these people and been unable to comment 🙂

scrappymo! – tried the word verification FIVE times (including the spoken version) and it won’t post! Same with Stephanie Scrapadelia
peggy aplSeeds
Tracey Fletcher King
Shaz in Oz – but I emailed you about your question 🙂


More Project Life printables – months

I had this idea in my head while I was working on the other ones.  Pretty minimalistic stuff, but I like the simplicity of those little and thin circles.  They are, again slightly smaller than 3 x 4 so you can cut them with a thin border and still have them fit in your PPs.  I think they would work for basic journaling cards on a layout as well,  and although they really work best vertical,  I don’t hate them horizontal.  I think you could also use them to make a mini-book – just add a photo in the blank middle section and maybe on the back, then punch a hole in the top corner.  Add a cover and put it all on a book ring.  Likewise you could turn them into a calendar by printing the month block in the white area.  You could even stick two months back to back to make it thinner. Like I say, I aim for my printables to be useful in many ways!

Here is a screen grab of the PDF (again, 2 pages)  so you can see the colours best:

And here is a photo of the print-out.  I would strongly suggest you print them in photo quality.  They look lovely on textured cardstock, but not in normal print mode.  My printer has the option of selecting Archival Matte in the Print Settings and that is what I use as I feel it gives the truest colour and a nice thick application of ink.  Up to you.

They are slightly smaller than 3 x 4 for ease of cutting with a thin border.  They SHOULD work fine on A4 or US letter, but f they don’t LMK and I can split the PDF into 3 sheets of four.  Hope you can find a use for them!


Big cards – Nine of Diamonds

It’s quite interesting to me (QI to my BBC-watching friends LOL!) That when I do “art” I tend towards the messy, grungy, distressed look but when I design (like the Project Life Printables I did over the last couple of days) I am all about the clean lines and simple shapes.  Not entirely sure what that says about me – maybe I feel more confident using tools others have developed (like stamps and inks) than I am creating from scratch?  Not sure but I am having fun in both directions at the moment.

Carrying on with my BIG CARD project, this week we have the Nine of Diamonds.  In considering the techniques I want to experiment with, I spend the weekend before looking at my stash.  I am looking for things I have but have never used. This week, I pulled out a Glue Pad, some quite ancient foil sheets, a pristine stamp, and some cheap metallic copper paint. Quite an array.

I know Distress ink is meant to be blended, but for this experiment I really wanted to use red and blue and not have the whole thing deteriorate into a muddy purple. I first smudged the Distress ink in Barn Door, Fired Brick and Worn Lipstick, but left some white areas, especially around the edges. I then smudged the Broken China in the white areas, letting some drift over the edges into the reds. You’ll see that in later photos – I’m trying not to be needlessly photo-heavy here. I dried the Distress ink briefly with the heat gun because I didn’t know if the foil might stick to it if it were wet.

I stamped with my never-before used glue pad and then hit that with the heat gun, literally for a couple of seconds.  I did try foiling over it immediately and my opinion is a blast of heat makes the foil stick better. I laid the foil over the glue-stamping and rubbed over it with the flat edge of the bone folder – and in smaller areas rubbed with my fingertip. That is some intensely-blue blue!

Using an old card (and yes, I applied the money to my Amazon account before I used it LOL!) I sort of pounced copper lines along the edges, pretty parallel.

And here you can see a bit of the sparkle from the foil as well as the way some of the left-white areas are really blue.

I stamped the number in the copper paint, but I also tapped the foam brush on the stamped paint while it was still wet to give the letters a rougher texture.

and the final card:

Instead of using paint on a lid I inked the lid and stamped so the circles are fainter and more ghostly. a bit of spattered white paint and DONE.

This one MAY have replaced the Jack as my favourite.  I’ve never seen the foil with glue pad.  I have read lots of places how people don’t like the Essential Glue Pad, which may be why I never opened it.  I’m glad in this case I bought it then read the reviews, because I love it for this.  I have a drawer full of foil sheets (pretty much all but gold and silver, because I think I bought the pack for those colours, used them up, and stuffed the remainder in a drawer!) so I can see playing with this a LOT.  When the light hits it, and with the imperfect application of the foil over the Distress ink, it has such a cool look.

And so the experiment continues.


Sunday-right-here (Project Life Printables)

The hardest thing about designing is stepping out of your own head to think about how others might like to use things.  Obviously colour is huge – I have my preferred colours, as do most people, but for me it’s the shade or tone that makes all the difference.  For example, Kelly green leaves me cold, but a nice muted celery I love.  A brick-red I like, a Christmass-y red, not so much.

When I did the set yesterday, my mind was focused on days-of-the-week.  All well and good.  But overnight I (seriously) had one to ten running around in my head.  So when I got up and got DH and DD off to skating, I sat down to alter the files.  Replacing the weekdays with a strip of number words gives more options.  I think they work together, really.  The first set is days of the week, this set is straight one to ten numbers.  I think originally I worried that the ten, when squished, might not work, but I think it’s OK.  As I had used colours along the ROYGBIV spectrum I had to decide on additions – I went with rose, hot pink, and brown.  I altered the journaling blocks to match, and another of the Life is so daily blocks. I also flipped the orientation of the number strips, thinking that the first set works if you have it vertical but less so (reading right to left) when horizontal. This is the stuff that obsesses me LOL!

I had planned on using that time to make a MONTH set to match, and may still do.  If so I’ll add it to the post under Freebie Printables so everything is in one place and you don’t have to hunt through the daily blog posts to find all the parts of the set.  The other thing I did is combined the two sets into ONE PDF.  Hopefully that will work.

I also noticed that while I tend to design on a transparent background, and that the resulting PDF shows white as the background, opening the PDF in Photoshop shows it as transparent.  So this set has white behind the blocks but not as the full background.  Hopefully someone who uses them digitally will let me know if this s preferred, because I know if you are just printing them it makes no difference.  I like to have my files as flexible as possible!

As it’s overcast here still and it worked well enough yesterday, here is a screen grab of the two page PDF so you can see what you will be getting when you download.

Just to let you know the slipped white block on the 10 has been fixed and the PDF is correct.  If you print it, the original is just fine, but if you want to use them digitally then the one up now is the one you want!


Project Life printables

This is one of those times when I dither.  It’s late here in the UK. And dark. and it’s dark in my room, with zero natural light. While I did TRY to improve the quality of the photos a bit, it’s all a bit too dark, yet washed out, and in no way reflective of the actual items – and yet, I didn’t want to wait to add them tomorrow.  So I’m going to add the not-great photos and a smaller .jpg of the PDF which I hope will give yo a better idea of the true colours!

I think they work either way, upright or sideways, depending on how your page protectors run, but to be honest while I am intrigued by the Project Life project, I’m late t the party and just am not sure I have the sticktuitivness it requires. But I do enjoy the making-printables process, in any case.

If you like them, grab them here – set A has 6 days of the week cards (and is it showing my American to have the week starting on Sunday?) and set B has the final day card and 5 other journaling spots.

I have another idea for a set that I may find the time to work on tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you find these useful!


Display Mini-book

Sometimes, I begin a project with a clear idea of where it is going.  This one was crystal clear in my mind, but the reality is that I got nearly to the end and veered off in a totally new direction!

Looks like not much – a run of the mill 6×6 mini.

Untie the ribbon to open it and it begins to look a bit like a flip book.

Start flipping and..

Blimey it’s big! Over 28 inches from top to bottom.  And what’s the deal with the big empty space in the middle?

OK, so I’m clearly not done yet, as that space will hold another small 5×5 inch mini – probably a pull-out accordion, or maybe a bi-fold,  I’m still contemplating the options.  But then there is the cool thing – it’s really a display stand.

So the idea is that you can either fold it all in and store it on a shelf, or you can open it out and display it like this – and I thought it might be cool to add photo corners so you can change the photo that is on display whenever you want to – then open it up at any time to view the contents.

The one thing I hate about folded flip books is that they always bulge – if the pages are all the same size, they don’t fold in on themselves as nicely as I would like – especially if you have them full of photos.  But because this one has 1/4 inch side hinges on some of the pages, it folds away really neatly, with plenty of room for layers of photos.

I am not sure  will write it up.  While I am quite happy to work through the palaver of covering hinged sides (and I am not going to lie to you, it IS  a palaver and a half!) I’m just not sure I can write it up in such a way as 80% of the people who read it will be able to achieve a good end result.  It’s hard to get all the coverings smooth, and to make them all work to open and fold in (or out) and because the pages are different sizes (again to accommodate the folding this way and that) and there is a lot of smoothing and partially sticking, then scoring and creasing and maybe some trimming, then more sticking and creasing, blah, blah, blah I just can’t see a way to make it clear.

I think if you were to create the pages from double sided cardstock, rather than covering white card, it would be a whole lot easier,  but I began with the bare-bones construction then decorated.  Knowing what I know NOW, I can see how that might work better.  Maybe I’ll do another one to test the theory.  Having said that, then I have to find double-sided cardstock where I like both sides, and like where the patterns fall due to the construction, and that have no direction to them, so I don’t end up with upside down or sideways patterns.  And in the end it might be too flimsy without all the layers.  That much pre-planning for something that may not be sturdy is a recipe for disaster!

The plan is to call it  “All Around My House” and have photos of DD … around the house, inside and out, doing the things she loves to do. It’ll make a change from my usual “days out” minis or “favourite photos” minis which is why it’s not done.  A photo hunt is in order and while I have a few in my mind that I know will work, I also have boxes of printed photos go scour to see what will work.

Hopefully I’ll find time to work on it over the weekend but sadly it isn’t a crop weekend so who knows.



Printable word hearts

Just a quick one today as it’s DDs transition meeting.  I started these, gosh, ages ago, last year some time, but I wasn’t happy with how it was so I shelved it.  Got busy with other thing. Now that I seem to be on a Valentine’s Day kick I figured I might as well finish  up in a way I liked and post them.

There are two sheets, Hearts1 and Hearts2. You can see an overview here, as well as some overlaid Nesties to show how they can be cut. Also that they are spaced so you SHOULD be able to cut all of them with little waste. You could def. print one in economy mode and make yourself a template of the centre heart then cut that from coloured card or patterned paper to make them more interesting, but my experiences over the last 6 months with colour issues made me scrap the filled heart version, as a solid block of colour runs the risk of looking rubbish on YOUR printer, where a thin line of text will be more acceptable.

Impossible to read in the photo but it says: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach…

That’s the 2″ circle punch, FYI. Then I made a quick card to show one way you might use them.

Loving my Cheery Lynn sunflower, still. And I did something nifty with it.  I got some WOW embossing powders to play with. I had the idea to emboss the die cut but wasn’t sure if it would work.  It did! I feared the fine lattice might be hard to ink and hard for the embossing powder to stick, but it worked great.  I have another idea for then die and the powders, but I messed up the first version so that may have to wait a few days before I can share it.

Basically I smeared Versamark all over the lattice surface – and I found that easier to do before I cut out the flower shape. This one I had already cut off the border but it really is easier, if very slightly wasteful of the powder, to leave the border on – then dumped on the whole pot to make sure I got good cover on it.

Heat embossed.  Hard to see, but it gives a lovely effect, and the lattice is then almost mold-able – I curved in the edges slightly, which you may be able to detect on the final card above.

I also did one with the Gold Satin Pearl that was really lovely, although that was part of the failed experiment.  This was their REGULAR grade powder in Earthtone Pomegranate, a very pretty colour.  I have some mauve glitter I am dying to try with this too. I could have cut the lattice from coloured card, and have done, but the enamel look of the embossing powder just adds something to it, I think.

Anyway, grab the printables if you like and comment with a link to anything you make with them so I can see.



WOYWW138 – overstamping

Hello all you WOYWW-ers.  If you aren’t a WOYWW-er  click the link to pop over to Julia’s blog for your weekly desk-hop.

So yesterday I did another window tunnel card (well, that’s what I am calling them.  Never seen one before so if there is an official name I have no idea what it is!) and by-passed the overstamping how-to I mentioned I would do in the first card post.  I thought the might like to see how I did it.  The water-stamping over Distress Ink thing is old, and you can see it in the Compendium of Curiosities on page 35.  Basically you distress ink some cardstock (and I find a good layer of ink, especially layers of colour, gives the best effect) then ink a stamp with Versamark then mist the stamp with water.  Stamp the watery stamp over the Distress ink then dry it with a heat gun – something about the heat makes the bleached-out image clearer.  This is where you should see a photo of that step so far, but my camera didn’t record the photo for some reason, so I had to go back after I was done and take a few more for this.

Wipe off your stamp and dry it.  Then ink your stamp with Memento ink and, not trying too hard to line it up perfectly, stamp over the water-stamped image

What you get is a very cool halo effect.

And if you are a bit off on the placement I think it looks even better!

You can see it a bit on the front of the card with a finer stamp.

Looking past the card you can see that not only is my desk fairly clean (shock!) but my shelves, and even though you can’t see it at all my FLOOR) is tidy and clear.  Astonishing. I feel very virtuous.

Now if only Blogger will cooperate with me.  I may have to try to comment ONLY from my iPad (as I know for example that I can comment on the WOYWW post from there but not from my desktop – how bizarre is that?) and see. I did see many desks last week, and typed out many comments, they just never appeared.


Addendum! I have been watching very carefully my commenting and I can now say that if comments open in a new window, I can almost always add one.  If it is a box at the bottom of the post, I almost always can’t 🙂

I grabbed the screen so you can see who I have visited so far (green)  but I couldn’t comment on lots of them.  It bothers me. But if you are green  I did see your desk and I bet I loved it 🙂 and I’m still working my way thru the rest!

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Valentine’s Day window card

There are a lot of steps to this, and it would take 30 photos to show it all so I am going to condense things a bit for this blog post then do a YouTube doodah with all the photos.  For most of the windows the steps are basically the same.  But let’s see how it goes!

First things first – as I have the Grand Calibur, I can make use of a full A4 sheet and still run it through to cut the apertures.  Knowing that most people have smaller machines, I did a new version that is only 6 inches tall.  That should fit in a Big Shot, and maybe the Cuttlebug?  But the principle is the same.

I sort of planned it as an upright card but at the end decided I liked it lengthways better.

I liked how it looked opened out sitting on the table. I used three shades of pink for the “tunnel” effect.

Let’s do measurements first.  An A4 sheet is 8.27 x 11.69.  If you are using a US letter size sheet (8.5 x 11) you will  have a narrower final page, narrower than the card, so I would amend the scoring as follows:

A4 – cut to 6 inches WIDE and score at 2 1/4, 4 1/2, 6 3/4 and 9 inches.  This will leave you with a final panel of approx. 2 3/4 inches.

US Letter – cut to 6 inches WIDE and score at 2, 4, 6, and 8.  Your final panel will be 3 inches.  It’s won’t really matter.

A bit about cardstock weight.  You will be attempting to cut through multiple layers of cardstock and paper to create the windows. Thinner base card will make this easier. The panels are all at least 2 layers overall so even 160gsm should be fine.

Decorate your panels as you like.  For the other one I used Distress ink, inked the entire panel then stamped. For this one I used a 6 x 12 inch scrap of patterned paper.  I have issues with it, in the end.  First, it wasn’t really enough to fully cover the panels, and second it is a bit hard to read the letters.  Not impossible, but I usually like my text to really POP off the page and this doesn’t.  Rather than do another one, I am going to carry on since I promised instructions.

Looking at the card, we are going to (quite logically) number the panels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  OK, now more measurements.

First panel – the first window is two layers.

Standard Circles Small (SCS) – 5th die in, cut the lightest colour. Stick this to PANEL 1 where you want the window to be.

Now, center over this the Standard Circle Large (SCL) – 6th die in.

The trick is you need to secure the die well, you don’t want it to slip. Use low-tack tape and tape it toward the MIDDLE (which you will throw away)

Cut the window in PANEL 1.  This will leave you with a thin circle of light pink card around the window.

Now you need to cut the window in PANEL 2. Using Standard Circle Small, 6th die in, close the card.  Tape the die centred in the Panel 1 window – and this will be to the BACK of PANEL 2.  Open the card and cut.

Leaving you with this:

Now you are going to do the same for Panels 3 and 4.  Here is the complete sequence for you:

SCS 5th die in (cardstock circle)
SCL 6th die in (window)

Panel 2
SCS 6th die in (window)

Panel 3
SCS 6th die in (cardstock circle)
SCL 7th die in (window)

Panel 4
SCS smallest die (window)

For panel 5, cut whatever combination of circles, scallops, pinked circles, etc. you like, just make sure there is an area at least as big as the window in Panel 4.  I used a pinked circle and a slightly larger circle.  Centre you heart in the middle. With the heart centred you can now center the heart in the Panel 4 window then stick the circle to Panel 5 and it will be placed perfectly.

Of course I changed the placement when I changed the orientation of the final card!

It’s hard to see the effect in a flat photo, but I love the tunnel.

and I added a bit of ribbon to cover the bit I didn’t have enough cardstock for – the mostly white strip is the perfect place to write my “love you”s

Although the envelope will keep it closed, I think I might tie some ribbon around the right side of the card anyway, to keep it from springing open as soon as it comes out of the envelope.  And speaking of, I have a 7 1/2 x 3 envelope in my stash of card blanks and it fits in there, albeit with room to spare.  I would make any further cards 7 inches wide (cause remember I do have the Grand Calibur so I can do that) then they would fit the envelope perfectly.

I suppose if you were careful about the card and paper weights you MIGHT be able to do the same with punches, if you had enough sizes.  Maybe a circle cutter too, but I think you would have to be very careful everything was going to line up perfectly!

So if you make one, please share it with me.  And I’ll get back to the over-stamping I mentioned in the last card version, but it’s not rocket science, so that will be much shorter than this!

And I did use a lot more photos than I planned but felt they were needed for it to make sense.  I really hope it does!

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10 of Diamonds – big art cards

This week it’s the Ten of Diamonds.  I wonder if I will get sick of red in a few weeks, and if I should carry on into the Hearts (and more red) or switch to Spades, and then if I should do all of them in black?  Decisions, decisions.  At the moment I am doing red and mixing in another colour each time – purple, orange, brown – but some of the combos seem odd.  Red and green seem too Chrstmas-y, but I may still give it a go and see what happens.  This is an experiment after all.

It’s playing with my Distress powders this time.  I’ve not really gotten on with them, they never seem to give the exact look I’m going for, and not sure if that’s ME or the product.  I did buy them from the UKS Marketplace, used, but barely, from someone who ALSO didn’t get on with them, so that really doesn’t help me decide.

Big ole’ paint spatters on this one, and a little circular text stamp.  No idea what set it’s from, just in my stash.

See what I mean?  I like it but it isn’t really much different from rough embossing.  I gave it a good shake, to mix the release crystals, but maybe not enough?

Anyway, busy week again, with DDs second transition meeting, and lots of interesting things for her in the works.  I will get to the step-by-step for that card from last week, probably tomorrow, as I have the photos, but in a fit of tidying I put away all the circle Nesties.  Now I need to figure out which ones I used so I can say – just thought it might make it a bit easier for y’all.