BIG CARDS – 3 of Diamonds

Another hodge podge of stuff.  Many of you can stop reading at one point, you’ll know when LOL!

First, my 3 of Diamonds.  Today I was playing with paint a bit, and tried a make-a-stamp experiment, which worked really well.

Here is the card:

It’s all very grungy – I started by brushing on slightly watered-down acrylic paint, red and turquoise.  I topped that with a spritz or turquoise Cosmic Shimmer.  It was interesting that the bits over the blue stayed blue and the bits over the red went a nifty verdigris colour.  I thought so long as the paint was dry the blue would stay true even over the red – it didn’t.  I added a few lines in the blue.  The numbers, and the black strip, are from a magazine.  I love the black line and luckily the article has a number of them – they frame the photos – so I can cut them out and save them for other uses.  The stamped doily is made from a Cheery Lynn die, cut from fun foam!

So you can see the die, the fun-foam cutout, and the resulting stamped image.  I’m shocked it worked, frankly.  See how well it prints?

And the reason I got that one was for what I can do with the die-cuts.  It makes lovely flower shapes, using the same cutting technique from the other die I’ve used. Here is a sampler of the options I found:

I really like the frame from the leftover border bit as well! So today we have the usual BIG CARD post, the make-a-stamp bit, the cutting up die cuts bit, and upcoming, computer problems.

Now, you can feel free to look away.

I have been having the worst problems with my computer.  Trying to visit WOYWW desks for the last two weeks (and, indeed, trying to do the BlogBits feature for UKS – anything that involves blog hopping) has resulted in my Mac grinding to a halt.  The fan runs, the loading bar fills S  L  O  W  L  Y and if I have my Activity Monitor open (which shows my the CPU usage for the various applications) I can see my browser turn red and NOT RESPONDING appears.  This seems to happen every time I visit a blog.   My problem was that a couple of things happened simultaneously – first, blogger changed some stuff. Not sure what, as I am not a Blogger blogger.  And I updated my browser to the newest version.  Now with both of those things happening at the same time, it made it impossible to figure out where the problem was when it occurred!  One thing I noticed was something called the ATS Server kept popping up whenever I opened my browser. And it was using a LOT of CPU resources.  And while it was, that was when the browser stopped responding.  It was taking me something like 15 minutes to click on a blog, load the page, switch to the comments section, type, then try to load the comment! I was literally tearing my hair out.

I went looking and found this process is a font checker.  It verifies the fonts when you try to use them.  Basically I had to validate all my fonts, remove the ones that came up with warnings (including Saru Dingbats, the fab flower dingbat font I used to cut ALLLLLL the flowers to decorate my rolling tote) and in the process removing those ballsed up my Mail program, corrupting all the mail headers info (the TO, FROM, SUBJECT) which then forced me to remove the font cache file and reboot.  That brought back mail OK but still the same slow performance problem.  DH (love that guy!) came home for lunch and disabled Spotlight completely (I also had tried to omit all PDFs from Spotlight searching as that was a known issue with the ATS thingie) and then spent a couple of hours removing almost 200 fonts.  Only time will tell if all this is going to get me back to being able to actually visit and comment on blogs but I am encouraged by the fact things already seem slightly quicker.

So if I didn’t make it to see you for the last two WOYWW, forgive me.  I did try, but there are simply not enough hours in the day to only do 4 an hour!

Now, I just need to find out how to “kill” a process so I don’t have to reboot every time I empty my font cache.  DH tells me this needs to be done every week, at least.  And it’s funny – going one by one thru my fonts (all 1050+of them) I found ones I loved that I forgot I had, ones that I have had for years that I have never used (and while I was surely excited to find them I now looked at them and thought WHY?) and ones that have had their day and I was not sad to see go.  I wish I had thought to make a folder called something like Don’t forget These! so I could highlight some that I really liked as I worked my way thru the list.  Ah well – that may be for another day…

And I keep forgetting the scrap Scene Mr. Linky or WIPs on Monday but here it is!


Sunday-someplace-else (Paul Villinski)

OK so sometimes I like to find things that are do-able for my Sunday visits, but sometimes, I just sit, jaw dropped, looking at something fabulous and I never think Hey, I could do that!

This is one of those.  So stunning.  Paul Villinski is an artist who has a lifelong concern for environmental issues, his work frequently re-purposes discarded materials, effecting surprising and poetic transformations. Poetic is exactly the word I would use.

I love his Birds and Butterflies series.

and close up –

His work is amazing. Check it out.


A gift from the States!

This post is a complete hodge podge, sorry about that.  Or maybe it’s a something for everyone post LOL!

First, I was AWOL for the last couple of days, for a few reasons.  Another poor showing on WOYWW (which I plan to rectify as soon as I get done posting this and have a bit of lunch) as I was slightly surprised when my sister told me a friend of hers was going to be in the UK this week, had heard from my sis I lived here and wanted to stop by.  Eeek!  I’ve just seen the lovely Lynn and her Mom off (heading to Highclere Castle, as she is a huge Downton Abbey fan) but between DD being unwell for the week and even the little bit of tidying I had to do before accepting  guests, I have had no time at the Mac.

So first, the title – when Lynne asked if she could bring me anything from the States, my head was flooded with possibilities.  But in the end I opted for something simple, that has been on my mind for a bit, and that I knew she could get easily :<tee hee>  I went looking for this (and no, before you tell me baking parchment is the same, it is nothing like waxed paper) and was aghast to see it was about £8 (plus P&P) from Lakeland, for, I think, 50m.  That’s like $12!  She told me this box was under $2.  Result!  Not the most exciting item, but easy to come by and small-ish.

I’ll be having a play with my doily dies for sure.

Next, a couple of layouts from the last crop.  It was a bit funny in that it wasn’t till I finished them and looked at them both side-by-side that I saw I have placed the photos in exactly the same orientation.  Funnily enough I was working from two sketches I had made, and I never tweaked. DOH!

Lastly, it’s been a while since I did a printable.  I had in my head that I wanted to do something with Bodoblacksquares (a font) and I liked the last set, and how they worked as mats or journaling blocks, so I used that idea as my springboard.

Only two:

but I really like them with the photo trimmed and slipped under the word strip:

The PDF is here.

So that’s me done for the day.  Crop tomorrow (if a couple more people reply they can come – otherwise it might be just two or three of us and not sure if the hall is viable for that few) so if you are in the Basingstoke area, and fancy coming along, drop me a line, or comment and I’ll get back to you.

Now, a quick bite and some WOYWW visits! Have a great weekend…..


WOYWW 144 – dripping alcohol

Well, I had a delivery yesterday – unfortunately DD is still unwell and demanding my presence so I didn’t get a chance to play as much as I would have liked.  Today it’s all about the Color wash mists and surgical spirit.  I’ve seen some demos of dripping alcohol onto colour washed paper, and wanted to give it a go.  In he UK they don’t sell “rubbing alcohol,” which is what I assume is the preferred alcohol, based on images and videos.  Surgical Spirit (which has to be purchased from a pharmacy counter, or at least it did at the Sainsbury’s I went to) has a few additional ingredients, like menthol and castor oil.  I’m not sure if all the versions do or just the one I found. In particular I wonder what the oil might do to the effect.

Anyway, dripping the alcohol onto the still-wet inks disperses it a bit, and reveals the paper beneath.  I wanted to try it over paper that had been painted with metallic acrylic paint.  And It not only worked, it gave some nifty effects.  I especially like it when I prop the paper up and let the mist drip.

This was a mix of Meadow and a blue I mixed myself.  I love it.  You can’t see it in this shot but the paper was painted with silver paint (which I let dry fully) before misting and dripping.

This angled shot shows more of the silver but deadens the bright colours.

This one I painted with gold and misted Dylusions Vanilla Custard and Butterscotch (sounds yummy) and the spirit more spattered and less dripped, IYKWIM. It glows.

I am def. going to play more with this and it may end up on my 3 of diamonds on Monday!

I was rubbish at WOYWW visits last week due to some issues with my mail server – I had to re-acquire over 6000 messages and go back to review and delete or file them all.  Ugh.  With luck and DDs cooperation, I will do better this week.  I hate missing out on all the lovely work I see every stop on the massive WOYWW blog hop.  I simply cannot keep up with all the inspiration it provides. Hopefully if you know about it I’ll be visiting your desk soon.  If you don’t click the link and hold on to your hat!  It’s an amazing ride every week!


BIG CARDS – 4 of Diamonds

I had fun playing with alcohol inks the other week and wanted to play again.  I have some old HiTi printer paper – I’ve always loved the way the AIs work on this coated paper, it seems different to how they react on plain glossy cardstock.  The problem is that the inks react so quickly, and change without you doing anything, as they shift and move on the paper. That makes it REALLY hard to take a photo! I never use blending solution.  I don’t like to smooth and sometimes muddy look it gives.  Instead I like to pounce on the ink,  over and over, so the ink dotted felt both adds and removes layers with each contact.  I also sometimes splatter on the ink and then pounce over it. what I like is the pebbled effect rather than the blended effect you get with the blending solution.  If I pounce on a new colour over dried layers, I get a totally different look.

Splattered, then pounced, then splattered

and pounced – see how it looks less uniform and less blended?

And you can see how the additional colours don’t really mix with the dried layers but remove some to show more of the white paper:

This is two sheets, alternated.  It’s not precise enough of a process to ever get two exactly alike, even if you make them at the same time, side by side!

The paper is actually a grid of small rectangles, which I peeled off and added to the base (colour wash misted cardstock.)

I stamped the word, then filled in the open areas with a Sharpie paint pen, using a fine tipped brush.

I noticed this would have actually been PERFECT for the Five of Diamonds, given the grid is 5 x 5 with a strip of 5 blocks below, but of course I had done 5 last week.  Oh well. Not sure it is worth changing the Five to the Four and vice versa.

I had forgotten how pretty the AIs are on the HiTi paper.

DD is unwell today – she went off to school, asserting that she was FINE, even though I felt like she could have done with a day at home on the sofa, and sure enough they called at about 10:30 to say she started running a fever and needed to go home.  So while I now have a pile of goodies on my desk (read that as floor) to play with something I think might work, and am anxiously awaiting a deliver of more of what I have so I can really play hard, I may be stuck watching American Idol and the DOI Skate off with her instead.  Although she is very quick to dismiss me when she feels well, when she is feeling crook all she wants is Mom with her.  Bless.


Sunday-someplace-else (two for one!)

I see stuff I like all over the internet.  And there is a weird sort of serendipity that often happens where I see one thing and then a few days later I see something that dovetails nicely with it.  Last week I saw this Etsy shop, Puur Anders, with some fab fabric leaves, with photo printed on them.

I loved them and thought how cute would that be? to make a “family tree” using your own photos printed on leaves?  It was a passing thought, as many of my crafty ideas are, one that I filed away in my head for dealing with at a later date.

But then I stumbled across THIS blog, 100layercake,  that had instructions for making fabric leaves!

So with both the idea and the instructions, it seems like this might have to move up the creative chain.  Maybe not, as I do have quite a busy week upcoming, but it surely is closer to the top than the bottom of the list now!

“I love it when a plan comes together ” – am I  dating myself? Perhaps….


Versatile Printables for Project Life

I am really excited about this set of printables because they are so versatile!

Firstly, you can print them as they come to use as journaling spots – they are 4 x 6 so OK for Project Life, but certainly usable for layouts as well.

Cut them with square corners  then round them if you like. But there is so much more you can do with the set.  Let me walk you through it.

With a craft knife, cut a slit in the printed block just at the coloured band

I think you can see where this is going! Trim your photo just smaller than the white area and slip the bottom edge into the slit – your printable journaling spot is now a cute photo mat!

This is for the few people who have mentioned to me that they have too many photos to take up PL space with filler cards.

But wait – there’s more! The PDF also has a page of just the coloured quote strips.  Slice them into strips and you can add them to a photo, anywhere you like.

You can either cut them to fit or do what I prefer – wrap the ends to the back and secure them there.

How cute is this?

Still not done yet!

This is a little tricky, because you have to know your printer.  When you print, I am assuming you will get a little printer dialog box that pops up, letting you select some options. I’ve talked about this before but not taken the time to add detail.  Keeping in mind this is the box for my printer, and on a Mac, not a PC, look at yours and try to find the same options. First one is the page selection option.  Can you see how I have changed the pages to print to just Page 2? This will help you if you only want to print one page of the 6 page PDF so as not to waste paper! You can also select a range of pages, so page 2 to page 4 for example.

Next, let’s expand even further what you can do – looking back at your dialog box there should be a selection for handling the layout of the printed page. I’ve changed the layout to printing TWO pages of the PDF on a single sheet of cardstock.

By printing the sheets two-to-a-page you automatically reduce the size by half.  Why would I want to do THAT? you ask? OK, here’s the deal – at 1/2 size they are not QUITE right for PL 4 x 3 spaces.  The left one shows the actual 4×3 size, the right one, how it prints.  They are wide enough but not tall enough.

That is easily overcome by cutting them to the right size, centered, or by cutting them as they come then backing them with cardstock cut to the right size.

Perhaps not PERFECT but certainly usable. Now finally, on to the strips – cut them, as printed in the smaller size, and you can use them on portrait rather than landscape photos!

I hope you can see how they JUST fit across a 4 x 6.

This technique of setting the printer options should be useful for even other people’s printables whether they are in PDF or .jpg format, one page or multiple pages. I downloaded some printables from Louise at Scrapbook Printables.  I do love her style! I grabbed the screen and I hope you can see how selecting the 2-to-a-page option for a SINGLE page .jpg will print on 1/2 a sheet, reducing the size.

The full sheet is there on the left, and the right is the Preview image of how it will print in the 2-to-a-page format! You will waste the 1/2 a sheet but you can find a use for that I expect.

OK, so that has been a mammoth post, but I hope it will be useful to you and explain better some of the things I’ve been wittering on about.

Last image – here is the screen grab of the page with the strips.  That will  show you all the quotes and the colours so you can decide if you want to bother downloading them.