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Some mini-page embellishments and a blast from my past

I am keeping the embellishments for the pre-made mini pretty simple.  I figure I can always add more when I add the photos, and I want plenty of room for journaling.  I am loving the Sukie labels.  So simple but perfect for this.  And those old glass bottles of tiny Prima flowers?  Just the right size.

Each cluster is made up of the same basic elements – sticker, a few flowers, some gems or pearls, a small flag from my one scrap of paper, and one of the leafy strips trimmed from the border punch.

Also a bit of Vintage Photo inking to tie it all together.

Now the blast from my past.  It’s amazing what there is out there on the internet.  Stuff you NEVER in a million years would have expected.  And yet … there are photos of my family meeting the former President Gerald Ford.  My father was in the Secret Service, Presidential protection, and somehow, for some reason that I don’t remember, we ere invited to meet and greet.  And the photographic evidence is on the internet.

Not super-high quality, but still.  Funny how your thoughts careen  around inside your head.  Seeing this makes me think back to other photos I recall.  One of my dad strolling down the steps of air Force One, looking like the quintessential “secret agent man,”  dark and dangerous, when in fact he had the flu and was quite ill.  My father was also assigned to Tricia Nixon for a time. He came with her on one of her State visits to the UK.  There was an article in a UK newspaper about the fact that he had an earpiece in – I can’t recall if the article was about the high-tech (for the time) communications they were using or if it implied he was listening to the radio instead of watching over her.  I *think* my aunt was living here at the time, and that she had sent my Mom a copy of the article.  That made me ponder on the connections we seem to have had to the UK long before we moved here.   DH lived here as a kid, while his dad was stationed here with the Air Force.  His mom and dad have very fond memories of  living here, as did my aunt.  I think that helped when we were contemplating the leap “across the pond.” And about the first year we were here and adjusting to life in a “foreign land. ” All that from one, small, grainy photo of a nearly forgotten day 35+ years ago.  It gives me hope that my scrapbook albums will evoke stronger memories.  Off now to make some more – memories and pages!


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Completing the mini-book (cover)

I am making, but not attaching or decorating, the mini-book covers.  I feel that is best done once the photos are ready.  The title, in particular, will depend on the actual photos I have.

Simple stuff, really, and dictated by the size of the box. I started with a 12 x 12 sheet that I trimmed to the barest smidge over 7″ by 12.  I scored it at 5 inches then at 6 inches and at 11 inches. I planned to trim off the last inch, but it’s an easy thing to wrap card around THAT and leave it as a flap closure.

I covered the front and back with the mossy green I used inside – again, all the colours tone with the stickers. Rather than cover the front I wrapped the cardstock from front to inside.  That makes the covers three thicknesses of cardstock so plenty sturdy!

The spine of the book will get stuck along the cover-spine inside.

And the whole thing will fit nicely inside the pretty box.

Whatever the cover decor will show thru the clear box lid and I will possibly add some additional flowers, etc to the lid itself.

I am really liking it so far, and can picture the final product in my head.  Now, so long as nothing goes wrong, camera-wise, I should be able to come home, edit and print the photos, pop them in and journal in a few days.  Then rather than having the trip be just another to-do-later thing, where I forget where it was we were, what exactly happened, and what I wanted to say in my journaling, it will be complete.

With luck I’ll be able to share the pages a bit tomorrow.


WOYWW 160 – mini-album progress

Happy WOYWW day again! Stop by Julia’s Stamping Ground for your weekly look at wonderful workdesks across the globe.

I pushed on with the decorating of my mini from yesterday.  I like pre-making mini-albums, so they are ready for the re-sizing of the photos and complete in a flash.  My plan for this is recording a scheduled trip at the end of the summer to take DS back to Uni up in Scotland.  We are stopping over for Insomnia again (his 3-day gaming event) then carrying on to drop him off and returning.  I’ll be working on it more today.

If you read back to yesterday’s post you will see that I am using a box of SUKIE labels for the embellishments and the colours echo the colours of the labels.  I have one little scrap of a 6×6 piece of patterned paper that has some of the same colours so am suing that to add a little flag.  The trip will include some walks and garden visits so I think the decor will be appropriate.  I am planning on using the Nestie Grand label shapes that form the spine of the book (the rusty brown) for my journaling and the “empty areas” on each page for smaller un-matted photos.  I’m thinking I will print them and cut them with a thin white border.

A couple of things worth mentioning.  First, when pre-making a mini, if you embellish OVER the photo mat, as I have done, it’s best to adhere the bits and bobs only on the half that is outside the perimeters of the mat.  Placing your adhesive that way lets you slip the photo under the embellishment at a later date without having to pry them up off the mat.

I actually added a bit more adhesive to the bottom edge after I took the photo. But see how you can slip something under?

And a nifty little trick with the Martha Stewart leafy border.  I punched it as normal.  I’m using scraps so forgive the extreme wonkiness of the sample.

Now trim the non-border edge right close to the leaf shapes.

Snip and shape the leaf to get this!

It really takes only the tiniest snip and moments.  But then I don’t mind this sort of scissor-work,  Like hand cutting letters it’s actually much more relaxing to do than the doodling, at least for me.

So that’s what I’m doing.  Now I’m off to see what YOU are doing.  I think I really need to be briefer in my commenting.  I tend to rabbit on.  If so I may actually make it to more desks each week.  I’ve been getting better and better, now I’ve worked out a way I can do it pretty reliably (different browser for different blogs is the key) but we are doing a sponsor blog hop on UKS next week and planning behind-the-scenes for a UKS Cyber Crop in the fall, and DD is off for a Challengers sleepover this weekend, DH is off the same night to a Folk Festival (hello? can you say the house to myself?  Oh yeah!) then DD is off for a week in Osmington Bay and DH is off to the Litchfield Festival where the Melodala app he coded is being projected on to the side of a Cathedral.  Phew.  So lots needing doing, clearly.  But desks first! I didn’t have too many people feedback how they pronounce WOYWW but I did find out Julia calls it DESKS – simple and elegant, don’t you think?  I wonder if she would have named it WOYWW if she knew the weird thing people do to the unpronounceable acronym?  It’ll always be WOWEE in my head……


A mini-album – construction


Some years back I got a box of Sukie labels from Amazon, I think.  I always planned on using them and just never got around to it.  But I spied them on my shelf in a recent tidy-up and thought I might try to actually use them.

One of the things I love is the box – It is lovely and sturdy with a clear insert in the lid.  It gave me the idea to make a mini to fit inside.

Aren’t they cute?

When I do a project like this I am always using scraps and cheap card to experiment with the construction.  Here are a few of my attempts, including the one I settled on.

The pages of the mini at just shy of 5 x 7 (4 7/8 inches x 6 7/8 inches) as the box is just OVER 5 x 7 by 1/8 inch each way.  It’s about 1 1/4 inch deep.

Cut your pages – I did six pages in three colours.  All the cardstock tones nicely with the labels.

Cut three labels shapes.  I used the Grand Labels 4 (one up from the smallest) because that let me get all I needed from one sheet of cardstock – but you have to be careful in your cutting! I cut my 12 x 12 sheet into three 4 x 12 strip.  I cut ONE label from the top of each. Using a little smidge of tape will keep the die from shifting and wasting your resources. Once you cut the first one, there isn’t enough left to cut a second FULL one, but you can cut two halves from each side, like this.

You will now have 3 full and 6 half label shapes.

Take your first full label and line up the points along an inch groove on your scoreboard – you want to make sure they are lined up.  I have a mark along one groove so I can see the top and bottom of the line all down the board.

Score either side of the point at 1/8 inch (I have the MS scoreboard so that is the first BLUE line. Crease well.

On your second label, score at 1/4 inch either side (BLACK line).  On you last one, score at 3/8 inch either side (next BLUE line).  Now you have these:

Take your 1/2 labels and trim them to match each of the sides:

Set those aside for the moment.

Add some good strong double-sided adhesive to the BACK of the smallest and the middle labels, just within the score lines. Like this:

Carefully matching the points, nest the labels, as so:

Now add your pages. Stick the first page to the inside face of the outer label.  Stick it just up to, but not at all OVER, the crease.  You need to make sure the crease can open and close.  Flip that, as if opening the book, and stick the match 1/2 label to the back, like this:

Carry on with each page till they are all added.  You will have this!

So that is the spine.  I’ll show how I did my cover (although you can do any one of a bunch of different options from this point) and maybe a little of the decorating, tomorrow.

I’m loving how it is looking at the moment and with the labels it will be perfect for a garden visit or a walk in the woods, or any other outdoors-y occasion.  And it fits PERFECTLY in the box so Woo Hoo for that – me, math, challenged don’tchaknow?

Gosh I’ve missed my minis.


BIG CARDS – Ace of Spades

DONE! And I have had Lemmy in my head all morning, singing The Ace of SPADES. The Ace of SPADES…

I went back and re-visited the doodling for this one. If you remember, the last time I did this was probably doodling DHs iPad cover.  Gosh looking at this I see some areas I really like and forgot all about.  Oh well….

I don’t care what they say about the whole Zen aspect of it, I find it quite stressful.  I do zone out a bit while I am doing it, but then if I make a little mistake (or OMG a BIG one) then I am just no longer in any way ZEN.  But I got there in the end.

I am not keeping up with my lettering class very well (just SO busy) but one thing I did manage was to get a set of the Faber Castell Pitt pens.  Love them totally.  Yu can see I used a combo of them, of my black Copic, some Sharpies and some Micron pens to get to the end. Actually one of the lessons is doodling inside letters so maybe I’m not doing as bad as I thought LOL!

Am I 100% happy with the final one?  No.  Some areas irritate me (WTF?  That lone curl? WHAT was I thinking??) other bits I love.  This motif has to be my favourite (so much so I used it twice!)

Oh dear.  Up close you can see how less-than-perfect it is! I also like this bit:

So now I have a week to consider my plan for the Hearts.  I know I am missing the Queen (used if for a Stampotique Challenge card ages ago) so not sure if I will start at the ACE this time (maybe by the time I get to the Jack  of Hearts I’ll have found another deck of the huge cards at Tiger again – so far, no luck at my local one) or take a week off.  Pretty manic on the home front these next two weeks, so that might be the plan.



Too early? Christmas Card printable, slightly geeky

I simply cannot believe this is getting posted.  The irony (or would that be hypocrisy?) isn’t lost one me.  I say the same thing every year – I don’t even START to think about Christmas till late November.  I always regret it.  But it’s always been that way.

You see, in the USA we have TWO major holidays between the start of school and Christmas. Halloween is big, a major “kid” day, and then there is Thanksgiving.  End of November.  HUGE family Holiday. Official travel statistics say that Thanksgiving rivals (and sometimes exceeds) Christmas for travel.  42.5 million people travelled over the Thanksgiving holiday last year.  Did I say HUGE?  Oh yeah.  So with all the planning and cooking and the family visits, it requires attention, and can’t be ignored for Christmas.  Plus there is the whole BLACK THURSDAY thing, the biggest shopping day before Christmas, all the sales going on, and the true Christmas season kick off.

When we moved over here, I was truly gobsmacked to see the Christmas decorations up in John Lewis on Oxford street from SEPTEMBER.  That was when I started my fingers-in-ears, la la la, not listening attitude.

But the last few years I have been feeling like I really am waiting too late.  And maybe I need to start a little early.

I’ve been seeing all sorts of things that make me realize that SOME people are well on their way towards a crafty Christmas.  Blogs that show holiday cardmaking in full swing.  E-mail blasts from shopping channels full of holiday craft goodies.  Questions about Holiday paper collections on forums.  I can only use that as an excuse as to why I woke up this morning thinking about my card designs for this year.  I tried to fight it.  I really, really did.  But I had the idea and I felt like if I didn’t carry thru I’d forget it by the time it seemed appropriate to ME to be doing holiday crafting.

So here are my samples:

Not toppers, I’ll probably expand the “set” at some point to include different sizes and options, but these are just  5 x 5 inch printable cards.  Just print and cut, a smidge inside the red framing lines, and fold. It’s a top fold, but you can easily print and cut inside the lines then use that as a topper.

There are actually three versions.  There is HoHoHo, Joy and Jolly.

I am determined not to go off on some mad Christmas binge.  In all probability this is just a weird blip.  But I figured I made the darn things so there is no point in leaving them hiding away on my hard disk then realizing that I never posted then around, oh, December 22nd – which would be so like me.  So grab ’em if you like them.  I have to add a couple of recent printables to the pages in the top menu.  It might be time to split out the Holiday items and give them their own page, but I’ve been thinking af shaking things up a bit here so I need to do a little theme-research and see what’s out there.



Interesting but useless, weird stats and a layout

Sometimes, when I  am playing around with supplies, I do something that I think is pretty cool, but ultimately is actually useless.  Let me explain.

I have read about the Rise Aid resist technique, although only used on canvas – I think it was Claudine Hellmuth who might have “discovered” this or at least she was the first person I saw use it.  I’ve always wanted to give it a try, but as usual, since I don’t do canvas work, I put it off.  Today I played.  And I found a couple of interesting AND useful things about it as well.

First, I don’t think the original technique of painting with acrylic paint then dribbling the rise aid over and wiping away works at all well on paper.  Maybe I didn’t let it dry long enough, but it was a bit of a mess.  So I looked at other ideas.  Another technique I wanted to try was very old – wrapping rubber bands around a brayer and using it to print. I probably read about it 20 years ago but never had any use for it.   I took off the roller, wrapped the bands around, and “inked” the brayer with Rinse Aid.  Brayered on to the paper , and misted with Cosmic Shimmer.  Interesting.

I actually kinda like the effect, although the mica gets totally absorbed, or neutralized (?) by the Rinse Aid.  But then I was sitting back and holding the piece up, and I got a look THROUGH the Rinse Aid bits and into the light (what little of it there is here today) and check it out:

How cool is that?  and totally useless.  I can’t think of a way to make use of this translucency that would be practical.  Maybe one – stamp on to the paper with the Rinse aid, mist, and punch circles to make a garland to hand in the window.  But I think the “practical” aspect of it is a bit suspect.

But I think the technique could be interesting as a background in an Art Journal or for an ATC, or even a card.  That gave me the idea to stamp with the Rinse Aid:

And I actually liked that a lot.  The image has the look of the Distress Ink over-stamped with water technique.  The way I did it – stamp with RA, mist a LOT of mica mist, blot with a paper towel, seems to keep the concentration of the mica on the stamped part, so the background is more just the ink colour.  And guess what?  Still cool up against the window – and still useless.

Something to play with a bit more, I think.  And make a few more ATCs using the samples – I’m feeling an I Hate Housework series, being that it’s rinse aid and all……

WordPress has changed how they do blog Stats – hate it (especially on the iPad, where it isn’t the single page of boxes but one long page you have to scroll thru) but I did see something really bizarre that I captured to share:

Estonia?? Does it have a huge crafty segment of the population?  Are they just getting in to scrapbooking or art journaling?  and why MY blog? Is it spammers in a new comment-SPAM centre located there?? All those visits were from YESTERDAY.  I’m dying to know.  I’ll have to watch it and see if it carries on or not.

Now, I wanted to share this layout I did for the June Simple Recipes post on UKS.  I really like this class and it’s keeping me scrapping,  as well as doing all the arty play.   I missed so many crops in the last month or two, for various reasons, so really enjoyed making this.  Hidden elements was the Recipe aspect I focused on.  By adding the envelope to the page I could slip in a trio of photos of DD drawing, not realizing I had my camera at the ready across the room.

I am always saying how much I like flags and banners on layouts but never used them.  So this layout, I did.  I rather like it.  You can read more about it on UKS.  Pretty sure you can read the posts, just not download the PDFs unless you are a member.

So that’s me for the day.  Loads to do and not any of it play.  Poo.


ATCs – cards and printable backs

Quite surprisingly, I managed to actually make those ATCs and am pretty happy with them in the end.  I decided to use something on every one of them as a sort of unifying element, as they are quite different.  I used a little tiny alpha set from an old  (blimey – copyright 2005-2007, so quite old) GoGo kit someplace as it added interest without totally obscuring the colourful background.

I’ll start in the lower left, as that was the first one.  I used a freebie download of a weightlifter to match the quote.  I may still try to find a paintbrush or pen to replace the barbells, but I thought of that after I stuck it down.

The next, uses a Ma Vinci Mona stamp – to reinforce the quote I stamped the image again on black cardstock then embossed it.  You can’t see it in the photo but in close up it’s a bit more obvious. While I do like the idea I’m less happy, overall, with this one than the rest.

Then, I did very little to the most vibrant background ’cause I wanted it to be seen. WAY appropriate for me, as I abandon stuff ALL the time LOL! The little scribble circle (no idea what that stamp is, but I like it a lot) is actually stamped after colouring with white Distress Marker.  It lifted the colour from the ink quite nicely.  Must play with that more.

and finally this one.  Again, pretty minimal, focus on the quote.  I almost went with JUST the line, but it seemed a bit too minimal:

Now, if you made it this far, a freebie printable and a real departure for me.  I know ATCs need to be signed, dated, etc.  For the one I sent for the WOYWW swap I just hand wrote my info on the back (and probably left out some standard things, given what I’ve now seen) but didn’t want to do that for every one of them. So I designed my own backers:

And did them in a couple of different colourways:

If you like them, and find them useful, grab the PDF (nine total, three of each colour, one page) here.


WOYWW 159 – ATCs from playtime samples

Well, HELLOO!  Happy WOYWW 159.  Late last night my desk was awash with…washed stamps!  That massive washing up tub I shared is now empty. I had a few still to find homes for but I think I need a couple more boxes.  Even clear stamps take up a LOT of space.

But while tidying, I was ruminating on a the fact that I so often get caught up in playtime and then end up with piles and piles of sample bits, scraps of this and that, some more attractive, more useful, than others.  And lots of times I sort of shove them in a box and do nothing with them.  Lots of times its just the knowing what I can do with my supplies, not the plan to actually DO.  But I am setting myself a goal to make SOMETHING from my samples.  And in preparation for my play today, last night I took a pile of stuff (lots of it from my drippy ink fun) and decided I would start small and make a handful of ATCs.

Here is the debris:

And here is what I have so far – OK, so just the backgrounds, but still, it’s progress!

There is one bit in the pile, the greeny, purply square peeping out from under the white, that I think is earmarked for a card, and it is nice enough, and big enough for that. Not sure what I’ll do with them once I make them, as I don’t do ATCs usually (possibly toss them in a DIFFERENT box LOL!) but I enjoyed the swap one so I suspect I’ll have fun anyway.

So let’s get scooting across blogland, shall we?  I did well last week (OK so not 100%, but pretty good for ME!) and plan this week to be the same.  Not too many blogs refused to cooperate and I’m feeling lucky!  One…two…three…WOYWW!


Cards come home

When Scrapbook Inspirations ceased publication, I still kept in touch with Jenny, the editor, occasionally.  She carried on editing Papercraft Inspirations and somehow I was still getting copies long after my link with SI was severed.  Usually it was me seeing some really cool card idea on t’internet and sending her a link, saying This might be cool for the mag. Thing is, she usually liked the idea but nearly always tossed it back to me and asked did I want to do the article.  I would always try to squirm out of it, but in the end, at least a few times, I said fine.  Usually the agreement was because it was MY idea and not someone elses, because sometimes when my text submission appeared in the article I felt like it sometimes seemed, as edited, that I was claiming and idea I found “out there” as my own.  That didn’t sit well with me.  And when I would take great pains to seek out the ORIGINAL of what seemed to be a much copied idea (the STAR cards spring to mind) I worried if the URL of the original didn’t make it in the printed mag.

At some point I stopped getting copies of the mag (I assume the finally pruned their “freebies” list) so I sort of let it drop off my radar.  So I was surprised to get an email from one of the staff to say they had some samples to send back!  I had completely forgotten them. So I have no idea when they appeared and never saw the article in print.  But I do have the samples to share with you.  They were made from one of the dahlia printables but one that was a phrase across the five petals rather than a single word repeated. You can download that PDF here.

I am aware that I am all about showing the TECHNIQUE and don’t always follow thru with an actual project.  I’m trying to be better about that.

The first one was just scraps and NOT folded, the circles used to create a flower. It’s so bright and cheery it makes me smile.

The next was a bit more girly:

and the last made use of a printed design and had a window, with the dahlia inside.  Possibly my least favourite as it needed something MORE on the front and I was sure they would reject THIS one and they didn’t:

I had previously shared one of the rejects which ALSO used the circles as-is but as a strip – I liked it a lot more than the previous one:

And the original red and turquoise one:

Otherwise, today it is all about the cleaning because I find I am having to leap over things in my office to get from one side of the room to the other and I can honestly not find more than about 4″ on my desk mat to work on.  It is as bad as it has ever been, and all those now clean stamps need re-housing too. My lettering class has slipped.  I am finishing up a tutorial for an online site that I thought I said NO to back in December but with all my dodgy computer issues the word didn’t get through.  So when I got an email saying Nearly Done? Still OK for this? I was a bit OMG! and have been scurrying to sort that as I would be horrified to let someone down like that.  I will also, I think, be chasing the light around from window to window to try to get the best photo I can of something a bit tricky to capture.  More on that in…late August, I think.

So that is me for the day.  At least it’s a bit sunny so the laundry can go out.  Best grab the chance and it’ll be rain by the weekend I fear.