WOYWW 178 – a quick one

Well Hello WOYWWers!

Just a quickie from me today – spent the day with DD doing fun stuff, and keeping one eye on the progress of Sandy along the east Coast. My parents and brother live in Virginia, my sister in North Carolina, my in-laws in Pennsylvania and we have family houses on Long Beach Island, one of the barrier islands off New Jersey.  That’s the biggest worry – my Grandfather bought land there in the 1930s and it was where I spend every summer for my entire childhood.  Here’s a layout of me, my brother and two of my cousins sitting on the porch – that house was torn down many years ago and replaced with one my parents moved from across the way.

The island was hit pretty hard, but we won’t know the damage till my parents can drive up later in the week.

Update: found this photo of 18th street (our houses are on 21st st, bayside and this looks bayside not oceanside to me) so not looking good.

As to my desk, well I will be working on a few more calendar cards (and you can read back a few to find out more about them) if I get the time, while awaiting the new dryer being delivered.

Looks pretty pristine, as that is the satellite table.  My real desk?  not so neat…

Oh dear.

I hate the fact it is so DARK here so early, this time of year.  Note to self:  take the photos earlier in the day!

Have a great day!


Collapsable Desktop Calendar Card – now even easier.

I say this a lot, but part of the reason I do things to death is that I learn something new with every make, and often improvements occur to me that I slap my head ans thing “Why didn’t I think of that first??”
So, I gave very detailed instructions for the collapsible calendar stand the other day, and then, while tidying up my desk, I cam across the first little tear off I made, that was as yet unused on a card.  And a 4 x 6 card blank.  And the entire thing became crystal clear in my head in an instant.  So this is what I did:

Note: I know loads of people make easel cards for this purpose, with  little tear off calendars, but my version has a smaller desktop footprint so it takes up less space.

1.  Take two 4 x 6 card blanks.  Trim one side of one card blank down to 1 inch.  Leave the other side as it comes. Save the piece you trim off.

2. My card blank is actually a smidge over 4inches – not sure if this is intentional or accidental but trim the piece you cut off, if need be, to 3 inches. Score lengthwise  at 1 1/2 inches (not seen in the photo) then score each side at 1/4 inch, like so:

3. Crease as shown:

4. Add a 1/2 inch strip on one side, folding the ends to the inside.

5. Add a thin strip of double-sided tape to both the tiny wings, on the outside, like so:

6. Decorate your card front (the piece that has the 1 inch side) and your calendar (the full card):

I added the little arrow post-it style tabs – these could be the smallest Post-It notes if you prefer, but I thought these were cute.

7.  Add the “stand” to the calendar by peeling off the tape backing and sticking the stand to the card opening. Make sure the side with the strip of card is as so:

To assemble for delivery, slip the 1 inch flap under the  strip so the front of the card lays over the calendar. You can add your greeting to the back of the card front.

The card now has a front, with the back of the card actually being the calendar! The front detaches so the calendar can be used alone.

Collapse the stand so the card folds flat. And slip it in to the envelope.

You can add a slip of paper you printed explaining to slip off the card front to stand the calendar up, if you think it won’t be obvious to the recipient!

I thought the little arrows might be useful for adding notes pointing to important days, like so:

So, obviously you could alter this by using a different size card blank to begin with.  My other tear-off set (the roundy ones) will still fit this size card, although they will take up the majority of the front.

The most basic core measurements are that the stand be 3 inches wide by as tall as the card, with 1/4 inch wings, and that one card needs to have one side trimmed to 1 inch.  The rest of it doesn’t matter, it should work for any rectangular card, except a very thin one or square one.

The bus driver and the escort are def. getting one of these at Christmas!  I might figure out a way to add one of the bookmarks to the front as well, as a little extra.  But that is a project for another day – today, I am spending the day with DD, doing girly fun things!


BIG CARDS – 9 of Clubs (spooky)

As a nod t Halloween, I wanted the card this week to be a little spooky. I painted the black cardstock base with purple and lime green paint then laid over some book pages while it was wet.  After it dried, a bit but not totally, I peeled them away, leaving some bits of paper behind.

After that, I dry brushed a bit more paint over the pages, sprayed some Cosmic Shimmer in green and purple, dripped on some purple ink, and just layered and layered until I liked what I saw,  I didn’t have a plan, I was just playing!

Then I painted my letters lime and spritzed over a blast of the purple Cosmic Shimmer mist.

Over it all I stamped the cracked glass stamp (from Visible image) and that finished it off nicely – it’s not quite a spider web but gives a similar feel.

It looks a bit drippy and mouldy and suitably spooky.



Sunday-right-here – I’ve gone about as small as I can go….

…so I must be DONE.

WOYWWers will remember me praising Di for her sweet little magnetic bookmark – she so generously handed them out at the crop.  I love mine and it is in service as we speak.   I see it three or four times a day, when I snatch a quick chapter or two of my book, so it is constantly in my vision.  As with most lightning bolt moments, it takes a few things to come together to create that creative electricity.  In this case, it was Di’s bookmark + all my playing with calendars + DD’s birthday + DS’s epic forgetfulness. You see, this time I did not take a chance – I reminded him of DD’s birthday in advance … after he had missed his Dad’s birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s day so far.

All that was rolling around in my head and this is what it came out as!

The smaller one is just over 3 inches (when folded) and just under 2 inches wide. The bigger one is more like 4 inches (folded) x 2 1/2 inches.  I think those are fine sizes for this sort of bookmark,

The sheet comes with 4 bookmarks to a page.   The text is VERY small, but it has to be.

When you print them, you can then cut either just inside the black lines or just outside, either way.  and you can fold them in or out, depending on if you want the calendar part inside or outside the bookmark.

But I also printed them out on plain paper then attached other papers over the top and ran them thru the printer again. It’s a little dicey on heavily textured cardstock, but I found if I rub my thumbnail over it to flatten out the texture a bit, it’s more readable.

Just cut the bookmark then add the calendar bits.  Calendar inside or out, I found it smoother to cut apart the  halves as neither sticking and then scoring both nor scoring each then sticking gave me as smooth a result as I wanted.

I cut two 1/2 strips from an peel-off adhesive-covered magnetic business card.  Stick one in place on one inside edge then put the other magnetic strip over that.

Peel off the backing, then line up the edges and close the bookmark, pressing on the now exposed adhesive

The other option, and why I did the layout as 6 months one way, 6 months the other, is you can simply trim the strip, fold it, add what you like to the inside, add the magnet and you have a super quick one done. This one has the important dates and a reminder – isn’t it lucky (for ME) that the US and UK Mother’s Days are different.  That way I get two every year – which is as it should be, don’tcha think?  Poor Dad – it’s the same both sides of the pond so he only gets the one.

A couple of things:  if you ink edges or stamp, heat set it.  You really do NOT  want to smudge ink all over a book! Keep to flat embellishments.  Anything lumpy is just not going to work, either inside or outside.  And covering the magnets?  You can try, but keep in mind the book page will ALSO be in between so you don’t want to dilute the strength of the magnet by extra, unnecessary interference.  Better a bookmark that WORKS than one made perfectly pretty.

I also did a very small strip, each month all the same way, about 1 inch wide.  I don’t know if they are too small, really. I guess I’ll add them but I probably should have done a little research to find out what was the “standard size” for this sort of thing.  You are welcome to them if they can be of use to you.


Here is a size comparison – the light is just about gone here (our clocks went back last night) so apologies for the rubbish photo. I can read them, but I feel like they would work best printed on white, cream, or some very pale paper or un-textured cardstock.

So my calendar play has been getting smaller and smaller as I’ve gone along.  I don’t think I can go smaller without them being unreadable LOL!  So I may have to be done for the year.  But overall I think I’m happy with the variety and m pretty sure I have created all I need for my OWN use and hopefully shared some that will be of use to YOU.




Will I ever STOP?!

I am just having the most fun with my calendars.  I really and truly will stop soon, but I just have so many ideas I kinda feel like I have to see them through or I’ll forget!

I think this one is just perfect for a gift, cause it’s a gift and a card in one.  Oh, I know that little easel cards with tear-off calendars have been around for yonks but I think this one is just that little bit different.

Start with these printables – or any printables you fancy, but they should be no bigger than 3 x 3 in order to fit with the measurements I am giving here.  Now, I realize that the way I did it is not ideal (just that it’s a little time-consuming with the Nesties) but I don’t have a 3″ circle punch.  I’m going to explain how I did it with the Nesties (Standard Circles Small, 2nd largest die) and suggest how you can do it with a circle punch instead, which will be way faster.

1. Start by cutting the sheets along the faint grey lines.

2. Position the die.

3. In order to ensure that they are all cut in EXACTLY the same position, stick a piece of low-tack masking tape across the die, just at the edge of the sheet

4. Now, cut.  When you prepare to cut your next circle, simply line up the edge of the tape with the edge of the paper and you will have a perfectly matched cut. Take a little care that the bottom edge of the die is level.

If you are using a punch, I would mark the line on the underside of the punch with a Sharpie and use those marks to line up the punching.

Now, as usual, make your stack, and glue.  I showed this in a previous post.

How cute is that?

Now for the stand and card part.  I saw a post by Scrapdolly from UKS for making a calendar stand.  Hers has a binding wire at the top, but I was looking for something a little simpler for this.  But the stand idea fit perfectly for what I wanted!

Now, fair warning.  This is based on A4 paper.  You could cut down 12 x 12 cardstock to A4 size (and that is 11.7 x 8.3 inches so not the same as US letter) or you can fiddle with the measurements and get something close – I’ll have a bash at saying what I think would work, but I’d test it on scrap paper and tweak the measurements.

1. Cut a sheet of A4 paper to 5 inches along the long side and score it at 5 3/4 inches.

2. There will be just about 1/4 inch difference between the two “halves” – score at that 1/4 inch

3.  Score the side without the extra 1/4 inch at 1 1/2 inches

4.  On the side WITH the extra 1/4 inch, score at 1 3/4 inches (so 1 1/2 inches past the 1/4 inch score!) Crease the folds like so:

That is basically it 🙂 Add a line of double-sided tape (one with a backing on it) to the 1/4 inch valley, or to the inside of the opposite side, like shown here, and LEAVE THE BACKING ON IT.

Now, decorate your card – There is a lot of scope for you to do what you like, but I did mine very simply – someone commented that their hubby had asked them to be on the lookout for a little desk calendar so I have to admit something less “pretty” was in my head (and I also still have scraps from the CD one I did with that ancient Basic Grey line on my desk, so…)

I cut a black circle a bit bigger than the calendar bit and added a scrap over the top, echoing the cut off top of the circle.

I decorated the inside with some scraps and circles that I printed a sentiment on – I thought the sentiment matched the gift perfectly! Just another scrap and room on the lower circle to sign it!

I think I would fold and secure it for the person if I were there when I gave it to them, otherwise I would just add a slip of paper explaining how to assemble. Or as an alternative, make it, fold it, and add the sentiment to the BACK of the calendar. Due to Karen’s clever stand idea, it will easily collapse to fit in an envelope when it is already assembled!

The disadvantage is that if their desk faces a door the sentiment will be on view, but that is a minor issue.  Just don’t be gushy! It will fit in a 5.5 inch square envelope.

Now, US letter paper.  I would cut it to 5 x 11  inches wide, then score in the middle at 5 1/2 inches.  Score one side end at 1 inch and the other at 1 1/4 the at 1/4.  You will have only a one inch stand, but I’m not sure that will make any difference.

Phew.  That was a pretty huge post, but I hope you find it useful!


Tear-off calendar blocks

Last year I made a little project with a tear-off calendar.

This year I made another set (although looking at that old one I find I really, really still like PupKat as a font LOL!) and made a PDF – just black, again, because this calendar thing is taking over my life!

Designed for A4, I am hoping someone from SCS will test it out on US letter paper and let me know – in theory it SHOULD work, but I am just never sure….

The little red lines, which print out of the area that will be on show, will help guide you.  The PDF has four sheets and will make three tear off calendars.

The blocks are centered on the paper so the distance between January and February is correct. all trimming should be done on the OUTSIDE edges, like so:

1. Cut the sheet down the middle.

2. Take one half sheet and cut across at the first red line.  Starting with January, the red line is on the LEFT of the text. Rotate the block so the text is upside down.  Match the now left edge to 3 1/2 inches and cut off the excess.

3. For the other half-sheet, keep the text upright and again match the left edge to 3 1/2 inches and trim.

To be honest, once you cut the top line across on the half-sheet, you can just rotate that and line that cut edge up with the 2 inch mark and cut, then slide the cut edge up to 2″ and cut, etc, etc. rather than relying on the lines.  Either way.

I did improve slightly how I did the glue.  And a couple of tips.  First, once you get them all cut, tap the TOP edge, where the glue goes, on the desk so it is absolutely level – that edge matters.  Any slight imperfections in your cutting will then be on the bottom edge where it DOESN’T matter! Add a scrap in front of the calendar stack and glue it too. This will mean you can be slightly less than perfectly neat.  Once the glue is dry, just tear that first sheet off.

Nw, today is kick-off day of the CyberCrop proper on UKS – it’s been all pre-crop fun for … FOREVER it seems like!  But today it starts for real.


That grungy calendar

It’s DDs 16th today and we are celebrating as a family (DS from Scotland via Skype.)

But I wanted to whack up the Grunge version of the calendar today so here it is – just the black version, no brown this time, although I may still sort that.  I’ve been working on a small one, for tear-off calendars too, but that will have to wait for tomorrow.

It looks like this!

Do let me know if you use it – and a link to your project is always welcome!


WOYWW 177 – still with the calendars

Still waiting to get the dryer sorted, and I am a little worried that it isn’t straightforward getting my Mac back even if I do a proper shutdown so I’ve been offline all day, rather than shutting down, coming on, shutting down, blah blah blah.  Just back from DDs turn in the Shakespeare Schools festival and scheduling this then jumping on UKS for a bit then powering off again when the electrician shows up.  Grrrr.

I was working on a new calendar set, very grungy, and will possibly carry on with that if I can today.

also playing with different apertures….

and frame decor!

That’s it for now.  See you at yours, if I can!


BIG CARDS – Jack of Clubs (a day late)

The light in my office was rubbish yesterday and I am dealing with a botched kitchen floor replacement.  The installers:

  • did not stick it down anywhere (which I am told is “standard practice” but flies n the face of reason to me)
  • did not seal it around the edges, which if they HAD and because they
  • did not hook up the dishwasher properly and we had to move it out to see what the problem was

now there is a bl**dy great rip in the brand new floor! In addition they hooked up the dryer wrong so it blows the power when I switch it on (which knocks out all the plugs downstairs and crashes my Mac.

So now I have to deal with THE, clear the room AGAIN, and possibly have a whole new floor fitted, because the rip is huge, jagged, and on view. DOH!But that is not why you are here, is it?

I didn’t manage step by steps but it isn’t rocket science.  I made two other ones that I hated (using the Fiskars roller stamp thingie and embossing powder and Twinkling H2Os) before this one.  I simply sprayed the black card with Black/silver Cosmic Shimmer mist, then stamped over it with a big stamp and embossed with black.  Then I over-stamped and embossed with purple, and finally over-stamped and embossed with blue.  The embossing powders are from the WOW Earthtones range and I really like the blue in particular,  and it becomes almost glass-like, semi transparent and over the black card has a totally different look than over white.

Simple, and fast, as it needed to be.  Not my most inspired experiment, but still – I do like the layers of embossing – that is not something I’ve ever done and I think it bears further play.

Now, back to the kitchen…..


Sunday-right-here – Cd case calendar project instructions and PDFs

I am going to go ahead and put up the download and the basic instructions for the CD calendar.  In the week I hope to sort out an instructional PDF and maybe a YouTube video doodah for it but I am hoping this will be enough for you to make one yourself, if you are anxious to get started.  I may do another 2-a-page version of the CD calendar, perhaps back to my original design, to accompany that.

1. Start with your CD case.  The size inside is standard, but there are infinitesimal differences in the outside measurements, depending if the case is smooth and flat or with a ridge around it.  They are MINOR differences but I think it best to describe how to do it using the CD cover YOU are using rather than say Cut a piece of cardboard to X by  X and have it be off a smidge.

Disassemble the CD case carefully – be especially careful not to damage the little wings on the cover part, with the little pegs that hinge the lid to the body.

Lay the cover on to the card with the little wings against the bottom edge.  Draw a line 1/2 inch out from the sides and the top edge.  Cut it out.  This will be your frame.

2.  Mark and cut the aperture.  Measure 3/4 inch in from each edge (including the bottom edge this time) and draw the box.

Using a pokey tool of some kind, poke holes at the four corners (it’s just a nice little trick that I find helps stop your craft knife from going past the corner) then cut it out.

3.  Cover the frame.  You can do this any way that you like, but  I find it easiest to either ink or paint the inside edges of the aperture, or cover them with Washi Tape

then stick the paper to the front, wrapping it to the back and doing a mitered corner.

Then I re-cut the aperture  You may have a better way.

I just covered the paper edges on the back with a bit of Washi tape as my piece was a scrap and not QUITE big enough.  This just finishes it off nicely.

3.  Print out my CD Calendar printables.  You don’t HAVE to use mine – any printable that you download or make yourself will work. The key is the month “pages” need to be not only the exact size for fitting into the CD case, but the calendar block must be positioned in exactly the same place on the page.  Mine are meant to be cut just inside the grey frame.  Here is the BLACK circles and here are the BROWN. Cut at least one to size NOW. You’ll need it in a bit.

4.  Cut a piece of patterned paper or cardstock about 1/2 inch bigger on all sides than the front of the CD cover.  This is the same piece you used to measure in step one, with the wings.

Cut a second piece of cardstock in a contrasting colour the same size.  I used black for this.

5. Cut an aperture in the center of the patterned paper – I used the largest of the Nesties Standard Circles Large dies.  Do the same for the mat cardstock, using the Standard Circles Small, largest die.


Match the holes and stick the two pieces together, right around the openings.

6.  Slip one of the month blocks into the CD case, behind the cover, where the half-circle tabs are to hold it in place.

7. Position the piece you just cut over the calendar block so it is centered  and stick it to the cover.  Trim the excess so it fits the cover

A bit more info:  What this will mean is that when you slip out one month and slip in the next, the calendar block should be centered in the aperture!  Now, I used circles because my printables are circular.  If you use other printables you can cut the aperture using different dies – brackets would work well for square-ish calendar blocks.  You can omit this entire  piece if, for example, you wanted to ink and stamp on the printed calendar blocks to decorate, so all of the sheet is seen (except about 1/4 inch all round where the frame is stuck in the next step)

8. Decorate your frame.  As you see I didn’t manage this step yet, but I didn’t want to delay posting the rest of it till Tuesday.  Add 1/4 inch double-sided adhesive to the back of the frame, around the aperture and stick this over the circular aperture piece.

To use, reassemble the CD case by reversing the cover so the pegs are in the little holes, but the base has the inside of the case backwards so it sits flat on the desk.  This will make the CD case stand up for display.

An ounce of prevention:  The weakness of CD calendars is those little wings with the pegs.  They are prone to snap off.  Trust me.  I like to add a little strip or two of Washi Tape at the weakest point.  It doesn’t affect the working of the calendar but may just help support the wings.

You can cover the CD back with paper, just so it looks a bit more finished, and add a little U strip of paper or card as a place to store the extra month sheets like this:

What you see here is the BACK of the CD case (covered with the patterned paper) and the INSIDE of the case.  If you set it up like this with an empty CD case you may see better what I mean when I say reverse the cover!  You can sort-of still close it up but the extra thickness of the sheets stored inside may make it so the case won’t closed completely.  Just wrap a ribbon around it to hold it all together.

I hope you like the idea – it really isn’t a LOT more work than a standard CD case calendar but I think it looks so much prettier.  I think there are 100s of variations you can bring to it!  And if you make one I really, really want to see it.