Look what one of my followers did!

I have been DYING to share this since Moz sent me a photo of her version.  It is, as I said previously, just stunning.  She used my circular CD calendar printables but made it so pretty (so not me, but like she says regarding my grungy style, I can appreciate the work that went in to it!) that I was totally blown away.  Do make sure you go to her blog to see the other versions, not quite so frilly and feminine as this one, but each as wonderful. Also, if you Pin it on Pinterest it would be lovely if you pinned hers rather than mine!

Cream on Cream Calendar

Isn’t that just stunning? I am totally in love with that wispy leaf die cut and the fine tendrils.  And the cream on cream colour scheme is lovely.

It is such a pleasure to see what people do with things I make available.  They often surpass my own efforts! I know someone who would LOVE this creamy version, so may have to have a go at it.  I planned to do so but, as usual, life got in the way.  In any case, I hope this pretty version will tempt some who looked at my grungy one and went “No thanks.”  And it gives me quiet pleasure to know that half a world away, someone has been inspired by me.  Makes it all worthwhile.

Cheers Moz.


MORE calendars!

I had a couple of emails asking for specific calendars.  One, for a matchbook calendar, I figured I could do easily by adapting something I had already made.  The other I couldn’t, but more because what my commenter asked for I simply could not picture in my head – all my imaginings would have produced something too big to suit and probably required printing on both sides of the paper.  I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t make anything suitable in the end.  That annoyed me.

But the matchbook calendar, that was fairly easy.  I began with something I had already been playing with, it was just the sizing that needed to be made right.  But while I was making it, I thought of my favourite calendar related quote, one that I have used a few times on various things, including what may be my most popular Project Life printable.  I figured a few tweaks and I could easily make a cover to include with the month blocks. So I did.

One of the issues with designing when you use A4 and loads of your visitors use US letter is that you either have to adapt ONE file to work for both or make two files.  I usually choose to adapt one file, as I did with this one  (here is the PDF download.) In order to accommodate both paper sizes, I chose to make a 3 page set that prints two full calendars.

This is what I would suggest – when you print, tick the option to print From Page 1 to 1 (or when you open the PDF if your reader gives you the option, Print Selected Page) to print just the sheet with the covers on heavy, good quality cardstock.  Then print the remaining pages 2 to 4 (or skip the cover entirely and ONLY print the remaining pages, if you want to make your own cover!) on plain printer paper.  Thicker card might make it hard to get a staple through all 12 pieces.

Cut out the cover and all the monthly sheets.  These monthly sheets could be used to make a tear-off calendar as well.

Score along the top of  the coloured strip – the one at the very top here.  This creates the flap of your matchbook.

Insert the month sheets under this flap then staple all the sheets in place, like so (I used a blue staple) about 1/4 inch up from the folded edge

Fold the top down and insert the edge under the flap.  I find this works better than scoring and then trying to make it fit, as any slight variation in paper thickness, staple placement, etc will affect it.

Finally, run over the top with your bone folder.

I print on a photo paper matte and high quality setting – I promise you I did not tweak the photos at all – it’s really that vibrant!

I still have my original one but not 100% sure I am happy with the font combo.  I also have a pretty scripty font one, in brown, also with a cover, but the font is one of those where some letters are bigger, fatter or thinner, rise up or drop down, and my eye will not help but focus on the slight wonkiness.  I either have to get over it, or pick a different font.  You may still see it.  You may even see the original, who knows?

If you want to make your own cover, the dimensions are 6 3/4 x 3.  The flap score is at 1/2 inch then do the same, tuck the edge under and smooth the crease with a bone folder.


WOYWW 182 – Pan Pastels

Hello all you WOYWW-ers!  I have been playing with my Pan Pastels, a bit.  Probably wasteful but I just can’t help but try to push the boundaries of my supplies so it’s all about the experimentation for me.  I have a load of ideas I want to test out, but what is on my W this W is my attempts with the pastels on black card.

My first attempt is hiding under the glare off the stamp mount. It’s not perfect, very much needs refining, but the play has pointed out some potential techniques that I can explore further, and that is my plan for today.  I’ll be glued to my desk  while I await the courier with mine and DDs new passports. My desk overlooks the drive so I should have no trouble catching them as they arrive….unless I get too engrossed in my craftyness.

It is perhaps too “dusty” but I have an idea for sorting that – we’ll see if it works! The colour has an almost suede-like look to it that I like.  What amazes me is how well the pastels pick up the fine details – check out the little row of dots around the centre diamond on the homemade stamp (the green image) for what I mean.  It could be quite interesting.

So, time for you to hop on.  Be sure to pop to Julia‘s for the whole Mr Linky list and see what is going on, creatively, on workdesks around the world…..


Ornament and more

I have been unable to get to the store to source the final bits for my WOYWW project from last week!  Shocking, I know, but it’s just been very busy here at Chez Walters. I’m going to share the progress and hope I can get it finished this week!

The project is a little trio of letters, built on an old set of display stands I have had from when UKS would attend shows.  They are from Staples and just clear, so you can slip a flyer inside then stand it up on a table.  I stumbled across one while tidying up and as I looked at it the idea of building on its native properties (ie it STANDS and it’s CLEAR) sent me off in the obvious direction.  I simply slipped a bit of glittered vellum in the frame, added some SCAL cut letters to the front, then sealed the edges with some decorative Washi tape.  I also used the Washi tape to decorate the internal bits of the letters (the font is called Itsadoke and cuts in distinct sections.  I used the outer frame, removed the next layer, and decorated the inner layer) so it all matched – the Washi tape is from Lovely Tapes and I am quite fond of it.  It looks like a Bokeh and comes this colourway as well as a more blue and purple and green version.

I seemed to have a selection of these stands, not all exactly the same size, but they all work well enough.  I planned to add some clear baubles to the bottom lip (hot glue, I expect) and then they can sit on the mantle, perhaps with some greenery woven between them.  I thought tinting the inside of the clear baubles by dripping in a bit of Alcohol Ink and swirling it around to coat would be a good option, more so than opaque coloured baubles.  Why, you ask?  Well the plan was to add some votives behind for THIS sort of effect!

Isn’t that pebble-dash wall just SO special?  LOL! Anyway, I just need to get out to some store or another for baubles and I can finish it off!

Another thing I’ve been meaning to add is the ornament I made this year.  As you may recall , if you read Scrapbook Inspirations, while it was publishing, we always add a new heart-shaped ornament to our tree in memory of our first son, who lived only a few days. Here is the old layout with a selection of past hearts:

It looks like they are actual ornaments on the layout but they were photographed, cut, and pop-dotted.  I’ve bought one for this year , but I also thought I would make one as well.

Using the D-lites stamps I made, I stamped one medallion 5 times and embossed it with glitter embossing powder.  I cut them out using just the frame part of the die:

I scored the symmetrical die-cuts and folded them, then did the usual sticking half-to-half to create the 3D effect.  I added a dangling heart on a wire (with a loop at the top for a hanger) and added some of the Baker’s twine I got from Rope-Source (it’s lovely and thick, not super fine like a lot of the twine I have) and some holly leaves.

I could have done 3 or 4 more of the medallions, but this version is flat at the back and fewer units makes the stamping show up much better, IMHO. Trust me, the little loop for the hanger is there, it’s just hidden at this angle!

So that’s it for now – dithering whether or not to clear off my desk or push it to the side and craft, or focus on some requests for calendars via blog comments.  Or something totally different that I am itching to share, a project someone sent me that they made from one of my calendar posts.  It’s very unlike my usual style but believe me when I say it is seriously stunning…… however, it would be rude to share mine before she shares hers LOL!


BIG CARDS – 5 of clubs

The light is so rubbish lately that I am struggling to get a decent photo.  Today’s card wasn’t helped by using so much “wet” stuff that all needed drying time.

I started with black cardstock and fairly randomly sponged on a bit of Versamark.  I embossed that with UTEE, not melting it all the way so it was a bit pebble-y in areas:

I almost stopped there! But I didn’t – with a palette knife I layered on some black acrylic paint.  That gave me a background that was both glossy and matte. Paint still wet here:

Now dry – and I misted on some purple Cosmic Shimmer thru a letter stencil, which sank in to the painted areas but beaded up on the glossy embossed ones:

Then I added some gold circles and spritzed the cosmic Shimmer onto the gold paint.  I layered tat on to the surface, very blotchy, scraping it on the high points.  The mixture of the gold paint and mica mist was really interesting!

I also scraped the gold along the edges and added the gold letters.  By this point the light was REALLY BAD:

So much texture.  I love it.  and just 4 more to go!



Windows Users – this one’s for you!

If you are a Windows user (or indeed if you are a Mac user and fancied the calendar I showed yesterday but couldn’t be bothered to do it) this one is for you. A reminder that this is a standard paper size (A4 or US Letter 8.5 x 11)  top half of the page blank, bottom half of the page with calendar) and includes UK or US Holidays.

It occurred to me that it was possible, in fact quite EASY, to do one additional step to make the calendars that work into printable PDFs for download! All that was required was to set it up for printing but do the Print > PDF > Save as PDF step one more time.  So I did.

There are two calendars, two versions. First, my favourite, BIG DATE.  This is what the calendar grid looks like:

I love that it includes the small Last Month/Next Month at the bottom and the grayed out dates to complete the grid.  The one you see has the UK holidays but I did a US Holidays version as well, in US letter size.  The be honest, I think the A4 version would have fit fine on the US letter paper, but as I had to make the Holidays version, it seemed silly not to make it US Letter as well.

UK Holidays/A4 paper BIG DATE

US Holidays/8.5 x 11 BIG DATE

Next, I did the Picture Calendar version, which looks like this:

UK Holidays/A4 paper Picture Calendar

US Holidays/8.5 x 11 Picture Calendar

I did play around with the option to change fonts but it refused to use the ones I picked so these are the standard, as they come, fonts.  I have also worked out how to remove the photo pages and replace them with blank pages, which makes all the other calendars work too, but I’m not going to make them all.  These two are the most useful.  The others either have coloured page backgrounds  (so too greedy with ink), Like VINTAGE:

Or are too “cute” to be of universal appeal, like Kids Cutouts:

And there may very well be more options for this process in later versions of the Mac OS than Snow Leopard, so Mac users do experiment!

I have a LOT on today – this is our scaled down and time-shifted Thanksgiving day.  DS is still up in Scotland, and the meal has been totally planned by DD – turkey, gravy, roast potatoes, green beans (or broccoli, she is still undecided) and pineapple upside down cake with custard.  I’ve never made one, nor eaten one, but it’s what she wants so I’m having a go.  So probably no more crafting for me today.  I put these on UKS for download (at least the UK versions) and people have tested them but if there are any issues, comment and I’ll have a look and sort it if need be.

Happy (late) Thanksgiving !


Windows users, look away now! Making calendar with iCal

This post is about making calendars using iPhoto and iCal and is only applicable for Mac users.  Sorry about that PC folk.

I’m going to walk you thru what I think is the most useful and easiest calendar to make, assuming you want to print one at home and decorate it in a scrappy or stampy sort of way.  I don’t personally make A4/US letter size calendars, but it came up on UKS the other day and while there were a few replies about Windows-based programs there wasn’t any Mac-response.  So I had a play and came up with this.

Note: you can use the process to create a calendar that has the photos embedded, then either print at home (oh the INK you will use!) or click the BUY button and order one or more.  Now, if you are clever, you should be able to add, for example, a digi-page to iPhoto, or scan an actual layout and just drag that over to your calendar, but I am not going to deal with that now.  If you are a digi person, your skills may surpass mine and you will know what to do already.  What I am focusing on is very particular – “typical” A4/US letter calendar, blank space on the top half of the page, and calendar at the bottom.

I did experiment with recording my workflow as a movie, but because I have a two-monitor set up, one portrait, one landscape, and both widescreen, the results were simply too small to see without heavy editing .  So this will be still shots.  I am also still on Snow Leopard, but I think this process has only been improved in later versions of the OS.

Let’s get to it!

1.  Create an ALBUM with all the photos you want to use.  Have this selected. Select more photos than you need for the 12 months – I’ll show you a neat thing with that in a bit!

2.  Go right down to the bottom of the screen and click on the little Calendar icon

3. This will bring up a selection screen –  CHOOSE your calendar option.  Note: anything that appears as GREY will actually print as WHITE, so Colored Paper, or Vintage, for example, are NOT good choices.  Modern Lines is leaves faint lines marking the photo position but BIG DATE is good, as is Picture Calendar.

4.  The next screen will offer you some options.  You can pick the date range, the holidays if you want them to be printed on the calendar, you can add any of your personal calendar bits as well as birthdays from your address book.  You will also be able to add info to specific date blocks by typing it in.

5.  When you click OK the calendar will come up.  You can drag the photos from your album onto the page IF you want to print the photos.  And you can edit the text for the title and subtitle.

But about those extra photos… you can also drag a photo on to a date and it will be sized for you. It hides the date but so long as you don’t do a row of them it’s probably not going to matter!

Cool, humm?

6.  Now click PRINT.

7. Click PDF > Save as PDF

8.  Best to save it to your Desktop – I think the default is DOCUMENTS but you will want to use it right away so better it is someplace you can see it.

9.  You may get this box – just click OK.  It thinks you are printing when you are really creating a PDF and need no paper 🙂

10.  The PDF will be created and saved.  It takes a minute.  When it is done, double click to open it. See that the first page is the cover?  You don’t want it there.  Click and hold then drag it to the bottom of the list of pages.


11. Now it is just the actual printing.  To do what we want, which is to print the blank at the top and the calendar at the bottom, you need to make some changes to the PREVIEW print options.  Click print and select these options:

  1. Leave PAGES at ALL if you want to print the whole calendar. You could change the COPIES to 2 or more to print multiple copies at one time – just make sure you have enough paper in your printer!
  2. Selected the paper size that is appropriate for your country (Me, A4, you may be US Letter/8.5 x 11)
  3. Click SCALE TO FIT and Print Entire Image
  4. Select 2 images per page but NOT 2 copies – that would give you a sheet of the month block x 2 and then a blank sheet.

Click the PREVIEW drop down and you can set the paper type (I tend to use Photo Paper Matte for cardstock, but your printer may offer different choices than mine) and if you want the QUALITY (I do HIGH) and sometimes COLOR PROFILE.

The reason you moved the cover page is that your calendar PDF now begins with a blank page and is followed by the month info.  Selecting 2 images per page will print a blank space followed by the calendar for all pages – you can see that at the left in the window.  Your cover page will print on its own last. You could then add a photo and print just Page 25 on photo paper for your cover.   I am guessing you would do it Pages: 25 to 25, untick 2 images per page, and change the scale to Fill Entire Page.  I’d say start there and  play with the options  to get it the way you want it.

Some things that spring to mind:

  • Perfect if you want to make a larger wall calendar rather than a CD one.  There is LOADS of space to stamp, for example.
  • You can build a flat layout on the empty space and make it very scrapbook-y – limited thick embellishments might be OK. You can add printed photos rather than printing them so not so piggy with your ink!  Or you could add photo corners and use them to add a lumpy A5 layout, then remove it when you flip to the next month.  It would make a great mini-book at the end of the year, just stick them back to back and bind or add a book ring!
  • Easy to assemble – just use your Bind-it-all/Cinch to add the binding wire at the top – it won’t be a back-to-back page like commercial calendars, but you can accomplish that by printing one page, then turning it over and printing the next page on the back – just make sure you know how your printed handles the paper orientation!

You could, of course, edit the PDF in Photoshop and change the month font and colour, or delete the blank pages then print&cut just the month bits to use in a variety of ways. Personally I think it is slightly more stylish than the standard print-a-calendar sites so for me it’s worth the slight extra effort.  Plus I LOVE the adding photos to the day blocks and the fact you can customise it so totally.  I had the thought that, for example, if you wanted to do a month in review sort of layout, you could print the month, including all your iCal calendars with all your appointments, birthdays, reminders, etc, and have a record of what you did that month.  And you can drag in photos for certain days as well and print them right on the calendar. Need it smaller? you could edit the PDF to delete all the blank pages and print them 4 images to a page.  Really, I think I have only scratched the surface of what you can do with this.

Over to you…..


SDC75 – paint

Managed to finish the SDC for the week – paint!

I chose the theme for this week’s challenge in honor of my amazing grandmother. She can paint with any medium, and so can you – acrylics, watercolors, daubers, whatever your little heart desires. Just use same sort of PAINT on your project this week!

So the interpretation of PAINT is quite broad, thank goodness, and I was able to try our a few things that I think work well and a couple that work less well.

Here is the card front:

The “paint” I used was the Distress Stain daubers, and a little black acrylic paint.  The background is dauber splats (you know, just thumping the sponge tip down on the paper with FORCE to make a splat!), the black circles are an old lid dipped in black paint, and the number strip and the girl are both made by using the dauber directly onto the stamp.

The girl had most of the surface daubed with Vintage Photo (except her lips, which was, unsurprisingly, Worn Lipstick) then stamped.  I let is dry, a bit, then used a water brush to spread the colour into the white areas.  I added a smidge of Antique linen to the brush to do her face.

I thought it turned out great, so then tried to do a second head, to complete my card idea, using a mix of Mustard Seed and Vintage photo on the stamp.  Not so good a result, but just about acceptable:

I think the yellow dauber was maybe too wet, because I tried doing the brown first than LIGHTLY touching over it with the yellow, aiming to get the brown lines, but the yellow just ran, a bit.  I think a better method might have been to do the brown, let it mostly dry, then paint ever so lightly with the yellow.  But as I always say, I make the mistakes so you don’t have to, and not showing the first attempt is disingenuous.

As you can see it is an easel card.  The send figure is inside, but appears to be on the front once you engage the easel effect.  I also think, had I had my wits about me and slightly smaller stamps (or maybe a bigger circle) I would have made it SO THANKFUL so it became a THANKSGIVING card instead.  Hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it?

Man, I so need some new Stampotique stamps…. Is Santa reading?


D-lites stamps

OK, so based on the comments I’ve gotten an emails received, I am not the only person who is struggling to cut some of the Spellbinders D-Lites dies.  So this post is likely going to come out of left field, but trust me when I say that I had less trouble making these stamps with Fun Foam than I did cutting the D-Lites out of cardstock!

There is nothing I had to do to accomplish this – standard sandwich of base plate and cutting plate, no shim,  Grand Calibur.  Now, NORMALLY I would cut the sticky backed fun foam but a. I didn’t have any on hand and b. as it is paper-backed, I feared I would have the SAME problem I had with cutting cardstock.  The un-sticky foam has issues but I’ll try to address them.

1. Just cut the die as normal out of Fun Foam

2. Once you have the motif, sort of flex it.  You will see some of the bigger bits pop up – just flick them out.

3. Any last tiny or tricky bits you can poke out with a pokey tool – on this one it was just that small circle of tiny bits…

…but they came out easy for a prefect final piece. I used glue to stick it to a mount.

Usually I would use clear acrylic packaging for the mounts of my home-made stamps, as it is see-thru, but I seem to have run out!  I think your options for sticking are:

  1. glue – messy, and it will ooze up unless you get a really thin coating (plus brushing it on can distort the die cut, if you are too vigorous
  2. Xyron – if I would have had a full cartridge for the machine large enough to take the dies, this would have been my choice
  3. Letratac sticky dots – not the first choice, but what I had on hand

Let me give you an overview of the ones I have done:

The trickiest part was getting the long one straight, but this helped

No matter what you use to mount them, these are never going to stand up to the vigorous cleaning you may be used to, but my method works for most inks, with some caveats! I’ll explain as I show the various ink results.

1. Distress ink

Now, to clean it.  Lay a baby wipe over the top and brayer over it!  Easy peasy.

Totally clean!

You will need to do this pretty sharpish – I don’t know how clean it will be if you let the ink dry on the stamp for some of the inks.  And as the stamp will then be damp, you will need to either put a paper towel over and brayer again to dry it, or let it dry before re-inking.

2. Adirondack Ink – also cleans up totally

3. Chalk ink – also cleans up totally

4. Pigment ink – also cleans up totally and you can emboss with powders!

5. Clearly Better (and I assume Memento or Versafine too) – does NOT clean perfectly

6. Finally, Distress Stain and Twinkling h2Os – cleans totally, but the h2Os lose their twinkle

And finally, because your stamp is made from the die, you can cut the stamped image out using the frame part of the die!  Nice.

So there you go.  If I can find some sticky backed fun foam I’ll give that a go, but am not optimistic about it working.

I have 90% finished both my WOYWW project AND my Stampotique Designer’s Challenge but got so sidetracked by THIS I set them aside momentarily.  It was actually the SDC challenge of using paint that sparked the idea for these stamps, but in the end I didnt;t actually ise them for the challenge!  I’ll get back to them today and hopefully finish both.



Well last week was a bit of a wash for me.  After being stuck at the embassy for hours with no device, then open evening at DDs potential college, I missed all of Wednesday.  When I found time later (Friday?  Can’t remember now!) Mr Linky had disappeared!  No idea where he went, although I know he did come back at some point, and I can’t be sure if it was just me or not.  Bizarre.  I’m planning on getting started visiting first thing (well, after we pick up my car from its MOT and I book DDs Challengers events for the next term) and am prepared to be inspired by 2 weeks of WOYWWs

My desk is fairly clean but I do have a project on the go – not sure if it will work out as I imagine but see what you make of this pile of goodies.

Some odd things, some expected things, and even I don’t know what I will end up using – maybe none of it!

Happy WOYWW!