Clear Stamp Reorganization

I have been somewhat unhappy with how I am storing my stamps.  While I love the CD cases on the one hand, I found that I had 4 (5,6,7 or more!) cases full of swirls and circles and flowers.  A while back, I removed those from the CD cases and reorganized them into small craft storage boxes.  That took up less space, but was a nightmare to riffle through to find what I wanted!  I found myself settling for the first somewhat appropriate stamp I came across, rather than really looking at them all to find the “right” one.

At the time I began sorting them into the boxes, I had bought some clear Report Covers from Staples.  I took a clear stamp with me so I could test out if they would stick to the folder with some grip, and not fall off.  I cut up some of them to fit the box, and attached groups or sets of stamps to them in an effort to make finding the one I wanted a little easier.  It wasn’t easier.  I tried sticking them to the full report covers but wasn’t happy with the potential for them to slip off, if the “sticky” had worn off the back of the stamp.  I washed them, which brought it back, mostly, but not quite enough for me to feel secure storing them that way.  Then I promptly forgot all about it and just carried on with the boxes and the finding issues.

While tidying up last week, I stumbled on an entire box of A4 page protectors.  No idea why I bought them – maybe to house pages ripped out of mags into my own idea book? It hit me that storing the stamps on the report covers then slipping them into the PPs and into a binder would at least make the flipping through far easier.

I went to Staples and lucked into a whole pile of report covers (and they HAVE to be the smooth ones, not the cheaper dimpled ones) that where in a heap in the shelf slot, all out of their packaging, and in a right old mess.  I took all the empty packaging and the pile of covers to the check-out and ended up getting the entire stack for the price of three packages and at 20% off since some were crinkled at the corners!  Woo Hoo! These are the ones I got:


The colourful binders, nice quality and BIG, were priced 3 for 2 so quite cheap as well.


I split the report covers down the spine (cutting off about 1/4 inch at the fold) which made them fit the page protectors perfectly.  And I started sticking the stamps to them.  When I found one that didn’t seem to adhere well, I just washed it and it stuck.


I found I could get quite a lot of them onto a sheet!  In cases where I hadn’t thrown away the original packaging, I simply taped then together so they fit the sleeve, forgoing the report cover step entirely.


You can see on the left the two taped sets – actually one set, one background stamp. The real appeal to this is that the stamps, if they DO come loose from the report covers, they only fall into the page protector and not out onto the floor or in the bin!

I am LOVING this method.  And of course I had to have a look and see if someone else had the same idea – and of course they had.  This video is pretty much the same thing, although she uses the report covers whole rather than cut in half, uses them specifically for her PTI stamps and she takes the extra step of adding the image labels from the stamp set.  I think that helps, if you have them, although sticking together sets like on the left above accomplishes the same thing.  In future I suspect I would be more inclined to save the  packaging than I have been.  At some point, I MAY be tempted to stamp all the images onto paper and add them, but I find I can tell enough about the stamp to know if I want to use it from the stamp itself, so that may be just more work than it is worth.

I have three binders and a load of dividers (also from Staples) and I think that should accommodate all my clear stamps. It also means I can then use the CD covers for any of my cling mounted stamps.   Wood mount ones I have a LOT of but most of them are very specific (like the Stampotique ones) and as I will always have to look at least two places I feel adding the cling ones to the CD cases, which can be stored on the same shelf as the cling ones in binders, I still have a better chance of finding them.  If that makes sense.  No matter HOW you do it, I simply cannot see a way to mix wood mount stamps in with the rest – you will always have to look at both storage methods.

I love the lever binders – the can store so many sheets! – yet flip so easily.

At this point I am unclear if I will have a smaller binder for my clear alphabets.  I am leaning towards NOT, as I have only a few alphabet sets that are clear – MANY more that are either cling mount or foam or tiny wood mount ones – and the clear ones I tend to use as a full sheet for art journal-type things, instead of a stencil as more of a background than to spell out text. They fit in a couple of rolling drawer stack drawers and that has always worked well for me so no real point to changing them.  The danger of reorganization tends to be that you get swept away, think something is going to work well then when it doesn’t you find you have wasted time and money and are still unhappy!  I am already happy with this set up (it took me a while to be able to get out to Staples to find more of the raw supplies but I could see from just a couple of weeks of this new method, with only a few stamp styles, that this was working) so taking the plunge and the time to do them all.

I really hope I won’t be eating my words in 6 months.  If so, you are invited to laugh and point and make any derisory noises you like.

Sorry that was all a bit wordy.  But now I have a date with my CD cases – between getting them sorted and sorting that massive pile o’ scraps (still only dented, I fear) I am going to be very busy. At least, knock wood, there is no driveway shovelling to do today.  DH has done it all (saving me and my back from further injury) but the poor guy has been exhausted and I would have felt compelled to go help had it needed doing AGAIN. With the Y of the drive I would bet it’s 60 metres at least! I hope it warms up soon and no more snow…..

1 Comment

That was the week/day/year That Was printables

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things to listen to was Tom Lehrer.  I can still sing along to many of them (well, except The Elements, which lists the Periodic table to the tune of a Gilbert and Sullivan song.) In the back of my mind I had the phrase That was the X That Was (insert your choice of day/week/month/year) which was both a TV show (WEEK) and a performance by Tom live at the hungry i (YEAR) and it struck me that it would be a great bit of text for a printable.

I had been playing around with some very bright printables, not sure how I wanted to use them, and ended up with these.


I’ve just shown the various versions here – each PDF has the year, the week and the individual days blocks, exactly as shown.  I guess I am unsure if they will prove appealing to many, so I didn’t go ahead and make a MONTH one as well, given as that would require more pages, but might do. I will def. change the size to fit my 2.5 x 3.5 baseball card sleeves.

There are the two colourways shown – Orange and Pink.  I have always made my printables to be useful not just as filler cards, but I seem to be heading more towards that type now, don’t know why.  Just looking for a change?  Maybe some of the new things I am learning about my program makes that something I want to explore? I’m sure I won’t give up making double-duty printables (like all the could be a filler card, could be a mat ones) but I did discover one cool thing I am anxious to play with.  And I am STILL paralysed by indecision over my minibook.  AND a UKS member, JimJams, thinks she might be able to help me out with my missing BIG CARDS.  AND I saw a cool thing with Washi Tape I want to have a go with. AND I found a few things buried in my craft room that I had planned on using for ANOTHER (better?) stamp organization method (which I have tested with just my SWIRLS and already know it is going to be better than the CD cases for clear stamps) …. so I have a ton of things to be getting on with.  And it’s snowing AGAIN so perhaps time trapped at home can be put to good use.

Have a happy Sunday.


Ask and ye shall receive! Mesh Days and PNGs

I found a couple of odd things – I have no idea if it is something I triggered or if it is a change between the OLD version of Intaglio and the new one.  I am 99% sure that before upgrade a few months back I was able to open a PDF in Photoshop Elements and simply click SAVE AS > .PNG to convert something to a .PNG and I still CAN but for some reason it seems to change the overall size of the item to the very edge of image without the white border!  I don’t recall that happening before, nor can I find a way to make PSE open the PDF with the existing white space around it.  It may not actually matter, really – you can still Save As > .PNG to do whatever color change you want to one it, but the image is cropped to the edges.

Here is my process, on a Mac. I assume it is similar enough on a PC for you to duplicate it! But do note that the conversion to a .PNG is NOT required at all.  You can do the color change on a PDF just the same.  But I was asked about .PNGs so that is what I am showing.  The mesh months PDFs have a transparent background.  That makes it hard to see the changes.  I’ll make note of that so in the future I do include a white background behind the pattern fill.  The .PNGs do have that added, and the DAY of the WEEK ones do as well!

1. Right click on the PDF file on your desktop. Select Open in Photoshop Elements

2. Click OK to open a single page of the PDF.


3. Click File > Save As > PNG – this will take the PDF info and convert it to a PNG. You will have to do each page one at a time.


The process for re-colouring either a .PDF or a .PNG is the same.

1. Draw a marquee around the element you want to change the colour  for.


2.  Click Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Hue/Saturation


3.  Click Colorize (or not – it seems to work with it ticked or not ticked although it gives you differing “colours” each way. That’s something I want to look in to) and adjust the sliders till you get a colour you like!


You can then select another element and colourize that then once you have done them all, SAVE AS >  a new file name if you want to preserve the original.

I stress this is just one way – there are others, this just happens to be the one I use most often!

Now,  I will add the PNGs  for the MONTH sheets from yesterday: Months sheet 1  , sheet 2  and  sheet 3 (four months per sheet)

And here is  the DAYs of the week PDF  and the two .PNG files Mon-Thurs and Fri-Sun.  This is a screen shot of the .PNG so you can see it does have the white behind and the transparent background.


Hopefully that is all you need, but LMK if not.


Month journaling cards for Project Life-style layouts

Well I have been working on a  minibook but having gotten as far as I have I am considering my options for the rest of the construction.  I think it’s pretty nifty, but suspect that may be just me.  I am almost more interesting it the HOW of making minibooks than I am the decoration.  Anyway, as I muse on it, I knocked out a little set of printable MONTH cards.  Nothing amazing, but I hope they will be useful.  Like most of my stuff, they aren’t just for filler cards or for journaling, even.  If you carefully cut along the little flag – not all the way to the top, mind, but maybe 1/4 inch from the top edge – then you can slip a photo under the flag.



I rounded the corners of both the photo and the card, which is why I didn’t do an actual border around it – just use the background lines for guidance.

Here is an overall shot of the colour choices and a demo of how journaling looks on the mesh – I think it is fine but if you disagree I think you could simply cut a slightly smaller block and add it to the top – or even use a ticket of a label, or build a little collage on it if you wanted to use it for a 12 x 12 layout rather than in a PL sleeve.


The PDF is three pages, 4 months to a page and you can download it by clicking here. If there is interest I would happily make a Days of the Week set to accompany it. And I’ll carry on with my minibook and hope I am to a point I can share it soon.


WOYWW 189 – kitting out my scraps

Just a couple of rubbish photos today – I waited too long to snap my plans for the day and it got dark on me.  Funny how that happens so early this time of year!

As you may recall I mentioned how I organize my patterned papers by creating “kits” of stuff that goes together, rather than trying to organize them by make or colour or pattern. My paper and card storage looks like this – it’s not pretty, but it works for me.


I use the ArchLever dividers as the 12 x 12 sheets fit perfectly.  I get them from Staples and they are cheap – of course you cannot see them as stuffed as they are with …. stuff!

They live in a small bookshelf that sits on the side of my desk.  The bottom is all the coloured cardstock and the top two are my “kits” in plastic bags (you can only see the bottom two in the photo, card and one shelf of kits) and I just grab one when I am planning a layout.

The real horror is the fact I have not made up kits for a long time.  And I haven’t managed to sort my scraps either.  Yes, THIS is what I plan to attack today! I urge yo to look away now ….


Shocking?  Probably not for WOYWW folk.  But it is getting (has gotten?) out of control.

So that’s me busy for the day.  That and another follow-up with the Dr.  I’ll be well happy when THAT is all done.

Between sorting I will be desk hopping, and praying SOMEONE is messier than me…but I am kinds doubting it.

Happy WOYWW all!


E-reader holder

One of the Christmas gifts my daughter gave me was a little fabric stand for my iPad.

The choice of fabric was hers, and I love it because she picked it for me, but she clearly has no idea what my taste is, IYKWIM.


Now I have never been a fan of e-readers.  I vastly prefer actual books.  BUT DH stumbled on a book (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) that he gulped down in about two days.  Very unusual for him – he reads, but not so much fiction.  He suggested I read it and as it was already on his Kindle it seemed silly not to read it that way.  I did, and I really enjoyed it.  What surprised me is that I liked reading it on the Kindle more than I expected.  At first, the whole way you had to grip it, to avoid triggering a page turn got on my nerves A LOT.  But when I remembered this beanbag, it solved that and other issues.  For example, I read while I eat (breakfast and lunch, which I tend to eat on my own, never dinner, which we eat as a family) and the issues with real books (keeping to book open, turning the pages and not getting food on them, etc) can be solved with an e-reader if you can solve the problems e-readers and meal-time reading (keeping them at the right angle for easy reading.) This little beanbag worked a treat.


Basically it is constructed like those sour cream containers (US ones, not UK ones) where you take a rectangle of paper (or in this case fabric) and sew a tube.  Sew one end closed, fill with styrofoam balls (the small ones like for bean bag stuffing) then sew the other end closed the opposite.  You can see a paper version on Dan99‘s blog if that is difficult to picture. This bean bag is exactly the same, scaled up.

I think DH intended I would use it for my iPad, but I never USE my iPad, really, unless I am laying down.  Except to Skype DS at Uni, and that is the one case where this beanbag holder is less than ideal as the mic is blocked by the fabric. I should give it a go with a YouTube video or something, to see if the VOLUME on playback is affected like the MIC is for conversation.  If not, I can see using this more often.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to share it.  The company he bought it from, at a craft fair, is called ebeanies.


Library Printables for Project Life-style albums

Just a quick one today – I made some printables that are like library borrower cards and some like library catalog cards.  I did print them but I am just going to add a screen grab today.

libraryA Life Under Construction is actually the subtitle of an architectural book but I liked it as text applied to Project Life – I think they would make fine journaling cards.  A few colour combos and with no border so you can round them if you want.  Just use the lines as a guide for cutting! You can add your family name as the Author and the date as appropriate – maybe with a little date stamp – that would look cute!

Portrait orientation borrower card and Landscape orientation catalog card PDFs.

And as promised, a handful of my resized to 2.5 x 3.5 printables.  Not all of them by any means, but a few you may find useful! smallPLHope you find them useful!


Resizing Printables – a How-to

You know the old saying Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime? well, I think it applies here, a bit.  I offered adding some of my printables that I had resized to fit my 2.5 x 3.5 baseball (Pokemon) card holders for my own odd version of a Project Life-style book, and when I looked at the file I had I realized it was fine for A4 but a little too long for US letter.  While I was thinking I would need to create a new sheet that fit both I got to thinking that it would be far better to step people through the process of how to re-size ANY printable in PDF or .jpg form.

I first recorded a QuickTime movie but when I added it to YouTube the size was so small in the tiny window it was all a bit pointless.  I know you can zoom in I just haven’t learned how to do it yet – and whether that is only when using a camera to video the screen or if, in fact, there is a built-in zoom in QuickTime I don’t know.  Anyway I went a different way and grabbed screen shots instead so I could really focus on the important info.

OK,  First step is to download a set of printables.  I used some of my own for this but did test it out with others I had on my Mac.  It all works.  I didn’t actually try .png files but from working with them I am sure it will work the same (or easier)

1. Click on the printable PDF or file and OPEN WITH > Photoshop Elements.  when you do you may see this sort of screen.  Click OK if you do.  If the PDF is multiple pages you can pick ONE page to open at a time.


2. The PDF will open as a whole page.  Some people create their printables in a lower resolution.  Mine are 300dpi but look at that.  It will matter what resolution you set your new blank file to – and frankly if the resolution is low, like 72dpi, I’d pick different printables!


3. Select the Marquee tool (the little dashed box) and draw a selection around the one you want to resize.  You really have to do the individually because you need to get the sizing right.


At this point you are not too worried about being exact.  A smidge bigger or smaller is not going to make a tremendous difference – get as close as you can.

4. Copy the selection by either using your keyboard command (and I use Apple > C but not sure what it is on a PC – you will know) OR click EDIT > Copy.  This copies your selection to the clipboard.


5.  Now you can select File > NEW > Image from clipboard. This creates a new file the exact size of your selection and opens it.


6. Now you need to resize the image.  This is how I do it.  The difference in ratio between 3 x 4 and 2.5 x 3.5 is minor.  MOST things are going to look fine even if the resizing is not kept in exact proportion, but obviously if you do it and it looks rubbish, you will have to work a little harder to make it right.  But I’m betting that is going to be a very occasional situation. Click Image > Resize and in the box UNTICK CONSTRAIN PROPORTIONS and fill in the dimensions you want your final image to be. Note that mine shows it is 300 dpi in the Resolution box.


Once you have done that, your small single image file will be resized.

7. Open a new file. I selected A4 but you can do US Letter if you need to.  Make sure the resolution of your NEW FILE matches the resolution of your single image file.


8. Now it is just a matter of DRAGGING the smaller single image on to your new file.  You can then carry on resizing as many of the single blocks as you want – you can even open OTHER printables, resize just an image or two, and drag them ALL over till you have filled the sheet. Drag them to place them on the sheet.   You can rotate them to make them all one orientation then save and print.


Easy Peasy.

Now, if you have a Mac you can simply open the PDF in Preview and use the TOOLS option to select just a single “card” then copy it and paste it into another image editing file (me, a lover of ancient technology, I use AppleWorks and Intaglio but I see no reason Pages wouldn’t work) and bypass Photoshop entirely.  And I imagine that a PDF viewer for the PC must have some similar method of copying a selection.  The perhaps Word Art?  I am all adrift with PC stuff, sorry.  But I am hoping that once you see the method you can translate that into a method that works for you.

If you do, report back!  Inquiring minds want to know.

Now I will re-do the sheet so it prints on US letter without cutting it off and add them perhaps tomorrow.


Making my PL binder

I was so caught up in this I neglected to take many photos and the ones I did take aren’t as informative as they could be.  I’ll do my best to explain.

I mentioned in my last post about my cobbled together attempt at Project Life that I had stripped down a vinyl covered 3-ring binder to its essential parts.  You can see most of them (minus the ring assembly) here.


I found a bit of fabric that I had that I quite liked and laid the bits out on it to check the fit. So far so good.

I grabbed some super strong spray adhesive, meant to be used for creating things like a valance over curtains, so fabric friendly and strong.


I sprayed a good coating of that on the boards and stuck them to the fabric.  Note the space between the cover, spine and back pieces!

No photo but I trimmed the fabric to about a 1/2 inch and tried to miter the corners.  DOH!  Had the corners been square it would have been fine, but they were rounded already.  That made the corners less than perfect.  I lined the inside of both covers with black cardstock – again, using the spray adhesive.

To add the ring part, I stuck some ribbon to either side of the cardboard the rings were firmly attached to, tucking it under the metal.

PLscrapbook2I thought I might be able to stitch-in-the-ditch for a more secure bond, but of course the covers were WAY to wide to fit in the machine (at least in mine) so I simply stuck the back of the ring assembly to the spine and then stuck the ribbon in the ditch and to the covers.  This is the hardest to explain with no photo.  Does seeing this help at all?


The other ribbon, farther from the rings, is purely decorative on the cover:


Now I am thinking that my t-shirt transfer paper art might be perfect to decorate the cover.  Still not sure.

So I am not sure if I will make Saturday my PL post day, like Monday was for the BIG CARDS last year.  I may have to see how it goes.  But so far, I have my opening spread and my album sorted so am feeling like I am on my way.  Now, I just have to take some photos – that was always going to be the hard part….

Also, I am not sure if the 2.5 x 3.5 size printables are useful to anyone else but me.  If you think they would be useful, comment.  I’ll add some of the ones I resized for myself if there is interest.

1 Comment

Copic coloured image transfer

OK, here is the info you need for doing a Copic coloured image transfer to fabric.

As I have said, I have a couple of t-shirt transfer sheet brands.  THIS one works well with Copics.  The packaging does NOT have the info printed on it (I’m guessing it was originally on a printed sleeve maybe?) and the packaging looks different now so I hope it isn’t a case of them having changed the paper and that it will still work the same way.  They also have DARK shirt transfers, which could be cool on a black t-shirt.


I think the key has to be the WAY you apply the transfer.  For THIS paper you must peel off the image, apply it face UP to the shirt, lay the silicone backing paper over the image then iron.  It’s a pain to peel, but that could be because mine is old.

You can either STAMP with Memento ink or PRINT a digital stamp onto the paper. This one is one of the Octopode Factory Alice stamps.


You cannot blend on the transfer paper like you can on plain paper, and you do not want to apply the Copic ink wet-on-wet.  That disturbs the transfer film and can smudge it more than tear it but it isn’t good. You want to either apply the ink in broad strokes in one layer or let the ink dry before going over it.


Use a light touch. If you want layered colour, your can apply one colour, like in her hair here, then let it dry and apply the other colour.  I’ve done light first then darker highlights, which works best.


Instead of stroking on the colour, you can fill in by pressing the brush against the paper, like so:


OR you can do hair with a series of little flick strokes instead, like I did on this image from DillyBeans (and can you see how I did wet-on-wet on her face and the smudging that happens?):


As you can see in the last Alice, I trim close to the image but leave a larger area against a large area of the image – like the head.  This just means that the trimming of the tricky, thin bits are done before I peel off the transfer and the area left to trim is easy, if that makes sense.


Peeling tips: GO SLOW.


Now, I think in future I would leave at least a halo all around the image.  I trimmed VERY CLOSE to the feet and when I ironed it on….



The rest of the image worked a treat, but that area was a disappointment.  Can you see on the skirt where I did dark over light to highlight the folds of the skirt?  Nt blended like on paper, but it does give the effect.

For this one I think you have to test out some papers that are available where you are.  The DecAdry paper is on Amazon UK, but as I said the packaging is different so I cannot be sure it works the same way as the stuff I have.  I will probably get some more to see.  It’s the problem when you hoard supplies and don’t always keep the original packaging!