Unpublished book

This is most def. a weird post. As you will have noted, if you visit here regularly, I have been de-cluttering.  It is amazing the things you find.

Eons ago, perhaps 10 years ago, I did a couple of book compilation projects for a publishing house.  The first was a greeting cards file.  The way it was done was a bit odd, to me.  Basically they sent me a stack of magazines the house also published and my job was to select projects from the magazine and, if at all possible, lift all of the photos they already had used then write text to turn the brief magazine info into a fuller project + technique entry.  This was the final product.


None of the projects inside were my work, just the text. Inside was a little tool kit and a projects book and a techniques book


After that, I did a similar craft file, which was on stenciling – don’t still have that one, or at least if I do I haven’t come across it yet LOL!

But after THAT, they asked me to do a Scrapbooking book.  That one was meant to have original work in it, as well as framing text.  At the time I said that my feeling was that a one-person book would be less interesting if the style the person (ME) used was not to the buyer’s taste.  I suggested adding another scrapper to the mix, they agreed, and I asked Shimelle. She said yes, and we set to work.  We made layouts and wrote text and just when it was nearly time to hand over the results, the publisher came back to us to say the people they were compiling the book for (I THINK it was Reader’s Digest for some reason) felt the market wasn’t strong enough and had pulled the plug.  DOH! Luckily we got paid, and they sent back all of the layouts.  I sent Shim the layouts I did using her photos and she sent me the ones she did using MY photos.  I never mingled them in my albums, just cause they weren’t MY work, IYKWIM.  But I did keep them in another album.  And I found them.

Here are a few, but not all she made. I love them all.  I want to go back and find at least a couple of examples of the ones I did using the same photos so I can share her version beside my version.  From what I recall she did her style and I tried to do a completely different style – more along the Clean & Simple lines so there would be a stark contrast and show how different a scrapbook could be.

I thought you might enjoy seeing these as I am pretty sure they have never seem the light before and it’s a shame cause they are lovely.





Shim was one of the first scrappers I met in the UK when we moved over the second time and she still inspires me over a decade later.  I am so delighted to have her layouts using my photos. I hope you enjoy seeing them – finally.


PL printables or SVGs to cut – Hello Love!

Still cleaning and de-cluttering.  It’s going to take weeks.  But it so needed to be done.

Anyway, here is another quick one – a set of printables that look like this:


and the PDF can be downloaded HERE. I thought that picking pink and blue and red would make them good for both romantic  love and love of a kid.

I also had a go and just making them into an SVG cut-file, but they just don’t cut nicely to my eye – I’m not sure if it’s the letters or the old blade and my ancient Cricut that is the problem. If you have a brand new blade (or at least new-ish) and don’t use cardstock that is super heavyweight, they might be OK. You can download them on Dropbox here.


I love the font, called Termica but I’ve no new blade to test my theory – in the interest of full-disclosure, you can see how it cut on MY machine.  Not ideal.  The funny thing is the W and the M were the real problems and most of the time they cut OK, as you can see, but there seemed to be ONE LETTER that cut rubbish.  I think it could have been either the area of the mat it was on, or how the blade rotates to cut that letter in sequence, depending on the placement on the mat.  But it’s not the kind of thing you can assure people, if you put it HERE, with this orientation, it’ll cut fine

Otherwise, you may prefer this version, in a font that cuts better.  Slightly less cute, but it cuts well.


There are three tiny …s after moment.  Maybe make them more obvious with a pin or paper piercer?

I’m thinking The Beginning of Forever works for a wedding or a birth photo, Hello Love works for anything, from life partner to some fab recipe or bit of interior design or new car LOL! Likewise This was the moment…  I decided I loved coffee, that I fell in love with you, that I knew you were crazy.. you get the idea.

{sigh} off to sort thru yet another closet..

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Quick printable – leather labels

This is something I have had on hold for a bit – I just wasn’t 100% happy with it, but I added a couple of bits and tweaked it and now I think I can share it.  I always have a few things that only need a little more work to make them share-able for times when I am super busy with real life and my crafty time is nil.

These are based on an old clothing label – I tend to save ones that I like the look of, graphically speaking. I have two kids.  It seemed unfair to only use 1 and 2 so I added some little blocks with other numbers.  If you have 2, 3 or 4 kids, great, snip out those to add to the BIG block (which will hold a small photo in the middle) or you can use the blank block and stamp on it in white – the font probably won’t match but it’ll be close enough. I think in that case I might cover the whole K-# area with a bit of ribbon or cardstock.

On the original labels the size and gender info is punched out with a hole punch to indicate which it is, but you could just circle the info with a pen or using a circle stamp.

Anyway, I have to dash but they look like THIS:


and you can download the PDF here!




Happy WOYWW day!

My desk is still covered with the memory book stuff, and the little spiky toy debris


I’ve sent off an email with the running order for the organizer to double-check against her list of stuff to make sure no emails with content went astray – hoping when I drop DD off today (after her Drs. appointment) there is no more surprise stuff that needs to be added.

Still in clear out mode too – I am attacking my bookshelves, sorting thru old (and I do mean OLD) scrapbooking magazines.  I’ve been holding on to them, thinking there might still be inspiring stuff in them, but frankly, even a quick flip thru shows me that how we scrapped in 1999 is NOT how we scrap today.  Well, not the way  I scrap anyway.  It’s time to let them go.  I still have nearly a full bookcase of books and a handful of magazines I will keep – like Scrapbooking Memories and More, a short-lived UK mag that I was a small part of eons ago, and the CK Idea Book and Paper Kuts ..Power Team book, I think it was called, that I have layouts or articles in, but other than that, it’s all going in the recycling.  Actually, I might hold on to a handful of them to take to crop next month – it should provide a few moments of hilarity at the very least.  At the time the layouts might have been cutting edge and quite inspiring, but looking back over 14 years I can only  gawp in amazement.  Will we all feel the same looking back in another decade at the mixed media style so popular today?

Hard to believe that 1999 idea book was the one that introduced Becky Higgins! And I def. have the one that had the first digi- HOFer too.  2002 or 2003, I suspect, and both there in the pile….


Times change, styles change, and I need the space.  {sigh} I wonder who else has been hoarding old OLD scrapbooking mags for a decade or more and when they last looked thru them for inspiration?  Have you? And I haven’t even touched the Memory Makers shelf yet – I know some of those book have layouts from me in them so I will have to go thru them all carefully.  Never submitted to Scrapbooks Etc. so at least THAT stack will be quick to weed.

See anything you fancy?  No, I though not….


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Stuffed Spiky

I’ve had an influx of last-minute entries for the memory book I am doing (for DDs youth group leader) so I have to abandon the cupboard cleaning for the day.  But the pages are really more of the same, and I can’t share any with the kids on them, so I will instead share another little Mr Spiky – I edited the blank template to add the logo of the scheme, to accompany the book.  I thought the plain card version might be a bit flimsy so I’ve stuffed him full of toy stuffing and added a little felt covered circle to finish off at the bottom.


He sits quite comfortably on the desk – you may recall orange is my least favourite colour, but what can ya do?


Better get crackin’ – I’m due to hand it over either tomorrow or Thursday! If any MORE comes in I’ll be in a flap till it’s safely in the hands of the team.


Text converter

It’s Bank Holiday here in the UK and while the garage is done (YAY!) there are an unreasonable number of “junk drawers” that need sorting.  Given the miserable weather, that seems a perfect task for the day.

But I did get a comment/request on my post yesterday asking about the list of words – did I have them in ALL CAPS, like I used for my words.  I didn’t, and while I am always happy to help I just wasn’t going to re-type the whole list in order to get them in ALL CAPS.  Sorry, that isn’t the best use of my time LOL!  But I did find a super handy online text converter.  There are LOADS of these sorts of tools available.

Text converter – this will convert text to ALL CAPS, initial caps, all lower case, alternating caps (remember when that was all the rage? ) and sentence caps.


or check this one out!

& a a a a aBoUt aLl aLwAyS Am aN AnD AnD AnD AnD AnY ArE ArE ArE ArT ArT ArTiSt aRtIsTiC As aT At bE BeAuTiFuL BeAuTy bEcAuSe bEgIn bEiNg bElIeVe bEnEaTh bEsT BeTtEr bEtWeEn bIg bIg bLaCk bLeNd bLuE BlUr bOy bRiGhT BrUsH

Alphabetizer – takes a list of words and puts them in alphabetic order. That one takes a block of text, alphabetizes it, and you can select to add a line feed after each word to create a list


There is also a tool on that page to remove line breaks – so if you found a LIST and wanted to convert it to a block of text you can do it with a click. And there are separate tools to convert to upper or lower case, and to capitalize sentences, but the first link offers all that in one place, which is why I prefer it.

Word Search creator: Remember this set of printables for Christmas cards? Here is the link again for the word search creator.  Very handy.


And while I’m at it, don’t forget the Kuler Color Theme tool! It is so easy to pick a theme, and unlike some, it has more than just three colours.  I like that – and I like the display that includes the RGB values for the colours and use that A LOT when creating my printables.


I also like that you can tweak a theme with the tools, or change it completely with the COLOR RULE menu.

And since I am doing a post of links, I really have to add Taxedo and Wordle, for creating word clouds. All sorts of fun applications for them.

Have fun









Artistic magnetic words

Ack!  I just could not decide what to call this post. I’ll explain…

I mentioned we were cleaning out the garage yesterday.  DD also went thru her room, trying to identify clothes and toys she was happy to take to the Charity shop, and one thing she came across was a baking tray I had altered with scrapbooking papers, full of magnetic butterflies. She’s a bit over girlie things like fairies and butterflies, so not bothered she doesn’t want it anymore. But the tray did give me an idea.

I was looking at the magnetic poetry words we have on our fridge and they are just….boring. I had recently ordered some of this – it was a great deal, I think a buy one get one free sort of deal, so I was happy to potentially waste a sheet experimenting.


I found a few word lists online, often as PDFs or in columns with weird formatting characters. I complied a list of words – maybe not your perfect list but not hard to compile your own, trust me.  I picked a font.  Because I was not planning a white background (or even a solid colour one) I wanted a font that would still be readable. I picked Blackout because I thought it would be easy to cut and that joining a word and a suffix (like, well, JOIN and ING for example) it would mean the join would look seamless.

I looked back thru some of my scans of AJ pages, etc, and found this one, a Gelli Print pulled on a paper towel.  I loved the colours


I sized it to fit the paper, and added the word list


then printed it on the paper side of the magnetic sheet


Cut the words out and ta-da! Magnetic poetry words that look more interesting that black on white.


I only cut a few words out, but it is easy enough to cut the strips then snip them apart – I could have snugged them up a bit closer to waste less, but hey ho, I know for next time. And I’m not 100% sure about the background, only because it is very textured.  Still, I think what you see filling the font is nice enough colour-wise and not so busy you can’t read it.  I do like the idea of using my art for the backgrounds, it might just need playing around with the background+font combo and text printing on cheap paper first.


Here is my Word list:

& a a a a about all always am an and and and and any are are are art art artist artistic as at at be beautiful beauty because begin being believe beneath best better between big big black blend blue blur boy bright brush build building but by came canvas careful cat change class classic clay color comfort cool could crayon crazy create cry dark day different dip do does dog down draw draw dream drip drop each ed ed er est est ever every exhibit explore face famous favorite feel feeling fill find fine fish float flower for for for form friend from full fun genius get giant girl go going good green grow had hand hang happy has have he he heart her here his house how hot I I I if imagine important inspire  inspired inspiration in in ing ing ing ing journal interesting is is is it it it it kid kind know laugh learn life light like like line little look love ly ly magic make many me metal mold moon more move movie museum music my nature never new nice night no no not of of of of on one or or or orange out over paint paint paint painter painting paper pen people perfect person Picasso picture pink poem poetry project purple push put r real realistic red rule s s s s s s sad saw sculptor sculpture see serious shadow shake shape she she she shimmer shine show sky smear so some spill splatter star statue sun super take that that the the the the the their there they thing think thought through time to to to to together too trick tricky try under understand up us us very visit wall want was was water way we weird went were what when where which white who will with with wonderful work world world write y y yellow yes you you your

I figure that if I add them as text, yo can just copy and paste them over into whatever word processor you use and pick a font YOU like.  And slip in any words you want that I don’t have, play with the size, etc etc.


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Memory Book progress

As I mentioned I am making a memory book for DDs departing youth group leader.  It started life as an ugly plastic office binder but with a little decoration it now looks like THIS:


Sorry the photos aren’t great but I think you can get the idea.  DH and I are deep in the bowels of the garage, finally sorting out the chaos and I just snapped these quick. All the pages follow the same basic colour block idea, the Boy and Girl pages keep the punched border consistent throughout, and each has a photo and a message.



The UK purchased page protectors are meant to be “anti-glare” but I think they are a little hazy – not as nice as US 8 1/2 x 11 ones, but at least they are A4 size and fit the binder’s 4 hole rings.

There is also a slightly adapted poem from Dr Seuss Oh the Places You’ll Go.


and an image from Winnie the Pooh


and a final word:


There are photo sleeves for 4 x 6 photos, and sleeves for cards, and writing or art from the disabled youngsters who attend the scheme.  They love it so far, and think the recipient will be very happy with it. So if they are happy, *I* am happy!

Back to the garage now.  Pah!


Make your own stamping plate

There has been a discussion on UKS about stamp+die sets.  The dilemma is to cut the paper or card THEN stamp the image or stamp the image and THE place the die to cut it out.  Last I looked I am not sure if one method was winning over the other.  But that discussion prompted a discussion of stamping plates – Fiskars has one (and I have that one, or did till I stepped on it and broke off a corner – DOH!)


and it seems there is a Martha Stewart one too – or at least a block with foam feet.

You know me – if I have a hankering for something but neither the time nor the cash to get it, I am always going to try to figure out how to make something similar from stuff I have hanging around the house.

What I used:


an acrylic block – this is one of the big chunks a mate cut for me, that I have used previously as a stamp mount for my Gelli plate. But any large acrylic stamp mount will  work – I got these from a craft show – maybe £10 for nine.  The larger ones are best


a strip of cork tile – I don’t see why Fun Foam wouldn’t work as well, one thickness or two stuck together.  You’ll have to play with it.  You just need something to make the stamp hit the paper fully, compensating for the foam.  When compressed it will be close to flush with the table but the little extra helps.

a Sharpie marker – to draw grid lines on the acrylic.  Not required, but it may help with placement and act like a positioner

a bathroom sponge – has to be the easily compressed foam, not cellulose sponge, for example.  You might find this sort of foam as kids foam stamps.  That’ll save you cutting them.

And speaking of cutting – I cut them with my Big Shot and a thick die, but you can just cut them in squares with scissors.


I thought this very thick sponge was TOO think so I cut the circles in half thru the middle


I stuck them to the corners of the block


and covered the gluey bit you can see thru the block with fun foam circles – totally not required. I used Fabri-tac, which held the foam perfectly to the acrylic.  Not sure what will happen if I ever try to WASH is, but I’m not planning on doing that – likewise the Sharpie lines.  they don’t seem to wipe off with a baby wipe so they might last,


I cut the cork tile so it fit between the foam feet


You can see what I mean about the cork or Fun Foam making up the difference.  Add the stamp.


just flip it over the paper and press


See? The stamp would be too far from the paper for a good impression without the cork.


and a perfect image!

11makestampplateI think you could add smaller foam bits to ANY block – you can still use the other side as a normal mount then flip it over to use the foam as feet if you need to.  But the point is, it took 10 minutes and I didn’t have to buy anything.  OK so the sponge was bought for another purpose, but it was 45p so not going to break the bank, now is it?

Off to work on the memory book a bit more.  Enjoying it, but I’ll be glad when I’m done…


Pixel calendar

This is something I have been working on for a while – honestly? Creating those little pixel colour blocks was the most massive pain in the butt. All those tiny squares, aligning them, selecting the “pattern” and the colours… And changing the fonts is never as straightforward as it should be.  If it isn’t a monospaced font, or if each character isn’t perfectly aligned centre by the creator of the font (and often, with free fonts, they aren’t) then changing the font throws the alignment off.  Unless it is obvious, many people won’t notice. But I do.  And it bugs me.  sometimes, it just isn’t possible to align the columns perfectly – or even if they ARE, they LOOK wonky.  Doh! I just do my best and stop when they look OK to my eye.

They look like this – might be nice for a desk calendar for an IT person, don’tcha think? Easy enough to print and stick them to plain (maybe black?) pieces of card to fit a CD calendar.


I only did the Sunday to Saturday version.  I might take the time to do the Monday to Sunday one at some point, but not till I have the time and the patience.

I would have taken more/better photos but I fear my camera’s rechargeable batteries need replacing – they seem to have come to the end of their life.  A full day’s charge only lasts a day.  I have no AAs kicking around so best sort that sharpish! I also meant to print just the one page of the PDF on white card so I slipped a single page into the printer – it was loaded with cream card for DDs youth leader’s memory book.  Stupid me, I neglected to tell it to print THIS PAGE not the whole PDF.  DOH! again.  But I am liking it printed on cream too, so I figured I’d show that – lucky I got a single photo before my camera gave up the ghost.


I did round all four corners of OCTOBER, but I personally like just the top corners rounded, like November. I guess it depends on whether you have all rounded or a mix of rounded and square in your book.

It’s a three page PDF, 4 months per page.  All rainbow, except December, which is red, green and gold/yellow, mostly. The font for the months is Checkbook and the day strip is OCR A Std.  The numbers are Helvetica Neue Light

No I just have a few WOYWW visits to return, then it’s all about the book…