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I’ve not fallen off the face of the earth…

…I am just waiting, three weeks later, for BT to sort out the faulty underground cable that provides me with internet access. At the moment I am on an alternative solution but it’s slow and unreliable.  I am spending my online time sorting out things on UKScrappers, which is my priority, rather than my blog.

I do have another printable, created with the translation assistance from Opsite that I will add.  I am so sorry the issues I am having have caused such a delay in sharing these, but uploading large PDFs is a huge issue with a rubbish connection! Let’s see if I can make it happen before I drop offline AGAIN.
mistyfrench

The PDF can be downloaded here! I still have another couple of these to add and a BIG calendar project that will take some time to sort out, but we’ll get there eventually, BT allowing…

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Another French Project Life freebie – and more about the project

Let me start by adding the bio for my French scrapbooking online friend.  Her site is worth a visit for you scrapbookers because of the lovely layouts!  Tick the TRANSLATE button (I love that feature!) if you don’ speak French and the photos aren’t enough for you.

My name is Estelle, I am from Paris, I am 36 years old, I have 2 children and my alias is Opsite. I have been doing scrapbooking for over 10 years.

Since I was a child, I always have loved working with my hands. I have been doing sewing, crochet, knitting, watercolor, windows coloring so on and so forth.. However, scrapbooking is my favorite activity since I find it very complete. You pretty much have to be a Jack of all trades to do it and scrapbooking involves all the activities I mentioned above.

I like scrapbooking in all its shape: layout, card, mini-album, Project Life, you name it…

My style is “Clean and Simple”, I like to play with ink, stamps, materials and embellishments but I always try to not put too much of it. It is a real passion of mine, I have collaboration with European Brands.

What I like the most about scrapbooking is it gets your creative juices flowing, keeps your mind out of your daily problems and gives you the satisfaction of finishing a project.

Scrapbooking also allowed me to meet wonderful people and not only in France, Mary Anne is one wonderful example.

I echo Estelle’s feelings, and I think a lot of scrappers do – no matter how often I stray into other sorts of crafting, I always come back to scrapbooking in one form or another.  It really is the craft I love best.

Today I am adding the most troublesome of the printables.  The translations, if you saw yesterday’s post, were the trickiest.  The nuance of the word choice, picking the right way out of many ways to say similar things, had us going back and forth for all of the day.  But here is an image of it and the PDF is here!

sewFrench

I still have the trickiest set to do, the circular calendar ones, then it will be back to English.

I am awaiting another BT appointment to sort out my internet problems so just be warned – I might disappear for days, but like a bad penny, will eventually turn up again….so freakin’ typical … I had been connected for, oh, like 3 hours, and as soon as I tried to upload the PDFs to add to this post, I lost my connection.  {sigh}


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French Project Life Printables – sort of an SSE post

This is a Sunday-Someplace-Else post with a twist.

I wish I could remember exactly how this came about but I can’t.  I think Opsite linked to my French calendar printables and I emailed her or commented back to ask if they were really OK and she got back to ME, and we chatted, and eventually decided it might be fun to work together.  She would do the translating of the text on some of my printables and I would re-do them and offer French versions. Apparently there aren’t a lot of people doing FREE French language printables, although there are some offered for sale.

It has been a really interesting process.  Some things just DO NOT translate at all – the classic (in the USA anyway) GOT MILK? ads have never been seen there, so Got Yarn? on one of my printables, with a little crochet image just didn’t work.  From the same set, Knit One Purl One translates, not exactly, but in the same spirit, to Une maille à l’endroit, Une maille à l’envers.  That is a LOT more words.  And don’t even get me started on the accents!  90% of the fonts I use are freebies, often pretty quirky ones, and often not made to the same standard as a commercial font.  They don’t even HAVE accented characters, so I have to fake it, sometimes pretty creatively, using little bits of letters or characters from different fonts.

Thank goodness she offered a translation service.  Honestly, I was on edge for days after tossing those French calendars out there.  And it could have all gone horribly wrong.  Let me share with you a little exchange we had over a quilting printable:

Quilt in french is translated to patchwork. …   I decided to change it as “born to sew” which in french translate as “née pour coudre.”  But it is more elegant to put “couturière née” because it means that you love it and you really have raw talent for it.

Eek. All those accents! I suggested an alternative that the BING translator gave me, COUETTE, and paired it with a word I did know, AMOUR as in Love.

As for quilt means couette, this is also true but couette as comforter. And for the translation “amour à couette” it literally means “my lover with pigtails”…

LOL!  Can you see the pitfalls?

Anyway, I will add a bit of a bio for Opsite, probably with the next set of printables.  I am not abandoning English ones, don’t worry.  But HERE is a set of French translations of my Quote/Unquote printables. I hope they are useful.

quoteIf you DO find them useful, please let me know.

I have also been unable to maintain my internet connection for more than about 5 minutes at a time, since Thursday.  All the second engineer was able to do is tell me that the person who told my ISP that the faulty cable had been replaced was…let me be generous here….”mistaken” when they said the work was complete.  I have ALWAYS had issues with the connection when it rains. It rained.  I guess it has dried out a bit now and the connection is better.  Not GOOD, but better – I managed about 2 hours in a block a couple of times.  At the moment I have been connected for 42 minutes! With the start of a new workday tomorrow I will hope to get some more info.  My ISP said:

I have been unable to confirm when the cable replace will happen so far although have been advised it should happen within the next 7 days.

There seem to be some system issues that are preventing the case from progressing properly, which is why it is proving difficult to get updates.

I have raised the level of escalation once again and will relay any further information as and when it is given to me.

{sigh}  Sorry if I seem to have disappeared.  I’m hoping it will all get back to normal soon.


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WOYWW 294 – official

Argh!  Needing another appointment with the BT engineer.  I did an online speed test (more than one – about 20 over the last week) and got my score.  I could weep….

speed

So my desk is pretty much torn apart, and my online status a bit dodgy, but here is what I could grab and upload.

I got a ball of yarn on sale.  Trying to teach myself something new and made a sock in the process. I started by splitting the skein into two centre-pull balls.  100 gm skein, two 50 gm balls.  Can you just see the 50 on the scale?

woyww294

 

The finished sock.  Nothing special.

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Another one for DS – or, as I like to call him, BigFoot. See that shred of yarn?

6woyww294That was all I had left from the 50 gm ball.

I did get my needles organized – YAY!

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I ended up sticking the Knit Picks packaging to a hunk of chipboard with holes punched

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and used both the CD sleeves that came with the folder and some cheap plastic envelopes for various things.

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My scratchy note reminding me of the knitted grafting, so I don’t have to go back and watch the video every time!

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Visiting will be slow going, but I’ll do my best.  Happy WOYWW all. I’ve missed you…

 


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Pre-WOYWW – and back online

The BT engineers was here all day yesterday.  He arrived at about 11 AM and the job notes were filed at 4:53 in the afternoon.  Whenever a BT engineer has to come here it is ALWAYS an all day job.  The joys of living rural.  There is a fault on the line (ok maybe a BIG fault.  His little error-meter showed 203 errors in data transmission in 217 seconds) so some cable needs replacing.  He’s swapped me over to a slightly better spare line for the moment but it is at best a temporary fix.  We’ll see…

I snapped a shot of my desk, thinking that I would at least have a chance to get a WOYWW post up, but as I am online for now, I would add it and call it a Pre-post.  So this is the mess on my desk TODAY and what I will hopefully try to sort out for tomorrow.

Much like the state of my paper stash, my knitting stash is in a bit of a state. I lucked in to a free set of interchangeable needles and have kept them in the packaging, as it is so tidy and compact.  But the spare cables, acquired over time, and the fixed needle/cable ones and spare needles are all in a heap.  I tried the zip lock bags and for the most part they worked, but I wanted something that could incorporate the sets too.

prewoyww294

I also have tons of stitch markers, needle caps, and a bunch of freebies from my old subscription to Simply Knitting – stuff like cable needles and yarn bobbins, neither of which I have ever used, but I  might SOME day so I hold on to them.  I have this case, that used to house a huge set of programming CDs, that I think I can make work.

1prewoyww294

I think the coiled cables will fit those holders…

So, with a bit of dedication and ingenuity, I am hoping if I can join in with WOYWW there will be some progress made and my desk will look a LOT better.  Wish me luck, both for organizing and for staying online!


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A new challenge on UKScrappers

Last year, Niki from Being Scrappy did a fab Project Life class on UKS.  Each month she had a challenge, showed a set of pages, and had a PDF to download as well as linked videos.  This year, she is not doing it the same way, but UKS will continue to have a monthly challenge, set by Niki.  I’ve promised her I will try to manage a printable for some aspect of the challenge each month.  The January challenge is

  • Include a selfie and some ‘about you’ journaling
  • Include a shopping receipt or a tag
  • Use your name as an embellishment
  • Aspirations for 2015

and the printables I made for the Selfie aspect of the challenge.  I’ve done these as 3 x 4 cards, which means a small square photo can be added.  But I wonder…is thee any benefit to creating a larger 4 x 6 size block?  My feeling is it WOULD be useful, but let me know what you think!

selfies

The B&W version can be printed on white or light coloured card . The colour version is for printing on white.  There is a faint dotty pattern in the large block, hard to see HERE, but it’s there. If you don’t want to add a photo, use the block for journaling, next to a selfie photo!


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Sick day printables for Project Life

I’ll tell you what I am sick of…internet issues in rural Hampshire.  Meh. I’ve spent entirely too much time with my ISP trying to work out the problems with my internet, to include crawling around under my desk and swapping out a test router for the one I have.  All well and good, except the cables they supply are ridiculously short so I am left with equipment in unworkable places, in order to make the connections.

shortcable

I can’t even properly sit at my desk! As this is meant to be a temporary situation I am not keen to completely reorganize to accommodate so I’ve just tried working around it.  That will help to explain why I have been MIA over the last week.  BT is coming on Monday, and with luck that will actually sort things out.  But hearing about my internet woes isn’t why you are here.  This is:

sickday

My poor patient commenter, who asked for SICK DAY printables, has probably given up on me.  But here they are. Click to Download the PDF.

A couple of things to note:  My printer needs pink and yellow ink.  When I print these, the “blue” more BLUE and not is as I designed it, a bit turquoise.  If you print them and what you get is not turquoise, I’d like to know that. I’ll test it myself when I replace the ink, but I’m always interested in how my stuff prints on other printers. Next, I was aiming for things that could be used for both kids, sick, home from school, as well as adults taking a day off work (sick or not!)  I’m not trying to address, specifically, depression or a more serious or chronic illness, but these can be used for those situations, if you think they fit.  As with the BAD DAY printables, I hope you never need these, but the reality is you probably will

😦

 


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So you had a bad day Printables – by request

I am always interested in what my visitors are interested in when it comes to printables.  And when someone takes the time to get in touch, asking about a specific topic they are struggling to find, I like to at least have a go. Last week I got this, via email:

I love your page. I just found it a couple of months ago. I have a strange request for journal page…well I guess two request. One if for sayings for when you’re sick and the other is for when you’re having a bad day. Not every days is wonderful and sometimes it just downright sucks. I’m pretty honest in my journal. Like how getting sick with the flu New Year’s Eve SUCKED!! 

Whatever you come up with would be cool.

I had to look back.  The closest I came to a “bad day” sort of printable was this set, from ages ago. Not really fitting the bill, but generic enough they COULD be used for both a minor illness and a bad day or bad event.

I had a bit of a think and came up with this set for her.

soyouhadabaddayPL

The font is called Character Cats – I’ve had it for a while, have no idea where I originally got it from, but found it for download here. I did quite a bit of post-processing it to turn the scribbled line-only glyphs into faces, as well as changing all the little smiles to frowns.  I didn’t want them to be overwhelmingly  sad-looking, so they walk the line between sort of cute and sort of sad.  I know there are two distinct camps.  There are those who, like the requestor, prefer that their albums and journals are a true depiction of life, good and bad.  And there are those who think life is too short to focus on the negative, so their albums are all about the happy times.  Getting something that works at least a bit for both is HARD.  I have some ideas for a “sick day” version, but it seems trickier to me.  We’ll see.

Now, given that this request mentioned her “journal” rather than her album, it occurred to me that these might be useful in the 1/2 size I do sometimes, for using in a Smash book, a filofax style journal, or an art journal, it if is more collage than paint and ink.  So I went ahead and converted the PDF to that size as well.

The 3×4 Project Life PDF sheet is here

The 1/2 size (about 2 1/4 x 3 inch), 10 card sheet is here.

Have fun with them?

Enjoy?

hope they are useful?  Oh dear.

Hope you never need to use them!

{wink}


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Comment driven tutorial – PDF edits

I’ve mentioned it before, but as I had a specific request for editable PDFs, I wanted to take a moment to show the example the anonymous commenter asked for, demonstrated with one of my printables that seems to match her needs. The comment said:

Just a thought, is it possible to make the PDFs editable e.g. if you wanted to personalise the quotations for someone? I noticed someone made something similar using circular calendar tags when wrapping a present and highlighted the person’s actual birthday which looked cool. That’s how I found your website – I was searching for a template (editable) ! xx

The program I use doesn’t create editable PDFs, like a Photoshop or PSE layers file.  As I create and share freebies, I’m not itching to have to buy something that does.  You can’t do it with the free Acrobat.  But there ARE tools that I know are in the Mac Preview program, and I would guess there must be something similar in the Windows version.  I SAY that, but I don’t always believe it LOL! which is why I use a Mac and not a PC. But in THIS case I feel pretty confident it has to be there.  If I show you how *I* do it, you will know what to look for and hopefully be able to do it. I’ll pop the steps for PSE on at the bottom so jump there if you have and use that.

The first thing is to open the PDF in whatever PDF viewer you have.  As I said, on a Mac, it’s Preview.  You MAY have to right-click OPEN WITH > Preview, if your default PDF viewer is Adobe.  I am using one of the circular calendars. I used the bigger one, but for tags, the smaller 4-to-a-page version might work better. And that post has a link for the Monday to Sunday version as well.  You decide.

1. Open the PDF and select the page you want to edit.   Either File > Save As > Give it a new name OR drag the page you want over onto the desktop so you don’t overwrite the original file.

pickpage

2.  You can see on the drop-down menus all the options

annotate

but clicking ANNOTATE in the top bar also brings up most of the tools in an icon bar in Preview.

bar

The oval can be used to create the circle, and a drop down menu lets you pick the colour of the circle.  The box with the A in it adds the text and the font window can be opened from that to pick the font, size, and colour.

I rotated the page so it was easier to work on without getting a crick in my neck.  You can rotate back to print.

3.  Edit to add what you like.  For this example, the Happy Birthday message and the date circled.

edittoadd

I would just print the sheet then punch or cut the circle out, punch a hole and tag done. Close without saving if you edited the original rather than dragging the page or duplicating the file!

You could instead use the circle as a card topper for a QUICK card that looks like it was a lot of effort but isn’t.

Other ideas?  Maybe use the arrow tool instead of the circle.  Or edit the month for a special day (Mother’s day, Christmas, Valentines Day) and highlight the date.  Copy just that month onto a blank sheet (use the SELECT tool and Copy > Paste) to make a sheet full of circles for multiple cards or tags

Editing PDFs in Photoshop Elements

I’ve done similar before, but I know people struggle sometimes to translate generic instructions into specific tasks so I’ll go thru it again.

1. Open the PDF in Photoshop Elements.  If it is a multi-page PDF you can only open a single page.

psepdf

It’s hard to see but page 3 is slightly highlighted with a black border.  Clicking OK opens that page only. PSE also rasterizes the file.  Google it if you care.  In the top menu bar, FILE > DUPLICATE THE single PAGE AND CLOSE THE ORIGINAL PDF so you don’t mistakenly ruin the original.

2. Zoom in on the item you want to edit. Add a NEW LAYER with the Layers menu.  Using the marquee tool (the “marching ants” over November 19th) draw your selection on the new layer.  (You can also use the circle SHAPE (there at the right) if you prefer – just drag it over. It’ll be too big probably, but it will be created on its own layer.  FREE TRANSFORM IT to change the size. I just think it’s easier the other way)

addcircle

 

Usually the STROKE option will be active, but to capture the screen grab it isn’t. You can make it bigger or smaller, and pick your colour.

stroke

 

 

3. Add the text box, select and type your text.

text

 

 

addtext

Print.  You don’t even need to save it if you aren’t going to use it again and again.

Personally, I think the tools in Preview are far easier.  If someone who has a PC knows how to do what I did on the Mac, do share.  I make pick DH or DS’s brain.  They both use PCs a bit and might be able to help.

I really should so a workflow capture of the process but when I do I always mess up if it is a longer process. I’ll experiment.  If I can work it out I’ll do a Quicktime movie and share.  Then I only have to sort out a mic for the Mac.  <sigh>

 

 


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The things we do….

My DD has been keen on “making clothes” for a while.  I’m not sure what sparked this, but for about a year she has asked about making her own clothes.  I have to admit I am at a loss.  The thought of her at the sewing machine terrifies me a bit – her one hand can be unpredictable in its movement and she has little control of it. Without some sort of needle guard I would worry.  And knitting or crochet really requires two good hands.  My follower Sue tells me knitting looms were originally developed for use by the handicapped.  That would seem to confirm my instincts were right when I bought DD a set for Christmas! But it is complicated ho make something like a sweater on a loom – or maybe I haven’t found the right pattern.

I did look around for a simple sweater pattern and found this one, the appropriately named Simplest Sweater on Ravelry. There is a free version of the pattern for a single size, but that wasn’t the size I needed for DD so I sprang for the paid, multi-size pattern.  I like that it gives the INCHES for the “size” and not 12-14-16 whatever.  DD wears many different sizes depending on the line and if it is something from the US or the UK, but her inches around is a more reliable measurement.

It IS simple, a neck down, all in one piece, in the round so virtually all knit stitch (so mindless it’s easy to do sitting with her watching some random teen movie for the 5th time) and the only part that needs attention is the eyelets (for design not for function) that you make by doing a yarn over.

4simplesweater

I slipped a piece of paper in and stretched it a bit so you can see what it looks like.  The edges all roll, as there is no ribbing, but over 300 of these shown on Ravelry show plenty where ribbing has been added, or the neck or sleeves finished off with something different to the single crochet edging the pattern calls for.

I am getting there.  I’ve used my cables from my Knit Picks needles, so I can cap them with the little secure screw on caps that let DD try it on – it is nearly a perfect fit!  I omitted the waist shaping for a less fitted version as she tends to prefer comfort over style, but the all important around the bust measurement is spot on.

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She loved this yarn when I used it to make some hand warmers and luckily I had another two big skeins of it that I though I would use to make a throw for the sofa.  More than enough to make a small sweater.

I used smaller cables for the sleeves, and when I start them I’m going to see if I can use the Magic Loop method and put both sleeves on one super long cable and do them at the same time.

2simplesweater

5simplesweater

Those few cast-on stitches on the body section get companion cast-ons under the arm as part of the sleeve.  The ONLY SEWING is grafting those two-sets-of-8 stitches under each arm.  How fab is THAT?

I need to nail down the length that DD wants it to be, and if the sleeves will be 3/4 or full length, if she wants any ribbing or it left to roll, and maybe if the sleeves will taper, bell, or be worked straight.  I may not get that till in is about waist length, so she can visualize it a bit better.

simplesweater

You can best see the shape of it there.  I may have to have a go at making one for myself!  I like the slow change yarn, but I am a little worried I will be bugged by the sleeves not being a perfect mirror of each other.  We’ll see.  As long a DD likes it, and I have had the practice of constructing a sweater, the lessons learned that I can bring to loom knitting with DD, then this sweater has done its job.