Having a bit of a play with Project Life in A4 (NOT printables)

I know I’ve been a bit MIA recently.  I’m working on a project at the request of DD and it is taking me quite a bit of dedicated time.  Not ready to share it just yet.

I am hoping to do PL printables for a set of Challenges on UKScrappers – a follow-on from last year’s Team Project Life – and thought I really should play around with it a bit.  So that is how I have been spending my time.  But I have been playing with my own take, using A4 sheets and digitally.  Yeah, yeah, I know it rather defeats the purpose of PL, the fast and easy print/cut/slip-in/done bit, but I’m betting this is probably not going to be something I will manage to follow thru on, no matter how much it appeals.  It requires the purchase of too many new things and I already have too much stuff, my craft room is BURSTING at the seams so realistically the only PL style I should even seriously consider is the one where you use all the sizes and template layouts, but build it all on a 12 x 12 page by sticking rather than slipping.  At least that way I don’t have to buy anything new.

I make a LOT of printables, and they get downloaded and pinned 100s of times, but I rarely get to see them in use.  That troubles me – do people like the look of them but struggle to find a way to use them? Are they not designed (especially colourwise) to work with other printables and with the commercial cards?  Is it that they are FREE and people just warehouse them in case they might want to use them in the future, JUST because they are free?

I thought even making a couple of pages might teach me something about the process.  And that might help my designing. So I did.  I created my own “templates” with non-standard sized blocks, although with the same proportions, and played around with some December photos, mostly grabbed from family FB pages.  I used my own printables for the journaling blocks and filler cards.  Overall, I didn’t struggle to make them work together, although because I designed them and had the layered files on hand I was able to change the colour for the one I wanted to use which wasn’t in the colour I needed (the maroon with arrow)




It was interesting.  I’ve played with digital scrapbooking before but never seriously considered doing it.  I like printed albums.  What I like about the A4 size is that it is standard.  You can print on a standard home printer with no hassle, and commercial printing doesn’t cost the earth. Using the pages for a Photobox photobook would be easy, I think.  Two pages a month is only 24 pages and that is a completely reasonable size for a photobook.  Likewise, self-binding with the BIA is easy and making a custom cover would add the handmade element….

I am tempted, to be honest.  Take the time, create the base templates, then I can re-size the photos to fit. I could print them and bind them for a year-book at the end, and best of all, can do as many copies as needed.  The question is IS IT WORTH IT?  Will it hold my interest where every other attempt at PL (never the “official” version – again too much stuff to buy more specialty stuff) never has?  I honestly can’t make that judgement.  But I might try, the first week of next month, making some January pages. See what happens.  See if I enjoy it or dread it for March LOL!  And mostly, I’ll be interested to see how it informs my designing.  Already I ask if a B&W version should always be an option to accompany the colour version – that way, for printed PL stuff you could easily customize the printables by printing them on your own patterned paper.  Or on white cardstock and tarting them up with ink and stamps. Also, should making them available as .pngs ALWAYS be a good choice?  Now I have the corners rounded so they are a very close match to the “official” PL cards, is that both do-able and appreciated?

Full of questions, me.  {wink}


WOYWW 292 – First of 2015

Happy WOYWW 2015!  Wow indeed.


The year may have changed but the desk, more of the same.  Still a mess, strewn with projects and presents.  And some oddball items for sure.  The oddest has to be to the side of my desk.  I watched the BBC production of Mapp & Lucia.  I had read the books, gosh, in the 80s probably, and watched the previous production with Prunella Scales and was prepared not to like the new one, but I did.  Funnily enough I had found a couple of audio tape sets while cleaning a few months back and one was Queen Lucia.


Before I could listen to it…I had to find one of these!


It takes up my whole side table!  But I am enjoying it.  Also on my desk, under the tape sets,  are a few books – one a gift, one I bought for myself, and The Travelling Font Salesman from yesterday you can just about see buried at the bottom there


I had seen this on YouTube and just had to get the book – the illustrations are simply fab. And isn’t Christopher Walken’s  voice just perfect for this?  The Three Little Pigs (also on You Tube)? Not so much.

I scanned the centre spread, tidied up the seam, and printed it onto tee-shirt transfer paper to make a shirt for DSs girlfriend.  The Raven is her favourite piece of poetry.  A girl after my own heart.


Hope you all had a fab holiday season, however you celebrate it, and best wishes to all for a fabulous 2015.  Happy, Happy WOYWW…oooh when IS the WOYWW crop this year?  {wink}




Lots of random musings

DS has left the South and safely arrived back in Scotland, DD is back in school, DH is back at work, my car is working and slowly, slowly life is returning to normal.

I had a lovely Christmas with some lovely gifts.  I picked some gifts that I know were a big hit with the recipients. Most things were ordered to be delivered and there were a few problems.  Most of the problems were sorted with excellent customer service.  A few examples:

CaspianI ordered a set of interchangeable knitting needles from Amazon.  They were a particular blue-green colour and it was that colour I really wanted.  I have many Symphonie needles and sometimes I find it hard to see the contrast between the colour of the needles and the yarn.  They came in quick-time, via Amazon, but they were something called Harmony (which look like the Rainbow ones I found online) so I emailed Customer Service.  I chatted online and in the end as the ones I got were slightly more expensive than the ones I ordered, and I wanted to cast on something that day, I decided to keep them.  The Amazon person suggested I should tell the vendor KnitPicks what happened.  I did, explaining that I had wanted the Caspian set and why, but didn’t want to send them back because I needed to make a quick project for DS to take home with him.  They got right back to me, apologized for the error, said the set I got isn’t even available for sale outside North America, and said they would send me the set I ordered free of charge.  And what lifted it to excellent service?  I got to keep the original set.  Excellent service.

I ordered, also via Amazon, a set of knitting looms for DD. She really wants to knit, or make something she can wear, but her disability makes it a challenge.  For her AND for me.  I can’t even think of how to teach knitting using one hand!  I saw a few knitting loom videos and thought I MIGHT be able to teach her to use it with her dominant hand doing most of the work and her other hand as a helper.  I got the looms, sold by KnitUK but shipped by Amazon.  They came with little pegs to increase the number of pegs for finer yarns.  The test install was fine, but when I pulled the pegs out ONE got stuck and snapped off inside the hole.  I tried for a week to get it out, every way I could think of, then contacted Amazon to see if they could replace just the one loom (the smallest one.)  They said it wasn’t possible to replace just one part so instead refunded my money and told me to re-order the item.  The owner of KnitUK got back to me,  as all Amazon told her was they were refunding  me.  She said she would send me the replacement loom, and would have done that had Amazon passed my info on to her first.  Shame they didn’t. She was lovely and generous and a pleasure to deal with.

Now, a bad one.  I have been waiting for The Wonder Years to be available on DVD for years.  I mentioned that it now was.  In looking for it, I saw there was both a very expensive set from Time-Life, that came with a LOT of extra ephemera, but an ad kept popping up for a more stripped back version for a LOT less money. We bought the less-expensive version but in the end, of course, you get what you pay for.  The copy looks like it was made off a broadcast (despite claims it was “digitally remastered” in the ad) has weird little ads that slide out every so often, and the quality doesn’t even remotely match the images on the site.  For many of the shots, the top of heads are cut off, there are no credit sequences, the menus don’t work properly…the one bright spot MIGHT be that if it is from the original broadcasts the “real” music is used, as opposed to the substitutions required by the copyright issues that kept TWY from being available on DVD for 20 years.  And for me, I am enjoying the show despite the poor quality.  But the customer service element?  There is a place to add a review on the site.  The kicker is the review has to be approved by the webmaster.  The fact there are no reviews on there at all makes me think they are well aware of the issues but don’t want any potential customer from finding that out before they buy.  Caveat emptor, indeed.

If you travel, the gift I loved, and I sent my parents this year, might appeal.  From Globee on NotTheHighStreet, novelty luggage tags.  The image they use is upside down, it’s not me, so perhaps the dementia has already set in?  {wink} We also got Not All Who Wander are Lost and At My Age I’m Happy to be Going Anywhere.  Love them .  Total serendipity.  We were wandering thru the Winchester Christmas Market and wondering what the heck to get my parents and these just LEAPT out at me.  They were purchased, wrapped, popped in the mail in a day and arrived in time to go under the tree, despite being past the official last shipping date for overseas delivery.  So I guess Royal Mail and the US PO gets a nod for good service too! DH got me a cup and bowl from the Selbourne pottery from the Market too.  We had been to the pottery when my in-laws were here and I loved one of the sets.  So the Winchester Xmas market gets a thumbs up.

And finally, my award for jumping thru hoops.  I had seen a book I very much wanted.  Regular readers won’t be surprised.  I have been a fan of Chank and his fonts for a long time.  I saw this book had been crowd-funded and I just HAD to have the W.chankbook


It’s fab, but the complicated process DH had to go thru to get it to me here in the UK def. wins him the persistence award.  I love it.  I was literally speechless for a full minute when I opened it.

Now it is time to refocus my brain towards crafty things and settle into a more regular blogging schedule.  Beginning with WOYWW tomorrow!

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Hello all!  Still have too much to do to get DS off back to Uni.  His birthday today.  22.  How did that happen?

Anyway, I want to say thanks to all my new followers.  The calendars seem to be the draw.  And with that in mind, I want to share something I got via email.  Tina, in Germany, found the German language calendars and created this little project.  I thought it was a real outside-the-box version.  As you can see, the Project Life printable I made is there on the right.  But let me share her words (with permission granted, of course)

I followed your tutorial for the calendar stand and took a wire spiral which I recycled from an old calender to hold my sheets…then I cut your monthly sheets and so I had the size for my months and days.

I stamped and heat embossed the name of every month and the daily numbers and then I had a little fun with my stampin’ up stamps and inks…

I think it turned out very well and I wanted to let you know, that all your work is so amazing and helpful and thank you very much for your printables!


I just thought it was such a cute idea!  You could even make one of the sections grid or lined paper, for adding appointments or birthdays.  Maybe make one section photos or monthly affirmations or meditations or Bible quotes, if that is your thing. There are just so many ways you could change-up the basic idea to suit you.  I just love it when people share their projects with me and when they allow ME to share it, so much the better.  Thank you for that, Tina. I love it and may have to make one for myself!

Normal service will resume soon.  Life has to get back to normal sometime, doesn’t it?


Emergency phone case and my blog 2014 in review

Happy New Year to all my followers, readers, casual drop-ins .. really, anyone who stumbles on this 1 January 2015 post.

It will be DS’s birthday on a couple of days and as he has been complaining about his phone for ages, DH sourced him a new one, a Cyanogen 1+


Amazingly good price, although an android one, not a Mac, and WAY big.  DS complains it is too big to fit in his pocket, but these days it seems big phablets (phone the size of a tablet) seem to be the norm.  OK, this one isn’t THAT big but it measures in at about 3 x 6 inches. He wanted a case of some kind to keep the screen safe when he drops it in his backpack, so I made him this one, quickly, this morning.  I showed him a huge range of fabrics from my stash and his comment? There are only two good fabric in the whole stack. That’ll teach me to ask for input from the colour deficient.


You can’t go wrong with black and white.

On the plus side, he liked his socks.  Shades of grey, you may recall.  They are a little big – he apparently has huge FEET but very aristocratic (slim) ankles.  I will be taking measurements before he can slip away.  He likes them and says they are warm, so there is that, at least.


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Is anyone but me even remotely interested?  Perhaps not….

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 260,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 11 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I checked back to last year and I had 30,000 more views this year.  I make that 82 more visits per day.  I am NOT surprised my best day in the year was both a WOYWW day AND a calendar download post.

Have a lovely weekend!  I’ll be spending the next few days with DS before he has to trundle off up to snowy Scotland, back to Uni.  Missing my crop, but there will be another next month and Ds won’t be back for AGES…..