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More collage progress.

I am trying to get at least one a day done, but life tends to get in the way some days.

I like both of these quite a lot, and I feel like they reflect the musings from yesterday pretty well. I feel like I am really beginning to identify my “style” and using the same sort of elements again and again.

I think that while they share elements, like the black die cut letters, the open circles, and a mostly vertical lines orientation, those things appear differently in each piece. I mean I don’t see them as copies of the same design, just variations. And they share a similar vibe with this previous piece.

One of the hardest things I think, is to identify your style. And I often seem to do things that go against the grain, my grain, I should say. I place something and I think to myself Well, that open circle is something I have used a lot. Maybe I should use something else… instead of thinking Open circles are my thing. Is there a place for one in this piece? There is no need for constant innovation. Was it Picasso that had his blue period? Maybe this is my open circle period. Maybe I just happen to have a ton of the waste bits from previously punched circles in my scrap stash! Who knows? What I do know is I rather like the small pieces, and when I flip thru the pages I’ve done, the first few, the ones that are more bitty, and don’t share those elements, make me less happy and maybe even seem like they don’t belong!

But then these two DO feel like they work with the others, or at least they work better. No idea why.

It is all very interesting. One thing is the one that feels very out of place, above? That is the one on the slightly smaller block, turned the wrong way so it is very out of place on MANY levels. I might just ditch it and carry on with the style I think I’ve identified and see where it leads….

Hoping I was going to have all of them done for binding on Thursday, but we will see if I manage that. Got sidetracked by a custom project that had a deadline. Now that is completed I can focus my energy a bit better.

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Collage progress with a deviation.

As you saw end of last week, I made a larger collage in my journal, as planned, then flipped over and began making one on the back.

Then I realized a couple of things. Firstly, I am not great at this technique. I mean I have made collages before that I really loved. Like these:

But those were using a coordinated set of papers that were created with the collages in mind, rather than a completely random set of scraps from creative play that could be years (decades?) old. I considered. And I decided smaller was better to begin with. So in addition to the few I shared, I made more of the smaller pages.

I have thoughts. For me, working on the smaller size is doing two things. They feel a bit like warm-ups so there is little pressure. The amount of space is smaller, so fewer pieces can be used. THAT has revealed that for me, lots of bitty pieces appeal less that mostly large chunks but with some smaller overlapping layers to focus the eye. Lastly, leaving “white space” or background has more impact when the overall space is small. I think these are helping me focus on the decisions I am making maybe because I have to make fewer of them to fill the space?

Anyway, I have a pile of the mall pages cut and punched and once I complete them all I will be able to try that slip knot binding. So that will be fun. I would like to mention I was able to use one of my image transfer with white paint experiments from a while ago. Can you see it?

I like it a lot.

So yeah, I will be playing with these little ones then at come point I will move on to a bigger canvas. That’ll be…interesting.


I have no voice and I must scream.

With apologies to Harlan Ellison.

An out of the usual Sunday post, but still Art Journaling, as I process things.

Today, the Court discards … balance. It says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs. (from the dissent by the only three sane members of the court.)

…because no one told the conservative right and Scrotus that The Handmaid’s Tale was never meant to be aspirational.

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New technology – exciting for me, boring for you. Sorry

Yesterday was spent working on the “office corner” for Darling Daughter. She is taking on a work experience task and felt, as her Dad and I both had home offices, she needed one too. Now, she spends a lot of time chilling in the room we call the snug – on the other half of the house, the front room and what would have been this room have been combined into one long room. This half, the front room is The Hubster’s office and the snug houses a couple of sofas and a LOT or tall bookshelves crammed full of books. No room in there to make it an office, so I came up with the idea to arrange a bit of furniture to block off a corner and create an office space in her decent sized bedroom. When we bought her a monitor for her laptop, The Hubster bout me two to replace the sad old ones I have been using.

They were mis-matched, and not the best quality. He set things up for me and WOW. They are not THAT much bigger, but both are adjustable up and down and side to side, they can be rotated (because I love the portrait left/landscape right orientation) and SO BRIGHT. Amazing difference. My only worry is getting my viewing distance right so my prescription for my glasses is also right. Always tricky.

I love that the bezel is tiny so the transition when I am dragging my mouse from one monitor to the other feels more seamless. I still need to shift my phone down to it’s usual home and get the speaker pods into the right place, but it was super satisfying to finally get to DUST behind it all easily!

So yeah, my blogging has been lame since I came back, I will get into the swing of things again. I keep saying that, but between the blanket (which is all consuming and really taking shape now) and some Jubilee things (DD walking in a parade, and a picnic we are planning) and visitors, then meetings and Drs. appointments and the lot it is proving to be a struggle! I will try to warn you, if you are someone who gets my posts emailed to you so you know that I am not posting a super crafty thing, and you can skip it.


Well, it’s been a minute…

I realize now it was a bit inconsiderate to just disappear without any notice. Sorry about that. I did get a few concerned messages, worrying I had been ill, so yeah, I’ll try to make time to warn you if I am going to take a break in future. We had such a crazy flurry of activity prior to the in-laws arriving. We had a painter here for 2 straight weeks, touching up the walls and woodwork in the halls and entryway, plus a few other tasks, as well as a massive amount of gardening and planting, in the hopes we would be able to spend some outside time.

Always a risky bet here in the UK, spring/summer/fall/winter LOL! The once the in-laws DID arrive it was a different sort of flurry of activity – we started off with a morning of Covid jabs for us (Spring boosters and 5th dose for me!) followed by a house concert by a folk artist we like quite a lot

Then spend a very full day for US Mother’s Day wandering around the art installations at Sculpture by the Lake. These guys were a firm favourite, at least for me, but there was so much to see and we had a beautiful day weather-wise from start to finish.

That was followed by many more days out, many long lazy dinners finished up with conversation, knitting with my MIL, and the occasional TV session with darling daughter, who didn’t want to miss her American Idol or Masked Singer USA. FIL spent his spare time processing 100s of photos. I might eventually share some, when he does. One of the last meals was a tabletop Surf&Turf, where we grilled salmon and A5 Wagyu. Smoky, even with all the windows open and a fan set up to keep the alarms from going off, but it wasn’t something we could shift to another day where the weather outside might have been better. And the meal itself was superb. The Hubster has been anxious for me to try Wagyu and it was pretty amazing stuff. The last day was also a skating day so it was off to Heathrow at 7AM. A bit of chaos due to a car broken down wreaking havoc with the airport traffic flow, but the got there in time – darling daughter not so much. I think she managed about 10 minutes of her skate, but hey ho, there is always next week. Now we will settle back down to a quiet house – except this week is full of things like the cleaner coming for a post visit swizz round, piles of bedding and towels to be washed to get the guest room set up for any future visitors (you never know…) a Drs. appointment for DD, a visit from my knitting mate (it’s been MONTHS) so yeah, maybe NEXT week will be a bit more relaxed at least for a while.

I have to admit I barely entered my craft room, except to Wordle every day and check my mail so it may take me a bit to dust off my crafting skills and actually do something so bear with me while I find me feet again!

Might make WOYWW this week, and if so it will be good to catch up again after such a long time!

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Happy Anniversary to Me and my Guy!

This week is crazy busy with houseworks and gardening and distance Drs. appointments so with apologies the blog might be a bit boring. Here is one of my favourite cards ever. I made it in, get this, 2014, and it has been waiting in my stash for the perfect occasion. If you want to see how I made it, the dets are here.

I still think it is a great card for a guy. I often use graph paper or lined notebook paper for guy cards and I think that really helps tip it away from girly somehow.

The only other item of (slight) interest is the crimping tool I used on the metal aglets for the knitted shoelaces. It was not easy to use, despite the video, and I think overall it confirms my thought that the heat shrink tubing is def. the best, easiest option. I am not a huge fan of metal tipped shoelaces but if that’s your thing, have at it.

Back for probably a pretty boring WOYWW too…this week is just not a crafty one.



Identifying my style – Art Journal Journey asked, not sure I can answer!

This is a long one! Over on the Art Journal Journey, this month they are asking about your style. If you read the description you can maybe guess that I fall in the final category – eclectic, with a style that goes whichever way the wind blows. What never changes is my stubborness and refusal to blog hop while signed in to Google, to avoid all the tracking. Sorry I can’t comment on so many of the lovely pages I have seen over there, but I am old, and set in my ways.

I recently did a post looking back on a specific journal I made focusing on a medical condition I have – meant to be a sort of inspirational + coping mechanism, full of quotes meant to say Hang in there! That got me thinking about some of my other journals. I can see my style evolving over time, and if I dated a page I can also see how what was going on at the time, what I was mildly obsessed with at the time, what new supply I got, informed my art. So here is another new page, although I can’t say it is indicative of my particular style, although it does include a couple of things I will mention later (text, a quote, and avoidance of a butterfly – can you spot it?)

It’s hiding under the MORE LOL!

So what IS my style? Still in scrapbook mode, early on, I tended to make two page spreads:

I always had a thing for circles (I mean, who doesn’t?) but I rebel against the overuse of butterflies LOL! I really have to push myself to use them, even when it kinda makes sense. Is this the only page where it is a focal point? It might be!

Looking back over my Lock Down journal, was also an interesting process – very much in a Dina Wakley phase, but also lots of examples of unique things I created (stencils, one of my Project Life cards, repurposed, handmade stamps, to name a few)

and the Dina-phase carries on even into recent pages:

At a time when we were struggling with a professional who let us down, badly, and I was into serious stencil cutting mode, making a page helped me process my anger, and the pandemic (and feeling trapped in the house) also needed processing thru journaling:

I am not sure if the size of the journal matter much for me. I make simple pages and complex pages even in my smallest journal:

I had a go at LifeBook 2021, although I didn’t find a ton of classes that suited my style – I am pretty crap at following other people’s pages, but I did make a couple that I really loved:

At the moment I seem to have fallen down a neurographic art rabbit hole:

I am still experimenting with methods of bringing that sort of art into my journal. I just find it super relaxing and meditative to do!

I make all my own journals so sometimes I end up with weird sizes. The one I made from amazon packaging it quite tall and thin, with pages that fold this way and that. I think that is part of my style. This trio of pages is in that journal:

and include some of my fave text ever (two quotes from Buckaroo Banzai and two stamps combined to create I am spinning like mad confetti but confetti is not a victimless crime.) Another of my very most favourite pages is also in that journal:

I could keep on adding more images but I feel like that is a good enough sample to draw some conclusions! And if I had to pick ONE element, it would be TEXT. It’s quotes and words that matter the most to me. Finding the perfect words to match the art is the thing. Song lyrics, snippets from movies, found poetry…it’s all what I am drawn to on the pages. And the second thing is unique items. Handmade stamps, stencils cut, stamps altered to make them more my own…that stuff matters. If I get too much in a groove where I am using only commercial stuff, I start to get antsy. I start to think about how I can change the standard items into something that might be unique to me. I start to feel my work is less mine and more the original designer’s. I may not always succeed, but it is always there someplace in my mind.

That was excessively long so if you made it this far well done. It was a super interesting exercise for me and I hope you found it at least a little interesting as well!


Finally feeling better, but….


As soon as I started feeling better from the IVIG, on a more aggressive schedule than usual, I got a letter about another (routine procedure) upcoming that will mean another week of disruption. It’s all good, but the timing could be better.

So yeah, my blogging has already suffered and will continue to do so, I’m sure, for another couple of weeks. Ah well.

So I am going off piste for a bit with some posts about random stuff. Today, Navidrome. From their site:

[Navidrome] is a piece of software that allows you to listen to your own digital music in the same way you would with services like Spotify, Apple Music and others. It also allows you to easily share your music and playlists with your friends and family

After a simple installation, Navidrome indexes all digital music stored in your hard drive and makes it available through a nice web player and also by using any Subsonic-API compatible mobile client. Your music becomes searchable and you can create playlists, rate and “favourite” your loved tracks, albums and artists

So the entire weekend was taken up with sorting thru our digitized music collection (which has 334703 songs in it) and making a playlist of some of my favourites. I have a long way to go but after I hit 100 songs there was a little glitch. Sorted now.

The problem is that our collections has such a weird variety of things in it. The Hubster has very eclectic taste in music. And of course the kid’s stuff is in there too. But also the collection is littered with tracks purchased for The Hubster’s many years of doing a music quiz at or local pub.

So yeah, Bob Marley shares a screen with The Best of Elmo (Sesame Street) and Naruto OST (anime) as well as PIL and The Prairie Home Companion Christmas disc and Judas Priest. Compiling a playlist (actually a master list of MY favourites then multiple playlists based on mood) will be a long job. I know not every crafter who reads my blog will find this at all interesting, but so far I gotta say I am liking it a LOT and it may bring back the oft mentioned Master Collection into daily use! I am already discovering stuff that I haven’t thought of in years (like my old Bill Hicks stand-up recordings, all ready to listen to at the drop of a hat!) and I am excited about the possibility.

At the same time, I am still working on the lavender hearts of darling daughter’s upcoming charity Bingo event. While in the process of doing that I actually tweaked the pattern in a tiny but good way (knitting 20 of something over a few days will do that) and discovered something else interesting about the pattern as well. I’ll share in the next day or so.

Sorry I am a bit boring, craft-wise, at the moment. I am hoping that will improve when things settle down a bit more.


NOT crafting. Those with an aversion to dirt look away now!

You have been warned.

I have had the same keyboard for 22 years. Some of the keys are a bit worn down so it’s hard to read the letters on them. When I was scrapbooking and my working space included the keyboard drawer in front of my computer, I had a bad habit of dropping things on to the keyboard that would then drift down under the keys. I had more than one mishap – remember this?

Yeah. Stuff like that. So I mentioned that The Hubster upgraded my machine recently. Usually he only sits at my desk when making a back-up, so his exposure to my keyboard was always pretty minimal and infrequent. He said to me, “Your keyboard is borderline unusable. When was the last time you cleaned it?” to which I replied, “Never.” Oh, I turned it upside down every so often to shake out something or when the keys seemed particularly sticky, but otherwise, no. He presented me with a can of air, a small hand-held hoover, and left me to it.

Brace yourselves.


I grabbed a sheet of A4 paper to catch the dust, couple of different paintbrushes and an embossing stylus and baby wipes and began to tedious key by key process of

  • removing each key
  • wiping it down with a baby wipe
  • brushing out the dust and other debris from under the keys
  • removing the packed wad of dust under the peg that holds the key to the keyboard, and getting as much out from under the clear frame (without a tiny torx tip) as I could
  • replacing the key in the right place

Last warning…. Before shot

and after a solid 90 minutes of dusting and wiping

OMFG! I worked my way across the keys and in the end…

Really. There is still time to bail….

Yep. ALL of that (and in fact actually slightly more, as some was blown away by the canned air and some was sucked up by the tiny hoover) was under the keys in my keyboard. Check out the tiny punched star.

Any dust and debris still in there is only that which is trapped between the clear surround and the base of the keyboard and doe not affect the working of the keys in any way, and it pretty minimal. Not sure it is worth buying the right minuscule torx tip and risking detaching some wire that will make the whole keyboard unusable. Already the problems I once had where my space key would get stuck and type rows of blank spaces, or of me tapping a key and a letter not appearing, is gone. It doesn’t cure my misspellings or bad typing, but it helps a bit.

WOYWW tomorrow, and whatever it ends up being, it is going to be less of a mess than this was.

Back to stuff you want to look at tomorrow…..

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Nothing to see here….

All a bit unsettled around here at the moment. My myositis is now not in a good place, after about 7 months of feeling pretty decent after my last round of IVIG. Not unexpected, it is never going to “cure” me, it’s only a treatment to keep things at bay. But over the last month my CK levels jumped almost 400 points and I am feeling weaker and weaker. Bah!

Both my parents and my brother contracted Covid. My dad tested positive after going in to the hospital after a fall. My mother is at home, treating the symptoms (sore throat, congestion and tiredness mostly) and hopefully they will both be doing better each day.

They are all doing ok at the moment, and my brother seems to have gotten over it in about 3 days. Luckily it seems to be omicron not delta so that’s good news

I have had my old Mac mini updated to a quite modern OS, but not the newest, so I can still run some programs. The one thing that totally broke was Sure Cuts A Lot with my ancient (1st Gen) Cricut. The Hubster sorted that by adding a way for me to switch my right monitor input and by running the OLD Mac Mini on the right monitor.

Hard to see what’s happening, I’m sure, but the wallpaper on the monitors is the clue! The bigger issue is the 2nd mouse and especially the keyboard, which is Japanese.

It’s a little confusing as stuff isn’t where you expect it to be, or missing (like no right hand SHIFT key) but it works and the Cricut cuts. Sadly, I needed to change the blade so my test cut didn’t cut all the way thru. No sample, but it does work.

I am not doing a ton of cutting to be fair, so buying an expensive new machine (and probably a HUGE one) makes no sense. Perhaps things might change over the next year, but they might not.

So yeah, not a fabulous post for the first one of 2022 but hey ho. Hope your New Year’s celebrations were good and 2022 becomes the year we finally turn a corner with Covid.

We can only hope…