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}


What a lotta knockers!

Funny when a current obsession with something makes you think everyone in the entire world knows exactly what you are talking about  when you mention it.  Two things recently have gone that way.  First, the whole Knocker thing.  My sister had a double mastectomy recently.  She is doing well but thru one of her online forums for breast cancer issues, she saw a link to something called Knitted Knockers.  They are a fabulous organization that supplies, free of charge, knitted breasts. As they say on the site:

Knitted Knockers are special handmade breast prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. Traditional breast prosthetics are usually expensive, heavy, sweaty and uncomfortable. They typically require special bras or camisoles with pockets and can’t be worn for weeks after surgery. Knitted Knockers on the other hand are soft, comfortable, beautiful and when placed in a regular bra they take the shape and feel of a real breast. Our special volunteer knitters provide these free to those requesting them. Knitted knockers can be adjusted to fill the gap for breasts that are uneven and easily adapted for those going through reconstruction by simply removing some of the stuffing.

She doesn’t knit but sent the link to me.  As soon as I got the link, I downloaded the pattern and got knitting.  Within a day I had a pair made. But I started finding different patterns all over the place. I can’t even count the number of variations I have downloaded!  The one I like best is the one here.   This pattern is the fastest to knit, uses the least yarn, and according to discussions with my sister, the easiest to close and open, due to the drawstring effect.  She doesn’t like the look of the side-closure one that seems to be the other most-common pattern, or the extra fabric bulk at the back.  She prefers the look and feel of the flat back.  Lucky, that.  You can get the instruction for that here at Knitty, and it is on Ravelry as well but you have to be a Ravelry member to download.  There is a variation that is done in one piece on the Knitted Knockers Charity site as well (100% cotton only) that is on Ravelry as well.  I have done two sets now using the Magic Loop variation on the page (written for ONE knocker but I just applied the principles of two socks at a time and  used a really long cable, 120 cm)


As you can see, doing two at a time has the same advantage as socks two at a time – they exactly match (unlike most women, to be fair, but still….) My point is that because *I* now knew about these, I just talked about them (in my WOYWW post) as if everyone would have seen the previous post where I mentioned them or knew about them already.  Clearly not, from the confused comments I got.

I have never tried the various knitted flat versions (the only one I didn’t even try) and there are crochet versions as well. I did knit a couple of them but I don’t find the crochet version to feel as soft as the knitted one.  And the back-loop only work makes the back look ribbed and messy to my eye.  Just MHO, and I’m not wearing it so that could be totally not worth considering  One is at the KKUK site, where they also have a side close version. There is a 100% cotton requirement, you have to apply to join, you may only knit for donation after an approval process and they accept only their patterns with, I was told, NO DEVIATIONS. Don’t look at any other patterns if you fancy joining them.

I won’t even get into the whole nipple/no nipple issue, other than to say that every US person or group I communicated with said most requests are for no nipple and the UK input has been we get very few requests f0r no-nipple knockers. Cultural differences?  Maybe.

Working my way thru this sometimes conflicting information to settle on the best basic set of rules for ME has been tricky.  I was happy to hear back from the founder of that there is NO REQUIREMENT for 100% cotton yarn to be used.  They are happy for it to be a blend but the cardinal rule is NO WOOL – interestingly I totally get that one as my sister is allergic to wool (actually I think it’s lanolin that she’s allergic to, technically) but for at least two sites, as I mentioned, 100% cotton was specified.  That confused me.  What she said is:

We understand variations though and as long as they are soft, pretty, functional and non wool we will take them and get them to the women that need them. The demand is so huge that we need all we can get.

This is sort of how I feel about it – if the demand is that huge, and there is no medical reason for banning blended yarns (bamboo, linen, even a bit of acrylic) then surely that is going to get more knockers knitted, right? Likewise the perfection of your knitting/crochet.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think a hot misshapen mess of mistake-riddled knitting is going to be well received, but so long as it is competently done, is a missed increase a problem or is a slight laddering along the increases a problem?  Mine look perfectly tight and neat but if I over-stuff them (and the recommendation is better to over-stuff than under-stuff so the recipient can take a bit out and still use the right out of the box rather than have to pop to the craft store or raid their kid’s teddy bear for some extra stuffing!) these stitches spread a little. Enough that someone anxiously awaiting a knitted knocker would care?  I doubt it.

I’ve not yet gotten to the point where I have a plan, but I know this is something I will do in 2015.  Somehow I am going to incorporate this into my crafty time.

On a completely other note, my second obsession might be one that people actually DO know about.  I am so glad to hear that the next installment of SERIAL is the final one!  I had started listening to it on BBC Radio 4 but after the first episode I didn’t even want to wait a day for the next one to be available on the iPlayer.  The linked site has all the episodes and lots more stuff to see.  As I am originally from Northern Virginia, not that far away from where it all took place in the US, some of the place names really resonate with me.  That just adds to the grip it has on me.  I simply cannot WAIT for the final episode.  Even if it isn’t all tied up neatly, with some sort of resolution, the process of looking at the crime, the investigation, the trial, the whole thing, so completely, has been fascinating.  Will it be like Jack the Ripper, with no clear idea of who actually did it, even after all the time and effort put in?  I just don’t know! I still have a couple more to listen to so I’m caught up but then, roll on next week!

DDs Ice show weekend and still so much to do.  HOW many (FEW) days till Christmas?   Oh my….all those months of covered ears and pretending I had all the time in the world looks a bit daft now. {wink}

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Really, this should be for a Sunday but…

I have fallen out of the habit of doing Sunday Someplace Else posts.  If I were doing them regularly I would hold this over for that but I just love it so much I had to share.

Recently, DH wrote down a couple of passwords I needed to have. He wanted to just tell me what they were, but they were long and I knew I wasn’t going to remember them as quickly as I needed to so I handed him a random piece of paper off my desk and told him to write them down.  He made me PROMISE to memorize them and destroy the paper. I didn’t.  I tucked it away someplace “safe” – but then I pulled it out cause what I gave him was actually a printed pattern from the internet that I was actually USING.  Anyway, cue panic when I feared I had just put it in the bin (and we burn all paper with names, addresses, etc.  Nothing identifiable goes in the trash. EVER) and that he would need to change the passwords.  I found it, it was all good, but still…

I was eating lunch at my desk, listening to TED talks, and saw this one.  SO interesting to me.  I found it amusing that MONKEY is such a popular password.  Can’t say I ever even entertained the thought of using that, nor ILOVEYOU or 12345678 or (heaven forbid) PASSWORD.

I love, too that there is a WordPress shortcode for embedding the video.  But what really tickled me was that the speaker made a QUILT from her password research.  Fab. Had I the time and the talent I would be tempted to make one for DH – it would, I think, appeal to him.

Isn’t it just amazing?  I covet it in the extreme.  You can read the little blurb in Science magazine here. Can you spot your password?  Are you rethinking changing all your passwords now?


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Touristy fun, for a change

Last week, the Bombay Sapphire distillery opened near Basingstoke.  Be warned that you must confirm you are over 18 to even visit that link. It is a stunning location even on a dreary day, and MIL and FIL declared it fascinating….

Bombay Sapphire-5

{imagine all that glass on a sunny day!}

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…not least because you get a drink, custom tailored to your own punch card of preferred botanicals, after a series of sniff-tests. The greenhouse of the botanicals is lovely and toasty – poor MIL was, I think, chilled to the bone for most of the visit, so this must have been a welcome moment of warmth.

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The selected drinks ….

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Non-alcoholic options are available for the driver of the group and a doggie-bag, tiny bottles of tonic and tipple, is provided for later consumption. And oh that blue bottle! This is not the mini-version from the doggie bag, but how pretty it is…

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The Bombay East version, which we tasted after dinner, was amazingly different, with the addition of lemon grass and black peppercorns to the standard version.  I’ve never thought of gin as a sipping drink, but this one was fine over ice.  And a total bonus was the prettiest printed tissue paper and carrier bag, that will surely get used when I manage a return to craftiness, very soon.

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Odd bits

One of those odd bits of things posts.  Firstly, remember I ordered a set of 11 Tunisian crochet hooks from China, via Amazon?  They cost about £3 (with shipping!) so I didn’t have high hopes.  When they came, one of the hooks was missing its top:


I contacted the seller and asked for a replacement.  They offered me 50p off.  I said no thank you, I wanted the hook.  They warned it could take a month, and I said fine and forgot about it.  Yesterday the package arrived.  Now, I have no idea wh this keeps happening to me, but rather than getting JUST the thing I wanted – one 5.5 mm Tunisian crochet hook to complete my set, I got nearly ANOTHER COMPLETE SET.


I say “nearly” because it DOES contain the hook I needed to replace the broken one, the 5.5 mm, it has all the other hooks in the set as well, EXCEPT the 4.5mm hook!  So for £3 I got 20 hooks.  Can’t complain about that, but not sure I need duplicates of all of them.  I might offer them to my crop ladies, see if any of them are keen to try Tunisian crochet….

My MIL is such a wealth of info on all the “womanly arts” – sewing, cooking, knitting, crochet, quilting… I always have a handful of things I set aide to ask her advice one.  She grabbed my socks, the ones I’ve mentioned before, that needed only the grafting of one toe to be wearable, and sorted it for me in seconds (including, to my dismay, repairing moth holes, I’d let them languish for so long) and completed a shawl, then knitted another one, blocked and mailed it off, then knitted another one.  All in less than a week.  She confirmed my decision for the binding fabric for one quilt (phew) and gave me a great tip for the socks I decide to cast on so I could be making one and get all her tips for sock knitting while actually knitting a pair, so I’ll hope to remember them.  We popped in to Tiger on a trip in to town, and I scored some cute yarn for £1 for a 50 gm ball!


I wonder if I can trick DS into thinking they are shades of grey?  I may need to pop in and grab a bit more.  And see there in the corner?  £1 washi tape too!



I was rushing, and the rolls were all higgeldy piggeldy on the rack and no time to look at all of them, but the B&W dotty one was ALWAYS going to be useful so I grabbed it.

They are off on Thursday and we have a packed full last few days so all I can say is you’ll see me when you see me….


You must be sick of seeing this….

…but I thought it might crystallize it in my mind and as you have been so helpful with your opinions I figure it’s only fair to share.

I worked thru a number of options for the colour of the photo.  The blue was felt by many to be too cold.  I do like it, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t a difficult thing to try a few more options.  Seeing them all side-by-side I thought might help me really SEE which one I preferred.


What that shows is (clockwise from the top left) standard sepia in PSE, antique effect in iPhoto, standard B&W in PSE, and Sepia effect in iPhoto.

Now, the antique version matches most closely the tone of the Tim Holtz papers, the pumice stone option rather than the blue.


It could be slightly warmer but overall it is my favourite, I think.

The B&W version is OK too, although I think it has less definition – the Convert to B&W in PSE is a but of a sledgehammer, IYKWIM.  I think you see that most clearly in the folds and creases of GFs jacket.


And the other two sepia versions are overall maybe too warm. But not the iPhoto sepia holds the same definition


and the PSE sepia is less so:


I still like all the words, but then I like text and think more is better 99% of the time LOL! But I’ve a lot of time invested in this mini and I am not willing to rush the decision just to have it done.  I may take it with me to my crop tomorrow and see what people think seeing it IRL, but I am pretty sure it will be DONE done by Monday.

Cheers to all who voted and commented, either here or on PollDaddy – while I am never one to do something just because other people like it, I am certainly not so dim that I can’t agree to look at suggestions and see if they really are an improvement.  A few people did say that, at the end of the day, it’s MY book and I need only please myself, but it is helpful to know WHY they suggest a different version, then to see it in action.  So thanks for that.  I promise I WILL move on from this…soon….





Pop Box card #2 and random babbling

I have a birthday that needs a card next month and as I was making cards for DS anyway I thought I might as well make that one.  Same style, different look:


Partially, the design was informed by some thick-cut dies a mate of mine from UKS sent.  She wanted to clear out, and gifted them to me, although I am maintaining they are only on loan. It was a lot, for a freebie. And much appreciated.


I also finally (weeks and weeks later) got the little tips for the top of the bottles I ordered (from China) for my homemade alcohol inks.  Bizarrely they sent not ALL of the tips, the ones needed to complete the order.  I got 24 of the 30 I should have had.  No, they also sent another full set of bottles and lids!  Not sure I need 30 bottles without eye-drop tips in them , and I hated to contact them AGAIN to say they didn’t send me all the tips from my original order for fear they would send me YET ANOTHER nearly complete order.  Any additional tips they send, great, but if I get 30 MORE bottles as well I’ll go insane.  They only cost £2 but my goodness the annoyance level created cost me well more than that LOL!


Now DS is gone I have to do the clean-up after the storm that is him.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the kid like mad, but his idea of “Yep, cleaned my room” and MY idea of a “clean room” are two different things.  And given DH uses that room as a home office, it really needs addressing.  Plus I promised I would sort it.

I did manage to snap a shot or two as we loaded the car to take him to the airport….

Time flies, doesn’t it??

Way back:


That was then:


This is now:




I feel a scrapbook layout coming on. It’s been too long….



A different sort of blog hop

My blog friend Jemma (known on UKS as Jimjams) invited me to take part in a blog hop tour. It’s a little different to the usual blog hop, because the posts are a week apart and the hop spreads OUT as it goes.  My task was to answer a set of questions, then link to three fellow bloggers.  Jemma’s answers from last Monday are here.  You’ll find my linked bloggers at the end.

1. What am I working on?

I am always “working on” a multitude of things.  At the moment I have a lot in progress:

  • a crochet granny-square blanket


  • re-organizing my scrapbook albums
  • some Project Life printables still in the design process
  • a handmade journal for the A Documented Life project (yeah, I know, late to the party LOL!)
  • some new Gelli prints for an army of spike-eared toys

In the back of my mind is also a 2015 calendar, with a twist.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Humm.  If I had to pinpoint what makes my BLOG different, I guess it would be that I am never overly concerned with taking a stunning photo, nor am I overly concerned with showing a final project.  I may have an idea for a mini-book construction and make one that will sit and wait for the perfect reason to add photos and complete it, even if that is YEARS in the future. I did a video for this one, never really blogged fully about it, and it took me till the following year before I actually filled it.  But I DID fill it!


I am all about the process, I guess.  I don’t hide what I am working on till it’s 100% complete and then do a “big reveal.” I will get an idea, play with it, sharing along the way, both success and failure.  I say, often, that I make the mistakes so you don’t have to.  So if I have an idea and it turns out to be a rubbish idea, well, you’ll see it here, warts and all.  I also push things sometimes past their logical conclusion.  I may post for a week about a single project, pushing and pushing the idea till even I am sick of it.  I made many more of this display-stand card before I moved on!

I also refuse to rush out and buy a whole host of things if I have something to hand that will do the job.  I hate shopping, even craft shopping, and I hate waiting for mail-order.  So if I need something I am always going to try to figure out a way to use something I already have (like the make-your-own Baker’s twine post ages ago or more recently cutting doilies from unbleached coffee filters) or figure out a way to make my version (like the  tools for use on the Gelli plate) rather than shop online and delay the project till I get what I need.  By the time it arrives I’m probably already on to the next thing….

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I am fairly scattered-brained – originally I really only scrapbooked.  Now that the kids are older, and camera-shy, I just don’t have new photos very often.  I still scrapbook, mostly old photos, I just don’t tend to share the layouts.   I love making mini-albums, but everyone who could be a reasonable recipient already probably has more than they have room for.  So I make other sorts of things now.  Because I love to make things to share, I make a lot of downloadable PDFs for others, mostly calendars and Project Life things.  Again, it’s the process I enjoy, even if I don’t actually USE the end results myself.  I will happily spend a day or more creating a printable, add it for others to use, then go make a card or an ATC,  crochet or quilt,  print a pile of Gelli prints then play with a new book-binding technique, or do a random page in my art journal.  I just get in the mood to do something specific and I don’t really question it.  If I’m inspired in a certain way, I go with it.

Writing the blog is a method, really, for me to crystallize the steps of a project, in words and photos, so I don’t forget what I did. And a sidebar to that is sharing, cause if I think it’s cool, someone else might too, and might  like to give it a go.   Why I CREATE what I do is harder to answer. It always starts with a random thought.  I read A LOT, flip thru books and mags, and as soon as I get a spark of inspiration, or have an I wonder… moment, I test it out. Like the spike-eared toys last week


I saw a photo-only in a book that was meant to include cutable templates for the projects on a CD. I was frustrated the template wasn’t included, and spent an hour on the internet searching for a downloadable version. Then I had to figure out how to edit the PDF so I could make my OWN printable version with MY art on it.

If I am frustrated by something, I’ll try to solve the problem – like working in my art journal and being annoyed that Pan Pastels rub off unless you seal them.  And I hate spray fixative.  Figuring out that acrylic medium, brayered onto the Gelli plate in a thin layer, will seal them was a revelation.  And ended up creating a nifty technique. You will totally see what I mean about not caring if the photos are great, or showing a finished project in that post – although I did actually use the technique again later and did a better job.  See? Two actual finished pieces.

and that leads naturally on to 4. How does your writing/creating process work?

Random ideas, problem-solving, and extending an idea to (past) its natural conclusion is my process.  I get on a path and just keep going – like the whole calendar making thing.  I discovered so much about the form of a calendar,  I totally streamlined my process, which allows me to create a calendar for any year quickly and easily. I documented it here, so if I forget in a year when a new calendar is needed, I can go back and remind myself how I did it. That lets me concentrate on the fun part, the design.

Grungy and funky, great for adding to Gelli plate prints

Grungy and funky, great for adding to Gelli plate prints

I do try to consider how people who land here will want to find things, so I often go back and add to posts.  For example,  I saw recently that something I did about 2 years ago was all of a sudden getting a crazy number of hits (OK, crazy for ME – like 600 hits in the last few weeks) and questions in the comments.  I noted that, went back and re-did it, with more variations and samples, then linked to the new post from the old one so people landing on the OLD post would find the NEW expanded info.

Basically, I just like making stuff.

Now, on to my link-ups.  I only have two, both Karen’s (how funny) despite asking a number of people – sadly, with the school holidays this week many people just weren’t able to join in.  You can see their answers to the questions on 2nd June, so make sure you pop back to see what they have to say.

Karen (known as kazy1) is a long-time member of UKScrappers and creates layouts for  The Scrapbook Magazine.  She is also on the team at Scrapology, on online challenge blog.  She has guest-designed for Papermaze and Sarah’s Cards, both UKS sponsors.  Her layouts and cards never fail to inspire me, and she is often featured in the monthly BlogBits round-up of inspiring posts by UKS members. I love that she scraps in the American size 8.5 inches x 11 inches. Her style is detailed and pretty, with lovely embellishment clusters that support, rather than overwhelm, the photos. She is a thrifty crafter too, and makes the most of her supplies.  Her blog is worth bookmarking for those times when your scrapping mojo is on holiday – she does a lot of sketch challenges so you might find one that is new to you.

Karen (well known to all on UKScrappers as Scrapdolly and as the one who keeps the Teams and Houses running smoothly) is one of those rare scrappers who is equally at home making paper and digital layouts.   She is also on the team at Scrapology and is on the design teams for Charmed Cards and Crafts, for digital designer Dawn Inskip, and for Pickleberrypop . Her layouts always feature lovely photos, often of her husband and their hysterical cats.  Her style is hard to describe in a few words – possibly because it encompasses so much!  If I had to pick one thing..OK two things.. that I think of when I think of her, they would be her titles (paper and digi) and her deeply drop-shadowed 3D-effect digi-layouts.  I’ve seen so many unique design ideas when browsing her blog that the one thing I DO know is I’m going to be inspired by something when I visit.  And I’m going to be amused by her LOLcats and other non-scrapping images. Her thoughtful blog posts are often more about life and the story behind the layout, what prompted her to scrap THESE photos at THIS time.  She also has a section of digital/hybrid scrapping downloads and tutorials, so be sure to check that out!

Phew.  That was too much introspective hard-thinking, way more  than I usually do on a Sunday….do feel free to add your own answers, to one or more of the questions, in the comments.


Turning Kids art into printables for Project Life

When I posted the printables made from little snippets of my art journal spreads, one of my WOYWW mates, Silverscrappers (aka Elizabeth) commented that she planned to use them for scrapping bits of art from her grandkids.  That prompted a little email exchange, where I suggested to her that it would be more meaningful to actually use the kid’s art for the cards.  She was kind enough to send me some scans to play with.  With her permission, I’ll share the idea but not the download – that is personal to her.  But my hope is it will give you some ideas of how you can do something similar with the kid-in-your-life’s art.

The images I got were not really what I expected – I saw in my head a really colourful drawing or painting, more like an art journal page, with lots of areas that when snipped out of the bigger image would still offer a nice, bright fun block.  What I got was more drawings, with little colour.  I struggled at first.  The drawings are charming, like most kid’s art is, sweet and simple, but didn’t immediately lend themselves to digital manipulation. The first and most obvious solution was to simply resize them to fit a 3 x 4 card.


I added the text, digitally then printed them.  The key here is to make sure you scan them at a high enough resolution that the detail is crisp.


I did print them on textured paper, but they look fine on smooth card too. And for the one above I could have tried editing the scan so just the row of figures remained – that would have made the text I added stand out more, but would have lost the adorable handwriting by the little artist .  And that would have been a shame to do.



I think you can see even her name (added by Mom or Gran maybe?) is readable.  And the detail in these greatly reduced little faces is pretty clear – it’s clear enough on the textured card but better on the smooth card!


For a low-tech solution, just scan or photograph the art and resize it then print it. Cut it out. You can add the text by the old trick of printing the text on plain printer paper.  Stick the card with the art to the bigger sheet with temporary adhesive, positioning it over the printout so the text will then print where you want it.  Run that thru the printer again and there you are! Or even print the text then cut it out and stick it on.  So easy.

All well and good, but I did want to try to do something more like my AJ ones.  That was a bit more of a challenge.  I had to really LOOK at the original art, think about the areas that would be the most meaningful to fill the text.  Basically you are digitally creating a mask (I think in PSE they call it a clipping mask) and uniting the letter and the bit of the art, so the art fills the letter shape.  I know how I do it in Intaglio but can’t tell you how to do it in PSE.

It took some fiddling – some of the bits I snipped out were from different areas of the image, some bits were sized differently to “fit” the letters, and I added a stroke around them to more clearly define the letter.


You can see that, for example, the snowman has the large letters filled with the detail from his hat, in larger form. The blue scribble has that detail made larger to fill the background, but the text is filled with a different area of the drawing in a different size.  On one I was able to add the signature, sized so it was readable.  Overall I am pretty happy with the results – and it was fun.

Low tech solution would be to simply print the art then use a stencil to pick out the areas that fill the letter in a pleasing and meaningful way,  outline them and cut them out.  You can layer the large letters over the print of the overall work or use them on plain card.

So will even 10% of the people who read this love the idea well enough to actually DO it?  I suspect not.  But my point is that sometimes, it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box – or at least outside the box of PL cards LOL!  It adds a whole new layer of YOUR LIFE to your book when the decorative bits aren’t just a card plucked from a commercially produced collection that 10,000 other people all have in their PL book. Do you need to sit down and create every single filler card from scratch? Hell, no – that rather defeats the goal of PL as a FAST way to scrap .  But maybe just occasionally you might like to do it.  This is one idea where it might be worth making that little extra effort.  Imagine the kid’s face, flipping thru an album, seeing all those mass-produced cards, then seeing THEIR art treated the same way, printed “professionally” and side-by-side with the commercial filler cards?  Priceless.

Thanks, Elizabeth, for letting me share your grandkids’ art.




Blush quotes for Project Life

I enjoy the process of making Printables.  It allows me to experiment with my program, learn new tricks with it, and that is always fun.  Sometimes I have an idea and make something but then I don’t always get the feedback to know if they are really useful and used.  Knowing what people USE helps me focus my design work and not feel like it’s all a waste of time.  Last week I did a poll.  Not a ton of people responded but more people than usually comment so I feel like I did get useful info from doing it.  As that poll is closing tomorrow I thought I would repost it and update on the outcome.

And the sample – the winner so far is the last one:


Where it is now:


Anyway, I also asked for feedback on UKS, from the Project Life people on the quote one I posted as well.  It was good, a few people said they liked it, and one asked for more quotes, specifically in a colourway to coordinate with the Blush collections.  So I did that.  Here they are:


I added the little strip of paper dolls, thinking they could be cut and added to a photo, or some other filler card, and I had the space.  You can download the PDF here. Moms of teen girls may recognize the One Direction song lyric there (although fairly certain it was written by Ed Sheeran, and not the boys LOL!) Managed to avoid having to see the 1D movie out last summer in the theatre, but pretty sure DD won’t let me escape the video version for long.

One thing that got commented on is that so much of PL (and indeed scrapbooking) tends to spin positive.  I can recall long forum discussions about this in the past, with many people saying they would never scrap “bad” moments, that they didn’t want their books to be depressing.  Others were adamant that their books reflect all the ups and downs of life.  There is no answer to that one and will probably never be an agreement.  People will do what they will do.  So I thought I should make at least a few filler cards that at least give a nod to a less-than-perfect life without being deep, dark, and depressing.  The two on the right fit the bill.  I think of them as Silver Lining cards LOL!  Like the quote, while life may not be perfect, it can still be wonderful.  I may take the time to make a set of them – I have SO MANY quotes stockpiled for use, I’m sure I can find a few more.

On a side note, I do wish I had some idea what got posted on Facebook, and where,  that brought almost 1100 views to my blog in one day.  It seems to be one of my Big Card techniques (Ace of Clubs) but my stats won’t tell me more than that.  If you know, if that is what brought you here, clue me in!

Rather a busy weekend coming up – hope yours is a good one….