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Less chaos but in danger of not finishing in time!

I spent far too long yesterday sorting thru bins of things – I got my letter stickers and chipboard alphas organized and weeded out a bit for donations to my daughters disability group and for the local craft club, and sorted out a couple of book shelves that were pretty disorganized, or organized by what fit on them rather than grouping like with like. Still there is stuff everywhere and I now have only three days to finish. You can kinda see the before on the left and a better shot of the after if you click on it. I have all my glues and colour things like Neocolours and Gelato-like pens and Inktense, etc in one place now, and all my various gel plates together. Basically all my art journal stuff is at this end of the room mostly within reach of the desk.

I have a sort of false wall created by a couple of book shelves that mean you walk between them and the big Ikea side-less cube thing into the room. One is all organized with art books and collage fodder, and the other will be organized as soon as I find once again the tiny Allen wrench I need to remove the handle from my Big Shot – it sticks out from the shelf and I can see myself bumping in to it every time I walk into the room if I don’t remove it. You can see it in this shot.

Boring, I know. But I did unearth something I saved – I made this project, which I still love a lot. This in progress shot makes me happy:

The idea came from an article in The Sunday Times called Art Speak

I am such a pack rat – I still have the article!

Day 85!


Chaos retreats, a bit

I am not sure if it is related but OpenReach has been working in our area and my internet has been pretty crap. I am hoping to get to my WOYWW visits today as it seems a little better. I am awaiting a call from my internet provider about an upgrade as well. In the meantime, the fact the internet is dodgy means I feel slightly less guilty about focusing on cleaning. I really need to finish before Monday and my week of treatments!

Rather than continuously boring you withe progress, I will share progress but also share something I unearthed in my tidy up that may be new to some. First, a look at what was and what is:

Such a dismal day, yesterday AND today! I really should colour correct but it isn’t like I am sharing art that needs to look good, and time is of the essence! So maybe this desk wasn’t the worst, but it has gone thru stages when it very mush was over the last couple of days! Now, what I unearthed was a small coin envelope full of the little folded paper flowers I used to make as card toppers. The original post is here and the big difference seems to be I lost the large blur flower off the one sample!

Today I attack a 4 drawer unit that has been a thorn in my side for at least 5 years, then all of my cardmaking stuff – honestly, for someone who doesn’t make a lot of cards, I seem to have a lot of stuff. Well, a lot for ME, anyway. Finding these goodies has triggered an idea which I will share when it comes to fruition.

Now 100 days page for day 84, which I like much better than the previous one! I think all of us in the UK get the word for the day today!


Chaos ensues….

I am doing a bit of an overhaul. When I first set up my room, I got too weak (because of the myositis) to use it. Then it took a couple of years for them to sort out a treatment tha gave me back much, if not all, of my strength. So I re-did my room to try to get it to a more usable state, according to how I craft and the types of craft I do NOW. And that has been…ok, but it really feels like a Spring clean and a bit of a re-org and weeding of my stash needs doing. So yeah, of course I pick the week right before I am up in the hospital for a week of infusions. SO me.

I think part of what really prompted this was dumping out a huge bin of scraps to make my ATCs for WOYWW. My desk went thru a number of stages, none of them good.

I am not one that feels my ATCs need to be hidden away as some sort of surprise, but you can see a few of them there on the corner. There will be better shots eventually, as well as some explanation of the significance of some of the choices I made and the things I used.

I did want to share a couple of things. First, my new Sidekick. OMG this has revolutionized my crafting. Rather than having to get up, drag out either the BIg Shot Pro or the Grand Calibur to cut a 2.5 inch die, I just have this little guy sitting on my desk. He clamps perfectly to my glass mat and cuts loads more than I expected. I dragged out lots of dies to check the size, I cut loads for my ATCs and that process was ANOTHER prompting for a re-org. Because I wanted both my Sidekick and a good selection of dies closer to me, it made me reanalyze what was on my desk close to me. These things were meant to be the stuff I needed to reach for constantly. And that has changed. So I am sorting out dies and working out a good close by storage solution.

Weirdly, one thing that has changed is my need for my massive self-healing mat to be on my desk all the time. Not, it is just prone to getting covered in paint and spray and glue. So I decided to get a PVC tablecloth and put that down instead, with the glass mat close by. A smaller cutting mat can go beside my desk and if I need it I can bring it up. But the tablecloth is wipe clean. But a lot of stuff needs to be shifted to get the tablecloth in place!

On the corner there you can see a new purchase- a mini-stapler. I fancied a Tiny Attacher but when Iooked on Amazon (where we have gift certificate money to spend) I was shocked – between £14 and about £18 with 100 staples? and £7.40 for the refill staples?? Blimey. My tiny stapler from Tiger was in a box with other mini supplies and was £3. It works great, the staples are tiny, but the throat is also very tiny (about 1.5cm or not quite 3/4 inch) so you can’t staple in the middle of a tag for example. I spent a lot of time looking for tiny or mini staples to try to figure out how they compare to the Tiny Attacher staples. Near as I can figure, these are every so slightly larger but only by about 3/8 inch. But in my searching I found the cutest little mini stapler (with 1000 staples) for £6

Of course I bought one! You can see the selection – the little panda and the tiny Tiger stapler use the same size staples (the box says #10 staples) and you can maybe see the visual comparison to “normal” staples

One thing I have heard people complain about is that the throat of the TA is not very deep – the Panda allows for a staple to be attached about 1 1/8 inch into the page. I am sure I had read the TA has a 2″ throat but I can’t find that article again now. No matter – I know I can open up the base. “staple” into my cork stamp pad, then simple fold the legs if I really need to. And for a savings of over £15 I am OK with that as well as the extra 3/8 inch size!

I’ll just pop in my 100 Days page then get back to it. I need to get sorted before WOYWW tomorrow!!

Again with the holey paper…

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More gloss spray, labels, and Day 44

When I was making that dark gloss-spray-over-brown page I used one of the label sheets I have leftover from my HiTi dye-sub printer that died. I have been using them for cutting stencils, as the sheets are perfect for that. I had the pack out and grabbed one to use to mop up the gloss spray. It came out so pretty!

The stamp is one I got from China, via Amazon, and it took weeks to arrive but I love it. So many nifty areas, perfect for art journaling.

I could cut it up but it’s easy to stamp just one area while it is on the flexible backing sheet or press fully to stamp the whole image

After peeling away the surround, I printed some little words – I don’t have a template for this oddly shaped sheet and too lazy to make one, but I don’t even know if I could print directly on to the gloss sprays. The labels are about .75 x 1.5 inches so not big enough for most of my stamp sets that have interesting fonts. They work great to label the drawers on my desk.

I also have the surround, and it is SO pretty as well I just want to use it but I have no idea how at the moment. Maybe cut it and add some bits to tags? If I was doing any sort of ATC swap I might use them for that. I just know the surround far too pretty to throw away!

And here is Day 44. Maybe not as balanced as it could be but I love the colours:


A sad goodbye. And nothing arty.

My room is in a state of chaos. So is my brain. I have just read that our lovely Shaz (who has been fighting cancer for many years) is free of pain and finally at rest. I knew her thru weekly visits to her desk via What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) and a few in-person crops over the years. She was a generous, talented, wonderful woman, and while she may be at rest, those she left behind are heartbroken. I am heartbroken for her husband Doug as well. Lunch Lady Jan has a lovely tribute to her on her blog as does Julia, our WOYWW leader – I wish I could be as eloquent.

On top of all that we have had some problems with darling daughter’s school provision that has needed sorting so I have also been quite focused on that. The best plan I have is a good tidy up and lots of physical movement to distract me from all the stress. So today I tackle this, just in time for WOYWW tomorrow.

I have been tempted by the 100 Days project, and have been mulling over something in my head for a bit – a multi-level concept that actually pulls together some bits and pieces into a single project. I’ll explain, but not till I am able to start with a clean slate!

Sorry for the lack of artiness in the post. I’m just too sad to create right now.


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.


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.


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!


Experimental printables

I was playing around with this but never 100% happy with the results.  Still not 100% happy but maybe at least in the 90% area, so I’m going  to add them and keep sorting my stash. The PDF download is here, just a single page.


It was a collision of a couple of things I liked individually – one set of textures from Lost and Taken and a “font” called Futuracha from Behance.  The font isn’t a standard font, in that you don’t just type the letters and see them, the characters are available as an EPS file.  What THAT means is each element of the font is able to be altered.  So if you look at the .eps file on the left you can see all the defined elements that make up each individual letter – and on the right what each letter looks like if you group the elements.


I’ve always liked text that borders on unreadable LOL!  I suspect not many will agree, but I made them, I enjoyed the process, even if it was a bit challenging to my limited skills, so I’m adding them.  Off to skating with DD, then to the grocery store and then back to cleaning, sorting, organizing.   I do have to add that all my hard work has already paid off.  An old class taught at a weekend crop 10 years ago came up casually and not only did I recall I had the class handout, I knew exactly where it was.

There is the cover, the date info and the canvas I made from the class.  I don’t dare allow myself to feel even slightly smug, but I am pleased. Makes it all feel worthwhile….


Stencil storage – finally happy!

Just a handful of return visits for WOYWW, then more cleaning, food shopping, blah, blah, blah.  It’s just endless.

BUT I keep finding things I bought ages ago and always intended to use for one thing but now find them perfect for another.  This is one of those things.  It’s a fairly big (A2, so about 16.5 x 23.5 inches) with just a handful of sleeves and 4-hole ring binder set up.  Of course virtually all my 12 x 12 sleeves are 3-hole punched but I solved that easy enough by punching a template or the 4 holes


clipped it securely to a stack of page protectors – matching up one of the holes seemed to be the best placement


then used the Big Bite to punch new holes.  I found punching thru a stack of them (three to four) was actually better/easier/cleaner than punching thru ONE, and the Big Bite was better than the Cropadile.


I kept most of the A4 size stencils, paper and report cover ones I cut with the Cricut, in an A4 binder in A4 sleeves.  There are too many of them and the binders and sleeves are cheap (free, in fact, cause I have so many of them kicking around!)


and I found a cheap, thin, paper pad that I used between the back-to-back stencils so I can clearly see what they look like


In the portfolio, I have the 4-6×6-to-a-page sleeves but to keep the centre from being too bulky I used only some of the holes – does that make sense? So some are towards the top, using maybe the top three rings, some in the middle and some at the bottom, using the bottom two rings.



Then I have the 12×12 sleeves with all the standard stencils – some of the old Crafters Workshop ones that are punched for storing in a binder have been added without a sleeve.


In the larger sleeves that came in the portfolio (annoyingly they are NOT 12 inches across) I have some of the oddball ones – plastic canvas sheets, teflon cooking mat, big letter and number stencils from the hardware store, and one sleeve full of crappy magazine freebies that I haven’t used yet, but MIGHT, someday …. LOL!  Not totally mended my wicked ways, have I?


The front has a sort of flap/pocket area that fits the cardboard that has textured wallpaper on it, some of my favourite texture tools for Gelli printing.



They are painty and hard to get into a sleeve sometimes so this is better, having them all grouped like this.

Now there are just these two places, rather than the Crop in Style binder, the A4 binder, a large file box, and a couple of book rings, to look thru when wanting a stencil.


There is still room in the portfolio for more, so I have room to grow!

Now, back to those visits….




WOYWW 275 – more progress…

Could this be the WOYWW shot?  for reals??

You saw the pile o’fibres yesterday?  Well they are all sorted neatly. See them nicely organized on the small satellite table?


I am being sneaky with that shot, cause my desk does have that bin of stray small bits awaiting sorting, you just can’t see it unless you look from another angle…


{sigh} Hope your desk is lovely and crafty.  Sorry mine isn’t inspiring at all….


Forgotten papers – still love them

Will it ever end?  At this point I am fearing it won’t.  Everywhere I turn there is another pile or box to be dealt with.  The down side is that I am shocked by some of what I find – did I ever really think these papers were a good idea?


But the up side is that I found these (mostly) Wordsworth papers and I love them as much now as when I bought them.


I have a pile of fibres on my desk that I aim to sort thru today


and a bin that I used to collect up stuff  like buttons and eyelets and brads and charms, etc that will get dumped out on the desk as soon as the fibres get sorted.  I am trying to avoid the bomb-site method from last week, where EVERYTHING comes out and gets dumped in a heap, going for a more controlled chaos at this stage. Oh I am so looking forward to doing some ACTUAL crafting soon…