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…..


Art journal page – and a ripped clear stamp repair

I broke out a new-ish set of stamps to play with and had a LOT of fun with them. I had used a bit of one of the collage collective sheets of a bunch of circles on one of my single pages, but only two of them (although I punched another one out, I never used it) and had the rest of the page left. I had a go at stamping over the circles with the foliage stamp and even with the gaps of white between they still worked out pretty well! Three columns of circles, three fronds.

Here is the page – I was having fun creating so I didn’t take photos. I really must remember to do that.

I also used a stamp by Effy Wild (the Wild and Free one) and an old set of Autumn Leaves stamps. Quite annoyed that the E clear stamp ripped as I was trying to peel it off the backing. Honestly, so many of my cling mount stamps have had issues – the sticky goes and cannot be revived, the silicone deteriorated and the stamp crumbles and rips…just very annoying. Yes, I know these are cheaper than proper red rubber stamps (both cling mounts and wood-mounts) but you still expect them to last for more than a few years! I managed to “repair” it by sticking a bit of the red-line tape on the back, the sticky side holding the rip together, the backing left on. You can see it here, I hope.

The important thing is it still clings

and because of the nature of the letters, with the grungy edges, it still stamps well, especially over a chaotic background like the collage collective, but well enough to use on plain card:

Good thing, too, as it’s one of the most used letters in the alphabet. Worth remembering as a repair tip. Not helpful for super intricate or detailed stamps, but works well for ones like this.

And lastly, my next 100 days page:

Seems like my handwriting is degrading again, but overall I think I am happier sticking to black and brown ink. Note I used those magnetic stamps from the other day as well. Woo hoo!


Where I repair a ruined rubber stamp

Yeah. I am a bit chaotic with my supplies. And in the past I was not always very careful with them, either unknowing of the dangers or unmindful of them. I often used acrylic paint on my red rubber stamps and was not as careful as I should have been about cleaning them off. As a result, I have had this stamp, which I have always loved, sitting in my stamp drawer, unusable because of the blank spot that will not stamp:

It was really a combo of two careless events – one was putting the stamp away still choked with acrylic paint and the other was putting it in a drawer with another stamp’s wood block pressing down on the stamps surface. It left a visible dent and a blank spot in the stamped image.

No amount of pressure on the block would make that image stamp in that area! I could feel the paint crust on the surface and the dip in the etched rubber. First, I squirted a bit of alcohol on to the surface and gave it a good scrub. I could immediately feel a difference. Then I unmounted it form the wooden block, and washed the surface. I wanted to get ALL the alcohol off, lest THAT damage the rubber.

In order to give that dented area a better chance of stamping well, I stuck the now unmounted stamp to a bit of clear plastic and marked an X right where the stamp was still stamping fainter than it should:

Then, when stamping the image, I can put just a bit more pressure right behind the area that was dented – sadly removing the paint didn’t completely solve the problem – and get a good image.

Now, most likely this is a stamp I am going to use as a background text layer in my art journal, so it giving a pristine and clear stamped image isn’t critical, but solving the big gap in the image was. And I did. It is quite satisfying to bring something back from the dead and put what could have been the replacement cost towards something NEW instead. It really was an easy fix once I diagnosed the problem. What do you have in your stash you can revive? Maybe you are more respectful of your supplies than I was, but if not, maybe have a look and see what you can bring back to life! Then be sure to tell me what you fixed and how – I know I have other disasters that I don’t want to bin if I don’t have to!