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A Card A Day – week two

Part one. As I mentioned last week I am only going to share 6 cards this weekend, so next weekend I will be one card ahead. That way I don’t have to quickly make a card before I can make my post!

Sunday and Monday:

So this was another case of me trying to make cards from the scraps of other cards LOL! Remember this from last week?

I saved the scraps from that for the next couple of cards, also a very simple style, still masculine

and Tuesday: I still had more scraps and …

… those little surrounds from the circles caught my eye. A quick card, and maybe my favourite!

At that point any other leftover bits went in the bin. Three cards but still plenty of paper in those pads, I’m afraid…

Finally I got to use some different papers for the next card on Tuesday:

Some coordinating patterned paper, some dies I am not sure I have ever used, and a cheap Wish stamp set:

And yeah, a bit about that – it shows it right on the packaging how the stamps stamp and one word is badly askew:

In the end I really had to s t r e t c h the stamp so I could snip between the m and the e and get something close to straight. Annoying, but I guess you get what you pay for, right? In the end I went with the die cuts I had previously cut and not used.

The patterned paper is mounted straight on the card front, the die cut waste over that, and the extra flowers pop-dotted over for some dimension. I kinda feel like it needs … something, but not sure what. Maybe a few pearl dots of something, I don’t know. I might revisit it again.


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Extended plates for the Sidekick – re-purposing old stuff and saving £18

I have mentioned in the past that I am loving my Sidekick! This is very much a case of bigger is not better for me. I still have a Grand Calibur, and a Big Shot Pro (I gave my smaller Big Shot away to the local craft club last year) and loads of cutting plates, especially for the Grand Calibur. I think at the time I was buying them you had to buy the pack of all the plates, not just the one you wanted – or maybe buying the pack was more economical. Whatever, I am glad I did it then. Here’s why:

The cutting plates that come with the Sidekick are short. About 4.5 inches by about 2.5. But actually the space allowed is slightly larger, at least 2 3/4 inches with some to spare. I have some dies that just miss out on being usable in the Sidekick and it was super annoying. Like these:

Or this one, where it is possible to cut the longer dies but only to the 4.5 inch length, so not long enough to fit across a 6 inch card front.

The first thing I did was look for extended cutting plates for the Sidekick. Someone makes them but they cost a lot more that I would have expected (between about £14 and £19, depending on the size) and that was much more than I wanted to spend. I checked out the dimensions of the plates and it is the thickness that gets you, by design I am sure. The standard Sidekick thickness is 1/8 inch, or .32cm. Places that sell cheap perspex to cut to size do round numbers, 3mm, 4mm, etc. Also annoying. I worried that the beveled end might matter a lot in getting the plates to move thru the Sidekick, but just wasn’t sure how much it would matter. I was looking at my old cutting plates, and had a brainstorm. I stacked the pink Embossing plate and the raspberry Adapter plate from the Grand Calibur on top of each other and miracle of miracles they matched the stacked Sidekick plates perfectly! Then it was just the cutting. Hard to believe, and yes, OMG it took some time, but I managed to cut thru (mostly) then snap off cleanly the raspberry plate.

I think because I had little hope it would actually work, I cut across he short width. Mistake. Knowing it DID work, I wish I had done in height-wise for a longer plate. Oh well. No WAY I was going to spend hours scoring the pink plate, as it is much thicker, so The Hubster to the rescue. The Dremel leaves a melted raggety edge, but the hacksaw gives a pretty clean cut. Actually the trick was a table saw for the two ends then a hacksaw to join the cuts – we used the tools we had, what can I say?

And, yeah, it works! BTW, the lack of a beveled edge doesn’t seem to matter at all.

I could have made it ever so slightly wider, and wish I had. I still have one piece of the pink plate we can cut, but by the time we got this one done we really needed to get to the garden centre and get on with essential tasks. But other dies I can now cut on the Sidekick include these two:

So the question becomes how much is your time worth? Or in this case, The Hubster’s time LOL! Was it worth saving the money, the shipping, the order time, etc? WHY is Sizzix missing a trick here and not offering sightly longer plates? Are they trying to push people towards the Big Shot to get that slightly longer length? And if I did get two plates, one 3mm and one 4mm, would the .6mm difference matter enough? Or the .4 if I went with 2 x 3mm? Is it worth the £10 for three 3mm and one 4mm pieces to find out? maybe….


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WOYWW 623 – chaos remains….

Oh my. I decided to reorganize my room – I have no idea why – so I thought I would show you were I am. actually, where I WAS when I knew where my phone was and I could take a photo. It has no SIM card, I just use it for taking photos, so I can’t even call it. I heard it vibrate a minute ago but didn’t get a bead on where it was. Oh well.

This is possibly the most telling photo:

in that you can kinda see my desk in it. But the rest of the room is just as bad, if not worse. This is where my spray box lives and I want to make better use of that space.

And this desk by the window needed to take advantage of the light better. Part of my re-org was hemming the 95 inch curtains (we have HIGH ceilings) to hit the window ledge so I can close them when the sun is at that annoying in-my-eye angle

Only my computer desk remains unscathed! The thing is, I go thru this like five times a year. Every time, when I get to the point where I really need to burrow in and sort out all the little bins of small unrelated items, like the one where I found my WOYWW button (like the one I would show you if I could find my damn phone!) and the many, varied receptacles for paper and cardstock (and there are MANY) I just get fed up and shove it all into some semblance of order and think next time…. THIS time I am attacking it all. Interesting things I found – like that I could bind a book for every week of the year with the Bind It All supplies I have. I think I got send a bunch when I was working for Scrapbook Inspirations so at least I can’t say I overbought. Also, Club Scrap paper and card. OMG I have so much untouched. It is lovely quality cardstock but some of the printed ones are simply UGH.

I wonder – who other than Shaz loved scenic stamping? Cause I have a massive box of stamps of mountains and foliage and rocks, and who knows what else that I accept I will N E V E R use. If you are near Dorset, feel free to stop by after next week LOL!

I found my Man Bites Dog cards finally – Kyla, we can play every Weds. – so there is that too. (found my phone so I am inserting the shot here!)

Before I made my space unworkable, I did finish my WOYWW 12th anniversary ATCs. I have 12 – but 11 to trade, cause I have to keep one. In true WOYWW fashion they were made with the scraps from various projects on my desk. I’m not one to feel I have to hide them and make them a surprise so you might see them in progress a post back.

So just the 100 Days re-cap:

And today, Day 83:

Yeah. Well I would add it if I COULD FIND MY PHONE WITH THE PHOTO ON IT!

I may have to go get my real phone and take another photo of it – although I really am not keen on the page – stuff went wrong. There was an ink smudge from the facing pages, a rub-on went horribly wrong and I had to place things in a way I didn’t want to to hide those flaws, and the journaling spot really needed inked edges to show up. There – maybe I don’t have to show it …

[sigh] found the phone, so there is no escaping it….See what I mean?

Up at the hospital for IVIG next week so not sure how much I can desk-hop from the hospital WiFi but THIS week, I should manage it OK unless I block myself in while moving stuff about.

LOL! and Happy WOYWW!


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My junk journal flip thru

I have done my 100 days page but as this is going to be photo heavy I am going to add two pages tomorrow instead of one today and the solo image on my Sunday-day off. You’ll have to trust me LOL!

I’ve tested it and you can click on any image to see it bigger – not BIG, but bigger. I’m still conserving space so I don’t run out.

It’s interesting for me to see them all together. I’m not sure it helps me define my style but I notice a few things – first, in my head, I used circles a lot more than it seems I do. On less than half of the pages I see circles as the focal image. On four of them they are the dominant image. I’ve used something Dina Wakely on ten of 18 pages, although on three of them I used only a bit of collage tissue text or a tiny bit of the asemic writing stamp. There is text on every page, more than just a title. Colour-wise I don’t seem limited to any particular grouping, although turquoise and orange seems to happen a few times. There is virtually no “white space” as defined by the colour white, but most pages are not as chaotic as I feared. There are none that I HATE, but a few that seem like they went off the rails at some point. I recall when making them that there was a point where I should have stopped, where I liked them better than the finished item. Oops. Oh well.

And finally, this sort of journal, and the fact that it cannot lay flat after a certain point (gee, where else have I noticed that as well?) is… problematic. I have a maybe solution to that I am keen to try out. More on that later. But, yeah. Overall, I had fun, I experimented, I stretched myself, and I wish I could go out again and pick up another Bus Tour booklet. The weight of the pages was great, although some were stuck in groups to provide a thicker base, and the no-pressure nature of it all was relaxing. Last thing to do is decorate the cover. Luckily I think I have an easy solution!


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WOYWW 593 – .svgs anyone?

Happy WOYWW!! Things have deteriorated. Back to a huge mess. Oh well. Here is a tightly cropped shot, all you get this week:

Working on a page, in my newly built art journal.  More about that in the next few days, and about the bookbinding cradle I built.  I think it was helpful. It’s on the other desk, and here it is in action:

In the last few days I shared some stencils I had cut and asked if sharing the .svgs might be helpful.  It is a set of ladies faces – a bit more bold and actually they might be easy enough to cut by hand if you don’t have a machine but like the idea. They would be great for masking on Gelli plate prints. Here is the full set. The numbers on the faces correspond to the file name, 1, 2, and 3. The last file is all of them, smaller, on a single sheet. Hopefully they will be useful!

I has been a while since I used Dropbox, but if I have managed it correctly, here are the download links:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sccd6balw05ykhl/faces1.svg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p77qsiuppwscsfs/faces2.svg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3nl965tfcux0fw3/faces3.svg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sz8j1pbfy4a6ucz/allfaces.svg?dl=0

   They can be used as a mask or a stencil.  I LIKE sponging around a mask, with all the rough and messy edges, like on the page above, but I accept not everyone does! Sorry for the crappy photo but this is the cover of the journal all opened out. You can see I did the sponging around the mask on those two flowery blobs. The text is clearer in daylight but it says I have read and agreed to the terms and conditions. Also from a stencil I cut, but stenciled a little lopsided LOL!

And I finished my left-leaning politically themed mini-art journal. You can see it here, if you wondered about the end product.

Lastly, lets all take a moment to reflect on the fact that WOYWW is nearly 600 weeks old. What a milestone! And I just want to say that I am making a huge effort to visit every blog, even if I can’t comment, due to my pedantic insistence that I won’t let Google have one more way to grab my details. And I’m sad, cause I always see stuff I want to comment on. I am thinking I might have a way to comment indirectly….I shall test!


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2021 Calendars – oddly prepared….

I was taken by surprise when I got a comment on my blog from Debbie asking about 2021 calendars!  In the chaos of 2020 it had totally slipped my mind.  I went hunting in my full-to-bursting folders of calendar files on my Mac and imagine my surprise when I found not one, but TWO circle calendars already ready to go.  What the hell?  It is totally unlike me to be that prepared.  I am a very much last-minute kinda gal.  Anyway, I had a quick check of the start end end days of the month, on two online calendars, to make sure when I made them I had gotten the dates all correct (and I will NEVER forget the time I used an online calendar and IT was wrong, so I was too) and can add them now.

Why I made two versions I don’t know, but I did.  This one is more like the original:

and this one is an update version, bolder and more modern, maybe?

Hopefully one of them will appeal. Both will fit a standard cd case.  Click on the Calendar Making menu at the top to see the drop-down menu with loads of calendar projects for inspiration.


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Still slipping….

What a weird day it has been.  I have been carrying on with my slipped stitch sequences and testing out a few so-called jogless joins.  While they work OK for stripes, none work in a way I like for the slipped stitch helix knitting I am doing.  So far, adding one stitch and alternating between slipping it and knitting it looks best to me.  But I am now thinking maybe I add say three stitches, maybe even three stitches between the font and the back needles when working magic loop.  Sort of setting off the strips of the sequences by bands of solid colour – maybe in purl  or even twisted knits!  Purl, Ktbl, Purl is something that occurs in the Japanese stitch pattern I am using for a pair of socks at the moment and it looks interesting.

 

That would serve to set off the slipped stitch sections quite nicely, I think. I might have a go at that and see. It probably rather negates the value of the repeated sequence but only by inserting a break, rather than completely reworking the sequence (more on that later.)

OK but here is the weird thing.  I was mapping the patterns with coloured blocks, just to get an idea of some of the variations, and to see where they might differ.  All of these are actually assuming you are working in the round.  Here is a selection:

I noticed a couple of weird blocks, that made no sense to me.  Look at these:

The bottom one explains – the slipped stitches should be getting lighter and lighter with each slipping.  You can see that in all of these charts, you get a round of your sequence: Knit 4, Slip 1, but when you move to the next round in helix knitting, knitting in the second colour and slipping the stitch from the previous round, all the slips stack up.  What is stranger, for at least one of them, does not act like what I have always been told with regard to patterns.

Both 15 and 19 are multipes of 4 +3 stitches.

15 = 12 (= 4×3) + 3 stitches

19 = 16 (= 4×4) +3 stitches

And yet the charts are totally different.  Look back up to (k3, s1) on 15 or 19 stitches.  They look THE SAME.  Read any stitch dictionary – they all specify pattern repeats as “multiples of x, + y extra stitches” and 99.9% of the time, it works.  For this method it does not.  The true weirdness came when I tried to explain slipped stitch helix knitting to my husband.  OMG.  He just could not get it.  He eventually created his own little chart, I grabbed my knitted sample, I talked him thru the way knitting, and in particular SLIPPING when using two colours and alternating rounds, works.  He just kept saying “But if you just add another slip HERE you can make it work!” and I kept saying “But adding stitches makes it not a sequence!” and he would say “It IS a sequence, just not the same one!” and I would yell “LOOK AT THE BOOK! It is called SEQUENCE KNITTING! It has to be the exact same sequence, over and over. The clue is in the title!” and so we sent, round and round, making no progress.

So that has been my Saturday.  <sigh>

 


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Another Nearly No-Sew Knitted Heart Pattern

I was keen to make another no-sew heart, with slightly different proportions and with a bit of texture.   It took me a few sample knits to get it to where I wanted it to be, but I am finally happy with the results. The original No-Sew Heart is very simple, a pair can be whipped out in and hour or two, if you do the two at a time, as you would socks. It looks like this:

I will add the NEW PDFs right at the beginning then get on with the explanation so I don’t get 100 comments or emails asking where they are!

The Nearly No-Sew Textured Heart

The Nearly No-Sew Subtle Textured Heart

The new, textured version has a few more rounds, and a few special tricks to make closing the gap in the middle a bit easier. Here are a couple of samples (the subtle version sample photo is right at the end):

 

 

On the last pattern I talked about the KFSB (knit front, slip back) alternative to KFB.  I explained how knitting into the front of the stitch, then inserting the needle into the back of that same stitch as if you were going to go ahead and knit into the back, but instead slipping that stitch over to the right  needle still produces two stitches but omits that little bar across the front you get with KFB. I offered the KFSB as an alternative to KFB, and said feel free to KFB if you prefer, it would be fine.

This one? Not so much. In order to make the pattern work, the increases need to be on the first and last stitch of the increase rows rather than one stitch in.  The KFSB give a far neater and snugger line of increases.

Can you see the KFB stitches (on the left) are just a little baggy and open?

This is the KFB seen along the edge – see the gaps above the “braid?”

and this is the KFSB seen along the edge – much tighter and neater!

I hope I have convinced you to give this a go!

One other small change.  When dividing for the heart bumps, in this version you will have an uneven number of stitches.  The round has 21 stitches and can’t be divided evenly.  This makes for a happy accident, I think.  When you begin heart bump #1, you will knit 10 stitches from the front needle, then slip on to waste yarn the heart bump #2 stitches.

You will move 11 from the second half of the front needle and then 10 from the beginning of the back needle. You will then begin heart bump #1 with a K2Tog, which brings the two halves together, beginning to close the gap.

Once you complete heart bump #1, and are ready to begin bump #2, you will need to join your yarn in the middle.  Re-organize your stitches so there are 10 stitches on the front needle and 11 on the back needle,  BUT you must then move the extra stitch in the middle from the BACK needle to the front, to then K2tog in the same way.

This seems like a bit of palaver but it helps to both simplify stitch pattern AND results in fewer sewn stitches needed to close the gap.

Now, I don’t have an issue stuffing the heart nicely thru the open bumps and the centre gap, but it IS easier if you fully stuff the tip and lightly stuff up to the gap then do bump #2 and finally fully stuff the bumps before you fully close the gap.

I was lucky enough to get a fellow Ravelry user, who knit the original, review the pattern and knit a sample.  I think her sample photos show the superior look of the KFSB along the side edge as well!

Many thanks to  MingleYarns  for her help. It is much appreciated!

As a bonus, there is yet another way to make this pattern that you might prefer.  The texture is more subtle, but if you hate purling then this will be better. All you need to do is read every PURL stitch as a KTBL (knit thru the back loop, or make a twisted knit stitch, as you prefer.)

With this very simple change, and making only knit stitches (well, sort of!) you get texture like this:

I went ahead and did a replace P with Ktbl  edit and created what I am calling A Nearly No-Sew Subtle Textured Heart Pattern.  Just know that that is quite literally the ONLY CHANGE in Subtle Textured vs Textured – just substituting a knit thru the back loop for a purl.

Lastly, if the proportions of the textured versions are more pleasing to you, you need only add 5 knit rounds after round 18 on the original No-Sew heart pattern.  The original is as streamlined as I could make it for charity knitting, but the textured versions (and the + 5 rounds version) are great for any other heart-as-gift.


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Internet issues

Sorry all.  I have no email at the moment and I depend on email notifications to alert me when I have a comment I need to respond to (for the DASH planner link or for a book folding template.)

 

I will TRY to go back and find all comments I have not replied to but if I miss you please comment again here and I will try to monitor it.

Hope you are all staying safe, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing! One of these may help…..

 


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Update leafy circles – new version!

Well, I also updated the leafy circles calendar, although I am calling the new version Leaf Wreath Calendar to differentiate it from the old one!

You can grab it here.  I’ve changed the wreath a bit but the basic vibe is the same.

Enjoy!