Just a check in….

Well, after (literally) years of avoiding Covid, we have all been hit hard by it. The Hubster, me, Dear Son, all three fell like dominoes in rapid succession. We are a few days in, still testing positive and feeling a little bit better but by no means good.

Bear with me – I’ll be back when I’m up to it. Till then, I will just wish you all the very best for 2023. Health, happiness, prosperity and peace to you all.

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Stress relief that satisfies the Gelli Arts challenge…

I am trying to sneak in a tiny bit of arty play in between bouts of tidying. This ended up taking longer than I hoped, because the combo of the paint I wanted to use and the gel plate I needed did not play well together. This one is for G: Geometric.

I was very inspired by the sample shared from artwithmollie, a Spirograph sort of piece enhanced with coloured pencils. I really want to do a piece following her instructions, but didn’t think I had the time. Yeah. Right. I headed off in a similar vein, looking at patterns of overlapping circles in a grid. I found a couple I liked and printed them.

I thought if I printed the grid I could use it under some not-too-thick paper ti guide the placement of the circles. What you can see above is my crazy DIY on the fly temporary lightbox. The blocks support a piece of glass (from the original Creative Memories circle cutter!) and I slip my phone with the flashlight on unto the gap to illuminate the image. I can’t both use my phone for that AND take a photo so use your imagination!

You can see it works perfectly, and I don’t know why I didn’t just carry on with this first effort.No, I thought I could do BETTER. Queue about 2 hours of trying and failing to achieve my vision. First I wanted a more sheer version that would show the overlapping areas getting darker as I overprinted them

but the dang Distress Inks just beaded up and I wasn’t keen. So I thought maybe adding some pattern would work. And that was not great either. But in the end I did manage a few I didn’t hate. One of them I ended up doing the neurographic corner-rounding on, which had been kinda my original idea. Sorry to say this is not the greatest photo but you get the idea.

It’s hard to see all the bubble wrap texture in the circles but it is there. And that worked well enough so I went ahead to see what the neuro-lines would look like on the DI sample. And I liked that too.

I think I might play with this a bit more when I have more time – honestly doing the pen work, as always is a very restful process.

Next week will be hell. I might do a couple of days worth of posts over the weekend, see if I can catch up on the #ABCPrintingChallenge #GelliArts list, then it will be all about the windows. Ugh. Excited for it to be over!

Edited to add: Sadly, the Queen has died. As the longest serving monarch it really is the end of an era. It will be hard to get used to saying King Charles instead of Queen Elizabeth, unlike how easy it was to get used to President Biden!


My first Neurographic art finished

Well that was bags of fun. I mentioned watching a video by Keren Tamir about Neurographic art, and after watching it had to have a go. She explains a complex process and theory pretty well in a lot fewer words and in a lot less time than the other people who popped up – and in English, which for me is a big help. Just looking at images on Google shows the huge possibilities of the work. While I am not 100% into the whole therapy part, I will say that much like Zentangling, the meditative aspect appeals. The big difference is that with Zentangling I always felt more pressure for the work to look good at the end. And I am not sure if the neurographic process just looks better no matter how you do it or if I am better at it, but I don’t get that sense of disappointment at the end.

I looked at the final piece from yesterday and as the white paint pens were on my desk from the AJ page, I decided I’d tart it up. To begin with, it was looking a whole lot like what my Mom taught me to do as a child in the 60s – scribble drawings. Colouring books were expensive, but my brother and I could cover plain white paper with black scribbles and colour in the loops all day long for pennies.

I did a big dot on each nexus then used a variety of pens to vary the dot size and ended up with:


Also quite a meditative process! I did a second one and used only my Stabilo All pencil to colour in the loops in shades of grey.

Really liked that on a lot. I ended up using some copper acrylic ink and a dotting tool (from my darling daughter’s nail art supply) for something a bit different:

That one looks very cool as the light catches it. So I had a bit of an idea as a way to test out a few more extra additions that may or may not result in something use-able. More on that tomorrow. But I can see me playing with this for a while as it is very relaxing and quite focused. Plus it uses only a few supplies at the beginning so maybe easier that knitting if I end up having a 4-day IVIG session in a few weeks.

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Death’s Dinner Party ATCs

I wonder how many will see these ATCs and immediately go back to the scene in the movie….A few? A lot? I’ll link it here so everyone gets the joke:

Still makes me laugh. But honestly it was a hard slog to get here. My desk, as I tried and discarded a number of possible ATCs – one I was keen to do was a Ken Brown Stamps image of a lady riding an alligator, with the stamped words This isn’t my first rodeo. But my eyes ain’t great anymore and the fine details were hard to get right with Copics. So I shifted:

As soon as I coloured those skeleton hands it just brought the movie scene to mind so clearly I had to follow thru. Then I had to sort out what to do about the “salmon mousse” while I have a lot of food related stamps but that is pretty specific. I ended up finding a cookbook image of salmon mousse sitting on a plate (easy to cut out) and the colour was perfect. I think it all came together pretty well.

I made four. Now I have to decide where to trade them. I’ve been hesitant to put stuff on the more USA based groups – it’s a trade off, because there is a much wider pool of people to trade with and a better chance you will find some cool ATCs because of that, but damn if the postage to the USA isn’t killing me! Yeeks. My fault for adding all the extras but…

So this is like the tird set where all the cards/coins are the same. I think I need to break that trend!

Another negative test, not a hint of a symptom so far, so fingers crossed. Neet suggested a PCR test, but I am not sure if my exposure warrants it. Also unlikely I could get the results before tomorrow, so plan A still in effect. Take another LFT test in the morning and let people know the full timeline so they can decide.

Big hugs to my best bag and hoping she is still feeling ok.

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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….


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!


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!


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:

   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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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>