2018 and 2019 Doily One-sheets

Here are the 2018 and 2019 Doily one sheets.


I had a request via a comment for Birthday calendars. I’ve never done one before but would happily do so if there was  a need.  I’ve seen many available for download, once I started looking for them – so the questions is, do my calendars add anything to the mix?  I’m not sure.  There might be people who like my style and who want to have a whole range of items with the same design.  If that’s you let me know. Maybe I’ll have a play!





2018 and 2019 Doily Calendars (for the forward thinking among you!)

It feels like wishing your life away, looking that far into the future, but I got a request and I would have done them anyway, so I did both 2018 and 2019 in the Doily style calendar.  I imagine I will also end up doing the One-sheets for planner people.

A usual, I tweaked the colours from the 2017 version and changed the month font for both 2018 and 2019. See the samples:

I always have a moment of panic, looking at the on-screen images, but I assure you that the thin lines do all match when printed. It’s just a weird artifact.

You can download them here:

2018 Doily calendar

2019 Doily calendar


Nearly No-Sew Knitted Heart

A friend of mine has taken over a local knitting shop and I have been making a few things for her, both as display items and to add to her little section of handmade goodies for sale. She does super cute crochet bunting (love her beach huts!) and I thought I would make her some heart ones.

Now, you generally head to t’internet when you need a free pattern.  I did. I must have looked at 100 patterns.  They seemed to fall into two basic categories.  By far the most common was:  Knit a heart.  Knit another. Sew them together. I did not need to add “second heart syndrome” to my already terminal case of “second SOCK syndrome” so that was never going to work.  The second common one was to knit the heart in the round and graft the top of the heart bumps (or in one case knit back and forth then mattress stitch up the back.) Most used a M1 increase, with the opposing K2tog/SSK decreases.  That doesn’t bother me, except I tend to have to look at the pattern cause I will always forget which way they lean, so mix up how to load the M1 to make it go the way I want.  I hunted and hunted for a “lazy version” – i.e. knit it in the round, simple increases and decreases, and be done.  No such luck.

So I created a version that I like – and although it isn’t the most elegant heart, compared to the grafted ones, I think it is the fastest.  A bonus if you want to make 100 to decorate your wedding tables, especially if you are planning on hiding the middle V with flowers or something!

You can do them on DPNs, but the 3-stitch start is way easier with Magic Loop.  Slightly fiddly, but not enough to offset having to make 2!

Here is the pattern.  I have checked it, but you all know what a scatterbrain I am! I did add in the M1 alternative instructions  (just the basic M1 and still the K2tog decreases) but I am sure there are other patterns that do it better.

And here are some photos to explain the heart bump sections.

This shows knitting the first half, then slipping the stitches on to a holder.

Take a moment to note how stinkin’ cute my stitch marker is LOL!

Work the first heart bump section on one side,

and thread the tail thru the final stitches but DO NOT GATHER.

Now, with the new end of the yarn, thread a needle.  Use this to secure the middle stitches.

I like to knit the first stitch with the end and the working yarn together, for a more secure join.

Then carry on and knit a round (to match the round that you used to divide the heart) then repeat the heart bump stitches again.

Stuff and gather the tops. Use the tails if you need a couple more stitches to close the middle once it is stuffed.  This is cotton yarn and it is a lot less forgiving than wool or even acrylic – it doesn’t spring back when stretched so another stitch or two is sometimes needed.

See what I mean?  A lot less elegant than grafting the few top stitches, but a lot less work too.

You can play around with the stitch count as well as the needle size and yarn.  Just use a smaller needle that the yarn calls for so you get a nice tight weave and so the stuffing doesn’t show thru.  I think the very smallest one did the 2-round-knit-pairs after there were 14 stitches on each needle and stopped with 18 stitches rather than 20.  You can also add more 2-round-knit-pairs for a longer, more folk-art style heart.  The white heart had an additional 2-round-knit-pair after the 14 per needle round, as well as after the 16 per needle round. When you read the instructions, that will make sense!

I made a quick hanger, by threading the three hearts on a length of yarn, with knots to separate.

I need a much slimmer needle so I can add beads instead – with them snugged up to the V, they will totally hide the few closing stitches.

I am working on another thing, and another book-folding alphabet, by request, but I’ve had side effects with two of my heart meds (hands up if you hate statins!) and it is causing me problems.  I’ve already ditched the tickly cough by changing one med and with luck now I am off the statin, I’ll start to feel more energetic.  Hopefully I’ll finish both by the end of the week. But I doubt I will ever return to daily blogging.

Hope you enjoy.



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Book folding – Mr & Mrs

This has to be the most requested, after Mum!

I have a handful of templates I have created before that I am going to add today – I’ll try to make a few more at some point, but these will help if you need one fast!

A couple of things – this is a bit that I send out with custom template orders:

The lines DO NOT tell you how many pages you need for your template, they are to help with the counting. Be sure to go back to my blog post for info on how to calculate the page count. This page has links to two different posts for how to do this. Be careful to count the alternating folds correctly!

Why I won’t tell you how many pages you need can be found here 

If the template has more than one version on the same sheet, just cut them apart and mount the cut out on a fold of paper so you can hang it over the top edge, as normal.

The .’s are not included, and the & is used, rather than  and, so Mr & Mrs not Mr. & Mrs. or Mr and Mrs.  It’s a space thing,  You wouldn’t guess it, but those .’s make a big difference.

Some are Mrs & Mrs. You can adapt them by leaving off one of the s‘s  There is one multi-line one, best for cut&folds!


Here is the download. Just print the page you need.


Have fun 🙂


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Bad blogger! and 2018 One-sheets

Well, we have a respite from visitors for a bit.  Lovely as it is to have them, it is disruptive.

There has been a lot going on, but I perhaps do a nice overview post at some point, when I find the time. But for now, just a couple of things.

Yes, I am still sending out book folding templates, but you need to know two things:

I cannot fit a particular template to a particular book.  There are people who do that but they will charge you.  I make the template, you count the folds, and find a book to fit.

Why I won’t tell you how many pages you need can be found here 

Next, I got a request for One Sheet calendars for 2018.  Here are a couple.  I did make them both portrait and landscape.  Some people use them for small planners, some for A4/US Letter ones and some use them upright and some sideways.  Remember that the PDFs should resize to fit any size paper.  So if you tick A5 and tick Scale to Fit in your print dialog box, it should print on a half sheet, if you load half sheets in the printer. Bear in mind the text will be small.

The multi-coloured one

Horizontal (landscape)

Vertical (portrait)


The colourful block one

Horizontal (landscape)

Vertical (portrait)


The leafy circles

Horizontal (landscape)

Vertical (portrait)

Hope they prove useful!


Already? Yep. some 2018 calendars.

Just something I was playing with.  I’ve had gradients on my mind.  So there is the pretty standard B&W version:

which you can download by clicking this link

And there is a pretty, colourful version:

that you can download by clicking this link.

Because I’ve done them as five blocks per page, you get three blank frames at the end for journaling if you want.

Been a while since I made any calendars so this was a bit of fun for me.



Yep, still here. PL printables for Easter

<sigh> so busy.  In addition to completely re-painting the kitchen table and chairs, I have:

  • sanded and varnished two end tables, a library table and a coffee table for the living room
  • hung about 30 pictures in various places around the house (not all very well LOL!)
  • hung and hemmed curtains in the living room (why can I only get ones that are too short, or 16 inches too long??)
  • hung curtains in the master bedroom and my office
  • made curtains and replaced blinds in hubby’s office
  • made curtains for both upstairs bathrooms
  • painted and decorated the dire downstairs loo – a stop gap as it really needs tearing down and rebuilding, including adding a sink and a heater and insulating
  • cleaned and painted a particularly filthy bit of ceiling outside the kitchen
  • painted the kitchen and the chimney
  • redecorated the bathroom (including painting cheap furniture to look better)
  • moved my sewing room so I could…
  • …sort out the guest room

and about 100 other small jobs. Hence my absence from here for so long.

We are working on a small cyber-crop over on UKScrappers for National Scrapbooking day, which is a much needed creative task to balance out the hard work of getting the house in shape for three different sets of visitors over the next couple of months (including DS and his GF – very excited about that!) and the in-laws (also excited about THAT – MIL and I are going to dye sock yarn with KoolAid!)

BUT while waiting on the phone for something or another, I made this set of printables for Project Life – or regular scrapbooking, if you prefer, but in the 3×4 size. I had a plan to make some calendars but not had the time.

Anyway, here they are for download:


Pretty basic but cute, I think.  Hope you find them useful, and I will be back with a calendar or two at some point (2018, for sure!)

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an iMac project, from the computer graveyard….

DD rolls her eyes and tells me how silly it is that I am such a fan of The Walking Dead.  Well this could be seen as a zombie, in that is has risen from the graveyard of old Apple stuff we hang on to for far too long.  We only just sold the NeXT we had in storage!

This project, one that the hubby has been keen to do for a long time, finally came to fruition.  We got back the shell of the old Dalmatian spot iMac on Friday and by Saturday night we had it done.  We had considered a ton of options but hubby’s concept of a standing lamp won out over my idea of a tabletop lamp stuffed with bulbs.  It isn’t set in stone YET, but as proof of concept, it works.

Obviously there are no guts inside, so I had to figure out a way to “display” something on a sort of screen.  Rummaging around in my scraproom, I found some vellum.  Both a very firm cardstock weight sheet, and a pad of thinner weight. Perfect.

Thinking back to my trusty folded corners technique (see how to make those at the link) gave me the idea for easily swapping out the images.  PS the lamp is level, it’s my photo that isn’t LOL!


And the ever-useful Washi tape allowed me to attach the “screen” temporarily. You can barely see it but those white blobs at the back and in the front centre?  Thermomorph!


The basic construction is a tripod lamp from Homebase.  The centre of the lampshade was cut away and attached to the bulb holder as normal, with the arms bent up to cradle the iMac.  The Thermomorph both covers the cut end of the shade frame and makes the arms cup the case without fear of scratches.

The case is wired to the lamp shade frame with white Artistic Wire (remember that stuff??) and the centre of the case is full of string lights from IKEA.  Oddly, we just bought these for £10 and now I can only seem to find strings for £29!  That is a huge jump in price.  Glad we got two sets.

We played around with ideas for the image – Hubby’s uncle was on the team that worked on the development of the mouse, so we thought he might be a good choice, but hi-res photos are not easy to find. This one is from the Stanford Mouse site:

Maybe a photo montage using the smaller images? We also thought old Mac desktops might be fun, and found some, the MacPaint image above, and this one, also showing the swap out using the photo corners:

And I found a couple of more colourful images we quite like too:

This one highlights the work still to be done, hiding the cord and cables.

Another thought.  Hubby’s brother does amazing art, using a method he developed and software he wrote to convert photographic data into typographical symbols.  Very cool stuff, and you can see more here.

Brotherhood Of Rust 2

If it was printed on vellum that might be a neat idea too.  The point is, with the corners in place, we can change the screen image whenever we like.

Now, that was fun, but there is painting and tiling to get on with.  <sigh>


What have I been doing?

Well.  It’s been a long time.

At the moment, the house has taken priority.  We are having (one of) the grotty bathroom(s) replaced and it’s been 3 weeks of disruption.  While that was going on, I ventured into the Chalk Paint arena.  It is NOT the wonder paint some people say it is, although, to be fair, some of it is likely my technique LOL! I just cannot get it smooth and brush stroke free. And the wax?  A nightmare.  Now, some (most?) people will likely say that a) that is the beauty of chalk paint or b) why chalk paint if you AREN’T going to then distress the piece?  Well, I like the matte finish of it.  I liked the idea I could delve into a new area with little or no experience.  I liked that it was fast.

So we had these ugly chairs and table.  Here is one of them, in its unadorned state.  We bought it off Gumtree, I think it was, from someone who lived right across the street, for £40.  The idea was always to re-paint it and see if I liked the process enough to do more of it.

So the first chair, I painted with a brush.  I cleaned it but didn’t sand or do any other prep. It looks ok from a distance LOL!

Funny thing is that fabric? Came over in our storage unit shipment, after being stored for 16 years…it perfectly matched colourwise for my vision.

OK so a couple of things.  One coat of chalk paint is not enough.  The second coat seems to drag up little granular clumps that don’t smooth out. And yes, I stirred A LOT before I started – enough so I no longer felt the chalky residue at the bottom of the tin.   Even after the 4 hours dry time, the brush strokes are very noticeable, no matter how carefully you brush and with or against the grain.  This was a good brush, too, not a cheap one.  I ended up sanding the first coat and reapplying the next day, trying to go slowly and thinly, to get it even.  Not a lot better, to my mind.  I got a better result with a sponge roller or a foam brush, but the roller does soak up a lot of the paint.   This is the brushed on back:

This is the foam roller one.  Yes, I know, it isn’t close enough, but trust me, it’s miles better. And you can see the fabric better…

Next, the waxing.  OMG.  It take more skill than I have, and more time, to really do it well.  I think with more practice I might have managed a better job, but it is time-consuming and you need to really pay attention, working on small areas at a time.  Ideally, you need to rub the hardened wax layer with wire wool before buffing it to get a nice sheen.

On the right is the brushed on chalk paint, with the wax over it.  On the LEFT is the chair I spray painted with a HVLP spray gun, designed for fence painting (on sale at the moment at B&M!)

Not perfect, cause I still had to do some brush cutting in where the grey and the colour met, but a lot better to my mind.

The viscosity cup included will tell you how much water to add to get the chalk paint to flow thru the gun, and I added about 125ml to a partial can.  Not helpful, I know, but it could depend on your brand of chalk paint, how well you stirred it, and other factors.  I’ve seen 3 parts paint to 1 part water when I looked, so maybe start with that.

Another find is this stuff, from my local DIY store:

Freakin’ awesome stuff. Unlike most varnish, this dries to a dead flat finish, just like it says, and it doesn’t streak if you overbrush. Dries fast too! And unlike wax, there should be no need to re-wax it again and again, and it WILL protect from water damage.  It is what is on the left leg above. The satin version can be shined up to look like wax.

So the  chairs are nearly done.

For my first attempt I was probably a bit mad to go all multicoloured. Getting the joins between the grey legs and the coloured other bits is a pain.

Just cause painting them wasn’t enough of a task, I also added some wipeable wall paper to the backs:


I need one more bit of wallpaper to finish the last one.  I really should sand back the waxed one and re-do it but not sure I have the heart to do that.  Maybe after the table. It has a leaf that opens it out to a larger oval (it’s round now) so I have a few ideas on what to do with that!

So that would be why I have been MIA here for so long.  I’ve also painted a small bathroom, framed a ton of art, ready to hang, been working of curtains, unboxed, sorted, and found homes for 57 boxes of books, also from the storage unit shipment, and about 100 other house-related things. We still have to get thru another week of decorating (hubby’s home office) and get the new curtain rods hung so I can finish the curtains.  There is still the kitchen than needs replacing and the floor in the dining room needs lifting to see what is going on underneath.  Ideally the other upstairs bathroom needs some work, and the loo out the back off the laundry room needs insulating, re-roofing, and damp-proofing.

So it will be some time before I get back to regular blogging.  Still doing the book folding templates by request, as and when I have time, as long as it stays at a manageable level.



Some book folding templates and Artistic Flair discount for the USA folk

I was kindly given a specific code for the USA readership for shopping the Artistic Flair site.


I can only guess the original code did not work for USA customers? Drop by and see if something falls into your basket….

blogdividerWhen I get more than one request for a kind of template, I try to take notice.  Teacher templates seem to be the thing.  So I will add TEACHER, in a couple of fonts and then something else that has come up, sports icons.  teach

Download that PDF here – if you wanted, you could easily stop after TEACH as an alternative!

Funny think about the sports icons.  These come from an Olympic official pictogram set.  Note that they are very stylized, but none of them appear unisex to me.  the gymnastics one is the most “feminine” but even so..



See at the bottom there?  I initially thought the ballroom dancing one was for wrestling.  Side by side you can see the differences but initially, you can see why I was mistaken! Except for the slight skirt on one of the figures I thought it was either judo or wrestling, till I looked closer!

Download that set here.

There is some construction going on across the street and the constant jack hammering is doing my head in.  I think I will have to leave my office and knit while I watch the rest of the OJ documentary on the BBC iPlayer.  Or maybe listen to the podcast Someone Knows Something – it’s no Serial, but interesting in its own way. The house on the other side is both farther from the jack hammer and has better, more airtight windows. Another thing to add to the long list of stuff that needs doing….