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3×4 Project Life style Spanish calendars for 2019

I must be getting old.  Or maybe it was trying to do 5 different calendars in three different  languages that did it!

I usually try to get to Spanish and French calendars at some point and since I had requests I figured it should be sooner rather than later.  Let’s start with the Spanish ones today.  I know from past years that while SPANISH calendars usually have a Monday start, other Spanish-speaking countries have a Sunday start so I do both.

For the Monday to Sunday Spanish calendar click HERE.

If you want the Sunday to Saturday version, click HERE.

As usual I tried to check the month dates about 5 times, and I did find occasional errors (which I corrected, of course) but I do remember a few years back when I used some internet site for the month names and got many comments saying it was wrong – mine was only wrong cause the internet site I used was wrong.  The design is in B&W but you could colour in the flowers with coloured pencils or Copics.

I will be adding English versions for Sunday to Saturday and Monday to Sunday (which I don’t always do) and a French Monday to Sunday version.  Then I have to do a LARGE PRINT version to fulfill another request.  Then I might be done for the year.  I’ll have to see if I get inspired…


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2019 WIDEtop and NO BOX Project Life sized calendar cards

People always seem to want some little tweak to the calendars!

A big thing is the DIY (Decorate it Yourself) versions.  People love adding washi tape or strips of cardstock or a border stamp, or about 100 other things.  Obviously the more room there is to do that, the better.  So, as requested in a comment, I’ve shifted the plain 2019 text blocks down, so it leaves a larger space at the top for decorating.  The WIDETOP version can be found here.

I have also done a version with no boxes.  You can cut them close for tear-offs,  cut them to decorate at the bottom. You might even be able to cut landscape with space at one side for decoration. But without the lines you’ll have to figure out that cutting on your own!

The NO-BOX version can be found here.

I have not had time to redo months from a current calendar as samples, but this old post has lots to use as inspiration!

And one of my followers sent me these adorable versions:

for cat people – or stampers:

Have fun!


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Mandalas for yarn bombing – free hoops!

I never really know how best to title a post.  Hopefully this one got your attention.

One thing I am easily able to do is sit and knit or crochet.  I can do it in the car on the way to appointments and while sitting in waiting rooms.  A couple of knitting groups locally do yarn bombing – google it, it is colourful and cool.  I’ve not made anything for past efforts but I thought I would have a go for the upcoming ones.  I liked the idea of a mandala but also liked the idea of recycling stuff and not buying anything new for the project.

I am not totally sure how the idea came to me, but in thinking of what might be used as the ring to attach and stretch the mandala I had an AHA! moment.

Aren’t these fun!?

Believe it or not, the rings are the rim cut from one of our endless supply of huge coffee cans from Costco.

And while the edge of the rim is the choice piece. you can get other rings from the lid too.

The inner rings are quite flat and less rigid, but they do more or less work.

I have also experimented with other plastic lids, like these from Pringles:

Quite small, those.  I have a tub of Fage 0% Yogurt in the fridge and that lid is just about CD size so looking forward to seeing how that works out.  I did crochet and add some mandalas to the shiny side of a CD, and covered the back with a plain white label, so I didn’t have to use two CDs back to back and crochet two mandalas and they turned out quite nice as well.

My sort of idea is to use a picture that I saw as inspiration – one that I struggle to find again.  So often the links on Pinterest that show this image don’t go anywhere or seem to go to some totally unrelated thing.  I just tried to search for the “beaded curtain” words that led me to it originally and it does not come up!  I did find a link in my search history and hopefully it will show up here:

If I wanted to make this to go over a shop door, for example, it’d be pretty expensive to buy the rings. But a lot of those rings could work as the lid-rims.  and what’s more, I might have a line on some big rims for massive pots.  Not only cheap but using recycled things too!  Win-Win.

Bearing in mind this is all for outside yarn-bomb installations and not meant to be work for sale, I am pretty happy with where I am heading!


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Been a while… Tear off calendars for 2019

I have been busy and also had a little relapse of my NAM so blogging has not been my top priority.  But I did manage to make a couple of sheets of tear-off blocks for 2019.  Those of you who like to make calendar related gifts might find them useful.  There are older posts, like this one,  that show how to make a tear-off calendar from cut month blocks.

I’ve tried to make these simple to cut this time, just cut along the lines.

Here is the flat-topped circle one:

And here is a version with a bit more space around it, in case you want to make your tear-offs a bit special, like these:

You can see how I do that here. There is also a cute, simple foldable calendar card project in that post, so worth having a look anyway.

And here are the plain block ones:

No idea why the line looks darker here.  I doesn’t look like that in the PDF preview!

I hesitate to say the dreaded C-word (not THAT one, the DECEMBER one!) but if you make gifts, that Calendar card project is one you can easily whip up and have a stash on hand in case you need an emergency gift!

Also bear in mind that many of the Project Life sized cards also make nice tear-off blocks:

and you can see other 2019 calendars here.

Have fun!

PS I am still more or less keeping up with the book folding templates, getting a few requests every day, just in case people think I am not doing them because I am not posting about them.  I am.


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P2P Art Journal

Well.  I have been doing Permission to Play for a couple of weeks and I am very happy with my junk cardboard art journal.  I was a bit torn – I waffled back and forth between just the pages with inspirational or thought-provoking quotes, mostly related to my diagnosis of statin-induced necrotizing Myosotis/NAM and a proper journal, which I could write in.  I never really bought in to the scribble journaling concept, as I like to be able to look back at my thought and see if I’ve progressed, or learnt anything – hard to do if the text is just scribbles.  And fitting in text on a page I had already decorated a bit as part of the P2P process didn’t work easily for me either.

Lo and behold, my morning email from Carolyn!

Use a supply you have lots of on hand.

HA!  As evidenced by my piece from the other day, made up of little arty samples, I went back to look at my stash of bigger sheets:

and looking at them I could see many were plain on the reverse.  I folded them all and punched holes to match the holes in my cardboard journal:

Then slotted these between the pages.

The idea is that I can write on the outside and/or the inside when I want to, and I can easily add more folded pages as or when I want! So if a quote prompts me to write, more than once, the journal will evolve with every new insertion.

Here are a few more of the quotes pages:

and

The quote on that orange page is a great one from Michael J. Fox, about his Parkinson’s:

I don’t have any choice whether or not I have Parkinson’s, but surrounding that non-choice is a million other choices that I can make.

I slightly altered it by substituting [what I have] for Parkinson’s.  It was too good, too inspirational, to pass up.

I should have taken photos of all the pages before adding the inserts.  Oh well.

And here is the cover:

The book rings, rather than the painted ribbon tied for the binding, works better for me.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the P2P class I’ve never made an art journal this way before, and I’ve loved using up stuff that I have been hoarding for years, like the cardboard box with the handle-ovals, and my box of random inked or painted sheets and old Gelli prints.  The arty samples box isn’t empty yet, but I’ve made two things I am totally thrilled with.  Definitely a win in my book.  If you fancy joining in with P2P, there is a link in the sidebar over there —>>


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Trauma Teddy, Bobby Buddy, whatever.

{sigh} I have been fighting with the WordPress editor all morning.  I made a post but when I viewed it there were too many weird things happening (like 20 tin, near invisible lines at the end, and text that just kept getting smaller and smaller till at the bottom it was almost unreadable.I kept editing it and in the end I just gave up and deleted it.

I have no idea what was triggering it but I am not going to do it all over again and have it be more of the same.  So here is my PDF.

I did try to make a schematic/visual image of it, kinda like to Trauma Teddy image that is all over the internet, without much luck!

The original is pretty streamlined.  MINE is a bit chaotic, LOL!

My pattern is based (size-wise and stitch count) on the one available for the Dorset Police Bobby Buddies program – Get their pattern here

I wanted a minimal sewing version with no attached pieces. Almost got it! The radio will need to be stitched on for the Dorset Bobby Buddies. 
So long as there are NO BUTTONS or BEADS, this is suitable for that program and should also work for ANY trauma teddy scheme, if the size works.

I WILL add the photos of how to fold the unstuffed bear to match the right sides together and do the SECOND 3-needle bind off.  It;s the only bit that is even remotely tricky.

Once you have done the first 3-needle bind off

You need to fold the head over on to the body

Then fold the legs over on to the head

Then finally fold the upper body (yellow)over the legs – it’s hard to see because of the black, but the right side of the upper body and the right side of the lower body should be matched up for the second 3-needle bind off.

There are links within the PDF for tutorials or videos for some of the less common methods, like the Turkish cast on.

I’ve already sent off a bag of these and have more on the needles.  If you are in the UK, especially if you are in Dorset, feel free to join in the program.

And sorry to subscribers who got a link that disappeared.  Honestly, that post was a MESS. You didn’t miss anything! 🙂


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Trauma Teddies with very little sewing

NOTE:  I’ve removed the download as I have done a much more detailed PDF with links to tutorials or videos and removing some of the fiddly things like the head shaping and all of the purl stitches.  I want a final OK from the Dorset Bobby Buddies scheme before I post it.  Bookmark this and come back to it! (22 June 2018)

One of the ladies in my knitting group sent a message that the Dorset Police were calling for Trauma Teddies and included a new knitting pattern for it.  There is another more standard pattern out there, either written-out or as an image:

What they all have in common is the huge amount of “making-up” they require! I am NOT a fan of the sewing up at the end of any project and if I can figure out how to do it without, I will. Even if it is a little tricky to accomplish!  And while I am always a “belt and braces” person when sewing up for small kiddies, I still worry that an arm might come off, and ear get detached, whatever, and make the toy a hazard.  Silly, maybe, but an all-in-one method suits me on so many levels.

So I made one.

On the left is the one from the pattern from Dorset Police.  It is a really nicely proportioned teddy, and any wonkiness is totally down to my making-up skills.  Trust me – he does have two ears, I promise! The one in the middle is my first attempt to alter the pattern on the fly to make it an all-in-one version.  And the right hand one is my final pattern version.

Gosh that blue background (one of my office chairs) does it no favours! Let’s try that again with just the two:

Better – you can’t see the little antenna on the radio but other than that ….  So just a closer look at my version, with an idea of how I made it all-in-one:

Crazy, right?  But other than a few stitches above and below the arms and a couple of stitches to gather the ears (and the decorative stuff like the face and adding the radio) there is no real “making up” to do.   The only thing that is a little tricky is the second 3-needle bind off – and that isn’t that difficult so long as you don’t do any stuffing till you have accomplished it.  That way you can freely manipulate the body into position.

Yes, there is a bit of purling here, but if I am honest I don’t mind that – it gives my knitting muscles something a bit different to do!

I did write up a pattern but it assumes you are familiar with all those things (two-at-a-time, Turkish cast on or Judy’s magic cast on, a 3-needle bind off, pick-up and knit, garter stitch in the round…) so it isn’t going to be for everyone.  The simplicity of the original pattern (knit every row, no real shaping) is going to be a lot better for someone who wants to just knit fast and sew it all together at the end.  Whichever, charity knitting is all good!


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Getting back to arty pursuits….slowly

Well, son is safely back in LA (or as safe as one CAN be in LA) and much of the trauma and turmoil of recent months has settled down a bit.  We have a decision on DDs further education from the SEN panel and it is good news from almost all aspects, my health is as good as it has been since the onset of the NAM, my meds are reasonably well figured out, and I have found the time and energy to be creative.  We have made progress on the house and the garden and at least for today, the sun is shining – no mean feat for June in England!

I thought I would share the pages as a result of the Permission to Play class by Carolyn Dube.  I felt so out of practice, my mojo well and truly gone walkabout, that I thought a structured class that stressed no rules, just play, would be a great way to stay focused.  And I feel like that DID happen.  I made the ATCs last week, while beginning on the cardboard pages of the journal for the class.  But then life intervened and they sat, bare and unloved, waiting for me to be ready.  This morning, while DH and DD were off ice skating, I started Breakfast at Tiffany’s  on Audible and by the end of its 3-hour run time I was pretty much done with the pages and the lessons up to the binding.

The covers are bits of a beer carrier box, I think.  I’ve had them squirreled away for a few years, awaiting a project.  I like the hand-hold holes!  The left page in the photo above is a total OOPS, or Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly, as CD calls a big mess! I have been feeling like my desk is smaller than it used to be and I finally figured out that it is, and why – I lost the HUGE WIDE window ledge in the old house, that extended my desk widthwise, and as I don’t have my computer desk, my working space and the side desk all in a row, I am working on a MUCH smaller area!  That causes overlap

The reverse of one of the pages sat on top of my paint palette and picked up a lot of colour, in shade that couldn’t help but make mud.  With some spray ink and some white paint thru a stencil it ended up being OK, but def. one for the back of the journal LOL!

Other pages:

The only one that I managed to identify something in the Spark is the middle one above, with what I see as a very dejected fellow leaning against a wall.  There is also one Spark page that is still bare.

Overall I am pretty happy with the pages as a base for more stuff.  I feel a need to let it all fester in my brain for a bit before moving on.  I am also inclined to consider another binding method than the ribbon – I’ve never been a fan of ribbon binding and while it does seem like the best option from a practical for a class standpoint, I just feel I will end up being less happy with it.  I’m hoping the festering will either present me with another suitable option or the time will let me come to grips with it!

On a side note, while watching the class I was tickled pink to catch a glimpse of something on her shelf:

I thought Hey! I recognize that! and indeed it was a little thing I sent her 5 years or so ago. I surely intended to cut apart EVERYDAY to make EVERY DAY and didn’t.  DOH! So me.  And so nice of her to display it despite the error.  Oops.

I have another project on the go, unrelated to art, that I will also share, but not today!


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My ATCs done!

Boy, am I out of practice!  But I managed to finish my ATCs so I am happy.  And I not only used and old tool that I thought was only fit for the bin (the Creative Palette) but I used something I bought and had not used yet.  It is a little stamp set from Tiger that cost me all of £3 and is so useful.  Doubly so since I bought two, recognizing that it would be useful to have multiples of letters and more than one upper case set.

You can see it comes with both a circle and a flat piece.  What I love is that the flat piece can be arranged either in a long strip of in two or more lines.  I may even get a third set to extend the amount of typesetting I can do.  To be fair, the font is dead simple, not anything to add any real style, and since I stamped the text then cut it out, printing the text would have worked as well.  But had I decided to stamp directly onto the background I could have.

You can see a couple of the ATCs – here is the whole set:

You can see I added a few little resin dots here and there.  I actually really like them! And it got me doing SOMETHING creative so for that it is all good.

Now off to help clear the dining room and hubby’s office – having one hardwood floor sanded and oiled, and a new wood floor added to make hubby’s home office warmer in winter.  The cold air actually BLOWING up from below the floor made working in there a challenge.  Also, dearest son will be visiting from tomorrow, as he breezes thru Europe on his way back to LA.  So I may be otherwise occupied and back to not crafting for a few more days.  Oh well, it was fun and I’m sure I’ll get back to it soon….

fingers crossed…


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Finally, a use for the Creative Palette!

It has been far too long since I felt up to any crafting but knitting.  I am finally feeling a bit better and trying to flex my creative wings once again.

I am taking a free class from Carolyn Dube called Permission to Play (link in the sidebar) because I used to take part in her Gelli Print Party and I like her enthusiasm and her style.

I am not quite ready to jump in fully as I am very much out of practice, but a post in her group  showed some fab ATCs.  I remember that whenever I felt like I needed a little jumpstart, making ATCs usually worked a treat.  Little bite-sized pieces of creativity, very manageable, and using nothing too precious.

I collected up some stuff – I wanted to make use of the prompt (Using Cardboard or Trash) so I started by covering some cardboard with bits of the Sparks of Art-spiration Carolyn includes as an endless resource – mess it up? print another! I also dragged out a sheet of Teesha Moore stamps that I had not yet even cut from the sheet. And cut them.

I think I may have mentioned about 100 times how much I loathe mounting stamps.  I was not sure I had that sticky backed mounting stuff so I wasn’t sure how best to deal with them.  I considered using sticky backed fun foam, which I have done before and which works pretty well, but what had been in my head was the crappy Creative Palette pseudo-Gelli plate that I reviewed in the past.  Carolyn also has a video on using the Gelli plate to pick up the overflow from acrylic pours and when dry, use them as skins to add to your art.  I saw that a day or so ago and thought that THAT might be a good use for the CP.  It has languished in a drawer for YEARS and I hate to waste money so I’ve held on to it, SURE I would find a use for it SOMEDAY.) It was something I was already thinking about. A solution presented itself.

One problem with the CP is that is is really sticky, for Gelli plate-style pulling.

I had previously cut the CP into shapes with my Big Shot, thinking this was going to give me mini-gelli-plate style tools. It didn’t. But I pulled it out and stuck one of the bits to a stamp mount

and I pressed the unmounted stamp into the plate.

The first time I tried it the stamp fell off – it doesn’t grab the rubber supper firmly with just finger pressure, but if you are ready to stamp and you tamp the ink onto the stamp with a bit of pressure, it will hold.

And it’s a pretty sharp image, right?

So this makes me very happy!  It means I can pretty closely trim the rubber around the stamp without stressing that I have undercut the image, I can cut close enough that I can see where the image will be placed, and I don’t need to buy sheet after sheet of mounting foam!  RESULT!

Now, word of warning.  If you try this, I would shake the mount and make sure the stamp is firmly attached before inking.  It is a temporary hold, strong right after you have pressed the stamp into it and strongest after you have really pushed it down with the inkpad.  It will eventually loosen and you might have the stamp fall off onto your project if you dally.  Washing the CP (like you do with cling stamps) to refresh the sticky will help.  I guess it depends on your tolerance for error, and need for perfection.  For me, as I am not placing the images but will cut them out, it’s a great solution.

Sorry for the portrait style photos – after I decided to post it I realized my camera batteries were dead, the charger MIA and that my phone was downstairs.  My iPad was near so I used that for the photos.  Next time I’ll rotate it 90 degrees so the post isn’t so long.  It’s like I have to learn how to blog all over again…  DOH!