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ATC book finished

Not really much to crow about as it was basically drying time that held me up form being able to share the final item yesterday. But with the holidays looming and time short, I am just about keeping my head above water. I still have the DIY calendars in Spanish to sort out and I and woefully behind on my WOYWW visits. That is my top priority this morning! But here are a couple of quick shots for you:

It’s quite minimalist really, just the great collage collective paper and some letters. But I quite like it and it was great for storing all the trades:

and that leaves the other one I made to store the coins that I keep from my sets!

All in all that found folder from 2003 really worked out well!

Moral of the story? Hoarding is not always a bad thing….. LOL!


Because I never throw things away….

One of my knitting mates kindly gifted me with a folder for housing ATC cards – I am kinda running out of loose sleeves so very timely. At the same time, while having a bit of a tidy up during the Christmas decorating, I found another little notes book. It was part of one of those monthly magazines, where you get a really good set of gifts to begin with for a bit of money, then they aim to get you to spend a ton on things like collectible cards. This one was a tie in, if I recall, to a Jackie Chan animated series and was dated 2003! It is pretty compact and I like the little flaps that keep things inside.

I wanted to re-purpose it to hold ATC coins and I wanted to do it fairly simply. Those vinyl covered notebooks are hard to decorate, for me. The last one, the large format one I am using for cards, I stripped off the vinyl and painted the inside cardboard, but that proved to be problematic! Anyway for this one I decided to make use of a sheet from the Collage Collective papers.

I trimmed it to fit the flat front, leaving the black border intact and stuck it using matte medium. I brushed another layer of matte medium over the top to seal it.

Then back to the “never throwing stuff away” and I riffled thru my stash of scrapbooking letters. Problem is most of these sets came with a single letter, maybe if lucky a few extra vowels. These, I literally had all but the final C to spell ATC Coins.

I had a solution but the size on those wasn’t quite right. It worked with these two sets combined tho’. I can only assume all the Cs were consumed by many many spellings of JACKSON LOL!

I had the small-set Cs but no space. So where I am now is waiting for it all to dry, weighted down with stamping blocks. I’ll finish it up in the AM and share, but I am also deep in the weeds trying to sort out my PDFs for one of my children’s books. It’s sending me round the bend…

I am trying to find decent (preferably either free or at least a one-time fee rather than a monthly fee) flip book software because I would love to share a flip-thru of a book at some point. Not having a lot of luck with that.

I also got a request for Spanish language Sun-Mon DIY calendars for a long-time follower who uses them year after year. I should be able to sort them out for next week (I hope) and with luck then I will have all the rest of the time between now and Boxing day scheduled so we can have some very much needed Family down time.

Stay safe and well this holiday season.

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Far too busy to blog…..

I have been in an absolute whirlwind of activity for the last 4 days. Now Thanksgiving is over, that Big-C holiday is looming and there is a lot to do to prep for it. The biggest problem is my sewing room. There is a massive, heavy table, that had all of my sewing stuff and my machine on it, that blocks the cabinet where the Christmas tree and all the decorations are. I had to more it all around to access the festive goodies. And believe me, before the turkey was cold and the last bite of pumpkin pie eaten, Darling Daughter was all “So when will we put up the tree?” Sorry to say that simple task created a cascade or shuffling and sorting and rearranging. The Hubster and I toted an entire bookcase of books up a level, I moved two more bookcases into my craft room, moving out one piece of furniture of limited use, then of course had to populate those shelves with things from elsewhere. Then there was a massive effort in the kitchen to better organize and relocate my cookbooks, and make room for the now ex-dvd shelf to become a pantry. We have no idea what food we may have squirreled away from buying multiples of something we use a lot of when we find it on sale, or when we stock up on something during a rare Costco run. This is the only explanation for eight bottles of green pest and four bottles of red! OK, so they are small bottles, and good into 2022, but still….

Boring right? especially with no photos. You will see some on WOYWW day as I photo my desk, but I fear it won’t look startlingly different, even though there is an additional 6foot bookcase that will be on view.

I do have one thing I will share – I have been keeping my ATCs to trade in clear envelopes, but I am finding that unmanageable. I have a stash of baseball card sleeves but what I don’t have, and what is rare as hen’s teeth in the UK, is three (THREE – not two, not four, THREE) ring binders. I managed to find one very ugly one that was falling apart, and I am in the middle of decorating the cover of it so I can use that for my ready-to-trade ATCs, cards and coins both.

I have to stick this cardboard piece to the vinyl lining and am going to see how very strong and thinck double-sided tape works. Unclear at this point what else I will do. but hopefully by tomorrow I will feel ready to take it on.

I have all of my ready-for-trade items inside already. I have been very bad about sharing them on the trade sites I usually use. I might just plan on waiting till after the holidays at this point. Happy mail in the new year will be something to look forward to, and all the mail delays (and potential theft if someone mistakes an ATC for a gift card!) will then be avoided. Wanna see how many I have?

Now the horizontal ones:

Nothing that I have not shared, I don’t think, but any photos ill make this post a lot less boring, for sure.

As soon as I sort out the cover, a quick share and then it has to be Christmas cards! Oh dear!

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Art Glitter Glue for the win!

Phew. What a relief. It worked.

After a night of my coins weighed down in a stack of stamping blocks, all of the bits stuck.

I’ll explain the different fonts – when I am adding text, I usually print a few versions of the text – different fonts, different sizes, depending on my which one? dilemma – and usually more than one version, so if I mess up the cutting I don’t have to them go back and print again. The leftovers make nice ATC mailing extras. In this case I had printed a couple of extra lines when I printed the text for the fabric ATCs and I had exactly four bits of text in two different fonts. So other than the glue issues, these came together in a flash.

I read someplace that if you are stuck on a choice, more often then not, your first instinct i the one you choose and the one you are happiest with. I tested this figure on these coins more than a month ago and in the end it was the choice I picked. And I am, indeed, happy with it. Finally. Remember I made the piece that became these coins YEARS ago, and now one more UFO crossed off my list.

The little guy is from OM Studio. So many of the stamp images I use are from old, possibly defunct, companies. I have ideas for images from Crazy Bob, Karv’d, Picture Show, Moe Wubba… where are they now, I wonder?


Epic glue fail and a test of options

Glues. They can be a challenge. It happens to me all the time, when I think I know the best glue for the job and the first three choices just don’t stand up. Bah!

I finally sorted out the four gel print on contact paper ATC coins that have been hanging on my desk for ages. Let me look… end of September I had them out.

At one point the exact image that I ended up using was hanging around my desk, tested on those coins, and rejected. Then, when I made the quilted Scream ATCs I also had printed an additional bit of text and that was the perfect choice for the image and these coins! Serendipity.

I made them. I left them weighted under some stamp blocks overnight to ensure a good bond. The next morning…. every single one of the glued on images came unglued! I had used my usual mixture of extra-heavy matte medium with a bit of water to thin it. and not one bit stuck. The matte medium had dried to a kind of shiny coating on the back of every piece and they all peeled off super easily.

Annoying. One of the places I trade is ATCs for All and unstuck collage elements is one of the reasons people can give you a negative trader rating. Not good. So I got a bit systematic about it. I tried all my glues that I thought could work as well as the matte medium again, just to be sure

Tombow, Matte Medium, Tacky and Art Glitter Glue

And the results?


Well, at least I know. Now, I want to re-stick al the bits and weight them down and leave them overnight. If they stand the test of time and are fully stuck in the morning I will share. If not, I think it will have to be maybe red-line tape? Honestly I am at a loss if it doesn’t work. Any other ideas?

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Coins done. Yippee!

I considered and discarded about five different ideas for both the words for my coins and the method for adding them. I really liked the idea of the tiny text letters and I when I spied a sheet of sticker paper (dragged out to print labels for The Hubster’s most recent homemade hot sauce bottles) I had an AHA! moment

By the time I finished the fourth coin I finally figured out the best way to add them. Doh! Letting the stickers extend past the edge of the coin then flipping them over and trimming the bits past the edge worked far better than trying to trim them to the right size and adding them so they touched the edge. The edged of the letters are straight, the coin curved, so , yeah, Na.

Two more wrap-up photos. First, the light when I took these photos was better for catching the glimmer of the pearl spray:

And I dragged out the card to show you the real contrast between the one printed on plain cardstock in best quality and the coin backgrounds printed on 170 gsm coated cardstock on medium/standard quality! Pretty amazing, right?

And all four coins – the words came from another vintage Halloween image, and they fit both in sentiment and length:

Little bit of glare there, sorry.

I have lagged a bit, adding these to the trade sites, because the whole getting stuff packaged up and of to the PO has proved time consuming. I have maybe three sets I’ve not added, and none of them have backs printed and attached yet.

The good kind of dentist appointment today so probably an uninspiring desk tomorrow. Ah well.

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Another busy week and some Halloween coins begun

Time is flying by. Another dentist appointment (this time a simple cleaning) and my booster jab, my knitting mate visiting and darling daughter’s upcoming birthday are the highlights. I have another notebook in review, this time a knitting one and I am looking forward to ordering my author copies cause this one is one that I will use for sure. It was also fun to do. I am working on another KDP item that is quite involved but I am not ready to share that yet as it needs a lot more work on it. On the more crafty front, I have some Halloween coins in progress. The competition on the Facebook group I am in (random draw, so not really a competition, just fun) is for “Fall/Autumn” but I have had a Halloween-y one in my head for a while.

I am harking back to a card I made when I was regularly doing the Stampotique challenges. I came across it during the Grand Tidy and it stuck in my head. I just love the creepy vintage image.

Of course for that I had to make the size of the card fit the Stampotique head. This time I decided to be a little less bloodthirsty and go for a more charming vintage look. How unlike me! The first thing I did was take the vintage image and digitally alter it to fit a coin. I wanted a two layer look so I created a base background as well as the focal image circle:

I printed and punched, then added some cracked glass stamping to the bases

I gave the background a little spritz of some gold-pearlescent spray for a bit of glitz.

Totally impossible to see, but it is there. I wanted the centre circles to be popped up, and I only had white fun foam. I was able to edge the foam with a black Sharpie and now you can’t see that white between the layers. Yay! No need to buy black fun foam

It is pretty amazing the difference between the coated paper I am always going on about and the print of the original card in high quality on cardstock. Check out the photo of the actual circles printed! I was thinking I could use up some of those Tiny Text stickers from a looooonnnnggg time ago, but I don’t really have enough to say much of anything, not even BOO! four times. So as the week is crazy, I have to hit pause. I will finish them today I am sure (I hope) and show them done tomorrow. I’ll find the card as well so I can show you a photo of the card next to the coins. I really want you to be able to see the difference between the cardstock vs. the coated cardstock clearly.

Now, I need to do a bit of cooking!

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Clean desk, made some coins for a change

A pleasant and diverting morning making some ATC coins. People os a certain age will probably get the words, especially combined with the images. The image is from an old magazine (1997) and it made me laugh. One of those times the whole piece sprang, fully formed, into my head, and I just had to do the work to make it.

I printed then cut and coloured with Copics (coloured and cut?) the mouth and punched out the background from a scrap of paper from my first Frida set.

I love the weight of the large Zip Lock bags packs we get from Costco, as they are the perfect combo of sturdy enough for a coin backing yet thin enough not to bugger up my punch.

Once I stick the paper to the backing, I stack them between stamping blocks so I get good edge-to-edge sticking.

I wanted the little line of gold dots, but getting them straight was a bit time-consuming…

…til I spotted this roll of washi tape. Worked a treat. I stuck the dots over the circles on the tape, added a dot of glue to the back

then flipped the whole shebang over to stick all the dots in a row at once. Let it dry for a second, peeled off the tape and TaDa!

I think the top one looks better and took so much less time to accomplish. I’ll keep this trick in mind for future sequin use.

For the first time in forever I made a set where the coins are virtually identical. I rarely do that, but easier to photograph LOL!

Sorry for the shadows – it’s sunny outside today and the drapes are open wide.

So glad I managed something actually art this week. We’ll see what next week brings…

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Some not-yet-shared ATCs

Let’s see – what have I made that I have not yet shared?

Well, I made this little set of cards, using the scraps from my desk and some washi take I got as a little extra in a swap – it says ART IS MY LIFE and was very much appreciated! It’s a lot more obvious, the text, in real life, than it look here.

And I finished up the ones built on another Vaseline resist + Distress Oxides experiment. The must remain as pairs, give the quoted dialog follows from one card to the other. From Repo Man, and ols movie with a bit of a cult following:

I love the Rubbermoon stamp set and the trick of adding just a smidge of the Stabilo All pencil and water activating it to give the stamped image a slightly more…drawn look, I guess, is a handy one. I wish more Rubbermoon stuff was sold by UK shops, now that you can’t order direct without being a paid Patreon of the shop owner.

And this little foursome of Owls.

The text is all found poetry from information about OWL STRIKES. It’s a thing apparently – I remember hearing it mentioned in an old documentary called The Staircase. I think Netflix has a newer/updated version of the original, and in English. For years after I bought this from Amazon France I kept getting recommendations from them of other things to buy – but I don’t speak French at all LOL! The second of the two documentaries was available in a French version with a secondary English soundtrack, for a HUGE discount. I did the same with Ashes To Ashes, bought a German language copy for 1/3 the price and just used the English language option. But I seriously digress!

The owls are by Lily Chilvers of The Octopode Factory. Sadly, she died in 2015, suddenly and very young. She was a talented lady, and it is fortunate her art lives on, still available on Etsy.

I have a couple of other sets on the go, but nothing to share as yet. I do have something to share tomorrow that I think will be of interest, if you like the text-on-the-edge look of those coins, so drop back by for more on THAT.


Dapper Gents – more swap fodder, mostly.

Here is the companion set to those Vintage Ladies I made last week, all from swap fodder.

These use up two small ATC backgrounds and some plain paper from a note card, plus some of the word tape still on my desk and those typewrite key stickers I was abut to toss in the bin cause they had fused to the acetate sheet they came on and peeling them off was getting on my nerves.

The text is from O Brother, Where art Thou? and seemed to fit. A bit about making the background bits stretch to fit four coins. Each of the two bits I had were ALMOST, but not quite, ATC sized. they were both just slightly short. I folded each in half, to get the four pieces I knew I would need to work with.

In order to get the absolute most out of those bits, I attached each chunk to a “handle” and slipped it into the punch. That let me cut the largest semi-circle I could.

and each one mostly filled the coin. A bit of the plain paper and tape over the join and it was just enough. Another something from nothing set and lots of fun to work out how best to use up the limited bits I had.