WOYWW 729 – ATCs all round, I betcha!

Happy WOYWW y’all! What a fun week it has been as the ATCs from the swaps dribble in. I have heard back than a few of mine have arrived safely, and as I don’t have any more made, I hope they all DO arrive. I got a bunch – a few on the day, a few soon after.

Let’s see. From the top left, in rows, we have:

BJ, Lynne C, H, Angela R

Diana T, LLJ, Tracy E

Christine, Julia and Angela H

Plus two that came after the photo, from Cindy and Caro!

And the really lovely card is from Tracy:

You can also see my badges, the original and a new one, from Julia!

What a special week it was.

Poppy is still not impressed!

She’s a bit backlit, but from the right angle her middle white splotch looks quite like a heart! She is much sweeter than the hissing and bolting girl we brought home, but I suspect trying to pose her would be a step too far LOL!

I have been a bit all over the place craft-wise lately, but a couple of notable things:

  1. I have barely touched my quirky old program and am feeling more comfortable with the Affinity Suite now.
  2. I have not touched my gel plate since I made the Anniverary ATCs and I miss it a lot
  3. I am running low on cards for birthdays in particular
  4. I need to make my June journal, and for May (so far) I have truly done DAILY journaling!
  5. Got an email about the ICAD … project? challenge? whatever! and am feeling sorely tempted.
  6. Got notice that WordPress is no longer linking to Twitter. I mean, I’ve never really tweeted, but used to be when I posted on my blog a tweet was automatically tossed out into the universe. There is a like to Insta so maybe I should do that instead.

So who knows where things will head next week? Drop back by on Wednesday (or before, up to you) and see.

Off to hop…


No surprises – WOYWW ATCs

I took like a gagillion photo to explain the making of my ATCs and was going to post them next week, but I might as well do it now, because there hasn’t been any secrecy this year. Lots of people shared the ATCs they received on the anniversary, and I only mailed mine that day! Oh well.

I’ll probably have to split it up cause there are loads of photos. I wanted to do something a bit special so yeah I actually made 20 flexagon ATCs for the swap.

I began with two pieces, gel printed simple gradients or mixes of Distress Oxide ink, then stamped with some Elizabeth St Hilaire stamps.

The tricky part was matching up all the pairs colour-wise without making them one at a time!

Then it was all about the stamping. Just a billion (seemingly) tiny little letters all needing to be arranged to create the words I wanted to say. Once I stamped them all from the edges of the cards and leftover bits, I sorted them into piles and pots

I printed my ATC backs and signed them but left the numbers blank till I knew how many I would create. As my card technically has no “back” free to stick it on, they will be loose in the sleeve.

I had to create a few other bits, like a stencil for the number of weeks and a tiny circle with my info (again, no actual back stuck on, so people might forget it was from me otherwise!)

and lastly for today I stamped and cut out a cute little bunny – I added the s to the end to make it Hoppy DayS so it reads 728 Hoppy Days.

There was no way I was going to try to cut out those feet and little arms, I while I thought I might draw them in, in the end I mostly didn’t. Don’t think it matters, they are still super cute. If you get one with feet and arms, it is the anomaly not the rule!

Enough for today. I’ll finish it up tomorrow!


I almost forget! 14th Anniversary ATC swap backs

Yikes! I have made printable backs or the WOYWW ATC swap most of the years that I have taken part, and I nearly forgot to do them for this year. Luckily I remembered. I decided to use on of the frames from my old Type foundry book. I still chuckle at the funny bits of text! I could sometimes use a bit of Flattery Ointment, but gotta question how helpful Smiles of Beauty might be if, indeed, they are Warranted to kill Bachelors and other Nuisances!

It took surprisingly little time to clean up the frame, using my trick of a bright layer to reveal stray pixels that need deleting. See that pesky little fellow hiding in plain sight?

While I am getting to grips with Affinity Designer, and designed the whole thing in that

When making up the PDFs, I feel more comfortable in Intaglio. Just cannot cut the cord quite yet…

And of course I do have to remember that we are an international community so the sheets need to be in both A4, for my UK mates and in US Letter format for our friends across the pond! This is always tricky. I make the backs to fit the standard 2.5 x 3.5 inch ATC size but while I can easily get three rows of three on an A4 sheet, when I change the canvas to US Letter, well…

it all goes skew-whiff! See that the bottom line of backs hangs off the edge!

So sorry, US Letter paper users! You will come up one ATC back short!

And that is why you must download the one to match the paper you will print on.

If you want to print on A4 paper, download these.

If you want to print on US Letter paper, download these.

I suppose if there is interest and people ask for them, I can remove the WOYWW information and make them useful for any old swap, so if that is something you would want, do let me know and I’ll fit it in … somehow.


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Dither, dither, dither…the ATCs are giving me fits!

Yes, yes, I know I am popping back and forth between digital designs and my WOYWW anniversary ATCs but honestly between those things and a new furry addition to the household, it’s all been challenging. I know I should settle and see one thing thru but yeah, probably not going to happen. It is my nature to pop between one thing and another.

So what is giving me fits at the moment is still adding the text to the ATCS. I have been playing with lots of different versions. but as I am hoping to make a solid 20 cards so I can send one to anyone who asks to trade – in the past I have done under 10 usually. My bases are all done

Even more than the last shot, abut the words are still giving me trouble. I played around with printed words and just not loving the ones I tried. Still thinking stamps but struggling to find what I want. I went back to these fun Tiger ones

cause they are tiny and I have many double letters. Between them and the printing kit I showed before I might get what I need without having to re-make words between stamping sessions. I always liked the round holder:

and I still do! But I also tried to cut a stencil using the scan and cut and for small letters it is not as precise as I would like.

IDK, I think I need to keep playing. But I feel like time is running ut on me – Last week was week 721. The anniversary is 728. Seems like plenty of time, right? I’m not sure it is… And yeah this just solves the stamping problem. Maybe. The issue of the rest of the words and how to add them remains. Ack.

Fingers crossed I work it all out…


Already begun my Anniversary ATCs

I cannot believe that this will be the 14th Anniversary on What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Yikes. Another number – 728 weeks of posting desk photos and sharing with a close-knit community of people across the world. Yes, the numbers have dwindled over the years, but when it is anniversary time, people tend to pop in to look and say HI even if they no longer post a desk.

One of the traditions is we always do an ATC swap. You can opt to join in simply by adding an * next to your name, and then you will send an ATC to the first name with an * above you in the Mr Linky list (or maybe below, depending on the instructions) and will receive from the next person with an * below (or above) you in the list. Simplicity itself.

That is the bare minimum. You can (as I plan to do) make a bunch and offer them for trade to anyone who wants to claim one, or offer them to someone and ask if they want to reciprocate. It’s fun and links us all in real world terms, by physically sending and receiving a little piece of art in the actual mail.

I have amassed my supplied, made my test version, worked out many of the details, but darn it there is always a glitch. In this case, as my ATC will follow the “theme” of What WOYWW means to you and will involve quite a few words, the glitch is stamps sets with only a single of each letter.

I have a lot of stamps sets. But honestly, WOYWW alone has three Ws. I have been experimenting but am just not happy with any of the options.

I mean they aren’t awful but they look wonky. I do have a stamp set I got, crikey, maybe 30 years ago? It is super useful. The letters are a nice font, fairly big, as these single letter sets go, and I do like how it looks.

As you can see I am using Distress Oxides for the backgounds, but that droplet effect sometimes bothers me too.

I have a lot of words, and I am not keen to be stamping partial words then going back to fill in letters, so at this point I m kinda thinking I will print then and stick them, because the rest of the ATC is going to be a bit complex – not as complex as the pop-up-cube one I did way back for the 6th anniversary

but it isn’t going to be fast to make either. Usually people are very secretive about their ATCs so it is a surprise when the swap partner gets it, but with very few exceptions I am pretty sure my WOYWW mates aren’t reading here every day LOL! So I might end up sharing it before the big swap happens. We’ll see…. But at least I am on my way and not waiting till the last minute.


ATC mark-making stencil from Toughprint paper

Fun! The artists group I am part of does ATC swaps and I have been looking thru my mark-making stencils and stamps, looking to one to use. I have a bunch of stamps I make where the elements are…arranged I guess, in what is meant to be a “random” layout. I will often get a bit heavy-handed when stenciling and as my mind wanders I end up stenciling the whole area. So I created some using simple images that I like, but arranged them so I can’t over-do it.

As I mentioned yesterday, I just did my design, printed it on the Toughprint paper, then cut it. It did amazing except the tiny little dots in the one design. It got some but missed out more.

I solved that by punching out the dots with my Cropadile!

I grabbed a bunch of papers from my desk and cut them into ATC sized bits, just to test out the designs.

I really like them all. They are quite small scale, and all on one sheet, which is nice. I like the scattered nature of the motifs, and they stencil nicely. A big win!

I have a few other designs I might play around with. I am trying to think of some more unique marks. I am also on the hunt for the exact little man silhouette I used on this piece. I found lots but not this exact guy. Driving me MAD, it is. I found one of the little ladies cute from a transparency, and the file where she came from but the stocky dude is not there.


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ATCs, leather scraps and mailings

Been working all morning on packaging up my WOYWW 13th anniversary ATC swaps. I think it worked out pretty well. Now to get to the PO! Yesterday was spent all day in Salisbury, as Darling Daughter had an orthotics appointment for a new leg brace fitting. Fun. Back in eight weeks to see if it has done more harm than good. Hopefully not, but as it is a slightly new design we will see.

I did have a couple of people who were willing to swap digital versions of the ATCs, which is good, although they are really only slightly less work than making a “real one.

The colour is not as spot on as I would like but it isn’t so off that I don’t feel they are a true representation of the actual paper&card ones. I did add to the printed versions. The edges were smudged with the same Distress Oxide ink and the gold sequin dots were added – they look. basically like black dots when scanned so, yeah, they really needed that.

Then it was just making endless (or so more like 10) envelopes and adding a little message. All ready to pop in the post.

The one oddball is for a fairly new WOYWW participant and I decided to add in some bits from a recent score. The local glove factory is shutting down. I popped in yesterday because The Hubster saw a post on Facebook about it – they were selling off all manner of things, from massive reels of lovely coloured velcro and elastic to spools of thread and leather scraps. I got a bag full.

True scraps, not huge pieces, but some lovely colours. I had quite a long chat with the owner, as it was just me in there, late in the day. He explained most of the glove makers were getting to retirement age and sadly there were no young people interested in learning the skills to replace them. The gloves are gorgeous and so many varieties, and some of the tools were almost sculptural in their design – like the love forms and the irons. Amazing. I may pop back Monday and grab a few more things, as the owner said they will remain open and selling off the stock and the tools of the trade until they close the doors.

I’m off to see what the internet has to offer in the way of crafts with leather scraps….then hopefully to the post office, later today or tomorrow.


This is what happens when you take a break….

Yesterday, after posting, I popped over to Julia’s to see what was up with WOYWW. Imagine my surprise to see that we are perparing for the ATC swap to mark the 13th anniversary!! blimey. Later in the day dear Helen (h) commented on my blog words to that effect so I was double warned and really felt I had to figure it out. I missed very few anniversaries, probably only just after my SINAM diagnosis (YAY! Finally an acronym that seems to be slightly universal – Statin-Induced Necrotizing Autoimmune Myositis takes a long time to type LOL!)

Cue panic. I had to come up with an idea, then decide on a design, then make the things and I had a very limited amount of time to do so – as I mentioned this week is a bit full. I dragged out a bunch of stuff and found the quote – the PERFECT quote – and got to it.

The little stamps at the right? Man I love those guys so much. They are quite tiny but super useful. I bought two sets from Tiger ages ago, pre-Pandemic, and I wish I had bought more (I think they were maybe £3?) as, typically, WOYWW has three W’s and each set only has one of each consonant. Bah!

I went thru a number of possible designs, tested out a few different stamp sets for the bit above

but in the end I finally managed to settle on a design I quite like. I wish I had time to make enough for every WOYWW person but I probably don’t. I’m hoping for 8 with basically the same design and I might be able to squeak out a couple more that will be unique. Maybe. Anyway, we’ll see.

With any luck I will manage to settle back in to a weekday blogging routine but I am finding it difficult to focus my mind on crafting. We are still working to get back into a routine but it will be short-lived. Darling Daughter ends her time in education at the end of the summer term and it is going to be a challenge. I have a follow-up with Rheumatology in June as well and might be getting another round of IVIG – or something else, who knows? My meds are changing (a little concerned about that) and everything seems like it will be in flux for a bit. Anyway, WOYWW tomorrow and the big 13! I wonder if there will be a crop any year soon? Wouldn’t THAT be lovely?


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Missed it by a day! An ATC swap.

Not that long ago Susan and I (WOYWW mate) decided to do a blind ATC swap. We each sent off four ATCs and waited for them to cross the world. Susan is in Australia, me in England. Today I got a package. Late in the day, after I had already had my WOYWW post up for our weekly desk hopping party. But I had to share them. Lovely, each and every one!

Even the mailer she included was so clever and cute!

Folded to create four little pockets for each ATC. The ATCs are beautiful – and all so different.

First a lovely shot of them all:

Honestly I cannot pick a favourite. OK well maybe. That pink girl is stunning and so quirky!

I was so excited to see the notation on the back, listing her as from LeighSB designs. Never heard of her, but of course I had to have a bit of a Google… and found her FaceBook page as well as an etsy shop, so woohoo. Not to slight the other cards:

All of them are beautifully made and just so much fun. I am happy to have them in my collection – I do hope she is happy to have mine in hers!

It’s been AGES since I made an ATC. I’ll add that to my list, right after crochet, and my knitting machine, and my art journal, and…and…and…..


Neurographic ATCs?

I thought it has been a while since I made ATCs so I thought Is there a way to make neurographic ATCs? Well, I won’t know till I try, right? I began with a sheet that was 10.5 inches x 7.5 inches (ie three 3.5 inch blocks x three 2.5 inch blocks) and drew the block edges in thick lines, then began drawing my neuro lines

I added the circles and rounded the corners, first with the thicker Sharpie

and then added a few more lines and rounded, first with my Fudeball and then a finer Uniball pen

Then I did the colouring in with a variety of water-based ink markers, some worked better than others (and the Stampin’ up ones were the worst)

I did the multi-colour one first, didn’t like it, so from them on I limited myself to only a few colours, as you can see. Then I cut them up into the ATC sized cards

From here, I have a few ideas of what I want to try, in addition to the dotting. Not sure if they will end up as actual ATCs or just a ring of inspiration cards or…something else! Stay tuned.

One thing I did realize is that I am keen to try a whole piece using only the finer line pens. And I have another idea that I need to have a go with, that may (or may not) work out. I seem to be in full experimental mode lately. Yay, ME!