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!



Well, that was a surprise!

Sorry about the snafu and super late post yesterday! I had created a post, and thought I saved it and scheduled it, but them The Hubster came home from skating and I asked him to do a back-up on my machine (he keeps the back-up disk in the car so if the house burns down the disk is safe) and I guess I messed up the date and time of the post. It might have published but been placed in early November rather than December. Oh well. It’s in the right place now.

So today I am able to share some progress on the cover:

I want to add the word STORAGE under ATC and maybe edge the whole thing with the gold, but it needs a little bit longer to dry.

The big news is…Christmas cards! Going back to a tried and true design, printed the embellished.

Some Happy Christmas and some Merry, depending on which side of the pond they go. I did a post AGES ago on how to make these. Maybe it will be of interest? And there is a set of kraft-background printables as well as the white background here. You can see these (made from the kraft version) are cute too.

I have to get a wriggle on because stuff mailed to the USA is taking a while and I want to make sure they arrive before Xmas. Most will go in packaged with the gifts, but the odd one might go on it’s own.

WOYWW tomorrow!

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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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ATCs from vintage movie posters – with a modern twist

As I mentioned, I wanted to alter the message of the original postcards from movie posters to offer a more positive spin on them. Some of them just got right up my nose, as we say here in the UK.

As you will have seen the other day, I printed quite a lot of bits of text, played around with so many different versionsof these, and in the end, I still have a LOT of bits left over!

But the cards all turned our pretty well IMHO. I am not sure I want to trade them LOL!

This one had to change as I didn’t really want to focus on the gun. I think I covered it pretty well and like the final version a lot better:

I know they aren’t “arty” in the same way most of my ATCs are, but I do like to mix things up a bit every now and again!

I am really feeling the pull of my art journal lately. I might step over to that one day soon. And I have two or three more KDP notebooks and even a couple of kids books I am finalizing (with help from my sister, and my two nieces, one a writer, one a teacher) so they may seen the light of day one day soon.

I just have too much I want to accomplish and too many drains on my time….

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Postcards from the edge? Maybe.

I had a lot of fun flipping thru the postcard booklets. I pulled out a few images to scan and cut up and as I was doing so I realized a few things:

  • they used girl rather than woman more often than not
  • the women were depicted as sexy, but the words implied this was a bad thing
  • they were often depicted (or stated) to be inferior to men
  • it was implied that without a man, they were unhappy, or somehow diminished.

I must digress to mention the famous story – not sure where I heard it, probably in an English class sometime – where a class is asked to punctuate a sentence:

Woman without her man is nothing

They could use any correct punctuation they liked. 99% of the class did so as:

Woman, without her man, is nothing.

One bright spark went another way and wrote:

Woman! Without her, man is nothing.

So my original idea had been to use the text from the cards except they were all so unflattering it didn’t feel like the message I wanted to send. Lost, lonely and vicious? What happens to women without Men? Man Crazy?

So I decided to sort out how to put a positive spin on them, somehow. I ended up printing out a LOT of bits of the text in an effort to try to make some affirmative text for each card.

Yikes. Here is a look at some of the in-process cards:

Some of those changed, as you can maybe see below. It took me all day to get to this point and the cards still need refining.

Now there is other stuff I need to do so I’ll have to set these aside and finish in the morning. I hate it when my crafty sessions get broken up but it is happening more and more. I don’t expect it’ll get better till after the holidays so I might as well accept it.



Words abandoned and a a different direction.

Remember those ATCs I said I had begun?

After pushing stuff about for a couple of days I abandoned the idea of those words and went in a totally different direction. I always love start B&W stamped images and this one hit me just right. No idea the company, from the 90s, I’m sure. A bit of text and some washi tape, but it needed something punchy. I decided on copper metallic acrylic ink.

I used bottle tops – big ones – to stamp the circles. And then I decided to edge the entire card with what was leftover on the block.

I rather like them and I love the … IS it a sentiment? Not sure, but it works for me!

They are a bit chaotic but for me, kinda cool. There is one quote I didn’t use, perfect for WOYWW tomorrow. I was a bad desker last week – it’s been a crazy time, for sure, but tomorrow I will be focused and get to my hopping early to make up for it. It’s my birthday on Friday so my gift to myself is to not be consumed with guilt for missing one week. Next time I know my week is going to be super crazy busy I’ll skip adding my name to Mr. Linky!

Time to tidy up for tomorrow then….