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Christmas Card extravaganza!

I showed a pile of bits from a card kit I bought probably 10 years ago from one of the shopping channels. I always meant to have a play with then every Christmas since I bought them and never managed it.

There is a LOT of stuff in the kit. And it seems like even more when it is spread out all over the desk LOL!

I looked thru the book and picked out the bits for the cards I really liked and made those first. This is one of my favourites:

I like both versions. And I love the Ho Ho Ho ones as well.

I made one very like this but not from the kit, a long time ago and still think it’s cute:

I am not a fan of this one, but I wanted to see how it came together so I made it. The left is the card closed and inside when you open it, on the right. Sorry for the poor lighting. Winter and all that.

So I have a huge pile of bits still left and many of the remaining cards leave me a bit cold. These two seem to be complicated for the sake of being complicated! And the end result I don’t care for.

These two use a ton of stuff that could be used to make many multiple cards that are much cuter!

And this one is just plain ugly!

So now I will have a look at the bits and maybe marry them with other things in my Christmas bin, and see what I can come up with. Should be interesting!

Heads up for all: I have been working on 2022-2023 calendars. As I have mentioned I am not sure how long my old program can be used. My Mac is from 2009 and at some point I am going to have to give it up. When I do the ease with which I make my calendars might go away as well. So I am working on a handful that I know are always popular and making ahead for 2023. I will be adding them thru December, on Saturdays. They will get collected into the Calendar Making menu at the top and be there well in advance of when they will be needed! Then, if my Mac dies, you will be good for a couple of years.

I haven’t made any holiday gift tags yet, so that may appear at some point soon. Any requests? Drop me a comment!


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!


Last cards – Thanks, Sympathy and Just a note

Hello/Just a Note

I made a LOT of plain Hello cards, because they will do for almost any occasion, even Sympathy, as long as they aren’t too happy and vibrant.

Thinking of You/Sympathy/Get Well:

Again, Thinking of you cards can work for Sympathy if the colours and decor aren’t too crazy happy:

Thank You

Thanks/Thank You cards are the other thing I tend to need a lot of, so I made quite a few of them as well:

And lastly the couple of flip-out cards, one kinda lovey-dovey and one generic Hello:

28 of the ones from today were for this A Card A Day project, four are old ones! 79 cards, 66 of them new. Not bad.

Time to move on….

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Final Card Re-Cap

I am now very comfortable with the stash of cards I have set aside. My little stack of boxes is quite full!

I am sharing them by occasion, I guess, as the beast option. There are a few older ones that were all I had when I began this process, and if you spot them you will know how badly I needed a cardmaking session!

Happy Birthday: Men

Some of these could surely do for my gal pals in a pinch, but I think of these as more in the masculine realm:

I also have four more of the little star-squares, which I can stick on a cardfront in a few minutes, if the need arises. And I have these two older ones as well:

Happy Birthday: Women

I have a good sash of girlie birthday cards (what I generally need the most of) as well:

I have four more of the star squares as well! And these two – the blue one could go either way, depending on the choices I make for the final embellishments, flowers or plain words:

Generic Friendship

I feel any of the generic cards would also work for a birthday if need be:

Even the lone Congrats card would do in a real card emergency! Most of these are older one – the BOY card I made for the very old Best Of British scrapbooking contest book. Now that is going back some years…. The It’s All About YOU card was made using that odd stamping circle thing and the bikini cards are from a template I downloaded a very long time ago as well.

These should last me a good year, and if not I do still have a ton of scraps that I can use to make more. And although they are probably going to be a gift, I can’t ignore the note card set. Sorry to show it AGAIN – you must be sick of seeing it by now….

38 cards from this selection were from the A Card A Day project, nine old ones. Tomorrow I’ll share the rest.


Nearly the end of the card-making…

I am feeling pretty happy with the stash of cards I have at the moment. I plan to share a good look at all of them over the weekend then I will have a good think about what project I want to focus on. I have been missing a few things, like gel plate printing and art journaling thru the 100 days, junk journal making, and stash-busting cardmaking, and I did get that new art of the fold book, so it could be anything.

So this is the last session I did. I began by setting out a selection from the sleeves in my card-making binder. Sadly it is still quite full so I will probably sort the bits in that into the envelopes I am currently using to organize my scraps of patterned paper and cardstock.

Once I settled on the bits from each sleeve I was going to use, with no real plan I just took the scraps and created the cards.

I kept the bits together and as you will have seen, I made the set of notecards and the little box from the scrap pile of Card #5.

I actually altered that card because the very small flower on it just wasn’t right – I’ll begin with that one:

I’ve complained about the spacing of the letters of this stamp set before and while the space between the h and the e on heartfelt is a little wider than ideal it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

Another thing I have been doing a lot of is backing the sentiment die cuts with fun foam for a more dimensional look. And unlike most of what I have seen, I tend towards a dark foam (mostly I see white) and like the vaguely shadowed look it gives:

This half-tone die is also new-ish and will make a nice stencil, I think. Here is another example of the foam (brown this time) and again, I like how it makes the sentiment stand out. I think I need a few more pearl dots on this one, not sure.

I always loved this circle die and it was not as tricky as I thought it would be to get the backing circle just behind the main area.

I still think a basic Hello card can serve many occasions, so happy to have what may seem like a LOT of them LOL! I did NOT pop this sentiment up on the foam, mostly because of all the layers of cardstock behind it, only cutting two copies and stacking them, but I think it might have looked better if I had.

And finally one more sympathy card:

I tinted the sentiment with Tea Dye ink and it really tones better with the background in real life than it appears here. Very much a case where that darn Hobbycraft off-white/cream card that is very much NOT the White it claimed to be might have been a good choice!

So there we go. I am going to try to lay them all out in groups to share over the weekend as I contemplate my next move. Sorry if I have bored those who come here looking for mixed media stuff or fun folding or whatever else I do that appeals. For someone who has always said “I am not a cardmaker” I seem to have gone down an odd path. Time to get back on track till the next time I am in dire need of cards…. Thanks for sticking with me, if you have.

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The little notecard box- simple and from one 12 x 12

Out of the scraps from a full sized card (which was made from the scraps I had stashed in my card-making binder) I managed to make a set of 5 notecards:

I thought they might make a nice little gift, but needed a way to present them. I grabbed a sheet of kraft cardstock and with minimal measuring I made a box. There is room for a couple more cards in there, because I am 100% sure I have one more scrap of the Basic Grey paper that is the main paper seen – and I know this cause of the Grand Tidy I did recently. If I am right, the scrap is in my Basic Grey box. And I can get one more card to make a set of six!

Anyway, here are the basics. The cards are 3 x 4 1/4. I believe the score-lines could be adjusted to make a box of another size. with the basic concept the same. There is a stray score line there, marked in black – ignore it whenever you see it 😀

Cut away a few bits…and angle cut the tabs. The smallest scored section is the top flap of the box, so cut away either side of that, like so:

Fold in and stick the little flaps

Then fold the bottom section up to create the box. Punch a bit of a circle to make getting the cards out a little easier:

And use as much of the 3 1/4 inch piece you cut off the 12 x 12 piece to make a belly band closure:

Easy peasy. I am curious to see if I can get a set of notecards and the box all from a 12 x 12 sheet – except the card bases, of course. I may have a go. But then I suspect I will be ready to move on from cards for a bit. I have amassed quite a stash and think if I lay they all out I will see that I have enough, for now. I still feel I am a bit short on actual Sympathy cards, although I do have plenty of Thinking of you ones that will serve the same purpose. I’ll see where I am with my weekend posts then move on. It’s been fun. So long and thanks for all the fish…


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Another version of that pop-out card

I wanted to make a special card and the card I shared yesterday was still fresh in my mind so I decided to give it another go, with an alteration. Instead of beginning with a square, I began with a strip of paper, 8 inches by 2 1/2 inches

All the beginning folds are exactly the same – fold in half lengthwise and widthwise, fold in half widthwise then fold over the corners, and reverse the folds to make a little house shape.

Then you want to fold one side over then flip and fold one side over to create a split arrow, sort of

I show it sideways, but the other goal was to show the same device works equally as well as a side-opening card. It does, and here it is! Lots of bright colours, one of the sentiments printed and cut with the die (still haven’t stamped or used the ones that came with the die LOL!)

and inside:

The HI line was actually the HOWDY after a little surgery – the other die of the trio is a HELLO and I didn’t want two HELLOs, so I did a little nip/tuck on it. I really like the top-to-bottom orientation and the smaller device that is completely hidden by the pop-out. Had I wanted to I could have left the inside of the card bare and still had plenty of room for writing a message. But leaving the bottom bare works too. OK, A Card A Day recap over the weekend and then back to other things.

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A card but not part of the A Card A Day challenge!

I am warming up to the whole cardmaking thing. Mine may not be brilliant examples of stellar cardmaking, I use 90% cardstock and patterned paper (cause that is what I have to use up) not stamps and inks, except as a bit of an addition, but I like them. And I love a good interactive card. I watched a YouTube video with my daughter by 5-minute crafts

Oh boy does it go by FAST. At least the card I am making is the very first one so you only have to watch from the beginning and no hunting to rewatch. YouTube knows its audience pretty well and another video popped up in my suggested list, by a name I recognize. He watched, s l o w e d it right down, and laid out the steps pretty well. I wanted to see if I could adapt the style of the examples (very much not MY style) and make one of these cards. My photos are possibly not as clear as either of the videos, but it really is a very easy process so maybe they will be enough. If not, click away on either of the ones above and that should do the trick.

It begins simply enough, with a square of paper. I did an 8×8 square of lightweight cardstock (90 to 120 gsm – you don’t want it too thick!) so it fit perfectly into an A6 card. I wasn’t abandoning my use-my-scraps goal so that size worked well for me. If you begin with an A4 (or US letter) sized paper you can make use of the strip you cut off to square it up.

Fold the square width-wise, open, and fold length-wise. Or do the reverse. Either way.

Fold this up into a smaller square along the lines and mark about 1 inch along each of the folded edges, top and left. You want to make sure you are cutting away four loose squares and leaving the folded edges intact

Open the piece up to a T shape. This is the first slightly tricky bit. You are going to fold both the top arms of the T over to match the middle upright of the T, like so:

Now when you open that up you can reverse the folds of the two side pieces so they fold inwards:

And ultimately it will look like this when stuck inside the card! I did top-fold, but I see no reason why side fold wouldn’t also work, I have to test it to be sure.

I picked out some VERY old paper and a few bits. Again, the goal is to USE STUFF UP rather than creating more scraps! One 12 x 3ish strip of paper, with clever cutting and a spare nearly 3/4″ strip of cardstock filled the card front with some leftover

Trimming the cut-off strip of card from the squaring up so it is just wider than the T-arm (for me this was about 2 1/4 inches but it can be wider) accordion fold it so you have four equal pieces and a valley, mountain, valley fold arrangement. Cover each section with patterned paper. I was able to make use of the heart from the original design, which was a bonus!

Add some adhesive to opposite ends of the middle cross, and stick this strip in place, centered, like so:

This is the “action” of the card. I found it helped to make sure this bit was trained to do what it needed to do by collapsing and opening it a few times, and reinforcing the folds:

You can see how the cross-strip rotates and folds inward to nestle inside the structure. Now you only need to stick THAT to the inside of the card

Decorate the font:

I decided to cover the top and bottom bits to hide the device a little better

Card DONE! I had a lot of fun doing this and know I will make more. Once you know how it is super simple, really.


A low-tech way to use your sentiment dies with printed text

I knew this idea was going to be one people liked and wanted to replicate. The probelm is the tools I use on my Mac are not ones everyone will have and I simply have no idea how to explain how to do the same process on a PC. So it has been keeping me up, considering how it might be possible to do this in a low-tech way, without any computer skills at all. It is pretty tedious, and the die I have is perhaps the most tedious of all, as the strips that will cut are not in any sort of alignment. The start spot for the text is in a totally different place every line.

The only way I can think you might be able to do this is to get out your ruler and measure. And it occurred to me that while the die has 22 spots, for ease, you could just make use of the horizontal bars only. That automatically makes the whole process a lot simpler. Taking my die as a sample, the area I would work with (starting with the first line) is 1 inch, 1/8 inch space, then 2 1/2 inches. The text can be no taller than 1/4 inch. So if I were to type a sentiment that was 1/4 inch tall and 3/4 inch long, left a 1/8 inch gap, then typed a 1/4 inch tall, 2 1/4 inch sentiment, I would have to use that as my baseline. Already I am loosing the will to live.

Now, if I look at just the easiest part of the die to deal with, I am looking at just this:

That leaves out all of the die that is problematic – the spots to fill can all be right justified (or left, if you rotate the die so the beginning is on the left) and the spots are pretty evenly spaced. So as a first try, with no real measurements beyond what I already know, I can type sentiments that are just under 1/4 inch tall to begin with, and I can group the boxes (loosely) into only a couple of sizes – the first four are close, between about 1.7 inches and 1.8, so if I aim to make four that are no longer than 1.6 I know they will fit. The next five are similar – the shortest is and the longest is 2.2 inches. If I make sentiments no longer than 2 inches they will all fit. That leaves the longest at 2.37, so I can sneak in one slightly longer sentiment of 2.2 inches. For the strip of 10 spots you need to create 10 sentiments

four lines 1.6 inches x .25 inches

five lines 2 inches x .25 inches

one line 2.2 inches x .25

This is a VERY simplified process, obviously, but it should work.

ANY text processing program will surely have the ability to size things. Once you find a font that seems to work – and for my sample I went with the bog-standard Helvetica Neue, which should be free on most computers, at 19 pt size. – type out your text and justify it. If you can create boxes, do that, but if not just create the text, using whatever tools you have in your word processing to check the sizes. Turning on the grid, if you have one, might make the process easier

If you can’t turn on a grid you either need to measure the area and work out the distance between the lines of text. My die looks to be about 1/8 inch between where I think the bottom of the text will fall and where the top of the NEXT line of text should fall, in order for it to be within the die-cut area. I spaced out my text with that gap between them. At some point the only thing you can do is to print and test it with your die!

Not quite right. But seeing the text within the spaces gives me a better idea of how to scoot the text up or down to get closer….

and finally to get it just about right.

Is it perfect? No, but then I don’t need to do it this way so I am happy to stop here, having given you an idea of how you might make something even without the program I have. I would say once you have the text placed where you want, save that file and when you want to make different ones, duplicate the file and edit the text, then test print and check you got things in line.

Sorry it isn’t easier – there is a lot of trial and error with this method (I printed 3 or 4 sample sheets before stopping where I was, and one or two more might have been needed – or much more detailed and accurate measuring and mapping to begin with) but maybe this concept will be enough for you to figure out a better way to do it for yourself!

Now, I heard the mail drop and I am betting it is the OTHER die I am waiting on…and THAT one might be more common. Watch this space.


Creating my own printable sentiments for sentiment dies

I originally planned to add some junk journal stuff today but when something I ordered came early I had to take some time out to see if I could do the thing I planned when I ordered them – and I did! Yippee!

I ordered a set of stamps with the matching die from Amazon. The brand was one I had never heard of, Alinacutle, and it was more the die than the stamps that I wanted. I like the one set OK, maybe a little heavy on the !!!s, but the other one is just not to my taste at ALL. There are only a couple of them that I think I would use.

For me, the ones on the left are just not appealing fonts. The ones on the right are…usable. They come with a die that cuts all of the sentiments in one go. That was the driver for the purchase. It took a bit of fiddling to create a template of the open areas of the die but I did it.

By scanning the empty die, backed by black cardstock, running the resulting image thru an SVG convertor, cleaning up the bits of edging that were part of the scan (although I thought of a better way to do this that will let me skip that step) and sizing it to match exactly the size of the die (with no scaling allowed by the printer!) then making the blocks light, locking them in place and overlaying and centering the text I wanted in them…

… then copying just the text and the placement dots to a new file, I could print my own sentiments in the font I wanted, in any colour, on any card, then cut them out.

I am pretty happy with them. And because I did the work to create the template, I can just plug in any sentiment, any font, at any time. I can create longer ones by using multiple spaces, I could do two line sentiments, I could make the white writing on a black or a coloured background. The only thing I can’t do is emboss them. I can live without that. I have been DYING to see if this was possible and super excited is was. I ordered another die ages ago from Wish, a banner version, so with this one and that one, I think I will have all I need.

I am super tempted to just keep making these, but I will move on to my junk journal tomorrow.