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.

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Just a little all over the place lately

Today I will be attending a hospital appointment with my daughter – the first time in about 18 months. As it is to do with the fit of her foot brace, it is best done in person. Being double-dosed I feel a little better about it but there is still that little bit of worry. Anyway, this weekend was a big one as well, with my daughter going back to both her disability social group (Hipp!!Bones) and her disability skating group AND we dropped by the local SCOPE shop, where she had volunteered for a few years, to let them know she was ready to come back. Not surprising then that I am a little all over the place, with all that happening in the space of three days after so long inside.

While I am not jumping big into cardmaking stuff, there are a couple of things I have been hankering after for a while. One is some sentiment dies. I mentioned the other day that my stash of even sentiment STAMPS is pretty appalling. I saw a set on Amazon and figured they would do the trick. I ordered them, had the order cancelled, immediately re-ordered them then got them the next day. So weird. This is what they look like:

The dies are shown actual size, so they are pretty small. And all loose. LOTS of potential to lose one.

I had to sort that out pretty quick! Luckily I had an idea that worked well. It was the packaging that gave me the idea. Al the tiny dies were stuck to the thin cardboard with strong double sided tape. I sorted the words into two groups

and stuck them to not super thick cardstock – more like 120gsm printer paper for graphics. I used very thin double-sided tape, trying to make sure there was a little exposed tape (ie not covered by the dies) as possible, so the cardstock I was cutting wouldn’t stick to it. I used my extended cutting plates and the Sidekick and it worked a treat!

Then I had to sort out how to wrangle all those small words – I didn’t want to store them in a jumble and have to hunt out the one I wanted every time and as there are over 40 of them I don’t have a container appropriate for sorting them into. I had the idea to stick them to contact paper then stick that inside one of the 1000s of 3-ring binder sleeves for US letter paper (not much use in the UK)

and again, that worked a treat. At some point I might try to organize the words better, but at least this way I can read them so finding the ones I want should be easy.

Still on the fence about the whole Junk Journal idea, and still looking for use-your-12×12 ideas every day. Nothing is really sparking me off. Usually I see an idea and I GO, at speed. But I am just not feeling anything to that degree at the moment. Maybe I’ll just drag out my yarn-dyeing stuff and dye some paper and delay a decision for a bit…

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Thank You cards – ACAD project

OK, so I needed Thank You cards, as I mentioned yesterday, so once again my Card-a-Day is multiple cards. I will settle down to A card-a-day but as this is the first weekend (and my plan is sharing on Saturday and Sunday, the cards of the week) I think it is OK to get a little ahead.

Two VERY simple cards, both from scraps and things I already had. The first one uses the waste from a die cut piece and a woven label I unearthed in my stash:

The tricky thing was the die-cut waste didn’t fit entirely on the card front squared up. But with a tilt, it did!

Then all I had to do was trim away the excess from the fully-covered card front and stick on the sentiment! DONE.

The next one was ALSO quick, again, cause I had some random bits that mostly worked together – this one is more masculine in feel I think, with the stripes and the plaid. The large sentiment I cut on my Cricut with SCAL, experimenting with designing both the sentiment word and the mat for it.

The plaid paper was another of those manky pieces that just needed using up. I kinda like it, despite the clashing patterns!

Phew. Daughter snatched up both of them already so I really need more already. Timely project, how good is that!?

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Paper, paper and more paper!

I am overwhelmed. I have the most ridiculous amount of patterned paper and no clear way to organize it at the moment. My scrap card and patterned paper is all sorted, but the full 12×12 sheets? OMG. I have sorted out my paper pads and I have some select groupings begun (like Dots, Stripes, Florals) but there is just so bloody MUCH of it. I really had to take a bit of a beak from it all cause I was in danger of just tossing it all in the bin. We did manage to book a late afternoon wander at Stourhead on Sunday, but prior to that I decided to just do ANYTHING crafty. I pulled out some cardstock scraps and a single mangled and cut piece of a favourite patterned paper.

The sentiments are printed – really, I have so few sentiments worth discussing. The ones I do have are all magazine freebies and the quality is as you would expect! I had a hankering to make some masculine cards, because the paper says that to me, so I just started. I made two quick ones, from pretty intact pieces, then assessed the leftover mess. Look what I had to work with!

So it was all about a design that covered the cut out bits. Really, using wet adhesive and adding it all around the gaps made a nearly full cover of an A6 card

I could have almost just popped a sentiment over the hole and been done with it, but I used some other scraps to make it a bit nicer.

All the cards will be at the end. Next, I just squared off a couple of other rubbish pieces and added a contrasting belly band to make another card

Finally, I had the idea to do a sort of banner, using the scraps and some tag dies – another magazine freebie.

I didn’t quite have the right sizes, but a little adjustment and I mostly got there,

Ideally I would have liked the sentiment to go in the empty space at the lower right but I had to hide that missing paper so…. And this is all I had left, very easy to just scoot it into the bin!

And here are the cards!

Maybe not the most inspired cards ever, but they are nice enough to add to my stash. I also had the idea to make a sort of card-pack for fundraising. Maybe four cards, useful occasions (Thanks, Birthday each for a man and a woman and maybe Just a Note or Congrats) for an inexpensive price point, like £5. People round here are often elderly and on a limited budget, so cheap is good. Anyway, it scratched the creative itch. I’ll save my card-making paper scraps re-org for WOYWW tomorrow. You will be amazed, I promise.


A Card a Day, to keep me crafting

I have just a few days to add for my 100 Days project. I’ll begin with the next one, Day 98:

As I am so close to the end and the book is not bulging I am being a little more free with the amount of stuff I am adding. There is no way I will even come close to using up even what I set aside for this project so it was a fail from that point of view. But it was fun, and the structure of it was helpful, but, yeah, by the end I am totally ready to be finished. I’ve added 26th May (yesterday) today and will add today’s page and tomorrow’s page tomorrow and be done with it. Phew.

I made a sort of warm-up card the other day, so I could give it to my knitting mate and assess if making cards was something I wanted to do. It IS a good way to use up scraps and OMG do I have scraps:

This is only one small part of what I have. I am in the process of sorting thru them, throwing out the stuff that is horribly mangled and unusable, then getting all the useful bits squared off and into large bags. I know from past experience that co-locating my scraps with the colour of cardstock in the full-sheet organizers is the best way for me to actually use it up. So that is my plan. I also sorted thru my Club Scrap stash – honestly, whatever possessed me to keep my subscription to that going for as long as I did? I will add those to the plain cardstock as well, with the idea that I will use the plain backs and not the often truly horrific designs that are stamped, embossed or foiled on the other side.

The card for my friend is nice, I like it, and it used up some stuff from a long ago USA binge-shop. I collected up some stuff:

and in minutes it all came together just perfectly! Those gem strips have always been tricky to use, but here they worked a treat:

I think that s a scrap of Basic Grey card, and then a little card from a GoGo scrapbooking kit finished it off:

So yeah, I am thinking I will plan on making cars thru the week and sharing them on the weekends, so I can still take those days off to do family things. Now getting out and about is really possible I need to make sure those days are free.

I should say I am very optimistic that I will finish the Grand Tidy by next week. Although it is half-term for my darling daughter and she always has loads of things for us to do together, so there is the slight possibility it may slip into the following week when she is back in school. Time will tell…..

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Cardmaking stuff SORTED!

I am not really a cardmaker, although I have made them and when I do I enjoy it. I have an unreasonable amount of cardmaking stuff in light of those statements! I have had a few original card ideas published, but one has always gotten on my nerves because it was NOT my original design and I took great pains to research, as best I could, who DID develop it and added all that info (with links) when I sent the samples into the magazine – and they completely ignored it, editing my text to make it appear as if I claimed it as my own. I am pretty sure I have blogged about this in the past but it must have been buried in an unrelated post cause I can’t seem to find it. Anyway, I kept the mag and the cards – the little pink one works as an ornament as well!

Here is one open:

Originally I had all my card stuff over the sink but I decided to switch that to the larger shelf.

So two things – “Emergency” cards are card fronts that I have given to my family members within the house, or that have been given to me. In a dire emergency, when I need a card FAST and have no alternative, I can trim and mount that card front on to a blank card. These are also cards I don’t want to throw in the bin – pretending they have more than one reason for taking up space in my office is how I justify keeping them LOL! The other thing is noting that by die cut stuff that is NOT Sidekick-sized is now located in an out of the way shelf. Honestly, the Sidekick is so convenient that unless I really NEEDED to cut a bigger die, I would not touch the bigger machines most weeks. Why assign it prime space?

I am at the hospital this week so pretty much all my posts will be scheduled – I’ll try to keep it interesting 🙂

Here is the next day in my 100 Days book!


Not twinchies, not ATCS…

Cards, I think. The little twinchies from the Life Book taster will make sweet cards. They only need a stamped or die cut sentiment added. But first, how I finished them off. I had this tool that I must have bought back in the days when shabby chic was all the rage, and before I realized that the better tool was a scissor blade, scraped along the edge. But I found it while tidying up and thought why not give it a go?

I don’t think it was particularly effective, certainly not for a heavily scuffed edge, and I soon abandoned it. I did want to add more to the little squares so I stamped a bunch of stars, keeping them to the same colours and added some tiny gold dot hole-less sequins

Adding the sequins was a huge pain in the butt till I had an idea. I had been trying to use another old tool, the picker-upper thing with a bit of blutack at the tip. I never felt that thing worked very well, the blutack wasn’t sticky enough and stuff was always falling off it. So in my eye-line was a bottle of Tack It. I use this stuff all the time. Also in my eye-line was a pot full of scoring tools, some less useful than others, many of them up to 25 years old. I dipped one into the Tack it and viola! A picker-upper that actually picks stuff up and holds it.

The first few pick-ups have the opposite problem – the things stick almost too much. But that soon diminishes and I guess I prefer stuff to stick and need to be helped off a few times than for stuff to fall off as soon as you lift them off the desktop! I have had too many cases where I have just enough of something for a project and I drop it on the floor. Anyway, this worked a treat and I will use it a lot, I bet. And the twinchies look cute and will make sweet cards – definitely the way to go for me.

I have a stack of these slimline cards that I never seem to find a good way to use. This will be a nice way to quickly make a card for almost any occasion, with the right sentiment!


A break from sending templates, printable Hipster card toppers, and the most bizarre tech tip

First, I am taking a break from sending out templates over Christmas.  I will sort out the few I have in my comments today and respond to any that come in until DECEMBER 19TH.  After that, you can click on the Book Folding categories or tags or menu item at the top and feel free to download any of the templates I have shared.  While you won’t find specific images or words or names, there is probably going to be SOMETHING you can use to make a last-minute gift!

Here are a couple of printables.  This PDF will print two images has six of the images which print at about 3.5 inches square

This PDF has 12 images at just shy of 2.5 inches square, perfect for tags.

Lastly, I just have to share this bizarre tip I found.  I had a moment of absolute panic when my trusty Canon Pixma stopped working, throwing out a B200 error and telling me I needed to take it in for a service.  Cue copious cursing and a pretty weak tantrum, but only because of my myositis LOL!  Trust me, inside, I was RAGING.  I dropped a Slack to dear hubby, who is my tech hero, as well as having a very calm head in the face of things I totally lose my sh*t over, who suggested checking online for an error reset hack.  I found a few that involved things that did NOT work (like pushing a series of buttons, holding them down on a coordinated and times fashion, or uninstalling the print head, which didn’t work for MY Pixma model and turned out to create another problem) then I stumbled on the genius, simple, but frankly totally BIZARRE solution that worked first time!! The steps are simple:

1. Turn OFF the printer
2. Open the flap as if to change inks cartridges
3. Turn the power back ON
4. Wait for print carriage to start moving to the left and let it go past half way

This was where I was thinking in my head There is NO WAY this is going to work! HA!

5. Before print carriage reaches left hand side (but after going halfway across) shut the cover.

Again, I am thinking I will miss the exact point I need to close the cover and should be spending my time figuring out how to convince DH to stop and buy me any printer he can, then bring it home and install it this afternoon. But the closing of the lid at the right moment was either luck or the window of opportunity it quite a wide one or it doesn’t matter at what point you close it

6. Leave the Printer on
7. Good to go.

I printed a test sheet, did all the cleaning functions offered in the print utility and printed a perfect sheet.  My green ON light is steady and as the instructions said, GOOD TO GO!

So it PRINTS, and the B200 error has been cleared, except now, the previous attempt and removing the cartridges and removing the print head must have misaligned it somehow, so in the end I am not good to go.  I am back to raging.  Oh well….



Just a few Xmas tags for 2017

I tend to design things I need then share.  Here is a sheet of Xmas tags for you.  Hopefully you will find them useful!

You can download them here.

There are a few different styles so hopefully one of them will appeal! If not, I do have a ton of Xmas stuff in the menu under Freebies & Project Life Printables at the top.  Lots of tags there – here are a few (links to all, and more, in the menu link):

There are also some ornaments, a few cards, and more.

And although I showed this as a holder for swapping ATCs, I think it words perfectly as a gift card holder.  You can find the post on Twisted Cards here and here. You can see in the second link how to adjust the folding to accommodate a sideways card, which would pretty much equal a gift card.