Leave a comment

Stencils and a tag

I will hope to find time to add at least SOMETHING crafty most days, but I must sort out the freakin’ guest room for Dear Son, sooner rather than later. Slow and steady work should be enough, but who knows? I also committed to a tag swap on a private group run by PM Artist Studio. Gosh I am out of practice!

I am very happy going back to the stencil organization I had previously (keeping them in binders) but have finally gotten them organized is a sensible fashion. Like my stamps they are all sorted by loose subject. I have 4 binders full:

Simple geometric shapes and markmaking

I have all my texture plates and homemade foam stamps, plus things like bottle tops or other sorts of rubbish-bin tools in the drawers and boxes with all my wallpaper texture plates from a decade ago, still used and useful.

I grabbed a few bits from various recent gel printing sessions, and some random bits I found while tidying – like that little silhouette figure, which was well coated with paint after being used as a mask on MANY previous prints – and had a go at a tag. Not in LOVE with it, but it isn’t bad.

I need to have two, and this one is more of a warm-up than anything else, so I still need two LOL!

Hope I can find the time and I don’t regret signing up for a swap that is time dependent – to be honest, I have done ATC swaps but generally not of the “make X by this date” kind. I may not crumble under pressure but I do stress about it more than I should. And yeah, life has a way of getting in the way…

1 Comment

My ribbon storage system

Back in 2012 I made a ribbon storage system that I quite liked, one using a long strip of matboard and some brads, the other velcro. It was all a bit time-consuming and while it worked great, it was a pain.

At some point, I discovered those little plastic strips that you see at the grocery store, hanging on the shelves, with useful related things you can grab (like packs of straws near the juice boxes) and I started using them to organize my ribbons. I still make use of the space behind the door for this:

Apparently they are called Hook Clip Strips and you can buy them pretty cheap from Amazon (if you can’t get them free from your grocery store like I have always done) and I suspect you might already be thinking of 100 other ways you can use them!

I use zip-lock bags, sort the ribbons by colour, and then use the wire pinches from a binder clip to hang the bags from the hooks on the strip.

I think I mentioned this system to Shoshi on WOYWW last week or perhaps the week before, so thought I might share it this week for her to see. It disclosed a major annoyance, as I was working on finishing my junk journal with the covers. I wanted a ribbon tie but I wanted it to wrap a few times around the journal and looking at my ribbons I found that perhaps 80% of them are from a scrapbooking kit I used to get and annoyingly no longer than 13 inches. I was pretty limited in the choices for longer ribbon. But I did find some and will finish that off. I decided I will show my desk as it is NOW today and share my tidied up desk tomorrow for WOYWW.

Let’s see – there is the journal with the back cover in progress, the little ATC(oins) envelopes from yesterday, the watercolours from the Mixed Media Emporium challenges, the ribbons and various scraps and tools. Pretty messy and clearly time for a good tidy up!! WOYWW tomorrow…

1 Comment

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…


WOYWW 626 – cardmaking stuff sorted

Happy WOYWW, after a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend! Phew. It was a hard slog to get from this:

to what is covering my desk

Actually, my “desk shot” is really a series of shots – the above is at the solid-cardstock-sorted stage and this is at the all-scraps-sorted stage, and where I am today!

There you can see a big box of embellies, two long storage boxes of 12 x whatever strips of patterned paper and one of 12 x 2.5 cardstock strips (plus a handful of shaped-edges in zig-zags and scallops) then the sorted-by-style (dots, stripes, florals, etc) patterned papers and 6×6 paper pads, then another shot of the solid-cardstock sorted by colour – in the front you can see the folder of already diecut or punched shapes. Here are a couple of closer shots:

While it is unlikely to be the final home for card supplies, it does all fit on one shelf!

Truly frugal crafters will blanch at the full bin:

To be fair, that is ALL the recycling, not just scraps. I will NOT be shamed for disposing of paper I feel is too small, too ugly, or too useless to keep because it is stained, crumpled or creased. In my defense, I do feel I saved as much of the scraps as I could. I even took a photo of how I tended to trim things!

My next task. and the one that is giving me the MOST problems, is the patterned 12 x 12 papers:

Oh yeah, and these two boxes that are filled with scrapbook layouts planned – some with all the goods, cardstock, sketch, embellishments, and photos – ready to go.

I’ve done a few warm-up cards at this point but I am of two minds. Yes, the other day I felt like I NEEDED to make something cause two full weeks of endless sorting was getting me down. But I don’t want to get distracted at this point. So time will tell if I begin the A Card A Day effort immediately of if I bore all for a few more days of endless organizing. At the moment I am discovering the whole One-Sheet-Wonder idea of cutting a single sheet of paper to make the most cards from it. Yesterday’s experiment with that single mangled sheet of 12×12 paper and making 5 cards from it, must have alerted Google to my interest and all of a sudden I am seeing the OSW ideas in every Google search that seems even remotely pertinent! But this is now tooooo long so I’ll save that for another day.

Happy WOYWW once again.

1 Comment

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.


WOYWW 625 – ATCs and more

Happy WOYWW day! Well, things have progressed for me in my Grand Tidy and I am very happy with the progress. I have a huge pile of stuff to donate to the local craft club, a large box of goodies earmarked for a WOYWW mate who I just hope will make use of them, and a full recycling bin plus a large trash bag of true rubbish. Letting go of things like the old Decorator Chalks (remember them?) and rubbish oil pastels bought in error (NOT water soluble) and lots of sun-faded or creased cardstock was…liberating. Sure, my room is still stuffed to the brim with goodies, but now they are all things that I can only hope to live long enough to use up LOL! My desks are mostly clean:

Even my “messy” desk is tidy:

I really am doing my “card a day” plan and I made a warm-up card to share soon. This is NOT a 100 Days project, just something to do every day to help use stuff up. I got no mail yesterday for some reason, so just the ATCs received last week to show.

Neet, Angela Radford, Zsuzsa on the top, Cindy, Helen (H), LLJ and Caro on the bottom

All so gorgeous. I love Neet’s little house shaped envelope, and Zsuzsa’s envelope went right into my collage fodder bin because it was stunning. I am housing them in my ATC folder for now, till I can make another hanger for them.

At this point, while I am NOT giving up on the tidy, I am planning to attack the paper a little bit each day. This is not all of it, but it’s the bulk. I have a few bins of scraps and of grouped papers (like Basic Grey, Rouge de Garance, and Bizous Zoo, three of my most favourite lines) and way too much Club Scrap cardstock, which I will incorporate into the general cardstock units

To be honest, I have SO MANY empty drawer units and containers, I need to find someplace else to either use them or store them. No point taking up space with them. So, that’s me finished – except the 100 days project re-cap:

And the one from today – pretty much sums up how I am feeling about the 100 days!

If you recall, I am running a few days ahead. I will add 98 tomorrow then add 99 and 100 on the last day – Friday seems a good day to end on. Frankly, I cannot wait to be done!!

Happy desk-hopping!!

1 Comment

Unusual items unearthed in my tidy

I fear this is getting sure boring, so I am going to add a few things I found that might amuse or interest.

When I worked for Scrapbook Inspirations, we would rotate a feature where we made a collection of similarly coloured embellishments. I’d have to go get the magazines to recall what it was titled. Anyway, in an envelope, in a drawer, I found these:

I quite like them. I have seen a few YT videos on junk journals and had the idea I might make a few – my daughter’s disability group is always looking for fundraising ideas so it might help me use up some of my re-discovered stash and do some good. Based on what I have seen, I think these would be perfect for that sort of journal.

I cannot remember how long ago BEADLINGS were a thing, but when they were, I made this little lady. I still think she is super cute. No plan to use he, but I might add her to the next badge I have to make, maybe for the Craft Club if it begins again. It’s been so long I’ve probably forgotten everyone’s name by now so we may need them LOL!

A group of friends took an extended European holiday just after they graduated from Uni. One of the stops was to see The Wall in Berlin, after the wall came down. They brought me back a bag of rubble. I still have it.

And the progress is making me happy. Look at all the empty bins!

And I’m not done yet. But truly, it is just the paper now. And maybe one more pass thru my wood mounted stamps. I just hope I can remember where everything now lives…

Day 96! Weird colour choice, maybe, but the embellishment word led the way.

Oh and the ATCs are flooding in so I will share them on WOYWW day. My goodness the desk hoppers are a talented bunch!

Leave a comment

Progress of the Grand Tidy

OMG. I have a pile of stuff in the guest room to donate and it could male a market stall of papercraft goodies, if not a shop. Shocking. I realized that a lot of what I have came from a scrapbooking kit I subscribed to that I carried on with even after Scrapbook Inspirations ceased publication – and my scrapbooking output took a nosedive. The amount of rub-on sheets and embellishments I have is frankly shameful, and I have not even LOOKED at them for years.

I had five of these file boxes and at least four of the brown boxes crammed full. After a very long day of sorting, looking critically at every piece in all of them, I whittled what I love and want to keep and can see using down to just this:

BUT, as I was sorting an idea was forming. Last week as I sorted thru my cardmaking stuff I realized that I am actually pretty low on handmade cards for a few occasions. And I hate needing one and having to either make the time to make on or worse, resorting to using one of the commercial ones or my “emergency” card fronts repurposed. So as I was sorting, I had another bin that (in my head) was a “this could make a card” bin.

These were embellishments that I felt could be a centrepiece if a card, or at least at the time sparked an inspiration for a card. So, I know that the 100 Days project was fun, but that it really dragged on too long. Today I share day 95 and I am so over it. 50 days is far more do-able, but also, why name it and put a limit on it? My current plan is to do A Card A Day and work my way thru that bin without concern for how many days it takes to empty it. I also feel like it will help me use of the massive pile of scraps of card and patterned paper that I have unearthed. Really, that is all that is left, and it is left because I am stymied as to how to organize it. I have some ideas, but more on that as it develops/

My ATCs for the WOYWW trade are in the mail, save two that were awaiting addresses. Both will, I hope, be in the mail soon. Funny thing – the person I mailed to is in Iowa, USA and the person who mails to me is in North Carolina! Honestly, what are the chances of three Americans being in the same trio? I’ll share my received ATCs on WOYWW but I’m pretty sure I won’t have them all. One of my swaps went to Australia!

Not DONE as in done with the 100 days, but DONE with my IVIG for another 3-4 months. This was a hard round for some reason. Happy it’s over and looking forward to a couple of months of greater strength.

1 Comment

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!

1 Comment

More gloss spray, labels, and Day 44

When I was making that dark gloss-spray-over-brown page I used one of the label sheets I have leftover from my HiTi dye-sub printer that died. I have been using them for cutting stencils, as the sheets are perfect for that. I had the pack out and grabbed one to use to mop up the gloss spray. It came out so pretty!

The stamp is one I got from China, via Amazon, and it took weeks to arrive but I love it. So many nifty areas, perfect for art journaling.

I could cut it up but it’s easy to stamp just one area while it is on the flexible backing sheet or press fully to stamp the whole image

After peeling away the surround, I printed some little words – I don’t have a template for this oddly shaped sheet and too lazy to make one, but I don’t even know if I could print directly on to the gloss sprays. The labels are about .75 x 1.5 inches so not big enough for most of my stamp sets that have interesting fonts. They work great to label the drawers on my desk.

I also have the surround, and it is SO pretty as well I just want to use it but I have no idea how at the moment. Maybe cut it and add some bits to tags? If I was doing any sort of ATC swap I might use them for that. I just know the surround far too pretty to throw away!

And here is Day 44. Maybe not as balanced as it could be but I love the colours: