Progress on my sorting. Major progress!

Remember the pile of bins I showed? Well.

I now have a series of fairly well organized boxes and bins, divided up by … type I guess. Let me share.

Most of what I have are gel prints in some form. I have those divided mostly by size. I have what I call true scraps, A5 or smaller but not true scraps, and A4 sheets, fully covered or partially covered.

And some of those A4s are quite nice, including the one on the top of that box (above right) and this one – really love it.

I also have bins that are plain white, black, shades of cream papers and one that is my stash of various dyed papers. Coffee and tea are very usable, some of the colours might not be colourfast, due to how I dyed them.

I also have a bin that is full of more translucent items, deli paper, tissue and tracing paper or vellum. AND one that is mostly commercial tissue papers and napkins of mulberry style paper. I adore that tissue with the big foiled gold dots. I looked for it again recently and wasn’t able to easily find it. Oh dear!

I have quite a bin of magazine pages – I often rip out pages I come across that have beautiful images or just pretty colours, and always have a plan that rarely comes to fruition.

I have a good sized collection of colourful paper towels, baby wipes, and the like, mop-up pieces mostly but some where I printed intentionally.

Lastly, for today anyway, I have a 12×12 box that has all my colour combo experiments from the artist group I am part of, and the gel-print scraps masterboards I made maybe last year. All these have been scanned so I can use them without using them, IYKWIM. Really hard to cut into those 12x12s.

There was one I simply adored, and I cut it before thinking to scan it and now it’s gone. So sad.

So there we go. Now I am ready to fill a collage journal. At this point I have no idea if dividing the stuff by type of paper is the right call, but trying to divide it my colour would be impossible, and I feel like when reaching for stuff I am going to look for a small piece, or a sheer piece or a full-page cover piece, right? And having them divided this way is going to force me to riffle thru a whole bin maybe, to really assess what I have. We shall see.

Off to the hospital tomorrow for an appointment. Not looking forward to what they will recommend, as all the options suck. At least I made it thru Christmas without a serious relapse. Oh wait, No. I got Covid. DOH!


WOYWW 713 – out of chaos comes order?

Happy WOYWW!

and Yikes. Crazy computer things last weekend but luckily I had a plan! I decided, based on a few inputs, including our own Caro and a couple of ladies in my mixed media art group, to embark on a collage project. It is an art form that I haven’t done much of, but would like to get better at. And lord knows I have what is technically referred to as a shit-ton of collage papers. I literally dragged even bin and box and file that I had stuffed loose gel prints or pages torn from magazines or stashes or dyed papers and set out to sort them into divisions that I felt might make sense. There is a LOT.

This is actually a large round spare table that I dragged into the small open area in my art space to be able to have enough room to put all those bins and boxes on one level. Again I say YIKES.

My desk is actually quite tidy, as I also dragged out the fodder keeper I made and a wire-bound art journal I have had for ages, which was always intended for this collage project. I’ve just kept putting it off.

I need to replenish my keeper with more bits! It’s looking a bit sparse in some places.

I will share my progress. This week I have two Drs. appointments, both in response to those not-great test results I may have mentioned. A change of medication is required, and sharpish. Ugh.

Lastly, Cat. She keeps finding new places to hang out. This past week she seemed to make an old chair in the bedroom her home. To be fair, she likes the back of the chair, which is right by a window, best, but that window has obscured glass in the bottom pane so she eventually decides to sleep on the seat.

She hasn’t completely abandoned me – when Dear Son shuts her out of his “office” to make phone calls or play games or program, she will sometimes find me to cuddle up to. I’m told she is unusual, and that most cats are not as cuddly as her. No idea as she is pretty much the only cat I have even spent any time with. Cat lovers and owners, you tell me. Is she deviating from the norm? Darling Daughter is already stressing about when Son+Cat might move on, and is asking about getting her own cat. Yikes for a third time! Thinking we love this cat but unwilling to risk the uncertainty of another that might be quite standoffish and…cat-like!

I was later last week due to some scheduling issues around home (electrician, cleaner, various calls and appointments) and then the computer over the weekend, but hoping this week, with Wednesday fully clear, I can get around early and fully. I’ll be hopping by yours soon…


WOYWW 710 – Start as you mean to go on?

Happy Happy WOYWW! PLeased to say I have tested NEGATIVE and while thusfar I still have a very much reduced sense of smell (and along with that, taste) I am feeling much better. Not managed the treadmill yet but will hope to get back to that very very soon. Phew. Also hoping I will be on top of my visits. I missed an entire week and that is not something I take lightly.

So, on to the desk.

Well, well! That looks like I want it to! I thought I would share a few of the housekeeping tasks I did in preparation for the New Year of Crafting. You may recall I have tiny little pots that hold various adhesives, tip down, always at the ready. I refreshed them, as the washi tape decor was looking pretty tatty after a year.

I could use a few more, but we need to lunch at the local garden centre that has these little pots on the condiments table. I have my Art Glitter Glue, my slightly thinned matte medium, and my Tacky glue. All my most used liquid adhesives.

As for the matte medium, you may also recall I bought a massive tub of heavy duty medium and thin it with boiled and cooled water to get the right consistency. I fill my small pot for daily use, and my little bottle for spot adhesion.

The last thing is another small jar that houses all my tools, the ones I am always hunting for and can never find!

It also sits at the side of my desk, along with my Traveller’s Notebook of monthly journals, as mentioned yesterday. Still going good with the daily journaling. Nothing sure arty, but aiming to establish a habit.

Dear Son is off visiting a friend for a few days, but Cat is still in residence. She has decided that she quite likes my dinner chair as a comfy place to sit. Typical.

I am hoping I will have more time to play with my Scan&Cut soon, and also do a couple of colour challenges from the PMAS FB group. I’m enjoying those, and the results are getting used for my Monthly notebooks for my daily journaling. I don’t have a lot of other projects in my head, I’m sadly still a bit Covid-brain-y, but things will surely shake free at some point. Right?

Happy WOYWW and with luck I will be popping round to see you today!

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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…

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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…

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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…


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.

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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.


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!!

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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!