New look….again

I have been reading and experimenting with WordPress self-hosting.  Not QUITE there yet, but I did select a new theme (and my DSis was right – pale and peachy was never going to last!) and one where I could set a custom header.  I created the one above out of some digital elements – the newspaper and the hand holding the card are Rhonna Farrar (2Peas kit called Vintage Newspapier) and the binoculars lady is from The Vintage Moth.  I have had that swirl for AGES – it was a freebie that is no longer available that I can find and whoever made it hasn’t left a trail I can follow!

The Fonts are 3theHardWay for the title and Egg Cream for the words on the card.

This is my first ever attempt at something like this so there is nothing fancy like drop shadows or masking. the bits are just layers in Photoshop.  I did have to do QUITE a bit of word on Binocular lady – I had to copy her onto a transparent background then add pt 3 pixel dots to fill in the gaps for the outline.  That way when I used the Magic wand to select the background I could delete it) to let the paper show) but keep her sleeves and hands white.  All very fiddly and probably NOT the way a professional digi person would do it. but it worked.

Now I’ll be particularly interested in finding out if, when I add this post, I need to go back and add in the line breaks manually.  My first theme required me to add a bit of HTML code to force blank lines, which was irritating, as I couldn’t then go back and edit it in the Visual editor or I would have to add the line breaks again because switching between the editors. Visual to HTML or the other way, messes things up (well documented issue with WordPress).  The Koi theme (that didn’t last long LOL!) took a return as an actual line break.  When I hit post and vierw it I will know if I am taking a step backwards….let’s hope not. {PS YAY!  a return = line feed}

I fear it will be confused around here for a bit till I get things the way I want them to be.  Bear with me!






Punching off the fold Mini-album

Here is the quick little YouTube tutorial on making the little mini from WOYWW.  Such fun, quick, and easy.  I’m working n another no-sew version.  As I won’t be about much next week I hope to load it ready to appear on Wednesday.  Whether or not I get around to doing the Mr. Linky, who knows?


LOVE mini done!

Finished it.  Only because every blogspot post from WOYWW yesterday gave me the same weird error message – otherwise I would have been blog hopping most of the day.  I’m going to go back and give it another go today and see if either I get the same error, or if by this point there is something in the Blogger help forum thingie that explains what it is and why.  I did TRY two different browsers, thinking it was Camino that was the problem but Firefox didn’t work either, so I am clueless as to what it could be. Quite annoying, as everyone is so good about leaving WOYWW comments I hate t be the one that lets the side down LOL!

Anyway, here we go:

You can’t really see some of the stamping on the no-quote pages, but there is something there on every one (eyes, clock faces, circles) which all tie in to the quotes.

My favourites?

Love and electricity are one in the same, my dear. If you do not feel the jolt in your soul every time a kiss is shared, a whisper is spoken, a touch is felt, then you’re not really in love at all.

Love which has been tested by distance & obstacles, and has passed, is true love.

To love someone is to understand each other, to laugh together, to smile with your heart and to trust one another.

Love is energy: it can neither be created nor destroyed. It just is and always will be.

OK, I am giving up now. Sorry to all you WOYWW visitors. Know I did *try* to comment:


WOYWW – making progress!

Another WOYWW – check out the blog and join in – it’s fun and always inspirational!

Still working on my little mini about love (go back to yesterday’s post to see the cover) but not done yet!

I had a happy accident that I think needs further exploration.  I had printed a photo on some cheap photo paper (just unearthed it while tidying and wanted to use it up) and the ink was taking forever to dry.  I had the pot of interference violet out as I used it on the wings on the cover so on a whim I dusted it over the still wet photo.  It makes the photo look a little dull tilted one way but tilted the other the iridescent violet really shows.  I think this could be a bit fun to experiment with! Not sure if it will show up but here are a couple of photos:

Since DD and DS are off out for the day I have high hopes for lots of WOYWW visits! And with luck I’ll finish this up in between hopping around the internet and post it tomorrow.


Sunday-someplace-else – on Saturday!

Well I normally would post this on a Sunday but I was so anxious to share this idea I couldn’t wait!

This blog has a post about organizing you computer desktop. Now, my desktop is very cluttered. I have, as I have said before, two widescreen monitors, one arranged Portrait and one arranged Landscape. I have a lot of files on it, some in folders of like items, some individual files that I tend to go back to often and don’t really want to hunt for in folders. When I Photoshop something special, adding an effect, or creating an A4 page of photos to print, for example, for a minibook, I keep them all in one folder. I have a fair few tutorials as well. Newly downloaded or created files always appear on the extreme right of the right side screen. Over time I have sort of had the position of some things ingrained in my head, but if it slips away I find I am always hunting around my desktop looking for something (much like I hunt on my scrap desk for my scissors or bone folder!)

I’ve tried many different ways to organize things, none of which really work for me.  Plus I always have an iChat window open and the security camera view, which blocks stuff under it.  Much as I loved my colourful Bokeh backgrounds they were too busy, and sometimes folder icons landed over a circle that made them hard to see when doing a quick scan for something.

So I spend a few minutes in Photoshop, with a digital Patterned paper (Jessica Sprague, not sure what kit but knowing me most likely either a 2Peas freebie or a freebie from her own site) and some lower opacity boxes and titles to create a desktop that lets me sort my files for easy finding.

All I did was create a file that was the pixel x pixel size of the monitor (which I found in Preferences on my Mac) and then saved it and selected it as my desktop background.  Then I dragged the folders into the appropriate boxes and there you go!  Now this was a pretty quick process, like 20 minutes. and I didn’t do any fancy digital effects, added no embellishments, just the boxes and titles with a quick drop-shadow effect, because I was going for high visibility and no clutter, but if you wanted to you could surely make your desktop “pretty”, more like a super-swish blog theme.

I still have space to add new things, and I can always create specific folders to consolidate (like in Tutorials etc.) to take up less desktop space (and just doing this made me realize that there is some better organization to be done, and better categories, so this is in no way my FINAL desktop)  When I create a new item or download it will automatically  appear n the TO BE FILED section and then I just need to drag it where I want it.

I call this very much a work in progress, as with any organizational method you need to work with it for a while to identify the strengths and weaknesses then alter as needed.  BUT overall I think it is a fab idea and know it is a step in the right directions.

I would do a quick tutorial if I can do so in Photoshop Elements.  I used PS7 for this and fear it may be different in newer versions so if I get a chance I’ll have a play with that and try to post it tomorrow, but if you do digi, this is going to be a walk in the park for you!


Video for coin envelope album

I sort of went off the boil on this as I had a few new things I wanted to play with but I managed to sort out a video slide show for the album. I know there are coin envelopes at UK Staples, although they are a slightly different size and the ones I’ve seen are printed on the front, but as they get covered with paper anyway it really doesn’t matter. I quite like the edging effect of using the MS border punch and it really goes together very easily.

I have to say that I hate the fact you only get three seemingly random thumbnails to choose from as your YouTube thumbnail.  It may have something to do with the fact my videos are made up of still shots, but the selection is often rubbish.  I wish I could say “Use the first image, always” but I can’t.

There are a couple of things in it worth noting (well, I *would* think so, wouldn’t I?  LOL!) including using the border punch to make an interesting tag top and using the “ball & chain” for the album binding.  I mention it briefly in the video, but the B&C that I used is actually a ceiling fan pull chain.  Same stuff – but the TH ones I’ve seen for nearly £9 (one 36 “chain, two connectors) but I got the same sort of length for under £2 and packs of 8 connectors for similar at a US hardware store.  Here you can get a box of 100 connectors for under £8 and 10 metres for under £20, although you can buy ball chain by the metre at Homebase so for me the box of connectors is the real must have.  Using alcohol ink to colour it (just put the chain cut to length in a baggie with a few drops of alcohol ink in the colour of your choice and smoosh it around till the chain is covered) you can have endless ball and chain goodies for all sorts of things.  OK, so no antiqued copper or gold, but for the price difference I can live with that.

Now, back to my current project, another that took three or four things all coming together to extend an idea I had into a better something.  No where near at the point of sharing, but soon!



I have had a set of “gratitude” quotes saved for ages, meaning to make myself a little GRATITUDE book. I came across the concertina card idea at some point, maybe in the Craft Robo forum on UKS and it occurred to me a variation on this might make a good base for the book.

Today I constructed the basic book, using pieced cardstock (one set of folds is 24 inches, the other 18, so 12×12 paper just wouldn’t work) and some lovely hand-dyed mulberry paper my MIL passed on to me. It is dyed in variegated bands of colour and as it will mostly not be seen it works well with the papers I will use.

The next step is the laborious changing of a multitude of photos to B&W then resizing them to fit the 1.25 x 4.5 inch “pages” of the book then figuring out the pocket bit that will hold the tags that have the quotes on them – that may change, as I work my way thru it, I don’t know yet. I am using a blank canvas of the right size to create the photo slices then shifting them to a print size canvas so I can print just the bits I need and not waste by photo paper. I am so cheap!

I love my two monitor set up – I have iPhoto on the portrait side and Photoshop on the landscape side and it gives me enough screen real-estate to really work with the images and be able to see what I am doing.

So not only WO my Worktop W but also WO my DESKTOP W as well!


W was OYWW

Missed it again. I was so focused on sorting out my PBB that I completely forgot to add my WOYWW photo. And now that I have cleaned up, it’ll have to be “What were you working on Wednesday” instead.

Hands up if you take a class and, love the project or not, if you don’t finish it in the class (or at the very least at the crop or event) it languishes in your crop bag/room forever? I am still coming across stuff from crops 3 or 4 years ago, but now when I do I try to drag them out and assess “Are they worth completing?” and if so make it a priority.

I took a class with Bev Fletcher of Banana Frog eons ago (honestly I am ashamed at how long ago it was!) and loved the project, made a good start on it, and then got well and truly sidetracked. The project was a mini-book, using the Rouge de Garance papers and I loved the way we made the pages (with rounded corners and flaps on some) and loved the stamps (a font, TEEN) and loved what I was doing with the kit – making a mini book for DD with photos of her various “collections” of toys.  I managed to get quite a few photos after the fact, and worked on the book at a GoGo Getaway a few months later, then it got stuffed in a bag and not looked at again for another 6 months.

Well, I’ve dragged it out and completed a few more pages, and have a few more photos of current favourite things to take, but I am determined to complete it. DD saw it on my desk yesterday and already has had some input for me on what needs to get photographed! But comments from kids on what is OMW (“on my workdesk”) as they walk by is a post for another day LOL!

Anyway, here is a look at the completed pages so far – there are quite a few, but the big book rings mean I can fit a ton more.  I figure it will be a nice memento of toys gone by in later years.