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…


A useful storage item from trash

I used that packing paper in a useful way. I had an old box, one of the ones with an insert for bottles, and I thought I had enough in that long strip to cover the whole thing. I got the box covered

but when I looked at the insert and what I had left…oh dear. Not enough! I reinforced the slotted together compartments and had a good think about it. Should I use other paper?

To be honest, unless you were looking down into the box from above, you are not going to see that not ever inch is covered, so I thought how best to cover as much as I could, In the end I cut the last piece into three strips and covered the top only. It covered enough of the insert that except from this angle, looking downward into the box, you don’t see it isn’t full coverage!

Washi tape neatened up the rough edges

and it makes the perfect storage for my rolls of embossed anaglypta wallpaper – a great texture tool for gel printing!

I used to have these tucked up on a high shelf and often forgot about them, but now they can stay out, neatly stored, and used a lot more. Win Win!

I did a bad job on WOYWW last week, very late. I am so hit or miss I am happy to let others claim the top spot. I’d feel awful if I was at Number 1 and didn’t get round for days. Tomorrow, who knows? Darling Daughter will be off at a skating event again (only one more after that between now and Christmas) so with luck I will be primed for desk hopping and ready to go!

Leave a comment

Still in the rarely seen sewing room…

As I said, the light in there is really bad, all glare and shadows. But the table top, while rotated into the correct position, was still quite full of …. well, everything really. I shoved everything into bins and baskets and moved it out of the way so I could address a few areas one at a time. I began with something a bit fun – my stitch markers.

You might recall I make stitch markers for knitting. My lovely friend Susie had a shop, and she sold them there. No shop now, so I have a few left over. I kinda dumped all of them out on the desk to sort them into groups. Lots were loose in little bowls and tins and bags so they needed to be grouped.

I like to have sets of three or four with one special one, as well as some pairs. That covers most of my knitting needs. It took AGES to get them matched up, and once I did, well, then what?

You may recall I have my ribbons stored in baggies, all hanging from those display strips you see hanging from the shelves in grocery stores.

Well I had a couple of those strips left unused so I attached one to the edge of that canvas covered bookshelf I mentioned yesterday and:

Again, easy as pie to see and select. And look at all that bare real estate to the right! I really think a hanger for the cables and needles will be just the ticket. I might need to wait till I can go to a store, but still, the idea is a good ‘un.

I also decided it was time for a better way to house my threads. They were scattered about and it was hard to find what I needed. An hour or so and:

The threads are grouped by colour and all the bobbins are in a dedicated holder. And the final three drawers have also been sorted, so I have all my sewing machine tools in one, buttons and snaps and stuff for clothing repairs in one, and spare needles, seam rippers and marking tools in the last.

I also mover the Addi knitting machines off to a large tray table, instead of on the large desk

and I think in the chaos the got up to a little hanky panky – they seem to have had a baby!

This one actually works, unlike the wretched Prym one. Lovely cording, in a flash, and while I thought I was buying a no-name brand that LOOKED like the Embellish-knit (for so cheap, less than half the price) it turns out it was the actual branded one – albeit with a disassembled clamp. Cheeky seller! Took me 10 minutes with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver to sort it but now I have it works like a dream. So I guess it was worth it!

WOYWW tomorrow and it will be all clean desk shots or both rooms. That HAS to be a first!

Thanks for bearing with me as I sort things out.


The mess has been sorted, and a few things to mention…

Gosh. It has been a very busy weekend. I have been shuttling back and forth between my craft room (which houses all my art journal and paper-type craft stuff) and my knitting/sewing/ironing room (which also houses the Christmas tree and decorations) in an effort to get them sorted. You might have seen the state of them late last week. If so my guess is you thought How can anyone work in that chaos? May I remind you?

Even the desk that holds my computer was in such a state. And the sewing room, which I almost never share, was in as bad a state as it ever has been, partly due to the table being in it’s pulled-out state so the Xmas decs could be accessed. Yes. I know. It’s March. It should have been moved back into it’s usual spot long before now, but life gets busy. Sorry for virtually all the photos in there being a bit rubbish – the light is terrible and I use an old phone as a camera.

I managed to get all the stuff that was in the wrong place re-located from my craft room to the sewing room, and vice versa, and the table turned around to the correct position. There is that yellow colander that so many people mentioned the other day! This time it is full of…wait for it…knitting needles on their cables.

Dear lord. It took me HOURS to sort them out. Really. And here is the interesting thing. Stay with me – it’ll all come together in the end, I promise!

In the UK we get Lateral Flow Test Kits. As of now, the government gives them away for free (for now, but not for long) and my daughter, who goes to a special needs school, must test twice a week. One test must be timed so it also covers her attendance at the disability skating group. These kits have seven each of tests, tubes with a dropper top, nasal swabs, fluid and little plastic bags to seal the tests up in before you put them in the bin. This is the thing – if we do three tests, all the debris for all three fit in one bag. Easily. We have been doing testing for MONTHS. We have a LOT of little plastic bags. A LOT.

They are pretty useless for most things, due to how tall and thin they are (maybe 3 x 7 inches) but they do work incredibly well for knitting supplies! Wanna see?

Here are all my fixed circular needles, sorted:

The top row is larger needles, and the bottom are my sock needles. I had a couple of slightly larger bags saved from some past purchase for the bigger, longer needles and below for the biggest group of cables.

And here are all those cables for my interchangeable needles, grouped by length.

Nice, humm?

At the moment I have them in larger bags, and am considering how best to store them. I suspect I might make use of a large canvas-covered set of shelves that houses my yarn. I am already using that in an interesting way. More on that tomorrow!

And apologies, as it will be a few more days before I manage an actual craft post – I am still behind on my WOYWW visits (AGAIN!) and must devote my free time in the weekdays to that. I HATE not seeing every desk.

Leave a comment

ATC book finished

Not really much to crow about as it was basically drying time that held me up form being able to share the final item yesterday. But with the holidays looming and time short, I am just about keeping my head above water. I still have the DIY calendars in Spanish to sort out and I and woefully behind on my WOYWW visits. That is my top priority this morning! But here are a couple of quick shots for you:

It’s quite minimalist really, just the great collage collective paper and some letters. But I quite like it and it was great for storing all the trades:

and that leaves the other one I made to store the coins that I keep from my sets!

All in all that found folder from 2003 really worked out well!

Moral of the story? Hoarding is not always a bad thing….. LOL!


Because I never throw things away….

One of my knitting mates kindly gifted me with a folder for housing ATC cards – I am kinda running out of loose sleeves so very timely. At the same time, while having a bit of a tidy up during the Christmas decorating, I found another little notes book. It was part of one of those monthly magazines, where you get a really good set of gifts to begin with for a bit of money, then they aim to get you to spend a ton on things like collectible cards. This one was a tie in, if I recall, to a Jackie Chan animated series and was dated 2003! It is pretty compact and I like the little flaps that keep things inside.

I wanted to re-purpose it to hold ATC coins and I wanted to do it fairly simply. Those vinyl covered notebooks are hard to decorate, for me. The last one, the large format one I am using for cards, I stripped off the vinyl and painted the inside cardboard, but that proved to be problematic! Anyway for this one I decided to make use of a sheet from the Collage Collective papers.

I trimmed it to fit the flat front, leaving the black border intact and stuck it using matte medium. I brushed another layer of matte medium over the top to seal it.

Then back to the “never throwing stuff away” and I riffled thru my stash of scrapbooking letters. Problem is most of these sets came with a single letter, maybe if lucky a few extra vowels. These, I literally had all but the final C to spell ATC Coins.

I had a solution but the size on those wasn’t quite right. It worked with these two sets combined tho’. I can only assume all the Cs were consumed by many many spellings of JACKSON LOL!

I had the small-set Cs but no space. So where I am now is waiting for it all to dry, weighted down with stamping blocks. I’ll finish it up in the AM and share, but I am also deep in the weeds trying to sort out my PDFs for one of my children’s books. It’s sending me round the bend…

I am trying to find decent (preferably either free or at least a one-time fee rather than a monthly fee) flip book software because I would love to share a flip-thru of a book at some point. Not having a lot of luck with that.

I also got a request for Spanish language Sun-Mon DIY calendars for a long-time follower who uses them year after year. I should be able to sort them out for next week (I hope) and with luck then I will have all the rest of the time between now and Boxing day scheduled so we can have some very much needed Family down time.

Stay safe and well this holiday season.


Just a little walk into my crafting space….

Enter my chaotic room! It is functional but not pretty – I have far too much stuff to have a pretty space, beautifully curated, with only lovely things on display. My room is never going to win a beauty prize.

I had to add a fake wall of bookshelves in order to fit everything in. The big win is I got all my scrapbook albums and old Scrapbooking magazine into my room. The sort of Kallax unit is to the left, the albums in a bookcase on the right:

So many albums….

Then turning the corner the room opens out a bit! The printer, an desk I use for diecutting, and the computer desk – with my big “racing car seat” chair. Very comfy.

The computer desk from the other side, minus my hoodie!

The new bookshelves back the fake wall one, and it still needs a bit of work. BUT it is right by the desk where I do most of my crafting so handy.

And the desk by the window. Still with the If You HAD To… cards and the ATC binder that still needs…something, just not sure what.

I fear one day the whole room will collapse the ceiling below and crush poor Hubster as he works. Hopefully this old Victorian house is well made and sturdy. In the new year perhaps I will get rid of some more stuff… or not.

I made a start on the 3d card pack and I have to say there are some fun things in there and I can surely use the bases as a template to make more. I think that will be my first experiment – then I really must get things packaged up for mailing back to the USA. Most gifts will be shipped from the USA within the USA but some things will have to come from here (like proper UK mad Terry’s Chocolate Oranges for my son – just not Christmas without them.)


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!

1 Comment

Far too busy to blog…..

I have been in an absolute whirlwind of activity for the last 4 days. Now Thanksgiving is over, that Big-C holiday is looming and there is a lot to do to prep for it. The biggest problem is my sewing room. There is a massive, heavy table, that had all of my sewing stuff and my machine on it, that blocks the cabinet where the Christmas tree and all the decorations are. I had to more it all around to access the festive goodies. And believe me, before the turkey was cold and the last bite of pumpkin pie eaten, Darling Daughter was all “So when will we put up the tree?” Sorry to say that simple task created a cascade or shuffling and sorting and rearranging. The Hubster and I toted an entire bookcase of books up a level, I moved two more bookcases into my craft room, moving out one piece of furniture of limited use, then of course had to populate those shelves with things from elsewhere. Then there was a massive effort in the kitchen to better organize and relocate my cookbooks, and make room for the now ex-dvd shelf to become a pantry. We have no idea what food we may have squirreled away from buying multiples of something we use a lot of when we find it on sale, or when we stock up on something during a rare Costco run. This is the only explanation for eight bottles of green pest and four bottles of red! OK, so they are small bottles, and good into 2022, but still….

Boring right? especially with no photos. You will see some on WOYWW day as I photo my desk, but I fear it won’t look startlingly different, even though there is an additional 6foot bookcase that will be on view.

I do have one thing I will share – I have been keeping my ATCs to trade in clear envelopes, but I am finding that unmanageable. I have a stash of baseball card sleeves but what I don’t have, and what is rare as hen’s teeth in the UK, is three (THREE – not two, not four, THREE) ring binders. I managed to find one very ugly one that was falling apart, and I am in the middle of decorating the cover of it so I can use that for my ready-to-trade ATCs, cards and coins both.

I have to stick this cardboard piece to the vinyl lining and am going to see how very strong and thinck double-sided tape works. Unclear at this point what else I will do. but hopefully by tomorrow I will feel ready to take it on.

I have all of my ready-for-trade items inside already. I have been very bad about sharing them on the trade sites I usually use. I might just plan on waiting till after the holidays at this point. Happy mail in the new year will be something to look forward to, and all the mail delays (and potential theft if someone mistakes an ATC for a gift card!) will then be avoided. Wanna see how many I have?

Now the horizontal ones:

Nothing that I have not shared, I don’t think, but any photos ill make this post a lot less boring, for sure.

As soon as I sort out the cover, a quick share and then it has to be Christmas cards! Oh dear!