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Prototype ATC coin storage book

You might recall I have made a blizzard book ATC coin storage book, which I think is very cute, but has some down-sides. Mostly that yo have to take the coin out to see the info on the back. I wanted something that let the front and back be seen easily, kinda like the ATC card hanging displays I made.

Of course that was always going to involve baseball card (ATC card) sleeves. I began with two 9-pocket sheets, cutting them in to three three-pocket strips. I trimmed them neatly, leaving the binder-hole strip intact.

Next, I folded an accordion, starting with a 1 1/2 inch piece at the beginning, then scoring and folding every 1/2 inch. Obviously it is easy to add further strips by overlapping at then end, but this is a prototype to work out the kinks. End with 1 1/2 inches.

I am undecided if it is better to stick one sleeve section between two folds, then SKIP a section and add the next, or if adding them between two, then the next sleeve between the previous section and the very next section is OK. I’ve done a page each way to see how it works in use.

I used the red-line tape which is very strong. Then I just covered some stripes of heavy cardboard and did a quick decoration

I like it pretty well. Initial reaction is leaving the blank accordion fold between pages is better but I also an considering a different sort of spine. Not sure. What I do like is that I can see the front and the back of the coins with a flip.

I’ll report back on any refinements, but I wouldn’t say that this first attempt is in any way unusable. It works fine, I just feel like it could be a little bit better.

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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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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:


Brush holder – recycling an unusual item

We go to Costco (or did, now we mail-order) and one of the things we buy there is spices. There are a few things we use A LOT of. Cumin, Italian herbs, Garlic, Onion flakes, and curry powder. We have had a bottle of bay leaves and one of parsley around for AGES so emptied those out an bought smaller bottles from the grocery store so we knew we were using fresh herbs. Just as I was about to toss these in the recycling bin I noticed the tops and had an A-HA! moment

The flaps at the top are one side a large open area, one side large holes. I had just bought a set of watercolour brushes and was looking for a holder that wasn’t just stuffing them in with my existing brushes and it seemed like this would fit the bill. I made one full size one for the old, big mixed media brushes by first cutting away the flaps then adding some beads to the bottom to weigh it down

The other bottle needed to be shortened, as the brush handles were not so long. Not beautiful, because the bottle is curved and with ridges for grip when shaking the herbs into a pot, I am guessing.

I managed to find an old bare wood mount from a stamp that fit inside to both divide the space and help keep the shortest handled brushes upright and the weight the bottom at the same time

I used some decorative packing tape to re-join the top and bottom and added a belly band of decorative paper to disguise the join and

I might consider poking some drainage holes in the bottom of the next ones – the other spices are in square bottles, with the same lid arrangement, although the number of holes is fewer and smaller. But still useful, I think.

And now my next 100 days page:

Today is Freedom day! Already looking forward to meeting my knitting buddy in the garden, socially distanced, if the weather holds. It better.

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Stamp re-org – will it work for ME?

Beginning with the next of my 100 Days. This was done on the first day since early December my daughter went back to school. as you can imagine, the house was very quiet, and it was both welcome and, strangely, not.

Like many crafters, I spend a LOT of time trying to achieve perfect organization. The problem is I am very flighty. My passion for any particular craft waxes and wanes like the moon. So one week I may be frustrated not to have my gel plate supplies well sorted and easily to hand. Another it will be all about the art journal. What division has worked for me so far is having a MESSY desk and a CLEAN one. So all the paints and mediums and things like masks, stencils and the lake at one desk then stamps and inks for texture at the other. I may start an art journal page on the messy desk, but once I move to the texture stamping and final details, if it’s that sort of page, then I might move over to my clean desk. And all my 100 days stuff is done on my clean desk. And having all my stamps organized at that desk was my goal. Here is where I am – and happy with it.

The biggest step was to sort and organize my cling stamps. They had been in large binders like the first three and in divided sleeves. Making good – and realistic – choices about what I would and would not use from my stash of stamps was a big part of this. I have a HUGE box of stamps I am donating to the local Craft & Chat group, once we can meet in person again. The ones I am keeping are sorted by how I use them. I have all my alphabets (except all the tiny boxes of very small alphas) on the shelf under:

and the tiny boxes of very small alphas are in a drawer under my desk along with other wood-mounted stamps and foam stamps:

and I have grouped stamps on the other side – grouped like with like, for my particular uses. Things like faces and eyes and figures.

I have a basket that sits on the side, with all my sets that I want to keep together in one place – all my Dina’s, my RubberMoons, etc. When I am looking for one of those stamps, say a face, the first thought is not Oh, it’s a face, it’s Dina. So I’m gonna look for it in the Dina collections.

These are in cheap A5 size plastic envelopes, so if they fall off the backing they will only fall within the envelope. Also on the shelf are some bins and boxes or grouped art journaling stamps. This may seem crazy, but this works so well for me. I have a bin that has all my text and alpha stamps, nestled inside one that holds pure texture stamps (+s, Xs, circles, spider webs, crackle, etc) and one that has large format stamps and collage style ones.

One problem I have had in the past is…OVER organizing things. Having them broken down into very small categories and in storage that takes up a lot more space. This way, if I KNOW I want a bit of text, I can rummage thru the box and maybe find something surprising, not what I went looking for, but what is perfect for my piece. And it is all in easy reach as I sit in my chair! The 2nd set of drawers (tiny alphas, foam stamps, Stampotique wood mounts, etc) is on the left, under the desk, also right beside me.

and all the inks and the like are right in front of me – no change there – as well as some of my 100 Days project supplies, pens, stamp mounts, adhesives, tiny punches, etc:

It MAY be that I take stamps in their bins over to my messy desk to work on a page, but I think not. I have a good lamp over my clean desk and lately I seem to be more likely to pick up my journal when I get to the stamping phase and move it over. The only flaw is it I plan on spattering ink or paint, I might opt to move back.

Of ALL the re-orgs I have done, this one feels like the most considered and feels like it fits into how I work now. Is it perfect? Nope, 100% NOPE. But close. And I’ll know if it needs tweaking pretty quick. But so far, it seems to be working. And I do not add this because I think my system will work for anyone else. I think that I wasted more time and more money trying to force my stash and my space into some system someone else used that looked good, cause I thought if I did THAT, my room would look good too. Again, just NOPE. My room is NEVER going to be pretty. But so long as it WORKS I could give a good goddamn.

My messy desk area needs a little love, so I may look at that soon.

WOYWW tomorrow!

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Stamps re-organization and another 100 Days page

First, my next 100 Days page. One I like – more restrained. I decided to photo this before the journaling cause it’s getting easier to read as I try to make my handwriting a little more legible.

On another note, I have been stuck on my art journaling because I ordered a few things that I had a vision for, but they have not arrived – I literally just got notice they will be delivered today! So in trawling thru my existing supplies I realized my 3rd (4th? 5th?) stamp organization and storage system was simply not working for me. And I also realized I was holding on to SO MUCH that I know I am never going to use. A cling stamp of a cartoon frog? WTF? Why do I even have this? Loads of twee little border stamps gotten as freebies on magazines? About 15 variations of leaping stags/reindeers with swirls on them (from Christmas issues of magazines?) Literally 100s of small flowers. I felt a cull coming on and during the process I had a really hard look at every stamp – cling only. I have lots of wood mount stamps, and even three boxes of ones that I am pretty sure I won’t use, but they are sorted and stored so I’m OK with them. I have good muscle memory of where they are so can usually go to a drawer and find what I need.

I mean really. It was chaos. I started by looking at my existing storage and thought about how I use the stamps I do use. Washed all of the cling ones, hoping to rejuvenate them so the ones that no longer stuck to a mount would do so.

And yeah, that was an epic fail for a lot of them. I looked at a lot of videos on making them stick and most of the tips didn’t work very well. There seems to be some variation is the quality of the cling stamps. Some are super sticky, even now, but virtually disintegrate when you try to peel them off from existing storage. Some still stick fine. Some, no matter what I tried, will not stick at all. For those, I have my best use for the crappy Creative Palette and this works amazingly well for both totally unmounted red rubber and for cling stamps that will not stick. But it doesn’t work when the storage system depends on the stamps clinging to something! Bah!

So I am still at the how best to store these? stage and looking at the WAY I now use stamps pretty critically. I am finding that for most of the art journling uses, I need the stamps to be close to where I work, easy to access, and grouped by specific uses. So is it a text stamp that I am using to add background “texture” to a page? Is it an element (hats, crowns, wings, glasses ?) that I might use to create a quirky figure? Is it a mark-making sort of stamp? Is it ready-made words or sayings? How can I store those so I can just grab them and use them while I am painty and mucky and in a real creative flow? How can I do that without investing in a huge pile of new stuff to organize it all? It’s a challenge.

Sorry, no resolution quite yet. But I’ll get there and I’ll share when I do. I do know it will be some weird hybrid of my own, and not some super-organized system I found elsewhere. Tried that. None of them, not all in CD cases, not all in 3-ring-binders, not all is DVD cases, not all heaped in a drawer, ever worked for me. I really want to find a system that works for ME – and maybe works ONLY FOR ME – and be done with it!

Wish me luck!

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I got so sidetracked – new stencil storage that I LOVE!

Sorry if you were expecting the follow up to the painted papers post from yesterday. I meant to do it today, but my desk is an almighty mess and before I have the room to work I really have to tidy it up. And I am doing another Roben-Marie class called Printmaker Pro: Press, Stitch & Stash that means I need to get my stencils in order, sharpish. They have been in a variety of storage solutions, none of which actually work for me. I have some in a bin, some in a binder, some in one of the old Crop-in-Style 12×12 Paper/Sticker binders…just chaos. Too many places to look so in the end I tend to just use what I can reach or what is already sitting on my desk. It is NOT workable in any way.

I mean really.

So I was looking at it all and thinking How the heck am I going to sort this out? It was treadmill time so I decided to search YouTube for stencil organization. Yeah. 90% of the hits were…what I did. In binders, in sleeves, in tubs with dividers… But then I saw the Stencil Girl video using this what LOOKS like a professional shop display. The stencils were clipped and hanging and although she mentions that the product she used was mostly no longer available, she did link at the end some other people with similar ideas. And of course that gave ME a few ideas. I played around with a few construction-oriented things, using stuff I had hanging around, then my eye fell on a paper bin. it was wire, with two little bars on each side to hold hanging folders…you have never seen a bin dumped out onto the floor so quick! The rest was just finding the curtain clips (old Ikea ones work – the newer ones clip the wrong way) and pulling out all my 12×12 and A4 stencils. An hour or two later and:

Now I can look thru my stencils with ease. and this rack sit nicely to my left, within reach of my gel printing space. I have room to hang rings of the smaller 6×6 and even smaller assorted sized stencils from the sides, hooking BIG rings thru the wire then hanging smaller rings (with similar stencils grouped together) from those. Sorry for the crap photos but I took them yesterday evening.

I have one more small bin of assorted 6×6 ones that I suspect are in that bin cause they are my most used ones. I am considering a different method for those. We’ll see… I think this is going to be a game changer. I looked at stencils I barely remembered either buying or making! Once I saw them I had 100 ideas for how to use them. I am 100% convinced that I will never use what I have if I don’t KNOW what I have. So As this is my desk at the moment:

I have to beg your indulgence for another day until I get this mess sorted out! Once my space is clear I will carry on making the painted papers then link all the posts in each post so you can find everything no matter where (and when) you land on any of them.

I know a lot of people will be less than happy about the new lock down, but honestly? I think it was about time they realized that the partial lock down measures were NOT working against this very virulent new strain of Covid rampaging thru the UK. I just hope it can break the transmission chains and slow things down till the vaccine roll-out can really get rolling! Until then, stay home, say safe and craft away.


Project Life card holder – design refined and easier

I tried and discarded SO many versions of this, mostly to do with decorating it.  The quick and dirty one from yesterday was just that – not hugely attractive, really, but functional.  So I took the time to work out a better way for the basic construction, and minimal decoration (OMG – all those oddly shaped edges to cover where a pain – life’s too short….) and created what I think nicely walks the line between form and function – not butt-ugly but no museum piece.

WARNING: This post is massively photo heavy (40+) but it should be clear enough to follow.  I will create a PDF from the post using my Readability trick but there will be a slight lag between the post going live and the PDF being created then added.  When it has been added you can download the link HERE.  If it doesn’t highlight when you hove, come back.

Some minimal changed to the cutting of the carrier.

Cutting your collapsible Wine Carrier

1. Look at YOUR carrier.  Does it look like this?  If not, you should probably open it up, really look at how it is constructed, and read thru all the steps, checking to note any differences between yours and mine.  PLwine

Measure 3 inches up from the bottom edge.  Check YOUR carrier – this SHOULD fall below the diagonal slashes you see.


Cut thru all layers, dividing the box into the handle section and the base section.


2. Working with the HANDLE section, snip to detach ALL of the dividers.


3. Snip a small bit from each tip (1/4 to 1/2 inch)


NOTE: If you want a holder that hold ALL 3 x 4 cards, SKIP THIS STEP.  If you want a holder that has two  3 x 4 pockets and two 4 x 6 pockets, cut one divider from each side.

4. Cut out one of the dividers, like so:


You don’t have to do this, but I trimmed away the hump on the side, once I determined that didn’t affect the structural integrity of the carrier.


5. Collapse the carrier.  Notice that the two sides are connected but not fully stuck – slip your ruler under the long triangles and measure to the bottom edge.


6. Now measure across.


Mine is about 10 inches across and about 5 inches high.  Cut two pieces of heavy cardstock, adding 2 inches to the across measurement.  My cardstock was A3 size so I had more than an inch on either side, but an inch is enough.  12 x 12 cardstock will be fine.

NOTE:  Bearing in mind you will be slightly crushing the HANDLE section to fit it inside the BASE section, accept there will be a little bowing of this piece in the final project. Or drive yourself crazy trying to accommodate that. Your choice…

7. Score the cardstock. Oops.  Must have missed that photo.  Assuming 10 inches, score at 1 and 11 inches.

8. Fold over the scored section and hold the two pieces back-to-back – slip them into the handle section, just like you did your ruler.


Line up the bottom edge of the cardstock with the bottom edge of the handle section

9. Make sure it all works, then stick the centre sections of the two pieces together.


Slip this into the carrier

10. Mark the flaps to match the angle of the sides

NOTE that I added the paper-backed adhesive first, but if you mark first then you don’t HAVE to use adhesive with a backing paper, and will need slightly less.


11. Cut away the bits


This is really going to depend on YOUR box.  You just want the sides to match.  Feel free to stick first and trim.  For my box, there is a taller, smoother side.


and on the other side, and extra loose layer of the carrier.  I could either slip the extra under


or stick and snip


The point is,  this is what you want to end up with:


Believe it or not you are nearly done!

12. To keep the cards from slipping around, line the BASE of the box (the other section) with a bit of  Fun Foam


Putting it all together

1. Slightly “crushing” the HANDLE section, slip it into the BASE section.

2. With WET adhesive (bearing in mind this is the step that is going to unite the HANDLE section and the BASE section and what is going to keep the top part from slipping out of the base when you carry it) stick the OUTSIDE side section  of the HANDLE section to the INSIDE of the BASE.  Then stick all the dividers to the inside of the base.  Take care here, to try to keep them straight.


THIS is when you will see the slight bowing of the cardstock.  it really isn’t going to matter.

You can skip this but I think it finishes the internal dividers nicely.

3. Cut  a piece of cardstock as wide as the divider.  Slip it into the section and mark the angle.


4. Score the line and crease.   Trim away the extension



You will end up with a piece like this.  Add adhesive just to the areas that will meet when it folds over the carrier divider.


Now slip this piece over the divider and stick it together.  It won’t cover it completely but it’s not going to matter.  Feel free to cut two pieces and stick them back to bak, either die of the divider, if you prefer.


Do the same for each divider.


Finally: Decorate!

I simply used ONE sheet of 12 x 12 paper and decorated the areas that had the writing on them – that was just the outside of the base.


And I added a bit of decorative tape to some of the raw edges, as well as a simple strip under the hand-hold


DOH!  It looks crooked but it isn’t, it’s the angle of the photo, promise!

There you go.  I think that is a good compromise between taking AGES to decorate every little area, and having an ugly carrier with shop logos all over it.  And it will hold a TON of cards.

For free.





Project Life card storage from a wine carrier? Yep.

There was a post on UKS about PL storage.  I replied to it at 7:23.  By 8:27 I had made this:


I took the photo before I decorated the front, to show how the 4 x 6 cards fit by removing one of the dividers, but you get the idea from the first photo:


It was so easy, took very little time (less if you don’t bother with ever a minimal attempt o make it look “pretty!”) and works a treat. I often print and cut my printable PDFs to make sure they perform as expected, and I’ve just been stuffing them in a box. Now I can put them all in here so I can find them when I want to, rather than printing another set.

So easy.

1. Take your wine carrier.  They usually come collapsed, so leave them like that and cut the bottom at 3 inches


2. Open both bits out


With this one, but perhaps not every one, cutting at 3 inches leaves a bottom and the hand hold part with the dividers.

3. Snip opposing corners of the divider like so:


In order for the top to fit INTO the bottom, it needs to be “smaller” – these two minimal snips allow you to wedge the top with the hand hold into the base, like so


4. I imagine with some, if the dividers are taller, you may not need this step, but to make the dividers more solid, and keep the cards from shifting around within them, I cut heavy cardstock to fit and create a liner.  Now you COULD go to the trouble of making a proper BOX to line the divides, but this works well enough for a quick fix.

I did taller ones for the BACK of the dividers


and smaller ones for the sides. You don’t HAVE to cover the ends but I did.


Now you can see these are attached only at the top. Maybe you can see that they sort of hang there – there is nothing of the carrier itself on the inside.  That can be sorted.  Let’s look at the OTHER side:

5. Snip out one of the dividers.  On mine, the corners are smaller on one side (where we made the original snips) so I would just cut out filly one of the snipped corners.


Now you have four divides that fit the 3 x 4 cards and one that first the 4 x 6 cards!


6. Stick the opposite side liners cardstock top AND bottom.  The top is stuck to the carrier itself, but the bottom will get stuck to the liner on the other side. You’ll get it when you do it, I promise!

As you can see I only have a few of my cards in it at the moment.  I think you would need to add something to keep them from slipping around, just to fill the space.  Again you could make a cardstock cube to drop behind them to solve that problem.

Is this the prettiest holder?  Nope.  Is it functional? Yep. Did it cost me anything?  Nope.  I had the wine carrier and the cardstock wasn’t even scrapbook quality but just some heavy, bright, cheap stuff I got at Lidl LOL! And ignoring the time it took me to photo and create the post (almost as long as it took me to make the darn thing!)  it took about 40 minutes.  I’m off to the store anyway so I may just pick up another one and make another one.  I’d be interested to grab a different store’s wine carrier and see what the differences are, but I’ll probably be going to my usual store so not today.

Cheap as chips, and a bit of fun on a Friday.  Have a go, make it super pretty, and let me see a link. {wink}