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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!

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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!

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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!