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The chili cook-off is over and life returns to normal!  DH made a fine showing, but the judges were stymied by the rules as applied t0 his green New Mexico chili.  The guidance said that “reddish-brown is considered to be good” when it comes to colour and his was most assuredly NOT reddish-brown. What GREEN chili would be?  One judge stopped by to say that while his was tasty, delicious even, she just had no idea how to mark it on colour, given the guidelines. He didn’t win, or even place, but that was sort of expected.  And it was personally gratifying for him to hear comments from the public like “Where’s your restaurant?” and “Will you cater my birthday party?”and numerous requests for the recipe.  Where some entrants had 1/2 a pot of chili left after the public was able to buy a spoon and get a taster pot, within 10 minutes his entire gallon + pot was gone!  Some people came back for seconds – and thirds.  Many asked if there would be a public vote, like a taster’s choice award and said if so, his would win.  Personally, I think the stall looked great but then I did make most of the decor LOL! Not DH in the photo, but his mate Mike.

Will this be the end of his chili-cook off attempts?  No, probably not, but he may shift to a more “traditional” chili next time, although it will still be less smoky and sweet than perhaps suits the British palate, based on the winner in this comp.  To him, REAL chili has no tomatoes and no beans (although he will accept black beans on a good day) and the liquid added should be beer.  Beef, beer, onions and spices/chilies should be all.

Now, I have mentioned, many times, how much I admire the work of Kate Crane.  Her use of colour is fabulous and the text in her work always strikes a chord with me.

See what I mean?  Fab, isn’t it?

Anyway, almost a year ago I bought her DVD set at the Newbury stamp show.  I always try to get there to renew Craft Stamper, as I prefer picking the subscription gift to waiting for something to arrive in the mail, that may not be the thing you expected or wanted.  Last year I got the Cosmic Shimmer Chalk sprays.  Big thumbs up for them, except the stupid clogging nozzles – so no different to any other spray ink, no matter what their ads say, no matter how carefully I shake them, every one I have ever tried clogs eventually. I came home, popped DVD 1 in the Mac and….nothing.  The DVD didn’t even appear, the message said “Non-supported DVD detected”  and then the drawer just spit it back out.  When I upgraded my machine last month, the first thing I did was pop the DVD in to see if the newer DVD player might work, but it still considered the DVD to be unsupported.

Now, I really should have gotten back in touch with CS about it, but I kept meaning to try it in the regular DVD or the Mac mini hooked up to the TV,  but frankly that wasn’t where I wanted to watch it, rooms away from my desk, so I kept putting it off. Just last week I DID try it, and it worked, but  I still didn’t want to dash from room to room to try any techniques that might be new to me so having satisfied myself it wasn’t a global problem with the DVD, I popped it out and back in the case. But I had one more idea to try.

We have one very old iBook that seems to play any DVD we throw at it.  We’ve always kept it around for just that reason.  I dragged it out – the battery manager needs fixing, as it charges but loses the charge in like an hour, but I CAN use it if it’s plugged in (and now there is an Apple Store in the mall here the chances of it getting fixed are better than waiting for DH to pop in to London to the store there) so can finally have the DVD playing close to my desk!  Whoopie!   I can see it on the screen NOW and can finally watch it.  Yes, I know the “spinning beach ball of death” can be seen upper left of the screen in the photo, but I assure you by the time I have gotten to this point in typing this post the menu of DVD 1 is on show. Having satisfied myself that the laptop still boots and the DVD works fine, I may still need to wait for the right day to actually sit and soak it all in.  But at least I know I can.  My goal is to watch it before the NEXT Newbury show in July LOL!

So I have too many chili pots and dishes to wash, too much laundry to do, some UKS work to finish up, and much more.  Happy Jubilee weekend to all and hope you get time to craft.


WOYWW 139 – playing with watercolours

I am in an arty place at the moment.  I really need to focus on scrapbooking, and figure out a way to bring the arty techniques to layouts, but I’m just not there yet.  Maybe I’ll find the inspiration and motivation looking at YOUR desk today!  Nothing gets the creative juices flowing more than a WOYWW hop.  And Julia helpfully reposted s link that will solve the commenting problem for many of us, if you care to look back a post when you drop by her Stamping Ground.  I just hate visiting and not being able to leave a comment so I hope many who don’t let the comment box open in a new window will make the small change needed and let me say Hi!

This is a technique I’ve seen but not played with – watercolour wash covered with cling film.  I really like the final effect – and have mentally filed it away for a future BIG CARD – and thought it might make a good background for the foils I used on the last one.

I was thwarted in my attempt to get to Hobby Craft and peruse the foils yesterday – I came out of Morrison’s to find my tire flat.  Good thing I noticed and didn’t just drive away.  That would have been so like me LOL! But my internet searching told me the Provocraft foils that I have are no longer for sale, and I love the technique so if I want to play more, I’d better find some soon.

I’ll add a card I made as well – I did a YouTube quickie for that, and it differs from the stamp-with-glue version from Monday and instead extends the brayer-ed glitter-glue technique from Christmas,  I embossed some Distress Inked cardstock, brayered over a layer of glue, then added the foil.  I do love how it looks!

If you do Project Life, I have some printables back a few posts that you may want to grab, as you are here anyway. You can also click on Freebie Printables at the top and find links to them there.

Lastly, something I almost never do, a share of my DD on the climbing wall, at the top!

Regular readers may recall DD has Cerebral Palsy (she’s a right hemi) so her managing this, albeit with help from one of the instructors, guiding her hand and foot placement, was quite an achievement – Mom is very proud of her!

Have a great Wednesday!


And to add:  Blogger is still thwarting me!  A few people change their commenting so it opens in a new window (yay!) but still not allowing comments on box-at-bottom – and a new wrinkle! This week no matter HOW MANY TIMES I try to do the word verification it tells me I am doing it wrong.  I’m NOT!  Nowhere near being thru the list but I’ve seen these people and been unable to comment 🙂

scrappymo! – tried the word verification FIVE times (including the spoken version) and it won’t post! Same with Stephanie Scrapadelia
peggy aplSeeds
Tracey Fletcher King
Shaz in Oz – but I emailed you about your question 🙂


Back-to-back book

Ah the power of Julia.  She commented on my WOYWW post to say she would pop back by to see the completed item, so there really was no choice but to finish the book.  Finish is perhaps an overstatement. My plan is for it to be a gift, and to include a variety of photo mats and journaling spots so the recipient can finish it off with photos placed as she prefers.  It’s a long overdue wedding gift, or that is the plan.

These books are dead easy to make.  Mine is from normal 12×12 cardstock, so quite a good size, and includes a bracket detail on the shorter pages.  I just like the way that looks.  I had planned to use som tags as well but in the end I prefer the brackets only, less cluttered.  I rather like how the covers work.  I had thought I might include some sort of closure, but I think I’ll simply tie it with a coordinating ribbon.  I’m not sure if I should title it, or include letters to spell Our Wedding and give her the option of using it for some other purpose if she prefers.  I’m sure I’ll dither about that for a bit longer.

Here is a peek at the inside pages and one sample :

Mariposa papers, which I love, very pretty and feminine.

If you didn’t click the link to My Craft Channel yesterday, do so now.  It’;s just starting out but they are adding stuff all the time.  Worth making a regular visit. Here is the link to the video for this style book. I can see me making a few of these – there is lots of room to customize the look and size of the book in any way you like.  My plan HAD been to use the papers I showed yesterday but found I needed more black cardstock – the papers are very thin so I didn’t think they would make pages of a heavy enough weight for a mini-book.  I’ll go back to those papers, I’m sure, but there needs to be some shopping for black cardstock first!


500th post

I mentioned in my WOYWW post this week that I thought my 500th post should be epic.  This probably isn’t {grin} but I did think I might take the time to go back and mention a few posts that stick in my mind, for whatever reason.  That is partly because the thing I am working on, that I hoped I might share for my 500th post, is all over the desk and floor at the moment.  It’s only “epic” in the sense that it is turning into much more than I thought it would be.  I suspect not too may people will look at it and say Hey!  I’ll do that! because frankly I’m only maybe 1/3 of the way done and I am losing the will to live.  There are other versions of this type of project that will take far less time.  But I am stubborn – having had the idea I feel like I really need to see it thru to completion.  My goal is to finish it by next WOYWW but we’ll see.  I may hate it in the end, or feel it doesn’t do the job  as elegantly as some similar things.

Is that cryptic enough? LOL!

My first blog post on 16/10/2009 was just a bit before Scrapbook Inspirations ceased publication.  We knew it was coming but the formal announcement hadn’t been made.  I’m not sure I would have begun blogging had that not happened.  I liked the writing about my projects, and the sharing, and wanted someplace that was uniquely my own where I could share them in whatever format I chose.

The first real post was about a bit of software I used to create this layout with a mosaic of one of our Christmas ornaments using photos from my iPhoto gallery.

I still like it a lot and the post has links to the freebie software if you fancy giving it a go. Mine is a Mac version but there is a PC version linked too.

Seems at first I did smaller photos and added titles.  I gave that up pretty quick LOL!

My review of my blog littered with things I said I was going to do then didn’t for whatever reason. This photo has appeared more than once, I think, where I threatened to scrap it.  The layout is still awaiting my attention.  Maybe some day.  Maybe not, but I refuse to stress about it. I still miss that mouse, as I had to replace mine recently, went looking for the same brand and find they no longer make them.  Poo.

One happy result of having a blog is my sister reads it, and often emails or calls me after a post.  She had a lot to say about my use of what she calls “the creepy people” and what you and I know as the Stampotique range.  I still love them but my recent re-connection with all things scrappy has moved me away from cards so I don’t find the time for the challenges at the Designer’s blog so much anymore.  I really must go back to that as I found it quite fun, and….well, challenging LOL! This was one of my favourite projects using the stamps:

I did a YouTube slideshow of more of my favourite projects (and the music is loud so be warned)

This is a card that I made for one of the challenges, still one of my all time favourites, and in response to her comment about the fact I never use cute images.  Somehow, I now this wasn’t what she expected.  I find all the no-mouth “cute” stamps as creepy as she finds the Stampotique ones. We agree to  disagree on that.

My first WOYWW post, that I actually managed to post on a Wednesday, was in November of 2009.  I still do that and really enjoy looking at what everyone is working on each week – I like a lot less the fact that I seem to have to hop around from device to device, to comment.  And often I find my comments won’t post no matter what I do.  Annoying.

And on the subject of annoying, I occasionally get the odd comment that gets my back up.  The one in this post asking if I was perhaps inspired by another scrapper (who is one I admire – she does lovely work) sent me into a fit of dithering – should I delete it?  Should I comment?  In the end I did comment, because I knew that the commenter simply didn’t actually look at the dates of my post or video to see that I had posted more than a year before the person she seemed to be implying I had copied.  But if she did that, then others might too.  Better to comment and draw a line.

I did my first YouTube video about 6 months before I started blogging – and I say video, using the term very loosely, as I don’t have a video camera I like using so mine are more like slightly animated slide shows.  That prompted me to make accompanying PDFs for some of my projects, because slide shows don’t allow all the detail needed for a complicated project, unless you have screen after screen of explanatory text.  I did this for SI, so not sure if I ever actually had the video on here.  The original has something like 39,000 hits, but I think the redo, with a newer version of iMovie and at a higher resolution, is clearer

I struggled with sorting out how to use the WordPress-hosted blog format and sidebar widgets to be able to add little photos and links to my various projects.  Lordy that was a challenge and it may not be hugely elegant, but it seems to work.  Someday I’ll maybe move to a self-hosted blog and have more freedom to organize things how I want..

The first digital element  I shared, a Bingo card that I made for use on an SI layout, was alos in 2009.  I think it turned out OK, and I have used it many times, just changing the word at the top. I’ve done a lot more printable elements since then and I hope they are getting better and more usable the more practice I get. This post, on the virtues of hybrid scrapping, is one of my favourites and the layout made using my own printables is another favourite.

If there is ONE post that I am perhaps best known for, it would have to be the Faux Baker’s Twine post.  OMG.  That has been linked all over the place and I still get hits virtually every day on that post.   I remember, at the time, that I thought it was one of my more “throwaway” posts.  I was sitting at my desk, working on a layout, and I wanted some Baker’s twine to add thru a button.  I didn’t have any.  I was looking at some on a UK site (one where the twine was not cotton and had food starch added to it) and the idea for how to make my own just came to me.  Literally it was 20 minutes from idea to loading the video.  I have some real twine now, but I still make my own because I never seem to have JUST the right colour and it takes seconds to make a yard or two and costs me nothing.

So there you have it.  A handful of some of my favourite stuff over the last two years of blogging and 500 posts.  How long will I last?  I don’t know.  But as Bill Hicks said:

It’s just a ride.

and for now I am enjoying the ride.  If I stop enjoying it, it’ll be time to get off.

Have a great day!  (said in my perkiest  American accent) – I have crop pot luck cooking and packing still to do….

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Kennedy Name Book You Tube

OK, well it was a struggle (finding the old video camera, figuring out how to make something that resembled a tripod, getting the camera angle right, forgetting to change my dodgy Seattle grunge lumberjack shirt LOL!, figuring out how to incorporate the video clip in with the usual slideshow – won’t be trying this again in a hurry!) but I managed to make a video to accompany the PDF of the name book.   Oh and having my mouse die a horrible death all of sudden, I forgot that – cue a hunt through the house for a spare mouse that wouldn’t be missed till I could get out to buy one.

I am so chuffed with this. I love how it turned out, love how the spine works (FINALLY!) and hope someone else makes one too a they are so cute and really not at all hard.

Have a look:

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Cutting felt video

Here is my little YouTube quickie showing the felt cutting.  Not much more than you would have seen in the post, but it’s a holiday and I am feeling a bit lazy.

Still playing around with things, I cut some QuicKutz letters using the same method.  I only have quite tiny letters and mostly they worked pretty well.  Had I any of the bigger letter dies I think they would have been even better.  Funny, more than once I thought I would sell off those old QKs as I almost never use them but in the last few months I have found I DID use then for a couple of things and they were perfect in those cases.  A reminder that I shouldn’t be too quick to get rid of something I think I may not use!  Nothing worse than doing that then finding you want to … reacquire the same item again!

I could get used to this sort of week – a 4 day holiday, followed by two work days, then another 4 day holiday!  Of course it isn’t much of a holiday for us, both working for ourselves and not a company that pays us for holidays off true and proper, but still it does mean a slightly slower pace. Always a bonus.  Shame it got colder again, and windy, but it’ll be way too hot to suit me way to soon.


Faux Baker’s Twine you can make!

I was looking to add a bit of the popular Baker’s Twine to something but only had a small amount of red & white that I got, I think, in a ScrapaGoGo kit at some point.  Not the right colour.  I’ve looked in the past for Baker’s Twine in the UK but find it either has food starch added to it (if cotton) or is some kind of rayon.  I know in the US you can get massive reels of this for under $10 (although who needs 1000s of metres of one colour??) and I’m not really keen on buying 100 metres at a premium, so, cheap cow that I am, I decided to see if there was a way to get the look, totally customizable on the fly, as needed.  I had a quick Google but the one I did find involved twisting your own two-colours of embroidery floss together.  Yes, it looks exactly like the original stuff, but frankly, life’s too short.  So this is what I did.

What I like is you can use ANY colour of permanent ink to make it, especially if you can find a chisel tip marker (Copics and Promarkers work, although as expensive as the markers are, it’s a bit of a false savings – Sharpies are cheaper and as colourful and I just saw pastel coloured Sharpie chisel tips in Hobby Craft!) and you can vary the look by making your lines quite thick and close together or thinner (bullet point tip) and farther apart.  OK, so not perfect, but they look close enough and you can make a couple of metres pretty quickly.

Both DH and DS have had rotten colds – typically I’ve held off catching it till they are both on the mend, so a day wrapped up with hot tea on the sofa may be the order of the day for me.  I’ll charge up the iPad and try to meander thru a few more WOYWW posts if I can, but I’m not expecting I’ll feel up to much.


Quick and Cute Origami Heart Card

DH – look away now!

While I am surely blowing yet another card surprise, I realize there is little point to waiting to share it till AFTER the day.  Who will remember it for next year?  Although having said that I think it would also make a cute wedding card.  Anyway, here it is:

and open:

You can watch the super-easy instructions here and then watch my under-2-minute video and turn the folded heart into a card.

DH and I share a loathing for paperwork.  We always have a lot to do, and we do it, but like the vast majority of people we don’t really enjoy it.  I thought it might make him smile.  And if he is reading this, I hope he’s smiling now….

love ya sweetie.



Bi fold frame PDF and video

Here is the video:

and I’ve added the PDF in the sidebar! The file, which opens in a new page, is actually called Juliacropclass (the underlined one not the title – sorry, I need to sort out why it is not just automatically downloading like the earlier ones I did!)


Hope you have fun making one.  The ladies at the crop were SO funny – at the folding-around-the-frame point there was a lot of OMG!  It works!  It really works!  and as everyone used different paper and different embellishments they all looked totally different in the end, but all of them were lovely.  I think I have made the PDF as clear as I can so if you try it and have trouble, do let me know.



Slider card slide-show

Well, I made a lot of progress yesterday, but sacrificed my WOYWW visits to do it.  That is my single goal today (ok well I do still have two other things I want to accomplish, in addition to the usual UKS stuff,  and ignoring the state of my office/craft room, which is SHOCKING, but they aren’t critical) so I am off to go see as many desks as I can.

I did manage to finish the YouTube thingie for the slider card – I hope it is clear enough and it is slightly different to the PDF in that it focuses on a different card size.  My hope is that between them you can adapt the instructions to any card size.  Once you get how the basic slider works then it is totally adaptable.


On a completely unrelated note, I am so proud of my niece.  She is an amazing soccer (football) player, all-conference, all-state ranked, and my brother sent me a shot of a shout-out on the scoreboard for her.

You go girl!