A little more on the Display Stand card

I made another of these cards, refining the process, like I tend to do.


Really happy with this one.  I also made a little YouTube slide show for it.  I added a better way to make the flap for the surrounding card to house the bits if you want to mail it.

I’m going to make this bit a PDF and incorporate it into the original, if I can but today (and tomorrow, and Monday) is all about the room tidy and re-org.  I got 3 additional bookshelves, AND managed to figure out (much to my DH’s dismay, as it requires some shifting of large, heavy pieces of furniture LOL!) where to put them.  It will allow me to group all my stamps in one area of my room, and shift all my magazines and books, and to organize those for ease of finding.  That has to happen quickly as we have a visitor coming n Tuesday and at the moment the whole downstairs is a bit of a tip.   But let me lay out the process for you with photos:

Working with an 8 x 6 card blank, and I am working portrait, but you can switch it up and work Landscape it you want, start with at least an 8 x 12 bit of patterned cardstock.

Mark 3 inches from the bottom and cut it across just to the 8″ mark – it will look like an L:



Stick the left to the front of the card to cover it, with the side extending out past the opening edge. Score and fold the flap, wrapping around just the front of the card, to the inside.


Trim off a bit from the short section, so it is about 1/2 inch from the fold.  I like to round just the top right corner.


Add double-sided tape along the bottom edge of the flap and secure it.  This creates your pocket.

theflap5 theflap6Now you can slip the card bits into the flap!

theflap7Have fun with it!

I’ll sort the PDF and add it here, as well as replace the original – to be honest, I’m not sure how the page breaks will happen so it may end up a bit odd when I insert the additional pages, but I’ll try to annotate it so it makes sense.

Wait for it…..

Circle Tray Display Card – instructions, improved card with flap, and template all in one PDF

OK, I THINK it works.  It may be a bit odd where I inserted the info, but it is all there.  I also added the template so everything you need is in one place.  Phew.  Now, off to the cleaning…


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….


Shimelle & Me – and my personal scrapbooking history

Bear with me.  The crafty bit will come.

We moved to the UK in 1994.  DS was 14 months old (he’s now 18!) and I wasn’t really doing much crafting other that kids crafts, knitting and crochet.  We lived in The Barbican and my time was occupied with DS, the Mums and Toddlers group, going to West End plays and not a lot else.

We moved back to the USA after DD was born, and DH went from banking to an internet start-up.  In the first year, I found scrapbooking was ALL over the place – TV, craft stores, chat at the bus stop.  DS’s best friends mom was having a Creative Memories party and asked me if I would come to help make up the numbers.  I did, and got hooked.   I converted the spare room into a scrapping space (giving up on scrapping on the kitchen counter, snatched moments here and there and tidying up after every session, even if that was after only 15 minutes), ditched the PC for a Mac,  and the next couple of years were spent happily scrapping. I spent a lot of time on 2Peas, and a lot of time in Michaels (humm – at the time I think it was more MJDesigns and Total Crafts, but you get the idea) and built my stash.

We missed living in the UK (and they elected, and I use the term very liberally,  GWB)  so when the bank called and asked DH back, we jumped at the chance.  The problem?  How was I going to scrap when it just wasn’t as popular there as in the USA? How was I going to feed my stash habit??

Off to the net I went and had a long search session.  I found there WAS a scrapbooking site in the UK!  Yay! Scraptastic was run by Mark and Shimelle.  I was beyond relieved.  We exchanged a couple of emails and I promised to get in touch when we were back across the pond and my scrapping goods arrived. I swear I still have a paper piecing pattern I downloaded from her site, a snowman,  in my stash still!

Fast forward a few months and I got in touch to find there was a CROP that weekend.  Oh bliss.  A 2+ hour drive and I rocked up to the Youth Center and walked in to a small room with just 3 scrappers – Shimelle,  CJ (Feel-Good photographer extraordinaire) and Jane (and you aren’t likely to scrap in the UK and not know who I am talking about!) I kept pulling stuff out of my bag, stuff that had been brand new when I packed up, and to every item Shim said Yep, we sell that. or Oh yes, we have that on order.  Far from the dark ages of scrapping, it seemed I had hooked in to the group that was “in the know”! The crops were the highlight of my scrapping life.

Flash forward a few  years – during which time Bev moved UKS from a Yahoo group to a proper website, Shim won both the Hall of Fame and the PaperKuts Power Team, scrapping took off in a big way in the UK, we judged the Best of British contest with Joanna Slan , I took on UKS when Bev couldn’t carry on due to work conflicts – and still I scrapped.

Meanwhile Shim found her niche as a teacher of online classes, got married to The Boy (and yes, her wedding was every bit as glorious as you would expect from her obvious sense of fun and style) became a Garden Girl on 2Peas, and did many classes for UKS, as well as through her site, some of which I started, with the very best on intentions, but life always got in the way.

We worked on Scrapbook Inspirations together until it folded.  Without the monthly deadlines, scrapping seemed to be the last thing I thought of when I was sat at my desk.  The kids moved in to their teens.  All of a sudden getting photos was a near impossible task.  And scrapping took a bit of a back seat for me.   I thought about scrapping a lot, had lots of ideas, but made maybe a page a month for at least a year. I just needed something to get me motivated.  That is something Shimelle is good at, even when she isn’t directing her super-scrapbooking mojo-booster at you, specifically.

I subscribe to Shim’s YouTube videos. I  watch when I find the time and the kids aren’t hammering the home internet. I kept thinking I should play along, but no new photos meant little impetus to actually do so. Recently, looking back at the piles of unscrapped photos I had, I remembered seeing her 4×6 Photo Love classes on her blog.  Most of mine were 4×6.  I had no other project on the go. Serendipity.  I went to her blog and thought Right.  Pull your finger out and SCRAP! So I did.

The June 4×6 sketch/class was a good one.  I managed to make the layout and am happy with the results (mostly – it’s a bit busy, but that was my choice of papers that made it so) and 8 (yes, 8!)  photos are on a layout and the moment captured.

The basic idea is fab, it is a 2-pager, and the original has 6 photos.  I had to cobble together a 4 x 6 portrait block from cropped landscape photos, but that’s the thing – you can do what you like and there is never any tutting from Shim.  She loves the creative process and embraces your alterations – she’s never precious about her designs.

I also saw  one of her sketch-to-scrapbook page videos with some little banners that gave me the idea to curl the edges of the gears to add some extra dimension.

I actually like one page as an option – I think it works equally as well as the double does.

So you would have thought that I would have been following this class from the start.  Why ever didn’t I?  As a self-led class, one you can dip in to and out of, there is no pressure.  History has told me I love Shimelle’s style and can usually pick one of her layouts out of a line-up with ease – it’s the one I love.  Well, that is all water under the bridge now.  I have jumped the first hurdle, made a layout that I quite like, and I have January – May to go back and catch up on.  And the Sketch-to-Scrapbook page bits.  And there will be a new class every month, and a new sketch every Wednesday.

I’m off to sort some photos (crop this weekend so the timing is perfect!) and as soon as I get through those DVDs from the stamp show, that is what I will focus on.

To be honest, looking at those old photos gives me such a wave of emotion – seeing my toddler boy, so chubby cheeked and sweet, and my wee free-spirited girl, small enough to sit on Dad’s lap, when now he is a long-haired game-playing drummer and she is nearly as tall as I am and such a teen, blind-sides me like I never expected.

And it makes me remember why I loved scrapping in those early days of sticker-sneeze, cardstock triangles, fugly paper doll die cuts, and cut-out figures from photos.  And it makes me all that much more determined to not lose sight of that again.

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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:



I have been doodling like mad in spare moments, and am just about to start my “project” but am terrified that I will mess it up.  It doesn’t help that I have realized it’s Friday the 13th!  DOH!

I have been reading Zendoodle sites and am interested in the whole debate about the process.  There are some rather vitriolic posts in just about every place I stumble across, to do with the “creation” of Zentangle vs the age-old habit of doodling.  I doodle massively in my school books, my son does it too, and even DH has been known to doodle a bit.  The new terms used to describe the Zentagle process are unique to the style that was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas that give a standard process, a sort of framework to the mindless doodling we all do.  More power to them for popularizing it, and making it perhaps easier for people to create something that is more art than scribbling.  But people cannot seem to just adopt a live-and-let-live attitude.  Always perplexing, that. What it boils down to is if you want to you can buy the book(s) and the kit, or you can grab a black pen and doodle away, finding inspiration on any of the 100s of web sites that have a doodling focus.

Me?  I did a bit of both.  I got the books after I started doing it, because I had something particular I wanted to do that I wanted to have the best chance of getting right from the get-go.  I believe in doing my research.  But I could have lived without them (especially the 2nd copy of book One that I somehow managed to order by mistake!  There is a symmetry to that that I will explain at a later date LOL!)

If the process interests you, this is one of my favourite YouTube videos – it isn’t that standard 4-dots-in-the-corners true  Zentangle style but I just adore the effect.  And her videos show the Zen-like process (less Zen due to the speed of the video!)  and the switching in mid-stream aspect pretty well.

She has many more videos, not all doodling ones.

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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.

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Sunday-someplace-else (two-tone bow/knot)

Been a while since I’ve been organized enough to do a SSE but I saw this in my subscriptions on YouTube and had a forehead-slap moment. It looks so cute, is so simple, and very flat – also economical.  And even someone as rubbish at tying a nice bow as I am can manage it.  Have a look!

Have fun – and Happy Easter!


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.

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I saw a video a while back for making a very pretty ornament using a particular Spellbinders die (one I don’t own) and always wanted to make it but keep forgetting to buy the die!  Every so often I get what I think is a brain wave and am convinced I can create something similar from stuff I do own, then I spend entirely too  much time trying to make it work before giving up in frustration and vowing to get that damn die the next time I see it…then I don’t.

Here is the video – I just think it is so pretty and clever:

Here is just a shot of the ornament:

While I am quite sure some combo of MS around the page punches would work (but I don’t own any) nothing that I do have comes close to recreating this.  One day, I’ll manage it, but that day is NOT today!

If you have the die, you might like these as Christmas ornaments but likewise I think they would be pretty for weddings, as decorations or perhaps as a pretty package topper.



Fast fluffy flowers using coffee filters

Regular readers will recall I have found a few uses for coffee filters – I love that they are strong when wet, but have a great texture.  I was playing around with some flowers and came up with these:


They are simply punched scallops, snipped and mica-misted then dried with your heat tool.  That is the step that makes them super easy and fast to make, because the heat makes the coffee filter paper contract and crinkle.  Once you stack them it is easy to just fluff up the “petals” a bit more and add a brad centre.

Of course I made a video for this, and you can see that here:

But that isn’t all!  Once I had loaded the video, many related videos came up.  One in particular I really like – ‘ a bit more labour-intensive, in that you have to do a bit of cutting then sewing on the filters but I like the flowers that you end up with.  They look very vintage to me.  Not sure if I have seen the brown filters here in the UK, but I never really looked for them so I can’t say for sure.

So there you go – mine are super fast and look fluffy and the others take a bit longer but look just like Primas.

I may have to have a play with the sewn version today if I get the time.