Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I was introduced to Clover's smocking stickers by "Purse Patterns..." You buy a set of two stickers for 8 dollars, and they are not reusable. You use it and throw it and create a lot of garbage. There's backing paper, film, packing material and the stickers, which you throw away as you smock... Because of this I'm not too fond of Clover right now...

I started watching the video they have on their site... The video starts with soft woman's voice telling us that:
"Smocking is a type of embroidery that creates a delicate and fancy finish. It has been a popular embroidery technique among many people since the early days."
Can you be any more vague?

This technique is the people's technique, used mostly in working clothes and folk costumes. Hence the name - smock is a "loose, lightweight overgarment worn to protect the clothing while working". There has been some "high fashion" use to the technique, but it is not "delicate and fancy". Crewel embroidery is not "delicate and fancy", quilts are not "delicate and fancy", folk fibre techniques are not "delicate and fancy" by definition.
Of course, you CAN create delicate and fancy things with this technique (WHICH IS NOT DELICATE AND FANCY!!!) but because of the format of Clover's product, the result will not be delicate even if you tried. (No, you can't create the smocking in the pink picture with this product!)

The more I watch the more I start getting annoyed at the woman's soft voice... I get also annoyed by the fact that she doesn't have polished nails, but nail polish. If you show your fingertips in a tutorial video of this caliber, you get the ridges of your nails polished down.

With this product you can only produce smocking for a limited area, about 10 inches by 10 inches, so if you want to make bigger things, you have to buy more sticker sets... and remember - every set costs $8. 8 dollars you can surely use for something better.

The thing is that smocking isn't difficult. You don't even need to mark anything if you use polka dotted or checkered fabric. You can also choose English smocking and use your sewing machine to smock the fabric, and then embroider over the ridges. THIS IS A WORKING PEOPLE'S TECHNIQUE for crying out loud!

Go here and get inspired to give the REAL smocking a try. You can't do ANY of these with the new Clover tool...

Here's "Symphony for Roses" - a free smocking pattern you can try. Perfect for Valentine's I may add ;-)
Learn to smock - free project - smocked bag

About pleatwork embroidery (more for SCA purposes...) and handouts ;-)


I found a new blog; Moonstitches. Love, love, LOVE her owls! She even has a tutowlrial :-D
Want to make owls to spell all kind of things with... "Happy Birthday!"... yule owls spelling "Joyous Yule"... owls spelling... uh, you know. They are lovely :-)
Or perhaps I could make cats... I'm not much into owls.


Now to what I have done:

I decided to finish my blasted peacock socks. They are almost done, and I would hate to quit...

I have started knitting the Norwegian felted slippers from Craft magazine.
(Here's some more pictures, and here, and here's what made me do it

Boris and Doris have arrived home :-)

Monday, January 28, 2008


Now I have done my Clapotis and my "altered book". It's time to battle the next item on my looooooooooooooooooong list of things to do. Socks.

Among others there's the Pomatomus... I like Cookie's other socks too; Hedera, Baudelaire, Red Herring, Queen of Cups and Monkey. I really wish I had money to buy her non-free patterns as well. :-( Nevertheless, it shouldn't stop me from knitting the free patterns.

BTW Cookie has a site and blog now, with some free patterns - some vintage lace etc.

Do you remember when I tried to design socks? It all crashed on the peacock socks from hell. I still haven't finished them, and when the computer crashed, it ate the part of the pattern that existed... So I'm going to ravel the damned socks and knit Pomatomuses instead.

See you tomorrow :-)

I know now why I have such problems with doing things with no obvious use, doing things just to do things, create for the urge to create... It's because I am poor and have always been poor. Wasting materials to make something that can't be used is a sin. Wasting your time to do things that can't be used is a sin. Wasting your skills to such garbage is a sin.

Also, it explains why I'm such a yarn snob. Natural fibers give more value to the money. Wool will keep you warm, even if it's itchy. The softest and cuddliest acrylic doesn't keep you warm. Also, wool will keep you warm even when it's wet. Acrylic doesn't. You can wash cotton without needing to care much about how you do it, but with synthethic fibers you need to be careful. Doing things of synthethic fibers is waste of time and skills, therefore a sin. It doesn't matter that they have come a long way since 80's with the synthethic fibers. My mind is still back there, when acrylic was clearly plastic and wasting is sin when you are poor...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Knitting scouts

I found this: Cast On; Knitting Scouts

I am a passionate badge collector. If I had been a scout, I would have collected all the available badges and probably deserved several non-available, even non-existing badges...

I am not especially fond of alcohol, but I'm not against it.

I don't think there are "right ways of doing things" in many areas, if any.

I think I am presenting knitters (at least one of them - me) in accurate light with my blog - if it is positive, that's a whole new can of worms... I think it's positive :-D I also knit in public and I knit well :-D

I think I have honestly deserved:

1) The MacGyver badges of first and second degree:

I have used skewers as both double pointed sock needles and long needles - I didn't have any needles and I desperately wanted to knit, so I took what we had and used them.
I have used pens as needles and toothpicks as help needles (and as stitch markers too).
I have also used safety pins, paper clips and earrings as stitch markers.
So I think I deserve the badge of 1st degree - using tools not made specificly for knitting for knitting.

I constantly use knitting needles as glue sticks, pokers to see if a cake is done and for other such uses. I use them as paper craft tools. Very good for poking holes into paper and... what's-it's-called... don't know. Don't care right now either.
I also use them as hair pins and currently we are using one dpn as "lock" for our bottle/can storage bag.
Yarn, especially cotton yarn, is used all the time in stead of household twine, so that I don't even count as worthy badge II.

So far I haven't saved the world or someone's life with my knitting tools, so badge III has to wait ROTFLMAO

2) The math badges I and II:
Because I have no problems with math, and I have to say, I have used higher maths in my designs *blush* Yes, I used Fibonacci sequences in my Yule stockings... *blush*


3) The unnecessary, impractical, useless, weird thingies badge :-D:
Because of the shells bookmark... IN THEORY it is usable as a bookmark, but it's so hideous and huge I doubt any healthy person would do so...


I think I look kind of dorky in photos, but... it's not easy to take a photo of yourself LOL
Anyway, evidence of that I have actually done Clapotis scarf and cap and I dare to wear the product of my own hands outside :-) And the day was amazing! Look at the sky! It is seldom this blue!

And then the "altered book" project. I can't alter a book. I can't even go and buy a book with the intention to alter it, and then alter it... So I'm really happy I can actually bind books.
This is not "professional" work, I just glued it together. But that was a HUGE step for me - usually I don't "just" anything. To my surprise I'm quite pleased with my work :-D
If you want to see the pages closer, go to my Flickr account. Here's a link to the cover.

I regret putting the stamps in the last three pages... It would have been better without. (Not that it's bad now either, but...) So next time I'm going to take photos of it while doing and look at the pages in this size and all side by side - one can see the whole much better :-)
I think I'm going to change some things too, after a couple of weeks without looking at this every day. I can take out the stamps and replace them with something, or paint on them.
I can also sand down some details and redo them :-D That's wonderful with altered books LOL It's quite ok to do ;-)

This is unusual for me also in that I have used a lot more colors than usually.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I've been a good girl :-D

Clapotis scarf is done and the cap is half-done, and the book is getting there...

You want proof? Huh? Huh? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE... er... Hehe *blush*

Here it is:
I'm a bit disappointed of that Clapotis lost the fluffiness at blocking... I hope it will get it back in use.
It's rather dull, actually. But but... I'm going to have a scarf and hat I can put on quickly and that will make me a little bit happier when I go out with the dog.

And here's the book. I don't know if I'm going to work much more with the cover. I wanted a book with a peep-hole in it. I wanted peep-holes within the book too, but that's not going to happen. There will be the title too, of course. It looks a bit bare right now.

Then I took a picture of the innards as tgey are now. I need to add the text and then some more things, as it looks rather empty right now... I'm really not good with collages and altered books and artist trading cards and stuff... I wish I were, but I'm not. I suppose I'm too scared to fill the pages, and it just doesn't work that way. Good exercise for me, this is.

Then there's the thing that I need a whole kitchen table for this project, and when I'm done for the day, there's glue, paint, chalk dust and paper scraps all over the kitchen, my art tools are all over the place and I'm blue up to elbows. And my eczema gets lovely rough and red and itchy... (I'm "allergic" to water - my hands dry up really quickly and I get eczema... Reason why I can't work as an artesan or baker. :-()


But, I'm done my "hour of work" so I get to surf :-D
Here's a couple of "new" sites I recently found:
Vintage Purls with free vintage patterns
and Karens Variety free newsletter patterns
V&A had some 40's patterns
Sophia has also some vintage patterns and
Severina has Vintage Stitch-O-Rama

and an article about knitting vintage patterns at

Friday, January 25, 2008

And I thought it would be a calm day...

My hubby probably stepped a little harder on dog's paw that he thought he did... or then he hurt his paw while walking with me. Anyway, the dog was whining and walking on three legs. We had to take him to vet to see if there was something seriously wrong with the paw. Our ordinary vet didn't have any times, so they adviced we'd call for the big animal hospitals with ER. The problem is that while a normal vet fee is about 300 cronas, emergency visit is 1600... and we are poor. We called about every vet we could find in the telephone catalogue - as this happened about 11 A.M. No-one has time for us... finally we found an elderly gentleman who's keeping a vet's office in his home and apparently helps people only every now and then. He could take us in, and when we got there, the dog was a bit careful with the paw, but didn't whine much and the vet couldn't find anything wrong with the paw. 700 cronas poorer (we took taxi, so that the dog wouldn't need to walk...) we are home and the dog seems to get better and better... My husband said "700 cronas for nothing" and I corrected him "700 cronas for peace of mind, darling." He was ready to put the dog down, because we are bad dog owners, because we can't afford to take him to vet if something like this happens and it's serious... We planned on having some money put away for vet fees in case of serious accidents, but somehow we haven't managed to put away any money... Now we have decided to do so before we get hubby new glasses (desperately needed), me a visit at dentist's (not as desperately needed, but still needed) and a washing machine (desperately needed too...)

And I thought it would be a calm day of surfing and collecting ideas and getting inspired... HA!

Nevertheless, join Sokker 2008 - not "officially", as the sock-a-long is full, but you can follow at the sidelines :-) They are very generous with sharing the links to patterns and so :-)
(Here's "stitch 2008" a new embroidery picture for every month.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One more day...

It's actually fun to see how the projects grow!

Couple of more decimeters of scarf, the book has got covers and I have started putting pictures in the book. I have also collected some colored paper and pictures from magazines and some yarn, threads and fabric to be used in decorating the book :-)

Looking good :-)

Now I have had my boobs pushed and pulled and pressed and it's not fun! But it's done :-) I was the only person under 40 in the waiting room... in fact, I was the only person under 60. I hope they don't call me again when I'm 40... That's only a year and half away.

Here's a place with links ;-) So that I don't need to do it :-D

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day 2

I'm rather proud of myself... not only did I knit half a meter of Clapotis and colored the book, I was working 2 1/2 hours with ceramics; glazed my two dogs and made a new tea cup for my hubby. :-)
Pictures will follow.

I have wanted my own Gog and Magog - that's pair of Staffordshire Spaniels - since I read about them in one of the Anne of Green Gables books. Now we even have our own real-life Springer Spaniel!
So I made myself a pair LOL Just wait and see :-)

Tomorrow I'm going to have a mammography and I don't like it at all... *sigh* The pulling-and-squishing of breasts is ok, I mean, has to be endured, and I rather take that than gynecological examination, but the nearest hospital with equipment and know-how to do mammography is an hour away, and I need to take two busses and one train to get there... THAT I do not like one bit. Also, it's so early in the morning that the buses and trains are going to be full with people so it's unlikely I'm going to be able to knit. :-(

I started a new blog. "Nordic Craft Blogs". It's supposed to be like Craftzine blog ;-) I just have to find the creative Nordic people with blogs... ;-)

BTW; I have found two uses for the fused plastic bag fabric... Apron for ceramics and "pimp my cupboard" material... I don't know how it is yet, but if it is as I think it is, it will be perfect bags for recycling things and perfect material to cover the "floor" with :-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Catch of the day :-)

I started my Clapotis - it's going to be a long scarf, not a shawl-like scarf, as the original. It's also going to be of single color. I don't have any variegated yarn, and as I have a "room" (walk-in closet) full of yarn, I want to use that first before I buy any new yarn.
I'm going to crochet some flowers and leaves to decorate it further :-)

I also made the album for my "altered book". It's not strictly speaking an altered book, as there's no "real" book which is going to be altered.
It's a maze book made of a shopping bag. I think all the wrinkles and ripped edges are going to be just fine for the mermaid theme.
I glued it yesterday and it has been drying under weight all night. Now I'm going to do the next step :-)

I also took the next step (and a couple more) on some other projects from my Blog - from wishful dreams to real deal:

Subversive "Happy Bunny" pillows are on paper - I know which bunnies to make, how to make them and how the finished pillows are going to look like :-)
Clapotis scarf is going to get company with the Clapotis cap.
I also printed out the pattern to "Maiden's Glory".
I have sketched some primitive kitty angels.
I have drawn down the cutting plan for paper pieced cat quilt.

Now I'll go and do it :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Journaling my blog...


I started... went through December to July and noticed that the more I write in my blog the less I do... As if the fact that the idea is on paper is enough... Knowing that the link to a pattern is in blog so that I can go there when ever I want means that I never go there.

Noticed that I have a fear of doing useless things... and that's sick.
I'm an artist, I feel great when slapping color on paper, even when a little kid I loved to make art... just admire a line, a color, the combinations of lines and colors...
I went to art therapy for a year, and remembered how much I like to make art. Guess how much art I do? I have painted one (1) picture this year.
If you look at the pictures and other things in my blog, you'll notice I appreciate creative people, people who create because they have an urge to create...
I have participated in NaNoWriMo for three years in a row now and haven't managed to write more than a couple of thousand words! Me! Me who sat down on Finnish lesson and started writing, and had to go and ask more paper, because the four pages we were given weren't enough...
I'm an artist who doesn't make art, a writer who doesn't write, a crafter who doesn't create. So what am I? Terrified little mouse watching my gifts trickle away... dying to do things but afraid to death to create something with no other purpose but to exist. "We have enough junk already".

So now I'm going to do something every day. Sit down for an hour and do something concrete and real before writing another word in this blog.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Two weeks to Imbolc

Make some snowflakes to decorate the rooms
How About Orange has a very nice 3D snowflake
These ornaments would do nicely with them...
Then there are the famous toilet tissue roll snowflake ornaments. ;-)
Of course some quilling :-)

Paper snowflake chandelier
Well... I made long strings of different paper snowflakes - it really was more like Apartment Therapy's snowflake garland but the point is not to make it look posh and professional and tidy, but to do it.
Here's a bit more inspiration on what to do with paper snowflakes

Here's a snowflake banner, not made of paper but felt. It would look nice to make banners like this, with different words on it and just plain snowflakes... and hang them on the ceiling with paper lanterns and stuff... *hmm* And you can hang yarn angels there too...

Make a chibi yeti too :-D Really cute and fits Imbolc theme :-)

You can make a white paper tree forest, and decorate the trees with heart shaped christmas ornaments... and about anything that makes you think of "Winter Wonderland" and Valentine's day.
(You can also use the tree templates from Little Hut)
You could make a forest of snow... well... not necessarily globes, but snow jars and bottles. :-)
snow globe 1 - snow globe 2 - snow globe 3 - snow globe 4 - snow globe 5 - snow globe 6 - snow globe video
You could use votive candle holders, goldfish bowls, glasses with broken foot and DIY glass ball ornaments.
Don't forget to decorate the "foot" too.

And if you don't want to make snow shakers, you can just fill pretty jars with fake snow and thingies, that will look nice too :-)

Or make hanging ornaments like these

Lovely Valentine's "paper toys" - boxes, cards, ornaments...


BTW, Ever wondered what to do with old plastic bags?

Ideas from Craftzine
for example:
- you can cut them into strips and use as yarn - crochet a new bag, knit a rug, what ever
- you can fuse them together into thicker "fabric", you can make into shopping bag, raincoat or what ever. (There's at least one person who salvaged plastic bags from garbage and made herself a pretty nice raincoat...)

Here's 10 smart uses for old plastic bags

ADDED 4/2-08

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Party glasses

Chiasso offered this set of shot glasses, shaker and tray. It's no longer available, unfortunately... but the idea is simple: metal sheet as a tray, magnets on the bottom of glasses and shaker, and you get glasses that won't fall from the tray.

I don't drink shots, and we don't have parties where such a thing would be needed... but we do have family gatherings where champagne is served... and I think this might be a good idea for such.

You go and find plastic glasses. They are now-a-days so much better quality than 20 years ago! Come in several lovely colors.
You cut off their legs and make a new one of polymer clay that hardens by boiling.
Make a place for the magnet and when the clay is hardened, glue on the magnet.
Get a metal tray. Now you have your own handmade and self-designed tipsy serving set :-)

The best thing with this is - I think - that all the glasses will be different and you can have as many as you need! My family would need about 20 (as you remember from the Yule stockings ;-)) and a couple more for cousins :-)

Now, have I stolen someone's patented idea? If so, let them contact me and I will change this entry. And murmur and complain to everyone about the pettiness of some people. Might perhaps leave the magnets out of my glasses, after all, that's not the idea I am having. I'm talking about making individual and unique party glasses out of plastic glasses and clay.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Walkabout in the internet land

I was surfing Etsy and looking at Elsita's very nice prints... A4 size for $20... very affordable too, I think... She prints them in her home... I have always thought professional printers are WAY TOO expensive and advanced for "commoners", but I checked it out, and it's actually possible.

Now, my husband is an artist, and I'm naturally very proud of him. It would mean a lot to him to be able to print his digital art and get a "hard copy" of it.

I also visited Elsita's blog and she told about a lovely shop called "Purl", which has a net shop - shipping internationally! Oh, the fabrics! Oh, the yarns! Oh, oh, OH!!! Unfortunately, it's just another place just to drool behind the window, they accept only credit cards...
Their blog/journal is interesting and quite available even for me :-D

I think I'm going to make some Calla coasters, just for the fun of it... Could be a nice idea for Christmas presents... ;-)
Purl-critters are very nice too :-)

From Purl Bee I found 2nd floor and there another Christmas idea... not only for Christmas though... would work as bag for dog's leashes and things, Henric's kippahs, recycle bottles and cans and... imagine this: as a shopping bag! LOL "No more plastic bag, thank you"
(and from there I went to Lula Louise (nice tutorials and patterns... Nice blog otherwise as well) and she has also an entry on market bags... and from there I went back to Purl Bee and Elisa Nest Tote LOL
Merry go round the mulberry bush, huh?)

Nevertheless, from 2nd Floor I found my way to iHanna's blog ('Ihana' is lovely in Finnish... I wonder if Hanna knows this when she chose her blogging name... Could be... she's Swedish.)
You see, 2nd Floor had got from iHanna a link to a site where you can write things with biscuit letters...
Just my luck, the site is currently down... perhaps for all eternity :-( I wanted to add that link to my scrapbooking blog, because the biscuit letters are really cute :-)

Anyway, I found something else though... Hanna's blog is very nice in all, but she gave a link to Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press Street Team Crusades... and n:o 16 is "Journal Your Blog"...
Now, a "street team" is apparently blogging designers working at same projects (called crusades) and sharing the results. The crusades are "prompts to challenge you to make cool stuff" as Michelle puts it, and indeed the stuff is cool :-)

Don't forget to visit the participating blogs. I noticed that most of the people who joined Green Pepper Press Street Team are interesting people with interesting and inspiring blogs. :-)

There was Ma Vie En Rose and she in turn gives me this... absolutely... fabulous woman. Suzi Blu... Is she for real? I mean... I thought *I* was excentric! (She reminds me of one of my friends, Mirjam...) Really worth watching all those videos. She's really something extra :-) And think about it... she isn't perfect, she isn't even especially good... but she is burning and she is creating and she is amazing!
If she can do it, why not you?
If Christy Brown could do it, why not you?
If Helen Keller could do it, why not you?
(Not that Suzi Blu is in any way as extreme example as Christy or Helen)

We use so much time in saying things like "I can't draw", "I can't draw well enough", "I don't have time", "I don't have materials", "I can't do anything special and beautiful and perfect", I can't, I don't, I shouldn't...
There's a Swedish word "idas" - it translates to "won't be bothered", "not to feel like", "don't care to do"...
There's a Finnish word "kehdata" - it translates to "dare", "venture", "have the nerve", "not be ashamed", "not be embarrassed", "feel like doing", "be able to bring oneself to do"
So there's a lot of things we don't do because we don't "ids" or we don't "kehti"... we feel ashamed of doing a lot of things we would like to do, won't take the time and energy needed to actually accomplish something, don't think it's worth doing. And it's such a shame! How much beauty and ideas we have lost because of "idas" and "kehdata"!

The important thing is this; To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become
- Charles Dubois

There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.
- C.S.Lewis

If peace be in the heart the wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty.
~ C.F. Richardson ~

Greatness is measured by your gifts, not your possessions.

Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.
-- Roy Goodman

The things that count the most cannot be counted.

Now, go and create!

Sweet Tart Apron

I was going through my 101 links and at "Tie One On" I was lead to Cookie Jar's Etsy shop and "Sweet Tart Aprons"...
I just HAVE to have one of these! WOW! And I don't even need to disguise I can't bake LOL Because I can ;-) Cleaning would certainly be more fun with one of those :-)

(And with flylady's baby steps...)

Then I just have to have a pair of skull stockings... Ulla Neule had nice stockings too, not as amazing as skull stockings, but both better than Very Talls... which aren't bad either. *sigh* Then there's Lolita Legs...

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I promised to post the picture of all 18... The picture is so wide, Blogger makes it too small to be seen...

So here are the socks in two pictures:

This is where I got a lot of patterns:
Some patterns I found here:
A wonderful source was a knitting book I am borrowing from my sister, I don't remember what it's called, but it's Finnish... I think it's "Perinneneuleita" (Traditional knits).

Then I have hunted down one pattern here, and another there, invented some new and put together some to get more...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

brag book, boasting book

"So, just what is a brag book? Well, it’s a record of accomplishment in your life."

How to make a container brag book
CraftTVWeekly maze book

Brag book was originally a sort of an illustrated resume to help you in job search... but the thing is that we are so bashed by jante law, that it would be a good idea to brag a little about who you are - with no other intention than to acknowledge your own good sides, embrace the unique good things of being you :-)

Boasting book is a photo album parents and grand-parents show about a new baby, but the same thing here. YOU were just as much a miracle when you were born, and the fact that you have survived this far is yet another miracle... so what about boasting a little about you yourself.

Really, if you feel too self-conscious about showing other people that you actually LIKE yourself, you don't need to. But you NEED to show to yourself that you ARE a person to like, to brag and boast about.

Basic ideas on scrapbooking

Some of the secrets of successful scrapbooking:

* keep the colors limited.
- Choose the colors from the photos.
- Use only 1-2 colors and play with different shades, lightness, darkness etc.
- Use "premade paper selections" with different patterns but same colors.

* don't forget the text
- journaling, explaining what happens in the picture, fooling around etc. is The Thing with scrapbooking albums. It doesn't need to be advanced or fancy, just write down some thoughts of yours, explain wheres, whens and whos, because you WILL forget.
- Use song lyrics, quotes, poems

* don't pack the page with photos.
- Use only one or two on page, preferably only three on a two page layout.
- Photo collage block and photo mosaic block is "one picture"
- Photos with the same subject slightly variated counts as "one picture" as well.

* Remember that the nicest composition is the triangle and that everything must follow the Golden Section rule to look nice.

* Use the embellishments sparingly and wisely.
- In one of my mother's "how to look the best you can" books (from 50's or 60's) there was a "point calculating table". You get a style point of every detail of your clothing and the amount of points should never pass 12 if you are to be stylish. The same rules actually fit for scrapbooking. Your page should have 10-15 points to look good. Less points and it looks poor, more and it looks messy.

You get one point for
- each color
- each different paper used
- each photo
- each lettering
- each individual embellishment element (So if you use buttons, you don't count each button but all the buttons as one embellishment)

Let use this page "Fall Fun" as an example:

Colors: 2 (green and rust)
Photos: 2
Different papers: 7 (the raffia is counted as one paper)
Elements of design:
- inserted strips
- 3-D frame
- strips/rosettes of raffia & paper
- leaf
- 2 different letterings (the different letterings in "fall" are counted as one, as it is bound together with color and background paper)
- text strip
- journal box
- wavy shape in the bottom of the paper
- green paper strip at the bottom of the paper
- green paper topper on the other picture
- brads on the topper
- paperflower
- buttons
25 points

At first sight the page looks nice, but it would look nicer if the elements were fewer...
For example:
- use only 3-4 papers instead of 7
- skip the raffia and paper strip rosettes
- use only paper flowers OR leaves, not both
- use only one sort of lettering, either the "fall" sort or the fuzzy "fun" sort.
- loose the brads
- use only one sort of framing - either the topper idea or the 3-D frame
- loose the text strip
- use the inserted strips idea on the bottom of the page too

and now we are on 15 points. The page will look less busy and better.

BTW Mackey, the creatrix of this page, creates beautiful pages. (Even this one is beautiful)
Take a look at her gallery :-)


Here's a couple of sources of inspiration:
Scrapbook Dreamer's
- Lisa Spring
Scrapbooking at (not too nice layouts, but good ideas...)
HGTV: Scrapbooking
diy scrapbooking with Sandi Genovese
"Better Homes and Gardens" Scrapbooks etc.

-The Scrapbook Pool
- Scrapbookin Maniacs
- All the Cool Kids Scrapbook!
- Scrapbooking Português!

A Flickr artist "Luv2scrapmilestones" is amazing... Her layouts are a little wild, but pure art! So inspiring!
Cacau Ferrera is also quite nice :-)

Amy Solovay'
s LOs (Lay-outs) are quite nice too :-)


More nice pages for ideas added 14/1-08

Ella Eliisa's gallery
Scrapbooking maniac!
Tara Anderson's scrapbooking and art journaling gallery
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Valentine's day scrapbook layout 2

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Project 365+1

2008 is a leap year. I haven't realized it before now. I love leap years :-D

There's several 'project 365's around. The idea is to take a picture every day. Some projects have themes, some have weekly themes, etc.

I would like to create a scrapbook layout for every day... or an art journal page, or something like that... fasten the day on a paper...

I know it's already day 15 - or has been for an hour here in Sweden. But knowing me, there won't be 365 pictures anyway. More like 30 or something :-D

P.S. Here's a little gift...
I have a hobby - to make backgrounds for my homesite pages... My computer crashed and took with it dozens of backgrounds. I don't want that to happen ever again, so I'm sharing my backgrounds. These are seamless tiles, and work well as papers for digital scrapbooking as well.

Patenting techniques

I'm really upset right now... Arts and Crafts Law gave me a really horrifying New Year's present...

Some people actually go and take a patent on ARTS/CRAFTS TECHNIQUES!!!

I doubt there's one genuinely new technique within crafts. Someone somewhere has already done everything there is to be done. Crafting people are creative people, and there's no such thing as "let's do as it has always been done". Sooner or later the creative people takes ordinary tools and use them in a fashion they weren't meant to be used.

I have used basically everything I find around me to put paint on paper. From paintbrushes to old rags, to my own hair and fingers, from pine twig to paper scraps, from anything with bristles to anything pointy...
I have tried using anything with any form as stamps, from actual rubber stamps to coins and tins.
I have tried using anything one can paint on as my "canvas".
I have tried using anything with any color as my "paint". Even flower petals and dirt.
I doubt there is a technique that is genuinely new and untried in the world - if not by me, then by someone else, and I'm 100% sure we are not just one or two. We are hundreds.

Now, if hundreds of people have used the technique, how could one of them even THINK of claiming it as her own?

I think it's egotistical, greedy and arrogant - egotistical to rob the technique from all the others in the world, greedy to take something like that and try to make money out of it, arrogant to believe one is so unique and intelligent one can invent a whole new technique the world hasn't seen before. Simply disgusting! I find those people so petty, small-minded, quibbly, nasty...

Be real now... ordinary painting - transfering oil paint from a tube one can buy from any store on a totally ordinary canvas - is what can be called common/public domain technique. You can't find two people who paint the same original artwork. Why would ANY technique be any different? Your artwork is not HOW you do it but WHAT you do. Your uniqueness, your artistry, your genius lies in the works, not in your techniques!

Now people are afraid to TEACH crafts because they don't know which techniques are "public domain" and which not. People are afraid to CREATE ART because they can't ever be sure if there's some greedy bastard somewhere who's going to demand the artwork be destroyed because one used that bastards "patented technique". Or patented knitting stitch, patented sequence of beads, patented color combination, patented forms, patented... AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHHH!!!

This really makes me mad! Mad, hurt and upset.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Japanese scrubbers

There's a Japanese craft book series I absolutely love! "Magic Scrubbies". As far as I know they are at number 8. Each book comes with easily crocheted scrubbies for every possible household need. (Part 2 has pattern for 150 different scrubbies, washcloths, sponge covers and what ever...)

Here's some copies to give you the idea...

Part 7 is especially for kids - you crochet different animals and toys that are actually scrubbers, so your daughter will learn to love to clean already at the age of three :-)

You can't deny the joy of cleaning radiating from these women! First they crocheted the cute happy colored scrubbies and then off they were scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing - bathtubs, windows, mirrors, kitchen, even cars! And when that is done, they can scrub the floors! All this is obviously the best fun the ladies know, and see how spotless everything is. They are scrubbing even when everything is so spotless and dustfree as can be, that is how much they love to scrub with these colorful, fun scrubbers! Magic...
You see what I mean?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Fuse beads

I found this article in a Swedish newspaper, "what to do the week before Christmas when you're young in Stockholm". They had found three different workshops where young people could do some crafts. The picture is from "Lava" - a workshop for 13-25 years old people where you can for example bind a book, print a t-shirt, make pins, soap and all kind of things like that.
I love the picture. It is ornaments teenagers have made with fuse beads - you know, those plastic tube beads, that are put on a peg board to make images, and then fused together with an iron.

Here's a blog entry about a young man's adventures with fuse beads and computer game characters
(I think they are called bead sprites...)

and here's a little more sober ideas for Christmas ornaments

Here's some fuse bead designs, like photo frames and such...
Visit for more this kind of projects

I don't know what the original purpose of these is... They might be cross stitch mobile phone charms, but... I think that's way too much work for something like that... so I don't know what they are. Anyway, could be used to make fuse bead things. These are cross stitch ornaments, and can just as well be used to make fuse bead ornaments.

P.S. There's now see-through peg boards one can click together into a larger board... so that you can make photos with plastic beads... I don't get the idea of that... (Though these two look very nice... from afar...)
(Here's some free photo-patterns from Swedish nabbi pearls... Could someone please tell me what's the point? They are way too difficult for kids to make and in my opinion waste of time for anyone else... )