R.I.P Eliza

Eliza Harms passed away at her home on Wednesday, 8th July 2015, age 51 years.  Sleep peacefully sweetheart.

I never thought my first post after sorting my blog issues would be to share such awful news, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tried to write this post,  sitting here with my fingers on the keyboard, wondering what to say.  It’s difficult to believe Eliza is gone, but her absence is all too obvious.

Eliza and I spent Wednesday together, we had a fun day planned, some girlie time, a manicure, spot of shopping and of course, lunch. We returned to her house and tucked ourselves away in her craft room. Myrene hugged us goodbye then set off  to the movies with friends.

As usual we laughed, talked and created.  Little did I know it would be the last day any of us would be able to spend with our dear Eliza. As you can imagine the family is in shock, they have suffered a great loss. Their world has been turned upside down and there’s nothing anyone can do or say that will erase the pain. Eliza was everything to them, she was the heart… her family and friends were her life,  she was loving, caring and giving, generous to a fault yet never expected anything in return. She was courageous and strong and so much more…. I doubt there will ever be another like her.

My heart aches for Ross, Myrene & Michael, especially her dad Ray, after burying his son several weeks ago,  now his only daughter will be laid to rest, too much to bear….. My Bestie’s  room echoes now, the emptiness grabs you when you walk by …. In time this will change, Myrene wants me to teach her how to use all those wonderful supplies when she is able to cope. Eliza would expect nothing less.

My apologies to be the bearer of sad news. My bestie is gone…. now I’m broken.



PS If anyone wishes to leave a message for the family, I will print them out and pass them on.

Tips & Tricks

Edge to Edge Taping

In all the projects I make, edge to edge taping is essential. But I find cutting tape with a craft knife or scissors can be a recipe for disaster, one slip and you can kiss that beautiful straight edge goodbye.

Solution: In my little bundle of essential tools lives a triangle..not only good for drawing but perfect for getting that edge to edge tape coverage without potential disasters.

1. Apply tape to your project, stopping just short of the edge.

2. Use the triangle to smooth tape and line up with the edge.

3. Apply pressure to the triangle and tear the tape up with your other hand using the triangle as a guide.

The result is perfect edge to edge tape every time.

Note: I’ve also achieved the same result using an old library/credit card

WOYWW 250 Marker and Inkpad Storage

I know you won’t believe this, but Eliza and I had a storage problem to solve….funny….says one suffering from containeritis, who caught it from none other than you know who…..I know it’s a sickness…lol    Bestie suggested desktop drawers…remove the drawers and there’s storage for my markers and her ink pads….Where does one buy such drawers one might ask, where else?  Ikea….of course.

 Ikea here we come…fun fabulous day, Bestie, DD and I…after our riotous antics in the cafe, lots of very loud laughter…..and rude people staring….really, we are totally sane….in our minds anyway….lol  Got to the checkout, oh boy! Bit of a shock, as usual I bought more than necessary….my reasoning, never do anything in half measures and if you’re going to go to Ikea be prepared to spend.  Of course, I couldn’t wait to get started, runaway markers was no longer an option, that night I made my marker storage, it turned out great but no doubt I will find myself making adjustments here and there….always room for improvement.

Play day arrived, having planned everything the day before,  convincing ourselves we were going to try a new technique. Things are never simple where I’m concerned, seeing flaws in the ink pad storage plan. I didn’t want to sort through ink pads stacked 6 high…. sleeves had to be made to house the pads…Perfectly sized of course….bugger OCD.

After a lot of calculations, cutting, taping etc., it was finished. Thank goodness. The only thing missing was a conveyor belt and I can’t whistle. So we settled for laughter instead. We spent the entire day on these units, I’m happy with the result , don’t know how
long it’ll stay like this, but it works for me…at the moment. Hop to Eliza’s desk to see her unit….I wonder if she has enough storage….ROFL.. We are contented little puppies…for how long? Wait a minute….

Happy WOYWW everybody, pop over to Julia’s, say hi and take a peek at lots of desks….  Hope you all have a fabulous week and thanks for popping in..


WOYWW 248 Another Stamp Cleaner

It’s time to join in the fun, hop over to see Julia at the Stamping Ground, you will get to snoop around some crafty desks…

My desk is a little messy, but in saying that I’ve got a few things on the go… Just finished making another cleaning brew, this one works well with Staz On ink…. And is doesn’t contain alcohol of any sort… Tried the isopropyl alcohol, hmmm! Not good, dries my skin out too much… and no I didn’t spray it on my hands…. lol

So I decided to play around with another mix I found on the net, made a few adjustments and it worked…. Sorry about the Christmas stamp, it was the first one I grabbed, as you can see the stamp is quite clean…. Now further testing and mixing is required because I’m not happy with the archival ink test….that’s a stubborn little bugger…. It cleans off OK, but leaves a ghosting which is not satisfactory for someone with OCD…..LOL.

Thought it was time to make storage for my markers, you never know it may help me find the colour I want… Also making a colour swatch thingamy jig for Eliza…she saw what I made for myself ..what can I say… Frick and Frack……. Coooeeee!  Bestie where are you?

Hope you all have a great week and happy WOYWW

WOYWW 247 – ScanNCut & Craft Show

Happy WOYWW everyone. Join in the fun, pay our hostess Julia a

visit at the Stamping Ground.  For those who are interested, I posted the recipes for Ink Refresher and the Stamp Cleaner, the original recipes are not of my creation, although I did make an adjustment to both to suit my preferences.  Where possible I will credit the creator. I’ve also created a page TIPS & TRICKS which will be home for anything that saves a crafter a few cents here and there.

Last Friday, I attended the craft show in Melbourne with Eliza and her DD….what can I say….We put our lives at risk. I was pushed and shoved from one end of the venue to the other…The place was swarming with rude, aggressive, ill mannered, rude, tenacious…did I say rude…. I was kicking myself for not wearing a helmet and steel capped boots…. God bless them, I love the elderly, I’m nearly one of them….lol… but boy! Can they push and shove? Strong little buggers. There were a few moments when our blood boiled, I managed to keep my temper in check…just ..at one stage I was ready to ready to do my Mike Tyson impersonation and step on some granny wielding a wheelchair….yes, I kid you not, a wheelchair….nudging at our ankles….silly old biddy…
Anyway, we survived….with a few bits and pieces. Overall, I was disappointed, nothing new except for the ScanNCut, but again even that fell short of my expectations in the way of demonstrations. Prices generally were high, although we did manage to pick up a few dies for $6 and 2 very nice books. Generally the stall holders with the exception of a few took full advantage of the customers and their willingness to part with their cash.
Well that’s my news, hope everyone has a great week and happy crafting.I’ve been playing with
the ScanNCut…. fantastic machine, it has a learning curve but overall it’s great. I’ve managed to cut out stamped images successfully, create shapes, etc., there’s a fair bit to master, but with patience and attention the results are very impressive. I made a desk plaque, could be better but it’s my first attempt at using the machine. The shapes and letters were all cut out on the Scan n Cut, glued them on, added a little colour and shading, some brads……..after the photo….oops! Bob’s your uncle.


DIY Ink Refresher

1/2 cup (125ml) distilled water
3/4 tbsp glycerin

Mix water and glycerin, pour into spray bottle. Shake before use.

Note: Do not use demineralised water, it’s not the same and bacteria will form.

I have not used this mix on my ink pads, do so at your own risk.

I used these measurements for my refresher to make faux leather, the next mix I intend to cut the glycerin down a little. This mix works very well, the bonus is very soft hands.

DIY Stamp Cleaner

This cleaner works very well with most inks.
You will still need a commercially produced cleaner for Staz On, unless I can find a solution for a homemade cleaner.

1 cup (250ml) distilled water
1 3/4  tbsp Glycerin
small squirt of Johnson’s baby shampoo
spray bottle

I used a jug for mixing, didn’t have to clean a funnel… Mix all ingredients together, pour into spray bottle. Light shake before using.

I spray onto stamp and use scrub mat. Dry off stamp with paper towel. If any soap suds occur, I stamp onto a damp cloth then dry with paper towel.

Note: Do not use demineralised water, it’s not the same as distilled water and
          bacteria will form in your mix.

          Do not leave soap suds on your rubber stamps.

          The original recipe was from You Tube. I adjusted the amount of glycerin
           and baby shampoo in the mixture to suit my preferences.
          Original creator unknown at this stage.

I’m not aware of any issues or problems this cleaner may cause with long term use to your health or your stamps. Use at your risk.

WOYWW 246 – New Goodies & Cards

This has been an especially busy week for me, but I might add, quite productive…So excuse while I pat myself the back…..I managed to get a play day in with Eliza… As usual we got up to all sorts of mischief…and then some. I missed my bestie so we made up for lost time, producing cards, faux leather (made with my homemade ink refresher) and a tag or two. Unfortunately, Eliza has all the photo’s on her camera, check out her blog for these. If she gets time to put them up.
Note to Self: Take your camera everywhere….

I made 3 flower pot cards out of left over papers, never made them before, so I was amazed they turned out, I mean they are OK, nothing to write home about… but face it folks, better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick….

Plus I have a few goodies, I don’t normally by paper packs but could not resist the new DoCrafts packs…. there’s a Martha Stewart punch. Couture Creations quick release die paper…. Then of course you are all wondering what’s in the green box….aren’t you? 

That my crafty friends is the brand spanking new Brother ScanNCut machine. It’s amazing.  I can use my own artwork or stamp an image, scan it  then cut it out. It will resize, add a border….fab machine.  I loathe fussy cutting with a passion…. this does it all…..Check it out on Youtube. But only after you participate in the WOYWW blog hop, pop over to see Julia at the Stamping Ground.. Say hi and snoop the desks.

Hope you all have a great week and happy WOYWW.

WOYWW 245 – Stamp Mounting Conundrum

Expensive pet mat

Apologies for the late post, had a few gremlins in my camera as well as my computer. But I made it and can’t wait to visit our hostess Julia at the Stamping Ground, home of the best blog hop ever..

I’ve been trying to work out a cost effective way of mounting rubber stamps without using EZ Mount foam which I avoid like the plague…. The product is fantastic for others, just not for me. I don’t like the feel of it and my purse doesn’t like the cost of it…. As usual the brain went into overdrive…. I found a solution that works for me.

cut around stamps with stanley knife

I was not off to a good start though..I nearly lost the plot at the local art supply store when I spoke to this young shop assistant… Well, talk about Pippy Longstocking with an attitude. The little upstart proceeded to lecture me about buying Australian….. Well, stand me in the corner and call me Granny. I consider myself very patient and tolerant, but this snip of a girl was standing on a very slippery slope and in dire need of an education in manners and customer service…. it was not pretty, she huffed and puffed, but in the end I blew her house down…. nicely of course! 

Hot knife in action

Ended up locating the ideal item a few days later in our local $2 store….a mat for pet bowls…GF found it tucked away in the corner… I know, shopping again….$2 later..very expensive.

I got to work… Trimmed the rubber then laid the unmounted stamps on my $2 mat, traced around them…. glued down.   I used a liquid glue and double sided tape sheets, both methods worked beautifully….my preference would be the tape sheets, only because no drying time and less mess. Whether or not the bond is permanent is unknown at this stage.

 cut stamps, went around once more with hot knife

The next step, cutting out… this is where my new fun tool came into play…. A tool called Creative Versa-Tool by Walnut Hollow, basically a hot knife. It cut through the dense foam like butter, there was no sticky residue left on the blade…Got to love that and little to no fumes…. I was in creative heaven…. In a matter of minutes, I had cut out 27 stamps…. Honestly, this tool is amazing, it came in a case with several tips, soldering, stencil cutting, wood burning, fabric embossing, etc., etc., etc.

Using a paintbrush, I spread Tombow glue on the back side of the foam…only because I forgot about the On & Off Glue I had….Oops! Once it’s dry, it’s left with enough stickiness to cling to acrylic blocks…same result as On & Off glue.  The best part, mounting these stamps cost me about $3, using EZ Mount would have cost $25-30.

A big thumbs up to Walnut Hollow, congrats on a fabulous tool…can’t wait to try the other tips…next time with Eliza, yes, she has one too… LOL.  I’m a happy little crafter…but I miss my crafting buddy….where are you bestie? Please, please come home..

Hope you all have a great week and Happy WOYWW.

Happy Crafting

WOYWW 243 – Never Enough Catalogues

Acrylic stamp storage

It’s been an extremely productive week, heatwave and all, I was determined to complete the stamp catalogue, of course the majority was with Eliza’s help, she’s a real doll…..5 cd storage boxes later and 175 cd cases, I can now find any acrylic or cling stamp I own at a glance through the catalogue.  I’ve yet to sort unmounted stamps, a slight hiccup with these, I’m working on a way of mounting them without using EZ Mount foam..yes I am crazy, EZ mount is a great product but what can I say….I have a serious aversion to the stuff….lol.

My desk has a few things going on, at last I completed the filing system for my embossing folders, of course filed in alphabetical order by manufacturer & name, then numerical…..one might ask why, my reply as always is ‘…because I can’… I mean why have one catalogue when you can have many,…  

The actual catalogue was made with bookboard, covered in Kraft card stock. The embossing on the cover is the Spellbinders 3D M-Bossabilities  Persian Splendor, I’ll certainly get a lot of use from this one, ideal for my handmade albums. I aged the cover using Metallic Rub On. The pages are embossed using each folder and secured with a book ring… I tried with 2 rings at first but 1 ring works better. 

Hooray! I managed to create this week….can’t believe it… I know my post is a little on the serious side, I have to blame Eliza for that, she decided to leave me and go to work…. A little selfish I thought, fancy choosing work over a crazy day with little ole me!!!!  Hey Girl

It’s time to snoop on the desks on Julia’s blog at the Stamping Ground, where we get to see the happenings on blogs around the world… join us, it’s a lot of fun.

Hope everyone has a great week, thanks for stopping by, please leave a comment.  

Happy Crafting and WOYWW

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Gentleman Crafter

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