It’s 40 degrees in Melbourne today

I’m so pleased I bought this “cool mat” for Fluffystuff.

RSPCA Cool MatI can’t help thinking of my animals friends in Canada at the moment who are suffering temperatures of minus 40 degrees.  I don’t really know what is worse, although I think I would rather be too warm than too cold.


Stay cool.



I created this Sweet little album a few days ago.  The instructions were downloaded from here

Hearts Ease Album 4

You will need to go to the April Archive to find the tutorial for the book, it’s called “Cherry Blossoms Folded Pocket Book” – Cherry Blossoms is the paper Kay has used to make her album.  Any paper would do.  I used “Hearts Ease” 12″ x 12″ Paper Pad from Couture Creations. You will need 6 sheets of 12 x 12 paper to create the album.

I’m so pleased with how it turned out.  Although there are only 5 pages, there are 20 pockets to embellish.


I completed the belly band which holds the book together, You will need a closure as the book has a tendency to splay open.  I think once I have put some embellishments inside, I may need to make a new Belly band as this one will no longer fit.  It might be a good idea to wait until you have finished the embellishing before making the closure.  Alternatively, before putting the inside finish to the cover of the book, you could substitute a ribbon closure instead.  The finished size of the album is 5.25″ x 3.25′ so it is quite a small album.

There is some simple bookbinding (the stitch used is called Pamphlet stitch).  I used a fairly fine black waxed thread which was all I had that would thread through my needle.  I must invest in some proper book binding needles.

Hearts Ease Album 5

I used a Stampin’ UP! Piercing tool and mat to make the holes in the spine.

This is a great little album to try out Book Binding for the first time.  Why not make one for yourself.  It would also be a  lovely gift.

Hearts Ease Album 6

A closer look at the belly band closure.  The medallion is shown as an idea for finishing.

Happy Crafting in 2018.


Again! From the Bottom!

Reblogging because I found this a really interesting, well written account of a black man’s life in America, and why he needs to write and blog.

El Paso P.O.V.

Not too long ago, I suddenly stopped blogging (save your applause I’m not finished) after having hit another bottom in my life. A life still in recovery from the devastating effects of past legal troubles and a sudden but reluctant return to the ranks of El Paso’s unemployed which is code for getting pink-slipped, canned, axed, getting the boot.

I called it a permanent vacation but not in the suicidal sense because I have too much to live for–mainly for paying off my IRS and student loan debt. Making my odds as a black man still trying to find a place (preferably a lucrative one) in this southwest border town–an American city dominated by Mexican culture and delicious Mexican food that I’m pretty sure is solely responsible for El Paso’s obesity problem–seem far-fetched.

Besides, I don’t know what made me think my blog posts would go viral. My posts were…

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Christmas Baubles

I save cards that are sent to me by friends and family. I decided to make baubles out of some of them instead of leaving them sitting in my cupboard. I then return the bauble to the person who sent me the card – I figure they only buy or make what they like themselves, so I’m pretty sure they will like the baubles too. Last years baubles were well received. I love to recycle and re-purpose things.

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Hope you like them and are inspired to give them a try yourself.  I buy the bauble blanks which come in two halves with a hanging hook from an ebay store, you can click the link here  to see which sizes are on offer.  I buy the 10cm ones.

Happy Crafting Everyone.


It’s been a turbulent few weeks

And though I’ve been reading and commenting on blogs, I realise I haven’t written one for a while.

Melbourne has been experiencing some fairly heavy rain in the past week or so (thankfully it seems to have eased now).  We have sustained some damage, related to, but not caused by rain.  Our carport roof is fitted with plasterboard like a normal indoor ceiling – (I’m not sure this is good building practice but that’s the way it is round here). Last Friday, half of the carport roof collapsed (mid rainstorm), onto our cars, damaging the bonnets of both and leaving a large gaping hole in the carport (it would now make a perfect pigeon loft).

carport roof collapsed

Damage to both cars is fairly minimal in that they are both drivable, but they are no longer pristine as they were.  Insurance claims have been filed with us being told we won’t be covered for the damage to the carport roof as it is general wear and tear! There was no water in the roof.

roof on cars

So that is one thing, and the aftermath of having cars repaired and getting quotes for repairs to carport are underway.

Hospital visits and an unsuspected surgery for my better half have taken up the rest of the weeks events.  I am pleased to say that he is feeling a lot more chipper and results are good.

I love that line in the John Lennon song, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans” or words to that effect.  Never a truer word was spoken.

There has been no decorating for Christmas or Christmas Shopping apart from online stuff.  Thankfully Christmas cards have been made and sent.  Hopefully, we will now be able to get back on the horse and begin ‘tentatively’ planning our way through the Christmas season.

Dinner out this evening with friends is a good start.

Bless this Day.



What to do when your dies are all joined together

Hi All,

I have recently bought some stamp sets with matching dies which have arrived with all the dies linked together.  Some of the pieces are tiny and I didn’t want to have them all rattling around in the storage bag so I thought I would show you how I use them without separating them.

This is how they arrive when you purchase them. You will note that there is a small metal link keeping the dies together.  You will also notice that the top two dies also have a tiny heart and a butterfly, now these do have to be removed otherwise when you cut out the flamingo stamps that match these dies, you would have a cut out in the middle of them.  I removed these tiny pieces and left the rest of the dies joined together. Hope that is clear!

Flamingo stamps and dies

Place the dies onto your MISTI if you have one, and lay the stamps into their corresponding die space as shown below.  Note: This photo is taken after the dies were picked up on the door of the MISTI, remove the dies and your stamps are all in position, ready to be inked.


If you don’t have a MISTI an acrylic block that is large enough to fit across all of the stamps will do the same job.

flam 5Place your stamping paper into the MISTI.

Ink up the stamps – you will now be able to stamp all of your images in one go.  I coloured my stamps at this stage while they were still all on the same page.

Flam 6

Once you have finished colouring take your images to the die cutting machine, lay the dies over the top of the images and run through.

Flam 7

All your images cut in one go (you can save those that you don’t want to use right away. And your dies are stored safely and will not easily become lost.

A quick and easy card made with this cute set of stamps and dies.



I hope you can follow these instructions and that they are useful to you, there is nothing more frustrating that loads of tiny pieces that can easily become misplaced.

Happy Stamping (and die cutting)