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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Sad Times

Dear Scribblers

It's sad times here in the home of The Crafty Scribe.

My furry companion for the last 16 years has gone to the kitty summerlands. She was the subject of many a scrapbook layout, or a journal page, and she will continue to be so.

Wysiwyg - we will never forget you.

Project of the Day - Write or scrap about a beloved pet - either one still here, or in remembrance of one passed. Never forget the unconditional love they give you. Remember them, and honour them.

Halloween, or Samhain as Wiccans call it, is also called Time of Remembrance in certain tribal cultures. So it is fitting to remember all those who have gone before us.

Happy Scribing - even at Sad Times. It helps you move forward with a heart full of memories.

Monday, 26 October 2009

The Crafty Scribe Communiqué - Scrap Time Video Podcasts

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Dear Scribblers

Do you want to watch one of the best crafting video podcasts on the web?

Then go to: Scrap Time

The host, Christine Urias, takes you on a weekly journey through the world of craft. Showing products, techniques, tools and projects in a friendly, open and informative way.

My favourite podcasts are her altered art and mini book projects, which provides great inspiration for journalling and event diaries.

Now on episode 422, Christine has developed a definite slick style which is worth checking out. Subscribe via iTunes or RSS feed.

Happy Scribing!

Communiqué Ends - Communiqué Ends

Coming Soon - Part Three of Harnessing Your Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking - Using Your Regular Word Processing Software in New Ways.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Crafty Scribe Communique - Smythson Diaries

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Dear Scribblers

It’s that time again, when you begin to think about Christmas (or the Winter festival you celebrate) and of course, New Year.

2010 - A brand new decade!

Why not treat yourself to a new diary? In my opinion, the top purveyor of fine leather diaries is: Smythson of Bond Street

I have been lucky enough to own their exquisite notebooks, stationery items and of course, for a couple of years, their diaries. There are many sizes, page formats and colours available. Even diaries for specialist subjects such as; travel, art and sports, or organiser pages for the methodical amongst you.

My favourite diaries are the Bijou Soho, Bijou Portobello and Fashion varieties - they all contain sizeable notes sections which are perfect for the out-and-about scribbler. I also love the personalisation - there’s nothing like a bound leather diary with your name on.

Try the Smythson Diary Selector which will match you to your perfect diary.

For further information, check them out! Their diaries range from £25 to £250+, but the quality is outstanding. Once you have a Smythson diary, you'll never want anything else.  I know that the red Bijou Soho diary with slide closure will, once again, be on the top of my Santa’s wish list this year.

Happy Scribing!

Communique Ends - Communique Ends

Coming Soon - Part Three of Harnessing Your Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking - Using Your Regular Word Processing Software in New Ways.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Crafty Scribe Communiqué - NaNoWriMo

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Dear Scribblers

The Crafty Scribe will be writing a complete novel in November! Want to join in and have some fun? Want to try something new? Want support from other writers? Go to NaNoWriMo to find out more.

National Novel Writing Month is an exciting, supportive approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing a brand new 175 page (50,000 word) novel on 1st November, and must finish by midnight on 30th November.

I'll be blogging here to keep you informed of my woes and wins, worries, weeping and word count as I write my way through November.

Happy Scribing!

Communiqué Ends - Communiqué Ends

Coming Soon - Part Three of Harnessing Your Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking - Using Your Regular Word Processing Software in New Ways.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Crafty Scribe Communiqué - Make Journalling Easier

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Dear Scribblers

Do you often come to journal on your scrapbook layout, or write in your diary, and realise that you can’t remember the details?

Does someone say something funny, and you want to use it in your journalling or as your title, but by the time you get around to putting pen to paper, you’ve completely forgotten what was said?

If you answer yes to either of these questions, you need to carry a notebook.

Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  1. Will your notebook be electronic or paper based? Are you a tactile pen type of a person? Or do you like to use screens?
    • Also are you happy to been seen sitting are writing pad and pencil style? Or would you prefer to disguise your writing by tapping away at keys?
  2. How do you normally carry your ‘stuff’ around on a daily basis? In a handbag? In a briefcase? In your pockets? This will help decide on the size, and format?
  3. Do you have space for a separate item, or will you utilise your existing products?
    • There are a number of items you probably already use daily which you can use to jot down your ideas.
    • Phone - Maybe your phone has a notes function; this is a pretty standard feature on most phones now. You could also send yourself a text message with the info. Or use your email account - that way your note will be sitting on your computer ready to use. You could even leave yourself a phone message with the information, and then write it down later when you have more time.
    • Diary - Write your note on the actual day as a way of recording events chronologically, or within the notes section. Maybe this will influence you when you buy your new 2010 diary.
    • Existing Notebooks - One place for all your thoughts and to-do’s.
    • MP3 Players - Some music players have a recording facility, ready to take your voice notes.
    • Laptops/Netbooks - Speak for themselves!
    • Dictaphone - There are many cheap and cheerful Dictaphones available, for you to slip into your pocket or handbag, out in the marketplace. Take a look, this may be the perfect way for you to keep notes.
    • Apps - iPhone & Google apps a-plenty to keep notes.
    • Internet or Specialist software - There are a number of sites which provide space to keep notes/voice messages/to-do lists - browse around and find out.
Or are you a traditionalist? Do you want to keep one notebook to use specifically for your journalling thoughts?

You can either buy a specific pad, such as; Creative Imaginations - Journaler’s Notebook (which I sometimes use) or Making Mermories - Spiral Journaling Notebook, part of their Noteworthy Collection.

Or create your own - take a blank notebook of your choice (think about binding, un/lined paper, size) and decorate it! Get crafty.

Communiqué Project for Today: Start to carry around your preferred method of keeping journalling notes, and teach yourself to write down whenever something useful comes your way. You’ll be surprised how quickly this will become a habit.

Happy Scribing!

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Next - Part Three of Harnessing Your Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking - Using Your Regular Word Processing Software in New Ways.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Getting Graphic! - Make Your Own Comic Book

Part Two - Harnessing Your Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking.

Dear Scribblers,

Once upon a time, a variety of Apple Macs came bundled with a fantastic programme from Freeverse called Comic Life.

Those times are gone, and if you want a copy of Comic Life you need to buy it. But the good news is, it’s now available from Plasq in a brand new deluxe version for both Windows and Mac. Result!

So, why am I so excited about this programme? Comic Life can add an extra fun dimension to your scrapbook pages.

For example: Have you been to a theme park over the summer? Have you been on holiday? Have you been to a birthday party? Did you take tons of photos, but want to use a number of them on one layout. Import them into Comic Life, add your titles, caption boxes and speech balloons.

Voila! You’ve turned a set of individual photos into a cohesive fun story - an imaginative way of adding journalling to your pages. Once you’ve created your comic, print it out and add it to your scrapbooking layout, or paste it into your journal.

There is also a feature within Comic Life which allows you to email your finished graphic novel directly to your friends, or upload it to your website.

The programme itself is easy to use, with great help support:

Copy of Mac version - from Freeverse  

Here’s a quick comic page I made for my recent project for Shimelle’s “Learn Something New Every Day” on-line course.

After finishing the comic page, I created an additional page for making the title and further journalling, printed them out and added it to my normal scrapbooking layout.

As well as Comic Life, there are a number of other comic creation programmes out there, such as; Comic Book Creator by Planetwide Games. Hit your browser, and take a look. Or you could even just try using your regular word processing or photo editing software. Get creative, and have a go!

Project of the Day - Have go at creating your own comic strip/page/book. Then add it to your layout, art diary or journal. Try something new today!

Happy Scribing!

Next in the series - Using Your Regular Word Processing Software in New Ways.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Crafty Scribe Communiqué 2 - The Finished Book "Learn Something New Every Day!"

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For those of you who have followed the previous posts; you'll know, that for the month of September, I signed onto Shimelle Laine's course, "Learn Something New Every Day."  I am happy to report, I have completed the project, and would like to share a few pages with you.

Title Page

Title printed on the bottom of the picture.
Hidden journalling on a pull-out card, the top of the card sticks out with the chip-out TODAY, and pre-printed saying.

Fairy Cake Friday!
Some hand written journalling and alphabet stickers.
(See the real cup cake case?)

I felt that the title, plus added support of the pre-printed saying, was enough without additional journalling.

An iWorks Pages project. I added the photo 3 times side-by-side underneath and reduced the opacity, before layering the focus photo on top. Then added the journalling over the faded photos. After printing, I rounded the corners to match the papers. A tip from Shimelle was to use the cut-off left over pieces of paper to recreate the page. I did this, layering the pieces onto each other, and inked the edges.

And here's the finished book! All 30 days competed.
The project was made using mainly Cosmo Cricket products.

I hope you like seeing some of the journey I took. I would definitely recommend Shimelle's courses to all you scrappers out there.

Happy Scribing!

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Regular Blogs Resume Soon!

Crafty Scribe Communiqué - Word Mini Books

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Do you love the look of the pre-made Word Books, but find they often don’t convey the meaning that you need? I’ve seen some great ones that say ‘Family’, ‘Love’, ‘Birthday’, ‘Holiday’ etc. But what about if you want something more personal, like someone’s name, or the place you went on holiday? What do you do then?

Go to Funky Hand - cardmaking and scrapbooking CDs and downloads, run by the fantastic Anice (I’m sure you’ll have seen her on the Ideal World and Create and Craft shopping channels.)

These super CDs provide you with the basic alphabet and number templates for you to print out and create your own word books.

There are a variety of different options for you to choose, including: Funky Word Book, 2 Christmas designer word books, and I Do! Wedding word book.

Check out Funky Hand for prices and further information.

Try a Word Book today!

Happy Scribing!

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Coming Soon -  Comic Life - part of the Harnessing Your Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking series.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

There's An App For That!

Part One - Harnessing Your Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking.

Dear Scribblers,

Do you own an iPhone or iPod Touch? Have you seen all the great apps available which you can adapt to use on your layouts?

You’ll find that these apps are useful for adding a quick title to your photo, a cute embellishment, flourish or two, or for writing your complete journalling. I’m sure you’ll have great fun trying them out. With the cost of them ranging from free to £2.99, it won’t diminish the pennies too much in these credit crunch times.

Here are just a handful of my favourites which I use on a regular basis to enhance my pages.


There are a number of apps available based on the Japanese trend of Purikura, which are photo booths found out on the streets and in shopping malls. (The photo is taken, then words and cartoon style pictures can be added before they are printed onto stickers.)  These two app versions are great!

Photo Sticker by Alterme Inc - 59p

Puri Lite 2.0 by Think Bulbs Ltd - free (full version also available £1.79)

You can take your photo using your iPhone (or upload a photo onto the iPhone/iPod), then play around with the borders, stamps, cartoons, slogans, or add your own words and drawings.

When you are happy, you can save it to your photos. Puri Lite also has the option of sending your finished art work straight to facebook, or your email account.

Here is an idea of what you can do with them.

Made with Puri Lite 2.0


I love the look and feel of postcards, and the following two apps work perfectly. Both are easy to use, with the ability to add titles and journalling in a variety of colours and fonts. Save the finished cards to your own photos, or post them on via email, or your social networking site.

Postman by Freeverse Inc - 59p

Postage by RogueSheep - £2.99

Postman has a more traditional postcard feel. I like the postage stamp, and also the ability to add the weather. Whereas, Postage, has more options, including some with just borders and no journalling features.

Made with Postman


Another stand alone app is Polarize. Quick, easy, fun and free! Turn your photos into a retro-styled Polaroid photo. You can add one line of journalling up to 14 characters in only one choice of font.

Polarize by Christopher Comair - free

The designer has created a flickr group for you to share your mini works of art.

Made with Polarize

What I like about all these apps, is that once you’ve manipulated your photo in one programme, you can open it in another, causing a layering effect.

Made with Picture Sticker and Polarize

Made with Postage and Puri Lite 2.0

Once you’ve finished with your photo, download it, and print it out for use on a layout or in your journal, or embed it into your digital scrapbooking.

For further information on these apps and many more, check out the iTunes store now.

If you have a favourite app which you use to journal or scrapbook, please write in the comments. I’d love to hear how you are using your iPhone/Pod.

(All prices in GBP £ - correct at the time of posting)

Happy Scribing!

Next in the series - another Freeverse programme - Comic Life.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Coming Soon...

Harnessing Alternative Computer Programmes for use in Journalling and Scrapbooking.

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