Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Digi Scrapbook Page

Well, I have been  having some fun... and been busy playing with the pictures I took on vacation.  I worked on another digi scrapbook page, and this is what I came up with. 

I won't bore you with the details of how I did everything... unless you really want to know.  
Next I want to take some of the pictures I took of flowers, and turn them into something I can use as a template, to color them what ever color I want, and use my own flowers in my projects.  The more I learn in Photoshop, the more I keep wanting to do.  I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to figure it all out... LOL.

Thanks for looking, and I would love to hear what you think of my scrapbook pages.

Enjoy the journey.

Diane

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fun with Photoshop

I have been having so much fun lately playing with Photoshop.  It seems as though everything is finally starting to click into place for me now.  Besides the papers I created awhile back,  I have been playing around with some other ideas and learning new things.  Most of the tutorials I have been following have been from PixelScrapper.com but I have also found links to other tutorials in the forum over there.
I have learned it is easy to create a brush, or a pattern, and how to use them on my papers. Plus, I learned how to create my own set of brushes or patterns, so I can open them any time I want to go back to them.  I finally figured out how to take a vector image from Inkscape or Illustrator, and use it as a brush, so I can add my creations from Inkscape to my papers easily.  I also learned how to use masks, and have been having a great time playing with those.

I also understand just how important it is to work with layers.  I always thought it was a waste of time to keep adding new layers, but now I know it actually saves time, when you want to change how something looks or remove it altogether from your design.  And it really doesn't take much time to add a new layer for each element you add to your creation.  I think the hardest part for me is remembering to name them, so if I get a lot of layers, I can easily see which layer I want to get to by name, instead of  "Layer 10" or "Layer 35" or what ever the case my be.  It also makes it a lot easier to remove something from your creation, by just closing the eye, or deleting the layer altogether if you don't like it.  And moving the things that are on the layer, if you don't like where it is, is so much easier if it is on it's own layer.  I also try to name my layers by the element I used, so when I'm ready to save, I can use my keywords in Bridge to tag it so  I can remember what elements I used.

Since I decided to start using Bridge again,  I'm using it to tag my files, so it will be easier to find things when I want to use them. It does take some time to get everything tagged and keyworded, but I think it will help save time in the long run, as long as I remember to keep doing it.
Okay enough talking.... now I will show you a few things I have been creating over the last few weeks. 
First up is a scrapbook paper.  I actually took an image of some fabric, and used it for the texture of  the main background, then added some elements from the GraphicsFairy.  I used some brushes to create the paint splatters and came up with this:


Next up is something I may use for a Christmas card this year.  Even if I don't use it, I had a lot of fun creating this next project.  I started with a picture I took on my recent vacation of some pine cones.




Then I turned it Black and White, and added a layer mask and brought out the colors of just the pinecones.  This took a bit of time, but I realized that I love doing some of that detail work, and getting in close to get just the pixels I want.  That Wacom tablet I bought ages ago, is starting to come in handy.  I find the detail work is much easier with the pen than with the mouse.
After that, I used a new plug in have that works with Photoshop called AKVIS, that turns your photo into a pencil sketch. It is a bit pricey, but it does an amazing job.

After all that work, I decided that I preferred the look of the sketch with all the colors, instead of just Black and White.  And this is what I got when I put it through the filter.

After I saved my image, I  added some text and then used Craft Artist Pro 2 to see what it would look like as a card.  I have to admit that I don't use CAP2 to actually print things out, I use it more to give me an idea of what something will look like as a finished project, and help in selecting colors I want to use.  And this is what I came up with.  

One of the things I love about doing things digitally, I can create something, "live with it" for awhile, and if I don't like it, I can go back and change things around some.  If I decide I don't like the font I used, I can change the font easily, but still keep the formatting as I have it.  So I don't have to redo everything.  If I don't like where my text is, I can move it, make it larger or smaller, but keep the font and formatting... digital is so forgiving... you can change your mind to your hearts content (like I usually do.. I have to see what EVERYTHING would look like before I make a decision, hummmm  maybe that is why I can never seem to get anything finished).

Anyway, that is enough chatter for now... I hope you enjoyed seeing what I have been creating.  Until next time.... enjoy the journey.




Saturday, October 12, 2013

My First Digital Scrapbook page

Wow, where has the time gone???  I can't believe that it is Oct already and fall is in the air.  I recently took a trip to Vermont and got some great pictures of the fall foliage.  I decided to try my hand at making a digital scrapbook page.  First I  made the background paper by using a picture I took of tree bark, and turned it black and white to use as a texture in my papers.  I also used some brushes that I got at PixelScrapper.com to create the different colors on my background page.  Here is a look at just the background paper.




I added some elements from PixelScrapper.com Fall is in the Air kit.  And here is my final page.



I'm not sure if I'm  happy with this, it seems to need something more, but I'm not sure exactly what.  So I saved the file as a PSD in Photoshop, so I can continue working on the different layers and adding something more if I can figure out what it is I want to add.
I really had fun playing around and creating the background paper, and want to use the tree bark for other projects soon.

I hope to be back soon with some other projects.... until then... enjoy the journey.

Diane

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fun with Colors

Hey Everyone!!  I hope you are all having a great day today.  I have been having a blast learning how to do things in Photoshop.   I'm probably like a lot of  people, if I don't keep doing something I have learned, I will forget and have to learn it all over again.   I have been trying (trying being the operative word here) to learn Photoshop for years.  I would pick up little bits and pieces here and there, but if I don't open the program for  few days, I forget everything I have learned.  I decided that since I'm not working so much overtime now, it's time to get serious about learning Photoshop.  Ever since I found Pixel Scrapper I have been devouring the tutorials that she posts. When I searched for PS tutorials before a lot of them I had found were either dealing with how to adjust pictures, how to use the tools in a general way or using the tools for something that was way more than I wanted or needed to do.  Nothing was specific to what I wanted to do.. and that is learn how to create things for my crafting. The other day I was going through my paper stash and I have accumulated so many papers that I love I don't want to use them.  If I only have one sheet, I will either, a) mess up my project and need to start over with a different paper because I don't have enough left or b) I will find another project that would have been perfect for that paper, but now I can't get any  more because they don't sell it any longer.  So it just sits there.  I decided that if I start using digital paper, either ones I have purchased or created myself, then I may actually start using it, because if I mess up, I can always print another sheet or two.  If I find the "perfect" project for a paper, I can use it again, since I can just print out what I need.  

Another thing that is great about using digital papers, I can print on any weight or type of paper that will fit through my printer.  If I want a watercolor paper for one project, I can print on that.  If I need card stock I can print on that.  If I only need a thin paper like patterned paper, I can print on regular printer paper.  You can't do that with most papers you purchase, they usually only manufacture it on one weight of paper (unless I'm just not seeing designer papers on different weights).  And if I only need a 6 x 6 inch piece of paper, I can print out just that much. If I need something bigger, I can print it to that size as well... again as long as my printer will print the size I want.  We have a old office Xerox laser printer that will print up to Tabloid size, and while I haven't had to use that size yet, it's nice to know I will be able to print out at least a 12 x 12 paper if necessary.  For now I mostly use my little laser printer and just print out 8.5 x 11.

One of my stumbling blocks for designing my own papers, is coming up with colors to use that look good together.  But if you have noticed lately there are a lot of color palettes on Pinterest.  I just learned how to create my own using Photoshop, so now I can take a favorite picture and create a color palette from it, then use that to create a digital paper.  Here is a photo I took a couple of years ago out in the desert in Nevada at sunset.  I picked 5 colors from the image and created my palette.

I added the colors to my Swatches Panel, so I could easily pick what color I wanted to use and then just started playing.  I added some texture images, and played with just the five colors in my palette. I came up with something I liked as far as the design went, then just started changing a color here and there to see what I came up with.  Here are some of the digital papers I came up with using just this palette.










                                             

I know some of them don't look like I used the same 5 colors, but I did. By changing of the properties of the layers it changed how everything looked.  I was having a great time just working with the 5 colors to see what I could come up with.  I saved my work as a .PSD to keep the layers, so I can go back and change my colors easily if I want that same look but with different colors.
I think the next time I have some time to play, I will use some of the StampinUp colors.  I spent one night creating a new Swatches group with just the current StampinUp colors.  Since I have so much of their solid card stock, I thought this would be a great way to create some textured or patterned paper to co-ordinate with it and use it for making cards.

Well thank you for sticking with me through this adventure.  I hope it may have inspired you to start playing around with creating your own digital papers and finding inspiration for color palettes for your projects.

P.S If any one is interested is downloading my papers, let me know, and I will work on finding out how to add files so that they can be downloaded. The previews here are small and while you could use them, they aren't the best quality.  I'm still trying to figure all this blogging stuff out. (I'm sure you noticed that I changed my look... thought I would try something different for awhile... it's going to be a work in progress while I tweak things around here).
P.S.S.  I would love to hear any constructive criticism about my new look, do you love it?  Hate it?  Hard to read?? What would make it better for you.  Any ideas on how to improve the way things work here??  

Enjoy your journey, I know I'm enjoying mine!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A great site to help you make your own digital papers

Hello Everyone!!  Today I want to tell you about a cool site I found a few days ago.  It's called Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking  If you aren't a scrapbooker, don't be put off by the name, you don't have to scrapbook.  I happened to be blog hopping the other day, and someones blog had a link to this site.  I went to check it out and I was totally blown away by how much information and files are on the site.  If you are at all interested in creating your own digital papers, to make them what ever color you want, using what ever textures or overlays you can find, then I think this site is something you should check out.
  
Marisa Lerin is the owner of the site, and she has written some tutorials, and even has some videos on how to use Photoshop (PS). The ones I have checked out so far have been short, precise and shows you simply how to do things in PS for creating digital papers or elements.  You don't have to sift through a bunch of stuff about PS that may or may not pertain to what you are wanting to learn, like some other tutorials I have found out there.  There are even some tutorials on how to use PaintShop Pro (PSP), if you prefer that software.  I haven't looked at the tutorials for PSP much, since I'm trying to concentrate on learning PS.
  
In order to download the papers and templates, you need to join the site. It costs NOTHING to join, and you get to select a kit for FREE just for joining.  She uses what she calls "download credits" (DC) which allows you to download paper, template, overlays, textures, etc.  There are also Community Points (CP).  You get 5 free DC every day, they don't accumulate, so you need to use them daily. This is so people don't just show up, download everything then never go back to the site.  Most single papers are 1 credit, the templates and overlays are 2 credits.  If you want to download an entire kit, they are "cheaper" than downloading individual items, but she does ask that you support the site in order to be able to download entire kits.
You can earn more DC by being active on the site. Being active means commenting in the forum, or commenting on items in the gallery, or her blog, and even filling out your profile, these all let you earn CP, and the more CP you get the more DC you get daily, up to a maximum of 10 DC a day. I know the way I'm explaining it may seem complicated, but it really isn't, and you can find all the information on how it works on her Help page. 
You can also get more download credits by supporting the site. You can support the site with as little as a $5 donation and get 50 DC added to your "account". The DC you get for supporting the site do NOT disappear like your daily DC do, they are there until you use them.  The more you donate, the more DC and other benefits you receive.  PLUS, you still receive your daily DC, those don't go away just because you made a donation.  
From the first day I found this site, I have been going back daily, not only to get my free downloads, but to read the forum, and the tutorials.  I haven't had time to really get to know any one else on the forum, but they all seem to be very nice and helpful, and I am looking forward to getting to know some of them better.
So if you want to learn how to use PS to create your own digital papers, or download some great looking paper, or just a fun place to "hang out", head over to  Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking  

As I get more experience with PS and creating my own digital papers, I hope to start sharing them, so stay tuned, you never know when one may show up here.
Oh and in case you didn't see it, I put a button on the sidebar for them, so you can click on that button and be taken to the site if you forgot to bookmark it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SVGCuts 3D High Heel Shoe

SVGCuts.com has a new promotion out.  They are giving away a free file for a High Heel Shoe, and if you make it and post your picture, they will give you a gift card for $6.99!!!  You can select any of their kits and get it for free, just by participating in this.  You can find more details at their blog... SVGCuts 
I downloaded the file earlier today, and had a chance to make it and here is what I came up with.




I cut everything on my Silver Bullet electronic cutting machine. I decided to go simple yet elegant, and used some Coordinations card stock with black on one side, and the light blue on the other.  For the panels I used some Charcoal  POW Glitter Paper from American Crafts.  You can't really see the sparkle in the photos, but it looks amazing in person.  The flowers I put on the toe were from my stash, and they have been there for so long I don't know where I got them, but decided it was time to start using some of them in my projects.
I love using SVGCuts files, they look complicated, but they always go together so easily and fit so well.  I just may have to make another one of these... it was so much fun.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August Card Club

I finished work on my card for Club for August.  I decided to use a Mojo Monday sketch as a starting point.  If you haven't heard about Mojo Monday, it is a site that puts out a new sketch every Monday for cards.  Then people that have used that sketch link to the post showing how they created a card from the sketch.  The sketch I used is an old one, from July of 2012. They have archived all the old sketches so you can go back and see them all.  
Also my friend Michelle at Michellemybellecreations creates a cut file for the sketches that you can get from her blog.  So if you have a digital cutting machine, you can have the machine cut out all the parts to the card for you.  She hasn't made a file for all the old sketches, but I believe she is working on them.  But she does put the file on  her site for the new sketch every Monday.

I used all Stampin Up products on these cards except for the ribbon and the banner. The banner is a Spellbinders Ribbon Banner die.  I don't remember where I got the ribbon, it has been in my stash for awhile.








Thanks for stopping by, and as always, enjoy the journey!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fonts

Hello Everyone…

Today I want to talk about fonts.  More specifically, programs to view fonts and to help you organize them. You can find a lot of free fonts on the web, just do a Google search, and it will come up with thousands of sites. There is also a Yahoo Group, called Fontpacks.  This group doesn't have any chat going on, it is just for the distribution of fonts.  The owner sends out a font pack every couple of weeks that has at least 50 fonts, but usually a lot more than that,  that he has collected from around the web.  I usually will download the pack but just leave it zipped on my hard drive because I don’t have the time to go through them when he sends them out.  By the time I get around to going through the zip files, I have accumulated 20 or 30 zip files.  This translates into a TON of fonts that I need to go through.  

First I need to view them, to see if they are even something I think I will use, then I need to organize them. Also, in these font packs there ends up being a lot of duplicate fonts, so I want to get rid of those as well.  A few weeks ago I decided it was time to get my fonts organized, so that sent me on a search for a good font viewer program.

As you may know, in Windows, you can preview a font simply by double clicking on the font file, and it will open up a window where you can see the font.  This window will show you all the characters in the font file, and uses the phrase “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” in different size points.  From this window you can either print out the font, or install it.  Now I’m not sure why you would want to have a print out of a font, unless you were keeping a notebook with all the print outs, to refer back to.  But I would think that wastes a lot of paper and ink, when you can just see them on your computer screen just as easily.  If you select the install button, it will install it to your system folder, and it will now be available in all your programs.  Viewing fonts in this way will take a lot of time if you want to go through a lot of fonts to see what you have.  It also doesn't allow you to easily organize your fonts.

A better way to view your fonts is to use a Font Viewer program.  I have used 2 different programs, AMP Font Viewer, and more recently NexusFont.  These are both free programs, and you can find them by doing a Google search.

With both programs, you are able to view any font you have anywhere on your computer.  In AMP Font Viewer, it opens on your installed font folder in your System folder.  If you want to see fonts that aren't installed, you select the Not Installed Fonts tab, and navigate to the folder that has your fonts. You then select a font in the second column and it will display your chosen text in the third column. Here is a screen capture of the program.



The downside to this, you only get to view one font at a time, so it is hard to compare two or more fonts at a time.  And you have to navigate to different folders, or move all your fonts into one folder to see them all.  I couldn't find a way to view font files in sub-folders in AMPFont Viewer.  The only way to see them is to click on the folder in the first column.

In NexusFont, you have to add folders to your library.  To do this you click on the plus sign (+) in the lower left area of the window, and select Add Folder.  You then navigate to the folder you want to add that is on your hard drive, and all the fonts in that folder will be added and available to view.  When you have that folder selected in the left column, it will display all the fonts in the right column and you can just scroll through that to see your fonts.  Here is a screen capture of the NexusFont window.




If you want to see just a few selected fonts, just select the fonts you want to view, then click on "Selected" right above the display and only those fonts you have selected will be visible.

In both programs you can change the text of what you want to view so if you are working on a project and want to see what the text is going to look like in different fonts, you just type in your text, select the size, and the color, and you can view that in any font you have on your computer.

Both programs allow you to copy, move or delete font files.  So that helps when you are trying to organize your fonts.  I think NexusFont has the advantage over AMPFont Viewer here. Since you can select multiple files in NexusFont, you can copy, move or delete multiple files with just a few clicks, instead of having to do it for each file in AMPFont Viewer.

Another advantage that I think is helpful in NexusFont, you can create sets, and you can add tags to your fonts.  Say you have certain fonts that you like to use when you are cutting vinyl, or others that you use when using a pen tool in your Electronic Die cutting machine.  You can create a set for each of those, and add the fonts you want, to each of those sets, without having to move them into a different folder.  Then when you want to work on a project using vinyl, just select the Vinyl set, and you will be able to see all the fonts that you like to use with vinyl and pick the font you want to use before you open your designing software. This is helpful when you aren't sure of the font you want to use.  

If you are familiar with MTC (Make The Cut) software, you can’t change the font once you have selected a font and added your text.  You need to close out of the “Add Font Group” window, before you can select another font.  So you may end up with a number of different fonts on your mat before you select the one you want to use.  In SCAL, you can change the font on your selected text, before you commit it to your mat, but then you can’t compare more than one unless you do add them to your mat. Both of those programs have limitations on viewing fonts for your projects.

With tags in NexusFont, you can add a tag to any font.  This is useful when you want to search for fonts.  If you have a font that uses flourishes, but the name of the font doesn't have the word Flourish in it. You wouldn't find that font with a search on flourish, because there is nothing to point to it.  If you add a tag to that font, when you do a search, it will come up in your search, because it now has a way for the program to find it.  

By adding tags or creating sets in NexusFont, you don’t have to move all your fonts into the same folder, or have duplicate font files in different folders.  You can keep your fonts in different folders and still be able to view them according to your tags or sets that you create.  I like to keep my files in folders by the site or creator of the file, so if I go to a particular site, I can see if I have bought a particular file before I buy it again, just by looking through the folder for that site.  With NexusFont, I can keep all my fonts in different folders by website, and still be able to find similar type fonts from different companies when I need to find something for my project.

I found out a really cool feature of NexusFont the other day.  If you open NexusFont, any font you can see in NexusFont, will be available in any of your other programs until you close NexusFont.  It is a great way to have all your fonts you have been collecting to use in any of your projects.


Now that I have learned a bit more about font viewing programs, it will be easier for me to go through all my fonts and get them organized, so I won’t have to wade through 1000’s of fonts to find the ones I want to use for my projects.  I hope this has helped you learn a bit about how to view and organize all those fonts you have been collecting, and start using them instead of just having them sit on your hard drive.  I know it has motivated me to start using more fonts in my projects. 

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the journey.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Crocus Flowers Completed

Hello again!!!
Well I finally had time to work on my crocus project today, (I love having a three day weekend from work) and I finished my FIVE pails of Crocus for my stamp club meeting.
If you remember on my last post, I found a website with directions on how to make flowers out of punches, and started to make some Crocus flowers.  I needed to make 18 flowers total, enough for all my stamp club ladies and one for me.  My first ones weren't the best, but then when is the first of anything we do our best effort???  I always need to make something at least once, to figure out what I'm doing, and see if there is an easier or better way of doing it.  I did show you a picture of my first flowers in my last post.. so I won't make you look at them again here.

I talked about using MTC (Make The Cut) and the conical wrap feature to create a template to wrap a different paper around my pails.  I showed you a before pictures of my pails last time, but here is another one of just one pail.  I took the handle off so I could cover it more easily.  This one doesn't look too garish, but I still wanted something a little different.

Here it is after I selected my paper and cut it out with my Silver Bullet die cutting machine (which by the way was rated #1 by Top Ten Review just a few weeks ago.. WAY TO GO SHERRI!!!)

The design I used started out as a vector graphic and I just saved it as a jpeg, so I could use it as a pattern in SCAL.  I love the way you can add patterns to a shape in SCAL, they make it so easy to resize the design, and make adjustmets to it, so you can get it exactly the way you want, before you print it out and realize that it isn't what you wanted.  You can also preview the pattern inside your shape, so you can see exactly what it is going to look like.  So here is the blue one with the flowers.



Here is another pail before I added my new wrap...
And here is is after... again this started out as a seamless vector background and I just opened it in Adobe Illustrator, and exported it as a JPEG to use in SCAL.


And here it is with flowers...




And here is my set of 5 complete with flowers.  The yellow one in front, is actually an orange pail.  I couldn't find any digital paper I liked with orange, but found a nice looking image in green, but didn't like the way the green looked on white paper on the orange pail, so I printed it out on yellow paper and it looked a lot better.  I have to remind myself that I don't HAVE to use white paper in my printer all the time... LOL.

I think I'm still going to add something to them.. maybe some ribbon tied in a bow to the handles, or a small ladybug (I have the die from Elizabeth Craft Designs and it is so cute.. I need to use them more often).

I hope you enjoyed seeing my project... would love to hear what you think about them.

Thanks for stopping by and remember to enjoy the journey!!!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Crocus - Paper flower series

A few weeks ago, I was surfing the web, and came across a site that sells punches, McGill Inc.  This site has a wealth of information on how to make flowers with their punches, and even some projects to use the flowers on.  I love flowers, but I can't seem to grow any in my yard, so I have decided to surround myself with paper flowers... at least those won't die on me.   LOL

As I was looking through all the projects, I found one that I thought would be fun to make for the ladies at my next card club meeting.  Pot O' Crocus  They just looked so cute, and I thought the Crocus would be easy to make.  So the only thing I needed was some small pails or flower pots to put them in.

Last week, my BF and I went to go see IronMan 3 at the IMAX, but we got there to late to get good seat for the show we wanted, so we bought our tickets for the next show and  headed across the street to Michaels to wander around and kill time until the show started.  They were having a sale on all their Ashland Signature collection garden things, and I found some cute pails at 60% off that I thought would be perfect for my Crocus project.  Here are 4 of them, I got 2 of each color.  


They are about 3 inches high so just the right size.  I wasn't crazy about the papers on them, but thought for the price, I could cover them with something else and kind of tone down the bright colors. 

I started working on the flowers a few days later, I don't own many punches, and I don't want to start collecting them, because I like to use my Silver Bullet die cutting machine that I purchased from Sherri at ThatsScrapInc.     The punch they use for the Crocus is a pear shape.  Well, I looked through all my files, and found something that I thought would work, and resized it to make the small flowers.  What I forgot to do, is alter the file to remove the stem, BEFORE I cut them out... LOL  So I sat at my table with my scissors cutting the small stem off all my pears... next time I'm going to remember to alter the file to just the pear shape before I cut out enough pieces to make 18 flowers.  

I haven't had a lot of time to work on my flowers with the crazy hours at work,  but I did manage to get 3 done so far...this isn't the best picture of them, but it gives you an idea of what they  look like.


On Sunday, I wanted to work on creating something to cover the pails.  I use both Make The Cut  (MTC) and Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL)  software with my Silver Bullet, as they each have their strengths.  MTC has a conical wrap feature that lets you create a design and cut it out so it fits around something that doesn't have the same dimensions at the top and bottom, like a tumbler or my pails.  But I didn't want to just cut out a design to apply to my pails, I wanted to cut out a piece of paper to wrap around the pails and hide what is already on there.  I also wanted to start using some of the digital papers I have been collecting, and thought this would be a great project to try both the conical wrap and the texture features in MTC.  Using the conical wrap is easy enough, you just measure your diameter at the top and bottom of your item, and the distance from the top to the bottom and put your numbers in the box on MTC.  It will then show you what your design will look like on your item.  Since I wanted a piece of paper to wrap all the way around my pail, I started with a rectangle.  My problem came when trying to figure out what size to make the rectangle so there wasn't a huge overlap at the ends, but enough of one so there wouldn't be any gap at my seam.  I played around with it for a good part of the day, trying to figure it out on my own, then finally gave up and asked a question on the MTC forum.  As is usually the case, there was someone with an answer to my question with in minutes of me posting.  And it was so simple I should have seen it myself.  In the conical wrap window, it shows the measurement of the top middle and bottom of your wrap.  I took the middle measurement, added a 1/4 inch, for the overlap, and made my rectangle that long by the  height of my pail.  I cut out a test sheet, and it fit PERFECTLY!!!!!  (Thanks HappyCrafter for showing me the light!!!)

The next obstacle was adding my digital paper to my shape.  I was going to use PnC but the size of my wrap wouldn't allow for the registration marks to be printed, so I couldn't line up my cut.  So the way I worked around this problem, was to create a rectangle that was slightly larger than my wrap, fill that with my digital paper, and then print the rectangle, line up the blade on my Silver Bullet,with the corner of the rectangle and just cut out my shape.  Doing it this way, allowed me to not have to print a full page of  the texture, saving on ink (in my case saving toner, since I use a color laser printer), but giving me enough room to make sure I had my shape fully within the texture.  

I haven't finished my project yet, but when I get them all done, I will be posting more pictures with all my pails full of crocus.  I try to make a flower or two a night... but it depends on what time I get home from work if I have time to work on them or not.  However, I do need to get them done before June.. so I need to get busy... LOL

Thanks for stopping by... and as always.. Enjoy the Journey!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Making boxes....

A couple of weeks ago I made my first box from scratch.. it turned out okay, but wasn't anything fantastic. I wasn't sure how to cover the chipboard with pretty paper, so I just cut out a piece for each side.  I didn't like the way the corners looked, since there was a seam at each of them, but I did learn how to put a box together.   Since then I have watched some videos from The Gentleman Crafter, and paid closer attention to how he makes his boxes.  What I noticed was that most of his boxes seem to fit on a 12 x 12 sheet of paper, so it was easy for him to cover his chipboard with a pretty paper.  Well, I wanted to make a box that was larger than what would fit on a 12 x 12 paper, and I wasn't sure exactly how to go about doing it, and have it look nice.  But I decided that if I don't try things, I will never learn... so I got out my chipboard and cut it to size, then decided to cut my patterned paper to fit around the sides with .75 inch wrap to the inside of the sides. I also decided to not cover the bottom of the box... since no one would see it, unless they turned it over, and since it is going to stay full of tags I didn't think that would happen, I decided to not waste my paper covering the bottom of the box.   I'm not sure the way I did it was the best way, but it worked for me. I'm going to keep looking on the internet to see if I can find other ideas for covering boxes that won't fit nicely on one sheet of paper.

The reason I needed a box in the first place, my friend Kim from the BlackCatUS forum sent me some No.8 tags to play with.  She had purchased something like 1000 of them online since it was cheaper to buy that many than to buy smaller quantities.  But it was more than she could use, so she offered some to me.  When my box of goodies came, I couldn't believe how many she sent me... I didn't count them, but there was a lot!!!!  So I needed something to keep them in, so they wouldn't fall all over the place. 

I didn't add any embellishments to it, I still have a hard time with that part, but my tags fit in there perfectly!!! As you can see, I have enough tags to keep me busy for quite some time.  THANKS Kim!!!!  I am really starting to enjoy making boxes, that way I can make them to the exact size I need for something, and when it no longer suits my needs, I can make another one.  I just used some cheap chipboard that I had laying around, it really isn't very strong, but I figured for the tags it would be fine, and I was right. I used some paper from the Latte DCWV stack that I have had for awhile,  and I thought it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself.
Thanks for stopping by and if you know of a better way to cover the chipboard for boxes that is larger than a 12 x 12 sheet of paper, I would love to hear about it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Some Crafty Fun this weekend...

This weekend a friend of mine wanted to have a virtual crafting party, and have people craft something that they had pinned on Pinterest, or found from another online source for inspiration.  I happened to have the weekend off, and was excited to be able to have time to join in on the fun.  I made the little Tea box from SVGCuts, Tea For You and Me set.  I got the box together, and thought it was cute, but it needed something else... but I have the hardest time trying to decide how to embellish things. But here is a picture of my box after putting it all together.  I love the files from SVGCuts, they are so easy to cut and put together.. even I can look like I know what I'm doing with them.

This morning I decided that I needed to find something else to add to it, so I decided on some of the Crochet trim from the Battenburg Lace and Crochet trim set and sized it to fit around the box.  Then I got the flowers and leaves from the Spring Birdhouses kit and added them to one side.  It always amazes me how just adding a little bit of detail can make something go from okay to looking more finished. 


I'm not sure what I'm going to use this box for, since I don't drink tea... LOL  but it was a lot of fun to make and it gave me the opportunity to figure out how to finish it off and add more detail.  

After I finished my tea box, I wanted to make another box inspired by The Gentleman Crafter.  I have always admired his boxes, and when I learned how he put them together using structure strips, it just floored me.  I am the type of person that needs step by step instructions the first time I do anything, and I can not for the life of me look at something and figure out how someone made it.. so finding tutorials on the web on how to do some of the awesome things I see,  is a lifesaver for me.  However, once I figure it out, then I can start adding my own twist, but the first one is always a "lets see how it all goes together even if it isn't pretty" type of project.  So I got out my kraft cardstock and made some structure strips.. those were easy enough to make, but if I had to come up with the idea, they wouldn't be around.  I then cut some flimsy chipboard, because that is all I had around, and since this was just to see how to put it all together, I didn't care.  I am going to have to go watch some more of The Gentleman Crafters videos and pay more attention to the details of how he puts his boxes together, because mine leaves a lot to be desired.  
Then I added some decorative paper, that  I bought back when I first started doing paper crafts, and now look at it and wonder what possessed me to pay money for it (yes it's pretty, but the colors are so NOT me).  I need to figure out a way to make the corners and the top edge more finished, and I'm sure if I pay closer attention to The Gentleman Crafters videos, he will give me all kinds of ideas on how to have a more finished looking edge... but for a first time, just wanting to get it done project, it didn't turn out too badly.  Of course, I still need to add some embellishments to it to make it look better, but until I figure out what I want to do with the corners, I don't want to add anything else too it... so as sad as it looks, here is my box.... please, don't laugh too hard.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a chance to do some crafting this weekend.... and enjoy the journey!!!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

April Card Club Card

I haven't had much time to play lately, but I needed to get some cards made for my card club this past Friday.  I waited until the last minute, because I had Thursday off, so figured I would be able to get them done in no time.  Well, silly me, it always takes me longer than I think it will, because I have such a hard time deciding on what to do, let alone what colors or papers I want to use.  I searched on SplitCoastStampers for cards with StampinUp stamps and papers, and found some really nice cards using Secret Garden stamps and framelits. Since I had just purchased those at our last meeting, I figured I should pull them out and see what I could come up with.
I stamped the flower with versamark and used white embossing powder on Bashful Blue paper. Then cut the flower out using the framelit and my Fiskars Fuse. Then I glued some blue micro beads in the center.  The leaves were cut out of Lucky Limeade.  The base of the card is River Rock, and the two mats were cut from So Saffron and Wistera Wonder.  I used my Silver Bullet to cut the mats, using a border design from Monicas Creative Room. It started out as a corner, and I just copied and pasted it to create a frame, then sized it to the size I wanted, made a shadow using MTC. 
If you haven't looked around Monicas Creative Room, you should go see all the beautiful files she shares.  They are amazing, and they cut beautifully on my Silver Bullet.

Here is the final product.  It measures 4 1/2" by 4 1/2"

I am hoping to have more time to play in the near future, things at work should be slowing down so I won't be working so much overtime.  I plan on spending a lot more quality time with my Silver Bullet when that happens.  So many things I want to try, and just don't have the time right now to spend as much time as I would like with it.  Sherri at ThatsScrapInc has come out with some new tools for the Silver Bullet and Cougar die cutting machines that I would love to experiment with.  If you haven't seen them yet, check out Penny Duncans and Lisa Howell's Blogs, they both created some files to use with the new tools and show you what can be done with them.  Be sure to check them out.
Well that's about it for now.. thanks for stopping by  

Enjoy the Journey!!!  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vinyl fun


I love cutting vinyl on my Silver Bullet Electronic Die cutter from Thats Scrap Inc Okay, so I love cutting anything with my cutter, but it cuts vinyl with ease.  Today I worked on a project for my boyfriend, he designed it, and I just brought it into my Sure Cuts A Lot software and created the cut file.  I use SCAL Pro to cut the vinyl as it has the option of adding weeding lines to your file to make it easy to weed your vinyl.  Unfortunately he wasn't able to get a good picture with out glare on the first one, but I think you can still make out the vinyl.   He has decided to Pirate up his Jeep and this was the outcome.







He found the font, and I just installed that on my computer, and used the Text in SCAL to create the words.  The Skull and Crossbones was a piece ClipArt, I'm not sure where he found that.

Now I just need to figure out what I want to put on my car to decorate it, so I can cut more vinyl.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Simple Pleasures Scrapbooking Store

This weekend is the 18th Anniversary of my local scrapbook store Simple Pleasures, in Colorado Springs.  Everything in the store was on sale all weekend, and even a couple of Make N Takes.  I participated in the Make N Take on Friday, using their new and exclusive Memory Box sets.  You can see a picture of the sets on their website or their Facebook page.  Of course I had to buy them both, because I couldn't make up my mind on just one.  But then I'm a sucker for flowers.  These are only available at Simple Pleasures, but if you would like to have them, they will ship to you, so you don't need to visit Colorado Springs.  :-)

On Saturday, I had to go back to the store.  My car had a flat tire Friday when I went to leave, and when my BF came to change it, we found out my spare was flat also.  It was too late to get either of them fixed Friday night so we had to leave my car at the store. Saturday morning we got my tire fixed, then back on my car.  While I was there getting my car, I just had to go inside and watch the demos of some of the Elizabeth Craft Designs products.  I'm so glad I did, because it gave me all kinds of ideas and inspiration on using some of their products that I have seen in the store, but wasn't sure how to use.  Like the Shimmer Sheets... they look interesting, but I wasn't sure what to do with them.  They can be embossed, die cut, cut with your electronic die cutter, and you can use alcohol inks on them, just to name a few.  Then there are the sticker sheets, again they looked cool, but wasn't sure what to use them for.  After watching the demo I of course, had to pick up some of each, after all they were on sale... so figured it was a great time to try them out.    You can see some pictures of the samples if you visit Elizabeth Craft Designs Facebook page.    If you want to watch how to use some of these products, check out Elizabeth Craft Designs YouTube channel.

I don't have any pictures to share with you, since I haven't had time to play with any of my goodies just yet.  But I wanted to get this posted so if you are interested in the exclusive Memory Box sets there is still a little bit of time to order them before their anniversary sale ends Sunday night.   They will be available all year long, but the sale is only good until Sunday Feb 17th and only on in stock merchandise. The store is going to be open this Sunday, so you still have time to give them a call and place your order.

Until next time... Enjoy the Journey.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Love is in the Air

I was looking through my files, the other day, and decided I wanted to make some of the 3D letters from SVGCuts  I had purchased them when they first came out, and never made any of them, so decided it was about time I used them. Once I decided on the letters, I used SCAL to resize them to 4 inches tall.  I love the way SVGCuts makes their files so that it is easy to resize all the parts to the same size with out having to guess at it.
The letters I choose were L O V E and here is a picture of them.
 The O is a little "off" but they said that the letters with curves are the hardest ones to make. For me the hardest part of making the letters was deciding on embellishments for them.  I cut out some patterned paper for the flower on the O and used a heart shaped brad to  hold them together.  I got the idea for the heart on the L from the Art Glitter  blog. But I couldn't think of anything for the other two letters.  Over the weekend I was watching some videos on YouTube, and one was from The Gentleman Crafter.  I love his videos, he is so fun to watch when he is making things.  He cut out a heart from Chipboard, and then decorated it.  That got me to thinking, I can cut chipboard with my Silver Bullet Electronic Die cutter, so I grabbed a piece of chipboard and started cutting. I created the heart file from a basic shape and just altered it a bit in SCAL and made different sizes. I started out putting gesso on them then painted them. Once they were dry I used different mediums like Glass Bead Gel and Modeling Paste. The inspiration for those came from the Creative Jump Start videos. I even played around with mixing my own color after taking Julie Fei-Fan Blazers Getting Started class, and made purple for one of the hearts (on the E).  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the extra hearts, but I will hold on to them for future projects.

Here is a closer look at the individual letters and some of the left over hearts.
I added some glitter and white paint to this heart.


 I stacked two of the chipboard hearts together, the bottom one is painted, the top heart I put some Heavy Gel Medium on it to give it some texture.  Not sure it shows up well in the picture.
 On this heart, I used a line of Glossy Accents around the bottom heart, and filled the top heart with Glossy Accents, before gluing them together.
 Here are a few of the other hearts I was making to show some of the different ways I painted them. The smaller ones just have a base coat of red on them for now.  The pink heart on the right has some Glass Bead gel on it... I think it needs something more, but not sure what just yet.  I will probably wait until I am ready to use it for something before I do anything more to it.
On this heart I started with modeling paste and added some pink paint to it, before putting it on the heart.  Then I covered it with the Glass Bead gel. I wanted to try some of my spray inks, and the color I choose did NOT look good, so I covered it all up with paint.   You can still see the texture of the beads on the heart, but not as much as before I painted it.
 

 I will be making more of the 3D letters from SVGCuts in the future, and I can't wait until I have more time to play with more of the different mediums.

I want to thank you for taking the time to stop by and I hope that you enjoy the journey.