Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.

Aren't my 4 Things precious?  

I'm busy today cleaning my house as we are hosting a big Christmas lunch with my inlaws tomorrow.  I have excited Things who keep pawing at presents wrapped under the tree, trying to guess what they are.  

Two of my lovely downlines, Kath and Michelle, came over last night for an informal "team Meeting"  which was really just a catch up before Christmas.

I made them each a calico bag with heat transfer + MDS + my new Silhouette machine, which I forgot to take a picture of.  Michelle gave each of us these sweet tubes filled with mini M&M's, and Kath made us earrings, which she wrapped in this gorgeous mini milk carton.

I've also been tinkering with my new Silhouette cameo and vinyl.  Here's my first project:

I made it a little crooked ( :-( ) but I still quite like it!

I hope you, dear readers, enjoy a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Wreath

Well, I am putting it out there.  I am a failure as a professional cardmaker.  I am facing the reality that with five days left to go, I am most likely not sending cards out this year for Christmas.

The stockpile I did have, went to the store that sells my cards and other cool stuff, The Mistress of Spice.  Or else were bundled into packs and given away as Christmas gifts to teachers, etc.  As for the MDS cards I had designed - well, I STILL don't have a card-worthy photo of my 4 Things together.  I haven't even had a Santa Photo taken yet this year - which is something I would normally have done weeks ago.  Sigh.

At least I have spent my time productively this week - I've done my Christmas shopping and wrapped all the gifts.  And I spent a good day or two making a new wreath for my front door.

I must say I'm fairly pleased with it.  It wasn't difficult, and I certainly could have done it quicker if I'd made up my mind how it would look before I started instead of designing as I went.  Sigh.

Want to know how I made it?

1.  I took  a styrofoam wreath from a craft store,  and wrapped it in recycled brown paper (Stampin' Up!  packs their boxes with recycled paper, so I'm recycling recycled paper!  Or is that up cycling?) which I tore into strips and glued with a simple glue stick (I used the Stampin' Up! Gluestick).

2.  Then after dithering for ages, I decided on a Real Red and Gold colour scheme and set to work stamping the large snowflakes in Real Red ink on Crumb Cake card stock, middle sized snowflakes on Real Red Cardstock in Gold Ink which I heat embossed with Gold Stampin' Embossing Powder, and the small ones I stamped on Brushed Gold card stock in Real Red ink.

3.  I die cut my snowflakes with their matching Framelit dies and the Big Shot.

4.  I decided we needed more gold, so I die cut the bow and the other snowflakes (retired die from last year's Holiday Mini, sadly) for good measure.

5.  I decided on a banner for the inside of the wreath and die cut the little pennants with the Big shot, then stamped them and heat embossed them with white embossing powder.  

6.  Assembly.  First, I stapled white cotton ribbon to act as a loop to hang the wreath with my staple gun.  Then I attached my banner to some twine with my glue gun.  Then I took it apart and did it again, because I glued the letters backwards the first time.  That's why the "e" in "Merry" is a little wonky.  Uh, I mean charming and homespun.  I then hot glued the twine to the wreath and started randomly applying the snowflakes until my heat gun stopped working (@#$&*).

7.  I attached the bow using Stampin' Dimensionals because the (@#$%) heat gun stopped working.

Here is everything I used to make this wreath - the only things not Stampin' Up! was the polystyrene wreath base, the staple gun and the @#$%&* glue gun.  

Of course, you could just cut a circle from cardboard if you can't be bothered going to the shops to find a wreath.  I've done that before using the backing cardboard from DSP packs.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

MDS Photobook = Easy Xmas

Ever since I started scrapbooking about 7 or 8 years ago, I've made a mini scrapbook for both sets of grandparents for Christmas.  In the last couple of years, as I've been pressed for time, I've been making photo book gifts instead.

Even though we don't yet have printing for My Digital Studio in Australia, we do have access to quite a few high quality printing options that are competitively priced.

I spent several hours today making this year's photo book in MDS (I did it on and off throughout the day).  This year's book uses the template from the Nobody's Business 12 x 12 Photobook.

I liked the variety of layouts, many with multiple photos (isn't that the point of a photo book?)  and the funky bright colours are in right now.  

Here are a few of my pages:

I used a photo of a sign I took during the year - at the time, I knew I'd use it in my photo book or a scrapbook layout!  I think it works well for the cover of this year's book!

I also made a couple of changes - it is pretty easy to customise the templates.

I love this picture of Thing 3, and it works with the bright colours.

The template has 24 pages, including front and back covers, and you can always add more pages, or delete some.

Once I finished my book, and saved it as a .JPEG file, I uploaded it to Snapfish (I have used them before and they have a special 40% off  that ends tomorrow).  If you haven't made a photo book with them before their website is really easy to navigate.  They have a number of printing options, and I chose a softcover 20cm x 20 cm book, because it is the most cost effective option for me.  You can get them printed in an A4 book or a 30cm x 30cm and plenty of other options.  I chose 20cm by 20 cm because although my template photo book in MDS is 12 inch x 12 inch (30.5cm x 30.5cm), I know it will work in the 20cm x 20cm format without losing much.

I uploaded each page as a separate photo, picked the layout (single photo per page, the whole page) and just dragged and dropped my pages until I finished.  The only negative is that the softcover 20cm x 20cm book I used only has 20 pages, so I had to drop a couple from my 24 page.  Some of the other more expensive options allow you to add more pages, but this one won't.  I wanted to keep the cost low as I'm printing it 3 times (one for each set of grandparents plus one for me to keep).

Now it is going to be touch and go whether or not I'll get these books before Christmas (I'm so last minute!) but I'll let you know how they look when they arrive.  I hope I didn't make any typos this year!

Let me know if you are interested in using MDS to make a photo book too.  :-)  Click the "Shop Now" button to go to my online store.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

MDS - Makes life easy

I'm so glad I have My Digital Studio when it comes to this crazy time of year.  Last week, I helped create a beautiful and meaningful Teacher Gift, which I was able to print at home onto Whisper White card stock and frame.  The work of minutes!

All I did was open an A4 document in My Digital Studio, and used MDS alphabet stamps for the title, then I opened a text box for each name or word and rotated some of them until I was happy with the look.  I was able to use the different fonts installed on my computer (I have lots - some of them are from free sites like dafont.com) for each child's name.

This "Subway Art" was made with the names of the children in the class, in bright colours and different fonts.  

This piece was made using words collected from the children to describe  their lovely teacher.
What do you think?  If I'd had more time, I might have sent them off to be printed professionally, but they actually worked out very well on my home printer.  Thank goodness!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Clearance Rack Craziness!

Don't delay!  This is an "As Stocks Last" sale and you can miss out!

You can see what is discounted over on my Store, but here is a peek:

As usual, my online store is located here:  My Online Store

Thinlet love

Seen these in the Holiday Mini Catalogue?

Well, I finally gave in and bought them, and I've taken them for a spin:

Paper:  Whisper White, Silver foil, Silver Glitter Paper, Coastal Cabana
Other:  Big Shot, Expressions Thinlets, Paper Piercing Tool,  Stylish Stripes Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, heart punch,  Apothecary Accents Framelits.

Expressions Thinlets, Big Shot, Chalk Talk Framelits, Polka Dot Embossing Folder, Ticket punch

I love how you can use both the positive and negative.    I have also used them on scrapbook pages (which I forgot to photograph).  

TIP:  Some people have found the words are difficult to extract from the die - try using some waxed paper from the supermarket between the die and the card stock.  It will pop right out.  The dies have little holes you can use to help pop the die cut out, using a paper piercing tool.  Ingenious!