woensdag 8 januari 2014

On the Silhouette: Making tabbed dividers for my Collins Personal Organizer

After spending a good few days unsuccesfully looking for cutting files to cut my own dividers for my new Collins Personal Organizer I had a go at making some myself using my beloved Silhouette cutting machine. And it was surprisingly easy:

Scan a coloured (white won't work for this) tab or sheet from the planner. Be careful about how you place your original so that your holes (or tabs) will end up on the right side when you cut later on:

Open scanned doc. Make sure you have it set for opening .jpeg, not Silhouette files or else they won't show up. Move the scanned shape slightly away from the edge, it will be easier to work with later.

Click on the 'Open Trace window' blue and yellow button in upper right corner. And then, in the right hand menu, click on 'Select trace area' at the top. Draw a box around the shape.

Now the important bit: go to trace settings and unclick 'High Pass Filter', click 'Low Pass Filter' and then start moving the 'Threshold' slider up till your entire shape is a solid yellow. For me that was around '88' but it will differ depending on the colour of your original scan. Don't go all the way to 100% or you'll loose the punch holes.

Now press 'Trace' at the top and a red outline will appear:

You can now remove the original scanned image from the red cut lines. And then before doing anything you SAVE your file as a Silhouette file so you can re-use this as often as you like. 

Time for cutting!

Click 'Send to Silhouette' button at the main menu bar and follow cutting instructions. Happy cutting!


Let me know how you get on!

woensdag 11 december 2013

December Daily....eeh how about weekly?

Until last year I had never heard of December Daily (or DD...like there aren't about a dozen things that could mean ?). But when I did find out I was very intrigued. Was this something I could and wanted to do?

I loved seeing the christmas themed albums and all those great pictures of typical (American) Christmas scenes: trees, pj's, hot cocao and Starbucks red cup:-) But it also seemed like a lot of work and I didn't really like the idea of making a separate booklet for that one month of the year. I kind of like my months to stick together if you know what I mean:-)

But then there is the great sense of community you get from joining hundreds (if not thousands) of scrapbookers who do do DD. What to do? I thought I would just watch what others did and not do anything myself. Well that didn't really work for more than a day or so:-)

I soon got it into my head that I could do one picture a day and maybe all those 31 individual pictures could just go into one huge double spread. So I asked for some tips on the Holiday Storyteller FB page. And they had loads of templates to use. This got me thinking that I may have something in my digi-stash already that I could use. And that's when my month-across-two-pages plan turned into my one-week-a-page plan and that's what I'm going with:-)

Week one is done. It is all in Dutch, sorry...but it is all about a very Dutch tradition of St Nicolas. Like Santa he brings presents for the children, only he arrives halfway through November by steam boat from Spain and his main drop-off is December 5th. After that it's full speed for Christmas: getting a tree and decorating!
I used a template by Penny Springman, background papers by LLIELLA Designs and Basic Studio (kraft).The row of houses and arrow are by MO&Mo Studio, a Dutch design studio that does special St. Nicolas papers and embellishments.

Are you doing December Daily or some Sinterklaas or Christmas themed layouts? Let me know, I'd love to see them.

donderdag 21 november 2013

Wrapping it up: Making your own wrapping paper

I have been buying Christmas (and Sinterklaas, a Dutch tradition) presents over the last few days and really felt like doing some wrapping. I have been using, and loving, plain old kraft packing paper to wrap up presents. Pimping them with colourful ribbon and tags. Occasionally I had also stamped on the kraft paper with kids alphabet stamps. I'd personalize the paper by stamping the birthday boy or girl's name all over it, quite a hit I can tell you;-)

So today I wanted to try something a bit more sophisticated for a grown up Christmas present. I decided to stamp a pattern of two different Christmas stamps in bright white ink. I really love how the bright white contrasts against the brown kraft paper.

Here's how I did it:

You need: Kraft packing paper (post office or office supply store), stamps and good opaque white stamping ink.

  1. Spread out the paper
  2. Pick out a stamp
  3. Ink up the stamp really, really well. It really pays off to ink the stamp (and not push the stamp onto the ink).
  4. Stamp away, generously re-inking after every print you make. I did mine in relatively straight and evenly spaced lines as it seemed to fit with the clean images I was stamping but of course you can do it any way you like. I would recommend you keep the pattern quite tight so you can see it well ones you have actually wrapped something with it. 
  5. Leave it to dry for a while as the paper is quite glossy and not so porous. I ended up using a heat gun to help it along a bit.
  6. If you like your images to really pop out (and have lots of time) you can choose to emboss them with white embossing ink. It will look great. I made a few tags and embossed those and you can really see the difference. 
  7. Wrap up your goodies....

woensdag 20 november 2013

Making the most of every scrap: Quick Kids Cards and my first shaker card:-)

Boy, it's been a while since I did some proper crafting but today was the day and it felt great! I've been meaning to have a go at two things for a while:
  1. Using my son's foam letters to make kids birthday cards and
  2. Making some sort of shaker card.
And today was the day:-)

I really like making cards for kids but I approach them a little different than I would a card for an adult. I try to keep them simple, fun and attractive. And if at all possible made of basic inexpensive materials that could possibly inspire them to make something similar themselves and wouldn't make their parents feel too guilty about tossing them either;-)

The cards you can see above fit al those criteria really well. They're birthday cards for three girls aged between 4 and 6, the age in which, in The Netherlands, reading, writing and learning your ABC's is a big part of your life so hence the use of these glittery letters. These came from a big jar of glittery letters I bought for my son but he is never interested in them so they now finally have a good use:-) The squares were all punched out of scrap card- and scrapbooking paper and I used a stamp for the sentiment*. I made these three cards in about an hour and a half (including punching out about 40 or so squares to be used on future projects).

I then still needed a card for a 2 yo boy and I really wanted to make something that would be appealing to him. Now boys really like touching and trying things not just look at something 'pretty' LOL so I had a go at making a shaker card. It was my first ever and I am quite pleased with how it turned out:

The background is made of paper scraps again and I really LOVE it. I used an old overhead projector sheet (same as I used for my Silhouette Stencils) as the window and glued it to the paper frame with superglue just to make sure it couldn't come undone and all the contents spilling out. I filled up the space in between with assorted sequins, the turtle and octopus are glued to the background. I then used double sided tape to attach top and bottom. I only had really thin tape which means there is not a lot of space between window and background so it doesn't shakes very vigorously but it is still interesting for little curious boy I'd think. But I am really going to look for some thicker double sided tape to  create a bit more air. But all in all I am very happy with my first attempt.

* Fijne Verjaardag = Happy Birthday 
Ik vind je Lief = I think your sweet 

maandag 30 september 2013

Stencil cutting on my Silhouette

A few weeks ago I watched Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's free online stencil class and got really inspired to do some Art Journalling with stencils. But stencils are not so easy to come by in The Netherlands and even if you can get them they are pretty pricey. So I wondered if I could make my own. I had seen Lain Ehmann of Layoutaday.com use left over paper die cuts from her Silhouette for stencilling and that gave me the idea to try making some stencils myself using my Silhouette. I wanted them to be a bit longer lasting than paper though so I used some old OHP (Overhead Projector, remember those?) sheets I had lying around. And it worked a treat! 

When I posted these on Facebook Lain asked if I would write up a tutorial to put on her blog to which I gladly obliged and here it is:

A card I made using my number and music notes stencil. I love using the Tim Holtz Distress inks with the stencils to get that lovely graded effect that really matches the tone-on-tone of the 20 euro note I worked into my brother's birthday card.

maandag 2 september 2013

Do it now! A bed for Eeyore

This morning my 4 yo son insisted on bringing his stuffed Eeyore with us to school. We got him dressed and took him on the bike with us. But as much as everyone liked him he couldn't stay in school so he came back on the bike with me.

When I arrived home with Eeyore on my arm I decided to get the doll bed out of the basement. I had bought it two years ago but my little man had little interest for dolls back then. But things have changed now that he is in kindergarten. There is a lot of 'playing mommy and daddy, cooking, cleaning and now, caring going on. I LOVE it! 

So when I got the bed upstairs I got the urge to make some bedding for it. I first wanted to postpone it until 'I had time to spare' but I figured it would never happen. You see, I am a little scared of my sewing machine (I get big knots of thread so often!!!) But something inside me said: 'Do it now!' and I just got on with it. I used an old curtain in a nice colour, an old piece of changing matt (for the mattress) and some stuffing (for the pillow and duvet). 

I ironed everything, pinned only the mattress cover together and then just sewed it all together leaving a little opening to put the stuffing in. The Mattress cover has a cool opening thanks to my clever use of the original hemming on the curtain, in case Eeyore wets his bed you know:-)

So how is that for an hour of work...

vrijdag 31 mei 2013

LOAD Day 31: Oh no, it's finished!

Yesterday I was so happy that the end was in sight but today I am feeling very sad to realize that this challenge is over. I have really enjoyed getting a little kick under the behind each day to create another page of memories and I am always happy with the layout that I have done. I will now have to do my own butt-kicking again:-)

Today's prompt was a room on the Clue board and it was the billiart or pool room. I went with the POOL and scrapped this week's first proper trip to the little pool because the weather was finally warm and sunny!

This layout will be going to my parents to put on their calendar. I give my parents, mother-in-law and ourselves an 'empty' calendar eacht Christmas and then send out layouts each month to put on it. This is the 3rd year running and it's become a pretty nice memory file.

Today was also the first time I scrapped while listening to some of Lain Ehmann's podcasts and it was really cool to have creative scrapbooking talk going on in the background. Check it out here if you'd like some soothing scrapbook talk:-)