Wednesday, 30 November 2016

December 2016 calendar free printable

I'm a last minute Lucy this year, normally prepped and organised for December 1st with project life up to date and my home made cards made, well this year it just ain't happening!! Homemade cards have gone, too late to start now, project life not up to date unless I burn some midnight oil bu I have been productive tonight and made a calendar page for the front of my 6x8 album so I know what day each date is, I find it handy when looking back.
I made it in Silhouette software using a Silhouette font called sailaway out of the shop. I printed it out on scrapbook paper using my laser printer, then ran it through my Minc with some Champagne reactive foil. If you would like to use it I have shared the file here. I decided to print it out full size and cut to a page on its own by drawing round a page protector to get the size and hole alignment right. If you want you could cut it at 6x8 so it fits inside a page protector. 
NOTE: the file is intended as a printable only from the Silhouette software. I have not turned off the cut lines so if you intend to print and then cut you will need to turn off the cut lines you don't need.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Designing your own light box slides

There is a huge lightbox craze at the moment especially amongst the crafty community and I wanted one, trouble is when you costed out the box and all the bits you would need to buy extra it was expensive and I needed to do it more frugally. I'm all about getting the look and paying less. So here is my take on it.
I bought my lightbox in NEXT £12 and this is what it looks like now.

I wanted a small lightbox to be part of a vignette, so this suits my purpose but I have seen a three row, bigger lightbox in The Works £10 if you prefer that size.
 It comes in a box like this.
 These are the characters that come included with it.
 They each have a protective film on, so remove that before use.
 The lightbox itself is all white.
It has an on and off switch on the side. 
It takes 6 AA batteries, and has holes so you could hang it on a wall in a gallery display.
I wanted to fancy mine up for the season so I added some copper Washi tape across the bars on the front.

Now to decide on my slides. You can put anything you like in it and I intend to change mine frequently. I wanted a phrase that would fit on the top line and a picture on the bottom line. 
I measured the height and length of each row on the lightbox and sized the background piece in Photoshop, you could use Silhouette software instead if you prefer. I then selected a font and typed out the phrase to fit on the background template, save it as a png or a jpg file. I wanted a coloured background so I added a shaded background in photoshop.

All you need to do now is print on an ink jet printer with special printable acetate (on the rough side) and trim to fit! Endless possibilities! Any digital stamps you own, any font you like and you can store them easily for next year in a file folder. Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

How to make your own foiled embellishments from digital files

Here's a 'how to' of how I made my own foiled embellishments for my December Daily album using some of Ali Edwards digital files and my Minc machine.
You could make this in Photoshop or Silhouette software.
You will need;
Digital png files or stamp brushes
laser printer
Minc foiling machine
White cardstock
Silver or gold foil.
1. Open the file in your chosen software. I used the Silhouette software and dragged the png files from their location onto the page. Resize if required. i wanted them two inches to fit in the 2x2 page protectors.

2. Cut some cardstock to A4 and place in laser printer feeder tray. Print.
3. Cut foil to size to go over design, place in pouch for running through the Minc machine. I have the 12 x 12 machine so A4 runs through fine. If you have the 6 inch machine size your original circles on to a six inch custom page settings.
4. Cut out using a correct size cutting die on your manual die cutter machine. These are not perfect circle files so there are some gaps. If you prefer to cut them with your silhouette you need to do the following at stage one;
open the png files on the chosen page size, using the trace feature select all the circles and adjust the threshold and scale in the trace window and select trace outline. Don't forget to add registration marks too.
You can print them on the laser printer, then go back to the Cameo and cut by locating the registration marks and then foil them afterwards.
Hope that helps. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Project Life catch up!

Sometimes Project life gets away from me, not the photographing but the assembly and journaling so I did a quick catch up recently.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

A Day In The Life 30th July 2016

 Yesterday was Ali Edwards 'day in the life' where you try to document what you do on that day. This year she mentioned she was going to set and alarm on her phone for every hour and take a photo. I thought that was a great idea as you could then just react instantaneously to what you were doing at that time, so I joined in. It was a busy Saturday and we were having friend over for a BBQ in the evening so I knew it would be hectic. I also snapped a few extra shots in between in case I forgot to react to the alarm or some photos were blurry and no good. I decided to try different angles too to switch it up, looking up, looking down,

 and down low
 I think the collage of my hourly photo's sums up my day pretty well!
I was even switching off my PC in the last minute of the day!! How cool is that?
Hope you were able to make some good captures too. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Less is more - thinning out craft supplies for a more streamlined space

I have been carrying out another purge of my craft supplies and streamlining my storage systems, we crafters like organisation as much as crafting! Some of the things that were taking up a lot of space were my craft punches so I got them all out and worked out exactly which ones I used! I decided to keep the Fiskars squeeze punches I used a lot and get rid of all my other punches and use the money I made on Ebay selling them to introduce three sizes of circle punch in the same variety. (The white ones are the new ones.) Now my craft punches take up this much space and that's it! Result!
So what shapes did I keep? 
Well as a project life and mini album maker mostly, I kept three tag punches that I find useful, as well as three sizes of start punch, a square and a heart.
Then of course the circle punches in three sizes and two sizes of scallop circle punch.
Finally I swapped my corner rounders for this one.
I think that's me covered. I have my cameo and my Cuttlebug with some slim dies for most other shapes I may need. I recommend it! Much easier to see what you have and have them right there and handy. Why not give it a try? TFLx

Monday, 11 July 2016

10 tips on how to furnish your first home without spending too much money

For young people these days buying a home has nearly become and impossibility, I know this from my son, but with the government 'help to buy' scheme here in the UK, he has finally been able to get a foot on the ladder. 
As parents, we are all helping our children get started in various ways, he wanted to do the bricks and mortar all on his own so we have been trying to help with the furnishing. Here are a few tips for anyone in the same boat, on how to get the house into a home.

1. Look what the experts have done.
Visit the showhome or a showhome that is similar to what you are buying to get a feel for colour and size and light etc. Because my son has bought off plan, we have gone for a west facing garden with french doors to the lounge, so we are hoping for good light in the living space. I made a note of the type of floor coverings they used and where they place mirrors to reflect extra light and how they treated the windows, all good tips as these show home dressers know their stuff!

2. Floor coverings
Start with the floor coverings. Decide what you want and where. We have gone for wood effect cushion flooring throughout the open plan downstairs for its practicality. Laminate was too expensive and too noisy but cushion floor is so good these days you can get the same effect for less. Research your suppliers carefully and compare prices online and in shops remembering to add in fitting costs. We went to a carpet shop during the sale and negotiated for a price for the full house. make sure you can get the most from your purchase, we worked out off cuts from the downstairs would be used to floor the bathroom upstairs and downstairs toilet as well as understairs cupboard. Staircases and upstairs are best with stain resistant carpet these days. particularly for the young! Get the shop to give you a written quote and then you know exactly how much you are talking about. We had to use the plans and will have to get more accurate measurements when the house is built. If the house is new, this will be your biggest cost as you need all the gripper rods and door strips, so start budgeting now for it.

3. Furniture
 Make a list of what furniture is essential in each room to start with. Work out what you need right from the start and what you can buy later. You can split your list into phases. 

4. What have you got already?
Even if you have been living at home of living at University of whatever, there will be things you already own. Ask family members if they have furniture they want to get rid of. Most householders have too much furniture or are thinking of changing something so put some feelers out and see if you get lucky. You can always refinish old furniture to your taste. Ask your parents if you can take your bed, they maybe looking to repurpose that room anyway.

5. Shop savvy. 

Start monitoring eBay or Gumtree, both excellent sources of cheap local furniture. I will do a more in depth post on this another time with more tips for searching.

Make sure you or your parents are building up Tesco points or Nectar points on your normal shopping habits as these too will come in handy later. Start a Top Cashback account for money back on purchases you will be making, even better if a friend recommends you as they get money back too.

6. Sell, sell, sell
What can you sell to generate funds? A lot of the time we have things that are just sitting there in cupboards or the garage doing nothing. Sell them to generate funds to buy what you need. Every £1 adds up! (I have done well at this and generated more space too so decluttering and earning money!Win-win)

7. Blag some storage space
In our case we had a spare bedroom but someone may have a garage or shed so you can start getting together your items on a phased basis ready for the move in date. If you see something in the sale or cheap on ebay you can store it.

8. Find someone who sews!
If you want curtains/blinds making or altering find someone who sews. Often you can buy a large pair of curtains and make several pairs or even blinds from the one pair. This saves a lot of money.

9. Hot deals

  Download the App HotUKDeals and look at the 'home' topic everyday to search out some amazing deals on all sorts of things you may need. Search the internet for sales and offer codes and watch out for sales on Argos where they have extra promo codes on different departments, or free £5 vouchers if you spend so much. 

10. Work hard
Saving money takes time and effort. You need to research the net, shop wisely, keep checking the lowest prices and how to get money back on your purchases, what can you get in vouchers and what you need to pay full price for, where and when to save money. You will earn the money because of the amount of effort you put in but hopefully you will be making a start on a big journey.

P.S. Make sure you have a help to buy ISA in place if you are thinking of buying in the next few years. If you have never owned a home before, you can get your savings boosted. Check this out online, is a good site.  When choosing a mortgage some have cashback incentives, make sure the deal is good but if they offer one it could help with your fees.
Please let me know if you find any of these tips helpful or you can recommend any others by leaving a comment.