Sunday, 27 January 2013

My weekend in Instagram

 Checking in
 Design ideas - badges - Greenwich Market
 Inspiration - Lush designs

Retail therapy - checking out were DS 2 works on Oxford Street
Back to reality
Very busy week! TFLx

Thursday, 24 January 2013

How to make a Chalkboard '&' card for project life

Chalkboard seems to everywhere and I have been collecting ideas on my Pinterest board. I have been collecting free fonts that look like hand sketched for a while too. I got some ideas for those too from Pinterest. 
There is a free chalkboard background download here, in three colours, that I used for this project.
The fonts I chose to use were 'Grutch shaded', 'Sketchetik' and I can't remember the other one but will try to find out! All from free font sites. I also used Photoshop Elements software.

Open the chalkboard background in Photoshop Elements then re size to you page protector pocket size, mine was a 3 x 4 card. Select the colour choice for the font and then the font you want to use. Type the ampersand and then re size by highlighting and clicking on the size box next to the font name, enter your own size e.g. 300 and press return. The ampersand should then be approx the size of your background. If not, enter a different font size in the box and click return again until you get that right. When I am happy, I click 'save as' and save it as a jpg in my Project Life folder so I will know where to find it.
I then open up word and insert several of these images and print them off on presentation paper (see first photo above), to use less ink, trim them down and keep them on hand in my Project Life basket.
Hope you have enjoyed this quick tutorial. Remember you can use the same technique for quotes too! Off to do just that! TFLx

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Project Life 2013 Week 2

One up side of the snowy weather is I am up to date with my project life!
Welcome to the Project Lifers joining me from Michelle's Project Life blog hop in the USA. 2012 was my first year of project life, the slide show is at the bottom of this page if you want to take a look at last years album I made with my normal scrapbook stash, (8.5 x 11 size).
As I said in my first post of 2013, I have combined 12 x 12 page protectors with 6x4 horizontal and vertical page protectors in a 12 x 12 album this year. 
I used the left hand page to chart the local fight in our town to retain our original cobbled high street. I am not often moved to join a protest group, but I am really angry about this and copied our local paper that reports the story. 2.5 million to replace them with block paving does not seem good value to me on any level!! 
The cobbles make our market town as far as I am concerned, so it may seem a funny story to write about in Project life, but it is taking up my thoughts at the moment. (gets down off her soap box....) 
The right hand page is a 6x4 page protector with photo's of my school bag, because we went back to school, my revamped craft space in a collage picture, a chalkboard card that I made, which I will show you how to make later this week and some thank you letters from my nephews for their Christmas gifts. A screen shot from my iphone, of a call with my younger son who is away at dance school in London and my elder son cuddling the dog on his return from work make up my week. I also wrote hidden journaling behind some photo's (if I want to keep it more private.) 
It was a quiet week this week, so just a bit of journaling and my date stamp here and there to record exact days. 
Week One pages were here

 My title page and a 2013 freebie card are here.
Thanks for taking time to look at my pages and enjoy the blog hop! TFLx

Thursday, 17 January 2013

New Feature - Cameo Classroom Print and cut stickers

At new year, with my first Project Life layout of 2013, I mentioned that I would be sharing some Cameo ideas in my blog this year. I got my Cameo for my birthday last year, by asking every family member who normally buy me something, to contribute and then selling a lot of my unused stash and clothes on eBay. This is a purchase I have not regretted and I have made a promise to myself to make all my own cards ever since too. I was never a great card maker, but each time I make one now I credit myself with saving £1.50 just like that! I am no expert, but I thought I would share what I have learnt!
Print and cut stickers:
There are lots of project life printables out there on the net for free, you don't have to buy them, I have a Pinterest board of Project Life ideas I have amassed if you want to check them out, but how do you make that file into a print and cut on your machine? This is how I do it.
You will need to have Photoshop elements or a printer with a scanner, as well as your Silhouette software. 
I bought this printable from the Studio Calico site but you can use any free printable and complete the same steps here to turn it into a print and cut, saving you time.
The first step is to get the design you want into the Silhouette software. Silhouette does not recognise a PDF file so if the printable you have downloaded is in this format, you need to change it to jpg or png.
With Photoshop Elements - you can open the pdf and save the file as a png for greater detail and clarity.
With a printer scanner - print out the PDF file 

and then scan it as a photograph into your computer at 300 dpi and save the image as a jpg.
Whichever way you choose you can now open your Silhouette software and get the jpg or png image on to the blank document by clicking file-open and then you will have to alter the file type so you can see your new document. Unfortunately the Silhouette always defaults to looking for studio files, but if you click in the dropdown you can get it to see either jpg, png or all files. 
So, locate where you saved it on your pc.
If you have a regular printer, your first job is to resize the mat down to A4 or letter size, by clicking the page icon top right and then selecting A4 as I did here.
Now we need to trace the outlines, so we can make cutting lines.
Clcik on the trace icon on the top right, select trace area by clicking and dragging over the entire design, then remove the tick from high pass filter in the list and slide the threshold slider right up to 100% and then go up and click 'trace outline'. When you move your design to the right you should see some red cut lines underneath. Click 'undo' to superimpose them back on top of each other accurately, then select the whole design, right click and then choose group to link your print to your cut lines.
Now we need to add registration marks to the design so the cutter can work out where to cut on the printing.

Click on the registration marks icon on the top right hand side and then tick 'show registration marks' and some grey shaded areas will appear on your design. It is important that non of your printed area is under these marks or they will not be printed and cut, so you will have to click on the corner of the design to re-size it smaller, until all the design is within the white, open area. Now we can go ahead and do the printing, by clicking on the printer icon on the top left.
You have a choice of materials to print on, I did these on Silhouette sticker paper, but you can do it on presentation paper (takes less ink) or cardstock if they are for journaling. 
Once out of the printer, place the printed paper on the cutting mat aligning the top left hand corner with the grid. Feed the mat into your Cameo.
You need to start the cutting process next by getting the Silhouette to automatically detect the registration marks. So go to the 'cut' icon next to the printer icon and click on skip printing and then on detect registration marks automatically. The machine will whirr into action looking for the three black marks it printed, two at the top and one at the bottom left. Once this is done you are ready to cut, but make sure you choose the correct type of paper, see what is defaulted to and then click 'change settings' and adjust to whatever you have chosen - I chose Silhouette adhesive sticker paper, then press cut.
Voila, your own stickers print and cut!
 NOTE - Make sure you adjust your blade depth to whatever it recommends for each type of paper. If you cut too deeply through sticker paper instead of just the top layer peeling off the backing paper, the whole sticker gets cut out through both layers!!! (I found out personally!) TFLx

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Little black dress invitations

I have really enjoyed my Cameo since I got it for my birthday last year and have used it a lot. A friend of mine asked me to make her some 50th party invitations and between us, we came up with this little black dress invite, and I decided to put it in a DL cellophane "garment" bag rather than an envelope as most of them will be hand delivered.

In the final version, I found pearls on a roll for the necklaces instead of the gold chain.
The pattern was made in three pieces, the back in white card, the front dress in black card and the coat hanger, a print and cut clip art image. The invitation details are printed on the white dress shape, before cutting out. The three layers are stitched together at the shoulders with my sewing machine.
By cutting the dress level at the base it stands up. So that you know who you addressed it to, once it is inside the dress bag of cellophane, I added a tag to the outside. I used a Fiskars tag punch for this.

A top tip for printing on card stock that your printer finds difficult to feed, is to create a carrier sheet, by taping the card stock to a normal piece of A4 using Washi tape, stepping the leading edge of card stock slightly back from the paper.
This fools your printer into thinking it is just normal paper, without the design being shunted off the edge.
I did the whole print and cut through my Cameo, by adding registration marks using the Silhouette software. When you have printed and then added the card to the cutting mat, don't forget to detect the registration marks before doing the cutting. You must do this after each new sheet is added to the cutting mat as they may have printed in a slightly different position on the card each time.
If your Cameo cutting mat is loosing some of its stickiness, you can also Washi tape it down as the Washi is only a very delicate form of sticky tape and is easily removable. TFLx

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

This memory keeping lark....documenting life

Having just finished Project life 2012, I was thinking back and realised that I have documented most years since 2008, when I started this album, "Scrap Your Day" prompted by Shimelle and a class over on UKs, where we took photo's throughout the 25th day of each month for a year. The basis for the album, was a Making Memories calendar album and the interior pages went like this

The 25th of each month had a double page spread of photographs with a block of journaling, here are two examples of February and May of that year, I think I did it from March to February. 
When I finished that Scrap your day album, I had quite enjoyed it, so I bought another of the blank albums, this time with a hard cover and decided to do it as a month by month record of the whole month's happenings

I called it Scrap The Year and I usually made a collage photo of each month in Picasa and then documented the main events.
That year I also started Ali Edwards December Daily album, where you scrapped everyday in December with a photo and some journaling. I used some recycled materials to make my album.
In 2010 I took a break from this type of scrapping and got into my 12x12 layouts much more, but did do an Ali Edwards "Week in the life" album instead. 

I also decided to do my December Daily Album, again with recycled materials.
2011 was the year I was fifty and I decided to do a 12 x 12 album with a layout a week and then a month in review page. This was my title page.
By the end of the year, I had filled 2 albums, but achieved my goal and completed it!

Again, in December, I did my December Daily from recycled materials.
2012 saw my first start on Project Life, it was a big year for us in many ways. Hubby was to be 50, and younger son 18, he would also get his A level results and audition for dance school, hopefully starting a whole new life in London. Our elder son was to graduate from University. With the Queens diamond jubilee and the Olympics in London, it was going to be a year to remember. I filled 3 albums!

And made my December Daily

That's a whole host of memory keeping, but my 12 x 12 albums remained empty last year, as this took over. I still made mini albums of holidays and Graduation etc but I missed my 12 x 12. This year, I hope to do both!
If you think that Project Life might be too much for you, why not start one of these other projects. Check out the inspiration on Ali Edwards blog here.
Project Life seems to be all the rage this year, but I still do it my way. I don't buy any fancy purpose made kits, I make my own. You could do that too, just find what works for you, but keep documenting!! It does not matter how you do it, just do it!!
P.S. All these photo's are from my blog just search the relevant project to see more. TFLx