Tuesday, March 7, 2017

PhotoScissors Software...where have you been all my life?

Hi Crafters!

This week is what I'm calling my "Perfect Storm" week of I don't know how many middle school, varsity, and select team softballs games (that keep getting moved around because of rain), quarter finals for my freshman (I hate you honors geometry), tutoring, softball practices, Greek festival, speech meet...and a husband that is tied up in meetings all week and unable to help make any of this happen.  I bet many of you know exactly what I'm talking about and live it often!!!  The stress was so bad I think even my own mother was ready to get off the phone with me.  LOL.  Deep breaths, coffee, and maybe a few deep breaths of my Ylang Ylang oil (per my Mom's suggestion) before the day ramps way up.

But, as like many of you, crafting is something that just brings me peace.  So, I wanted to check in with you today and share some cool software I read about on Facebook a few nights ago.  I downloaded it yesterday and played with it.  I'm hooked and have needed this software in my life for so long!  The software is called PhotoScissors, and it easily removes the background that you don't want leaving only the image you do want while making the background transparent (as long as you save it as a PNG).  If you've ever done the multi-step process in software like Gimp like I have, you will be dancing with joy at how much easier this is.

Check out the tutorial I first watched HERE.  If you are interested in purchasing the software for $10, click HERE!

What have I used it for you ask?  Well yesterday, I copied and pasted some retro dress pattern covers into PhotoScissors from my PINTEREST BOARD.  I then got rid of the background, saved the retro girl with the now transparent background, imported her into my Silhouette Studio software, traced her, and then created an offset.  I will be printing them out on sticker paper and cutting on the offset to create my own retro lady stickers!  Here's a screenshot of one of the sets I created last night:

So give it a try!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Episode 159: S'mores Bar Centerpiece

Hey Y'all!

I'm playing catch up on the blog sharing with my crafting community the fun projects I put together for my daughter's high school Sadie Hawkins dance.  The first project I want to share is the centerpiece I created for the S'mores Bar table using my Silhouette Cameo and The Round Top Collection Red Truck.  Here's a picture:

I've put together a video tutorial for this project.  Check it out below:

If you would like to check out the fun home d├ęcor products from The Round Top Collection, CLICK HERE.  You can use my special one time use, online only coupon code for 20% off your entire subtotal.  The coupon code is PYLRTCG.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My favorites for the craft room...

Yes, I will be making a video next month of my craft room.  I've been obsessed with perfection, which is ridiculous.  I finally convinced myself of this after realizing that I will have to reorganize my craft room AGAIN since I received a new Silhouette Cameo 3 for Christmas.  What an absolutely horribly chore, right?  I want to set up a serious cutting station with my original Silhouette Cameo, my new Silhouette Cameo 3 and the Cricut Explore Air that's been sitting in the box waiting for me to learn it.  When I assessed the task, something FINALLY clicked in my head.  I realized that my craft room is fluid, constantly evolving...mostly because I keep buying stuff.

So, I decided to compile a list in this post of some of my favorite large craft room organizing supplies.  I use all of these items in my craft room.  So, let's begin:

A classic.  You can find them at Michael's.  Use a coupon or wait for them to be half off.  I have several of these for things like glue storage, punch storage, and scrap paper storage.

I have a whole wall of these Kallax storage units from Ikea... for gobs and gobs of my large ribbon...yes just the large ribbon.  I have a ribbon problem, y'all.  I also store wood die cuts, glitter, and spray paint in this unit. I store vinyl in a Kallax unit that's half the size of the one in the picture above.

This is the cube from Ikea I use in my Kallax Units.

I have quite a few of these hanging on my wall to store my small ribbon spools.  I told you I have a ribbon problem. 

I've had this Ikea desk for years.  You can adjust the height and angle.  I use this desk for my computer and printer at the moment.

I have a couple of these bar stools, also from Ikea.  One of the cool things about these barstools is that you can buy replacement covers if they get dirty. 

Another Ikea product.  I have a two of these Alex Drawer Units.  I store embellishments, glue guns, paint and specialty vinyl and heat transfer vinyl in them.

So this is just a sampling of the things I use to organize my craft room.  I will continue to share my favorite products with you from time to time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I don't trust people that aren't on Pinterest.

Ok, so the blog post title isn't exactly true. But If you want me to say it, I do inwardly have a "You've got to be kidding me" moment when I hear that someone doesn't have a Pinterest account. Irrational and judgey? Maybe. Will it keep me from being your friend?  Heck no!  Especially if your one of those friends that likes to do all the cooking and potluck stuff for moms like me that go into convulsions when we see a snack or dinner sign-up genius email in our inbox. Cooking is not my gift.

I have a few reasons for loving Pinterest:
  1. I learn how to do stuff from cool people. I like learning. There are times when I see something on Pinterest and think, "That's brilliant, and that person was willing to share their talent so that others could be blessed!  Cool!"
  2. I save things for reference, which I do often whether it be a recipe or instructions or even to remind myself of how I did something on my own blog. Yes, I've actually consulted my past crafter self. 
  3. It makes me laugh. I'm telling you, memes never get old. 
  4. It's pretty. I like looking a pretty stuff!
So, yesterday I sat down and curated my boards. I've been putting it off for months because moving boards around on Pinterest is a bit tedious. Why is there no "alphabetize boards" function in Pinterest!?  I deleted some old boards and moved some pins around. Did you know you can make some boards secret?  Just tap on the board you wish to make secret, click on pencil icon at the top of the board which will open up the edit menu. Then just scroll down to the "Make Secret" option, and switch the toggle on.

My username for Pinterest is PrettifyUrLife.   You can check out my boards HERE.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Lovefest with Amazon Prime, Crafter Edition

So I occasionally post my lovefest with Amazon Prime on my personal Facebook, even posting pictures of stacks of packages that sometimes come on the same day.  Yea, maybe that sounds weird, but if feels a little bit like Christmas to me because often times in those packages there are craft products. I've had friends ask me what I buy on Amazon.  It's truly a hodgepodge, and it's usually for one or all of the following three reasons:
  1. I get so incredibly tired of stores not carrying products or carrying limited quantities and varieties of products or only carrying them online and then a worker having the audacity to tell me "We can order it for you."  Yea, I can usually order it myself too, but there are times, which are getting fewer and fewer now, that I actually want to see the products before I decide to buy which I can't do because you don't have them in your stores!
  2. I live kind of far away from stores.  Not the country, but a bit remote, outskirts of Houston.  You've got to really WANT an item in order  to drive 30-45 minutes one way to a store to get it.  So there obviously are days that are designated "shopping days" for just such a reason.
  3. Prices can sometimes be shockingly better online, and if you have PRIME, free shipping and with the convenience of your package arriving at your doorstep in a day or two.
So, you are probably starting to see my lovefest with Amazon Prime.  Yea, it's an annual fee, but it totally pays for itself with saved shipping costs and better prices...and my sanity.

What craft supplies have I bought lately on Amazon?  Here you go:

I was recently struggling with a vinyl project.  I couldn't get a large vinyl project onto the surface straight.  After consulting the fabulous Silhouette School blog and seeing that the transfer tape with the graph lines on it can be used to help with alignment, I ordered some. It's the first transfer tape I've used that comes with a backing and lines.  I like it!

I just recently received these in the mail and oh what a happy day!  While I haven't used them yet, I've admired them.  Why did I NOT search for bulk order hot glue sticks years ago?????  I ordered the smaller lot of 125 sticks for $25.  Now you may be thinking $25 seems like a lot.  I did the math.  Since Hobby Lobby charges $5 for a package of 8, it would have cost me $78.13 to buy 125 in their store!  I saved $50 over time buying online.  Game changer.  I use a lot of hot glue.

I wanted to make my own planner pages for my The Reset Girl A5 Ballerina pink planner and discovered that a premium weight paper choice for this is 90lb.  Since purchasing this paper, I have used it to print planner pages, front and back and then cut them out using my Silhouette Cameo.  I'm very pleased with the paper quality.

I call this my "knock off printer ink", but I mean no disrespect.  A few months ago I found this little gem of 15 ink cartridges for $22.  I am usually a highly skeptical person...a "you get what you pay for" type of person.  But my absolute hatred of buying ink at those ridiculous store prices drove me to risk it.  Like literally, printer ink prices are in my top 10 on my official Pet Peeve List (#1 is restaurants that make you wait when there are obviously tables available...I've been know to call them out on this practice...I digress).  So, I've used this for a few months...love it as much as anyone can love printer ink...will happily avoid getting taken to the cleaners by the stores from now on.

Rose petals, Angela?  Yea.  I have an idea brewing in my head for a Valentine's doorscape.  I was going to use rose tops, but those are still a bit expensive for the amount I think I might need, and then I found 1000 rose petals for $8.  Yes please!

So, while I didn't intend for this to be an advertisement for Amazon Prime, I guess that's what it is.  Why?  Because if you've followed me for years, you know that I will tell you straight up if I like a product, store, or service or not.  When I find something that I think will benefit you, I want to share it.  So do yourself a favor, start ordering more of your craft supplies online.  Read the reviews.  And get Prime.  Then, you will be doing the happy dance just like me when you see your packages on your doorstep.