Friday, 8 January 2016

Mockup Tutorial!

Hey guys!  I promised you a tutorial on how to do a mockup, and here we go.  I'll try and keep it simple!  This will be a mockup for onesies (I know, it's a copyrighted name... I'm ok with that!).

First off, you'll want to do a google search for an image with transparency for whatever it is that you want to do a mockup of.  For the love of God, don't make the same mistake that I did and type "transparent onesie" into Google image search.  There are a large number of adults out there who wear onesies, so I learned!

You can edit the search features of Google image by using the "Search Tools" then going to "any color" and changing it to transparent.  This allows you to use a custom background in your mockup.

Now open Adobe InDesign!  If you don't have it, get it!  It's an amazing program, and you can play with the Samantha font in there all you like, then copy/paste it into Sil Studio!  If you're using some other editing program, hopefully some of these steps will help you out!

Once Adobe is open, goto "File -- New -- Document" and select whatever size area you like to work with.  I usually do a 4x6" photo picture.

Take your rectangle frame tool (on the left side panel, it looks like a square with a cross through it) and make a frame around the entire outside of your image area.  Now you can drag and drop any background image onto the ugly old white area!

If you google "mockup backgrounds" and change the search feature to "labelled for reuse" then you won't get in any trouble for using these image.  Win!

Right click on the image (a greyish little circle should be visible first), then choose "Fitting" then "Fill Frame Proportionately".

I usually lock the background at this point (right click menu -- Lock), then I don't mess it up as I try to add other things!

Now draw another frame and drag & drop your transparent image into it.

Resize the frame or picture, whatever makes it look perfect to you.

Write some text on the image, or draw another frame and drop a picture... But here's your chance to play with your fonts, colors and designs.  Fun!

Start with boring, then let creativity take over.  Make the colors similar to ones that you have HTV/Vinyl for, use fonts that you own!  Just make sure any images are transparent, otherwise they'll look goofy!

Next, we're adding our watermark!  That way, no one can steal our designs and sell them with your picture.  The cheek!  Make a text box, write in your watermark information.  I like to use my webpage in a repetitive pattern.  I choose between a transparency 10-20, depending on the background and images.  This one is going to be a 10.  Copy/paste that watermark all over.  It's subtle enough that you can abuse it! 

Next up... Adding the information!  I usually do my text in black with a white background as you can see the text no matter what colors you have for a background.  I'm using "Cimochi" as the font here as it has glyphs, like Samantha... You can easily change the letters around in InDesign!  

Window -- Type & Tables -- Glyphs

It's that easy.  Then all you have to do is highlight an individual letter, and it'll pop up with all the different choices you have for that letter.  Beauty!  

This is where I decided that I no longer liked the wood-look background, and changed it up.  I then moved everything around to fit it all in there, saved it, then exported it as a JPEG so that it's all ready for my facebook page!  

Thursday, 27 August 2015

My DIY Dog Bed

Yesterday was National Dog Day, so I got to work on making our 4 year old Lab Retriever a new bed.  He's had a few different beds, but he usually chews a hole in regular dog beds, landing himself a few nights on a "blanket on the floor" style bed for a while until we replace it.

I browsed Pinterest and Google looking for something cute and simple for him and found lots of inspiring pictures, but no plans to go with them, so I decided to make my own!  I've never done any kind of woodwork before...So I was just as surprised as my husband when I produced a sturdy, functional and good looking dog bed!  Yay me!!!

I set out to Home Depot and grabbed all the wood I'd need.  Here's exactly what I grabbed for wood:
Three 2x2(x8ft) SPF
Seven 1x4(x8ft) SPF 
Yep... That's it.

Home Depot is pretty awesome as they will cut the wood for you if you're super nice and bat your eyelashes (Men will look bloody stupid doing this, so leave the eyelash batting to the ladies).  I had all of my measurements ready to give the awesome Home Depot person and I thanked him profusely for making this so much easier for me as Lance's tools are an absolute mess and I'd have to try and haul the tablesaw outside to use it.  #nothappening

Keep in mind that you'll have to grab wood screws too.  I suggest the (8)1.5" screws.  They came in a pack of 100 for about $5, and I also grabbed some little metal feet for the bottom that cost $3.50.  In retrospect, I should have grabbed some casters instead of feet as it's pretty heavy to move by myself and I don't want to scratch the floor up anymore than I have already.  :D

I spent yesterday lightly sanding down each piece of wood (hand-sander to the rescue...My poor back/shoulder would have hated me even more than they already do!) so that I could stain it before painting it.  Why would I stain it to paint it?  Because I wanted to distress the wood after painting it and it looks so much nicer to have dark wood poking through the "worn" pieces of wood than it would to have crappy SPF colored wood.  I used an ebony stain and only did one coat, although I should have done two to make it even darker!
Ebony stained wood!

Once the stain was dry, I used a "Blue Spruce" milk paint that I already had lying around at home.  I gave it only one coat, but I liked how it had turned out so I left it at that.
Blue Spruce Milk Painted wood, drying on
my smashed up glass patio table.  Grrrrrr

The reason that I like milk paints so much is because I believe that they were invented for impatient people like me!  This paint dries in about 30 minutes!  How awesome!  I was able to sand it that night... But I didn't.  And I'm glad that I didn't.  Why?  Well... I found a neat tutorial this morning on how to distress milk/chalk paints with vinegar.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Yep!  I grabbed myself a mixture of 50/50 white vinegar and water and rubbed it onto the pieces of paint that I wanted to remove.  I got a really neat look to it and this will be my new "goto" when it comes to distressing as it's kinder to my body than the hand-sander is, unfortunately; I smelled like vinegar for a few hours.  Haha.

I let everything dry while I ran some errands this morning, then when I got home it was time to start building!

A few friends have asked how I made it, so here's the "crudely drawn diagram" as promised.  I hope you're not too confused by it.  I even color coded it in the hopes that it's foolproof!

To explain, the slat supports are screwed into the front and back "bottom" pieces of 40" wood and the middle support is screwed into the left and right sides at the bottom too.  The wooden slats rest on top of the supports so that his blankies don't all fall through.  Any questions, post a comment!

Once everything was all put together and the dog had pushed me out of the way to get in there, I got to work on making a few nice decals with my Silhouette Cameo!  I made a bone with his name written inside it, with a bunch of paw prints.  It just gave it even more of that personal touch.  Love, love, love how it all turned out!  I'm quite proud of my first woodworking project!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Homemade Stained Glass

We were thinking about doing a wine glass holder above the bar and wanted some stained glass in it, but that stuff isn't cheap. I was in the dollar store and found this glass stain stuff by decoart. It was perfect!
I had a piece of frosted and tempered glassfrom an old shelf so i scribbled Lances last name on it (because one day that'll be my last name too, dammit!) Then i went over it with the"black leading"glass stain. This stuff allows you to create whatever design you want. It's fairly tricky to use if you're not steady handed but this is my practice piece as I have two of these pieces of glad kicking around.
Once you outline your design, let it dry for 24 hours and try to resist poking at it like I did.
Once it's dry you can use whatever glass stain colors you like. It was a lot of fun to make and I can't wait to start on the real one that we'll use in the bar!

"Craftiest" Advent Calender, EVER!

Every year I buy everyone in the family a chocolate Advent calendar for December, and every year Lance opens his window and tosses the crappy piece of chocolate into a bowl which will remain there for the entire month of December and into January when I put the decorations away and either toss the chocolates out or one of the kids eats them. I had to come up with an idea to get him enjoying this whole "lead up to Christmas" thing, and what does a man like more than anything? Beer! Especially with all the crazy craft beers that they're making now. I started saving up Pringles cans. I'd seen a pin. It looked simple enough. By mid-October I had almost 20 cans saved up and had even gotten as far as decorating one with Mod Podge (and it looked pretty cool), then I went to the liquor store.  I had a plan... Decorate a can, buy a beer for it, then by the time all 24 were decorated, I`d have all the beers that I needed and could figure out how to make them stick together.  Here`s where it all went wrong.  The craft beers were way too big for the Pringles cans, and the beers that did fit were boring!  Back to the drawing board!!!

I figured that I`d make them out of PVC pipe, so my daughter and I trecked off to Home Depot where we found a 10ft pipe that was 3" wide for about $14.  Basically I'd need two and half of those and then I'd have to decorate them which would probably end up costing about $40+ to do it that way.  I had almost given up, then at the dollar store, we spied a wine cylinder!  Ermahgerd!!!  I grabbed 25 of these beauties for $30 and the best part... I wouldn't have to decorate them much!  They also had a numerical wall border with numbers 1-25 that looked like it would be the perfect size for my days, and I was right!

I came home and got to work.
Organizing my pretty boxes into colors!
 I am making a 25 day Advent Calendar instead of the traditional 24 day as it seemed more logical (and easier) to create 5 rows of 5 and to let Lance have a nice special beer on Christmas Day.  Hopefully I find a really neat Christmassy one like "Santa's Butt Beer" or something.  
The first row, done!
I took the strings out of the lids and put them aside (I used them later) as it would have looked silly with strings all over the place.  I then started gluing them to each other.  I found it best to remove the lids, then glue them to the next one in the "upside down" position as some cylinders were a smidge taller than others, and I didn't want the front looking all uneven.  This way, the uneven part would be at the back and no one would ever see that part!  
See how beautifully uniform the front is?
After I had stacked and hotglued all 25, it was time to fiddle around with the lids.  See how perfect that wall banner was?  I cut the circles out and they fit easily into the lip of the lid.  I just had to slide them in and wiggle them about a bit to make them fit perfectly.  I didn't even have to use glue! 
Cutting out circles when I 'm supposed to be working!

See how they just kind of slide into the lip neatly?

All stacked, and waiting to get numbered!

Finding fun beers is fun!
I wrapped each beer up in red or green tissue and used the strings from the boxes to secure them, then I popped one into each box and put the lid on.  I haven't quite bought all 25 beers yet because I'm waiting for the Christmas Crafts to make it to the stores so I can buy the elusive "Ugly Sweater" beer and hopefully "Santa's Butt".  Next year I think I'll buy 6-ish per season so he has a nice mixture of Summer/Spring/Fall/Winter beers to open, but I know he'll enjoy whatever it is I put in there.  Note the ACDC beer?  Neat! 
Here it is in all it's finished glory!  I used some colored laser tape that I found at the dollar store to decorate it.
Roll on December 1st.  I don't know who'll be more excited to open the calendar.  Lance or myself!  Needless to say, this is more personal than the Craft Calendars that they sell at the Liquor Store as I get to pick and choose what beer goes into it, and 650ml > 355ml.  ;)

Friday, 12 September 2014

It's Been A While!

I've been secretly crafting away in my "Secret Project Room", making millions of things for my wedding.  My latest was some bunting for our engagement photoshoot that's coming up next month.  I didn't quite know how I was going to make this, and was originally thinking of cardstock because the local scrapbooking store lets you use their die-cutting machine if you purchase the paper there.  Score!  But I wanted something that was going to last longer so I went to the fabric store and dug around in the discount bins until I found some off-white fabric for $5.

I spent the evening cutting out triangles but wasn't completely happy with them.  The fabric seemed to stretch and fray and it just didn't look perfect enough!  I had bought some felt from the dollar store which I was going to do my numbers with, then I thought "Why don't I use the excess to make the triangles?"  Ding, ding, ding... We have a winner!!!

It took a bit of sitting in the sun and cutting, but felt is pretty forgiving, and so was the sun.  I quite enjoyed myself.  I wasn't sure how to attach the felt to the felt and had read that there is a special felt glue.  I am not one for using the right material for the right job (mostly), so I used my Mod Podge.  It worked perfectly!  I didn't put it on too thick as I'd read that the glue seeps through, and I put weights on each piece after I'd glued it...Those numbers are stuck!

Here's the finished project, all sewed up on some white crosgrain ribbon and hanging in my secret project room.  I noticed that the "6" is a little wonky after it was all done, but that's ok.  It still all turned out better than I'd expected in the first place, and it's going to last forever!!!

If I had to do something like this again (and I totally would!), I would do a few things differently.  I would buy some freezer paper to make the letter/number templates with, then iron them to the fabric before cutting.  It was still fairly easy to freehand them, but imagine the awesome fonts you could use with a template!!!  I would also leave no spaces between each flag as it ends up being pretty long.  My daughter also thinks that I should have used black ribbon instead of white, but I kind of like the white.  

I'm thinking about making a "Thank You" banner to use during our Wedding Photoshoot, then we can send that picture out as thank you cards after the wedding!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Perfect Garlic Toast!

I found the secret to making perfectly grilled garlic toast today! I made some garlic butter with my fancy new indoor herb garden... Then I buttered some sliced French bread... Then I threw it on the George Forman grill. It's foolproof! Normally I throw my garlic toast in the oven and grill it, making sure to check it every minute otherwise we end up with charcoal...
Well, old Georgie cooks it beautifully and I'm pretty sure it's impossible to burn... And it tastes delicious, so long story short... Use your George Forman grill for amazing garlic toast! =)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Proposal aka The Day After The Worst Day Ever!

I have decided to edit this post with the comedic events of the weekend because the more I tell the story, the funnier it seems...

So imagine this... It's 7:30am on Friday morning (December 21st, 2012) I'm awake and dreading the fact that I have to work two graveyard shifts in the ER before our Christmas trip to Lance's parents house on the Island!  I tried to have a nap in the afternoon, but Slammy, I mean Kelly doesn't know how to close a door quietly, so needless to say, I spent a very busy nightshift in the ER on no sleep!  I stayed at my parents between shifts rather than commuting an hour(ish) each way but I suck at sleeping during the night, and I'm even worse at it during the day.  I finally fell asleep at 9am, but woke up at 1pm, full of beans and wanting to visit with my parents before heading off for Christmas at my other home away from home.  

I get to work on Saturday night with Gillian, who is great fun to work with.  Quietest night in the ER in FOREVER!  Unfortunately, we were both a little excited for Christmas and neither of us could take a nap.  Finally, after many giggles 7am happens!  It's Christmas Eve Eve... December 23rd!!!  

I've had a whopping 4 hours sleep in 48 hours!  I know, dumb right?  Anyway... Lance will be driving from Chilliwack to his parents, so I just have to make it home... No biggie.  Yeah right... Here's where everything goes downhill...My car is a block of ice.  I spend 15 minutes just trying to get into the cow... I'm cold and tired so I decided to grab a coffee at McDs to keep me going until I got home.  Apparently my power windows had some ice in the mechanism and when I tried to roll them down at the drive through window something broke and my window froze.  Coffee in hand, I pull over in the parking lot and try to fix it.  No go!  Well frig!  I'm running out of time as we have a ferry to catch so I figure the cold air on my drive home will also help me stay alert.  It was awesome how every semi that blew past me spat rocks and rain up into my face.  Definitely helped me stay awake.  =(

So I make it home around 8am and Lance comes out to meet me.  I explain what happened with the window and he tries to fix it while I run around loading all of the gifts into the car while the dog jumps on me repeatedly.  I'm now regretting buying Lance gifts in such gigantic, heavy boxes.  Combating the stairs 20 times when you're that tired = Not fun!  Lance is unable to fix the window and we are running out of time to make the ferry (on the busiest sailing day before Christmas, I might add!), so we leave with a still broken half-rolled-down window.  

We are on the freeway.  The wind from the broken window is a buttload colder on my legs on the passenger side.  I also forgot to grab my blanket and pillow in our rush.  Grumpy time!  I didn't want to ask Lance to turn around and grab my blanket because I didn't want to miss the stupid ferry, so I suffered.  Oh hell did I suffer!  I had a big yard garbage bag (Lance was gonna use it in the window, but we ran out of time) pinned into the glove compartment and pulled up to my chest with the air vents blowing hot air at my body.  It wasn't perfect, but it was the best I could do with what I had.  We got to the ferry terminal with minimal tears but once we realised that we had missed the ferry and the next ferry was an hour behind schedule, there were more tears.  I was so tired, cold and by this time pretty hungry that the tears would sporadically happen.  =*(

Queue my bladder.  I knew that coffee would come back to bite me on the ass, but I had banked on being on a ferry at that time, not stuck in a really long line of cars at the ferry terminal.  I tried to hold out but peeing myself was becoming inevitable.  I GPS'd the bathrooms at the terminal and figured that the 5 minute walk to the washroom in the pouring rain was better than smelling like pee for the rest of the trip.  I hoofed it to the bathrooms.  I felt awful.  Looking in the mirror I realised that I also looked awful.  Maybe that's why people had avoided smiling back at me.  Maybe they thought I was a transient?  A hobo?  *sigh*  Anyway... My foot found a lovely big puddle to dive in to and I had a nice soggy foot until I got back to the car and took my socks and shoes off.  I'm still sporadically bursting into tears and poor Lance really didn't know what to do with me.  He knows that I'm tired, cold, hungry, wet and cranky.  He's doing his best and telling me that I'm beautiful anyway.  Did it help?  No.  Haha!  I knew I was a mess and him saying that made me cry more anyway, creating an even bigger monster.  

1:30pm.  We are finally loading onto the ferry.  Maybe I'll finally get some sleep.  Hah!  I was way too tired to sleep.  Does that even make sense?  I was also growling pretty bad from my stomach region.  Lance offered to get me food.  My whole body is confused.  It's lunch time but my stomach is still stuck at dinner time two days ago.  Lance offered to get me fries.  I wasn't feeling it.  He offered to get me breakfast.  Not feeling that either.  He told me to trust him and he'd figure it out.  For the first time in forever, I decided that his decision making was probably a lot better than mine at the time, and he proved himself right!  Before long, I was happily digging into a California roll.  

And then I slept!  A whole 30 minutes.  I can't imagine what went through peoples minds as they walked past our car on the ferry deck and saw me sleeping on my stomach with both legs curled under my and my ass (now in PJs because my pants were soaked from that stupid puddle) sticking up in the air because that was the only position I could semi-comfortably get myself in without having seat belt buckles and door molds poking me in the back and head.  The ferry saunters into dock around 3:20pm and we start on the next stretch of our journey....

So it's 3:30 and I've had 4.5 hours sleep in 56 hours at this point.  I'm pretty much a mess.  A big cranky bitch of a mess.  Lance loves driving on the Island because the speed limit is 10km/hr more than it is on the mainland, so in "guy logic" that means that you can still drive 20km over the speed limit for a total of 130km/hr.  Well, I'm not down with this on a normal day, and especially not down with it on a bitchy day, so we spent most of the trip to his parents bickering about speeding.  I tried reasoning with him that getting there 10 minutes sooner wasn't that big of a deal and that I'd rather get there alive than not at all!  When did I get all old and sensible?  Needless to say, he'd had about enough of my crankiness and snapped back at me "I've got this, OK!"  

I shut up.  I shut up for the rest of the damn trip.  I stared out of the passenger side window and pouted like a 2 year old.  I'm still sporadically tearing up at this point too, but I was more angry than pathetically sad.  We pull into his parents drive.  Robyn, his sister is the first to come running out to greet us, and what did I do?  I waited until she hugged me and then I burst into uncontrollable tears, right in the damn driveway.  Argh!  They worsened with every person that hugged me and he's got a lot of flipping people in his family.  I felt ridiculous and pathetic.  His Mum sent me to bed.  Haha.  It was almost 5pm and I threw myself onto their guest bed and closed my eyes.  Ahhhh, sleep...  

Well wouldn't you know it... I'd been awake for so long that I couldn't remember how to fall asleep.  I led there... I closed my eyes, but nothing happened.  What the frig!  It was like torture!!!   Needless to say, I got up and went and joined the family to visit.  Robyn went on a Red Bull run for me, and I was able to feel almost human for a good couple of hours.  By 9pm I started falling asleep, so I figured that I could finally do this sleep thing...And I did!!!!!!!

11pm.  Seriously?????????  I wake up to three grown men animatedly discussing all of the fights they've been in.  I'm sure the beer was partially to blame for how loud they'd all grown, but had they forgotten that poor little old me was struggling to catch up on some much needed zzz's in the room next door???  Lance's famous barrel laughter finally did it for me and I got back up and went to the living room.  Good old drunk Lance offered me a beer and in return received the evil stink eye and a "no, I'd rather have some sleep".  I lasted about 10 minutes before I become too irritated to stay up and humor their barbaric bantering.  Back to bed. It was only a few minutes later that Lance came to bed.  Sorry, staggered to bed.  "Sorry we kept you awake Hun, goodnight, I love you"

"Goodnight" I barked back and curled into fetal position, feeling guilty that I didn't say  "I love you" back, but I was just too darned bitchy!#@!#!.  

I woke up around 8am, which normally would have been a nice sleep-in, but not when you'd had such a crappy day before.  My face felt awful.  You know that feeling when you've spent hours crying and go to bed gasping for air between sobs, then you wake up with puffy eyes and a headache?  That's how I felt.  Lance came in holding out a cup of coffee as a peace offering.  I accepted.  He asked me if I wanted to take the dog for a walk down to the ocean.  Our 18 month old Lab Retriever puppy loves the ocean, even in December, but it was cold and early and I really didn't want to go anywhere (especially looking like I felt!) but I went anyway.  We were walking down the road in front of the ocean and I saw a bench that had some flowers tied to the back.  I loved the pop of color and was momentarily mesmerised and not paying attention to where Lance was going.  I had my hoodie up over my head so he couldn't see where I wasn't looking and I tripped over him as he turned to walk to the bench.  "What the heck, you can't just switch directions without warning me!"  I flipped out on him a bit.  Obviously I'm still grossly lacking sleep.  He explained that he wanted to walk over to the bench and me, being completely oblivious, didn't question it. 

I wanted to take a picture, so I found a good spot as Lance stared dramatically off into the distance obviously deep in thought.  With my picture taken, I climb back over the fallen tree trunk and put my camera back in my pocket.  When I looked back over at Lance, he was down on one knee.  Again, clueless me didn't figure it out yet and assuming that he had fallen, I laughed and asked him what the heck he was doing down there. 

He pulls out a ring box.

"Will you marry me?" 


Totally in shock!  I didn't expect this... I'd hinted at it for so long and it hadn't happened that I just figured that it never would.  But now, on Christmas Eve!!!  HOORAY!

The tears start flowing, and it's cold out so naturally my nose starts running.  Don't forget, I still look like hell... I'm just a snottier, teary-eyed version of hell now.  "Yes!"  I said as I leaned down to hug him, still on one knee.  A quick snot-rub on the shoulder of his coat and I can follow my "yes" with a kiss.  I do the laundry anyway.  Hehe. 

There are no pictures after this one for a few reasons...

A) I had the ring on the wrong hand.  I really didn't expect this  and hadn't practised. 
B) Snot is relatively unattractive in photographs.
C) You can't take pictures when you're in shock and staring at sparkly diamonds! 

We went home and told Lance's Dad and his brother, Dylan.  Then we attempted to tell Hungover-Kelly.  Didn't get it.  Haha.  He looked at the ring and said "that's nice".  Then an hour later, came upstairs with a big "I totally didn't get what you were saying earlier.  Is that an engagement ring?"  Haha.  

Brook was funny too.  
     Me:  Brook, I opened a Christmas gift already.
     Brook:  You did?  Why? 
     Me:  Because your brother gave it to me early.
     Brook:  *looks at my extended hand*.  Oh, and engagement ring!  Congratulations!!!
     Me: Thanks Brook!
     Brook:  Lance, what's an engagement ring again?  

I sent my Mum a picture of my ring (on the wrong hand).  I was pointing across the ocean with the caption "Do you see what I see?".  I got a "No, what do you see" reply.  I told her to look closer and she said "I see a ring, but it's not an engagement ring because it's on the wrong hand".  D'oh!  I asked her to imagine that it was on the other hand...That's when she squealed!  I'm going to blame the wrong hand thing on my tiredness...Truth is, I just didn't know any better.  Lol. 
Anyway...Our families and friends seem happy and excited for us... I'm still in shock, and can't stop looking at how sparkly my hand is now!  We are planning the wedding for some time in 2015, but seriously... BEST FREAKING CHRISTMAS, EVER!

Our announcement picture on Facebook.