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Valentine’s Day Projects From the Studio and the Kitchen

SONY DSCIt’s Valentine’s Day here and I have been busy making all sorts of fun things for my family and my little one’s classmates and teachers.  Now lest you think I am Wonder Woman, I must say I didn’t do all of this today.  I’ve been working on this over the past week and wrapped up the last task, a most delicious one, after spending most of the day working on my dratted taxes.  I can’t think of a better way to unwind after that unpleasant task than dipping strawberries and pretzels in chocolate!  Yum!

My little guy had his very first Valentine’s party at preschool this week.  He was so excited, though I don’t really think he knew what a Valentine’s party was all about.  But we had a great time selecting the treats and making the treat boxes and Valentine’s for each of his classmates.  You can’t see it in the photo, but we had a different Angry Bird character on each of the little Valentine cards.  I printed them up, but my little one colored them all by hand!  Don’t you just love the little french fry boxes?  I found the svg file online and cut these using my digital cutter.  I used some Stampin’ Up! punches for the hearts and tag.

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For his teachers I made a special coffee mug and some really delicious Vanilla Orange Instant Cappuccino.  I plan to do a post with the recipe in the near future as it is out of this world yummy!

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This adorable Valentine’s card idea came from Pinterest.  I totally cheated and copied the design concept for the front of the card!  I used Photoshop to create the card and my Big Shot to emboss the background.  I love the font for this card!  There are tons of fabulous handwriting fonts here.  I am addicted to downloading fonts and this is one of the best sites I’ve found for fabulous FREE fonts!

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Here’s a look at the inside.

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And the back…

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And a close-up…

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Here’s what was waiting for my sweet Valentine’s when they returned from school: Chocolate dipped strawberries and pretzels and a Valentine’s card.

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I can’t think of a better way to show my family how much I love them than with some delicious handmade treats!

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I hope you have a blessed Valentine’s Day and are able to spend it with the ones you love most!

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Limited Edition Holiday Wine Glasses

The holiday rush is beginning and I’ve been busy filling orders and designing a few new items for my Etsy shop.  One of my favorite newcomers is a set of six unique holly wine glasses.   I was so excited when I stumbled on these beautiful wine glasses and I knew immediately they were destined for my favorite holiday design.  One of last year’s most popular designs is now available in a set of six!

I just love the look and feel of these high quality glasses.  I’ve etched a different design on each glass so now everyone can easily keep up with their own glass at your next holiday gathering.  These limited edition glasses won’t be around for long as I was only able to get my hands on about a dozen sets of these glasses.  If you love them as much as I do, be sure to head on over to my Etsy shop and pick up a set before they’re all gone!

If you prefer stemless wine glasses, not to worry!  I can also create a set of either four or six stemless wine glasses for you.  Just head on over here and grab a set of four or, if you prefer a set of six just send me message through my Etsy shop and I will create a custom listing for you for six stemless holly glasses.

Thanks for stopping by and I wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas season!

Etsy Shop New Additions!

I have finally ended my “week long” vacation from my Etsy shop earlier this summer.  The new, vastly expanded garden took a tremendous amount of my time and attention.  And, well truth be told, I was just having too much fun playing around in the garden and kitchen to reopen the shop until just now!  But the shop is officially back open and the orders are starting to flow.  While I am not 100% sure I am ready for the holiday craziness, it’s nice to be back.

My creative juices have been flowing as I have been thinking about expanding my vinyl wall art section.  I have so many ideas running around in my head, but here are just a few vinyl decal newcomers to the shop.

To see my complete line of wall art, decals, and etched glass please visit my shop.  I am hoping to add some new design soon so be sure to check back often!

Unfinished Painting Effect in Photoshop

 

One of my favorite things in the world to do is play around in Lightroom and Photoshop.  I love tinkering with photos!  I am not very skilled in the art of photography so I generally have to tinker a whole lot in order to improve the quality of my photos for scrapbooking, etc.

When I first started using Lightroom and Photoshop I was completely clueless.  It was all Greek to me.  I felt so overwhelmed and seriously considered signing up for Photoshop classes, but that really wasn’t in the budget.  So, I did what I always do when I don’t know how to do something but I want to learn.  I Googled it!  I’ve devoured tutorial after tutorial, tinkering and playing all along the way.  I am thrilled with my progress and how much I have learned so far, but I am forever blown away with all that there is yet to learn.  Those classes look just as appealing to me today, perhaps more so, as they did when I first got started. Ah well, maybe someday…

Fortunately, there are about a kajillion Internet tutorials to choose from and this page was the result of a tutorial from one of my favorite digital designers, Katie Pertiet.  I buy most of my digital content from her site, and her blog and tutorials are invaluable!  If you’re just getting started in digital scapbooking with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you’ll want to make your way through all of the Designer Digitals YouTube tutorials.  They are outstanding!

When I saw Katie’s latest tutorial, In the Studio: Painting in Progress, I had to give it a try!  I grabbed a photo from our recent family vacation and began playing with the technique.  WOW!  I was blown away!  Although I didn’t leave much of my photo unpainted the way she did in the tutorial, I really love the way it turned out.

After working my way through Katie’s steps, I took the technique one step further.  I really wanted my photo to look more like it was actually painted so I added a dry brush filter to the photograph.  And that was it!  I was completely hooked!  I loved the results so much I immediately designed this page to showcase the beautiful view from our vacation house.

I can’t wait to play around with this technique some more using other photos.  Ultimately, I’d really love to create something so spectacular that I feel it’s artsy enough to have printed and framed.  Now that would be something!

 

Photoshop Digital Greeting Card Success!

It’s garage sale day in our neighborhood and, as I’ve been so busy pulling that together all week I’ve not had much time to think about Mother’s Day this coming Sunday.  This morning, bright and early I opened the garage door, tagged a few miscellaneous treasures, and waited for the throngs of people to arrive.

Sadly, there have been no throngs.  Though the weather is beautiful, albeit a tiny bit on the chilly side, it’s been slow going with the sale.  Time to start thinking about Mother’s Day and, in particular, Mother’s Day cards.  Fortunately, I did spend a little time earlier in the week shopping online for mom’s gift and it’s already been shipped.  But the card, well that was going to take a bit more planning.

You see,  as a former Stampin’ Up! demonstrator and self-professed creative freak I feel great pangs of guilt if I purchase a greeting card vs. making one myself.  And ever since I started digital scrapbooking I’ve thought of making my own cards digitally as well.  In little snippets of time I have done a little digging around to see how to make cards in Photoshop.  I downloaded some templates and even made a couple of card fronts.  But I just haven’t taken the time to figure out how to print off the whole thing, outside and in, from Photoshop and my printer.

With nothing to do today but watch and wait, wait and watch for people to come and buy my wares, I opened up Photoshop and began designing.   Once the outside and inside of the card were complete it was time to fire up the printer and give it a go.

My first attempt was a flop.  I printed the outside of the card first, put the card stock back into the printer and printed the inside.  The greeting was upside down and on the wrong end of the paper.  So, I gave it another go.  This time I flipped my Photoshop document 180 degrees before printing the inside and, voila. Perfection!  I felt like dancing a jig!

All in all, it just wasn’t the monster of a project I made it out to be.  But isn’t that the way it goes?  We procrastinate and procrastinate when it comes to trying something new and when we finally do tackle it, it turns out not to be such a big deal after all.

Here’s the front and back of the card:

And the inside:

You can find card templates for Photoshop here.  The digital content is all from Stampin’ Up! and I found the poem here.

Unfortunately, my mom won’t be receiving her card on time this year (no surprise to her, I am sure).  But, Mom, if you’re reading this I LOVE YOU!  Happy Mother’s Day!