Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Hello everyone, Casharina here with a Product Spotlight post. These are some of my most favorite posts to work on because they allow me the opportunity to work with kits I’ve used before & love, or ones that are brand new to me and become some of my favorites! ;o) This week I chose a brand new kit to me, Winter Wonderland.
For a limited time, Winter Wonderland will be on SALE at the Shabby Shoppe for ONLY $5.95!
This is a beautiful kit that can be used for all sorts of layouts. It’s a winter themed kit, with charming little snowmen, and snowflakes galore, but it also includes many shades of pastel colors which could be used for spring and Easter layouts. Here’s the first layout I created using this kit. I used a template from the Easy-As-Pie Rise and Shine collection to create my layout, and I love how it allowed me to really show off the various papers throughout the kit. I chose to not focus on the snowmen and let the photo and the snowflakes take center stage on this layout. I love how the snowflake collage turned out, and the shiny green paper was perfect for the leaves, I just clipped it right to the leaf shape!
That’s not all; I’ve also asked the girls to help me out with a few of their very own creations using the Winter Wonderland kit. And wouldn’t you know, being as awesome as they are they’ve shared some delightful layouts themselves!
Kylie’s layout shows just how versatile this kit truly is. The papers and elements within this kit allow her to focus on the gorgeous hydrangeas. I must say I really love the way she has used the swirly from the kit to tie in each of the flower clusters, what a perfect use of that element. This layout also shows how easily Winter Wonderland coordinates with the Sugarplum Additions, the use of the flowers is flawless!
I love how Aubrey was able to focus on the “snow” in this photo. She explained that they where she lives they do not get any snow, well at least not in the last 35-40 years, :o) but she did have a vacation photo of her little one playing in the snow! Cute photo huh! I love her title; it’s a perfect way to use the snow word art. The falling snowflakes are also a beautiful addition to this layout!
Next up, we have Kim’s Texas Christmas layout. It’s in a beauty! The way she used the snowflakes on the outer edges of the papers is perfect for that 3D look. I love the cluster of paper pieces too, it allows for us to see the many beautiful papers in the kit. The glitter word art just finishes the whole page! I love it all!
Amber was able to mute the colors and a pop of orange to really help the elements stand out in her layout. I love how she’s tacked on the snowflake and tag to create a beautiful cluster using bits and pieces from the Winter Wonderland kit and a few other kits!
Next up we have, Rosy‘s beautiful creation. I absolutely love the way she has used the word art to help fill in the blanks on the journaling, what a great idea! This page is so fun and full of brightness, it’s beautiful!
Lindsay has shared with us another piece of eye candy. The soft colors of this kit are perfect to show off her little angel. The colored snowflakes are beautiful on this background and the frame along with the paper clusters are a great way to show off the many elements in this kit.
Last but certainly not least, we have another stunning layout from lego. This page was done using the kit to focus on photos that had nothing to do with snow or winter. The way she was able to alter the wordart was perfect!
If you love this set, you’ll also love the little Winter Wonderland Brag Book. It’s one of the Shoppe‘s beautiful “Piece-A-Cake” products. Create a gorgeous little 6×4 inch album from a set of 10 quick pages - share it with others, or print two and keep one at home on the coffee table!
The brag book is also on SALE for ONLY $2.95…and don’t forget about the very sweet BLOGwear for ONLY $1.50 if you are looking for a banner update!
Thanks for stopping by – lego will here tomorrow with another awesome Tips & Tricks post!
Product Spotlight, Uncategorized
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Casharina here today, to bring you a new, and healthy twist to the “smoothie!” So lately I’ve been working really hard to lose weight, and let me say it is SO hard!! I have been running walking fast/ jogging, on the treadmill and recently I’ve really been focusing on changing my diet. With that, I don’t want to “diet” because honestly, I love sweet food way too much to say no, and I do not have an ounce of willpower in my system to say no to the delicious good stuff. So in an attempt to loose, I’ve been changing small things that don’t make a ton of difference, but will help lessen the calories I take in. Since it’s almost the first of the year and people are thinking about making their resolutions I figured I’d add a new healthy snack/meal that I have tried and really love! Let me warn you, the color of these little monsters is kind of disturbing, but if you can get passed that I bet you’ll love them!
Okay so let me explain…these little green monsters can be made just about any way you’d like to make one. I’m going to share a recipe that I developed to fit my taste buds, after finding various recipes and including only the ingredients I had and wanted to try. I’ve helped myself to these for the past week, and I don’t know if it’s pure coincidence or not but the dry skin on my arm seems to be clearing up!
For this tasty treat you need only a few ingredients!
- 2 cups of fresh greens (you can use any green: bok choy, spinach, baby spinach (has a milder flavor), kale, etc.
- 1 to 1.5 small banana(s)
- 6 oz. water
- 1 Tbsp. milled flax seed (optional)
- 1 cup mango
Directions: Add the flax seed and fresh greens to the blender. Then add in the water, banana and mango.
A few little tips:
I like to use frozen bananas (peel fresh bananas, cut them in halves, and place in a freezer bag) as they make the shake a little thicker and COLD.
I recently learned that bananas with brown spots are extra sweet so don’t toss them, freeze them up!
Can you believe this was the first time I ever had a mango? I had to search the internet to find out how to cut and eat a mango. Lol. So here goes my version:
stand up the mango, and slice on each side of the large seed in the middle, this is not like a normal seed, it’s a large thick piece in the middle of the mango, you’ll see what I mean when you try.
Next, you’ll slice it, leave it in skin and slice almost through it, slice it long ways and short ways, and then scoop out the pieces with a spoon. Now, you’re done!! That’s it!!
You may want to add more fruit, if it’s not sweet enough for you.
Add some ice cubes to make it even colder – the colder it is the better it tastes!
There are so many ways to enjoy a green smoothie. So far in addition to this recipe I’ve also used banana and peanut butter (this was my favorite!), and banana and strawberries…they’ve all been delicious!
That’s it for today, I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you choose to make one, or have a yummy recipe I’d love to hear about it!
Be sure to stop back tomorrow for another delicious treat…this time from Lindsay!
Food Stuff, Uncategorized
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Can you believe it’s time to start thinking about this ALREADY? I (Casharina) can’t…this year has seriously flown by, and I know I’ve heard all my life that “the older you get, the faster it flies,” and I can truly understand that now! My little ones are growing up before my eyes; it’s amazing how fast the years have passed with them.
Okay, let’s get back to the Holidays right! I LOVE Christmas; it’s my most favorite time of the year. I love what Christmas truly means and what it represents to me and my family, I love the magic of Santa and the fun it brings, as well as the lessons we learn about giving to others, the bright colored lights found inside and outside our homes…oh how I love this time of the year!
This year I’ve been focusing on taking better everyday pictures, and with that I have been focusing on the fact that this year I want to get better Christmas morning pictures. So after practice I’m going to share with you some of the pointers I’ve learned along the way and hope that they will enable be me to get my best photos yet! ;)
First of all, to be fully prepared for the hustle and bustle of Christmas morning (or any special event) we need to ensure we’ve got things ready the evening before. This includes:
- checking that the camera battery is fully charged
- having new/clear memory cards (have another available in case you need it…I always keep an extra one or two in my bag!)
- get your camera settings ready by adjusting all of your dials to the appropriate settings for Christmas morning fun!
- if you have an external flash, make sure you have new batteries in it or extras handy. I have had batteries die so many times during a photo shoot it’s not even funny!
Without a Flash:
For us we usually get up EXTRA early in the morning…honestly I can’t sleep due to excitement for my kiddos so I’m up all night waiting for the morning, and have had to wake my oldest up for a few years! Hah. I know sad right! (My mom was the SAME way when I was little!) We’re those people who have eaten and opened gifts by 6:45 am at the latest, although this year I’m going to let em’ sleep til’ at least 7!
OK, I kinda got sidetracked! I told you about our early mornings because many times I don’t want to wake the girls up with flashes in their face, I can’t say that’d put them in a very good mood! I also don’t love the look of straight on flash so there are many options you can choose to help your photos look fantastic without the use of flash.
With a Flash:
If you find that you need to use a flash, there are ways you can help avoid the harsh lights in the face, just like we’ve learned before in Rosy’s last Focus on Photos post
dealing with the challenges of indoor photography
. In addition to using a piece of cardstock you can also place a business card under the popup flash. This allows the light to bounce off the paper before hitting your subject head on. When using an external flash, you’ll want to bounce the flash off a wall or the ceiling to prevent the harsh light hitting the subjects face.
One thing I’m going to really try to avoid this year is worrying about “the perfect shot!” If you’re like me, you try to get the kids to look at you, wait on that perfect position of the lighting, gift, perfect little smile, all while trying to not include the trash and clutter of the morning??? Not this year. This year I want to focus on what we’re doing, in the moment. Honestly, when I look back at Christmas pictures from when my husband and I were young, it’s the clutter that really takes me back. It allows me to remember the “other” gifts and things going on at the time. I might be holding a new Barbie accessory, but in the background I can see a glimpse of a baby doll and clothes that I also received. Just because they’re in the background, I’m able to recall those special toys, those special things that didn’t make the “picture” or scrapbook, but because they’re in the background I can go back and see what I was like as a child. I want my kiddos to have the same opportunities. I plan to just keep memories this year and by that I mean taking the picture in the moment, not waiting, worrying only about getting pictures of what’s happening, and I challenge you to do the same!
Now, if it comes down to Christmas morning and your pictures just won’t look the way you want them to, forget it all and turn on Auto. You will never forget pictures you took, but you may regret the pictures you missed because you were focusing on technical details and not the photo.
To get some more great tips on photographing the holidays, check out Beckie’s posts – HERE and also HERE!! I used her tips to create the first picture in this post! I’m hoping to come some shapes to try the bokeh look too!
Don’t forget to stop back by tomorrow when Kylie updates us our November ProjectSCRAP check-in and shares the NEW December templates!!
Friday, November 30, 2012
Hello everyone! It’s Casharina here to bring you another fun, yet EASY hybrid project! So for starters, just to refresh everyone’s memory, I am a scrapper who does not LOVE to cut things! Ha! I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, I have been through three straight paper cutters, and will just about do ANYTHING to prevent me from “having” to cut things out! I recently splurged on a new toy for myself the Cameo Silhouette. I have only had it for about a week and I absolutely love it, I can see it becoming one of my favorite scrapping buddies <“wink”>!! After playing a few days with it and knowing I had a hybrid post coming up, I was determined that I had to use the machine, and with Christmas just around the corner I wanted to create some Christmas décor! With all the beautiful new products from the Shabby Shoppe I had lots of inspiration and most importantly, many things to choose from! I decided to create a Decorative Charger to display on my counter.
Cutting Machine - any cutting machine that will allow you to design your own cutting files, OR you can choose to cut the design by hand (but you all know I “don’t” do cutting!)
White Contact Paper - I bought a roll from Walmart for $5.99. It was 18 inches wide, too wide for my machine so this is where my carpenter dad came in! ;) He took a skil saw to it, making it around 13 inches, leaving a second roll of about 5 inches wide, which is perfect for using on the mat that goes along with my machine! He also told me that a miter saw would be perfect for the job! ;) (The edge is a little rough, but not too rough, and fed right through the machine without a problem.
Software to create the cutting file. For this project I used the silhouette software that is free and came with the machine.
Plate or charger to decorate, or a sign for that matter, whatever you want to adhere the contact paper to.
Designing the cutting file:
If you’re cutting by hand you could simply print and trace the PNG file that comes in the kit.
If you’re cutting with a machine, you may want to modify it just a little. For mine, I used the silhouette design software (the version that comes free with the machine).
Tracing a .png, graphic, etc. using the silhouette software:
Drag the image into a new document.
Click on the blue square icon (aka the Trace Window) in the top corner.
Here you will choose the top box which will give you an arrow cursor.
- You will need to draw a box around your element that you want traced. Make sure everything you want traced is in the grey part of the square.
- Next, uncheck the High Pass filter option, and then up the Threshold to around 80-100%. It should fill in your whole design, if little pieces of it aren’t covered that’s okay.
- Lastly, you’ll select the Trace outer edge. Now there should be red lines around the OUTSIDE of your letters.
Getting the insides of each letter:
Next, you’ll move the PNG file below the outline, leaving ONLY the outlined letters. There will be NO inners for the letters so you’ll need to trace the original PNG again, following the same directions, but this time you need to click TRACE. Now the letters, as well as the insides of each letter should have red around it. Again, move the original PNG away from the trace lines.
- Right click on the new set of traced lines.
- Select Release Compound Path.
- Now you can select each individual little slither in the design. (I didn’t want to worry with taking out each of the tiny cuts so I left those in the second design, but I used copy and paste to bring the inner portions of the letters into the top design, which will be the one I cut. I also chose to adjust a few of the inner designs, adding the small boxes to the I in cookies. I also added the small star inside of the larger star so that it’d be cut out, but I left out the squiggly lines surrounding it.)
Now the file is ready for cutting, so SAVE! Now you can use it again for other projects!
Tip: Directions to trace an object, any graphic can be traced in essentially the same way, making minor adjustments to the sliders to perfect it!
As you can see in my design, I have also used the Candy Cane from the Sugarplum Dreams collection. I adjusted it by taking out the “Pink” pieces of the candy cane following the directions above to create a red and white candy cane on my plate.
Cutting the file:
For this one, I chose to use my smaller roll of contact paper. Lay the vinyl on your mat, mine was approximately 5 inches tall by 12 inches wide. When cutting vinyl you want a “KISS” cut. This means you want to cut the top portion of the vinyl, but not the back part of it. So you want to be able to peel away the extra vinyl, leaving the design still adhered to the backing paper.
On my machine I used the following settings:
Blade set on 2
Speed at 5
Thickness at 3
Tip: Write down whatever settings work for your machine so that you can use them later!
If you’re NOT using a mat, ensure that the Cutting Mat option is NOT checked, if you ARE using a mat, ensure that it IS checked.
Once the file is cut you’ll want to peel away the excess vinyl. This is known as “weeding” the design. This is the toughest part of the entire project; you have to make sure you get out all of the tiny pieces between the letters. You can purchase a hook tool for this, but I have just been using a safety pin and it works GREAT!
Here’s another tip, instead of purchasing transfer tape, you can use contact paper, so that’s what I did. I just grabbed a piece of contact paper, from the same roll and cut a big enough piece to cover the design.
Place the sticky side on TOP of your design. Using an old credit card (or one that you’ve had in a drawer FOREVER and didn’t call and activate it! ;) like I did here!) press down on your design to make sure it’s all “STUCK” to the new contact paper.
Pull the original piece of contact paper away from the back of the new piece. Ensure that ALL of the letters (and the small pieces, dots of the i’s, periods, etc.) are also sticking to the new contact paper. This makes the design backwards when looking at it, but it gives you a way to transfer the design in tact without having to place it one letter at a time on your new surface
Adhereing it to the Plate:
Now take the piece of contact paper and place it where you want it on your decoration. Again, using your credit card, press down hard enough to ensure that the letters will come OFF the vinyl and go onto the decoration.
Begin peeling up the “transfer tape/contact paper”. This time the design should be adhering to your charger or plate. Make sure you are SLOWWWW in this process, ensuring that each piece is sticking. I had a little trouble only on the last bracket; it didn’t want to stick as well. I just used the credit card to pull it down on the plate and once it stuck, the whole piece stuck!
Now, do the same process to the candy cane, if you decided to add one!
And you’re finished; you’ve got a new beautiful decoration!! Just remember if you use contact paper, it will NOT be water proof, so no washing, and I’m not sure how long it’ll hold up, but I’m thinking if it’s just left on display it should last quite a while!
I plan to make a few of these using the monograms from the carousel monogramkit for friends and family!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this project! If you’ve got any questions feel free to post, I’ll try my best to help you out!! It is really an easy process once you get into it though. Check back in with us on Monday for another Layout of the Week! Enjoy your weekend!!
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized
Monday, November 19, 2012
Good morning everyone…Casharina here! Can you believe it’s already Monday? Shew, it feels like my weekends just fly by these days and Monday comes quicker than ever! There is one thing I look forward to on Mondays though, the Layout of the Week blog post. I love seeing the beautiful layouts featured every Monday, but I don’t necessarily love the task of being the “picker.” Lol! It’s one of the toughest posts I have to complete, with all the eye candy in the gallery. I have such a hard time choosing only one, but you all know that’s how it goes…so this week I’ve chosen yordea’s Tiny Toes layout.
Her layout is simply simple, and that’s one thing I adore about it. Aren’t baby feet, and their tiny toes one of the most precious things ever? I love them! Here yordea has done a fantastic job of keeping the focus on her perfect image. I really like how she has used the stitching from Memory Lane to stitch around the photo, as well as placed it inside the frame; so cute, and what a great way to focus your eyes on the image held within. I also like the brushed flowers sitting just behind the photo to help give it depth. The paper she’s chosen to go along with the sweet photo couldn’t have been any more perfect; I admire the entire page! Stunning simple’ness really!!
Congratulations yordea for winning layout of the week - and an even sweeter congratulations on the birth of your precious little girl! We hope you enjoy a little Shoppe-ing fun!! Please check your email (also don’t forget to check your spam folder if you don’t see it) for your $10 Shabby Shoppe gift card.
Thank you all for posting your beautiful layouts in the gallery each week - it really is so fun and inspiring to see them! Have a wonderful fun-filled Monday and check back tomorrow when lego shares with us an inspirational post, I’m sure it’ll be amazing!
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized