Showing posts with label joy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label joy. Show all posts

Monday, November 6, 2017

Review of Xyron Creative Station Sticker Maker


This is not an affiliate post and the color of the sticker maker is silver, not pink.
Ooops! I have no idea why the color changed.

I bought this fun, little toy a few weeks ago and so far I am delighted. If I knew making stickers was so much fun,
I would've bought this a long time ago.


This one is 9 inches wide, but it will use either 9 inch wide film
or 5 inch wide film.

This is the front tray in the real color.

This is where the stickers come out on one sheet.

This is the side view that shows you the handle. It folds and tucks into that hole so you can store it easier.

My 6 Steps:

First find the cute graphics, photo, whatever you want to turn into a sticker and cut them out.

I got these cute graphics from scrappindoodles.com



Line them up on the tray.
I have three rows lined up. The first row I have to feed in a little farther to get started. I had to feed each row in as the previous row went through. Make sure you allow plenty of space
between your cut-outs.


Turn the handle clockwise and your stickers come through. You can see here that one of my stickers did not feed through until a little later.

They almost overlap, but whew, not quite. They will work out.

Ooh, sorry, blurred.
Use the cutter on the feed to cut your sticker sheet off.


Peel off the top plastic film.


There you have your sticker sheet. All you have to do at this point is peel your sticker off the backing and place wherever you want.

These stickers are going to one of my grandkids.

Did I mention that this does NOT use heat or even electricity?
You can let your kids make stickers or laminate
without having to hover.
It can also laminate and make magnets.
It all depends on the type of film cartridge you use in your unit.

In the past, I cut out my shapes and put double stick tape on them, which is ok, but not as much fun. I love making stickers for my journal and my grandkids. It is supposed to be safe for photos.
I gave it a try and it sticks well.
I guess time will tell if it's really safe.

Have fun!

Always,




Monday, October 30, 2017

Best Ever Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


I have never been a fan of Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies. It was the texture--rather cakey and sometimes dry. Disclaimer: this in NO WAY is intended to be a healthy recipe. Eat at your own risk!

Our family has a go-to basic cookie recipe for our experiments. Here it is, TOP SECRET straight from our family vault:

Any cake mix
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs

And this is no exception.
Here is the mix I used:


On the back of this box is almost my recipe, but I've been making these cookies with their mix longer than they have, so trust me--use two eggs.

1/2 cup shortening. I like to use Crisco Butter Flavor stick. So convenient.

By showing you one of my plates, you now know that I am about 100 years old. Many of your grandmothers may have plates like this.

Add 4 - 6 ounces of chocolate chips. We prefer the semi-sweet, but milk chocolate will do.

Mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 -10 minutes at 325 - 350 degrees. My oven bakes on the hot side so I bake for 9 minutes at 325. Let the cookies cool and set before lifting them off the cookie sheet.

Happy BOO to you!

Always,



Monday, September 4, 2017

How to Make Journaling Easier with FREE Printables!


I have a good friend who is interested in journaling, but afraid to start for fear of "making a mistake."

First of all, there's no such thing as mistakes, only experiments!
You have to explore and experiment. How else are you going to know what you like? Besides, you have to practice.

But, what if you had a little help?

In the Library of FREE Printables there are 6 pages of arrows, tabs, banners and icons in blue, red, yellow, green, purple and rainbow.

Print what you need onto full sheet adhesive paper and cut out. OR, if you have a sticker maker, print out on regular paper, cut and run through your sticker maker.

There is also a rainbow page of larger banners:
Subscribe to my email list and I will send you the link to access the FREE Library of Printables.

Monday, August 21, 2017

My Favorite Lettering Supplies

Starting with the Rhodia dot pad... I sort of got into brush lettering because I wanted that cool calligraphy look in my journaling. I saw fantastic journal spreads and wanted to learn more about it.

I could've spent all kinds of money on this craft, so I knew I had to watch myself. There are really expensive watercolor brush pens out there, and expensive paper. I also learned that you get what you pay for. If I wanted to do this professionally, then yes, I should invest in the best supplies. If I was really going to do this professionally I'd use the free fonts I collect. But for my journaling this is what worked for me:

The Rhodia dot pad
This has nice dot grid paper that doesn't bleed readily. There is one exception I'll show you later. The paper is smooth so it doesn't wear out your markers.
This pad is really great for practice. Practicing every day is the number one thing you need to do to build your skill. These are some of my first attempts. I don't practice near as much as I should.
I need to work on getting those flourishes down.

Lettering Books

These two books come highly recommended on Amazon. The Creative Lettering book on the left focuses more on traditional techniques while The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide focuses on brush lettering, like it says. This is a comprehensive book that teaches about the types of supplies to use, different techniques to get those flourishes and composing signs using complimentary fonts. The practice sheets are specific to letters, phrases, and flourishes.

Brush pens

In most of the blog posts I've read about brush lettering Tombow Brush Pens are the most recommended. These are dual tipped, brush tip on one end and fine point on the other. They run about $20.00 a set. They are a little expensive for just practicing, but you really need to practice with them because they have a completely different feel in how you hold them. The brush tip makes drawing the letters a lot easier than regular markers. I have not used a watercolor brush yet. I don't think I'll get into it to that extent.

Don't forget about the inexpensive alternative to the brush pens--Crayola markers. Crayola markers give me a lot color selection. It takes some practice holding them just right because they are so different, but they work out really well.

The one set of markers I'd suggest you don't waste your money on is the Sharpie brush tip markers. The set costs about $12 but they smell very strong. The colors don't match the caps exactly. They come out a little darker. The other thing is:

They bleed. It is very difficult to control the amount of ink that hits the paper. As you can see, the ink bled onto the third page. I ended up giving these markers away. You can also see that still need a lot of practice.


This is on of my later attempts. I draw it out with pencil first. I used the Tombow markers, both ends. I really need to work on color choices, font choices, composition, and flourishes, but it's coming along. It is really quite relaxing. I enjoy practicing.

Keep on lettering!

Always,

Monday, August 14, 2017

Top 10 Basic Tools in my Journlaing Tool Box


Ok, that's not my tool box. It is a re-purposed utensil tray from my old dishwasher. It makes the perfect caddy for all of my journaling stuff.


(This post does Not contain affiliate links, yet. The bolded words are just to help this article to be more searchable)

First of all, don't think you have to go out and buy all this stuff right away. I collected these supplies a little over time. Another thing you should know, even if I didn't have any of these wonderful little things I would still write and draw. All you really need is paper and a pencil. Although, I do love my Parker fine point black pen. It's my BFF and I have a bunch of them with refills so I'll never run out.

1.Pens, pencils, and markers. From left to right:
  • Metallic gel pens Slicci by Pentel. Probably the best gel pens I have used.
  • Bic 4 color pens in two different color sets. they come in very handy. I have always loved these pens.
  • Micron liners in black, sizes 01, 03, and 05.
  • A Paper-Mate Flair fine point felt tip for thicker lines.
  • The Ink Joy. They are a nice pen. The ink flows smoothly, can get a little gloppy. Frankly, I'm not sure what all the hoopla was about. Like I said, good pen, but I probably would not go out of my way to buy them again.
  • Crayola twistable colored pencils. I like this brand best for my use. The colors are strong, convenient to use. There are some other brands of watercolor pencils that I've used but I'm not into blending right now, so the extra price is not worth it to me.

  • Crayola markers--I'll talk more about these in my next post about lettering supplies. Suffice it to say, don't count them out just because they're inexpensive. They are very versatile!
  • Small snipping scissors for tight corners or if I'm in a stitching mood.
  • Eraser and white out tape. Always a must for boo-boos.
  • Regular sized scissors.
  • Liquid white out. It has a pen tip so you can use it to write white on a dark background.
And that was just the caddy.
2. Other basic supplies include:



  • That's no ordinary Bic mechanical pencil. This has a .9 mm lead instead of the traditional .7 mm. It is still a #2, but is stronger because it is thicker and doesn't break as often. I'm really hard on pencils so it was worth it to me. 
  • The folding and making a crease tool, also called a Bone folder because they used to be made out of bone (some still are).
  • Xacto knife, keep spare blades handy.
  • Binder clips--these come in handy when you want to make your own notebook or note pad. They keep your pages all together while you glue.

3. Speaking of glue...here are my favorite adhesives to use:


  • The PVA glue is perfect for binding projects.
  • Double stick tape--one of my supplies that I keep in bulk. It's archive safe and you can use it on anything. Double stick tape is probably the cheapest to use.
  • The Easy Runner by Home and Hobby is very easy to use, but it occasionally gets tangled up inside and you have to figure out how to fix it and re-insert the cartridge. It's kind of like using an 8 track audio tape (for those of you over 40).
4. My paper cutters.
Probably the best investment I have made in all my paper crafting. I don't remember how much it cost, but it was worth it. This thing gets a lot of use.
Fiskars paper cutter and edge rounder. These are super handy tools.
You need to use a mat under the paper cutter. The edge rounder has four types of edges you can select. Insert your paper and squeeze. It is really easy on your hands.

5. My Cinch

I can punch up to 15 sheets of paper at a time. I never have, but supposedly I can. I can also punch 1 piece of chip board for covers. I can punch from 6 to 12 inches long. It is easy to adjust the punch pins. The knob in the back adjusts to the size of your binding wires. You place the binding wire (after it has been inserted into the holes) into spot in the back and use the handle to compress the binding wire. You can also use spiral binding. Make sure to buy the same brand of supplies, We R Memory Makers or the sizes of binding are not likely to fit.

6. Sticky notes, the modern day miracle.

I can add notes and reminders to my journal wherever I need them. They serve as both reminder, place holder or bookmark. I especially love the NOTES pad. It fits just about anywhere and it comes in handy when my to do list if too full and I've run out of room. this usually only happens at Christmastime.

7. Washi tape and organizer


At first, I was determined not to get all caught up on Washi tape. I have seen some humongous collections. It can get out of hand and become an organizing nightmare. I found this organizer at Michael's. It has a dowel for the rolls to sit on and a serrated edge at the front to tear your tape with. It's kind of a hassle to use that way so I took the dowels out and use it more like a drawer. I don't really want a serrated edge on my tape anyway. I think a drawer with utensil organizers would work better. But I'm out of drawer space. 

It turns out Washi tape is stinkin' cute! And so much fun to use. It has a light adhesive so you can move it after you've put it on a page and it won't tear your paper. It makes fun borders and covers a multitude of journaling blunders.

8. Deco Pens

These little Deco pens are so much fun to use. Think of them as if correction tape (Wite out) married Washi tape and they had babies. It's ingenious. I wish I had thought of it! It is easy to use and makes the cutest little borders and separators. The ones on the left were $2 each at Michael's (not an affiliate link yet), and the Happy Planner version was $6.99. this one comes with 3 cartridges so the price is close to the generic ones.

9. Paper punch
If you use the disc system for your journal binder, you really need to get the special paper punch. It fits the discs perfectly. You should know that you can only punch 2 pieces of regular paper at a time or it breaks. I use a regular paper punch and clip the edges with scissors for cardstock or plastic, like my pocket dividers. You could use that method for regular paper as well and save yourself $29.

10. The Polaroid Zip Printer


This is the Polaroid Zip Printer. It is about the size of my cell phone, a little bit thicker perhaps. This is probably the most funnest toy of all. It uses special zink paper. The ink is actually imbedded in the paper so you don't get smears and smudges, and you don't have to deal with adding ink cartridges. It prints via Bluetooth from my cell phone using Polaroid's special app. The app lets you make edits to your pic if you want. The print comes out at 2 x 3 inches, the size of a business card.

I find that it is super convenient for printing off smaller pics perfect for fitting into my journal, and each print has an adhesive backing. The refill paper is a little costly. If you buy it in bulk you can get it for like 50 cents a page. I chose this method over the Fuji Instax because I didn't want to fiddle with another camera, even if it is instant. My iPhone takes great pictures so I really didn't need the camera. I wanted the convenience of printing off smaller photos without having to print out a whole sheet and cut them out one by one.

It can be a little temperamental. When I first got my printer, it would not recognize or connect via Bluetooth. I went through all of the trouble shooting ideas then called customer support. They walked me through setting it up. It had something to do with their latest update.

Currently, it is going through another hiccup so I will probably have to call customer support again. I've tried all of my little tricks.
Still, I've been very happy with this little unit. I paid $115 on Amazon just after Christmas. You know, gift money burns a hole in my pocket.

No matter what, keep journaling!

Always,

Monday, August 7, 2017

Part 4 of 7 FUN Summertime Journaling Activities--Adventure!

I can't believe it! It has taken me most of the summer to finish blogging about FUN Summertime journaling activities. Back to school approaches, the sales are already in progress. But maybe it's not too late to share 2 more journaling activities.

Number 6 on my list is the Adventure Journal, not to be confused with the Travel Journal.

The Adventure Journal is similar to the travel journal, but it is NOT confined to reality. This journal is limited only by your imagination or the imagination of your kids.

First, you and your child decide on where or when you want to go. a few suggestions would be Outer Space, an African Safari, Jurassic Jungle, or maybe an event like signing the Declaration of Independence, the First Christmas, or life on Grandpa's farm when he was a child. The possibilities are endless. Make a list because you all may want to do this again and again.

Next, do some research together. Google your place or time, find out what you can. You can use books like The Magic Treehouse series.

Make or find a notebook for writing what happened to your child on a certain day with room for drawing things imagination sees or does. Set up prompts for your child as needed.

Make a cover that reflects your child's journey.

Make a small travel kit with inexpensive binoculars, extra pencils, some little souvenir from your place or time, transport tickets, and the journal.

Take the trip together! This is the best part. You can explore anything on the Internet. Copy pictures to put in the journal. Interview people who may have been there. 

Bon Voyage!

Number 7 on my list is The Write Your Own Story Journal.
Print off some lined paper for kids in my FREE Library of Printables. The first page has space for drawing the story. Or, use regular composition notebooks for older kids.

Most kids have plenty of stories locked inside, but if they have trouble starting you could give them a prompt.

OR...

You could use The Write Workbook for Young Authors. This workbook takes the young author from brainstorming, writing, rewriting, critiquing, editing, to publishing on the home computer.

The Write Journal helps teen and adult writers organize their thoughts, timelines, characters and plots with 3 blank monthly calendars to keep track of word counts and important dates. 3 months worth of journaling pages help the writer set goals and track their progress.

No matter what, keep journaling!

Always,


Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy Birthday Harry Potter! FREE Printables for DIY Hogwart's notebooks just in time for Back to School!!



When my grandkids turn 11, they get an admittance to Hogwarts kit. I have great fun building this kit. It includes:

The Acceptance Letter on parchment, sealed with wax and the Hogwart's Stamp, delivered by owl, of course.

A work robe, school books (from Amazon), a wand, a cauldron, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, a wand pen or quill if I can find one, and a Sorting Hat (paper pop-up).

And, so they don't get lost--A Marauder's Map. Thanks to Britta who provides this free download to HP fans, but don't copy it for profit. It's for non-commercial use only. Here's the link:

Make your own Mini Marauder's Map



 FREE PRINTABLES
of the admission letter and supply list. Subscribe to my email list and you'll have full access to my Library of Printables! The name is blank, of course, for you to personalize. Print your letter on rolls of parchment from Warner Brother's website. It has the Hogwart's seal printed at the top. It comes in a roll so you need to reverse roll it before you print so it will lay flat. You can also buy the OWL postage from Warner Brother's website. They are real stamps you can use in the mail.
After the print dries, fold both pages together into quarters. I use quarter-fold size parchment envelopes (also on Amazon). I print the child's name and address on clear label, full sheet size, in green ink and cut it out to add to the envelope. Stuff the envelope, then seal with wax. I found a Hogwart's and a Griffindor's wax stamps, along with sealing wax all on Amazon. 




The Sorting hat is a Pop-Up Card.

I started by making the hat on a fold. I used toast colored textured paper. For a more authentic look you could use a crumpled paper sack or Kraft paper.

I looked at pictures and drawings on the internet and shaded the creases with brown colored pencil. I didn't want it to be exactly the same, but I did want it to be recognizable.

I did this twice, once for the outside and again for the inside. I shaded the inside differently to include the face. 


I folded the inside in half and cut a slit perpendicular to the fold where I wanted the mouth to go. Then I folded the top and bottom of the mouth outward. I had to watch a tutorial on Pop-Up books to figure this out. I also cut eyes, but you could shade them instead.

I placed the two pieces of the hat together, the face inside of the outside piece and glued the two pieces together being careful not to glue the mouth. I shaded inside the mouth and added "Better be. . . Gryffindor."

I folded the tip of the hat inward and downward.

This year for Back to School or maybe Halloween, my grandkids will get some composition notebooks, from Hogwarts!!

Supply list:
Start with regular composition notebooks (on sale right now).



2 8.5 x 11 pieces of white cardstock
2 full sheet white label pages
publisher's glue (I found mine on Amazon, where else?)
xacto knife

Print off the labels onto full sheet white label pages and inside covers on white cardstock. You'll find these in my Library of Printables.



Glue the class schedule page to the inside front cover with publisher's glue and the weights and measures page to the inside back cover. 

Press down and smooth across the page. Turn the notebook over and trim from the outside edge.



Trim the labels, remove the paper backing and center over the existing label.


And there you have it...
Notice the labels cover the old labels, not necessarily where I'd like them.
If you can't find covers that you like you can 

Go to this website to print off some cool front and back covers. Then come back here for the inside covers.

Keep on journaling

Always,