Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cute Halloween Advent Calendar

I got the idea to make a holiday advent calendar from my local quilting shop. Their's was for Christmas, but I thought, why not make one for Halloween? So here's my Tutorial for an advent calendar.

Here are the templates I made for the main body of the calendar. They are made to fit an 8.5x11 size page, so you can Save As the template and then print it out on your printer.

Choose fabric for each of the pieces. I just got some Fat Quarters from my fabric shop because you don't need very much of each color. I also got some fabric adhesive called Pellon.

I used the Pellon to adhere the fabric to the background fabric. I'm not sure I would use it again. It was kind of honery and didn't want to stay stuck. Next time I'll probably just pin the pieces in place, then stitch them down.

Next I have some cute number stamps from Technique Tuesday. I love their stamps!

Lay down some plastic. I used a garbage bag. You definitely don't want paint all over the table. Get some regular acrylic paint, and start stamping all the days of October on your fabric.

Brush the paint on to your stamps to avoid it clumping or just plain looking yucky. I tried to stamp all the numbers with a 1 in it, and so on. If you find an easier way, go for it, but you have a lot of numbers to stamp and it will take a while. I kept a papertowel saturatated in water to clean off the stamps as needed, then washed them all in soapy water.

After you have printed out your templates, trace them on the pellon, or just cut them out and then pin them to your fabric to cut out the shapes. Since I used the pellon, the pictures show what I did.

Follow the manufaturers instructins and iron the pellon to the fabric.

Peel the paper backing off, once you have trimmed the shapes down. Then lay them on your background fabric to see where you want to lay them.

Here's what mine looked like.

Next I used some heavy black embrodery thread and hand stitched the shapes in place. The Pumpkin was a little difficult with all the layers of pellon, but it turned out OK.

Turn on a movie with your kids and sew!

I use a two different kinds of stitches on my project, vertical and horizontal. You could use a blanket stitch too, or use your sewing machine. It's up to you.
For the Happy Halloween, I used a pencil to hand write the words, then stitched over the lines.

After you are done stitching the pieces in place, add a border around the background fabric, then add your pockets.

I pre-ironed the pockets to make it easier to sew them down. If you use Felt, you don't have to tuck the edges under. Next add another border if you wish, and the backing. I added batting to mine, but it ended up being kind of bulky, so I don't think I'll do that again. Edge stitch the sides and quilt in the middle if you want. Be sure to firmly pin everything in place so it doesn't shift while machine quilting it down.

That's it! Fill the pocket with treasures, candy, or love notes! Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Tutorial

I'm sorry I have let life get in the way. Well that and my 2 year old took my camera swimming in a pitcher of Kool-Aid. It would have been fine, had it been my waterproof camera. But it wasn't. So here's a digi tutorial.

So here goes with another installment of the Tuesday Tutorial.

I played with making my own rounded corner template. Here's the pages I made:

Now let me show you how I did it. Templates are Awesome!

First, open your Photoshop program and hit Control + N to open a new document. Size it to the size you want. Mine are 8x8.

Now select your rounded corner shape tool. It might be hidden under the tool that looks like water spilled on the floor. Right click on that to find the rounded corner square. Make sure the top color on your pallet is black. Click and drag a large square to nearly cover your page space. Then when you let go of the mouse it will fill with the black. It looks like this:

Now in CS2 I have to rasturize that layer by right clicking on that layer in the layers pallet and selecting 'rasturize layer'. In Elements, you select 'simplify layer'. Now we are going to cut up that square. Select your Rectangular Marquee tool. Click and drag a long narrow rectangle across one part of your large square. Go to Edit>Cut to delete that selection. It will look like this:

Do that again going the other direction. It will look like this:

Or this:We need to separate these layers so we can clip different elements to them. Use your rectangular marquee tool again and select one of the shapes. Make sure the large shape is hightlighted in your layers pallet. Once one of the smaller shapes has the marching ants around it, hit Control + J to create a new layer with just that shape on it. It should show up in your layers pallet as just that one smaller shape. You won't see it on the main screen, but that's OK. Do the same thing to each of the smaller shapes.

Now drag the large cut up shape into the trash can. You don't need it anymore. Save this image as a .psd file labled template so you can come back to it again.

Let's add some pictures and pretty paper to this template. I chose the tinted vintage picture of my baby that we did a little while ago for the top rectangle. Drag your photo on to your main shape, making sure it is at the top of the layer's pallet over the smaller shape you want it to be in. Hover your mouse over the line between the photo and the shape and hit Alt + Click.

This will 'clip' your photo to that shape. It will look like this:

His photo doesn't exactly fit this frame, so I can use the Move tool to shift the photo around. It's cool how that works. You can also hit Control + T to get the Transform tool to resize your photo. I had to. Here's what it looks like resized:
Next I added some background paper. You may need to drag that layer to the bottom of your layers pallet just above the Background layer.

Rather than adding brushes to my background, I used an overlay I got from http://www.scrapgirls.com/. This is what it looked like:

I like it but it's a little too overwhelming so I reduced the Opacity to about 50%.

Now that's much better. Do the same clipping method to add your patterned paper to the other shapes. Mine looks like this:

Since the circle paper was a little too big for my taste, I used the transform tool to resize the circles. Now let's add some drop shadows to your images. Click on one of the black shapes, not the paper, and then click on the little circle-f icon at the bottom of the layers pallet, or find where it says Layer Styles. This will open up your drop shadow options. I added a drop shadow, bevel and emboss, and a texture to that shape. It will automatically add it to the paper that is clipped to that shape. Once that is done, you can quickly add the same styles to the other shapes by:
1. Right click on the layer you just added the drop shadow to.
2. Select 'Copy Layer Style'
3. Then hit Control while you click on each of the other black shapes in your layers pallet.
( this will select each layer all at the same time. If you hit shift + click on each layer it will select the entire column of layers which you don't want.)
4. Now right click again and select 'Paste Layer Style'.
Amazing! you just added all those layer styles to all those layers in one click! I love it when I can speed scrap!
Here's what mine looks like with the layer styles added:
Now I want to add a text box to my layout. I did this by adding a digital piece of vellum to the striped block. Use your Rectangular Marquee tool and draw a rectangle inside your patterned paper block. Make sure your color is set to white. It will look like this:

Now reduce the opacity to about 75%. I added a stroke outline to the outer edge of mine.

Here's how I did it: In your layers pallet, point your mouse on the thumnail picture of the layer with the white square on it. Hit Control + click to get the marching ants around the square.

Open a new layer that is above the white rectangle layer. Go to Edit>Stroke, I chose 15 pixels with the color as white, and the placement to Outside. Click OK and you have a white line that outlines your white vellum square.

Next add your text to the vellum square. I used 2peas scrapbook font for mine.

I think this needs just a little more to be finished so I added some digital stitching with a zig-zag brush I got from http://www.brusheezy.com/.

Here is the finished layout.
Have fun with creating your own templates. It definitely makes scrapping quick and easy!
Remember to save your layout as at .jpeg to be printed or sent to an online publisher. They don't accept .psd files. I know, I've tried before.
Stay tuned for a super cute Halloween Advent Calendar that is almost finished. Your are going to love it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cute Holiday Vinyl Blocks

My sisters and I got together last night to make these cute blocks. I cut the vinyl with my Cricut and the program Sure Cuts Alot. It's kind of like Cricut Design Studio but I can use my own fonts from my computer and weld the letters together. It's kind of a Love/Hate relationship because it's finiky sometimes. It will work great talking to my Cricut, and then they can't hear each other. A little frustrating sometimes.

Anyway, I used 2x2 inch boards that my sister Jessica cut for us. I was so busy making sure everyone had the lettering they wanted, I didn't get to make mine. They painted their boards, depending on the theme. Then I thought this morning, 'hey, I've got all this cute scrapbook paper, why don't I use that?' so I did. I wish I would have thought of it sooner. Sorry guys.

First cut strips of your patterned paper to match the themes of your lettering. I cut mine to be just smaller than the wood blocks.

Next lay out some plastic. I just used a garbage bag. I don't have any Mod Podge, so I used good ol' Elmers white glue mixed with a little water. You want it more runny than pasty. Brush the glue on the block, then stick down your paper that has been cut to size. Make sure you lay it all out before you start gluing to make sure you get it the way you want. Smooth out the paper with your fingers and the palm of you hand. This is a little messy, but since I was in the kitchen, hand washing is quick and easy. The paper will want to curl or pucker a little. Keep smoothing it out.

I did 3 sides on my blocks, so once you get one side done, roll it and do the same to the next side.

I stood my blocks on end to let them dry. It took about an hour. You can use this time to make sure you have all the vinyl words ready. Just follow the manufacturers instructions for cutting and using the transfer tape. I cut the words out, the removed the excess vinyl.

Cut the transfer tape to be just bigger than the words and peel back the sticky side. Apply that over the vinyl letters.

Stick it over the letters and finger press down. This should lift the vinyl off the paper. Re-stick the letters to the transfer tape backing until ready to use.

Now place your words on the blocks. Make sure they are completely dry first. Use the popsicle stick to scrape over the letters to firmly adhere them.

Peel the sticky paper off slowly and You're Done!
Here are some examples of what I made:

Have fun creating! I know I did!

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