Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween (and a little enabling...)


Halloween is here and there are just two months left in 2013.  I know that many of you are busy preparing for Halloween festivities tonight.  I bought lots of candy this year since we have had more families with children move into the neighborhood.  I tried to choose candy that I don't like very much since the leftovers can be so tempting!

Do you like these candles?  True confessions time - I did not make them.  I was picking up more candy at Costco and stumbled on these LED candles randomly stacked on top of the candy.  The set of three was just $4.97 (hint - when a price at Costco ends in a "7" the item has been marked down).  I certainly couldn't make them for that price and it's great that they are totally safe - no live flame to worry about.  I don't know if you could still find them at your Costco but the item number is 647093 if you want to check.

I want to let you know about a few great deals at Lettering Delights that are also ending tonight.


Earlier this year I bought the Great Gift Giving Bundle, a bundle of 40 Cut-It sets on sale for $40 - this was a 75% savings on the individual prices which would add up to $170 when purchased individually.  You can see that post HERE.

Well, the deal is even better now - you can buy the bundle for just $30.  Here are a few screen shots showing some of my favorites of the 40 sets - there are 579 individual cutting files in this bundle!


The basket in the photo above is in the bottom row at the left.  I haven't cut the pennants yet but they are a very appealing set (I just need an occasion to use them).  The step card bases are also a big time saver if you like to make that style of card.


These Design Cards and Framed Salutations would be perfect for a Project Life style album and I think the delicate doilies are very pretty (and popular right now on scrapbook page and other projects). 


This bundle has so many great files that are very easy to use if you have a machine and software for cutting files in the following formats - .AI (v.8), .DXF, .EPS (v.8), .GSD, .PDF (v.1.5), and .SVG.   The bundle is only available at this special $30 price until 11:59 p.m. TODAY - October 31st and it will keep you busy until the end of the year or even longer cutting everything out!  Click HERE to see the Great Gift Giving Bundle.


To add even more to the temptation - there is a special bonus offer if you spend a total of $30 at  Lettering Delights by October 31st.  You must be logged in to your Lettering Delights account when you make your purchases.

The Christmas Village bundle includes the following sets and is a value of $29

  • Christmas Village Graphic Set (16 individual .png files)
  • Christmas Village Alphabet (77 individual .png files)
  • Christmas Village Paper Pack
  • Christmas Village Peeps Graphic Set (13 individual .png files)
  • Christmas Village Peeps Cut Set (13 individual cut files)
  • Christmas Village Cut Set (16 individual cut files)
  • Christmas Village 3d Cut Projects (16 individual 3d cut files)
You can see all of the details and more images of the items in these files HERE.

So - if you purchase the Great Gift Giving Bundle at $30, you will qualify for the FREE Christmas Village Bundle - it will be added to your library automatically after you purchases total $30.   If you already have the Great Gift Giving bundle you can shop for other items totaling $30 to earn the Christmas Village bonus - there are some other items and bundles on sale.  Remember, you must complete the purchases TODAY - before 11:59 Mountain time.


Here is one more thing I found at Costco on my candy buying trip.  Of course it followed me home - this will be my Halloween treat!  There are 20 roll of washi tape in 10 colors and two widths with a nifty rotating dispenser- all for $19.99.  The item number for this was 705476 if you want to check availability at your store (apologies to those of you who don't have a Costco nearby).


Have fun tonight if you are trick-or-treating or handing out candy.  I wonder what our total number of visitors will be this year? 

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Princesses with Square1 Masterpiece


When my little neighbors turned four, I wanted to make them something special.  They are rather fascinated by princesses and frequently wear special dress-up clothes to play princesses.


This also includes dressing all of the princess dolls.  Belle and Ariel seem to be particular favorites but this can change from day to day.


I have been exploring the possibilities of the Square1 Masterpiece inkjet printable adhesive fabric and I realized that it would be perfect for my project.  This is a great alternative to vinyl and safer for children since it contains no PVC like regular vinyl.  The material is also much easier to work with as it has less of a tendency to cling to itself and get tangled.


I own some digital kits of Disney princess images and backgrounds that I bought several years ago when they were available from Creative Memories.  First I used one of the backgrounds and adapted it from a square shape to an 8 x 10 rectangle to fit the 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of printable fabric.  I added the names at the bottom of each sparkly oval.  I printed these from my digital scrapbooking program (I did not make this a Silhouette print and cut so I could use the area that would be taken up by the registration marks and make the backgrounds as large as possible).


If you look closely at this photo you can see the woven texture of the Square1 Masterpiece printable material.


I brought the images into my Silhouette Studio software and created print and cut files.  The size of the princess images was determined by the available space on the background sheet.  I was able to test the images with the software to see how they would look on the background before cutting.


I needed a set of princesses for each girl, so I added two more princess images to the fourth and fifth sheets of printable fabric, along with a photo of each of the girls.


I used one more sheet of fabric to allow me to print extra images of the girls and some smaller princesses as well.  All four of these sheets were done as print and cut files with my Cameo.


The repositionable fabric photos of the girls blend in with the background nicely.


The backgrounds were trimmed with a regular paper cutter to remove the unprinted edges.


The wall decorations adhere easily to the wall next to the two beds and can be moved to another wall if they rearrange the room.  The repositionable adhesive Square1 Masterpiece material allows the images to be placed on the walls over and over again.


When the girls want a change, they can take off their photos and add whichever princess is their favorite of the day.


I made each girl an identical set of princess images so they could both choose the same princess without having to share the image and take turns placing it on their wall sign.


The girls needed a place to keep their extra images when they aren't in use on the wall signs.  I created small albums from office supply store plastic report folders and used some glitter Square1 Masterpiece material to add their names and a few stars to the front of each book.  I'll show how I made the books in another post.  The glitter material is amazing and you'll be seeing more projects made with it soon.



The twins loved their wall photos and the little books with all of the spare images.  I haven't checked lately to see how they are holding up to four year old wear and tear - I'll let you know!

Square1 Masterpiece has so many possible uses.  I am sure you can think of lots of ways to make some special projects for gifts or everyday. 

The company is launching a new program for people who want to earn some money with their crafts called the Creative Consultant Program.  You can see all of the details and the contents of the kits that are offered at Square1 Masterpiece.  This is not a direct sales party plan but rather a way for you to purchase product at a discount of 15-30 % and create items to sell at local fairs and shows.  Cara Miller will be providing a training program to help the Creative Consultants "Learn and Earn" as they develop projects for sale using the Square1 Masterpiece  materials.

Please be sure to let me know if you have any questions about the products or the Creative Consultant Program and I will do my best to help.


We made a quick trip to New Jersey last weekend to visit my sister and brother-in-law.  They are planning to move to Virginia to be closer to their grandchildren so this may be the last trip to their house. This photo was taken at sunrise from a third floor window - they have a fantastic view of New York City!  My sister and I had another adventure on Saturday morning - have any guesses about where we went?

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Creative Memories New Company Revealed

 

Creative Memories has finally revealed the plans for the new direction of the company as they attempt to emerge from bankruptcy (pending court approval next month).  The new company will be called "Ahni and Zoe by Creative Memories."


There is a very limited range of products available.  Fast to Fabulous (Fast2Fab) preprinted and preassembled albums which have refill pages available, packaged with page protectors.  There are new slide-in albums with pages for six vertical or horizontal photos and a 12 x 12 slide in page refill option as well.  Packs of 4 x 6 papers to use along with photos in the slide-in albums are also available.  There are a few other items in the catalog - a tape runner and refills, four pens, a photo storage box and magnetic display boards, but no tools.

Ahni & Zoe will offer an app called "inawink" that will allow you to shoot, edit, organize and print your photos.  Photos can be tagged for printing and when you have tagged a set number of photos they will automatically be printed and mailed to you.  The app will only be available for the iOS platform (Apple) but there will be a web-based version "coming soon."

You can see the catalog for the new streamlined company by clicking HERE.


The intention of this reorganization is to simplify and streamline the process of sharing photos by making it easy to get them off your devices and into an album.  I would love to hear what you think about the new product line and the catalog.  Please leave a comment with your first impressions from looking at the catalog - do these products appeal to you?  Do you think that the app would help you do more with the photos that tend to stay on your phone?  What items are missing that you would like to see offered?

For those of you with no interest in the Creative Memories bankruptcy and the new company, I have added a link to a project I did a couple of years ago - the lids of Tropicana orange juice bottles make great tea light candle holders - you can read the original post HERE.


This is moving week for my in-laws so much of my time will be spent helping out with all of the final packing and other details.  It's amazing how much is involved with moving out of a house after 34 years!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

New Digital Options for Creative Memories Software Users


If you use the Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator programs, you may be wondering what your options are now that Creative Memories is no longer selling or supporting these great programs.  Earlier this year, I mentioned that there was a good chance that Panstoria, the company that developed the programs and licensed them to Creative Memories to sell, would pick up where Creative Memories left off.  An agreement was reached and formally approved by the court a few weeks ago.

So what does this mean for you if you own the Creative Memories versions of the programs?

Until December 31, 2013, users of Memory Manager or StoryBook will be able to use the online activation to re-activate their software or activate it on a new computer.  Creative Memories digital artwork that you have purchased can be activated, without an end date, on any computer (no internet connection is needed for content activation).

StoryBook and Memory Manager will no longer be updated by Panstoria.  The programs will continue to work indefinitely but there may come a time when an operating system change causes an issue that will prevent the programs from working as expected (in other words, there will be no updates or bug fixes).  There is no immediate need to change to the Panstoria versions, but I suggest you do it as soon as you can so that you will have the most up to date versions of the programs going forward.


You can purchase the Panstoria versions of the programs quite reasonably.  They are both priced at $39.95.


The Memory Manager program equivalent is called Historian and it can be installed on one computer.  Historian will open your existing memory vaults from Memory Manager 3 or 4.  It does not have the patented "Perfectly Clear" process that is in Memory Manager 4, but you can adjust light and contrast as you could in Memory Manager 3 to edit your photos. 


The StoryBook Creator equivalent is called Artisan and it can be installed on two computers.  One big advantage to the Artisan program is that it has the full range of photo editing tools that are in Memory Manager so you won't have to switch back and forth between the two programs to do more sophisticated editing.


Both of the programs are sold by download only on the Panstoria website.  I have used these programs since they were released and they just get better and better.  I am happy to be able to buy the new versions and to support the company that created these programs.  I am also an affiliate for Panstoria because I believe these programs are easy to use but very powerful and perfect for busy people who want to edit and organize their photos and to tell their stories creatively.  If you purchase the programs through the links on my site I will receive a commission from Panstoria (your price will be the same).  I will continue to help you with questions, share my projects and explain the techniques that I use and I appreciate your support in purchasing the programs by using the links on my blog.


You may be wondering how to go about printing the projects that you create with the StoryBook or Artisan software now that Creative Memories Digital Center has closed.  There is more good news - Panstoria has a new printing service that will allow you to upload your projects directly from the software, as easily as you could upload to the CM printing service.  You will find the Panstoria Print Shop HERE and there are lots of interesting products in addition to page prints and photo books.  (I do not have an affiliation with the print shop).

Of course, you also have the option to save anything you create in the program as a JPEG, PNG or PDF file and print it at home or at any other printing service. 


If you are using StoryBook, you will see a notice at the bottom of the home page that alerts you to the update that you need to do to enable you to upload your projects to the Panstoria Print Shop.  The update also allows users of SBC4 to use digital content purchased from the Panstoria online store, and to open projects or pages created using Panstoria Artisan.  You can have both programs on your computer but you can only open a project in one of the programs at a time.

When you switch to Artisan, all of the content you have that was purchased from Creative Memories in their proprietary format will be available to use in Artisan.  Your projects, content, tags and categories will transfer automatically. 


What if you missed out on purchasing some content that was available from Creative Memories?

Yesterday, Panstoria announced that nearly 1500 digital content products from Creative Memories are now available to purchase in their store.  The Creative Memories content will be available through March, 2014, so you can plan your purchases to fill in any gaps before that time.

All digital content can be used by both Panstoria Artisan and Creative Memories StoryBook Creator 4 software.  Some content can also be used by StoryBook Creator 3 software.  If you are a StoryBook Creator 3 user, please check the requirements listed for each kit before purchasing to ensure that you will be able to use that kit.
 

In addition to the Creative Memories content, Panstoria has additional content, including a few free items (click on "free content" in the left sidebar to see the items).

If you have any questions about the digital programs, be sure to leave me a comment or send an email and I will do my best to help you.  I am so happy that we can continue to use these great programs now that Creative Memories has chosen to take a new path.  I do not know exactly what Creative Memories will be offering in the future, but I will let you know when any new information is available.

You can also use the Artisan program together with the Silhouette Design Studio program to help you create cutting files.  I'll be sharing more tips on how to do this in the coming weeks.

I have added just a few of my digital pages to this post to break up all of the "wordiness"!  If you have questions about any of the pages, please let me know.  Some have appeared on the blog already but some are new.

I hope you have a great weekend - it is our town wide "ReUsit" day on Saturday.  I wonder what treasures I'll find at the "Drop Off Swap Off" (and I also wonder if anyone will think that the things I drop off are treasures!)

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An Enabling Post (don't miss this!)


After a very busy weekend I have been catching up on my email (or at least trying to) and there are a few special deals I want to let you know about... 


Lettering Delights is having a "Monster Sale" with nearly 300 products on sale for $1 ($2 for Cut-It Sets).  There are lots of great sets on sale - you can check out the sale items by clicking HEREThere is one thing you should pay attention to - sometimes the 'bundle prices" will be more than the total of the individual set prices when there is a sale so check carefully before you add a bundle to the cart.


While I was doing a little shopping, I noticed these pretty leaves.  When I stopped to read what was included in the "Back to Basics Big Bunch of Graphics" I discovered an amazing deal!  This set of 353 shapes is listed at a regular price of $35.00 and on sale for just $1.  These are graphics, not cutting files, but the shapes are easily traced in the Silhouette Studio program - it takes less than a minute to turn any of the shapes into a cutting file.

Here are a few more screenshots of just some of the shapes included in this set - there are many more and you can see them all HERE.







Don't miss out on this amazing deal if you use a Silhouette or another machine with software that allows you to trace shapes and create cutting files.  You can make these shapes into layered files with a few simple steps.  (If you don't know how to do this leave a comment to let me know and I will add a post with directions).

Have fun browsing through the Monster Sale items - there are a lot of cute things for Halloween.  Don't forget to pick up the monthly freebies too!  Click HERE to start shopping.  The sale has been going on for a week already and I am not sure when it will end.

(the image at the tops of this post is a little doodle I made using the spider from the "Back to Basics Big Bunch of Graphics" - with these basic shapes you have endless possibilities!)
 


The other shopping opportunity is the just released Close to my Heart Holiday Gift Guide.  I love those rosette trees on the cover.  There are some beautiful Christmas items and also some everyday items included in this catalog.  My friend Joy Tracey is a CTMH consultant and you can see the entire catalog HERE on Joy's website.  You'll find the items listed HERE for shopping.


This set called Magical Days is a must have for me - it will be great for making an advent calendar but many of the numbers are not exclusively holiday designs and could be used for birthday cards or other projects.


Also included in the Gift Guide is this very useful set called "Banner Wishes."  This is perfect for quick and easy cards for many occasions.

Here is the best news - if you spend $100 on items in the regular catalog and/or the holiday book, you will get a FREE item of your choice from the starred items in the Gift Guide (and the Magical Days set of numbers is one of the choices - normally $17.95).

If you have been thinking about buying one of the CTMH Cricut Collections, you just need to add one more small item to your cart and you will be prompted to add a free item.  You will also qualify to buy two of the Stamp of the Month sets for just $5 each (regular price $17.95). 

 
The stamp of the month set this month is particularly nice - it is called Scandinavian Wishes.  If you got the second set for an additional $5 when you spend over $100, it would make a nice gift for a friend.


I am hosting an online Gathering on Joy's CTMH site that ends this Friday at midnight.  Please click to join my Gathering if you decide to do some shopping before Friday - thanks!



We were lucky to be invited to the Red Sox game on Sunday night.  It was a late night but worth the wait when the team finally tied the Tigers in the eighth inning and went ahead in the ninth to win.  One of the most important things happened much earlier in the evening, when the National Anthem was led by a group of children including Jane Richard, the little girl who lost her eight year old brother and her leg in the bombings at the Boston Marathon last April. 

I've always been fascinated by the way the ball field grass is cut to make a pattern and on Sunday night they had cut the Red Sox "B" and the word "Strong" into the outfield.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.