From Mayo to Gift in 30 quick minutes!

I wondered last night if regular handmade cards would fit in a mayo jar... they do indeed!  Stamp used is "Annie" from Tiddly Inks.

From Photo to Embroidery...the manual way.

Been gone for a few days... had "real life" things to do.

Today I started a new challenge...

Someone wants a gift for her cousin who is opening her own cake shop.  So here you go...skills building on skills...  From photo to embroidery in two quick steps (YEA RIGHT!!!)

Original photo from her website:

A line drawing ... kind of a "real-meets-cartoon" look... This drawing can now be printed on cards, or whatever... I'll probably make a vinyl cut of it as well.

And the stitch-out... always have to make a trial stitch out so that there are no surprises!  It's a tad bit different but that happens...close enough...
Now this can be stitched on an apron, or whatever!  Tons of possibilities now!  I'll show the final results when I have them.

Made some modifications...she wanted color...

Digital Stamps, How many ways???

Or, "Party On-The-Fly"

I bought several precious digital stamps from Christy Croll (link to the right) week before last and have been wanting to see how many things I could do with them since... But, it has been a busy couple of weeks and I needed to go ahead and take the pictures of what I have done so far because there are things I made that won't last much longer!  There are real cupcakes and faux marshmallow ones that are going to start attracting ants if I don't get them out of here soon!  So, there are only a few things here, but you get the idea.

In the photo:

  • flower pot w/ vinyl version of the stamp

  • small gift cards (boxed in the striped boxes, from one of my dies... for party favors

  • the BLACK envelopes are closed with a round label using the stamp.  The envelopes were also a die... VERY exciting because I LOVE Black and White and couldn't find black paper to make envelopes until last week!  WHOOHOO!!!

  • ceramic tile w/ stamp 
In the pot:

  • I printed the flowers from a font (?) I have and stuck a Hershey kiss to the center.

  • The little cupcakes in the pot are made of marshmallows dipped in the melting chocolates you find at Michaels.... then wrapped them with printed paper strips.... actually, I cut the marshmallow in half, cut a little bit of the side off of one piece to make it smaller, then stuck the marshmallow back together so the top is now bigger than the bottom
  • The squiggles are 1/4" tubes of fabric with a large pipe cleaner inside then twisted around my finger.
The cool part is that the only thing I had to buy besides the digital stamp was the cupcakes! (I don't do cooking)... Well, that and the black paper, but I would have gotten that anyway!  TOO EXCITED about the black paper!
Just so you know, I didn't actually have a party, I made it all for the photo, and my personal challenge.

Silhouettes? OF COURSE I CAN!

Night before last I was given a new challenge.  I won't say who challenged me because its for a gift and you just never know who might read this stuff!    My reply was "Sure I can!"    With that ever present " I can do ALL THINGS through Christ..." attitude.  HA!

Of course, being the age I am (50+) my first thought was to use Corel Paint, black out the important parts, erase everything else, print and cut.... with tiny scissors.  That is, after all, how you do it right?!  So, that's what I do... I print black on black, perfect!, easy enough to see and cut.  No, I didn't cut it, I was going to let her do that. :-)

She had told me that there were lots of shops on Etsy that sold them so I went there to check it out.   They are using vinyl!!!  DER!!!   OK, feeling really stupid now. Do I have a vinyl cutter right in front of my face?!  YES!  So, I did what I do to cut vinyl and TA DA! ... Silhouettes from photos...

 Be watching for my new shop in your Etsy neighborhood! :-)

  1. Copy/Paste a picture from a facebook album
  2. Crop to the head
  3. Change to b/w and putz with that until you are happy
  4. Cut!

Sorry, I can't figure out how to turn the flash off! BAD GLARE!!!  And it's all bent up because I was trying to "weed" it on the machine...not easy!

Lessons learned:

  • A PERFECT profile picture is best, otherwise the hair becomes part of the nose, making it look HUGE.

  • The more dpi the better.  This one was 72 dpi so it was very pixelly, I had to convert it to 300 and mess with it UGH!

  • The Lighting is important ... too dark is hard.

  • Need a good contrasting background

  • The best picture would probably be one made just for the silhouette, not for the extra "stuff"
Now OFF!  I have to do SOMETHING to make some $$$!

PS.  Thanks for the challenge! ;-)

The "Studio"

OK, so I'm doing my daily blog check and see that today Sassy Cheryl has posted a picture of her studio.  It was a PERFECT example of what I said in my last post!  Why she is a master at what she does.... and why I'm not.  Let me demonstrate....

I like to call this the:  

"Me doing my part to make all husbands of the world appreciate their wives tour"

... Show them!  They just THOUGHT you were bad!

This is a picture of my computer keyboard/mouse area... SEE I TOLD YOU I have no mouse space!      If you look closely you can see Cheryl's studio on the screen.
And, this is just the side of the room I was willing to show you!

Now, let's move on, to the die cut room....I'm doing my best not to show the floor in any room!

the other direction... some of my dies
from the back side (paper)

Now, to the "Can't-find-anywhere-else-to-put-it-sunroom." 

Paper cutter, spiral binder, embroidery hooper thingy and ribbon, lots of ribbon, 
jewelry and button making stuff ...

OH!  and we can't leave out the Embroidery section of the room!

Turn around and you can see my dining room... ever ready for the improptu card making gathering. 

OK, OK...maybe not EVER ready...I took the month of January to FINALLY get it this clean,  after years of it looking like this:

Just so you know, this is what I was willing to show you!  No way you are seeing behind the closed doors where everything else is!!!
My last post should make so much more sense now. 

MAYBE one day I'll know what I really want to be when I grow up!

.... Mattie, are you ready for a road trip yet? :-)

But I want to know more!

I heard someone say the other day that to become really good at something it is better to do 12 things 4000 times than to do 4000 things 12 times. Well, I hate to admit it but I'm the person that does the 4000 things! As soon as I show myself, I can do something I'm ready to move on to the next I never get REALLY good at anything...sure, I can do it, but not like a master. I would love to be like a master but there's just too many other things "out there" to learn!!

Which brings us to today's thing....last week I wanted to learn how to color other people's stuff ... this week I want to draw my own!

I am just so jealous of folks that can draw from their heads. I so admire those people! And I would love to be able to do that! But, as described above, I can "do it" I'm just not good at it! I look at other people selling their art and say "I want to do that!" But I don't have that "it"...
So, begins the search for lessons on how to draw using a pc. I found a few out on the web so you get to see my first attempt at drawing (WITH A MOUSE!!!) Now, you have to understand that the ONLY reason I'm even showing you this is that I don't really believe that YOU are looking! (I'm just writing an online diary for myself)

First off, I plan to use my mouse as my scapegoat! What a MISERABLE tool for drawing! You think you are doing ok when suddenly the thing takes out across the page leaving a black tail in it's path! Now how did that happen?! I didn't tell it to lock in the "on" position! So, you guessed it, now I'm in the market for a drawing pad w/ pen! Some day....

Today my niece Mattie is my model. Gorgeous, beautiful Mattie... isn't she though?! I like to think of her as a Mini-Me.... Me "back then". OK! OK! I was never that beautiful, or that skinny, and she has a way with words that I can't touch! She writes in a way that makes you anxious to read more. BUT! She has the same passion I do for the Lord, and she loves to create with her hands... Like I said...Mini-Me :-)

So, I know this isn't exactly her...BUT I WAS USING A MOUSE!!! And it was my first time! AND I have no clue how to really use the software! So view with mercy!

OK, I didn't do her hair exactly right, and there's no real shadowing, but not horrible ... kinda like that company that gets you to "Draw this picture and then we'll teach you how to draw" ... I don't know if you would say "That's Mattie!" if you knew her. HEY, I WAS USING A MOUSE!!! OH! and did I mention that I have just enough room on my desk for the mouse to sit?! ZERO moving space! (another reason why the runaway mouse is so perplexing!)

Anyway, drawing lines was all I was trying to learn this time. WAY harder than I hoped it would be. ANY TIPS are MORE THAN WELCOME!!!


I DID IT!!! Its a few hours later. I was thinking about what I wanted to do and it suddenly came to me how!!! OMG and Thank You Daddy GOD!

This is what I'm going for and I DID IT! I have my first "MY VERY OWN" drawing! HA! HAPPY DANCE!


Still Learning!

Everyday I learn a little bit more about how to format this thing...So, if you are following and see changes that's the reason! I know I still need a good header but that's kinda low on my to-do list. But I'll get there. I'm also having a hard time finding a good layout... You have to use one of theirs and they don't have any good choices! Thanks for being patient! And come back often because I seem to be on a roll here! Talking A LOT!

I just added some of my favorite sites (that I can think of right this minute anyway... Please, check them out, they are good people.

I also opened up another blog that I started late last is really more of a diary of my love for the Lord... I have a REALLY hard time not giving Him glory for everything on this blog, because HE DESERVES IT! But, I'll try to keep that to a minimum here and if you are at all interested in REALLY knowing my heart go there...

I haven't been regular with that one but I'm going to get better... (she said with hope in her voice)

This Too Shall Pass

One of my great-nieces, Tori, just started a 3 year nursing school program with LSU in New Orleans ... that's after already doing 4 years at LSU in Baton Rouge. I don't know, but I think life just got much harder than she ever imagined. The only reason I can guess this is that all of her facebook entries are about wishing she had wanted to be a pre-school teacher, or about studying and tests and wanting it to be Friday!

Tori is my inspiration today. A girl looking at the calendar longing for the future to get here QUICK!

I got a new die this week (4 actually). A 6x6 album with tabs. LOVE IT!!! So, I decided to use it for my "Counting the Days" stamp.

I am such a LAZY stamper! ... I don't ... hardly ever anyway. Everything about the photo album was either printed from Corel or pre-printed design paper.... glued!

You really can't see the 3-D of it from this photo. (Sorry, taking pictures is something else I need to learn!) The girl is actually looking throught a scolloped window and an acetate page. The calendar is on a third page...the one with stripes. The torn calendar pages are popped off the front and there's a ribbon flower on her hat. Here's another, maybe it will help a little:

The cover without anything behind it:

And the 3rd page:

Thanks for the inspiration Tori! Not to worry, this too shall pass! (all too fast!) Love you!

Got it! A digitally painted digital stamp....

Yesterday I wanted to share something I had played with but I couldn't. That's OK though, because God ALWAYS has a better plan! I went in search of a user-friendly digital stamp and found the SWEETEST, most precious artist! She is now one of my new favorite people! And I LOVE her stamps! Her Etsy shop is You can find other links for her there. She gives full permission to digitally color her designs so I am a HAPPY CAMPER!

THANK YOU Christy Croll!

So, back to yesterday's task... reminder... I wanted to try and use Corel Paint to color a digital stamp... it was my first go at it...this is now my second so I'm "really" good at it now (she said under her breath).

I started with a black and white line drawing ....

And ended with this....

Is that too cute, or what?! It's called "New Day Bugg-Special day or Birthday" on Etsy but when she sent it to me she called it "Counting the Days"... The really clever thing about the "stamp" is that she left the months and days off so that you can add any month and special day that you want! Cool way to make a special birthday card, or invitation or whatever!

Last week I read somewhere that you can modify colors just by changing the hue or saturation ... simple slide bars in Corel Paint... So I tried that. I took the colored picture above and played with the hue and saturation. Thankfully, I knew when I was creating the first that I was going to be playing with the color so I put each and every piece on a separate layer... That way I can make the hat a different color without affecting the hair or the dress. Because of the extra time spent up front I was able to make the changes in maybe 2 minutes. Slide a couple bars, add some dots and DONE! Check out the results!

And, I did it again to get this...

notice I changed the month on the calendar this time....

Another cool thing about having to find another stamp was that when I had to start from scratch I accidentally discovered a way to import a .jpg and fill the calendar border with it! God is SO GOOD! I didn't do all that shading and swirl work on the border, it was just a background .jpg! Gotta love it!

OK! It is now 5:21 AM so I'm thinking its time to go take a nap! I'll come up with a way to use the pictures when I wake up....and post that soon.

OK! First Blog Post!

I have created this blog in order to share some of the experiments I have done with CorelPaint.... and whatever else I might play around with in the future. I also sell diecuts (hence, the name) so I will most definitely be using those in future posts. But today its about

digital coloring...

I have used CorelDraw since version one...but never really used CorelPaint much...mostly just to resize and crop. I decided I would expand my horizons and try "coloring" with CP. I have a house full of rubber stamps but never use them because you are limited to the size they are. And too, when I create something I want to be able to make dozens of them and don't usually have time for the "one-at-time" plan. I want to be able to print out dozens at a time...and use the results on cards, or stickers, or shirts, or, or.... you get the point.... If you know me at all I'm all about making LOTS of something at one time... like the 300 valentines cards we made for the orphanages this year. Nope, coloring one at a time just doesn't work for my needs!

I have to say, this first post was far more interesting when I first wrote it because I included pictures of something I "colored" last night.. VERY VERY CUTE... but, I checked with the artist before actually putting this "out there" and found out that I had broken her copyright rule of not using software to color. HECK!!! VERY disappointing!

Sooooo... Rule #1. READ THE COPYRIGHT RULES! Everyone has their own and they can be different.

There are tons of sites out on the web that sells line art so ... let the shopping begin! I will be back when I find something I can actually share with you.