Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Our Little Family


A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to your family from our Little Family.

We hope you enjoy your holidays and are experiencing laughter, love, health, happiness, and the peace our Savior brings.


We will be celebrating the holidays with friends and family and taking a little break from blogging until 2013.

See you then friends!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Project Handmade Christmas Presents: Rice Hand Warmers



We are winding down. Christmas is swiftly approaching. My Little Men are excitedly counting down one candy at a time from our advent. Middle happily crosses off each day from his homemade calendar that hangs on our refrigerator.
 
My last several little handmade gifts are done. Did you notice I didn't say the big gifts are done? 

Ugh, let's change the subject...



Today for Project Handmade Christmas Presents, I made these simple rice hand warmers for the Grandpas. 


I used the oh-so-wonderful Vanessa's (you know from V&Co) tutorial found HERE.


I also thought it might be nice to make a little bag to hold the hand warmers in.


I turned a tea towel into two tiny drawstring bags. I painted their Grandpa names on the front.


Now the little hand warmers have a place to live when they aren't keeping our Grandpas hands toasty warm.



You know what they say, warm hands, warm heart.

Our Grandpas have the warmest hearts, so of course they need the warmest hands.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Project Handmade Christmas Presents: Personalized Notepads Part 2



I got a lot of positive feedback about PART 1 of the Personalized Notepad tutorial. I am glad that you guys were able to follow along with my tutorial and I am excited that so many of you have already made the template for your notepad page.

Now that you have your template made from the PART 1 TUTORIAL, this next step is the easy part.

You will insert your jpeg image into a Word type document on a landscape oriented page. Once you have one image on the page, you will most likely have to make your image a tad smaller in order to make two notepad pages fit on one page. Copy the smaller image and paste it right next to the first.

Print of how many you want, I recommend printing off anywhere from 20 to 40 pages. That will give you 40 to 80 notepad pages.


Use a paper cutter to evenly cut down the pages. My cut pages measured 7" by 5".


Cut out all your pages. You will have a stack of notepad pages.


Gather some small binder clips.


You will also need rubber cement.


Oh and you will want a cereal box too.


 With your stack of notepad pages in hand...


Cut out cardboard backs for each notepad measuring 7" by 5".


Stack all the paper evenly on top of each other and then add the cardboard to the back. Clip securely in place at all the corners on the side edges.


Set them up on top of something, like an upside down cup. And I recommend laying down newspaper because the rubber cement might drip. Liberally brush the top edge with rubber cement. Make sure to coat it evenly, catching every page. Coat several times.


Let the pads set out and dry over night, until the top is barely, if not at all, tacky to the touch.


Remove the clips and admire your handy work.



Sharpen a couple of pencils and add some washi tape to the top.


Tie with bow.

Easy peasy and all done!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy gift making and gift giving.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Project Homemade Christmas Presents: Personalized Notepads



The grandmas in our life have been warned to stay away from today's posts. Today's Project Handmade Christmas Presents 2012 is for them.



This is a little homemade gift that any grandparent will love. I mean, what grandparent wouldn't love something plastered with the sweet angelic faces of their grandchildren?

I wanted a personalized gift to give the grandmas and I decided I wanted to create a personalized notepad using a photo of my Little Men.


I am dividing the how-to for creating this notepad into two tutorials. This is part 1. Part 2 is HERE.

Today I am going to share how to make the picture layout for the notepad in PicMonkey.

Update 12/18/12

Since writing this tutorial PicMonkey has started charging a Royale fee for 
many of its upgraded features. Several of the features I used to make this notepad 
are now only available if you upgrade to the Royale. The good news is
 the fee is pretty minimal and the fun of the Royale options equal 
never-ending creating. Also, a lot of their features are still free to use without the upgrade.

The first thing you will need is a blank canvas. It is a great idea to have a blank canvas on hand for any number of projects. Making a blank canvas is super easy.

First go to PicMonkey. Click on Edit a Photo. Open any photo.


Next you will want to go to the sticker option on the side, which is the three shapes.

You will click on the Geometric option. Click on the rectangle. It will appear in the middle of your photo. You will have the option to change the color. Change the color to FFFFF, which is white.


Stretch the white rectangle over the entire photo, so that you cannot see the original photo.

Merge the layers together by clicking on the merge button at the top of the screen. Once you merge the layers the new image will be the blank white canvas.


Save as a blank canvas.


Now that you have a blank canvas you can use it for just about anything. But today we are going to use it to make our notepad page.

With the blank page open, you will want to go back to the sticker option. Then click on the "Your Own". That allows you to import your own photo as a sticker.


Once you have chosen your photo, you need to move it and stretch it to go across the bottom of the canvas.


I wanted my photo to be smaller, so I cheated and opened another rectangle sticker.


I changed the color to match the white of the background.


Then I stretched it over the top of the photo to make the writing part of the pad larger and the photo smaller.


The next part is how I make the border. There may be an easier way, but this is how I figured out how to make the border I wanted.

I started by again going to the geometric sticker option. I used the rectangle.

First I changed the color to 77777, which is a delightful gray. Then I stretched the rectangle out stopping just before the edge leaving a little bit of white on the top and sides. I left enough white on the bottom to write the name above the photo.


Then I opened another rectangle and changed it to white.


Next, stretch out the white rectangle leaving enough gray to make the border on the top and sides. Stretch it over the bottom so that there is no gray on the bottom.

It will look like this:


Now for the fun details.

On the very bottom is a snowflake, click on that and theme options will come up. Choose Winterland.


Under Winterland, go to Garniture.


I chose the scrolly thing (yup that is what I am calling it) on the very right bottom. I changed it to the same gray as the border.


I shrank down the scroll to fit just under the border on one side. Then to duplicate the scroll, I simply right clicked on the image and chose to duplicate it.


Then I flipped the image horizontally and put it on the other side.


Once the scrolls are in place it is time to personalize it. If you click on the P, all of the text options will come up. I chose the EcuyerDAX, but you could choose whatever font you want.

I chose the font, changed the size and then made it the same gray.


Place the name centered between the scrolls.


All done. Now just save.

With the notepad paper image completed we are one step closer to a homemade personalized notepad.


Come back tomorrow for the tutorial on putting together this handmade notepad.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

In a Nutshell: Thankful for my Littles

Our week was busy this week, as I am sure was most people's. The holiday season makes time fly by.

Then on Friday time stopped. 

A tragedy beyond words, thousands of miles away had me in my chair quietly sobbing.

I prayed. I cried. I prayed more. I cried more.

I then wiped my tears and went in search for my Littles.

I gave them a right good huggin' and kissin'.





Today I am a little more aware of what I have.

My prayers and thoughts are with that sweet little town and the babies and loved ones lost.
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