Category: Do It Yourself

Crafty projects that you can undertake yourself!

September 8, 2015

One Little Bird: TV Guide and Other Lists

do-it-yourself

We interrupt your scheduled scrapbooking broadcast to bring you this special DIY project – A TV guide. Alright, so its much more than just a TV guide, but at the time of creation I was in desperate need of one.

One Little Bird TV Guide by Aimee Dow
Lately, I’ve noticed I’m slowing down. Not really that usual for a woman who is 6 months pregnant, but it does mean I need to rest a lot – like when I bend over to tie my shoe and somehow manage to wind myself?!?! I have also found that with the long winter I have been watching more TV. There is just one slight problem with these new developments, I can’t for the life of me remember when my shows are on or where to find them!
AimeeDow_OLBCT_TVGuide_AgendaSept15_Detail3
There is absolutely no doubt my husband is technical genius. He has set up one of the most high tech entertainment systems known to man – you just need a engineering degree to operate it. TiVO, Pay TV, Apple TV, Netflix, the list is huge and it all works brilliantly, until I get my hands on it. The poor guy has to constantly remind me that there are shows waiting for me.
So when Peppermint released the new collection Agenda, I decided it was time to take matters in to my own hands. I would make my own tv guide with ‘days’ that could be switched out and replace at the drop of hat, but the further along I got in to project the more I saw it’s potential for other lists: daily to-do lists, honey do lists, kid’s chore roster, cleaning schedule, the possibilities are endless.
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For a full tutorial on how I digitally created the my cards head on over to the original post on the One Little Bird blog. If not you can just stay here and look at the pretty pictures.
AimeeDow_OLBCT_TVGuide_AgendaSept15_Detail4
Aimee Xx.
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January 14, 2015

How to digitally double expose a photo

do-it-yourself

So I know most of you are largely unaware of my digital scrapping. It appears here on the blog every now and again, but largely it’s just something I share over at The Lilypad. I created one layout at the end of last year though that went kinda nuts. Every week, without fail, it shows up in my Pinterest feed and I am always asked – How did you do that?!?! To be honest, I have been reluctant to share my secret because the truth is, it was an accident. Shall we have a look?

Love this Life by Aimee Dow

It all came about late one Friday afternoon while I was rushing around like a headless chicken, I had been asked to submit a photo to the Studio Calico Snapshots class and provide a prompt for the class to work on. I was also working on editing the photos to go to print. It’s not remotely uncommon for me to have 10 tabs open in Photoshop at a time and since I never bother to name anything, all the tabs say “Untitled – X”.

Photos by Aimee Dow

The photo on the left was the one I was submitting as the prompt and the photo on the right was about to go to print. I grabbed the layer containing the photo on the right and pulled it across to the tab that I thought was my 6×4 white border template and let go, but instead what I got was a cropped 4×6 photo. I thought to myself  – ‘what the hell?’ and dropped the opacity to see what was underneath my newly placed layer. It was at this point I discovered my mistake AND how to double expose a photo.

Mistake by Aimee Dow

I saved my mistake because I thought one day I might like to use it. At the time I had absolutely no idea how or why I would, but less than a month later Peppermint released a collection called the Love List, which turned out to be a perfect match for the photo. So now you have read the story of my mistake, let me redeem myself with a more dignified way of producing my results.

Step one: Open background photo in Photoshop. I suggest the darker of the two for the best results, but it doesn’t really matter. You can reorder the layers if need be.

Step two: Drag and drop the second photo on top of the first. This can be done in two ways. You can drag and drop from an open folder on your desktop or by dragging the image from another open tab. Now you should have two layers in your layer panel.

Step three: With the second layer selected, manipulate Layer size and placement (Ctrl +T), as well as the Opacity and the Blending Mode until you are happy with the result (Hint: both are found at the top of the layer panel – The Blending Mode is a drop down menu that should start off saying “normal”). Here is a look at my worktop and what is displayed in my layer panel when I have achieved my desired look. Click on the worktop photo to make it larger.

Photoshop-double-exposed-by-Aimee-Dow

You can see I dropped the opacity to 40% and changed the blending mode to “Hard Light”, but for you it will really depend on the photos you are trying to merge together. It is very much a game of trial and error.

Layers Panel by Aimee Dow

From there, all that’s left to do is save. Remember – always save your Photoshop file along with your JPEG, just in case you wish to edit it later. I also recommend you do any editing to your photos prior to attempting this tutorial. It makes life easier.

Any questions, be sure to leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Until next time – Happy Hump Day!

Aimee xx

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February 26, 2014

My Scrap Mobile

do-it-yourself

During the time Mog lived with us, one of the most incisive questions I was asked was – what do you do? Fairly harmless I thought at first, but I had no idea that a primary school ecosystem was based on bartering. I had no trouble answering “Oh my husband and I own a web design company and I am a craft blogger on the side”. This, as I soon learned, was a gateway to a slew of interesting requests – can you help me pick a wireless router, would you mind terribly taking photos of the girls’ dance recital, can you send that picture to my husband, are you able to put that on youtube so my family can see, etc. In retrospect, I was more popular in the playground this time around, than I ever had been when forced to attend that exact same school as a child. However, my time there did yield some great opportunities. I had only been there a week when Mog’s teacher asked if I might like to teach an arts and crafts group one afternoon. I was SO excited. I had been lucky enough to receive a copy of Beci Orpin’s Home prior to its release and my head was swimming with ideas.

There are so many fantastic projects in this book that I would have liked to tackle with the kids, but ultimately the decision came down to a matter of supplies. I had enough twine and left over scrapbooking paper to furnish an entire class room with mobiles. The natural objects could easily be collected from the school yard.

When making my demonstration mobile, I used the off-cuts from Basic Grey’s Persimmon Collection. I had used the 6×6 pad for a PL layout back in September and had quite a few 2×6 strips leftover. We found the feather in the playground, along with the sticks. The beads, washi and floss had all been left over from previous projects. The only thing I went out of my way to make was the pom pom. I had not thought the project would turn out as well as it did. The mobile still hangs where you see it in my study. I smile every time I see it.

It took a little over an hour and a half, but all the kids in my group went home with a finished mobile too. Mog’s had a decidedly more Mardi Gras feel than mine. She had managed to get a hold of some doilies and those vibrant dyed fluffy feathers. Credit where credit’s due – she found the perfect Amy Tangerine scraps to accompany them and it looked just fab!  In the end, I found it really hard to believe they were just 6 years old. Their creativity just blew me away. The kids adored using the shape punches and were more than capable of making their own 3D objects. One little boy even taught me a thing or two about washi tape. Now that I think about it, I think I might like to “volunteer” again.

Aimee xx

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February 24, 2014

Gold Foil Monday

do-it-yourself

I WAS going to write a post about Week 8 Project Life, but then I got a little sidetracked. I had this great idea – I wanted to gold foil polka dots on last weeks project life number. How hard could it be right? Yeah… that stuff is wiley. It floats in mid air and it sticks to everything. There is more gold foil on me than on my number and I think I may have accidentally eaten some. It took me more time than I had to spare, thus Week 8 Project Life will be posted tomorrow and Week 9 will be up later in the week.

Aimee xx

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February 13, 2014

A Valentines Card for Mog

do-it-yourself

Today, I learnt something about craft classifications. Did you know nearly all craft projects can be broken into 1 of 2 catogories – Proactive and Reactive. Proactive being DIY, Knitters, Potters and most certainly Card makers. Reactive being Scrapbookers and Project Lifers. I am most assuredly the latter. You see proactive craft usually needs to be finished by a deadline. Umm… say a Valentines Day card by the 14th of February. Oh right… you mean tomorrow. Well then, I guess we better get cracking.

Yeah, I’m not going to lie – I started this card yesterday, but not really with the intention of making a card. I actually set out to make the paper rosette. I had seen something on Pinterest about past scraping trends and really fell head over heels for the look, but when I went to my regular haunts to see if I could buy a pack, there were none to be found. Silly me, I should just try to make one. And so my card came together a little something like this:

  1. I cut my 2 strips of Studio Calico Atlantic Paper – 12 inches long and 1½ inches wide. I changed the blade in my cutter to a score blade and scored marks every quarter of an inch. This makes a big difference when it comes to consantiner-folding the strips.
  2. Now it’s time to fold the strips back and forth until you have a springy accordion. This takes quite a bit of time, so I advise doing it over an ep of 2 Broke Girls.
  3. Glue the two ends together so that it makes a super-cute bangle. You can stop right there, but if you want to continue with the rosette, make sure the edges of the two pieces fit nicely with your accordion pattern and punch yourself  two 1½” cardstock circles.
  4. Paint one of the circles with PVA glue and align your rosette so that it’s perfectly centred and the fins of your rosette are nicely spaced. Once accomplished, put a weight on top of the rosette so it is held firm on the glued circle (I used the glue bottle).
  5. Now it’s time to decorate what will become your top circle. I used this stamp set from Kellie Stamps. It happens to be on sale right now if you are interested. Then I stamped the pink accent circle, followed by a darker sentiment over the top.  But I didn’t really like the white edges so I came up with another idea.
  6. Here it gets a little messy. With a paint brush, go around the circle with a small amount of PVA glue and then tip a sizeable amount of glitter onto your circle. I can tell you now that half a bottle is just enough to cover your edges and ensure that it’s the first thing you see in bed, on your husband’s face the following morning. If your husband objects to glitter, by all means use less.
  7. Put circle and rosette aside to dry.
  8. Cut paper tails for rosette out of coordinating paper. Gather cardstock and dolly to mount rosette on when finished.
  9. Break for a cold drink – You are doing awesome.
  10. Now it’s time to assemble. To do this, glue your paper tails onto the back of the rosette, making sure to position and mark them first. The next step is to glue the dolly onto the back of the rosette. Some alignment will also be required. You will now have the full dimensions of your embellishments, so you can mark out your cardstock and cut. I cut a 5″ x 12″ piece and folded it along the top to give me a 5″ x 6″ card.
  11. Glue your rosette/doily onto the card in an orientation that is pleasing to you.
  12. Finally, coat the back of your stamped and glittered circle with PVA glue and position it on the front of your rosette. This step was left to last in order to reduce the risk of knocking the glitter or smudging the ink (I used chalk ink).
  13. Stand back and admire your handy work. Or I suppose you could write in it.


On a side note, I did make my own little 3D envelope out of kraft cardstock, but that tutorial will have to wait for another day. You might also notice that the tone and colours in my card are slightly off. This was deliberate because the recipient’s style is of mismatched vintage and retro.

So there you have it. A little time consuming, but totally worth it. I hope you will give it a go.

Aimee xx

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