Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pixma Adventures - Part 3.

I've been playing with the Pixma again! This time I decided to try out some t-shirt transfers.

It was my daughter's 1st day of primary school today, and I wanted to design something special for her for the front of her calico library bag. So I played around in Photoshop and this is what I came up with:

Sorry about all the wrinkles - I took the photo after the bag had been sitting in her back pack all day! LOL!

It was heaps easy to create - all I did was design the image in Photoshop, then printed it out using the Pixma onto the Canon iron-on T-shirt Transfers! Then it was as simple as cutting around the image and ironing it onto the front of the bag! :)

Here is miss Jess showing off her new bag:

Watch this space for more t-shirt transfers! I've bought a bunch of plain white t-shirts for the kids that are just begging to be decorated!!

Oh, and did I mention how much I love the Pixma??! LOL!

Until next time.....


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vote for Me in the SM People's Choice Awards!

The Scrapbooking Memories People's Choice Awards is on again!

You can vote for your favourite layout from any of the pages featured in the galleries of Scrapbooking memories magazine in issues Vol 9 no 9 through to Vol 10 No 9!
Why am I telling you this? Because this year you can vote for yours truly! :)

Just go here and fill out the form - and you could be in the running to win a prize pack from Addicted to Craft worth $100.00!

To make it easy for you, these are my layouts that are eligible:

"Rockstar" - By Sarah Schwerin - Vol 9 no 9.

"King Jamie" - By Sarah Schwerin - Vol 9 No 12.

"Linda" - By Sarah Schwerin - Vol 10 No 7.

Voting will only take 5 mins of your time, so please take a moment to vote for me - I really appreciate it! :) Voting closes 13th February 2009. Tell your friends to vote too! :)



My Junky, Spunky, Joyful Journal.

Last year I was asked to participate in one of Lusi Austin's Top 10 features in Scrapbook Creations magazine. The theme was "Junk Spunky Joyful Journals". I haven't been able to share any pics - until now! So here it is:

(Please excuse the dodgy pics - they were taken in a rush just before I posted it off - in July last year!).

My ideas journal is published in Scrapbook Creations, Issue 61 on page 142. (yep - they spelled my last name wrong!).

They can only show 1 small photo in the mag, so I thought I'd show you some close ups of the texture on the cover, and what the dividers look like inside.

I created the whole journal from scratch, using Grungeboard for the front and back covers, chipboard for the dividers, and copy paper for the inside pages.

I painted the Grungeboard cover pieces with Spiced Marmalade Distress Crackle Paint, and used some Fired Brick distress ink to highlight the cracks. I inked around the edges using Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

I used Kaisercraft rub-ons in the top right hand corner, and across the bottom, and Making Memories metal mesh down the left hand side, which I attached with brads.

The metallic strip along the bottom was made by gluing alfoil to chipboard, and running it through my cuttlebug using an embossing folder.

The scalloped circle in the middle is swirly grungeboard that I die cut using a nestabilities die, and painted with acrylic paint.

The heart on the cover is a Heidi Swapp mirrored heart, and next to it I have attached some paper and felt flowers, with a Kasiercraft pearl for the centre. Chipboard letters were used to spell out "ideas".

The inside dividers look like this:

I covered the chipboard pieces with white paper that I had inked with TH Distress Inks using the "Wrinkle Free Distress" and "Spritz and Flick" techniques.

Each divider is a different colour, with another colour used for the scalloped circle in the centre which holds the title. Carolee's Creations Tiny Letter Stickers were used to name each tab.

The scalloped circles were stamped with a Heidi Swapp heart stamp using white ink, but they didn't show up very well, so I traced around them with white ink.

The titles are made from Making memories rub on letters.

The journal is about the size of a DVD, and just slightly thicker. A great size to carry in your bag, or leave on your bedside table for when ideas strike. The pages are bound together using Kaisercraft split rings - which is great if I ever need to add or remove any pages.

Thanks for looking! :)


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Skywatching - The most amazing sunset.

I have the best view from my back deck, and at this time of year, we are lucky enough to be seeing the sun set every night. Some nights are better than others, and every once in a while there is one that really takes your breath away. Then this happened - the most amazingly spectacular sunset I have ever seen. I took nearly 50 photos! It was hard to cull it down for this post, but I managed to pick out just a few of the very best ones! :) Click 'em to enlarge.

It started off like this:

Pretty, but not so impressive. Then the clouds started glowing:

And mother nature painted a mural across the sky:

Which got bigger:

And more intense until the sky looked like it was on fire:

We watched it from our back deck for over an hour.

And it all ended like this:

Simply STUNNING! Truly jaw-dropping! If you think the photos are cool, you should have seen it in real life! :)

I hope you enjoyed my photos! You can check out what other people are sharing for their Skywatch posts here.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Pixma Adventures - Part 2.

Hi everyone! I hope you're still with me after that last mega post! LOL!!

This time I'm going to share with you a few projects that I created using the Pixma MP980. Did I mention how much I love it? I did? OK then. I won't go on about it. Much. :)

As a scrapbooker, I found I was being limited in my creativity because of the choice that I had made not to have a home printer. I found that most of my photos were either 4x6 or 5x7, and I'd often only use 1 photo per layout - as you can imagine, this is very creatively limiting as there are only so many different looks you can get using 1 photo per page. Not to mention having to drive all the way to my nearest Harvey Norman store, and sitting around waiting for them to be printed. Of course, if I was going to the trouble of getting photos printed, I'd always get a bunch done at the same time with little or no idea what type of scrapbook layout I had in mind for the photos. So again, I found I was limited when it came to actually creating a page with the photos.

One of the things I love about the Pixma is the photo freedom. What do I mean? Well, as I mentioned in the previous post, the software that comes with the printer makes it sooo easy to get photos of different sizes and shapes on the one page, so that you can break out of your 1 photo per scrapbook page rut, and get back in touch with your creativity!

I also love the fact that you can sit down at night to scrapbook, pick out your favourite layout sketch, or design your own, and then go straight to your computer, print out the photos in the sizes you want them and begin creating right away! It's so cool not to have to drag the kids along to the shops to get them printed - you have the instant satisfaction of being able to have the right photos for your layout within minutes!

Now, as I mentioned, I usually create single page layouts. So what did I do with my new found photo freedom? I created a double page layout! The first in years. And I actually enjoyed it! Here it is (click to enlarge):

And again - I have to say how impressive the photo quality is - the colours are just perfect, and the texture of the photo paper is fabulous. (I've been using the Semi Gloss).

So, now that I had done a few photo print outs, I wanted to give something else a go. Sure - it could print impressive photos, but what was it like at printing patterned papers, and 2d pictures? I'd recently found some cool digital templates for gift bags/ boxes and gift tags at Tarisota, so I gave them a whirl. Check them out:

For these I used plain white cardstock, and the "Matt Paper" setting on the Pixma.

The images on the gift tags were printed with the Pixma, then cut out and attached to scalloped circles. For the bag on the left, I printed the patterned paper template onto white cardstock, then cut it out and folded it to create the gift box. For the one on the right, I printed out a plain template with the Pixma, which I cut out, and then traced around onto Christmas patterned paper from Basic Grey. I stamped the scalloped borders onto them with brown ink. You can see the full instructions for my gift bags here on Inkurable Stampers.

I also made some cute tree decorations:

And some additional gift tags:

So yeah - the Pixma is not just for photos! It is fabulous for your off the page projects as well!

You have to check out the Canon Creative Park website - there is a plethora of printable projects for you to create - and some AMAZING 3D stuff! See the post I did at Aussie Scrapbooking for my rundown and some examples.

Now, unfortunately, I had to move house just before Christmas, so the poor Pixma has been packed away since then. However, my new computer desk arrived yesterday, and I'll be setting it up tomorrow! I'm just busting to get back into creating things, so watch this space for more Pixma adventures!

Oh, and I've also been lent the Canon Selphy to test run as well, so keep an eye out for my Selphy Adventures too. :)


Pixma Adventures - Part 1.

Well, I suppose by now you're all busting to know how I'm going with the Canon Pixma MP980, aren't you??! "It's about damn time!" I hear you exclaiming! LOL!! I must apologise - but I moved house just before Christmas and OMG what a busy month we've had! But now, I finally have time to sit down, and write a bit about my fabulous new toy! LOL!!

Now, I've gotta be honest with you - in the past I have been very open with the fact that I'm not a huge fan of home photo printers. I used to have an HP photo printer and it gave me more trouble than good. The photo quality was less than impressive when I compared it to the prints I could get at a photo lab. So I gave up using it, and never looked back!! That is, until I went to the Scrapbooking Memories Pixma Party and had a play with the new Canon Pixma range!

I was completely blown away with the quality of the prints, and the easy to use software - a far cry from my clunky old HP printer! So imagine my delight when I got an email from the lovely people at Canon asking if I wanted to have a play with the new Pixma MP980??! Ummm - let me think for a minute....YES!!!!

So, at my door arrived this awesome bunch of Canon goodness:

Yeah, I know I've shown that photo before, but, I mean, OMG HOW COOL IS THAT??!! LOL! :)

So anyway, after I stared at it for a while, and basked in its boxed glory, I took a deep breath, dove right in, took it out of the box, and set it up ready to use!

Now, I was expecting to need a degree of some sort to get it set up and working properly with my computer - things like this are usually painful and fraught with disaster, right?! Wrong! Setting up the Pixma was sooooo easy and user friendly - I was really impressed with just how easy it was. And it looked sooooo pretty on my desk.....LOL!

It has this really cool flip up screen with a little scrolly-wheel (that's the technical term for it :P) where you select your photos and print options. How Cool. (Although, I could have done without the free "Kid-Magnet" that came with it! "STOP TOUCHING THE PIXMA!!!" <-- That's me yelling at the kids!! LOL!!).

So again - I basked in it's glory for a little moment, until I was overcome with the urge to print a photo.

OK - so with the Pixma you can print directly from your Memory Card, from your Camera, or from your computer. So for my first print, I chose to print straight from my memory card! How cool to be able to stick your memory card straight into the printer and just print away!

So that's what I did! And I printed out a photo of my daughter. But it looked strange. The colours were all wrong, and it looked kinda grainy. Now, had I not seen the fabulous print quality of the Pixma print outs at the Pixma party, I would have thought that the printer made my photo look bad. But that was not the case. Just my poor photography! LOL! You see - it's very rare that I take a photo that doesn't need adjusting in Photoshop! And this one was one that needed some work for sure! LOL! So while the memory card feature is cool, I probably won't be using it too often, as I prefer to edit my photos before I print them, as opposed to printing them as is. But that's just personal preference, and if you're happy with the quality of your photos then you should go right ahead and print from the memory card!

So I decided that I needed to try printing some photos that had already been edited, so this time I printed straight from my computer. Woweee was I impressed! This print quality was just fabulous - beautiful rich colours, no streaking or lines in the photos, no pixelation, clear crisp images every time! Of course, I was also using the Canon paper and it is just so nice - it's amazing to see the development in home photo paper in say, the last 10 years - heck, even the last 5. Anyone remember the flimsy photo paper of the past? Horrible stuff. But these new papers really are exceptional quality, and dare I say it - the print outs look {almost} as good as the ones from a professional lab. They come in a very close second in my opinion.

Now it was time to really test it out - I'd been doing 4x6 photos, so I decided to give an A4 photo a go and was not disappointed! The software that comes with the machine makes it so easy to select your photos, your image size, orientation, paper type/quality, and layout - there are heaps of options - it's awesome! And again, the finished image was gorgeous.

So, what else could I give a go before I went to bed? The Photocopy feature! I reached for the nearest glossy magazine, and copied the front cover. Ooops - did it in black and white. But still, it looked great! So I switched it to colour copy, and wow! It looked fabulous! I put the print out next to the magazine cover, and the colours were the same - amazing!

One of the coolest features of the Pixma is the fact that the photo paper and the plain paper go into different parts of the machine, and the clever little thing knows which one to use depending on what you're printing - so no more photos on your office paper, and no more bills printed on your precious photo paper. Excellent!

I went to bed that night feeling ultra-impressed and ready and excited to get stuck into some more projects!

So that was my first adventure with the Pixma MP980! Stay tuned - tonight I'll be back with Part #2 - and a scrapbooking layout to share! :)


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Skywatching again!

Well, I'm back! It has been a while since I've joined in on Skywatch Friday, as I have been sooo busy with moving house and Christmas etc! But I have now officially moved to my new house, and am loving every minute of my new surrounds. Especially the view I have from my back deck:

I've learned that a beautiful sunset has not much to do with the sun itself, and everything to do with the amount, position, and shape of the clouds in the sky at the time!

So for today's skywatch post, I am sharing 2 sunset shots - the first is a shot of the very last sunset of 2008 (31st Dec 2008):

And the next is the very first sunset of 2009 (1st Jan 2009):

I hope that amazing sunset is a sign of an amazing year to follow.

Very excited to be able to witness mother nature's work from my back deck every night! It won't be in the same position for the whole year, but I am enjoying it while it lasts! :)

Will be back in the next few days to share my adventures with the Pixma, and another little beauty I have had the pleasure of testing out called the "Selphy".

Until then....