Silhouette PixScan mat

A couple of months ago, Silhouette announced this new PixScan mat. I watched their video and instantly was hooked. (But I had to wait until they offered free shipping - shipping for my $15 mat was going to be over $11, yikes!). Here's a look at that video if you haven't seen it yet:

I received my mat a little over a week ago and I thought I'd share my results.

To sum it up, the PixScan mat allows you to take an image, scan it or take a photo of it, import the photo into the Silhouette software, and add cut lines so it will precisely cut out your image. For a stamper like me, this is perfect. No more having to buy custom dies for stamp images, I can do it myself.

Today I opened up the package, followed the directions...and pretty quickly had a problem. I was able to rectify it by a little research, but I didn't find that the package came with ALL of the instructions you need. Here's a few things to note:

First, Make sure you have the latest version of Silhouette Studio. The older version that I had, 2, doesn't work with PixScan.

Second, If you're going to do what I do, snap the photo with your iPhone instead of scanning the mat, you'll need to calibrate your PixScan with your iPhone camera (or other camera). The instructions that come with the mat do not mention this, and the error message that you get in the software when you just try to import your photo isn't all that clear what you need to do either.

Calibration is sort of easy - you print out the calibration sheet, take a photo with the camera you're using with your PixScan mat, and the software should calibrate your camera so that when you open your image, it will recognize the camera automatically. 

Here's where I ran into another (small) problem - the calibration instructions say to only have the dots in the window of the photo. So I snapped a photo, opened it in Photoshop, and cropped it. You apparently can't do this, because it changes the aspect ratio of the photo. So crop it on your phone using the same aspect ratio before you import it to your computer is my recommendation. Once I fixed that, the calibration worked.

The image I used was of this raccoon stamp from The Stamps of Life. I adore this stamp set, but this darn raccoon is a real pain to cut out by hand. I thought it would be perfect to try out the PixScan mat. Plus, I wanted to see how using a non-white surface would work.

 I imported the image into the software (after I'd completed that calibration, of course). It recognized my iPhone as the camera, and the image came up on the screen. I then traced the image, then I added an offset. Then, I deleted the original cut lines, so that all I had left was the offset. Then I just sent it to my Silhouette. It registered the mat and cut the image out with no issue. Success!

So, even after a few minutes of frustration to figure out the whole calibration nonsense, I am quite pleased with the result. I saved my cut file too, so that next time I stamp one of these I can easily just drag the cut lines onto the image rather than re-tracing it every time I need one.

What a genius idea from Silhouette! :)

SOSN at The Lilypad

It's SOSN at The Lilypad today, and Stolen Moments Design has some great products for 50% off today.

Check out this lovely digital kit called Strength In Hope:

When I saw this kit, I thought it would be perfect for a pregnancy page. So that's what I made!

Template and page protector by Valorie Wibbens

Also on sale for 50% off today is this awesome bundle of "Hold Its." 

These are letters, numbers, and frames that are great for "holding" photos or as alphas on your page. I used them on this page about the sprinkler at our summer BBQ we held last Sunday:

Template by Just Jaimee

The kit I used on the page above is Water Play, a collaboration between Stolen Moments and Juno Designs. 

Head on over to The Lilypad and grab these at 50% off today. 

2014 Digital Project Life - Jul 20 - 31

Finishing up July of my Project Life book. The entire month fit in 4 pages, so that makes me happy. Less pages means a less expensive photo book.

Anyway, here's the last part of July:

I only included one photo from Fort Foster, since I'd already made a layout using several from the day. I added tickets and photos from a Lowell Spinners game we'd attended, my current reading obsession (cannot get enough of Fifty Shades), and a snapshot I'd taken of Austin and Brad together one evening that I really loved.

I used a few of my free photo templates for journaling, and also freely added some text boxes on some of the other photo pockets.

Here is the completed spread (the first page I've already shared).

I'm (currently, anyway) loving how clean these pages look and how quickly they come together, leaving me more time to be creative for other projects and pages.

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. While I often use products created by other designers, I attribute my love of pocket style scrapbooking to Becky and Project Life, which is why I always refer to my pocket pages as Project Life. For more information, please check out Becky's website. If you're new to the blog and you'd like to scroll back through my past few years doing Project Life, you can find all of my Project Life related posts here.  In 2014 I switched to the digital Project Life format, which you can find products for here. 

It's SOSN over at The Lilypad!

Today is SOSN over at The Lilypad. That stands for Something Old, Something New, which means select old and new products are 50% off today.

Stolen Moments has a brand new release today, My Happy Place Pocket Cards:

These cards coordinate with August's featured kit, My Happy Place, which you can save 30% on all month long. And if you create a page with this kit, you'll have a chance to win $10 to Amber's store. Check out the details here.

Today I'm sharing a layout I made with both the cards and the kit, along with Amber's two older products, the Wannabe Teacher Font and Blackboard Alpha.

Template by Just Jaimee (modified)

What a fun, bright, happy kit! And the Wannabe Teacher Font coordinates perfectly. Go grab them all today for 50% off!

Happy Birthday To These Two :)

Today is Brad's 45th birthday and Summer's 18th birthday. Both pretty big milestones, I think. :) It is awesome that they share the same birthday.

In a little over a week, Summer will be off to Berklee College of Music. I've known her since she was 4 years old, so it's crazy that she's going to be off on her own very, very soon.

And of course, I am thankful each and every day that I was lucky enough to marry such an amazing man and father to his children.

Happy Birthday, Brad & Summer! :)

Stolen Moments Design Creative Team

I'm so excited to share that I've been accepted to the Stolen Moments Design creative team as a pocket scrapper. I'm joining a great group of amazingly talented scrappers:

I am thrilled to get a chance to work with Amber's gorgeous products, like the Love Letters kit and coordinating journaling cards.

I created this page with my favorite photos from our engagement session:

Template & page protector from Valorie Wibbens

If you haven't yet, go check out Amber's shop at The Lilypad. I look forward to sharing more layouts with you soon. :)

Traditional Scrapbook Layout - Hidden Gem

Today I'm sharing a traditional 12x12 layout that I created using mostly the Project Life Azure Edition. I love the colors in the Azure Edition, and they went perfectly with my photos from the splash park we visited last weekend. Since I'm not doing a lot of traditional pocket pages with the Project Life kits I have in my stash, I thought it would be fun to use them on a page.

The inspiration from this page came from a sketch/layout that I found in Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking Simple Patterns for Paper Crafting and Scrapbooking magazine, page 82 if any of you have it. I changed up the layout quite a bit but the basic idea of a grid of patterns behind the photos is the same.

I cut 2x2 squares from a bunch of the Project Life Azure filler cards and laid them out on my page until I was satisfied with the grid, then I attached them to the background card stock (which was sponged on the edges with Memento Desert Sand, to have it match the Azure cards a little better). 

At the top right of the layout, I added a subtitle, and I cut one of Azure cards and slid it under my photo.

My main title (Jillibean Soup Alphabeans), I added on top of two banners I die cut from another one of the Azure cards. I curled the ends of the banner up a little just to give the page a little dimension. In the top left, I added a strip cut from one of the cards, and a half circle punched and stamped with the date. Then I used up some of these chipboard arrows I had in my stash from, I believe, Studio Calico. I scattered homemade enamel dots throughout the page.

Finally, the bottom corner simply got a punched circle from another Azure card, popped up with foam dots, and then more of the homemade enamel dots.

This is one of my favorite layouts so far. I had fun working with Project Life cards in a new way, and I enjoyed all the detail that went into this page.

Bee Tree Studios is now at Scraps N Pieces

My friend Stephanie over at Bee Tree Studios has opened up shop over at Scraps N Pieces. She's got some new items in the shop today, and I have lots of new pages to share with you! You can save 30% today through 8/22/14, so go check out the shop and scoop up your favorites.

First up, I made this page using Stephanie's Beachcombing kit

Template for this layout is by Molly C. That gorgeous glittery alpha is Stolen Moments A Bit of Earth (newsletter freebie). Vellum styles are by Mommyish.

This one about our trip home from Disney last year uses Stephanie's Wanderlust bundle:

Styles in this layout are from Mommyish, the watercolor edging overlay is by Just Jaimee, and font is DJB Bailey.

One of my favorites, this one of a teeny tiny Austin was made using the Twinkle Twinkle kit:

Template for this layout is by Wishing Well Creations/Laura Passage. Sticker style is from Mommyish.

A simple page with one of our engagement photos, using the Adventure Is Out There kit. I love that I could use the kit on a photo that didn't go with the theme of the kit:

Finally, a photo of the Nubble lighthouse using the Anchors Aweigh kit:

I used one of Stephanie's Seasons of Love templates, and the alpha from her Adventure bundle.

Go check out Stephanie's new shop and grab some great kits on sale!

Birthday Cards

Just sharing two birthday cards I made. Next week is Brad & Summer's birthday (they share a birthday, which I think is pretty sweet). Brad will be 45 and Summer will be 18. I made each of them a card:

Brad's was inspired by this card by Laurie Wilson. I used the Studio Calico Classic Calico 6x6 paper pad, and the Stampin' Up! So Very Happy stamp set. I used a Stampin' Up! Tempting Turquoise marker to color in the image, and then used a Micron pen to highlight the "45" in the patterned paper and add hand drawn stitching around the inside of each rectangle.

Summer's card was inspired by this one by Amy Bollman. I used Stampin' Up! Smoky Slate card stock and embossed it with the Decorative Dots folder. The patterned paper is from the My Mind's Eye Just Splendid 6x6 paper stack. Under the larger piece of patterned paper I punched a notebook border using an EK Success border punch.

I die cut a 3x4 card for the front using the Lawn Fawn Stitched Journaling Card die, and stamped balloons and a sentiment. The balloons are from Memory Box, and the "happy birthday to you" stamp is from Savvy Stamps. Then I just colored in the balloons with my Copic markers. Finally I added a button and tied some gray baker's twine through it.

I'm excited to give these to them next week!

Traditional Scrapbook Layout - At The Fair

This past weekend, while, ehem, not being able to control myself and purchasing those Heidi Swapp Project Life core kits that everyone is going nuts over (at least I managed to split each kit and sell off 3/4 of them to cover most of what I paid), I picked up this hot buy Crate Paper Boys Rule 12x12 stack. I love the colors and patterns and wanted to make a page right away with it.

We had taken Austin to the Topsfield Fair last fall, and I knew I had a few ride photos that would go nicely with this line, so I went to work.

This layout is based off of one of Shimelle's sketches. I didn't embellish much on this layout, rather I used the paper stack to add bits to the page.

The arrow paper in this stack is probably my favorite, and I loved cutting out a section and adding it as a mat behind the three smaller photos. I also cut out some of the ticket paper and a strip from the black patterned paper for a border. I used a card from the Amy Tangerine HSN exclusive Project Life mini kit for my journaling.

More of the black paper at the top, layered with a tag from the paper stack, and a "tickets" sticker from the October Afternoon Midway collection. The alpha thickers I used are the American Crafts Roster Alpha.

Simple on the embellishing but bold on the patterns. I loved working with this paper stack!