Saturday, December 26, 2009

The joy of giving "handmade" gifts

Well, my girls were delighted with my labors of love.
Megan enjoyed looking through her family recipe book (see my previous post: My daughter's recipe book). I think its purpose will really hit next year when she moves to the big city to live.
Amy was totally surprised and delighted by her camp photo book. It's not often you can sneak something under her radar! There were photos in the book that her teacher had sent me after I emailed him requesting the camp itinerary. As she flicked through the book she kept saying "What's this photo?! WHERE did you get it from?! How did you know?!"
You can view the book here (minus a few pages): Amy's Camp

And both grandmothers were delighted with their mugs sporting Megan's artwork (see How things have changed - or not?!). Neither of the grandmothers realized at first that the mugs sported my daughter's artwork and both thought we'd bought the mugs specifically because the hair style resembled their own wild gray hair!
I may have spend a ridiculous number of hours on these projects, but gosh it's lovely to be able to give a labor of love and be able to see it received with such delight!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Decorations up - check
Presents all wrapped and under the tree - check
House tidied - check (well sortof, just don't look in the garage, OK?)
Food purchased - check (but I keep thinking of more!)
Parents arrived - check

    It's all go!

    Merry Christmas to you all!

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    My daughter's recipe book

    I've been working on this on and off during the year.

    I bought an A5 ring binder and A5 plastic pockets. It is supposed to be a recipe book that grows. The A5 pockets seemed a good size for the handwritten recipes and clippings from magazines that she might collect.
    I've printed a number of favorite recipes for her. There's a mix of her favorites, basic recipes and family recipes - from her aunts, grandparents and great grandparents. I've scrapped some with actual photos and original handwriting, some are from the Internet that I then downloaded and scrapped, some were just scanned newspapers articles and magazines. I've left out the ones that were just copied from elsewhere!
    The cover is created using Wordle - I just pasted the text from a few of the recipes.
    The dividers are from digital kraft papers by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals. The food decorations are mostly Microsoft wordArt, except the one with cakes is my DD's art. I've laminated the dividers so the tags stick out.
    There is a big mix of products so I'm not going to list them all. But email me if you have a question!
    Now to keep her off my computer until Christmas..!!!

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    How things have changed - or not?!

    A parcel arrived a couple of days ago. I'd scanned some of my 18yo daughter's art work and ordered some cards online with VistaPrint. But their upselling got to me and I thought, what the heck... So I ordered mugs and a notebook and keyring as well. Great presents for grandparents and teachers.

    So here they are, all the way from The Netherlands in only a few weeks. I was thinking how much things have changed, and that we could never have done this just a few years ago. And then I remembered these plates...

    These were a Heinz promotion from about 40 years ago! I remember my mother unpacking the art paper and textas and my two sisters and I sat down to do our best art. 
    That I still have these plates is testament to their durability and my inability to throw things away! I wonder if my daughter will still have her mug in 40 years' time!

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    Creating a font from your handwriting

    A while ago I made my handwriting into a font. I've used it for scrapbook pages and for personal notes. It took a little work but it's been fun to use! My youngest daughter also made a font that I've used on some pages about her.

    I used a free site:  (I found the link at pickleberrypop)
    First I made a printed version:

    I wasn't 100% happy with it and I want to try to create a cursive script font. Cursive fonts are a bit harder to do because the tails on the letters need to lead on to the next letter. This is how it looks:

    (The text is from the MOM song - sing it to the William Tell Overture - see here youtube. Love it!)

    They provide you with a template you can print out, write your alpha on, then scan back in. You then upload the template and your font is created almost instantly. It is amazing!

    Because I never do things the way they're supposed to be done, I wrote my letters on another sheet. I wrote each letter of the alphabet out between an "a" and an "e" to make sure they flowed like this:

    you can see how messy I was.
    Then I scanned that sheet, picked the best example of each letter, and used PhotoShop to place them on the template they provided and edited it a little.

    You can also see that cheated by using PhotoShop to type a cursive font that I liked (Lucida Handwriting) onto the sheet (in blue). I used that font as a guide so I could edit my letters to make them similar in size and make similar tails. Then I hid my blue layers before saving as a jpeg to upload to the site. It sounds like a lot of work but this way it was so easy to go back and tweak a few letters to get it just right.

    I'm quite happy with this! :-) It looks very much like my writing but much neater! The letters are spaced out a little more than I'd like, but it's easy to change the spacing between letters (leading) in Word and in PhotoShop CS.

    And here's a page with my daughter's handwriting font on it:

     Credits here

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