Printing Tips

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review- Everyday Papercraft

Vertical Inc. specializes in English translations of Japanese books. They have a strong focus on manga but also do cookbooks and craft books, and are starting to do more of them. This is a translation of a book that came out in 2010 by Keiko Komatsubara.

As a papercrafter who loves origami, kirigami, upcycling and Japanese crafts, I'm thrilled with all these wonderful English translations. They are done very well, with the original photos and illustrations.

This book focuses on practical projects, that are whimsical and charming. Boxes made from paper, notebook covers, portfolios and some wonderful gift bag projects. There are 25 projects total, and they are all simple, clean looking projects that would make wonderful gifts.

The paper measurements are mostly international sizes rather than American paper sizing. However, the types of projects translate well and are doable with US sized envelopes and papers.

The book starts with the gallery of projects with descriptions and page numbers given for instructions. After that you find a materials list with photos. The materials used are mostly easy to find at your local office supply store and craft store. A few specialty items like decorative twist ties might take a bit more searching.

I love a lot of the projects. There are some lovely boxes that would make wonderful gifts by themselves or used as a unique, functional wrapping for another gift. The books, journals and portfolios are all handy to have as well. My favorite projects are the paper pencil case shown in orange on the cover- it's easy to make, and easy to personalize, the house shaped gift bag also on the cover and the pocket tissue box which is one of the last projects.

If you enjoy the charm and clean look of Japanese crafts as much as I do, you'll enjoy this book.
Like Vertical Inc. on Facebook to get news on their new releases.

U.S.A. U.K. affiliate links don't affect your cost, and help support this site.
I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, I received no other compensation, and my review is my honest opinion of the book. You can read more about my review policy here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Printable Bat Box

I hope you enjoy this printable gift box! Last night my daughter was asking me about hashtags and a running joke on FB and Twitter is that I occasionally use #rosemarysfault. Rosemary and I are close friends who talk about well, nearly everything. This box is #rosemarysfault, because she's very fond of stained glass effect boxes and of bats.

Click the image below for a larger version to print and assemble. Print on card stock, cut out, score folds, fold, glue!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Amazing Turnip Girl as Daryl Dixon

Every year for the last 5 years, The Amazing Turnip Girl has kept her costume top secret until the first event she dresses up for. She usually decides by May what she's going to be, and gets costume items from thrift stores and garage sales plus of course, duct tape. She hand sews components, and uses cardboard and duct tape in inventive ways to put together her outfit.

This year, she is dressing up as Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead and she's topped herself for details.

The cross bow is made from layers of corrugated cardboard, yarn, duct tape and fabric for the carry strap.
The ears are made from layered cardboard, and covered with brown plastic grocery bags for color and more detail.
Duct tape quiver! and check out those wings on the back of the corduroy shirt that had the arms ripped off to make a vest.
Really, check them out. Those are all hand stitched details and she makes up her patterns on the fly.
Even this one.
She says she's not happy with the feet, but really, isn't that just adorable? I'm still trying to talk her into doll blogging.
I'm so impressed with her costume. She has Daryl appropriate long sleeved shirts to wear when she's out in the cold all layered up under that great vest.

October Birthstone and Flower Mandala

October's flower is calendula or marigold- another edible flower and a personal favorite for how bright and cheery they look. The birthstone is opal. 

Sorry this is so late! After I replaced my computer, the same day, a windstorm knocked out my internet connection. So now I'm playing catch up. 

This is part of my Birth Flower/Birthstone series of printable mandalas to color. You can see the rest of the series here-
The Birthstone and Flower series of Mandalas

Click the images below for larger versions to print and color.

Small jpg:

Large transparent PNG:

Some gift ideas in opal links help support this site. When you use them to make purchases it doesn't affect your costs, and I make a small percentage from the sale. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Silky whipped cultured cream

That cream in the photo? It's amazing. I got the idea from a vintage French desserts cookbook from a thrift store. The Chantilly cream recipe in it called for creme fraiche. Since I've had this obsession lately with coming up with a chocolate cream pie that really fulfills all my chocolate cream pie fantasies in flavor and silkiness- I decided to try making and whipping creme fraiche.

You will need:
1 cup heavy cream
2 TBS cultured buttermilk
a very clean jar
2 TBS caster or superfine sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla (I used a Mexican vanilla this time)
silicone or rubber spatula
whisk or mixer- I use a large balloon whisk
cold bowl

Time- 12-16 hours, but not much actual working time.

Mix the cream and buttermilk in the jar, cap loosely and keep it at room temperature until set. I put it out the night before.

The next morning check to see if it's thickened. You can taste it at this point if you'd like. Put it in the fridge until it's very cold.

Because it's so thick, you may need to use the spatula to get it all out of the jar into your cold bowl.
Whip it, if it's too thick, add a spoonful of very cold milk. Mix in the sugar and vanilla and whip to soft peaks. Then serve it over fruit, chocolate or however you think it will be best.

The culturing makes the cream super silky and a bit tangy. It's almost like a cross between sour cream and cream cheese except even better. It's so good that my daughter used her finger to "clean" out the bowl. This is absolutely going to be a component in my dream chocolate cream pie.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Skullgyle Printable Box!

Well, I have a working computer. Then a windstorm took out my internet connection. So I'm sitting here at a local coffee shop posting this printable for you. I hope you enjoy it! Skullgyle printable box- 3x3x1 inch. Click on the image for a larger version to print on cardstock- print, cut out, score, fold, glue!

#StickOrTreat with Duck Tape®

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand provided by ShurTech Brands, LLC for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Duck Tape Pumpkin Purses
Last year, TG and I were talking about making pumpkin purses using foam pumpkins and Duck Tape®. This year, inspired by Duck Tape®'s Stick or Treat contest, we did it.
Stick or Treat is an annual contest with great prizes sponsored by Duck Tape®. You take a pumpkin- foam or real- and use Duck Tape® to decorate it. The tape comes in so many colors and patterns including some great ones just for Halloween like Halloween colored chevrons, candy corn, monsters and spiders. The colors include black, blaze orange and just about any color you'd need for whatever you can imagine. 
The prizes this year are:
First Place: $1,000 and a Cricut Mini® Personal Electronic Cutter 
Second Place: $500 
Third Place: $300
Check out last year's winners and entries for lots of ideas.
To make pumpkin purses you will need:
  • Foam carving pumpkins- they are hollow inside
  • Serrated knife for cutting the pumpkin
  • Duck Tape®
  • adhesive backed hook and loop tape
  • a plastic grocery bag OR acrylic paint
  • Non-stick scissors

Duck Tape Pumpkin Purse Supplies

Start by cutting off the top of the pumpkin just like you'd cut off the top of a jack-o-lantern. Make a circle big enough for your hand to fit in. Quick tip- use a thumb tack, piece of string and a pen to mark a circle before cutting, tie the string to the thumb tack and put it in the stem, then tie the other end to the pen about 2 inches away for a 4 inch circle. Mark the circle with the pen, then cut along that line.
Why a plastic bag or acrylic paint? The inside is raw foam, and tape doesn't stick well to it. It will stick once it's sealed with an acrylic paint and color doesn't matter. We lined ours with plastic bags like this-
Put the bag in the pumpkin.
Pumpkin Purse Lining
Trim the bag edges around the outside of the pumpkin and tape down. Extra is fine, we will trim off a lot of it after the lining is taped.
Pumpkin purse lining 2
Tape up the inside. I love this candy corn design because even when it's overlapped and going all different directions, it still looks great. 
Duck Tape lining
The top- the foam doesn't matter as much here and you don't need to seal it or cover it with plastic. Just criss cross tape across the bottom of the top and wrap the tape around to the top. If you fringe your tape as shown, it will be much flatter and form fitting.
pumpkin purse lid
Now that's done, make straps. You'll need a 5 inch piece for the hinge to keep the top in place, a 5-8 inch piece (depending on how you want it to look) for the hook and loop tape clasp and a piece long enough for a strap. To make the straps, cut 2 pieces of tape the same length, put one down sticky side up and put the other piece sticky side down on top of it with a half inch overlap. Fold the edges over on both sides.
Trim the plastic around the pumpkin body. Some of the outside of the pumpkin may come up when you untape it- that's fine, you're covering the whole thing up with tape anyway.
Tape the hinge piece to the lid, and then cover the lid with the tape you want for the outside. Then fit it to the bottom part of the pumpkin and tape the other side of the hinge to the pumpkin.
pumpkin purse tutorial
Now start covering the pumpkin with tape. Use your fingers to burnish the tape down so it goes into the creases and lines. 
pumpkin purse
To finish, tape the hook and loop piece on the top of the pumpkin and apply the hook and loop tape to the clasp part, peel off the other side of the adhesive backing and press the tape clasp down to the outside of the pumpkin to put the pieces on it. Then tape your straps into place.
My pumpkin purse used black, Blaze orange and candy corn Duck Tape®, my daughter used the great purple spider tape with black tape and her pumpkin purse has a lot more decoration. 
A bigger pumpkin would make a nice trick or treat bag. 
Check out Stick or Treat Contest, and follow Duck Tape® on Facebook and Twitter for lots of ideas. 

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Smoky delicious from Arby's

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arby's for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Arby's Smokehouse Brisket
When I went with my family to Arby's to try the Smokehouse Brisket sandwich, the first one that we went to was all out of them. Apparently they've been really popular. So we drove to another Arby's location.
We went into the other Arby's and the person working the counter said "Hello" with a smile. I asked him if they had the Smokehouse Brisket, and explained to him they were all out at the other Arby's. He said "We have them. We did run out once, but now we are more prepared." and told me they were very popular and selling over 100 of the sandwiches daily!
The sandwich is fantastic. It has a great smoky flavor. Melted smoked Gouda cheese, tender slow smoked brisket, crispy onions and bbq sauce on  a crusty bun. It's a big sandwich, too much for me to eat in one sitting (but the rest tasted just as good cold later!)- just the right size for my son and husband. The flavors and textures were so good it reminded me a bit of all those luxury hotels that we used to stay in a few times a year. So delicious! You can order it as a combo with your choice of sides. I like the salad option. My family loves Arby's curly fries.
Smokehouse Brisket-bite
After we were done eating, I was full, but everyone else wanted dessert. William had an apple turnover, TG opted for a chocolate turnover (because chocolate is always her favorite) and my husband had a vanilla shake. The turnovers were flaky and good. The shake was super thick, and I got the giggles over the faces Michael was making trying to drink it through a straw. 
Arby's Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich is every bit as yummy as it looks. I absolutely recommend it. 
Both photos were taken by me. That bite was also taken by me.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Painted Flower Pots- the super easy way

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of FrogTape brand painter’s tape for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Flower Pots


When I was offered the chance to try Frog Tape® Shape Tape™, I immediately thought "flower pots"- Mostly because it's fall and it's time to start thinking of things to grow indoors before winter hits. The tape comes in a few great shapes that can create a myriad of stylish effects. You can get scalloped, wavy or chevron- my daughter chose the chevron. 

Shape Tape works because of Frog Tape®'s PaintBlock® Technology. The edges combine with latex paint to create a gel that creates a leak proof edge for sharp lines. The tape applies super easily and comes off easily without pulling up paint from your base layer (or layers!)

The shapes are designed for surfaces like walls and furniture. Flat planes rather than the tapered shape of a standard flower pot. That's not a problem for this project because the tape is also very thin and form fits well. 

You can find a lot of ideas for things to do wth Shape Tape™ by following @FrogTape on Twitter

For this project you'll need:

  • Frog Tape® Shape Tape™
  • Scissors
  • terracotta flower pots
  • paint! 
  • aluminum foil


The foil is to protect the inside of the pot. Quick tip on paint- if you're looking for inexpensive paint and flexible about colors, check to see if you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your area. I get spray paint and latex paint from oiur local ReStore and it's a fantastic price and the money goes to a great cause. 

I worked with my daughter on the pots above. Because we were using the same tape and paints, they match in style without being perfectly matched. I like the effect. Mine is the one with the gold lightning bolt effects, the vertical chevron is her pot. We are going to use them for aloe. Great projects to do with friends .

Start by base painting your flower pots. We used white latex and foam brushes. 

base painted flower pots


Wait for it to dry. In our case, we went from a lovely day to a rainy day. After the paint has dried, apply the tape in the patterns you like.

Taped pots

Then apply the next layer of paint. We used spray paints. Allow it to dry completely.

painted pots


Then the fun part really starts. I'm not done with the pot in the first photo yet. I plan to add more gold after ths layer of paint dries. The tape works great on painted surfaces so you can add more and more stripes for a very colorful, bold look. I love Frog Tape® ShapeTape™ for how easy it is to use to create good looking home decorating projects.

It's easy to use, and using it for stylish, beautiful things is easy, or for very bold, bright looks. You can get a lot moe ieas here-

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Skull Projects and Printables

While I'm waiting for the parts for my computer- I thought it would be fun to repost some round ups of previous projects.

Skull Knitting Chart- this chart is one that I used for a dice bag for my son. The large skulls on the ties are table decorations that I drilled to make beads.

Día de los Muertos Sugar Skull Boxes- these open topped boxes are easy to make and one of my favorite printable projects ever.

Skull Mandala to color

Skull and Crossbone Cupcake Toppers- I love this fan effect. No idea why I haven't done a lot more of these.

These are just a few of the skull projects available, because apparently, I really love skulls.
All things skully on Don't Eat the Paste

This last week

Well, it's been a week since my computer died. My husband tried fixing it, but it's the hard drive itself so he's building me a new computer.

For now, I'm using his laptop or my tablet. It's been insanely frustrating because there are so many things that I need to get done. But also kind of relaxing. He has a Windows 8 machine and has it set up differently enough from mine that using my graphics programs on it is just not comfortable for me.

So I've been relaxing, working on other projects, reading and trying to enjoy the break.

Mom's birthday was Oct 8. We went to a thrift store and out to dinner as usual. It was so much fun. I've also been doing projects with TG and William. Those will be posted soon because it's easier to crop and resize photos than to draw on this computer.

At this point, we plan to have me back up and running by Friday. *crossed fingers* I really hope so.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Glow in the Dark, Halloween and Cheetos

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sam’s Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love Halloween and I love glow in the dark. How much? I have a glow in the dark skeleton that hangs year round on my living room wall, and just yesterday I bought glow in the dark flat skulls to drill and make earrings.

I also love Cheetos®. So glow in the dark Halloween themed individual treat sized bags of Cheetos? Yes please! 

 photo CheetosCube_zps7b3f6e82.jpeg

The Halloween cube has a roll of Cheetos® in individual sizes which are perforated to tear off easily for sharing. The perfect size to use for trick or treaters, packed lunches or treats to hand out to your own family. There are 65 bags, which is enough for the average number of trick or treaters that come to my house at Halloween.

They could be served for a movie night with friends and spooky movies too! Fill your favorite Halloween treat bowl- I have a big plastic cauldron and let your guests grab bags. Provide napkins or paper towels as well. Some people prefer to wipe off their fingers than to lick all that yummy, salty, cheesy flavor off of them.

These are a Sam's Club exclusive and only available for a limited time. 

Glow in the dark, Halloween, Cheetos®- it's a total win. Too bad Halloween only comes once a year.

Like Cheetos on Facebook and follow Cheetos on Twitter

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chunky quick lip balm cozy -Crochet

This lip balm cozy works up super fast to be a nice gift and features a 1 inch button and a carabiner clip to attach it to a bag or keyring.

You will need:
Chunky yarn- I used Lion Brand Baby's First Yarn in Sea Sprite, it's thick and super soft with a nice loft which makes the cozy almost cuddly
Size L (8 mm) aluminum crochet hook
large yarn needle
carabiner- this one is an inexpensive aluminum clip rated for 150 lbs and not to be used for climbing.
1 inch button- the one used is actually a 1 inch wood disk that was drilled with 2 holes to make it a button
embroidery floss
large tapestry needle

I love single crochet! This is done in single crochet except for 2 stitches which are trebles to create a loop for the carabiner clip.

US terminology
ch= chain
sc= single crochet
sl st= slip stitch
tr= treble crochet
dec sc= decrease single crochet; insert hook in first stitch, yo, pull loop through, leave on hook,(2 loops on hook) insert hook in next stitch, yarn over, pull loop through, yo, pull through the 3 loops on hook.

Chain 1 or make magic ring
Round 1: ch 1 (does not count as first stitch)- 8 sc in ring, sl st to join.
Rounds 2-6: ch 1 (does not count as first stitch) sc in each stitch, sl st to join.
Round 7: ch 1 (does not count as first stitch), sc in first stitch, tr in next 2 stitches, sc in next 5 stitches, sl st to join.
Row 1: ch 1 (does not count as first st)- sc in same st, sc in next 3 stitches
Row 2-3: ch 1 to turn (does not count as first st), sc in each stitch
Row 4: ch 1 to turn (does not count as first st) dec sc in first 2 stitches, dec sc in next 2 stitches (2 stitches)
Row 5: ch 1 (does not count as first st) dec sc across both stitches (1 stitch)
Row 6: ch 8, sl st to join on row 5 stitch.

Break off yarn and weave in ends. Use the embroidery floss to stitch the button in place to the front of the cozy so the loop fits over it. Slip carabiner clip under the two treble stitches.

A note on the lip balm in the photo-
This is my husband's FAVORITE lip balm. The one he uses throughout the winter here in Alaska and that kept his lips from chapping last year when he was walking a half mile from his parking spot to his job last winter in the cold cold early hours. He likes a fair amount of tingle, and this peppermint/vanilla is just right. Not sweet, moisturizes well and full of good oils. You can find Silverbear Sundries HERE on Facebook. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Computer crash!

My computer crashed, which is why there hasn't been a recent update or this month's birth flower/birthstone mandala yet.

It should be fixed soon, and I'll be posting a couple not printable projects as well.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Circles of Compassion- printable Einstein quote

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” - Albert Einstein

Click the image below for the printable version. I like printing black and white quote art on Astrobrights paper because it stands out so much. Prints to 8x10 inches.

Amazon links don't affect your price and when you use my links I get a small commission that helps pay for the site and my addiction to books.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Duck Brand® Deco Laminate Magnetic Message Center-tutorial

This post brought to you by Duck Brand®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Duck Brand Deco Laminate message center


This project is actually a variation of one that my mom used to make. Except this is a LOT cooler. Why?

Duck Brand® Deco Laminate. Mom used the shelf paper commonly available in the 70s and 80s which isn't nearly as nifty. This stuff comes in great patterns AND dry erase board or chalk board. Yes. You can turn just about any hard surface into a chalk board or dry erase board. I love this stuff.

Deco Laminate examples

From top to bottom- that's chalk board, giraffe, multicolor polka dots, dry erase board and holographic. There are other  prints available- wallflower and blue chevron. The little roll of tape is a Duck Brand® "Duckling" in black which I also used on this project. (have you seen the Ducklings? Just in love with the cute)

You will also need:

message board supplies

A cookie sheet- make sure it's steel! You can check easily by bringing a magnet with you when you go to buy one. Thrifted cookie sheets or old ones are fine as long as you can clean off any rust.

Magnets- my daughter made the ones for this board using wood disks, Duck Brand® Deco Laminate to match the board, E-6000 glue and ceramic magnets

Non-stick scissors- you can use regular scissors, but I like non-stick for adhesive things

Optional but nifty if you have it- some of the rolls are compatible with Cricut™, and they also work pretty well with die cutters to add accents. The holographic isn't a good option for this because it's prone to tearing, but try the rest of them! The rest of the patterns would be a great contrast with the chalkboard or dry erase rolls.

Start by covering the back of the cookie sheet in your choice of patterns. The magpie in me loved the sparkle and stars of the holographic. Follow the instructions for the best, smoothest finish. 

message center step 1


Then cut a piece of either the chalk board or dry erase board and put it on.

Message center step 2

The back of the Duck Brand® Deco Laminate has measurements and alignment dots to help neat, precise cutting. 

Back of DecoLaminate

Then I edged the dry erase part of the board with the Duck Brand® Mini Duck Tape

Message center step 3

Run some more tape on the sides if you'd like. If it's got a hole at the top, you're set to hang it. My cookie sheet didn't, so more Duck Brand® Duck Tape and a bit of yarn on the other side created a hanger. 

When it was all done, my daughter said she wanted it. So it's in her room now. 

Now- the part of this product I LOVE the most? The dry erase and the chalkboard both work with my die cutter.

Die cute Deco Laminate

So I'm not done with this yet, not even close. There are all sorts of things these shapes can be put on. I asked my husband if he wanted the two scalloped circles above and he said "Yes, I think I can use them." 

Are you following Duck Brand® (the makers of Deco Laminate) on Twitter yet? @TheDuckBrand 

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