Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter Fonts and Thanksgiving Pledge

Thanksgiving was a really different experience for me this year. 

For the past several years I've worked retail during the holiday season. I got Thanksgiving day off to spend with my family, and then I went to work before the sun came up on Black Friday, so that was fun.

 Last year I wasn't working around Thanskgiving as I was a brand new mother, I still got to spend the holiday with my family, and then I got to sleep in on Black Friday. That was more fun.

This year, I'm working at a hotel. I recently volunteered to start helping in the restaurant. (I was really excited about getting tips. Silly me.) Anyways,  I didn't realize that meant that I would be scheduled
for our big Thanksgiving feast.

When I saw my name on the schedule for Thanksgiving day, I realized how much I had taken for granted all the Thanksgivings I got to spend with my family.

I missed Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, I missed visiting my husband's family, and hardest of all I missed my daughter's first time eating Thanksgiving turkey.
I'm a team player, so I can't complain about going into work. It sucked, but there's a lot of people who wouldn't have had a good Thanksgiving dinner if it wasn't for coming to places like the hotel for a good feast.

What really got me is seeing how many places, like Target, Michael's, Walmart, etc, were open Thanksgiving evening instead of waiting for Black Friday. I know how hard it was for me to give up family time to go to work. And what got me through without complaint was knowing that we were feeding people who might not be able to make their own food.

It makes me really sad that these places have put shopping over being thankful and spending time with the most important people in our lives.

It's bad enough that the day after we honor being thankful and giving we shove and push through Black Friday. But now we're skipping the thankful part all together?
I don't like it.

I understand that some people can't afford to take that day off so they need to work that day. I also understand that some people are far away from their families, so they don't really mind working the day. But I worked retail for four years and I have a lot of friends that still do, and let me tell you, most of those workers would rather be home with their loved ones on the holidays.

So this is my pledge for the years to come.
No shopping on Thanksgiving.
And if I'm ever in a situation where I'm working retail again,
I pledge to save up money through the year so that I don't have to depend on that day of work.
For the bigger picture of all the people who DO want to spend that day with their families.
If I must go crazy shopping, I pledge to wait until Black Friday.
I plan to do what I can to make a change and preserve the importance of Thanksgiving.
Because to me family is more important than a good shopping day.
I'd be happy for anyone to join me.

 Well now that I've written a book :)
(I got a little fired up, sorry).
December is here tomorrow! It's so exciting!

 I'm really hoping for a white Christmas.
We'll see.

Anyways, here's some of my favorite winter fonts.

There'll be parties// Clipper Script
Marshmellows// Curlygirl
And Caroling// Honey Script
Ghost stories// Sofia
Tales of the Glories// Pacifico
Christmases Long Ago// Father Frost
It's the Most// Janda Snickerdoodle
Wonderful// Roskrift
Time of the Year// Siesta Sunset
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

How To Make Super Cute Hand-Drawn Blog Frames

It's finally the weekend.  The wonderful weekend.
Can you believe it's Thanksgiving in less than a week?
This year has gone by so stinking fast.
It's hot chocolate season already.
Well, it's always hot chocolate season at my house.
But now I can drink it wearing cute reindeer pajamas.
Which is really exciting.
I've got my eyes on these ones right now,
which you can buy here at Aerie (my obsession).

Aside from doing some selfish early-Christmas-for-me shopping,
I've also been busy getting lots of stuff ready for my Etsy shop,
and working. Which means being stuck behind the front desk of 
a beautiful hotel for a while.  Long enough to get bored.

So I decided to try and do something I like, but since I don't have
any of my files or programs on the work computer, I had to get creative.
I sketched a couple of frames by hand and turned them into something
to use on my blog.  I was going to share the ones I made,
but it's so simple I decided to share how I did it instead.

(Click on any of these photos to enlarge them)

 1.//  Draw your image with a very bold pen or sharpie.
For best results use one that won't bleed or smear.
Then scan your picture!
If you don't have a scanner available,
you could also take a good picture of it.

2.//  Open your image in Paint.Net.
If you don't have it already, 
you can download it FREE here.

Use the "Rectangle Select" tool to outline your frame,
then press "Crop to Selection".

 3.// Adjust the contrast 
 until the image is completely black and white.

4.//  Using the wand tool, select anywhere outside of your drawing.

Press Delete.
Continue deleting any of the white,
so everything outside of your drawing is transparent.
(You can press "CTRL" + "+" to zoom in
and "CTRL" + "-" to zoom out to get any hard to find spots)

***Some frames have disconnecting pieces,
that's why I showed this step in a way that works for everyone.
If your frame is only one big connecting line, like this one, you can shortcut this step
by using the Wand tool to select the frame, press Edit>> Invert Selection, and Delete.

5.//  At this point you can save your frame as a PNG.
It's all done! Just time to make it pretty.
Add pictures, make it white and put it over a chalkboard,
whatever you'd like.
Let's add a photo.
Select Layers >> Import From File.

6.// Move your layer down so you can see your frame again.
The layer you're working on stays highlighted,
make sure you stay on the layer with your picture. 
If you inserted a large image, it probably made your canvas huge.
Don't worry, we'll fix that.

7.// Now you can adjust your photo so it is in your frame how you want it.
The proportions stay the same if you hold shift while resizing.
You can right-click if you want to rotate your photo.

8.// Let's get rid of all that annoying extra space.
We'll use the "Rectangle Selection" tool and "Crop to Selection" again..

9.// Now to get rid of the overhang.
You'll want to make sure you're in your "Background" layer.
Then using your wand tool click inside of the frame.

Now go up to  Edit >> Invert Selection. 

 Switch to your Picture layer and hit Delete.

10.//  That's it! Yay! Enjoy your beautiful creation.

If you want you can add some special touches.
Some color or whatever you'd like.
Here's what happens when you fill in the black with white
and stick it on a chalkboard.

In case you're thinking, "Hey, what if my frame has disconnected lines,
so I can't select the area around the photo to delete it?
Or what if I want a perfectly shaped image inside my frame?
Don't worry! We can do that. It's really easy.

Let's use this frame as an example.
We're already to Step 8 in the directions above.


1.// Use the  "Ellipse Select" tool to make a circle.
(If you want a square instead use the "Rectangle Select" tool).
If you want a perfect circle hold the Shift key down
while you are creating your shape.

2.// Select the "Move Selection" tool.
You can use this to move your circle and size it
over how you want your picture to appear.

3.// Once your shape is how you want it,
go to Edit >> Invert Selection.
Press Delete.

You're done! Simple as that. 
You can still use the "Move Selected Pixels" tool
to resize or reposition your circle if you want.
Once you're happy just save it as a PNG.

Voila! Now you can make pretty frames for your blog.

They're not just for pictures either,
they look pretty with text too!

 Have fun :)


Friday, November 15, 2013

Meet the Olsen Family.

Well, I'm finally doing it...
Starting a blog.

So where do I start?

I guess maybe from the beginning.
Me.  I'm Sammiey.

I like sunflowers and going to the beach.
I probably eat way too many cupcakes for my own good.
And I love art and design.

But if you want to know the first thing about me,
you'd have to know these cuties.
My two favorite people in the whole world.

Meet my handsome husband Kyle,
and our little ray of sunshine.
She's the cutest ever, right?


This is what happiness is.
I love my family so much.

When I'm not chasing after my adorable toddler,
I try to spend time doing something I love.
My poor husband had to kiss his man-cave goodbye
when I took it over with my craft-station,
which now takes up basically the whole room.
I'm really lucky he loves me so much.
Someday he will get his well-deserved man cave.
As for now it's covered in headband elastic, fabric flowers, 
hair clips, feathers, paper, glue, and all kinds of pretty things.
It might look like a mess but I just see lots of projects.
And it's really exciting.

I'm about to launch two Etsy shops
and a new website.
It's been a lot of work but I'm almost ready.
One shop for my crafts, mostly headbands.
And one shop for design, lots of cards and prints.
I'm very excited and I plan on launching
everything on the first of December!

Until then, I'm going to get started here in the blogging world.
There is a link to my website on the sidebar,
but it's not done yet.
It will be soon though, promise :)