Category Archives: Digital Ideas

Thanksgiving printable for your fall decor

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Thanksgiving printable for your fall decor

Thanksgiving is almost here for us Canadians, are you ready?  I’m still housecleaning and baking like a crazy.  Kind of.  I keep getting distracted by little fun things, like decorating or going through boxes that I haven’t seen for a while.  I saw a list yesterday that said countdown to Thanksgiving, and shows you what to do each week, for 4 weeks before the event!!  Things like start baking, send out invitations, etc.  And it says 4 weeks before: finish major housecleaning!  I figure that if I changed weeks to days, I’d be right on schedule.

Decorating is so much more fun than cleaning and de-cluttering.  I have a frame in my living room that is for changing, with the seasons, or with the birthdays, whatever.  It’s easy to pop out the picture and add something new.  I was looking around for a “free Thanksgiving printable” to print and frame, and I found lots of nice ones, but they were in color.  And even if I switched them to black and white, they’d be all grey and use up tons of ink.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m down to only black ink, so I made up something myself to print out for my frame, and thought I’d post it here, in case anyone else with a black-ink-only printer problem would like to have one for their Thanksgiving decor.  All the fonts I used are by Kimberly Geswein,  I really like her stuff!  Ooh, I just saw some new ones on her blog that I want, nice very nice!  There are links on her blog to download all her fonts, and she has examples, so you can see what the fonts look like in a paragraph form.  The  border is artwork by the Gypsy Chick, that I had for commercial use.  (warning: blurry photos ahead!)Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas! Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

The printable is for a 8 1/2 by 11″ page, but my frame takes 12×12″, so I printed off 2 and cut one up to go behind the other.  My printer also didn’t print to the edge of the page, so I had to shave some off.  The printable should go to the edge of your page, if you can set your printer to do that.  So this is what I did: Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!Trimmed.Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

Added some dollar store leaves behind the main page.Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

I don’t like the placement of the red leaf, but am trying to tell myself to just leave it, to not take everything down to rearrange!!! grrrrr.  Oh well.  So this is what it looks like, and you can click on the folder below to download a zipped folder.  Unzip and print!  Let me know if it’s not working, since, ahem, it’s been awhile since I’ve uploaded a printable….  This photo below is just the example, and somehow one of the words is cut off and there’s a watermark that says personal use only, so that means it’s just for you to use in your home, y’know, no copying or selling or that kind of thing!

Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!Find the original copy for your personal printing use here:

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Easy DIY Photo Canvas Art

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Photo canvases seem to be all the rage.  So far I haven’t taken the plunge and ordered one yet, they are cool but pricey.   I guess I’m more into the DIY thing right now anyways….

The other day when I was crazily decorating for my daughter’s Lalaloopsy Cute-As-A-Button birthday party, I found a dollar store canvas and easel that I had bought without a specific purpose in mind.  I kind of thought that I would glue buttons to it, in the shape of the birthday girl’s age…but at the last second, decided to make a photo canvas to display this cute photo that my photographer friend April snapped of her at a kitty birthday party.  Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.comI went to handy dandy Pinterest and looked up how to print an image onto tissue paper.  Hmmm, seems easy enough!  Let’s try it out, I said to myself. I went for a black and white photo since I have run out of colored ink!   I work with what I have!

Honestly, this craft took almost no time if you have the supplies on hand.  I usually have some Modge Podge somewhere on the premises, so I started the project before I exactly checked…turns out the Modge Podge I have is an antique colored Shimmer finish.  (Modge Podge is the brand name of a water-based sealer glue and finish, a paste-like medium from PLAID and is usually completely transparent, but you can find different finishes like glossy or matte.)   Oh well, I thought it might work, and in the end I was quite pleased with the look it gave the canvas….if you don’t mind a sepia tint and shiny finish.

So the supplies are: Modge Podge, paint brush, white acrylic craft paint, a printer, tissue paper, double-sided tape (or even clear tape should work), paper confetti (optional), a canvas and easel, and some photo editing software to touch up your photo and print it out.  Here’s the canvas I used, sorry I don’t have a photo of the Modge Podge and my camera battery is dead at the moment…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Page 012Here is the fairy easy process:  first, edit your photo.  (don’t spend too long on this if you don’t want to.  You can always print off a photo w/o editing it and then just snip off the corners etc. of the tissue paper copy).Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - After cutting out her arm, blending her hair and cutting off the corners of the photo, I blurred the edges and erased a bit more, then I added some digital embellishments, like swirls and some flowers with buttons in the center (from my digital stash), but of course this step isn’t necessary and real embellishments could easily be glued onto the canvas afterwards.Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Now print off a test photo, to see the effects and to see where to position the tissue paper.  Using a sheet of white tissue paper,  cut out a rectangle.  I thought it had to be almost the same size as the paper, but apparently it only needs to be bigger than your photo.  I used double-sided scrapbooking tape to tape the tissue to the regular printer paper, but I think even regular scotch tape should work.  Make sure there is no stickiness showing!  The tape showing must not be sticking!! I can only image what kind of a paper jam that would cause!!  It’s hard to see in the photos, but you can kind of see the edge of the tissue paper (in the photos above and below).  When you go to run your paper through the printer, be sure you know what side it will be printing on!!  To check that out, when you print off your test copy, add a small X with a pencil to the corner of the paper before it prints, then check to see what side was printed on.  Then you’ll know whether to load your tissue papered paper face up or face down (I hope that sounds clear?)Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Cut as close as you want around the tissue paper photo and test it out on the canvas….this is the tissue paper just setting on the canvas….(I should have photographed the tissue paper held up to the light, it’s so cool, but I was in a big hurry…..)Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Now add a layer of glue, Modge Podge, to the canvas…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - See how yellow the glue looks in the jar?  It’s harder to see on the canvas, but paint on your glue then quickly get the tissue paper on before it dries.  I actually had to peel off the photo, add some more glue and try it again.  It worked without tearing!!  yay!Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - I wasn’t sure if I should paint right over the photo, as is usual with Modge Podge, as it is a sealant, too.  But I didn’t want her face to get too yellowed looking, and since my Modge Podge is shimmery and a bit shiny, I knew that if you look at it from the side it would just glare…hmmm, what to do?  But first I added some white paint to the edges, to kind of soften them up and hide the edge of the tissue paper a bit (not that is showed very much) and I wanted to downplay the yellowish sepia color, too and make it look a bit like a painting….Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com -So this is what I ended up doing, following the direction of her bangs with brushstrokes of shiny glue…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - I only painted over the edges of the photo with the Modge Podge, and left the face free of it…so this is how it looks with the light shining at an angle.Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com -I seem to always have to do that extra little bit, add that extra detail, it’s the hardest thing in the world to stop myself  (I know, Art is knowing when to stop, and that’s why I don’t make money by my “art”!!)  so of course I threw some paper confetti that I had laying around from some other party decoration onto the canvas while the glue was still wet.  I like it anyhoo.  And my little buddy was quite pleased, too!!  🙂Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com I hope this little tutorial has been helpful to someone! 🙂  Now I just need to make 3 more……Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 014

Some Digital Memories…

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I was messing around on facebook, trying to find myself (heh heh) and none of my searches were finding my name…so somehow it  got into the web search….and then I googled myself (Denna de Motta) and a whole bunch of things popped up that I had forgotten about!  Mostly they were digital scrapbooking projects that I did in the past for Creative Memories.  Since I just re-found them, I thought I’d share some of them here:

Legohead"Authentic Legohead" Discover Grunge Digital Scrapbook Layout

and a tutorial on the Digital 411 blog:  Making the best of a blurry photo, has some ideas for editing photos.

and Baby’s Favorite Things:

Baby's Favorite Things - Ashby Series Baby Girl Scrapbooking Two Page Layout (left side)Baby's Favorite Things - Ashby Series Baby Girl Scrapbooking Two Page Layout (right side)

Daddy’s little girl!!  My sister took these photos.

And another  idea from the Creative Memories Digital 411 blog, giving an idea for a scrapbook page layout : The Rest of the StoryD-Motta_The Rest of the Story_image - Page 004

All of these projects were created with all Creative Memories Digital content, of course.  I had a great time designing digital stuff for them 🙂

Photo a day challenge for the faint-hearted…

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Photo a day challenge for the faint-hearted…

Have you heard of the photo-a-day challenge?  Maybe you have been doing it for years.  I must confess that I have never done it.  (I won’t confess that I just might possibly have started the challenge once upon a time…)

The idea is that you take at least one photo every day for a year….and then….and then…..

and then you do something with the 365 photos.

And there you go.

That Was Easy.

Doesn’t sound very challenging?

Well it was for me! (too challenging!)

Take a few seconds and think about it:

1) Finding your camera.

2) Finding something to photograph.

3) Finding light to photograph it in.

4) Taking the photo (and maybe a few extra, just to be sure).

5) Downloading the photo(s) onto your computer–for me and my little buddy laptop, this can easily take up to 35 minutes!

6)  Finding a place on your computer to store the photo.

7)  Deciding what you are going to do with the photo: print? digital album? facebook? flikr? instagram?

(skip steps 5 and 6 if your photo goes straight to your online media).

8)  Probably should be making up a caption to go with photo.

9) Repeating procedure every day.

10)  For a year.

So now that you are excited and just panting to get at this fun challenge, I just want to say….you are a bit late.  It’s already January 15th.  But better late than never!!  Right?  (you remembered that that’s my favorite motto and seems to be my saying for this new year)!   Don’t listen to any negativity….you can do it!!  Starting today!

I am going to give it a try  (I just decided that 4 days ago).  And why?

Because I personally know one person who did it.  She did it, for a whole year.  (of course she’s a super-organized type A type person, but that shouldn’t make any difference…should it?)  She posted her photos on her Flikr account and will soon print them out in a beautiful coffee table album.  Her photos were fabulous, I must say (and I tried not to feel photo-envy, or motivation-envy either).  And she encouraged me to try the photo-a-day challenge (several times).

And because it might make me want to hone my photographic skills and actually learn something about photography.

And because it might be a cool way of documenting a Year in the Life of Us.

And it’s because it’s only January, and I haven’t gotten too far behind yet.

And because I have no other cool ideas at the moment.

So I went to my digital programs and grabbed photos that I have taken from the last 15 days  (ok, some were tweaked a bit, but they were the kind of photos that I would have taken on that specific day if I had been thinking about this challenge).  And then I went into my digital scrapbooking program (all programs by Creative Memories of course) and made some simple layouts for a future wonderful coffee table book (that you will be forced to look at if you ever come and visit me–and if it ever gets done!). As I was setting up my future book, it seemed like a good idea to have one month cover a two page spread, so roughly 15 photos per page and 24 pages for the book.  Seems do-able.  After spending some time and thought (I won’t tell you how much), I came up with the layout for this first page! (didn’t take long to drop the photos in!)denna's ideas: Photo A Day for January 2013

I’m going for simple (which is totally unlike me, don’t know if I will be able to handle the sleek simplicity zenness or not)

And it just may be the very first and last page that you see from me!! 😉

But, really, I just want to encourage YOU to try this simple and fun challenge!!  If I can do it, anyone can!!  (oh wait, I should probably say that at the end of this year….)

If you search for the phrase “Photo A Day” online there are a whole bunch of fun-sounding ideas that pop up.  Like almost game-type contests and encouraging articles, ideas, all sorts of stuff that are way more motivational than my sorry post!!  I had forgotten, but there are also lists of ideas for each day of the month, to give you some inspiration for what to photograph. Here’s a link with an example of a list and links to the people who joined the challenge at a content housewife. That’s kind of what my friend did, though I think it was a topic for every week, such as self-portrait, motion, B&W, children, etc.  Really, you should try it and start today (just make up a few things for the last 15 days)! Let me know if you are going to try it out and maybe we could come up with a fun list of ideas!

P.S. I just found this site, which I haven’t seen before, called 365 project where they have it all set up for you, looks easy to do and inspiring…..(not that I’m really looking for inspiration…until I get desperate).

P.P.S.  I’m just going to put my photos on my book pages, I’m not on instagram or flikr, and don’t really plan to go there at this stage of my life….baby steps, baby steps….

The Graverobber

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This song has been in my mind for the last couple of weeks, for various reasons.  (One of which is that I have been thinking of my Grandpa Ernie, since this week would have been his 94th birthday).  When I was in high school (or junior high) we sang this song in choir and I’ve never forgotten it.  Let it rock you.  Here are the lyrics:

That is the hope that I live with.

You can see a video, also with the lyrics here:

This must be a recent version, by Petra, since the old version was a bit “rockier” as I remember it!  We sang a lot of Petra songs in choir and I always appreciated the lyrics!!

The graphics are by Paula Kesselring Designs, mostly from her kits “Retrosweets” and “Ephemera 1”

Gone Fishin’

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Summer is great, lots of time to do fun stuff, like reading, making crafts and going on vacation.  I’ve tried to keep up on the blog posts, but sometimes I’m just, well…gone fishin’  😉

This week I’m also taking my computer in for a “tune-up” and not sure how long that will take.  Today I wanted to share some “gone fishing” pages that I have been working on, from our time out at Moose Lake.

These pages were made with the fun digital kit Let’s Go Fishing by Paula Kesselring.  I just love the fun papers and the paper fish (and all the other crazy elements!)  I just had to get it to scrap some of our camp photos.

Let's go Fishing! {Full Kit}

Scrapping your Camping and Smore moments

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Hi!! I’m back from summer camp!  I’m still on vacation, but just not at camp for the moment 🙂

Just thought I’d share a super-cute digital kit that I found that will be fun for scrappin’ those campy, smore-chomping summer moments….or even just any cute photos of little kids and their sweetness.

Luv U Smore

If its’ cuteness gets to you as it did to me, you can purchase this digital kit (by Valorie Wibbens and Lauren Reid) here at The Lily Pad (and check out some of the digital layouts that others have made with it)

Someday I’ll post a page or two that I’m gonna make with this cute kit! 😉