Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The 5 Stages of Gluttony

Stage 1:  Denial
I will just fill a bowl with candy corn and peanuts to make the house look festive.  Of course I will eat a little, but only a few morsels each day, so it will last till Halloween.  Besides, it looks so cute and festive on the counter.  It gives me a chance to use that adorable dish I won at the Office pumpkin carving contest one year.

Stage 2: Anger
I can't believe I ate it all so fast!  It just disappeared.  I'm so mad at myself!  And I think
my husband is helping himself to the dish way too often!  I'm going to have to get another bag of candy corn.  (See stage 1:Denial.  It is still operating though I have moved on to Stage 2.)

Stage 3: Bargaining   
I promise I will only eat 10 candy corns a day and I will skip putting peanuts into the mix.  If I give up the peanuts, the temptation will be cut in half.
Stage 4:  Depression
I can't believe I have now eaten a whole pound of candy corn.  I have nothing but an empty dish.  I am fat.  I don't have any friends.  I will never lose weight.  That song keeps running through my mind, "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm going to eat some worms..."

Stage 5:  Acceptance
Ok, I am not capable of resisting the siren call of candy corn in October.  I'll start my diet in November.   There is no way I'm going the whole month of October without candy corn.  I'll just be fat.  And that dish will be empty again before you finish reading this post!  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Make your own wash tape - tutorial!

Commercial Washi tapes
If you aren't familiar with Washi tape, it's a paper tape made with Japanese Washi paper patterns.  The tape has gotten so popular that now it's available in all kinds of patterns. The backing on Washi tape is not very sticky and I often have to glue it down to keep it in place.  Since it's a paper product, it has a translucent quality that plain printed tape does not have.
I got the idea for making Washi tape from a Joggles  tutorial, which showed making Washi tape with tissue paper and rubber stamps.  However, this tape is made using your own art images.  And the best thing about it is that it takes advantage of the Thumbnail Principle.  You know what I mean, in the old Flickr system for posting things your work initially appeared in a small thumbnail size version, and, voila!  It was instantly improved and way better looking.  I consistently call myself the Queen of the Thumbnail (as well as the Mistress of Longears - one cannot have too many titles!)
Here's how it's done:
Use Photoshop, iWork Pages or Word or Excel to make the vertical height of  your image equal to the desired width of your tape, anywhere from 1 1/2 inches to 1/2 inch or narrower.  Copy the image over and over in rows on a printable document.  It helps to space the rows so that they nearly touch each other.  That will make cutting the strips easier.
Printed without photo editing - a bit pale!
 Print the page on your printer.  If the image is pale like the one above, scan it into a jpeg and edit it in Photoshop or i Photo to intensify the colors.
Then print it on paper.  You can use several kinds of paper, but I prefer the translucent papers.  I used vellum which had a white leaf pattern printed on it, plain laser print vellum and tracing paper.  My printer had a hard time handling the trace paper.  It had no problem at all with the leaf-printed vellum, which is technically not recommended for laser printing.
The first row is 1 1/4 inches tall and is printed on the leaf-patterned vellum .  The row below is printed on laser vellum, ordered from Amazon.  Paper Source used to have it, but have not had any for a while.  The first row was printed without intensifying the colors in photo editing.

Next, apply a double-sided tape to the back of the printed page.  For this, I used 2 different products:
Scor Tape - available from Joggles and Peel-n-Stick that I bought ages ago at a JoAnn's or Michael's store.
To apply the tape, just peel off the protective coating from one side and stick it down to the back side of the printed page.  Cover the entire back with tape.

Finally, turn the page to the right side and cut the strips of washi tape!  When you want to use it, just peel off the other protective paper and stick it down!  This tape is a bit thicker than the real thing, but it has your very own imagery! 

Some of the final tapes

 If you try this, please post your results!  I'd love to see them.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So THAT's my problem!

Spring crop at Longears

I subscribe to Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Daily Moments of Happiness which seems a bit greedy of me since I am so very happily retired.  But I do it anyway!  This was today's message:

“He who chases two hares will catch neither.”
-Publius Syrus

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Referencing all those journals - the lazy way

A page of thumbnail shots from one of my wildflower journals
I recently had reason to refer to something in an old journal, and it took me only 3 minutes to find it.  Knowing you journallers as I do, you, too have many, many volumes to keep track of.  I know there are people who have the discipline to number pages and create indexes but that's not me, and that's not how I recall information.....I recall events by the pictures I drew of them.  So, upon completing each journal, I photograph the cover and all the pages and print a contact sheet with thumbnails of every page.  I label the pages and pop them into a binder, divided by category (regular journal, garden journal, travel, etc.)  I can flip through those pages and find what I want very quickly!