Sunday, January 19, 2014

Coordinates and Longitude/Latitude Art - Valentines Day Gift for my Husband

Long time, no post! I know I have been absent for a long time. I would like to apologize and give you a valid reason but I can't. Life has been busy, so my blog has been ignored but not forgotten.

I have not stopped doing the things I love, I just haven't had time to share them with you. I will stop by Full of Great Ideas every once and a while to share things. I won't promise I will be consistent and I will say you will see more 'art' style of pieces, since I make loads of them for gifts.  I hope you can understand and stop by every once and a while to see if there is anything new.

For those of you know have followed me for a few years, you might remember my $0 spending months (if you want to see how previous years went, check it out here) Well we are officially 19 days into our third spend free month and it has been going well. My pantry is not overflowing anymore, I have purged three rooms and we have saved loads of money. I will admit it is very difficult to do this in January when you find all Christmas stuff on clearance for 90% off, but we are staying tough and sticking to it.

Valentines day is quickly approaching, so I thought I would work on something for my husband. We don't normally buy each other gifts but I thought it would be nice to make him something using a frame I had kicking around the house.

I had seen on Etsy various coordinates art and immediately knew I had to have one and thought they wouldn't be difficult to make.

I designed my version of the coordinates art using my personal favorite tool, Microsoft Publisher, but you can use almost any other program. It is really just a box in background filled with a solid color and a text box over it with the coordinates. The entire thing will only take you 10 minutes to design! Honestly, it is that simple.

Start by determining what size frame you want to use. I used an old IKEA Ribba frame I had laying around the house. I will explain how I altered the mat later in this post, but I knew my image had to be 6.5x17.  Since Costco will not print that size, I designed my image as 12x18 and cut away the excess. You can see in the image below the inner box (it doesn't show when printed) is what I needed for the frame but the entire image is much larger.
Important: Photo developers will only print standard size images (for example - 8x10, 12x18 etc.). What will happen is if I design my image to my frame size and it will be stretched or shrunk to fit within a standard photo size. So, I will be stuck with a image that won't fit into the frame. What you need to do is find the a standard size that is larger than the size you need and use that for your design. Therefore, if you have a frame opening that is 6x7 and you create the image as that size, when you print it, it will be stretched to 8x10. Instead if you design your image as an 8x10 and make the text fit within a 6x7 box, then when you print, you can cut off the excess and your finished product will fit in your frame. Confusing I know...but I hope you understand what I am saying :)

Once you get your design to be the correct size, Insert a box for the background. You can fill that box with whatever color you like.
Then Insert a Text box to the size you want your image to be. Set the background color for this box as Transparent and make sure there is no boarder. You can center that box in the middle of the overall design size by moving the box around.
If you have issue with wrapping, select the text box and select no wrapping and bring to front.
The fonts I used are Euphemia (coordinates) and Jayne Print (saying).

I found a website that gives you the exact coordinates location. Simply visit the iTouch website, enter the street address and the site will automatically generate the longitude and latitude for you. If you don't have an exact address (i.e. the middle of a park, lake etc.), enter an address that is close and then move the marker on the map to get the exact coordinates.
For this example, I entered New York City. To get the coordinates numbers, you will use the digits on the right side of the image above. The coordinates would be 43 degrees 18' 76" N and 79 degrees 38' 04' W. If you have a negative in the first number, you would switch the N (North) to S (South) and a positive in the second number, you would switch the W (West) to E (East). In order to get the degrees symbol, you will have to select "Insert" and then "Symbol" and find it within the library of symbols.

Once you are happy with the design, save the image as a high resolution JPEG (to do this in Publisher follow theses steps: 'Save As', 'Save as type', 'JPEG', 'Change...' (Resolution), 'High quality printing or commercial printing (300dpi)') .   Then upload the image to your favorite photo developer and you have a beautiful but very cheap reasonable Valentine's Day gift!
I thinks this would make a great wedding gift, anniversary gift, birth announcement...the options are really endless.

This image has a digital frame added to my final image since I can't print my creation until February 1st (when my spend free month is over).  But you get the idea how it will look! AMAZING!

For how I addressed the mat issue:

I knew the frame I had from IKEA Ribba had 3 5x7 openings in the mat but I wanted a long image.
Source Ikea
 So I trimmed the mat using an exacto knife and metal ruler.
Since the mat is cut on an angle, I scored the mat in two places (for each cut). The first score was inline with the outside of the mat angle and the other is inline with the inner side of the mat angle.
 I then cut through the mat on the inner most line.
Once the inner divider is removed, you can cut with a sharp exacto knife to follow the angle of the mat.
I will say if you look really, really close you can see where I altered the mat, but it does look good. If people want to look at anything in my house from a few inches away...well they are no friends of mine :)

Do you have any DIY Valentine's Day gifts planned?

Do you think you can use this for a gift idea? Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Keep Calm and Bluff On - Free Printable

I really wanted to use a line from the Lady Gaga song as the title to this post, but it doesn't match my other boring free download titles. So just start singing Lady Gaga's Poker Face in your head when you read this. I have it I mine and can't get it out, so I am sharing the experience with all of you.

Yesterday, I made and shared the free digital download for the Keep Calm and Love Horses piece. Today, I used the same template and made a poker themed Keep Calm for my brother-in-law for Christmas. I always have such a difficult time making gifts for the men in my life. The ladies are simple, bath stuff, pillows, any accessories, but the guys are tough. I am very pleased with this gift!
My husband informed me the hand that I picked isn't necessarily a horrible hand, as it does have an Ace high...but I had already made it in a slew of colors and I really didn't want to make it over again. I personally am really bad and poker and I would not go in with this hand...maybe that is why I am so bad at poker :)

If you have any suggestions on other Keep Calms you would like, let me know and I can try to share them with you. This only took a few minutes to change the original template.

Remember, you can print these 8x10s for under $1 and if you are frugal you can get frames for $1 too at the Dollar Store or a Thrift Shop. You could also buy a fancy frame and make it look like a really expensive gift. It is all up to you! These can be printed as 8x10s by simply downloading the image (below) and sending it to your favorite print shop for developing. I personally use Costco because their quality is amazing.

To download one these images to print:
  • Leave me a comment letting me know who you are going to use this for, which color you prefer or if you would like another color, let me know and I can see what I can do for you.
  • Right click on the image you want and select open in a new window or tab
  • On the full size image, right click again and select 'save as'
  • Save it to a place on your computer where you can easily find it
  • Send it to your favorite photo developer, find a frame and you can cross another Christmas gift off your list.
  • Please only use these for personal use!
  • Enjoy!!
Here are all the colors of  free digital downloads I made for 'Keep Calm and Bluff On':

Do you see this hanging in your basement? Does anyone you know love poker as much as my husband and brother-in-law?

I am very happy to say that is one more person of my Christmas list!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Keep Calm and Love Horses - Free Printable

Do any of you have daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. who love horses? Well, I have a frugal gift for you! This 8x10 printable will cost you around $2 to make; it costs under $1 to print, $1 to frame (if you buy it at the Dollar or Thrift Store). You can't beat a $2 Christmas gift!
As I have mentioned a few times, my sister lives on an old farm built in the 1890's. Ever since she moved there, her daughter has loved horses. After years of horse back riding lessons, she is now begging to get her own horse. I don't think that will be happening any time soon, so I thought I would make her a framed "Keep Calm and Love Horses" piece for Christmas.  I am planning a Homemade Christmas again this year, so I had to start early. Be prepared, I will be making lots of printables, so you might see quite a few of this sort of posts. Don't worry I will offer them all for free, so hopefully you can check off a few people on your list as I am doing the same.
I am not sure which color I like the best, but I think I am drawn to the teal and the Tiffanyish color.
I won't go through details as to how I made this, simple because I really don't think most of you care :) (I will tell you that the font is called Keep Calm and can be found on most free font websites and the horse was a free PNG image I found on the internet. PNG images have transparent backgrounds, so they are perfect for projects like this.)

I will just give you the free download in a selection of colors that will hopefully match your decor.

These can be printed as 8x10s by simply downloading the image and sending it to your favorite print shop.

To download one these images to print:

  • Leave me a comment letting me know who you are going to use this for, which color you prefer or if you would like another color, let me know and I can see what I can do for you.
  • Right click on the image you want and select open in a new window or tab
  • On the full size image, right click again and select 'save as'
  • Save it to a place on your computer where you can easily find it
  • Send it to your favorite photo developer, find a frame and you can cross another Christmas gift off your list.
  • Please only use these for personal use!
  • Enjoy!!
 Here are all the colors I have made:



Is there anyone on your Christmas list you can use this for? Is there any other 'Keep Calm' you would like to me to make and offer as a free download?



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fixing Ceramic Tile Chips for $5

For all of you out there that have lived with builder grade ceramic tile floors…this tip is for you. We built our first home and waiting for a year and half for it to be finished. We selected all the materials and upgraded many things but our tile floor was not one of them. After we sold that house and moved into our current house, I concluded the previous owners who built this house, did the exact same thing.
We have basic creamy colored ceramic throughout our kitchen and mud room. Unfortunately, in our situation, builder grade materials meant cheap ceramic was used. We are pretty careful and do try to avoid dropping things on the ceramic (obviously no one wants to drop anything on ceramic floor!) but we have noticed over time little chips have been appearing. You might ask how we noticed these chips...well they look like dirt spots. Since my floors tend to be dirty on most occasions, these spots were very noticeable.
Since I am in no position to tear out all the flooring, let alone the damaged tiles, I needed to find a solution to combat my ever growing ceramic tile chip population. What did I come up with? Porcelain chip repair paint!!! In Canada we have a product called Porc-A-Fix. 
I am not sure if you all have it in the US, but I know Rustoleum makes a very similar product. What is it is a really small bottle of paint (similar to nail polish) that is used to touch up appliances, sinks and bathtubs. It comes in a variety of colors, so chance are you can find the one that is pretty close to your floor color. At under $5 per bottle, it was worth it for me to give it a try.
My floor color varies between cream, taupe, beige so I was went with the bone color. I tested the color on a spare tile I had in the garage that the builder left behind and since my floor has a variance in color, I really was able to hide the repaired chips very well.
It was very easy to do since the paint comes with a little mini brush in the bottle. Simply paint it over the chip and let it dry. This paint tends to have a gloss to it, so I applied it a bit at a time to avoid a really shiny spot. I also ran a fine grit sandpaper over the painted spot when the paint dried to scuff it a bit to cut down the sheen.
Here is my after:
To be honest I don’t even see them anymore when I am standing. If I get down on the floor or look very closely I can see the spots. Keep in mind that you might not get an absolute perfect match, but in my opinion, if you get pretty close to your floor color, it is far better than a light tile with large black spot on it.
Here is the before and after again. Before:
Much better! The best part is this is permanent and will withstand my infrequent washings :)

Do any of you have chipped ceramic tile? How have you addressed this problem?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Live, Love, Hope, Pray, Home and Bath Art - Free Printable

We are in the process of finishing our unfinished basement. It has been and will continue to be a long process since we are doing the majority of the work ourselves. But I am starting to get excited now that the drywall is going up. I know it is really premature but I have been working on items to hang on the walls.

If you have not seen the name art on Full of Great Ideas before, you should take a quick peak. It is my absolute favorite thing I have made on my blog and the easiest/most amazing gift. Ultimately it is how my blog started and how most people have come to follow me. Here is an idea of what it is.
Using the same technique, I made the four Live, Love, Hope and Pray images. They print as 5x7s  with empty white space that I cut them down to approximately 4.5 x 4.5 to fit in the small Ikea Ribba square frame.

The reason why they are 5x7 is that most photo developers don't print a 5x5 picture and by designing it as a 5x7, it will not stretch or crop in a funny way when you develop it. Plus printing a 5x7 costs next to nothing, if you want custom sized you pay bigger prices. That is my trick! Makes life easier.
I had wanted all the images to be circles so that there was a contrast with the square boxes and frame.

I will make available for download both the black & white and the color 5x7 images. I prefer the black and white but you can download whatever you prefer.

To download one these images to print:
  • Leave me a comment and let me know which is your favorite and if you prefer the black & white or the color images.
  • Right click on the image you want and select open in a new window or tab
  • On the full size image, right click again and select 'save as'
  • Save it to a place on your computer where you can easily find it
  • Send it to your favorite photo developer and develop it as a 5x7, head to Ikea and grab the frames.
  • I hate saying it, but I again found someone today trying to pass off a template I created as their own...please only use these for personal use! I have always wanted to offer on Full of Great Ideas cheap gift ideas and I don't want to charge people for these, so please don't yourself make money off them.
  • Enjoy!!
Here they are all the images that you can download for free. Remember you will have to download each one individually. I don't know how to create a batch download..sorry.

Update: As suggested I have added Home and Bath to the list :)

If you can think of any other four letter words (and not the obvious one ;)), let me know and I can throw together another image.

I think that you could easily give one or two of these as gifts. I  like how you could mix and match them depending on the person you are giving them to. At Costco, 5x7 are under $0.30 to develop, so this would be a very reasonable gift.

Remember I have a long list of free printables here, frugal gift ideas here, and $0 crafts here. Be sure to take a look at them.

What do you think? Do you love the circle in the squares as much as I do?

Is anyone else planning for Christmas yet? My family has agreed to another homemade Christmas, so I am excited to see how we all do with the challenge.

Have a great day!


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