Sunday, October 21, 2012

Christmas in October- Your Dog's Paw Print Ornament

I mention my kids all the time on my blog, but have not talked much about the fact we have a dog. Oscar, our little old man of a dog, is the best pet anyone could ever ask for. He loved us and the kids beyond belief and it truly a member of our family. Here is our little old man.
I have looked for years for a way to make an ornament with his paw print and have not found anything that I thought would work well. Oscar is getting old, he turned 10 this year, so I was determined this was the year I would get his paw print so we could have it forever.

Well, when I made the corn starch and baking soda ornaments ( see post with full instructions here ) I had really hoped I could use the same technique to create a paw ornament. I am absolutely overjoyed to share with you that it worked! It worked far better than I had expected.

For the full instructions on how to make the dough, check out the original post here.

There recipe I used for this was:
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups cool water
Once the dough cooled, I rolled out a large circle to be approximately 1/4 inch thick. With the help of my husband, we carefully placed Oscars paw on the dough. Be sure to put the paw down from the top (not coming in from an angle) and press down on all 'toes' gently. Then lift the paw straight back up again.
Oscar has longer hair and I found that this left no residue on his paws. My mistake was I did this paw print right after he came in from running around outside and it appears he had some dirt on his paw. It adds to it :) I then used a scalloped cookie cutter to make the ornament shape and a straw to make the hole to hang the ornament. I made 3 just in case.
I carefully transfer the ornament to a flat plat (be sure it is flat otherwise the ornament will have a curve). I let them dry for 24 hours, carefully flipping them every once and a while.
Once dry, I took the ornaments outside to my spray paint area and carefully sealed them with a clear flat spray finish. I am sure you can use Mod Podge to seal the ornament too, perhaps even glitter Mod Podge.
 
Do 3 or 4 really light coats to prevent the ornament from getting too wet. If you are a little heavy with the spray and it appears the ornament is damp, don't worry it will dry again over the next day or so.
You can write the name and date on the back before or after you seal the ornament. I just used a black Sharpie permanent marker.

Once sealed and dry, add some ribbon or raffia and call it a day!
Isn't it great?!
I am so excited about this. I just keep on thinking of all the uses for this recipe. Obviously a baby hand print ornament would work great but I will be making an amazing idea very soon for all you new parents out there that isn't an ornament!

Do any of you out there love their dog as much as we do?  Anyone else as excited as I am by this ornament idea?

P.S. This is a great gift idea too. I managed to get my mom's dog (Oscar's sibling) and make a couple for her too. If you have the dough ready, you can keep it in the fridge in a sealed bag. Once the pet visits, it only takes a few minutes to make the ornament!

Let me know what you think,
Stephanie

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Christmas in October - Capture a Photo of Santa in front of your Tree for FREE

WARNING: If you have little ones looking over your shoulder or in the near vicinity, come back and read this post later. Be sure to come back because this is AMAZING!!! But be warned there is a potential spoiler that I do not want to be responsible for sharing. 



I am going to leave some space here just in case :)




Just in case my little ones somehow manage to read this: Guys... I will admit it is next to impossible to capture a real photo of Santa in front of our tree because, as we talked about, Santa moves so fast you can't see him. How else does he get all over the world in one evening? So this is just something to make little ones out there smile.

Last year I was lured to a blog by the idea of creating a photo of Santa standing in front of our Christmas tree. I thought it would be amazing to set up a camera with the kids before they went to bed on Christmas Eve to see if we can catch a glimpse of Santa. Well, when I got to the site, all they were doing was providing a link to a site that sells those photos (a digital download) for $10.

I knew it was something I could make myself...but I did not have the time last year before Christmas. So, since I have a couple of months until I need this, I thought I would take a crack at getting Santa in front of out tree. Well 5 minutes later, with very little effort, this is what I produced. Might not hold up the scrutiny of my curios kids as a professionally printed 8x10, but when printed as a 4x6 or viewed on a camera and it is amazing!
This is not my tree. I used a free wallpaper download to make this... I was too lazy to try to find the photos on our other computer.

If my kids do not see this, I plan to take the 'final photo' of our tree on Christmas Eve so that everything will be exactly the same (i.e. mess on the floor :) ) and insert Santa. I will then save the image back onto our digital camera so when the kids come down Christmas morning and look at the images on the camera they will find the one of Santa! The would be so excited...I am so excited right now. How amazing will this be? That is why I am sharing this in October because I just had to get the idea out there for all of you as soon as possible.

Here is exactly how to do this! I do recommend practicing this in advance of when you need it so you won't be disappointed!

Go on the internet and find a free PNG image of Santa.  I found a site that offers one image that works perfectly, so here is the link but I can't guarantee it is a virus free site. Nothing came up with my million virus blockers but just be cautious. This is the image I found by searching for 'santa photo png' , you will find other images too that might fit better. When you find the image you like, right click and select 'save image as'.
Source
The PNG image has a transparent background so you can overlay it on top of your tree image. It is hard to tell which images are transparent when looking at them on the internet (they usually have all white around them), but once you save them, you can see that the background is transparent. See how the Santa png 2 file has no white around it below when I save it on my Desktop? That means it is transparent.
Using Publisher, I created a new image 8x10 image but size doesn't really matter. That is what she said... sorry couldn't help myself I love The Office.

Select 'insert' 'Picture'. Find the background image you want i.e. the photo of your Christmas tree.
Enlarge the photo to be the size of the background so you don't see any white.
 Then insert picture again and insert your Santa png. If Santa appears behind your background image, click on the background and select 'Send Backwards'.
 This is how mine looked. Santa looked like he was floating in the air, so I moved him down, cropped off the bottom of his feet and enlarged him a bit to fit the proportions of the background.
 
 The save the image as a JPEG by selecting 'Save As' andthen select 'JPEG' fro the pull down list.

 Be sure to change the resolution to 'High Quality Printing'
Here is the finished image. I prefer the first image where the background is brighter but this is the one I used to make the tutorial and I didn't want to do it all over again.
You can either print this image at any photo printing location (i.e. Walmart, Costce, etc.) or save it back to your digital camera memory and have the kids find it there.

What do you think? Will you be able to use this?

Is anyone else as excited by this as I am?

Please let me know what you think! I would really love to hear what you think about this.
Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Christmas in October - Free Printable I am Thankful for..

This is one of my all time favorite poems, quotes, whatever you want to call it I love it. I originally made this  piece for myself to hang in my hallway where I see it everyday. If you have never seen this quote before, please take a minute to read it because it really does make you think. (If you click on the image it will open larger in another window)

The timing for me to share this is appropriate for my fellow Canadian's as this weekend is our Thanksgiving. I know most of you reading this aren't even thinking about Thanksgiving yet, but you can always Pin it and come back in a month and a half if you want to use it for Thanksgiving decoration.
I do not know if this will be a Christmas gift that I will give  (perhaps to a couple close friends), but I thought you might like it for a significant other or just for yourself like me.

"I am Thankful" was originally printed in the Family Circle magazine in November of 1999 by Nancy J. Carmody. I have taken her article and changed the order slightly so that 'I am alive' appears at the bottom. I have known about this piece for a while but do not know 100% if the version I have is exactly as she wrote it. To be honest with you, I can't find the original source. Also, there are two different spellings of her name, so please forgive me Nancie/Nancy if I used the wrong one :)

I produced this as an 8x10 image in two different colors. I hate to say this, but please use this only for personal use. I love offering free ideas and cheap gifts to everyone but hate when I stumble upon someone making money off it.

To download the image:

  • leave me a comment :) (not required but I really do love to know what you think)
  • right click on the color 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.
Here is the red image for download

Here is the teal image for download
If you would like another color or one without the box on the top, leave me a comment and I will try my best to make the changes you want.

What do you think of this? Do you think you will use it for Thanksgiving, Christmas gift or just for yourself?

For all my Canadian readers, have wonderful Happy Thanksgiving and for all my other friends, have a great weekend!
Stephanie

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Christmas in October- Free Printable - Be Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken

Over the next couple of weeks I plan to make a lot of framed quotes for Christmas gifts. I really like the idea of finding a quote that matches the person I am giving it to and since I can make these for next to nothing, I plan to add one to almost every gift I give.

I received such amazing feedback from the last image I shared here for Grandmothers, I will share all the others with you as well. You can download them for free (as long as you use them for personal use only) and print them off as gifts too. Frames can be bought at the Dollar Store, so you too can have a gift for under $2!

I found this quote by Oscar Wilde and immediately thought of my nieces and daughter. I remembered when I was young and struggling with who I was and how I should act. So I thought this would be a nice reminder for the girls to be themselves.
Here are the fonts I used in case you would like to find them:
  • Be and Else is Already -  Ashley font
  • Yourself  and Taken- Algerian font
  • Everyone and Oscar Wilde- Rosewood Std Regular
I created this with Publisher as both a 5x7 and an 8x10 image. I think I will give the girls 5x7s to my nieces so they can put it their bedrooms without it seeming too large, but since I made both sized I thought I would share both options.

Here is the 5x7

 Here is the 8x10

To download the image:
  • leave me a comment :) (not required but I really do love to know what you think)
  • right click on the size 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 one Christmas gift off your list.
UPDATE: I have added a few images with more masculine colors below in case any of you want this for nephews or sons or it just fits your decor better.
5x7 images


8x10 images
 

I would love your feedback about what you think of this and who you would like to give it to. If you would like other colors, leave me a comment and I can see what I can throw together?

How is your Christmas planning coming along? I am working towards a home made gift Christmas and am loving it!

Have a great day!
Stephanie

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