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!


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