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Friday, 12 October 2012

A day off

Today I haven't had time to think about what I want to post, so I am taking a day off. The rules of Blogtoberfest say I have to post every day - but not that I have say anything interesting - so that's me done for today folks!

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Back to school

Today I am going to start a course 'Support work in Schools'. Like a lot of Mums I would love to get a job in a school, I am hoping this course may help with that. Apparently I get homework to do - I haven't done any homework since I left school at 18!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Editing Photos

When selling online the only thing the customer has to go on is the photos so it is very important that I show my items in the best way possible. Sellers can spend hours achieving a good photo, I want to find a compromise where my photos are acceptable but don't take too long to process. Time taken on processing photos all eats into the profit margin and as my margin is already low I needed to find a simple solution to good photos and an attractive shop front.

I choose two free online photo applications to help me Picmonkey and Fotofuze

When taking photos of the items, I use a white background, take a few and decide which ones to use.

I alter them in Picmonkey . It is quick and easy, just a couple of steps

First (unless you have got the camera angle perfect) straighten your picture by clicking on rotate and moving the circle on the bar until you are happy. I also crop (if necessary) at this stage.



Next I adjust the exposure by clicking Auto adjust. I then play about a bit moving the Brightness and Highlights bars slightly until I get the look I want


I do the above steps on all my photos. The main one I then go on to edit in Fotofuze. I use the magic highlighter and the smallest circle and start to highlight around the edge of the object, once you start to do this it will automatically fill in the item for you. Click finish when this has been done and download the completed photo to your pc.


These are the photos of the stages (sorry but I forgot to keep a copy before I straighten it - but you get the idea)

original

pic monkey

Fotofuze

I hope this is helpful to you, it also happens to be my first tutorial (-:

Enjoy and have fun playing with your photos.











Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sock Monkeys

Tomorrow is my craft club day at the library and I plan to attempt to make a pirate sock money to go in the story sack. In a spooky coincidence I was browsing the folksy forums and found a competition to win a sock monkey hosted by Jemigo if you would like to enter please visit her blog.

This is my second post today, does that mean I can miss a day in the blogtoberfest?

more doodling

My doodle pen arrived and it made the world of difference. I have been enjoying doodling, I do it when I have a spare 10 mins to fill. It really is a very relaxing way to take a bit of time out and if like me you are not fussed how they turn out it can be done very quickly. The professional artists that do this will take time to make sure that their lines are straight and uniform, me I have no patience for drawing and if I spent ages on it, it would take the enjoyment away, so I just slap a bit of ink onto the paper and see how it goes.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Stupidity and Cuteness

Yesterday I was so embarrassed, Little Mr and I popped into town and parked on the multi-storey as we always do. Little Mr likes to park on the top level so we can look out of the high windows and he gets to press the buttons in the lift. On exiting the car park the ticket machine told me 'time has expired' (you get 15 minutes to leave the park after you have paid), I knew we had not been longer than that so kept putting the ticket in, believing the machine had made a mistake. Then it suddenly dawned on me - I had not paid!! Cue one very embarrassed women driver having to reverse out of the exit lane, park up again, pay and sheepishly leave hoping no one recognised me.




Later in the day as it was lovely weather we went over to the Sea Life Centre. They had some rescued baby seals in that were waiting to be released back to the sea, they were so cute.




Little Mr also got a medal as he touched a star fish and crab in the dipping pool

   (which is currently lost but when it turns up I will put the picture up)




Friday, 5 October 2012

Doodle do

I have been practising my doodling, it is not going well, the ink bleeds on the paper. I am hoping the new pen I have ordered will resolve this if not it must be the paper I am using. I can't afford the proper paper right now so fingers crossed the pen will help.  Little Mr has been doodling as well so I will show his instead of my awful efforts.

House and Apple Tree - Age 5
Pirate Ship - Age 5


Thursday, 4 October 2012

My new book



This arrived in the post yesterday Totally Tangled. I love to doodle shapes (not that I am any good) I just find it relaxing, at first I was disappointed when I opened the parcel, the book cost me nearly £10 which is quite a lot of money for someone on a tight budget. For this money I would expected a bigger book (it is quite small and thin). However I am pleased with the contents, it shows instructions with clear diagrams on how to do lots of zentangles. I have now ordered a pen and hope to get started soon.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The white stuff

Normally when I get the weekly shop I buy our milk in a large carton , but this week I needed it in 1 pint cartons. Why?......all will be revealed  in a later post.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Making a Story Sack

I have joined a craft group at my local library which has been set up for parents to make their own Storysack.  A storysack is a bag (I have used a pillowcase) which contains a book and items which relate to that book, you can put in anything in you like but the official sacks contain

A large sack/bag
Story Book
Non- fiction book relating to the theme
CD of the story
Soft toy(s) relating to the story
Game / Activities based on the book
Scenery or back drop for the story
An “idea card” with ideas for parents to develop their
children’s listening, reading and writing skills
An artifact (something that is related to the story but not a character)

The book I have chosen is The Night Pirates as little Mr loves pirates, I cheated slightly as I brought the version which has a CD with it, the others in the group will be lent a voice recorder to record their own CD. You do not have to join a group to make one, it can be done at home but the advantage of the group is I get to use the facilities ( I borrowed some fabric pens to decorate the sack). The group lasts 10 weeks so I will keep you updated on my progress as we go along.

So far I have made the sack

I traced the pictures, coloured with fabric pens and paints then appliqued the wording on. I decided not to put the name of the book on the outside so the book can be changed at a later date if little Mr gets fed up with it.

Bye for now see you tomorrow.









Monday, 1 October 2012

Blogtoberfest - Day 1


I have just found that that this month there is something called Blogtoberfest where you pledge to blog everyday in October. This will be an achievement for me as it means 31 posts whereas my blog to date only has 27! However I like a challenge and it means I can get a nice shiny button to put on my blog. As I have only just discovered this I am afraid I don't have much to say but will be back tomorrow, I probably won't have much to say then either but I have committed now, so I will give it a go.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Love it or hate it....

....Samphire


I love it, the short season is nearly ended so this will be the last I get this year. One year I will try to make something 'posh' with it but I am just as happy eating it with vinegar and fresh bread. I keep trying to get little Mr to taste it but being a fussy eater its is just not happening, shame as it is full of iron so quite good for you.

I decided that I would try to pickle some, not having a clue how to do this a quick google search revealed some answers, however many of the recipes said to soak in brine as you do when pickling onions. I did not see why as the plant lives in salt water so ignored this part. I let it soak in cold water for a few hours then just cooked it in spiced pickling vinegar for 2 mins and put it in the jars. It was still hot when I put it in the jars and as I wanted to try to keep it firm and not go too soft, I stood the jars in some cold water for a bit.

I do not have clue how it will turn out and won't know for a month or two until it is ready. The good thing about keeping a blog is, if it works I will be able to refer back next year to see what I done, and if it doesn't work I can try something different next year.

Monday, 27 August 2012

getting there

I read somewhere that to have a successful blog you need to post three times a week. I don't think that's ever going to happen but I will try for at least once week. I have been busing making stock ready for when I open my folksy shop. I plan to open after son is back at school beginning of September.

These are my latest bottle top creations, ready to be made into either necklace, magnets or brooches. I was also thinking of adding one to a key-chain for a keyring.

I have set up a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/heartsandcupcakes but not got to grips with it yet. I much prefer to blog, I never know what to say on Facebook. Even worse is my twitter account which must think I have forgotten about it.

Bye for now, off to make a start on a seasonal decoration (don't want to say the c word its way too early)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A whole year had passed.........

Since I last blogged.  I am now hoping to set up my little shop on Folksy again and try to make some sales, this time I am prepared to put more effort into making those sales and thought I would share these experiences on my blog. Originally I was going to delete all the old posts so I could start again but I have just spent time reading through them and decided they will stay, not least because people had taken up their time to leave me some comments which was lovely and to delete them would be an insult.

The first job I have done is made a new banner for my shop

It may not look much but I am quite proud of the fact I did it. I used picmonkey and gimp Picmonkey is a great alternative to picnik, which unfortunately no longer exists and Gimp is a free alternative to photoshop. If you are a computer novice I recommend picnik, it is easy to use, Gimp is more complicated but with a lot of goggling what I wanted to do, I managed ok. I intend to learn how to use gimp better as it looks like it could be a great tool. I cannot claim I did the drawing of the artwork and background (I am not that clever) but even the putting of everything together was a big achievement for me (-:

It might have been easier for me to pay someone to do my banner for me, but by just purchasing the artwork it means I can use it again and re-format it in a different size to fit on my blog etc.

The background was from crooked little pixel and the cupcake came from an extremely helpful seller decorartist. If you are thinking of updating your banner please visit their shops you will find some wonderful artwork available.

I am sure the above banner will change as I enjoyed doing it and will tweak it in the future when I have more time.

Bye for now I will try not to leave it so long next time.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

RIP whale

Just an update on my last post. The whale has now been moved, they cut it up and took it away to an undisclosed tip. Poor thing, not a very dignified end, there were also reports in the paper of people kicking it and walking over it, even though it was dead you could tell it had once been a beautiful creature, people should have more respect.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Just a quick post to wish everyone Happy New Year. Personally I was in bed before 12 (think its my age) or the fact I have to get up early with a 4 year old.

New years eve day we went to see something that I am sure I will never get the chance to see again. A 55ft sperm whale had washed up on a beach local to us, it is believed it died of natural causes in the sea a while ago and has just washed up here. It had been there since Christmas eve so was starting to smell a bit so we didn't hang around long but at least I can say I saw it.

Later we watched the Sunset



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