Posts in Stuff I Made
Hello Future Me - Free Printable Cards!

May is Mental Health Awareness month. From depression to anxiety to schizophrenia to PTSD and other mental illnesses, mental health issues affect 1 in 4 people. 

Having positive reminders, little notes that you can hang on your mirror, on the visor of your car, in your wallet, anywhere you can see daily is important. I have just the printables for this occasion! 

Check out the Hello Future Me collection of FREE printables. The first card in the collection is the You Are Totally Awesome card! Each card is 4x4 inches, which prints GREAT on 4x6 photo paper. 

Click here to download the first card.

Keep an eye out for this week's Photoshop Friday, which will feature an instructional video on how to print the Hello Future Me cards on letter sized paper! All of these cards print amazingly on 4x6 photo paper, too! 

Kindness Coin Jar

I was asked to make a little gift for a Relief Society (the LDS women's organization) activity last week. I was given this quote to work with:

"Our small & simple acts of kindness accumulate into a life filled with love and a sense of peace & joy" -M Russell Ballard

I love the idea of our simple acts of kindness accumulating into a life of love, and wanted to do something with the idea of "accumulating" I bought mason jars (in bulk from Walmart), and I created a little tag to wrap around the jar with baker's twine. And you know I used my corner rounder punch. Because I use it on everything. I have two of them, in fact. Okay! Moving on!

The jar can be used to collect coins each time someone in the family provides an act of kindness for someone else (making us consciously seek out more ways to be kind, and recognizing kindness as little things, but love that builds over time). When the jar is filled, the coins can be used for ice cream or some other treat. 

Print This One Out!

I've saved the quote as a 5x7 printable here, which you can download by right-clicking, or just Pin it to your quote board (I know you have one! My quote board is here, btw). 

What the Font?

The font is Fling by Linotype, which you can find right over here at MyFonts.com. Yep, it's a spendy one. But the alts are juuuuuust right to create a look that's modern and feminine without being too flourishy, and best of all it's readable even in a chunk like this. And would you just look at that letter K? Ah. I die from cuteness.

This is one of my top 5 favorite fonts, actually, and one of those I'd recommend investing in if you have the extra funds. You'll turn to it again and again. 

Have a great Monday and I'll see you soon!

xo, -JS


Free Halloween Banner Printable!

Halloween is my favorite time of year! I love decorating my house and yard, and getting dressed up! I love the color scheme too! Orange, black, gray, brown.. the fall colors come together so well.

In honor of October, I created this so-cute Halloween banner using the Chillingsworth Manor kit from Echo Park. It's my favorite Halloween kit. Seriously. 

So I created flag and coffin shapes, and you'll find lots of cute vintage-style ghoulies! The download comes with two .jpg files you can print onto letter-sized photo paper or presentation paper. Cut them out, hang them on baker's twine with little clothespins, or sew them together, or tape them, whatever you like! 

When you're done, take a pic and post it! I'd love to see what you make!

Here's a preview of the banner:

And here's what the pages look like when you download them (these are the low resolution images - be sure to click the download link to get the printables!)

Click here to download the FREE Halloween Printable Banner!

 

Credit goes to Echo Park Paper and their Chillingsworth Manor collection digital kit. Here's a preview of the whole collection. Go grab it today!

This One's for My Sis.

I have a beautiful sister. Her name is Julie. She is one of the most well-read and most sharply intelligent people I know. She served an LDS mission in New York City (speaking Spanish, no less), and has a master's degree in Education Administration. She is teaching at an amazing charter school in AZ called Great Hearts, and I am stinking proud of her

Tolkien is the Man.

She and I have a few things in common, and one of them is an unabashed love for all things Tolkien. I think it's only she that probably beats my record for the most hours spent dived in to the lore and - especially - the language of the Lord of the Rings. The words that Tolkien puts into the mouths of his characters have a bone-deep ring to them that transcends time and distance, and even race (speaking here of hobbits, dwarves, and elves, of course). 

And the girl even got a tattoo in Elvish. So badass. So nerdy. So nerdishly badass, which is even MORE badass than just plain badass. That's right.

And so it was that she told me one of her favorite lines, from a speech given by humble Samwise Gamgee, friend and servant to Frodo, and companion on his long journey. A gardener by trade, he's the stalwart and sturdy and earthy one, and the one who in this case speaks of hope in a gorgeous metaphor.

And so I did what any good Photoshopping sister would, and made her a poster like so, and surprised her with it:

Here's the entire piece from the book:

It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

For me, the most touching part of this, is that of all the amazing lines in that trilogy, this is the one that she chose as her favorite. I won't go into details on her life, of course, but I will say that she's had it rough in a lot of ways.

But she hopes.

She hopes fiercely, like Sam, in the knowledge that future goodness, just like the rising sun, will arrive to banish the current darkness. And when that darkness DOES disappear, how bright the sun will be! 

You can grab this Tolkien quote poster from my Etsy store if you'd like to put one in your own home. It ships flat, and is unframed. 

Your Turn

Do you have a favorite line from The Lord of The Rings? Post it here! You might just see a poster of it! 

Silhouette Stamps!

Okay, when Conrad from Silhouette showed us the new stamp-making product at CHA, I squealed a little. The ability to create my own acrylic stamps in any shape from any font or image? Combine a little Photoshop and a little cutty-cutty and get AWESOME reusable stamps for papercrafts and gifts and decor? YES PLEASE.

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So I started out in Photoshop (of course...), and created a design for both a tag and a label (how COOL is it that you can use any font to write any name for being able to personalize stuff?), and then saved them as .png files. Here's the one you might like a copy of - just click the image below to download the .png file. 

(And just a note here for when you make one of these delicious stamps of your own - any un-joined letters will cut out as little individual fiddly bits you then have to line up on the stamp. Ask me how I know. ;) This is the second design.) 

I traced the design in the Silhouette software, then set to cutting.  Action shot! Now I go refresh my Diet Mt. Dew while I wait.

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I was a little worried that the stamp material wouldn't cut all the way through - but just make sure that you set the blade to 9 as the directions say, AND use the (pretty! see above!) cutting mat that comes with the starter kit, and the design comes out of there like buttah. Another action shot:, with the stamp inked up with VersaMagic Chalk Ink.

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The starter kit comes with a black ink pad, which is actually a nice ink pad and not a crummy little toss-in (not that Silhouette would do that, but you know. Other people might.). The kit also comes with THREE acrylic blocks in different sizes (seriously! these things are like 8 bucks each retail), as well as 3 different sheets of the actual stamping material.

So I stamped the main image on white, and Elliott's name (Thirsty Script in a stamp! Holla!) on a blue-grey, and then used my 2 3/4 inch circle punch and my 3-inch scallop punch to finish off the tag. 

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Silhouette is having a promotion on bundles that include the letter-sized cutting machine (the Portrait) with the Stamping Starter, or the 12x12-sized cutting machine (the Cameo), OR just the Stamp Starter kit. Just enter JESSICA when you check out to receive the awesome discount!

I would LOVE to see what you make with your Silhouette stamps!

Family Motto in Silhouette Vinyl

Hi there!  Happy Tuesday! I want to share a project I created using my Silhouette. 

First off, I make no secret about my undying love for patterned paper. I collect it, and find much of it too pretty to actually cut up. So I have some framed. But I wanted to take this framed patterned paper idea one step further and add some custom artwork above it. Shall we? Let's go!

Silhouette vinyl project by Jessica Sprague

Silhouette vinyl project by Jessica Sprague

Silhouette vinyl project by Jessica Sprague

Silhouette vinyl project by Jessica Sprague

So. One Ikea frame. One gorgeous sheet of patterned paper. Check.

Step 1: Create the Graphic in Photoshop

And the next step is Photoshop. (I can't tell you how many times I have actually said this in my life. The next step is, in so many cases in life, going to Photoshop.)

To create the graphic I wanted something that could be a family motto - something we could see every day and remember, this is us!

I used label sets from tomodachi at Creative Market here and here, as well as the fonts Thirsty Script and LHF Gunslinger Good.  

After I was happy with the graphic, I saved it as a .png file - it looks like this: 

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Cute, right? I hope you like it! You can download this graphic here in a minute if you want to use it! 

Step 2: Trace and Cut

So I opened the .png file in the Silhouette Studio software, and used the Trace function to create the actual cutting lines. Slap some black Silhouette vinyl on the cutting mat, press cut, and go!

Step 3: Transfer and Peel

After cutting, the vinyl needs to be transferred from its backing paper to your project. Now Silhouette has transfer paper - the idea being that you can stick the FRONT of your vinyl onto the transfer paper, peel off the sticky back of the vinyl, and then stick the vinyl to your surface. Kind of a one-two-switch. But I have found for myself that for little cuts like this, it often works just to peel the vinyl (carefully) from its backing and stick it down to the glass, and THEN start working on pulling all the excess away from the cutout. The little fiddly bits stay stuck better, so it's easier to peel the outsides off without disturbing them. 

The peeling off of all the little extra vinyl - especially around the script and the little swirls - was by far the most time-consuming part. But it turned out so GREAT! I'm super happy with it! 

 

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Alright, friend! If you would like to create this (or even just print that quote and frame it), I've included both the .png file and the pre-traced Silhouette cutting file in this download. Grab it! 

Sale & Giveaway! 

Oh, I almost forgot! (Ha! I never did.) I have an awesome giveaway! And a great sale to announce! Here it is! Grab a Silhouette Cameo on sale, and BOGO on vinyl colors. Go now! Use my name and tell them I sent you. ;)

Digital Project Life Class + Digital Project Life Kit Giveaway

EDITED: Contest is CLOSED!

The winner is: Stephanie C! Contact me to claim your prize, and congratulations!

I loved teaching

Digital Project Life in Photoshop

earlier this year, and the feedback we got from participants was tremendous! Everyone from beginners and seasoned Photoshop users, all wanting to learn to use Becky Higgins’ Project Life system in a digital format, loved the class. I am so excited that the class is now available self-paced – meaning you’ll have access to all of the course materials as soon as you purchase and, as all of the classes over at JessicaSprague.com, you have access to them FOREVER. No need to be online at a specific time or complete the class by a specific date – take your time and take the class at your own pace!

In this online, video-based class you’ll learn the basic Photoshop tools to create gorgeous pages in just a few minutes a week that integrate Becky’s digital Project Life templates, photographs, embellishments, and type.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Download and unzip files
  • Open, close, combine, and save images of different types
  • Save pages for both print and the web
  • Use digital templates to speed up your work and create a cohesive look
  • Add embellishments to your pages
  • Insert, arrange, and resize photos
  • Use the Type tool for journaling and titles

And so much more!

The class also includes an exclusive two-piece background that you can use on all of your Digital Project Life pages!

Click here to learn more and to purchase the class (if you win, we’ll give you a refund!)

Today I am so excited to be giving away a spot in the Digital Project Life in Photoshop class and to sweeten the deal, the winner will also receive one full Project Life Edition of their choice fromacdigitals.com. AC Digitals is the home to all of the Becky Higgins Project Life digital products along with some of the most popular brands in the scrapbooking industry - American Crafts, Crate Paper, and Pebbles. 

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. This giveaway will be open until midnight EST on Friday! Good luck!

Teacher Gift Idea - Teacher's Secret Stash

So here it is, the 21st of December, and my kids are getting out of school for the holidays today. No time like the 11th hour (and I do believe it was about 11 p.m. last night that we finished) to get gifts done for their teachers, right? :) I wanted to share this idea with you, and the nice thing is that this idea can be used for any teacher at any time of year. No Christmas/holiday theme needed!

Here’s how they ended up:

First off, I must say that I have been loving mustaches as a design element for several months now. They are cute and quirky and make for a really fun play on words. So I decided on the theme of Stash (of candy, stickers, erasers, etc.) that a teacher could keep either on his/her desk or hidden away.

Many thanks to one of my FAVORITE digital designers, Dani Mogstad, for the supplies from her SO-BEAUTIFUL Snap Happy digital kit.

And here’s the full view of the jar:

The Supply List

Download the Cuteness

First step is to download the images. In the PDF file, you’ll get two images like this:

You’ll also get two .jpg images so you can arrange them on a document for printing multiples. However you’d like to roll. I’ve zipped them all together with a sample photograph.

Click here to download the Teacher’s Secret Stash Printable.

The Recipe

  1. Print each image on to Presentation Paper (not white cardstock) and trim out.
  2. Adhere the circle image to the top of the jar.
  3. Wrap the glitter tape around the neck of the jar.
  4. Add the rhinestones to the tag just above the owl image
  5. Layer the doily, the tag, and the paper star together, with the doily centered behind the tag, and the star in the top right corner of the tag. Punch through all 3 layers. (You may want to add a bit of adhesive to the layers to keep them together.
  6. Wrap the baker’s twine around the jar so that the two ends come together and are facing you. Pull the ends of the twine through the hole in the tag from back to front, then tie in a bow to hold the tag to the jar.
  7. Add the brad through the hole on top of the twine and bend the prongs out to hold the tag to the twine.
  8. Fill the jar with any awesome thing, and prepare to knock the teacher’s socks off!

 Supply Details

I purchased four flat-topped glass jars from A.C. Moore. The brand is Anchor Hocking and they look like this:

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The lids are circular and the sides are flat, which makes the possibilities with this jar pretty endless. I got the 32-oz size, which has a lid size of about 4 1/2 inches across.

Here is the gorgeous Snap Happy digital kit from Dani Mogstad:

I’d love to see anything you make with this!

Have a wonderful Holiday and Happy Friday!

-JS

Project Life Blog Hop!

I am SO EXCITED and honored to be a part of the Project Life Blog hop today! I have had so much fun with Project Life, and as you know I’ve been participating using Becky’s digital version of Project Life, which you can see right here.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about how to use them in Photoshop, I have created a video tutorial right here: Project Life digital - video tutorial!

And don’t forget to stop by Becky’s site for a bunch of new stuff on her Free Stuff page: Becky Higgins’ Free Stuff Page!

And lastly, I am so grateful to be a part of something so special! Leave a comment below to win one of these prizes (chosen specifically as a digi/hybrid Project Lifer!):

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AND:

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I love the new Instagram-sized page protectors, and I LOVE the tall envelope pages for storing memorabilia I’m too lazy to scan for my digi pages. ;)

Here are the other stops on the blog hop!

Ali Edwards: http://aliedwards.com/projects/365-project-life

Cathy Zielske: http://cathyzielske.typepad.com/my_weblog/project-life/

Deb Duty: http://www.debduty.com/search/label/project%20life

Jennifer Woodbury: http://jenniferwoodbury.typepad.com/jennifer/project-life/

Kelly Purkey: http://www.kellypurkey.com/its_me_kp/2012-project-life/

Lindsay Teague Moreno: http://lindsayteague.blogspot.com/search/label/Project%20Life

Liz Tamanaha: http://paisleepress.com/category/project-life/

Marcy Penner: http://www.marcypenner.com/?tag=my-project-life

MaryAnn Perry: http://www.cherisheveryday.com/search/label/project%20life

Michelle Wooderson: http://michellewooderson.blogspot.com/search/label/Project%20Life%202012

Monica McNeill: http://withoutfilters.blogspot.com/search/label/project%20life%202012

Sheri Horton: http://sherimaehorton.blogspot.com/search/label/Project%20Life%202012

Thank you so much for stopping by! Best of luck in your entries! :)

xoxo - J

"But With Joy" Silhouette project

I was asked to create a vinyl project by my good friends over at Silhouette, and of course I agreed in a heartbeat!

I have never done a vinyl-on-mirror project, so I thought that would be a fun one. I also wanted for the project to be inspiring as I looked in the mirror before heading out into the world. I chose a line from one of my favorite hymns, “Come, Come Ye Saints” as the focus for the project and set to work!

I first cut a poppy and the word JOY (both from the Silhouette store) from olive green vinyl, put them on the transfer paper, and transferred them to the mirror. Then I used the Bebas font (from dafont.com) for the rest of the line of the song, which I cut in black. Here is a shot where I am lining up the words getting ready to peel off the backing and then transfer them to the mirror.

Here is the GIANT MESS I made:

And here’s how it turned out!

I will say this: Photographing a mirror is VERY HARD TO DO. Can’t get right on, or then you’d see that I haven’t showered yet today. Can’t shoot inside or you’d just see my living room. So I ended up on the front porch shooting against my red front door, and balancing a piece of white foamcore against my legs. You can see a little peek of my cell phone in the top left corner of this one:

I used a really beautiful chipboard set from My Mind’s Eye’s Follow Your Heart line as accents, here at the top, on the left side, and in the bottom right corner.Here’s a detail of the vinyl lettering:

And the embellishment in the bottom right corner - the big green piece is the poppy vinyl I cut out with the Silhouette. The poppy is a flower with lots of symbolism, in Greek mythology, in Chinese symbolism, in Christianity, and in the remembrance of the end of World War 1. Check out this interesting article :

The chipboard is from the My Mind’s Eye Follow Your Heart collection. The bird here and the flying one above are from an old Pink Paislee / House of 3 set. I used a mini clothespin and some baker’s twine from MME as well.

And to show what it looks like face-on (still haven’t showered - sorry about that):

All in all, it was a GREAT first attempt - I learned that the Silhouette Hook (which looks like a tooth scraper the dentist uses) is invaluable in peeling the negative vinyl away from the cut pieces. And it helped a lot to use scissors to cut the piece down before trying to peel the excess away. It was pretty detailed work with some of the fiddly bits.

I LOVE my new mirror, and I hope you do too! :)

Project Life, Week 20

And here is my project life from week 20! Embellishment from Echo Park, everything else from the Clementine kit and my free journaling cards, which you can download right here!

Project Life, Week Eighteen

Here is my project life from Week Eighteen. Free tutorials for digital Project Life here.

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