Tiny Tip: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500 word essay

We spent the better part of a year trying to decide on a paint color for the house. And once we finally settled on one, I really didn’t want to lose the paint chip swatch for fear of needing to start over.

I stuck it on my bulletin board in the kitchen, but that was a little useless when I was anywhere else. Like when the paint contractor called to confirm my color choice and I wasn’t at home. I was 99.999 percent I knew the number and name, but he was going to order buckets and buckets of paint, so I needed to know for sure.

To not have that happen again, I snapped a photo of that and now it’s in my phone forever. I’m not using it to match colors (the photo isn’t really color correct) – I just need to be able to clearly see the name and numbers. I’ve done the same with specialty light bulbs (make sure to turn the bulb so that numbers and letters are visible in the photo).

Tiny Tip: Make Matching Art Accessories

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500 word essay

I have this super cute shower curtain that I purchased at Ikea (sorry – no link, it’s no longer being offered).

Shower curtain for matching art

They had matching towels, but no wall artwork was available.

So I made my own.

I took a good, clear closeup photo of two of the fish on the curtain. And then I cleaned them up in Adobe Photoshop and auto traced the result in Adobe Illustrator. I changed the colors to be more vibrant, added a border and border background color and printed it as an oversize color print.

I have the luxury of working where I have access to an oversize color printer, but Staples/Kinkos/etc. will print these in the $1.99 to $9.99 range depending on size and paper stock.

I dropped it into a inexpensive frame (from Ikea, of course) and now  my bathroom is a one-of-a-kind designer masterpiece. And when I change shower curtains, I can make new matching artwork.

I’m only suggesting this for personal use, of course. I’m not a lawyer, but I’d guess that if you tried to sell an item created this way, you’d likely be violating every copyright law there is.

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Tiny Tip: Design cards with the envelope in mind

A trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

If you are creating cards or invitations, it’s helpful to know the sizes of standard envelopes so that once you have finished all that hard work, it’s possible to actually mail them.

You could, of course, create your own envelope, but if you are doing invitations or a mass of thank you cards after an event, you’ll probably want to stick to the sizes easiest to find at the stores.

One other quick card size tip – you’ll also want to consider the size of the sheet of paper you are printing them on. One of my favorite sizes is the A2 insert size – at 4.25 x 5.5, you can get four out of a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper (or two if they fold over).

Web Wednesday: June 14, 2017

Editing Auto-Complete Addresses, Weather Forecasting and Space Station Sightings

  • Every time we have a change of staff at work I have to look this up to remember how to stop Mac OS Mail from using an old auto-complete entry in email. It occurs to me I might not be the only one who needs a refresher course.
  • Seems to me that the mainstream weather websites  are more panic and hype (not to mention pop-up ads) than actual weather. This one just gives you the data and you get to play weatherman.
  • A super nerdy thing we enjoy at SuzerSpace is watching the skies for the International Space Station. It’s a tiny, really really fast moving speck of light in the sky. Check here for a date and time near you.

None of the links in this post are affiliate; they are all just interesting things that caught my eye.

Teeny Tiny Tip: Marker Storage

A trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

With absolutely no scientific proof to back up my claims, this week’s tip is about marker storage.

I keep my markers in a glass jar, tip side down. The glass jar part isn’t important, we just generate a lot of them from pickles/mayo/hot peppers.

The tip-side-down part is the key here. My theory is this keeps the tip in contact with the ink and lets it last longer.

The Interwebs appear to be split into the “tip down” and “horizontal” camps among the marker fanatics.

Horizontal doesn’t work for me because I don’t have enough drawer space in my craft area.

Does anyone have enough drawer space in their craft area?

 

Teeny Tiny Tip: Visually Reinforce a New Habit

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

I’ve reached that age where my doctor is aggressively encouraging me (as in threatening me with lab tests) to take a Calcium supplement.

I’m apparently also at that age where it’s getting harder to take on new habits, in that I failed to remember to take it 3 times in the first 5 days.

Mr. SuzerSpace came up with the trick of putting the bottle in front of the cereal boxes in the cabinet.

MEGA BIG DISCLAIMER TIME: This would be a terrible idea if we had children in the house.

I’m supposed to take it with food, and literally having the bottle in front of me when I go to make my breakfast has given me a 30-day no fail record so far.

Teeny Tiny Tip: Better Buns

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

Low-carb life has it’s challenges.

Take hamburger buns. They aren’t very good for you – white flour is pretty much persona non grata in a Type-2 Diabetes household.

The special low-carb versions? Not very much taste, super expensive and when you read the label, not really impressively better for you.

We swapped to Whole Wheat English Muffins. Technically, because we like the Trader Joe’s brand (not a paid endorsement – just our favorite), they are called “British Muffins”.

The nutrition* is better where it counts.

Whole Wheat muffins have better nutrition than standard hamburger buns.
Nutrition info from Myfitnesspal.com

And they are more flexible – if you have a surplus of hamburger buns in the house, your choices are pretty much hamburgers. If you have a surplus of British Muffins, you can always use them for as a base for quick pizzas, sandwiches or, I suppose, breakfast.

 

*I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. You should never take advice from a paper crafter without consulting an actual professional.

Nerd Tip: Exporting A DXF File

Use Adobe Illustrator to create DXF files for cutting with Silhouette Studio

This week’s tip isn’t tiny (it has a lot of photos) and I’m classifying it as a nerd edition in that it will only appeal to a small segment of the world – crafters who use Adobe Illustrator and Silhouette Studio software. 

The basic version of Silhouette Studio cannot open or import a native file from Adobe Illustrator (those files that end in “.ai”). Or an EPS file. Or a SVG file, or a PDF file.

You’d need to upgrade to one of the paid versions to be able to do that. And there is nothing wrong with that – the upgrade versions also come with other features.

BUT…

If you already have Illustrator, you can export your files as a DXF file and you can open those in the basic Silhouette Studio version.

And it’s easy. I’m on a Mac, so your screens may look different if you are not.

In Silhouette Studio

First off, there is a change you need to make in Silhouette Studio to make this work as expected.

Under Silhouette Studio (the very left corner of the screen) choose Preferences.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

And on the far right side of the screen the Preferences choices will appear – choose Import Options

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

When the panel expands down, make sure “As Is” is selected. If “Fit to Page” is selected, then the artwork will always scale when imported. Nobody has time for that.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

You only need to do this once.

In Adobe Illustrator

Open or create your file in Illustrator. Save your file as an Illustrator file so you have it to go back to later. Convert all your type to outlines, and flatten all your layers. And then, under File, choose Export > Export As…  and a dialog window will show up.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

In the Format box at the bottom, choose AutoCad Interchange File (dxf)

The next box that pops up I just click OK. I don’t really know what these items mean, but I’ve never changed anything and it always works. One day, one of my files won’t open and then I’ll learn what these options are and I’ll create a new post.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio
I don’t change any settings here – I don’t know what they do

And you are set!

These files can be opened or imported in the basic version of Silhouette Studio.

 

Teeny Tiny Tip: Orange Cubes

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

At work, we somehow wandered down a conversational path that took us from fruits we don’t like to eat (canned fruit cocktail) to fruits that are good frozen, and most of the ideas offered were ones I already knew.

Someone threw out the idea of frozen orange slices in drinks for the summer.

It was late on Friday afternoon. I was already looking forward to Happy Hour. Suddenly I couldn’t hear anything else anymore because frozen orange cubes in a cocktail just sounded amazing.

Repeated testing throughout the weekend proved that to be correct.

Two tips:

  1. Remove as much of the white part of the orange as possible (it gets weird when frozen). Supreming them is an option; I just peeled them very close.
  2. Separate the slices slightly when freezing so they don’t form a frozen orange ball.