DIY Matchbox Business Card Holder

[pinit] Make a Matchbook business card holder @savedbyloves[pinit]

In preparation for SNAP! 2013, my very first blogging conference, it was time to update my business cards.  I haven't gotten new ones since before Pinterest, and lots has changed here at SBLC since then.  Of course with new cards comes the need for a spiffy business card holder.  It needed to protect the cards, but more importantly, it need to be handmade and super cute.

Craft blog business card design

So here are the new cards.  I used this QR code generator, which quickly and easily (and for free) created a downloadable graphic that I opened in Photoshop and added to my design.  I ordered the high gloss cards from Vistaprint.

Saved By Love Creations Business Cards

Here they are close up.

 Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Matchbook Set

To make them, I cut the matchbooks (using  Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Matchbook Set) from grunge paper that I covered on both sides with scrapbook paper (adhered with Glossy Accents).

Mod Podge Satin

I coated the entire inside, outside and edges with Mod Podge satin finish to seal.  Let dry 3o minutes and applied 2nd coat, which I let dry overnight.

Make a Matchbook business card holder @savedbyloves

I punched a hole through the bottom flap and back cover on both sides for ribbon placement.

Make a Matchbook business card holder @savedbyloves

I put the ribbon through the holes and wrapped around the bottom flap and back, tying a knot on the left side (which is hidden under the flower).  I glued the flower in place with Fabri-Tac (it is like hot glue in a bottle, but not hot).

The cards slide under the bottom flap, and the top flap slides over the cards and under the bottom flap.

Make a Matchbook business card holder @savedbyloves

For the text, I stamped onto a tag with archival black ink, using my rolling alphabet stamp.  I inked the edges of the tag with broken china and  antique linen distress ink pads using the ink blending tool.

PRODUCTS USED:

Nrelate Plugin Review

When I was asked to write about nrelate, I jumped at the chance, as I have been quite pleased with this plugin for a number of reasons.  If you don't know what nrelate does, it is a related posts plugin (displays thumbnails of related content under current post). I started using it here at SBLC several months back as a way to get more of my content in front of interested eyes, and to monetize in a non-obtrusive way. The plugin is super easy to set up.  I love that I can customize the thumbnails to fit my post layout, the posts that it pulls to show as thumbnails are relevant, my pageviews have increased by 10% since adding it, and I have the option to monetize by displaying a sponsored thumbnail. Nrelate is SEO friendly (doesn't redirect to nelate's site as many other related post plugins do), you can include thumbnails from your blog roll or your other sites, and they will help you install and style the plug-in if need be. I am a fan of the fact that you can exclude categories from showing up by checking a box - handy for past giveaways or sponsored posts that you don't necessarily want to display. I recommend this plugin to anyone wanting to increase pageviews and add a new revenue source.  Nrelate is available as a WordPress plugin as well as a Blogger Gadget. Click for nrelate Blogger install Click for nrelate WordPress install   ***Disclosure:  I received payment for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are authentically mine.

Flowers You Can Make and How to Have Fabulous Blog Post Photo Layout

Organza flowers

Since getting my new iPhone, I am a photo snapping fool. How fun is Instagram, by the way.  Best photo app ever. 

Paper Flowers

These flowers come from Hobby Lobby, and a wonderful craft store in St. Pete called Whim-So-Doodle. I am going way more in depth about this jewel of a shop in a future post, where I will show you a Tim Holtz tissue tape make and take I got to photograph.

 

Flower embellishment

With the gorgeous spring weather stretch we are enjoying here in the mid west, some flower inspiration seemed like the perfect thing to share. Aren't these gorgeous? You can totally make them (and then send them to me, if you would like, or whatever).

 

Flower embellishment

Are you thinking to yourself, "How did she get her photos in those cool overlays?"? I have been dying to post about Pugly Pixel for the past month. If you don't know about this awesome blog, you are in for a treat. Katrina shares her love for photography and design in the form of beautiful blog post photos, tons of graphic elements for you to make your blog pop, photoshop tutorials you can easily follow, and much more. There are many freebies (including the photo overlays you asked about above, in the post you are reading right now), photoshop brushes/shapes, blog post photo layouts... I could go on and on, but just go there. There is a membership option that is very reasonable. I purchased a blog bling package, which is what I used in my recent blog design makeover that many of you have complimented. Katrina truly shares what she loves, so you will find posts that lead you to other great design finds and tips. Grab some coffee and get comfy. I get lost in her posts every time I visit.

  Flower embellishment

My favorite download from Pugley Pixel has been the blog photo post layouts, which are available both free and for purchase. I have been using a couple of the free sets to style my posts, and I LOVE them. The templates are fully customizable (PSD layers), allowing  you to drop your photos in various collage windows, and add text and label shapes easily,for interesting, modern, clean post layouts everytime.  If that sounds intimidating to you, take comfort in the fact that Katrina walks you through how to use her downloads, in detailed screencasts.

 Not only do I love the design of my articles, but the time saved by using the templates is significant. Love... yes, love.

 Here is a photo from the first time I used the templates...

Blog post photo tips

Check out this example from Pugley Pixel using her freebie photo layout found here.

Make your posts look great

There are a million more things I want to show you from this site. I just found new brushes for enumerating your pictures that I must download now, so you are on your own to explore Pugley Pixel. See you there.

Thank you so much for your beautiful graphics and information, Katrina!

{Guest Post} Dollar Tree Spring Decor Project

 
spring

TODAY LAUNCHES A WEEK OF GUEST POSTS HERE AT SBLC! 

I am so excited to introduce

to you Debbie from Debbiedoos's.  Check out her great projects, her Monday Newbie Party,

blogging tutorials and more.  Today she is sharing a dollar store spring decor project.

Take it away Debbie!

Happy Spring! I know not officially here yet, but it is in my house.
Thought I would share a Spring craft, that I whipped up in a few minutes.
All from dollar tree items,and of course a can of spray paint.
I used my new favorite color Blue ocean breeze.
I spray painted my white canvas.
What you will need:
Easter grass
Spring Easter Foam cut outs  {dollar tree}
Foam eggs {dollar tree}
Faux Spring flower {dollar tree}
First I glued my grass on the board, both with craft glue, and my handy dandy glue gun.
I added my foam eggs with a dab of hot glue.
Then I glued my foam chickie..
Topped it off with my fun faux orange flower..
How C A Y U T E!
{ I say that often don't I?}
I am all about budget friendly cute crafts.
If you are looking for Candace Olson designs...oops sorry you made a wrong turn.
HOWEVER, if HGTV would like to give me my own show, and a pocket full of money...
I will give Candace a run!
My cutsie did not stop there.  I filled the apothocary jar up with some grass, another faux flower and some foam eggs...
Tied the top with some dollar tree ribbon!
Say it again with me... C A Y U T E!
I also bought the pretty fun paper napkins for the bathroom at the dollar tree.  They are not really for the bathroom, but hey why not?
For the record my painted Giani counter top is holding up great! You may see that project here, if you missed it.
Today I am guest posting over at Johnnie, from Saved by love creations.
I thank you Johnnie for this opportunity to share with your wonderful friends and readers.
Photobucket

TIP: Improve Your Photos With Photoshop Filter

Improve you blog photos While taking in your favorite projects from your fellow craft bloggers, do you sometimes feel like the photos you see are above and beyond what you are capable of with your current camera and lens?  I have felt that way for awhile.  With the massive amount of photos I see daily as pins, I decided it was time to take action.  But what kind? I am not a photographer.  I know very little.  I bought a DSLR when I got serious about blogging, and have never manually adjusted anything.  For close ups, I turn the dial to the macro flower icon, for portraits, the face silhouette.  That was all I needed for awhile.  Now my blog is my baby, and I want to make it beautiful.  The standard lens set that comes with my particular DSLR takes great shots, but I notice blur when I zoom in using Photoshop for a close ups of my jewelry and other projects.  From my research, I deduced I needed to buy a macro lens... not cheap.  I decided to stop in my local camera shop and ask someone more knowledgeable what they recommend.  That is when I learned this about the Photoshop high pass filter. Digital camera sensors and lenses blur the photo.  They just do.  The effect is negligible to many, but when you want that perfect shot with pristine detail to grab your reader's eye, it is significant. You can easily resharpen using the high pass filter if you have Photoshop. Here is an image I shot on my DLSR's macro setting in my lightbox, before and after correcting the blur with the high pass filter. Take Better Jewelry PhotosPretty big difference for a few simple editing steps.  According to the camera guy, this fix can be more profound than a high end lens. It is easy as pie.  Just duplicate your background layer in Photoshop, then follow the steps below. Sharpening your images This works best if you shoot in RAW vs. shooting in jpg, as there is more information in the RAW file, so more detail to work with when sharpening.  Most DSLRs have the option to shoot in RAW or jpg.  Shooting RAW with take up more space on your card, and requires software capable of handling the file type (which Photoshop is).  From what I have read, even if you don't shoot RAW, you can still see improvement with this filter.Craft blog photo tips I am impressed with the difference and no longer feel the need to invest in a new lens.  Yay!  Thank you camera guy. What are your favorite photo editing tricks? If you want to learn more about this filter, and other sharpening methods, check out this informative guide to image sharpening at Cambridge in Colour.

My Blogger to WordPress Transfer Experience

Transferring from blogger to wordpress Deciding to move is a big deal.  Especially if you have been blogging for awhile, and are a bit obsessive.  I am not going to lie, I have been known to be high maintenance at times.  I am huge into DIY and take pride in that fact that there is not much I can't figure out, with a little diligence and a lot of google.  I had contemplated moving from Blogger to WP for some time, and figured I would just do it myself.  That is until I began researching the process and all of the issues that can arise, such as loss of followers, posts, pictures, permalinks... oh my. About the time the process of tackling this myself began to seem overwhelming, I ran across Blogelina's transfer service.  She happened to be hosting a twitter chat that very evening on the topic of transferring from Blogger to WP.  How timely! [Read more...]

Announcing: The Blogger Networking Twitter Party!

Blogelina had such great success with our Blogger to WordPress Transfer Twitter Party, that we’ve decided to host another party!  The party is scheduled forThursday, June 23rd, from 9-10pm EST – and you’re invited!  We’ve got a lot of great prizes and a lot of fun lined upkeep reading for more details: I am honored to be featuring, as my co-host for this Twitter Party, Angie , the blogger behind Many Little Blessings and creator of the Connections Network! [Read more...]

SBLC Moving to WordPress

I almost feel I would rather move to a different home than move to WordPress.  I am a wee bit scared.  Mainly because I am not a fan of change, and... oh yeah, I have no idea what I am doing.  So, I have that going for me.  Yikes. Why am I moving from Blogger to WordPress?  I am delighted that you asked.  The short answer is that a very successful blog mentor of mine told me to.  I have learned that if you want what someone else has, you have the best chance of getting it if you do what they did.  Brilliant, I know.  Considering her advice (after I got past the "No way, not ever" phase), I dug in and educated myself on the advantages of packing up and moving.  I have read several posts on this topic, and I attended a twitter chat last evening by Blogelina. While I have not experience with WP as of yet, here are the factors that convinced me: [Read more...]

Crafty Hippo Designs Free Blog Makeover; Hurry!

Did you see my post from last week, the one where I threw my hands up and cried out to the blogosphere... "HELP"? I was in the midst of attempting to turn a design I made in photoshop into my actual website. Yeah, it was humbling and frustrating - next time I will reach out for help sooner. Really, I was just venting, I certainly didn't expect what happened as a result of my post...

Jeannette over at Crafty Hippo Designs left me a comment saying maybe she could help. A few emails and a couple of days later, I had my new design, just the way I wanted it. It turns out Jeannette is launching her design services business, and was looking for some sites to revamp for FREE to build her portfolio. How cool is that? The stars aligned, we connected, and I am thrilled with my new design. I will be asking for help more often!

She was a pleasure to work with, very accommodating, thorough and quick. You need to head over to her site and jump on this chance to have your blog redone for FREE. She is only taking two more, so hurry up now. No WordPress at this time, just Blogger. Sign up to follow her new blog and help spread the word. She does great work, and even if it is too late for a freebie, I have a feeling she will be quite reasonable.



Crafty Blogger Frustrated With HTML


I share this with you to explain why things look differently here at Saved By Love Creations, to bring you a jackpot resource I encountered, and to let you talented html gurus out there know that I would love to trade services with you. Seriously. Go to my Artfire store. Will craft for code. Just sayin'.

It turns out I am clueless somewhat lacking in the area of html. I know exactly what I want my site to look like, and am having a heck of a time describing it to the template editor. It just doesn't get me, you know?? Being the DIYer that I am, I have been resistant to hire my site's design, but after yesterday's futile coding session... oh, who am I kidding? It has become a thing. I must succeed (unless my the above offer gets some bites, that is).

I have been on an internet scavenger hunt through all of this. I must share with you this impressive resource I have found; Daily Blogging Tips. When I started blogging a year ago, I really didn't have goals in terms of income, subscribers, traffic and the like. I was a frequent flyer on several inspiring DIY crafty sites, and decided it would be cool to contribute to the idea sharing. In no way was I aware of the monetization opportunities available to anyone willing to put in some time and effort. While I don't have capital to invest at the moment, I do have the commodity of time, a raging craft addiction, and a love for graphic design (coding, not so much).
After investing several years of my life and energy on a path to a career I never wanted (a story for another post), I am still finding my way. In the meantime, I may as well step things up a bit. Daily Blogging tips (DBT) details exactly how to do so. Here, Daniel shares the lessons he has learned since he started blogging and developing websites in 2005. He is generous with what he knows, and presents the information in very practical terms for bloggers of any level to benefit. Today, DBT is among Technorati's 500 top blogs in the world. I am not surprised in the least.

While this was a nice respite from the whole blogger template fiasco that started this post, it is back to the ring for another round. In case you missed it, I am very much open to swapping skills.