Free Download: Happily Ever After Card

Free Happily Ever After Cut File for Project Life or Scrapbook from Natalie Parker

I designed a Happily Ever After card to go with my scrapbook layout celebrating our wedding date.  I spiffed up the file and have it here today for you as a free download!

The card is a cut file you can use in Silhouette Studio or other program that accepts SVG files.  It looks great on a traditional scrapbook layout (if I do say so myself), but it’s also sized to fit in a 3×4-inch pocket page such as Project Life.

Download away and celebrate the happily ever after moments in your life!

Download the Happily Ever After Card for Silhouette Studio
Download the Happily Ever After Card in SVG

Hat tip to Cat Scrap Fever for instructions on converting .studio to .svg.  This was my first time trying it so let me know if the .svg doesn’t work.

Free Happily Ever After Cut File for Project Life or Scrapbook from Natalie Parker

Photo Printer Care

Photo Printer Care by Natalie Parker

My photo printer and I decided to have artistic differences again.  I was going to call them irreconcilable differences but we have reconciled and I’m not divorcing it at this time.

Along the way to solving this issue, I learned a thing or two about photo printer care.  Read on!

The short version

I need to use my photo printer once a week and if I don’t have anything to print, I need to print a test page.  I also need a good print backup in case I can’t use my printer.  Ordering prints at a drugstore is not good enough.

The Long Version

Due to my current creativity issues, a lot of time passed without printing any photos.  I lost track of time and didn’t realize how long it had been until I wanted to print our anniversary photo.

I was worried.  I knew from experience a couple years ago (albeit with a cheaper printer) that when I left the country for 2 weeks and didn’t use it, something happened and it wouldn’t print properly.

Sure enough, after a few weeks of nonuse, the anniversary photo had lines on it.  Noooo!  I replaced a low cartridge and cleaned the ink heads several times.  After each time I printed a smaller version of the picture.  It got better, but not 100%.  At one point, the lines went away but then it printed blurrier than the one with the lines!

Trying not to panic, I took the printer to an authorized repair shop.  He took a look at it and said he couldn’t find anything wrong with it — it was in great shape.  It was as fun as thinking there’s something wrong with you but the doctor not being able to find anything.  He told me to run a couple more cleaning cycles.

So I went home and cleaned it again.  After a couple more cycles (I think 10 total by this time) it WORKED!

The guy at the shop told me that long periods of nonuse can cause the print heads to dry.  He recommended printing something often to prevent this.

Trying Prints at Walgreens via Snapfish

In the middle of this, I really wanted to finish the anniversary page.  So before it was fixed, I used Snapfish to send the photo to my local Walgreens (hoping for instant gratification).  Not so much.  The color was off and the quality was noticeably poor.

Download a Test Page for Your Printer

I made a PDF to print once a week if I don’t have anything else to print.  The printer guy told me to print something that will use each of the cartridges.  Many printers come with four cartridges (CMYK – cyan, magenta, yellow, black).  My Espon printer has those plus a red and orange.

download a CMYK test page 
download an Epson, 8-cartridge test page

So, if you order prints, whom do you order from?  What should I use as a backup service?

Photo Printer Care by Natalie Parker

Scrapbook Layout: Home from the Honeymoon

Honeymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHoneymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHoneymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: Our first night home after our Honeymoon.  Read the Picture Story here.

Another Wedding Layout not in the Wedding Scrapbook: By the time I finished scrapbooking our honeymoon in the wedding scrapbook, I was d-o-n-e.  I knew I wanted to tell this story but saved it for another time.  It’s sort of a “return to regular life” layout and that story is better told here in our “regular life” scrapbook.

Inspiration: This layout by Geralyn Sy (original post here).  The photos I worked with weren’t of great quality, and I like how the borders of patterned paper really popped them.

Hand-Drawn Hawaii: Well, more like traced (method here), but I was going for a hand-drawn look.  At the last minute, I added the dashes by hand to make it look Indiana Jones-esque.

Honeymoon Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Klinic Slab Bold | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos), Silhouette SD (headline) | Supplies: American Crafts/Amy Tangerine/Get Around, American Crafts/Chap/Mike, Crate Paper/Storyteller/ Tomorrow, Webster’s Pages/Clean & Simple/Sunday Picnic/Poppy Fields (papers) | Ephemera: none.

Picture Story: Leftover Wine

Picture Story by Natalie Parker

After several hours of traveling we were finally home.

Wait.

After several months of feverish wedding planning, deciding to change jobs a month before the wedding, making all of our favors, decorations, and playlists, welcoming our family to town, having a rehearsal, getting ready, getting married, having a reception, dancing, late night hot dog run, up early the next morning, on a flight to Hawaii, checking out volcanoes, having a little beach time, taking a boat tour, going out to dinner, looking at the stars, hiking on the coast, trying to figure out where to return the rental car, back through security, back on planes, shuttle to the parking lot, in the car, Mr. P deciding at the last minute to carry me inside, we were finally home.  Exhausted.

After so much happening, it was peaceful to be home in the quiet.  Together.

We came home to find out parents had hung up leftover flowers to dry, stacked leftover wine in the garage, put leftover wedding cake in the fridge, and stacked our gifts and leftover favors nicely in the living room.  As orderly as anything could have been.

And so, on our first night of married life finally home, we popped open some leftover wine from the reception, curled up on the couch, and tucked into some KFC we picked up on the way home.

Sometimes you just need popcorn chicken.  Sometimes that’s just about perfect.

Picture Story is a new feature where I take a picture from an upcoming layout and tell its story.  Stay tuned for the layout featuring this story.  

My New Blog Design

Hi, my name is . . .  new blog design.  If you are visiting from yonder lands such as blog readers or email, click over to my homepage to check it out.

I’m not finished yet, but I’m launching anyway.  If I waited until everything was perfect, I’m sure life would get in the way.  I’ll keep you updated as new things are added — I have some really exciting plans to showcase content and make finding things much easier.

Organized Categories

Check out the new category list on the right sidebar (click through to the homepage to see it).  I rejiggered the categories and recategorized all 400+ posts.

How this was Designed

All I’ve ever wanted was a very simple clean blog design and I’m really happy that it’s here!  I used the Blog Design Love 2.0 course as an impetus and jumping off point, but coded many of the things you see here myself.  I’ll be writing up a review of the course and my thoughts on coding very soon.

Plans for Future Content

My tagline at the top now incorporates travel.  Incidentally, writing a tagline is hard if you want something other than “I write about stuff.”

This is still primarily going to be a memory keeping and crafty blog.  However, I want my writing to be a creative outlet in and of itself rather than simply writing about a creative outlet.  I enjoy writing the travel posts.  When I enjoy the writing, the writing is better.

Travel has become a big part of my life since I started blogging.  Back then, I had just left the country for the first time.  I’ve spent a lot of time searching for other people’s insights en route to becoming a world traveler so I will pay it forward.

New bloggers are always admonished: “stick to your niche!!”  Just like I scrapbook the way I want to, I’m going to break the rules a bit and inch outside my niche.  You’ll see me adding a couple more personal things, especially if you follow me on social media.  This is not a personal blog, but I haven’t sorted out exactly what the future is.  It will continue to evolve.

If you have comments or there is something you’d like to see more of, I’m all ears!  Or eyes, rather, given that this is on a screen.

Away we go!

scrapbook layout: eighth anniversary

Anniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerAnniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerAnniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerAnniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Another year for us has passed and it’s time for me to make a new scrapbook layout to remember the day we were married.

The Story: Every anniversary we take a picture and I make a new layout to go in the wedding scrapbook.  More on the process here.  I include the business card for where we ate dinner plus a small bit of writing about the day.

Getting the Perfect Photo: I was smart this year and tried to break reminded myself how to use the tripod the night before.  The best photo of us had a guy running through it on the side of the frame.  I removed him by clipping out a piece from one of the other photos.

Guest Book Cards, Remembering those who have Left Us: Every year, I choose one of the messages our friends and family wrote to us on our wedding day and include it in the new layout.  In the last couple of years, I’ve chosen the card from someone who has since passed away.  It hasn’t been that long since our wedding day and I’m struck by how quickly people can leave us and how quickly time marches on.  I’m glad I can record something from them.

Previously: See layouts for anniversaries one through six here and number seven here.

Anniversary Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

For more information on the rest of the book and supplies, visit my Wedding Scrapbook Page

Fonts: Garamond | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photo), Silhouette SD (headline) | Supplies: Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos), DCWV Silver & Pearl Shimmer Stock, SEI White Elegance Tiara | Keepsakes Included: Restaurant business card, guest book card.

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my new notebook

Covered Notebook by Natalie ParkerCovered Notebook by Natalie Parker

Inspired by Elise’s action book, I purchased a new notebook to keep track of my creative ideas and tasks.  I used to keep ideas for this blog scattered in a bunch of documents and notepads.  My scrapbook sketches were usually done on scratch paper and post-it notes.  Then I would lose things.

I bought a Blueline Business Notebook, which has dividers so I can keep sections on my blog, scrapbook, and other items.  The book has grid paper inside, which is great for making lists and drawings.  As you know, I can’t draw a straight line so I passed on blank page books. I’ve been using it off and on for a few weeks.

Realizing that I’m more likely to use it if it’s pretty-looking, I covered it with some fuzzy paper from Paper Source (no longer in stock) that I had in my stash. I used the same notebook covering method described in this post.

Sort of.  I took a detour.

Since I had been talking about how great Avery glue sticks are, I thought shouldn’t I be able to save time and just use a glue stick for this project?  Wrong.  Just for you, dear readers, I took one for the team and tested it using a glue stick.  It just didn’t do a great job of holding the paper firmly around the sides.  No matter, I was able to fix it by adding Mod Podge (like I was supposed to!) and all is well.

Results so far?  The book is holding up very well and I love having all of my notes in one place!

Covered Notebook by Natalie Parker