Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Goods

I will start by saying I am self taught and am still learning and experimenting... But for right now this is what I use

Program? I use Adobe Photoshop 8.0

Computer? A Mac PowerBook G4, which is new to me this week. My hubby conned me into swapping with him over the weekend. I think I actually like this one better, the screen is bigger and the monitor is more true to color than my macbook. Although I just realized it doesn't have the cool camera built in. The girls and I have had a BLAST photographing ourselves with it!!! I should also mention that I use a double screen. I have a flat screen that is hooked to the laptop that I use when working at the desk. I have been able to set it to match the colors that are printing... a big help!!!

Printer? Konica Minolta magicolor 5450 It is a color laser and I LOVE it... now. When hubby first brought it home I wanted to send it back. What I didn't know when we got it was that color laser printers use CYMK colors... Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black. Every last one of my designs were done using RGB colors and let me tell you, they are NOT the same. Nothing printed out the color it was supposed to and a lot of it looked rubbed off. This is because laser printers are VERY picky about their paper. They like really silky, smooth paper that is made especially for laser printers... go figure!!! Now that I have those 2 things figured out I absolutely LOVE it!! But if anyone knows by chance why the print menu is in Spanish I would really like to be enlightened!!!

Paper cutter?
Fiskars Rotary Paper Trimmer My beloved paper cutter. I started with a hand held and have graduated to this. It is so easy!! There are measurements all over it. The blades last a really long time and the protective cutting strip is a cube so it has 4 sides. I have discovered a little trick with it... The blade does not cut exactly in the center so each side can be used twice. When the groove gets too deep I just turn it around before flipping it to a new side. I LOVE how reusable it is. It is really well made, nice and sturdy after 2 years of hard use!!!

Laminator? Pro-Lam 100 by Akiles This laminator is fairly new. It is much more heavy duty than the one I was using. Using 10mil pouches limits the type of laminator. I burned my very first one up because I didn't know the thickness of the pouch would make a difference. It was made to handle up to 7mil. I didn't realize this and burned it up in 4 months. A little research lead me to purchase something that would handle the extra thickness. My second laminator has now been moved to emergency status only. Although it could laminate the larger size pouches it was not made to JUST laminate the heavier duty pouches. When I started having trouble with it after a year I figured something a little more heavy duty would be better.

Any Questions? Did I forget to cover anything? If I missed something you are curious about just let me know!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The About Me post... I know you all have been wondering!!

I'm Kori, the wife of "That Guy" and mother of Gigi and Moe.
We live in rural Indiana in an old farm house... life is interesting!!

For as long as I can remember I have liked making things. I had an old bluish green "Make it book". It had been my mother's when she was a child. I would sit for hours flipping through the pages and making things.... Yarn dolls were one of my favorites. I also remember having an old metal sewing machine. It was a really little and had a hand crank. I don't remember what I made with it, but I do recall sitting on the floor in front of an end table and "sewing" when I was about 4. At 9 I joined 4-H. I had a lamb and was in cake decorating. Neither were what I had expected so I did not repeat them the next year. Instead I began raising pigs and sewing!! I absolutely LOVED raising the pigs and hope my girls will desire to do so when they are older!! Learning to sew was one of the best things that I have ever done!!! It is one of my greatest pleasures... I can do without food if I have a good sewing project.

Another blessing in this area was my Grandmother. She is a master seamstress and crafter. I would spend weeks of my summer break with her and LOVE every minute. Her machine had all kinds of fancy stitches and she always found the cutest buttons. She also taught me the love of crafting. She is mainly a tole painter but she can do ANYTHING. We made little boxes out of old Christmas cards, bread dough roses from a loaf of bread and tacky glue, painted little plaques, she let me try everything. Those weeks with her instilled in me a love and appreciation for Hand Made items.

My paper career began while I was in high school. I worked for a man I knew from church at his printing company. I never actually applied to have a job, he needed help one afternoon on an especially large project and two years later I was still showing up each afternoon. I did a lot of collating, copying and shrink wrapping. It was a GREAT first job. Thinking back, I really did learn a lot while I was there. Thanks Desert Printers for the experience.

I went to college at Milligan in East Tennessee and majored in Elementary Education. The only thing I liked more than crafting was kids. I found that with kids I could still use my craftiness. I never ended up with my own classroom. I found a great career with the YMCA in their after school programs. I was able to use both my teaching skills and love of crafts with the Y kids. I am forever grateful for my YMCA experiences and friends!!!

My love of paper and craftiness paid off when I was able to make my own wedding invitations...sans kit!!! I scoured the internet for lavender card stock and opaque vellum paper. I purchased my first rotary cutter and oval hole punch. I cut each one, deckled the edges of the vellum, punched 2 holes at the top and added a ribbon. I made all the little cards also. It sure saved a lot of money, but they took forever!!!

I made my first set of luggage tags as a gift. I had been given 3 as a baby gift and had tried to purchase some, but found that I could only buy them over the internet and couldn't find a shop locally. When I explained this to my husband, he said... "Why can't you make them?" Well because I don't have the little pouches and loops and I wouldn't know where to find them. I was a lot less internet savvy back then!!! He then informed me that he had a laminator upstairs and he thought it came with some. What???? My mom then also informed me that she thought I could buy the pouches and loops at the local office supply store. Really???? I had NEVER even heard of these and they were at the local office supply store?!?! I whipped up a couple of cards and fired up the laminator. They came out so cute!!! I have since learned, through trial and error, about laminators, paper, film thickness and quality. You see all laminating pouches are NOT created equally and neither are the loops that attach them to your luggage. (I will post later about the products and equipment I use.) I began giving my bag tags to all my friends as baby gifts and I began getting questions and requests. My husband suggested I sell them. Hmmm... ok... and where would I do that??? He suggested I check Ebay... Really??? Oh my goodness they do sell them there!!! So I tried my hand at it and well I don't sell there anymore but my business is going strong almost 3 years later!!! I have learned a lot in that time and am continuing to do so. For the most part it has been a lot of fun. I am so thankful for my customers and hope everyone has a great experience!!! I also want to thank all of those friends and family who were so supportive in the beginning. Several sent me lists of possible names or design ideas. You all ROCK!!