20 February 2014

Disney Party Invites

I recently began helping a friend plan her Disney themed birthday party. Being adult, as we are, we started to plan things out about 5 months in advance. When you're on a budget it's important to plan early, purchase piece by piece and have a clear vision.

The first step was to decide on the invitations. While thinking about our options, I considered the fact that my husband and I created our own wedding invitations on Microsoft Excel and they came out great! We had so many compliments and they fit our theme perfectly, so why not explore some homemade ideas?

I remember seeing something some time back on a wedding blog where a couple used Disneyland Fastpasses as their seating cards. I went in search and found them available on Etsy, but when I saw the prices I almost had a heart attack! $60 for 40 Fastpasses... and these were just the PDFs, mind you. This did not include the paper and the color ink to print them out. Outrageous!!! So I did the next thing anyone in my shoes would do, search online for a free template. To my dismay... nothing.

Although my thoughts of doing this easily and pain free seemed far off, I was pretty confident in my skills to pull this idea off on my own. First thing I needed was a few pictures of the Fastpasses available at Disneyland (and even maybe a few from Disney World - since there are so many more there), so I did a simple Google Image search for Disneyland Fastpass.
It took me awhile to comb through the possibilities, but I saved all the clean, usable images that I could find. I opened my favorite free online photo editor Pixlr (also available in a Chrome App) and selected one of the saved images to begin. 
I first needed to crop out the unwanted black areas (some of the images included fingers and/or backgrounds they were photographed on). You can do this using the crop feature or in some cases the eraser tool.
I then chose an image size I wanted to work with. Since all the images I downloaded would be different sizes, I knew it was important to pick one (I decided on the original size of the first image I worked with- which was 280x465). You can do this by selecting IMAGE from the top left of the horizontal menu and them selecting IMAGE SIZE from the drop down menu.
Once I did this I knew it was important to find the right fonts to make it look as legitimate as possible. If you do not have a lot of fonts installed on your computer, this might be a harder process than what I experienced. To do this, I opened the text tool and began typing in the info I needed next to the existing text. 
I then scrolled through my options until I found the desired font. (It may not be right on, but just get as close as you can.) Below are the fonts I chose to use for mine.

Once I decided on my fonts, I removed the rows of the words that were originally printed on the images and replaced them with the invite information. This was to insure proper set up and placement of the information. I wanted it to look as close to the original as possible. (In the following picture, I chose to just replace the word "Return" with the word "Arrive" in order to keep it as close to the original as I could. Also, remember to select BACKGROUND under the LAYERS box on the right when erasing things from the original image.)
I repeated this process for each line until I was satisfied.
Once I completed the first Fastpass I saved it like 20 times to make sure I really saved it. Then I used the crop tool to crop out the information. This will be used for the rest of the Fastpasses.
Once you've cropped as much as you desire, just double click in the center of your selection and save it under another name, such as "PARTY INFO."
Next, open up the remaining fast passes one by one, crop and resize to your preferred size.
Erase all the info you are going to replace. I used the eraser tool, but if you have a pass with a background color other than white, use the dropper to obtain the correct color, then use the brush tool to simply paint over the unwanted text.
On a few I had to use the eye dropper tool to color match and then use the brush tool to blend some edges. 
Next, select FILE from the horizontal menu and then select OPEN IMAGE from the drop down menu. Select the picture file with the Invitation Information. 
Once you do this there will be 2 images available to manipulate. (Note: When working/adjusting/altering an image, make sure you select the image you want to work with by clicking on the top title bar of that image. When you do this, the information in the boxes on the right will change to match that item.)
Go ahead and make sure the info image is currently highlighted. Select EDIT from the horizontal menu and then SELECT ALL from the drop down menu.
Select EDIT again from the horizontal menu and then select COPY from the drop down menu. This means that you have selected all of that image and now want to copy everything you have selected.
Next, highlight the Fastpass you are currently working on (you will know you have highlighted the correct image by the info displayed in the boxes at the right of your screen). Select EDIT from the horizontal menu and then select PASTE from the drop down menu.
All we need to do now is adjust and touch up. Use the move tool to move the info into the desired place on the Fastpass. This is why it is so important to maintain the same size for every Fastpass. This will ensure that your info will fit perfectly into each and every Fastpass you make.
Repeat as many times as you seem fit!!! I'm sure there are others ways to accomplish this without so much work, but this is just how I personally chose to do it. I'm not a computer whiz and I can't afford special programs, but I work with what I have. I think they turned out pretty good though. Check them out! (I've blacked out some information of course.)

04 November 2013

Our Libray and Living Room

So... I feel like I've finished the library and the living room for now. There are still some things I would love to do differently, but when money is scarce and you have to get creative, I feel like I've done a pretty good job. As far as the library goes, the wreath was my own creation and the flowers in the vase... well, that's actually the bouquet from my wedding (also my creation). The Ojeda sign was a handmade wedding gift from my Maid of Honor and the wine bottles stored on the bottom shelf in the corner are notes of love and encouragement from our friends and family who attended our wedding. There are 5 bottles: one to break open and read for each of our first five anniversaries. The cross was also a wedding gift from a friend of my handsome groom. My plan was to build pallet shelving into the wall, but when we actually got to work, we discovered that the walls crumbled with every nail. We just didn't want to chance adding any weighted pressure to them. I had planned to stain them with the same homemade stain I used on the fireplace mantle. Perhaps one day I'll be able to build a free standing shelf that matches the measurements of this wall. I do plan to accomplish that one day... you know, AFTER we finish the floors and walls and everything else we haven't gotten to yet that are far more important than building some shelving. This library area also houses Nathan's electric piano and a storage bench. It's nice to have a place to lounge and sing while he tickles the "ivories."

The fireplace is a complete remodel. Painted, sanded, stained. The free standing heater was an awesome gift from the awesome Katherine Wiggins, a good friend of mine. That was one of the most useful gifts we've received. The flowers in the center of the mantle were discounted finds at JoAnn Fabrics and they are placed in an antique tea pot left behind by the previous tenants. The owl was a Ross find and the picture frame was a honeymoon purchase. The coffee table was a discounted model from Mor Furniture Discount. It had some dents and dings, but they only added character to it. The tv stand was a sale item from Cost Plus World Market and the flame less candles throughout were all from our wedding. The Word art were all cheap finds from Ross as well as the tea cups baskets sitting on the coffee table. The couches are hand-me-downs and covered with some inexpensive slip covers from Anna's Linens. Overall, we didn't spend much on the redo for these two rooms, but I think it turned out quite alright.
And this is my favorite thing! My sister Jeanette made this to serve as our guest book for the wedding. It's fun and beautiful and I love it!! You can check out some of her art at http://www.jftfeather.com  !!