September 13, 2011

I am so excited for the new Silhouette Studio Designer Edition, but it, like the Cameo, will be on my Christmas wish list. I must be patient. Hopefully this will be a hint enough to my husband. Thankfully my birthday and Christmas are both not too far away!

I wanted to introduce you to a new site for buying shapes for your Silhouette (they sell shapes in .DXF version which you can use in the regular Silhouette Studio!) It's got fabulous designs and if you go friend them on Facebook and sign up for their newsletter you can get free shapes today. Head on over to their new site to check out some beautiful shapes: iDIECUT.com

September 8, 2011

I just closed the giveaway and ran the numbers through the Random Integer Generator at Random.org. The winner is #3 COLLEEN! Congratulations Colleen I'll be in touch with you shortly!

Colleen's recommendations for kits were:
One Sweet Summer Kit:

 Wish I Were A Fish Kit:


Do you want to get My Memory Suite? You can still use my discount code for $10 off your purchase and a $10 coupon for kits after you buy.

DISCOUNT CODE $10 off + $10 Product

Of course there's more! For those of you who can't wait, or who don't win, My Memories has given me a coupon code so that you can all save money on this program. Enter the code below to save $10 off your purchase of My Memories Suite as well as a $10 coupon for MyMemories.com store so you can immediately purchase a kit, embellishments, or quick pages and get going with your new program!

My Memories Coupon Code: STMMMS53416
I spent a long time searching for curtains that would be perfect for my living and dining room. An extremely long time. First I had to decide what colors I liked, then what style, then what length. We have a vaulted ceiling in the living room and a wall full of windows. Because of the orientation of that room and the tall windows I would often find myself closing the blinds to prevent glare on my eyes only to realize that it was coming through the upper window and they needed to be covered too. Of course, that meant I needed to get 4 curtains that were 108" long!

BEFORE: 
(Here is my house on any given real day - no staging for blog photos.)

Without Curtains

Without Curtains

But wait, I also wanted to do curtains to match in the dining room. So add on 5 more 84" curtains.

I wanted these or these at Pottery Barn (of course I love the expensive ones) - but the $900 total made me gag. There was no way. I could make something similar for a fraction of that cost.

WHAT I WANTED:

Pottery Barn Drapes I wanted

I searched all sorts of different companies for just the right look of silk. Faux silk of course. There were few options that had 108" long drapes and none that met my price tag. I gave up looking.

Then I found these Cindy Crawford curtains at JC Penny. I thought the ivory ones would work great and the price was awesome (at the time they came out to just under $200). BUT when I got them in my house I knew it was all wrong. The ivory was too yellow, the fabric was too light and they just looked terrible. But I still really liked the style.

WHAT I TRIED:

Cindy Crawford Drapes I tried

Then I realized I could buy cheap faux silk curtains in the longest length possible and combine the Pottery Barn and Cindy Crawford looks. I bought these curtains in bone & slate blue from K-Mart. Then I got to work. I measured, I cut, I was ready. It took months years to get them done. First, I left the table to go to the bathroom, and in 2 minutes my son cut right into one of the curtains. Right in the middle, right where I could not save it. Agh. I had to pick up a new curtain. Then, I forgot my measurements, then I had a baby. So finally nearly two years later I finished the curtains!!!! Total cost, just over $200! (Made me want to go back to Bed Bath and Beyond and tell the guy who told me I couldn't get THAT many curtains for under $400 to take a look.) Tutorial to come!!! By the way - this is the first time you're seeing my new couches! I LOVE THEM!

WHAT I MADE:

 Curtains I Made

Curtains I Made

Curtains I Made

Curtains I Made

(Close up of the Pintucks - you can see that I kept the linings the same colors so if it flipped forward it looked right.)
Pintucks on Curtains

Linking this up to The CSI Project's Knock-Off Party and Today's Creative Blog's Get Your Craft On Link Party
Visit thecsiproject.com Todays Creative Blog


September 7, 2011

Don't forget to enter the My Memory Suite Giveaway. It closes THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th at 10pm!

I have both a niece and a nephew that turn 8 this year and I was so excited to finally have a chance to make some "Baptism Towels". I had seen this idea a few years ago, but I didn't have an embroidery machine then. Now I do. I looked up all sorts of ideas for the towels, but then fell in love with this CTR appliqué. For those of you not familiar with the LDS term "CTR" it is a primary song and motif that stands for "Choose the Right". I decided to combine the appliqué with an embroidery of their name to personalize the towels.

I blanked out the last name for their privacy, of course.

I used pink and red for my niece:

CTR Baptism Towel Girl

CTR Baptism Towel Girl

CTR Baptism Towel Girl

Then for my nephew, I used greens and browns:

CTR Baptism Towel Boy

CTR Baptism Towel Boy

CTR Baptism Towel Boy

I love how both of these turned out. It was super easy to make, and my niece, jumped for joy when she realized that this was the towel she would use right after getting all wet from being baptized!

Greater still than watching her jump for joy was watching her, all dressed in white, get baptized and become clean and a member of God's Kingdom!

September 1, 2011

You all know that I love designing all sorts of fun things. I use Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator on a regular basis. I love the programs. I use them a lot of  BUT with these heavy duty programs there is more than just the cost to your wallet. These programs require knowledge, experience, and have a steep learning curve. The thing is, while these are great programs they are not an EASY transition for someone moving from Paper Scrapbooking to Digital.

Recently My Memories contacted me about their software My Memory Suite and asked me to try it out and share my opinions with you. I let them know my terms: complete and sometimes brutal honesty, which perhaps meant I may not even recommend their product. They wanted my honesty, so I decided to give it a shot.

MY MEMORY SUITE
(Scroll Down for Giveaway Rules and a Discount Code)

So what is My Memory Suite? It is a Digital Scrapbooking Software, designed specifically to make scrapbooking on your computer as easy as it can be. You've heard about scrapbooking - gluing, cutting and piecing papers, doodads, and photos all together to make beautiful artwork out of your memories. It's fun, and cute, but it requires time, space, and storage room. I do actually make a few pages here and there. But I really like digital scrapbooking. It's easy on the computer, takes up way less space and can be just as adorable.



Download and installation went smoothly. I also immediately got two of their Digital Scrapbook Kits (set of paper, titles, embellishments, etc. that all coordinate). I have a lot of kits already from other sites and was pleased to learn I could use them in their software still.

I sat down and got to work. First I tried my hand at designing my very own pages:

Regular Pages Made in My Memory Suite

Then I tried out a quick page:

Quick Pages Made in My Memory Suite

Lastly, just to show you what else you can do with this software I decided to make a personalized birthday kit (cards, banner, and buttons). Imagine the possibilities here:

Birthday Kit Pages Made in My Memory Suite

All of this was very easy to make, took me little time with my little experience, and turned out looking really good!

Here are the things I really like:
  • I don't have to search for and place items like in Photoshop, but in the left sidebar I can go to the file I want to for photos, embellishments, paper, and with a double click add it to the page.
  • Many FREE scrapbook kits, quick pages, and layouts are available within the program as well as many more reasonably priced kits.
  • Ease of use. You do have to learn the program, but things are named well (and would make sense to scrapbookers as well as designers) and easy to remember. I've used the program only a handful of times, and feel like I have a great handle on it.
  • Everything is created in an album, which you can easily output to various media. You can just convert the pages to .jpg images, print directly from the program, save to various media types, and even create an album.
  • Each page has trim area guides so that your images don't get cut when the pages are cut and so that they are actually visible on the page, not hidden in the binding. 
  • You can do a double page layout and mirror the first page!
  • I REALLY like that when you buy a kit you can also download the regular version of it to use for photoshop or other software programs.
  • There are quite a few photo editing options for brightening, changing colors and cropping.

Of course, there are a few things I dislike: 
  • My least favorite thing about the program is that once you purchase a kit, embellishment or paper from My Memories you still have to download, and then install it. For those of you with the Silhouette cutting machine, that are used to Silhouette doing that automatically for you, it is a drawback. In one way it is good though: the more work for me the less money I spend! Ha ha.
  • I had a hard time figuring out where installed items were located within the program. For example, Quick Pages are installed as Embellishments and the entire kit is not grouped together anywhere (which I wish it was). The papers from the kit are ALL grouped, the embellishments are too, but not the entire Kit.
  • I really dislike the HELP site for their software. It is not directly searchable (as in, you can't just type in a word to search for it) but instead you rely on their alphabetic division of subjects to guide you through. I had a hard time searching for answers and sometimes figured out the answer myself.
  • Quick pages were a little tricky. The photo doesn't just drop into the square. You have to size it and layer it yourself. But it's still quick considering that is the only work you have to do.

Even there are a few things I dislike about the program I still REALLY LIKE it! You wouldn't be reading this post otherwise. I am pleased to tell you all I will use it and I really do feel that I will actually get around to the scrapbooking with a program like this, instead of having a whole bunch of adorable kits sitting in a file waiting for me to unzip them still.

MY MEMORY SUITE GIVEAWAY

My Memories wants to give one of my readers a copy of  My Memory Suite! That's a $40 value!

How to enter:

1. Check out the Digital Kits and Layouts at My Memories and come back here and tell me which one(s) you like best.

For extra entries: 
1. Follow My Memories on Facebook, Twitter, or their Blog and come back and leave another comment.
2. Follow Maggie Muggins Designs here or on Pinterest and leave another comment.
3. Blog, Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway and leave one more comment.
(*Please make sure that for each additional entry you leave a separate comment.)

Open until 10pm September 8th!

DISCOUNT CODE $10 off + $10 Product

Of course there's more! For those of you who can't wait, or who don't win, My Memories has given me a coupon code so that you can all save money on this program. Enter the code below to save $10 off your purchase of My Memories Suite as well as a $10 coupon for MyMemories.com store so you can immediately purchase a kit, embellishments, or quick pages and get going with your new program!

My Memories Coupon Code: STMMMS53416


*While I do benefit from this post the opinions in this post are completely and 100% mine.*