Monday, January 31, 2011

Design Your Own Cross Stitch Pattern in Photoshop

I got this crazy idea that I wanted to relearn how to cross stitch. The last time I tried my hand at cross stitch I was about eight years old, so it only made sense that I would not only try cross stitch again but I would also design my own pattern in Photoshop.

I search Google and found this site and I tweaked their directions so it would work for me.

Original Photograph. I deleted the background.

Step 1: Click Filter-->Pixelate-->Mosaic
I set my cell size to 80 for this image. You need to play around and decide what works best for you.

Step 2:  Click Image-->Adust-->Posterize  
Play with the different values to decide what looks best for you. The higher the number the more colors of floss you will have.

Step 3: Open up a new file that is the same width as your cell size in Step 1.
With a transparent background and using your pencil tool set to 1 pixel draw across the top and down the left side.

In Photoshop Elements I am able to save this as a pattern. 
Press <ctrl>A to select all. Click Edit-->Define Pattern.

Step 4: Go back to your original image. Select all --> Edit --> Fill Selection
Select Pattern from the and then select your pattern that you created in Step 3. 
This will create a grid on top of your image. 

I converted my image to black and white and then I added a blue hue because I thought it would be easier for me to see the color variations. Because my image was small I split the image up into quadrants and printed them out individually. I then hand numbered each square with the corresponding floss color. I know there has to be an easier way, but I haven't figured it out (yet!)

My finished portrait came out so tiny. It was to, shall we say, tedious to take up cross stitch and work on the size 18 aida cloth.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Do You Hear That?

Do you hear that? It sounds like... angels singing.

For two nights in a row my baby girl has slept THROUGH THE NIGHT! I feel like a completely normal person right now.

I would like to take a moment and thank those who made this possible:
Sleep Sack - We couldn't have done this without you!
The Baby Jesus - He heard my prayers!
Mom - For the light bulb moment on why she isn't sleeping.
Hilary - For listening to my whining, sleep-deprived hysterics.
Jayna - For all that tough love!

Special mention goes out to my son who had to endure all the screaming while he tried to get a good night sleep and to my dog Roma who faithfully got up with me every night to help out.

Joann Fabrics must have also heard my plea because fleece is on sale for $3/yard right now so I am ready to make a dresser full of sleep sacks.

Life is good.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Water Boarding Is For Sissies

This baby has been trained in acts of torture.  Her speciality - sleep deprivation. I think in the 16 months that she has been on this earth I have had a combined total of 20 days I have been able to sleep through the night.

I have always nursed her on demand but now we are trying to cut it down to 3 to 4 times a day and no more at night. She is strong though and is giving me a run for my money. We think she might be cold too but after having a serious scare with a space heater in the kid's room I went out today and got a sleep sack for her. I know I could sew one for a lot cheaper but I am desperate people. I don't have the brain cells to cut out a pattern, let alone bust out the sewing machine. 

Really my son has it the worst since they share a bedroom. He has figured out that he fits comfortably in our king sized bed and escapes the screaming when he can't take it anymore.

Wish us luck tonight. I am afraid to see what other tactics this little one may have up her sleeve.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Second Book Ideas

So I haven't exactly finished writing my first craft book but in true Sarah fashion I have already started thinking about my next idea. I want it to be a craft book all about babies and kids. Not really crafts for the kids to do, but stuff to make for them - blankets, room decor, toys, etc.

Laying in bed last night I thought about using the word virgin in the title. Something like Virgin Cocktails and Crafts for the Non-virgin. That seemed like maybe, just maybe, it crossed some line so then I thought - Cocktails and Crafts - Baby and Kid Edition but that sounded like we were going to be serving drinks to babies and kids and is a little boring. 

I want the book to give you a peek at my sense of humor but I don't want to offend anyone. Maybe I need accept that I can't make everyone happy and have to decide if I want a little shock or mass appeal.

Do you have any suggestions for a title? If I use your title you will for sure get a mention in the book and a free copy - you know... when I actually have it written and published.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baking With Kids

Today I am watching my friend's two girls. When faced with cold weather and four kids, ages five, three, three and one, what better activity is there than cooking! Wow - two cookie posts in a row. Really not all that surprising since I can't say no to a cookie to save my life (or waistline).

There was a lot of counting and turn-taking to mix all the ingredients for our oatmeal-dark chocolate M&Ms - walnut bars.


I love Little Man's face in this picture. It looks like he is doing an impression of Popeye.

Baby  Girl couldn't be left out!
She added all the crumbs on the counter and then tried to stir - so freakin' cute!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Cookie Date

While Baby Girl was taking a nap today I thought it would be a good time to bake some cookies with my son. Anyone that knows me well knows that I am covered in baking wounds that all revolve around hot pans and apparently this is a genetic trait I am passing on to my son. I don't mean to make light of any injury but since he is doing fine and barely shed a tear I thought I would recap the events for you.
Testing the sugar - yup it is good!

The more serious side of cooking making

Patiently waiting

First cookie picked out of the batch

cookie bliss
So this is where it gets a little sad. After the last pan was pulled out of the oven he ran over to the counter, jumped on his chair and proceeded to put his chin on the hot pan! Have no fear, two cookies later and we were all better.
Baking injury

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baldy Baby Hat - Crochet Pattern

Tired of everyone asking you when your baby is going to grow some hair? I have the product for you!

This free crochet pattern will cover your baby's bald head with thick locks of yarn. This pattern works up incredibly fast and I hope your family gets as many laughs as mine did.

Your baby can go from this:

To this:

Creative Commons License
Baldy Baby Hat by Sarah Boccolucci is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Love this free pattern? Consider donating via PayPal so I can keep 'em coming.

Next American Crafter Contest

I am not one to enter giveaways or contests very often but I thought this was a cute idea and some of the blogs I follow have signed up to judge.

Button Redo

I used my yarn snowball tutorial for my first entry. Fingers crossed!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Facebook Archive

Did you know that you can download your complete Facebook account and save it? I love this because I am bad about filling out baby books and journals but good at posting important events in my status.

To get your file click:
Account Settings
Download Your Information

You will get an email and then you will have to fill in your password and then identify some of your friends in their pictures - so I hope you know all your friends well enough to complete that step!

You then get a zipped file with EVERYTHING you have posted in Facebook, I kid you not!

Now the question is what do I do with all this data? Any suggestions?


Friday, January 7, 2011

Cocktails and Crafts - Embossed Cards

Last night my friends and I attempted to emboss cards and drink Brandy Alexanders. We were successful at the drink and did manage to produce some descent looking cards.

Brandy Alexander Recipe:
1 1/2 oz brandy
1 oz dark creme de cacao
1 oz half and half
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

I thought these tasted just like a White Russian and would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Be careful - they do go down easily!

My goal is to add the embossed card instructions to my Cocktails and Crafts book so I am not going to go into great detail here, but here is the gist:

Stamp card stock with ink, sprinkle with embossing powder and then hit it with the embossing gun. It is oddly satisfying to watch the powder transform to the glossy finish under the heat.

I hit this one a little too long with the heat gun but still liked the effect.
If you are looking for a quick craft to fit in during your kid's nap this is it!

This is how I found my son when everyone was getting ready to leave. He had snuck out of bed and was lying in front of his bedroom door with the blankets over his head.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Like most people I know I have given up on self-improvement resolutions. This year I am opting to make a resolution that I will enjoy and am pretty sure I can live with for a whole year.

2011 will be the year of:

This should be pretty easy for me since I have my camera out almost everyday already (talk about setting the bar low!) I want to be that person that can keep a detailed journal but I am not. Hopefully, this will be a nice substitute for me. I plan to make a short video for each month and post it here.

Some other resolutions that I considered and then set aside were:
1. Finish writing my book
2. Keep the house organized
3. Knit a sweater for myself
4. Exercise (ha!)

I still hope to do all of those but I don't want them to feel like obligations. What resolutions have you made or not made for yourself?

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