Sticky9 Square Prints & GIVEAWAY!

I know how it goes.  You spend all this time taking wonderful pictures (hundreds, maybe thousands!), and you don’t have a thing to show for your hard work.  Instead, they are sitting on your computer somewhere off in la la land.  I’ve been there and, truthfully, I am usually still there. It’s heartbreaking, really.  I love going through printed photos from my childhood simply because they’re something I can hold onto.  Is anyone else with me on this?

Today, I am here to tell you that there is hope.  I have teamed up with the fantastic crew behind Sticky9 to share with you one way I have recently used their Square Prints.  If you’re not familiar with Sticky9, they are a London-based business whose mission is to turn digital content into fun and tangible objects like magnets, phone cases, prints, and calendars.  In other words, a dream come true!

The best part?  This post comes to you with a GIVEAWAY!  More on that later, though… First, I want to show you my closet!  A Beautiful Mess posted my picture below on their Instagram feed, and it received more than 5,400 likes — yippee!

I would consider my closet to be quite ordinary.  Our apartment has very little closet space, so it can get kind of hairy in there sometimes.  In order to spruce things up a bit in my closet, I decided to order myself a set of Sticky9’s Square Prints.  It’s a fantastic deal: 27 premium matte prints for $16.99 (free shipping worldwide).  I may have screeched when my package arrived.

Going into this project, I already knew what I wanted my final product to look like: a colorful, memory-filled surprise every time I opened my closet.  Now, I spend more time gazing at my pictures than I do getting dressed.  Oops.

Here’s what I used for this project:

Before you start hanging, take a few minutes to spread your photos out on the floor.  Figure out what order you want to arrange the photos in, and how much space you’ll need between each.  I also took this time to write on the back of each photo in pencil.  I wanted to remember why these specific pictures were so important to me.

To hang your photo display, place your first two thumbtacks on the inside of your closet door at equal heights (I eyeballed mine).  Take the hemp string and tie a knot around the first thumbtack.  Pull it taut and tie another knot to the second thumbtack.  Double check that the string is level.  Clip on your first four photos!  (You’ll notice that the string will dip in the middle — this is normal!)

Repeat this process five more times, spacing each row about five inches below the previous thumbtacks.  Then, admire your work!  It’s that simple.

And now for the fun part: a GIVEAWAY!  One lucky reader will win their own set of premium matte prints, courtesy of Sticky9.  HOW COOL, RIGHT?!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Comment on this post with how you would use these Square Prints.
  • Follow Scissors & Sage using the email sign up in the sidebar to earn one additional entry under your name.
  • If you already follow Scissors & Sage, say so in your comment to earn both entries.

The giveaway is open until Friday, January 23rd at midnight EST, so get to work!  The winner will be contacted directly after the 23rd.

Can’t wait to find out if you’ve won?  Visit Sticky9 now to pick out your very own Square Prints or one of their other awesome products!

PRODUCTS & MATERIALS FROM: Sticky9Jo-Ann Fabric, and A Beautiful Mess App

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DIY Advent Calendar

Late last week, I was inspired to create my very first advent calendar.  I was catching up on posts from A Beautiful Mess, a lifestyle blog I follow, and came across this DIY project.  I’ve thought of making an advent calendar in years past, but never had enough foresight to create it before December began.  Now that the calendar is finished, it will certainly bring a lot of holiday cheer into our cozy apartment this season!

Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess was kind enough to share a PDF of the advent numbers in her blog post.  When I noticed that some of her numbers were missing in the download, I wrote to her in the comments section.  She got back to me very quickly, and fixed the download the following day!  It was so nice to receive a personal response from such a well-known blogger.

I posted two process pictures (below) on Instagram of my DIY advent calendar, and couldn’t believe when Elsie not only “liked” both of the pictures, but also commented, “Looks great!” on the first one below!  I felt starstruck.  What’s more, Elsie’s activity on my two pictures brought a lot of new traffic to my Instagram profile; I received over 80 likes on the first picture, plus new followers!

I completed this project over the course of two days.  There were more steps to it than I had anticipated, and crafting + taking pictures of crafting = a lot of time per project.  Here’s how I made my DIY advent calendar!

Step 1: Download and print Elsie’s advent numbers onto soft white text weight paper from Paper Source.  (I printed my numbers at a scale of 65%.)  Using a paper cutter, cut the numbers into uniform-sized cards.  Lay a large piece of butcher or craft paper on the floor and arrange your numbers in a tree formation.

Step 2: Move the numbers to the side and turn your large paper over.  Create square edges by folding over uneven sides and taping them to the paper.

Step 3: With the help of another set of hands and eyes, hang your large paper in a desired location using clear push-pins.

Step 4: Set up an assembly line of numbers, string, scissors, washi tape, and mini clothespins.  (These clothespins are sold in a pack of 25, however I somehow lost one over the years, leaving me with 24.  I decided to use a regular-sized clothespin for number 1, and really love how it looks as a tree topper — not shown below!)  Cut washi tape into square segments and then diagonally into triangles.  This will allude to the shape of a tree.  Finally, tape the string to the paper making sure to hold it taut.  Snip off the ends of the string close to the tape.

Step 5: Continue this process until you reach the bottom of the tree.  Clip on all of the numbers with clothespins to confirm that they sit nicely.  Then, step back and admire your hard work!

Step 6: Using a thin Sharpie, unclip the numbers one by one and write down winter- or holiday-related activities under each number on the large paper.  That way, you can reuse the number cards in future years for different activities.  (My December activities are fun and simple surprises for Anne and me, so for her sake, I can only share one with you here!)

When December hits, unclip your card to reveal the activity of the day.  Then, turn the card over and clip it on backwards.  That will allow you to keep all of the cards up at once, plus know the current date.  By Christmas, you’ll have a white paper tree decoration that no one would ever know was an advent calendar!

What do you think of this DIY project?  Will you try making your own advent calendar this holiday season?  There are so many alternatives to the usual candy-filled advent calendar that I challenge you to come up with your own way of doing it.  Tag your creations on Instagram with #scissorsandsage and @victoriaavitale so that I can see what you’re working on!

Picking Favorites

It feels like one of those wrap-yourself-up-in-a-blanket-on-the-couch kind of fall days.  I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some things I’ve been enjoying around the web recently.  For starters, this picture of Paris in autumn from Alesia-Jasmine takes my breath away.  You would think that after many fun trips this summer, I would be itching to hunker down while the seasons change.  Alas, I’ve caught the travel bug yet again.

As the temperatures cool, though, I can begin to turn up the heat in my kitchen again.  Natalie over at Food Fetish has an excellent tutorial on how to make your own beet pasta.  I can’t wait to give this a try.  And that avocado hummus from Jaclyn at Cooking Classy has my heart singing!

The changing seasons means that more layers, shoes, and weather-related accessories begin to show up in your entryway.  Elsie’s mudroom organization project on A Beautiful Mess is a cute, rustic, and indeed organized way to house all kinds of items — right up my alley!  I especially love those clipped photos up top.

While I’m not a die-hard Halloween fan, I can appreciate a good DIY project or themed treat.  Those cute pumpkins with bat wings from Trendenser seem super easy to whip up.  I’d imagine that taping toothpicks to the back of the black construction paper would be a great way to insert the wings into the pumpkin.  Top it off by Sharpie-ing your dinner guests’ names on the pumpkins and you’ll have the perfect alternative place cards for a spooky gathering.

Who isn’t a fan of using one item two different ways?  These ghost cookies from Michelle at Make Me Cake Me are actually made with a tulip cookie cutter turned upside-down!  Genius in my book.

And finally, let’s talk about these mysterious yet amazing-looking dark chocolate zucchini cake waffles.  Jonathan from The Candid Appetite whipped these up.  The second I live in an apartment with a kitchen larger than a shoebox, I am investing in a waffle maker.  For now, we must stick to making pancakes in our cast-iron pan.

The transition from summer to fall is one that I greatly enjoy.  I love the slowly changing wardrobe, the time spent in the kitchen, and bundling up for a good movie or TV show.  It also means I can start looking at yarn again (something I cannot bring myself to do in the heat of summer).  I love this article on why you should knit.  I’ve already got two projects going, plus one I finished in early spring that I’ve yet to share here!

Stay tuned for more posts in my new “Picking Favorites” series.  I am hoping to feature more work from other blogs and websites as a way of sharing my inspirations here on Scissors & Sage.

Photo Editing With: A Beautiful Mess App

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With graduate school ending in two weeks, I have been thinking about how important this blog has become to me.  I started Scissors & Sage back in September, hoping that it would help keep me sane during what would be a hectic and probably stressful school year.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep up with writing posts once a week, but as it turns out, I have largely stuck to my goal.  In music therapy, I often hear and learn about the benefits of self care, and this blog has certainly done the trick so far.

As my nostalgia has been kicking into high gear this month, I thought I’d take some of my Instagram photos and do something fun with them.  I’ve been exploring the A Beautiful Mess iPhone app a lot recently, experimenting with different ways to alter photographs specifically with text.  Above and below are some examples of what I’ve been working on.  There are so many ways to alter photos in the ABM app that these photos just skim the surface.  I am excited to keep trying out new designs and ideas!

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