Archive for January, 2012
A lot of artists, architects, and designers will use tracing paper to complete various projects in their line of work. Trace paper is easy to see through, and it allows a person to lay multiple layers of ideas on top of one another without having to draw directly on top of an image. If the person doesn’t like a layer, he or she can just pull it off and start again. You may not need trace paper if you print off images for your line of work, but this can be a great tool for those looking to do a little hands-on designing. Here are some tips to help you use tracing paper as effectively as possible.
Most people are tempted to put the color of an image on the front of the trace paper because that is what they can clearly see. You may have better luck putting the color on the back though because that will distort it a bit. Rather than looking like you just slapped color on the page with some markers, you will have a uniform color that will translate better on the piece. Try to reserve the front for the hard lines on an image, and then use the back for anything you want to come across in a softer way. You’d be amazed by how much of a difference that could make in the end.
Use a Drafted Background
You should mainly use trace paper to do edits to an image you already have set in stone. If you are trying to design a house, for instance, you need to have a relatively solid floor plan to back your tracing with, and then you can just trace over that with your ideas. If you do not have a precise and drafted background for something like that, you may end up creating something that isn’t exactly accurate. At least this way, you can avoid having to redo your ideas due to lack of preparation.
You can use trace paper for all kinds of special projects, so just use your creative mind to let it work for you. Try to reserve vellum for the final draft of an image because it tends to be more expensive than traditional trace paper. With a little practice, you will soon see why so many people love this material so much.
Spring is right around the corner, and you are probably already dreading all the cleaning you are going to have to do around the house. To add insult to injury, it may be time for you to do the same thing in your office at work. Papers and trash get piled in offices all the time, and they can be overwhelming if you don’t clean on a regular basis. That is what spring cleaning is for. It gives you a chance to thoroughly organize your office so you can use it more effectively in the future. With some desk organizers and a little bit of time, you can get your office as spiffy as can be. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
It is common to keep pieces of paper around because you think you will use them in the near future, but when that time never comes, you just end up with a lot of paper cluttering the office. Rather than allowing your office to become overrun by these papers, you need to recycle anything you can. Check the dates on receipts, notes, letters, and more and see if you actually need to keep them. If not, shred or recycle them so you no longer have to see them in your office.
Scan Important Papers
If you are worried about possibly losing something you have printed on paper, you should scan it into the computer for safe keeping. Then if you need to print it off in the future, you can just load the printer with some loose paper and get a new copy. Unless you have to keep an original of a document, there is no reason to keep a hardcopy of it.
Gather Your Supplies
Try to get all of your office supplies in one general area, rather than having them scattered all over the office. You can put them in an organizer on your desk or you can put them in a drawer somewhere. As long as you can use them the way you need to, you should be fine. Make an effort to reduce the amount of supplies that you have lying on the desks and you should be on your way to a clean office in no time.
If you don’t want to put a bumper sticker on your car, you can still make a statement with a window decal. A window decal is an image that clings to the glass on the car, but it does not have a sticky back to it like a sticker would. It just sticks to the window with suction. With modern technology, you can actually print one of these window decals on your own. All you need is an inkjet printer, some inkjet printer ink, and some window decal paper. With those materials and the guide below, you will be making your own decals in no time.
The first thing you have to do is design the decal you want to print off. You can either use an image that you already have on the computer, or you can use a photo editor to make one of your own. Try to get something that has hard lines and bold colors because that will show up the best on your window. If you have light, wispy lines, you may have trouble letting people see whatever it is you wanted to put on the window.
Print the Decals
Once you have your design in place, you can use your printer and decal paper to print the image out. You may want to print a test image out on traditional printer paper to get an idea of what the image will look like, and then you can actually make the print on the decal paper. Load the paper into the tray just like you would normally and print off the image. You should have the decal you wanted when everything comes out of the printer.
Display the Decal
The only thing you will have left to do is put your new decal on display. You should be able to just peel the decal off the backing and put it on the window, but you may have to put some soapy water between the decal and the window to get it to stay. Squeegee the decal down to get out all the air bubbles, and then it will be on display for the world to see. For best results, clean the window ahead of time. That way you have a clear surface to adhere the decal to.
Popsicle sticks can be used for much more than checking a person’s throat or holding a sweet treat for the summer. If you have a set of popsicle sticks lying around your house, you may be surprised by what all you can do with them. You can make a whole weekend out of popsicle stick crafts if you want to. Here are some of the different projects you may try out with your kids in the future.
One of the most popular ways to use popsicle sticks is to make small houses similar to log cabins. You can construct everything from the floors to the roof out of sticks, and you could even make a fence with them for the “yard” in back. If you get colored wood sticks, you could use the red ones for “brick” and the green ones for “grass.” You just have to be as creative as you can be with them. Use a little bit of glue to hold everything together and you should be all set.
Popsicle Stick People
Do you remember making people out of popsicle sticks when you were in elementary school? If not, you missed out on one of the coolest craft days for the year. To make popsicle stick people, all you need is a set of sticks and something to decorate them with. You could use some markers, stickers, glitter glue, wiggle eyes, or anything else you can think of. You just have to give the little people some personality. Make them look like different people you know using yarn for hair, or you could make them look like crazy aliens. You just have to let the creativity do the talking.
Popsicle Stick Picture Frames
Have a picture frame that needs a new look? Popsicle sticks may do the trick. Just get some glue to adhere the sticks to the frame, and then you can set them up however you want. If you want to just have the bottoms on the frame so they look like shingles, you can do that. If you want a frame full of standard sized sticks, you can do that too. Once you’re done, all you will need is some printer ink so you can print something to put in the frame.
X-Acto knives are finite box cutters that a lot of people use when making models. Their blades are thinner and sharper than the blades on standard box cutters, so they are able to make more precise cuts on whatever it is they are being used for. You can use X-Acto knives to cut through foam board, chipboard, cardboard, and much more. It just depends on what you need to do. In order to ensure the best results from your X-Acto experiences, you need to learn how to use this tool properly. Here are some tips to help you when using an X-Acto knife.
Use a Ruler for Guidance
If you are trying to make a straight cut with an X-Acto, you need to have a ruler on hand to guide the cuts. Ideally, you need a steel ruler so you don’t cut the actual ruler during your project. If you’re cutting on something thick like foam core, make sure you hold the blade as vertical as possible. Otherwise you may cut along the ruler and still end up with an incorrect cut.
Replace the Blades Frequently
You will need to replace your blades on a regular basis if you want the cuts to come out as cleanly as possible. If you start to see the material curl up on the side, that is because the blade is no longer sharp. You have to change out blades after every few cuts to ensure a sharp looking line every time. That is why it is usually best to buy blades in bulk to avoid a huge bill when you do a project. If you can get a rhythm down for changing out your blade, you will be able to maintain a high level of craftsmanship throughout your project.
Avoid Excessive Pressure
When you start to cut something with the X-Acto, make sure to press lightly on it. You may have to go over the same line multiple times in order to do this, but that will keep the blade from warping as you work with it. If you have a warped blade, you will inevitably end up with a warped line on your board. As long as you can maintain a steady hand as you cut, your precision will look like perfection with an X-Acto.