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Archives for January 2012

Unique Fonts for your Blog

Ya know how everyone and their Aunt Sally was using that ‘swiss cheese’ font* from Picnik to label their pictures? I like that font too but who wouldn’t want to stand out a bit? 

Especially if there are a million free fonts out there to pick from! And did I mention it’s easy? If you install a font on your computer it shows up in Picasa. 
Don’t have Picasa?
You should.
It’s free (from google) and awesome. 
It’s also simple, very intuitive for the non-computer geniuses like me.
Step 1. Pick your font. I use DaFont. 
{I’ve never gotten viruses from them but always becareful!}

There are tons and tons of awesome fonts available for free. You need to start somewhere, I had an idea in mind I went with the Retro Category (green box).

Now you see the blue box? Type in what you want see. If you’re looking for a unique font for watermarking type the name of your blog ect. I went with Valentine’s Banner. Also change ‘Number per page’ to 50. You’ll want to scroll through them pretty quick and this makes it easier. Now click submit.

See? Those are the same fonts from the top picture, but with my words.
Something to note: see the box in the bottom font where the apostrophe would be? That means there isn’t one in that font. It means you can’t use it (duh!) so if that character is important keep looking!

There we go! I picked the font in the green box. Click on the font for for info

Good choice! This one has 2 versions. Some have many versions, some only one. These will all be separate true type files. If you’re sure this is the one click download (red box).

Step 2. Download and install:
After you click download this will pop up:

There are 2 ways to go from here, open or save. I go with open because I think it’s easier but you can also do it the other way. Click Open With and then OK

Click Extract (green box)

A window will pop up asking you where you want the files to go. I have a folder on my desktop for all the fonts I download. You don’t have to put it there, just make sure it’s somewhere you can find it. Make sure that folder is highlighted (green box) and click Extract (blue box).
This window will pop up:

Find the TrueType Font Files. Without closing this window go to the Control Panel

This is a little tricky if you have a small screen. You need to see both windows like this:

You want to drag the TTF’s (green box) to the Fonts Folder (double blue box).
If you have Picasa open you need to close and reopen it. If you don’t have it open now is the time.

Click the Text button. Go to the drop down bar.
Your font should be there (just need to remember the name!)
Click and start typing!

There you go! You just added a unique font to your computer.
You can use it in Picasa and Word/Powerpoint ect.
Think of all the printables you could make!


After all that I decided to go with a different font. The capital letters wouldn’t show in Picasa (they do in word?) and I wasn’t crazy about how it showed up over the pictures anyway.
So I went with this font – Devinne Swash.
Luckily the steps are pretty easy once you get the hang of it!
*If you happen to miss the cheese with the demise of Picnik you can get a similar one from DaFont.
If you’re still confused please email me @

ChickenScratchNY {at}

This is the XP version!

If you’re running Windows 7 head over to  Brown Paper Packages

Valentine’s Banner


Remember this guy?
I finally finished (and photographed!) the rest of that project. 
I’ll be honest. This was a hard project for me. It’s different than anything else I’ve done. I’m still not 100% on it. I think it needs more, but it’s a bit out of my realm and I’m just not sure. I’m going to live with it for a while before I make anymore changes. 

This one’s missing a flower, just noticed that! Bet the dog ate it. He eats everything else.


Gandhi Sign

 I’ve never decorated for Valentine’s Day. It’s not a holiday I care a lot about. 
I think life is too short to celebrate love on one day. I love Mike everyday, I (hope I) don’t wait until February 14th to show that. 
Seeing all the V-day stuff on Pinterest and on the linky parties has worn me down. (Yes Mom, if all the kids on Pinterest jumped off a bridge I would probably, eventually get around to it after pinning it, of course). And I was pretty bored with the Winter Wonderland Mantle. Still haven’t had more than a good 14 days with legit snow on the ground so it seemed out of place in the house.

I started out with a scribbled drawing of the buffet and shelf. It includes several projects you’ll see over the few days and some other stuff you might recognize from other set ups. 
My plan is to go over board for V-day and then after the 14th I’ll remove the pink and hearts and be left with a less busy, easy to live with and cat proof (Ok that last parts a joke).
The sign is made from an old board Mike grabbed from his mothers garage. The spot in the middle looks less like an oil spot and more like a knot in real life. I used my slice to make letter stencils and went letter by letter with white and gold paint. The important words “Love” and “Life” are mostly gold. I sanded over it a bit but it didn’t make much difference and the stenciling was pretty messy so its not all that perfect anyway. The original quote is from Gandhi.
In it’s current home. Think of this as a mini peak into the final display! 
I love my orange wall.

Inking – Trial & {Mostly} Error

On the rare occasion that I’m not rushing to get something done RIGHT NOW I like to take my time and experiment. Once a scientist, always a scientist I guess. I’ve been working on a paper banner for my Valentine’s Day buffet (look for a revel sometime next week!) and it was missing something. A lot of something. I thought about rhinestones, ribbons, all that jazz. Then it hit me. Ink. I’ll ink up the edges, add some contrast. Make it fancy. Like on my Gift Tag Ornaments.
Teaser from the banner
I’m using my slice. I’m not using easy shapes. I’ve got words, fun shapes, all sorts of stuff to ink. I used the plain ol’ ink pad on the gift tags. but those were circles and rectangles. There has to be a better way, an easier way, a more reliable way.
So I dug around my craft room and came up with this little trial. 
I cut 5 semi-identical flowers with my slice, off the Wedding card. I grabbed a blue ink pad to make sure the ink would show up in pictures. I also grabbed a basic stiff paint brush, a stencil brush, a q-tip and  a basic soft paint brush. The final flower was inked using only the ink pad.
First up was the stiff brush. It’s one I’ve got hanging around since my high school days, nothing special. Probably from a cheap-o multi-pack. Draw your own conclusions but to me it looks like it was done with a paint brush. It was tricky getting enough ink to really show up without going too far and basically creating a border.
Next up, the stencil brush. This is the most subtle. I like it, it can be really subtle or have more impact depending up how much pouncing you do.
Eeeeeee…. Yeah. Not great. I like the left, that’s using very little almost no ink at all. The right is what happens when you use too much ink. Basically a maker. 
I think this is my favorite. It’s subtle but not so much that you can’t see it. It highlights the interior cut outs. I didn’t ‘paint’ with the brush so much as ‘scrub’ using a very small amount of ink. 

The original. The biggest failure. I couldn’t get into the nooks and cut outs. The paper was to pliable to dig into the ink pad (works better with card stock) so I got very little ink on the paper where I wanted it. I had to do a lot of fancy bending to try and ink the inner petals but ended up with quite a few smears. 

Here we have the side by side. My two faves are the the on the right. 
What do you think? Which ones do you like?
*I used the stencil brush for the birdie*
Do you have any other options for me?
And… a word about the future! Expect a few baby-centric projects in the works. 
Thanks to this little guy:
I’d like to introduce you all to Mr. Bentley. My first ever nephew!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Pumpkin Pie Croissants

When I saw this I immediately pinned it and knew I had to make it. I made them for my house warming party in October and last weekend for my last Christmas of 2011 (yeah, in January 2012). Everyone who has one loves it. 
Pumpkin Pie Croissants From Pressed Down, Shaken Together
This is one of my favorite last minute recipes. I’ve made it twice now, once with canned pumpkin and once with homemade pumpkin.
See? Not as pretty but more pumpkiny
Here’s the secret, fill those suckers up! They look worse but taste sooo much better. There will be some explosions in the oven. I use a silicone mat to catch the spills. If you skimp on the filling you will have a lot left at the end. 
One more tip: use a pizza cutter to 1/2 the croissant triangles. Add the filling before you separate the pieces then roll them up. You can get closer the the edges without making as much of a mess