Where technology and scrapbooking collide

Pretty pink iPhone dock

Pretty pink iPhone dock

This is a post that totally matches the blog description. And I will add here if you’ve come from ScrapScene, check out this post for more photos of the charger that appears there.

Let’s first talk a bit about the iPhone. We were once NeXt people (points for knowing what that means). We are now, and have been since Steve came home, Mac people. We have more Mac technology than I am sometimes willing to admit to. I still use my first gen shuffle every day. We have a Dalmation iMac and and anglepoise one, still in use. Like rats in the City, in our house you are never more than 10 feet from a Mac product. OK, I will admit that I have a very old PC in place to drive my Craft Robo, and DH has the odd Windows based machine (including a teeny tiny laptop that runs windows in Japanese) and a few that run Linux. DS has a PC games machine. I pretend they don’t exist. We have a few iPhones, and a few iTouch (iTouches? sounds a bit rude, that) and a few video iPods. At some point Apple made the decision to no longer ship a dock or stand with some of these products. The Apple community rose to the challenge and all of a sudden DIY dock/stand/charging station posts appeared all over the net.

Want a dock made of paper? You can download a template here or here or here, see simple directions to fold one from a business card here, or how to convert a coffee sleeve into one here. You can see instructions for folding one from a $100 bill (although obviously plain paper of the same dimension works perfectly fine as well), one you can fold from an old credit card (or gift card) and at the other end of the spectrum, one from a toilet paper roll (dubious design, IMHO)

Want to perform surgery on your kid’s toys? Carve up a hippo here (photo only) or use Legos or Kinex!

How about one constructed from a lot of binder clips? Or just one? or a paper clip (albeit a big one) (PDF and video for this)? This one is a combo of paper, a couple of binder clips and a paper clip (video)

Use Apple packaging or an old mini-DVD cassette box.

Want to buy one? My favourite is the GoGo Stand but the Crabble and the BatRest have their fans.

OK, so you now think I have no life or too much time on my hands. No, but I do like it when DH comes to me with a problem and I can solve it. His query? “I need a stand for my iPhone so I can use it like an iPod (ie press buttons and have a hole for the charging cable) but I want it to look good and be stable. Can you make me three?” After looking at literally 50 links and after three days of making various versions, having him test them out, and then creating a dead boring and bloke-y one for him (folded cardstock, with a notch in the back for the cable, stuck on a cardstock covered CD for stability) I branched out to …. pretty versions. Although it was a bit for fun, I also thought I might come up with a nice little gift for my DDs birthday. She wanted one for her video iPod, both for charging and for watching.

phonecaddySo what I have here are a few versions. The one I like best for stability and functionality is one cut from foam core, covered with pretty paper and scrapbooking embellishments and mounted on a foam core base, also decorated. This is ideal for DD as she has cerebral palsy and has little function of her right hand. The first is more for charging only as I feel the backwards tilt is not ideal for watching, depending on your height. The second one is modified and is more upright. The shape is a modified version of the business card stand, sort of.

The one at the top of the post is very OTT – pink and pretty and built on a CD stand separated and re assembled with one side backwards. This leaves a nice gap at the bottom for the cord to thread thru and there is a gap in the frame to thread it thru as well. The whole decorated piece slides up so plugging in is easier, but it is more designed for charging for a longer period of time. It still needs a small decoration on the lower edge of the frame.

The best version

The best version

Got a geek-girl on your Christmas list? One who likes the pretty and the bling? Might make a unique gift. I photo’ed some step-by-steps and will do a post tomorrow (or later today if I find the time) so you can see how the most functional one is made. If you love the super-girly one and really want more info on how I made that one leave a comment and I’ll try to do the same for it.

If you do make one, do leave a comment with a link – I’d love to see it.

For those that care, all the papers used are K&Company. The pretty pink iPhone dock is Que Sera Sera, and the other two are different papers from the Brenda Walton MIRA collection, with flowers and bling added. The very pretty little button flowers on the pink frame are by evalicious – >visit her shop/site.

Apologies if this blog looks rubbish on a laptop. I only just checked it this morning from my laptop and it’s all a bit squished. Oh, and although I did label this “Mac specific” in fact these caddies/dock work for any phone, you just may need to fiddle with the measurements a bit!

1 Comment

Rasterized photos

Pixelated DD

Pixelated DD

This is a fun one. I’ll start with how it came about – I had seen a post about Pixelating photos on Apartment Therapy – the example was a massive portrait of Abraham Lincoln and was done by gridding off a canvas and mixing paint to match the limited grayscale colour palette and painting the squares to match. OK so that got me thinking that I could do that with scrapbooking paper rather than paint. So I got my DDs not-very-good school photo (which we ordered as a digital print – and I won’t rant about THAT, but only say what looks acceptable in a very tiny proof is often shockingly bad in a larger, high resolution size!) and ran the PIXELATE filter (standard in Photoshop 7 – find it at Filter>Pixelate>Mosaic then use the slider to set the size) and was delighted with the outcome…until I realized that in order to have the end result recognizable the pixels across would have to be something like 85. Even at an inch square (which is the smallest size *I* would be interested in working with) that would mean a MASSIVE piece or art. Scaling down the number of pixels produced an amorphous blob that even her loving father would be hard pressed to recognize as his beloved child.

Rasterized DD using The Rastorbator

Rasterized DD using The Rastorbator

I looked at the first comment and found a link to the questionably named The Rastorbator. Brilliant fun. There are many many options to choose from (overall size, number of pages in the completed piece, size of dots, border or not, grayscale only) and you can upload an image of up to 1 mb then set it working. It will create your rasterized image and send you a PDF of the individual pages. There are instructions for printing the set of sheets – mine was 5 x 5 for a total of 25 sheets if printed US letter (A4 users beware – don’t print as it comes. Read and follow the directions) but I wanted to see if I could do things a different way.

I opened each page of the PDF and saved it instead as a best quality .jpg (I do this using Preview>Save As on the Mac but I assume PC users will know some way to do this as well) then opened each .jpg in Photoshop (I assume PS gurus will know how to automate this process so they can resize all the pages – I did it manually by scaling it in Image>Image Size>Pixel Dimensions which I made 50% (note the DPI is 150.) I had some old Epson ColorLife paper (Super A3 size – loved the paper but they don’t make it anymore) so I create a new file that was 13 x 19 inches, 150 dpi and then dragged in each of the smaller .jpgs in to create a single image. Lining up the dots perfectly was a bit of a challenge (possibly knowing more about the whole “snap to grid” thing might have helped) but in the end I was pretty happy with the final result. The image RIGHT is the .jpg and really is not a true depiction of the final product.

It’s free to do and the image you upload is deleted after 3 hours (so make sure you save the rasterized one that gets downloaded to your desktop) and takes only a few minutes so have a play with all the options to find the one you like best. I have too say the really, really big ones, made of many, many sheets of paper, with a border around them, look really cool. I could see doing a massive wall sized one as a real focal point, but I already have a few ideas for how I might use these sorts of images in my scrapbooking.