Dinnertime, and technology is on the menu

We are so geeky sometimes. Dinnertime for us is usually early workday in California, so every so often we have dinner while watching a Twitter feed or webcast of the new Apple announcements. I think I may have mentioned in the past the fact that we have a Mac-mini in the kitchen that runs the music collection and it is hooked up to a monitor that is supposed to be mounted on the wall (but hovers on a shelf over the table at the moment) for playing music and displaying online art. DH will often come home with some device or another, plug it in and say “Hey, listen to this!” (most recently, after we had to pull out the oven to have a new one put in, and one glance behind it nearly sent us all screaming from the house, he played me a song called “The Crack Between the Cupboard and the Stove” by songwriter/balladeer Anne MacFie which described the state of it very well.)

While I strongly object to watching TV during dinner, or eating in front of the TV in general, we do it occasionally on the weekends at DDs request and that proved the thin edge of the wedge, so now my right of protest has been squashed.

There was a lot of speculation about the “major product announcement” coming and it was, as expected, the announcement of the iPad.

You can watch a video of the event announcement here.  At about 10″ and 1.5 lbs and with iPhone like touch screen action, Photo app for displaying albums and optional direct import from your camera on the go,   a built-in book reader and HD YouTube, it looks like it might be something for the Christmas list.  Of course, the cost to the UK will be probably nearly double that of the US, and the monthlly charges (which I think I heard were on the order of $30 in the US)  will be staggering.  AND they aren’t even thinking about outside the US till June.

I would  slip this baby into my crop bag – how lovely to take your “albums” (paper or digital pages, in digital format) with you to share and be able to see them a reasonable size all for under 2 lbs.  And view UKScrappers on the go without squinting.  {sigh}

As there is an App store and DH is an iPhone app developer, I imagine we will “have” to get one at some point, and DS is already asking to get his name on the “I want” list.  I love my kids, I do, really, but THIS time I am not willing to be 4th in the family n the list for a bit of new technology! THIS time, I want to be at least second!


A few more photos

I got a lovely email this morning to let me know that my iPhone charger/dock is on ScrapScene (love that place!) so as I have not yet managed an actual tutorial for the one on show I though I would add a few more photos which may help anyone keen to make their own figure it out. Basically, the frame is pop dotted over a piece of heavy cardstock. The cardstock slips into the CD guides (where the booklet usually goes) and the frame hovers over it. The pop dots at the bottom also provide a channel for the cord.


I will def. do a tutorial for this sometime next week! Check back, and comment with a link if you make one.


Pretty iPhone cradle instructions

This is the version I am giving the instructions for:


1. Print the template. Cut a full size pattern. Check it against your device – if your phone is a lot smaller, you may need to adjust the template a bit. Paper is cheap – cut as many versions as you need to to make sure your device will fit. Some slight adjustments will be possible simply by folding the template narrower or wider, but a big difference needs to be dealt with here and now.

2. Cut the template shape from foam core. On one side of the foam core, cut through ONLY the paper covering and part way into the foam. DO NOT cut all the way through (if you do, all is not lost – just reattach the pieces on one side with packing tape) – you want the halves to create a sort of a hinge.


3. Cover the front and back with decorative paper. On the front (no hinge), score a line and put the score line on the center fold. On the back (hinge side) stick up to the hinge, then put thin double sided tape along both sides of the hinge. These are the internal edges, if that makes sense, where you cut into the foam but not through it.


4. I used double sided tape along all the thick edges then covered them with ribbon.


5. Cut a base from more foam core – any size you like but bigger than the stand. Mine are usually about 5 x 7. Using and old CD as a base works well too – and gives you a smaller desktop “footprint”. Cover it with more decorative paper.

6. CHECK THE FIT OF YOUR DEVICE. Put it in the caddy. Adjust the feet more open or less till the device fits happily and securely inside it. Attach the caddy to the base with strong double sided tape on the underside of the foot. Now decorate. In this sample I only added two 3″ scallops punched from the patterned paper, stuck back to back, a few nested flowers held together with a big glittery red brad and a small butterfly embellishment (remember, this is for a 13 year old girl!) stuck to the back of the hinge where it won’t interfere with the phone.


Variations – you could def. cut the template from strong cardboard (maybe even cut two and stick them together) or mat board. If that were the case I think I would cut tabs on the paper that covers the font and back then cut a slit in the paper to cover the base and slip them thru, sticking the tabs to the base with the paper over top. Or maybe use a hot glue gue (although that can be a bit messy). You could really bing up the base instead of (or in addition to) any decoration on the back. Cover it with watercolour paper that you stamped and inked and Glimmer misted, making a very vintage version. You can play around with the template to make the device angle back more or sit more upright the angle of my template doesn’t suit your ideal viewing angle. Whatever you do I would be delighted to see your version. Please leave me a comment with a link to it. And ass I said, if anyone is mad keen on the CD case version, tell me in a comment. I am hoping to make another one and will photo the step by steps to add here if there is real interest.

Template PDF


Scrapping from left field

One of the things that I enjoy is finding a new and interesting ways to incorporate unique (for lack of a better word) technological tricks into my scrapping. Here is an example of what I mean. Not a digi-scrapping layout, but a traditional paper page, this photo mosaic makes use of a cool (free) piece of software call MacOSaiX. This software takes a plain photo and scurries out to a place you select (in my case it was my iPhoto library, but you can just as easily do Google images, random glyphs, iTunes album art, flickr groups and more) and collects images to create a photo mosaic of that original image.

The original photograph

The original photograph

I took a photo of a heart shaped Christmas tree ornament, selected my iPhoto library, set the shape of the tile, and the number of tiles, sat back for about 3 hours (shorter for smaller mosaics, obviously) and watched mesmerised as the little tiles flashed up on the screen then swirled in to place, and the mosaic built up over time. Once all the photos are selected it optimizes the selections to get the best colour.

part-way thru the process
part-way thru the process

Occasionally the program flakes out and you won’t see the little photo tiles pop in to place. Sometimes it works for hours and produces nothing. Buggy? A bit, but it is free, and I can’t discount the fact it could be my version of MacOSX (not the newest, for very valid reasons) or some other quirk of my set up. It works well with portrait photos and also can produce some stunning results with a mosaic made up of a smaller number of photos, depending on the original photo.

The final layout

The final layout

My final layout uses the photo mosaic, printed quite large, a Hambly Screenprint overlay, and very old Life’s Journey metal frame, a digital negative strip frame with three small photos of my kids, and a couple of other random bits. I love that the title placement allowed me to place the O in LOVE over a small image of ME (HA! let the kids complain I am not in any of the scrapbooks now LOL!)

Now lest you, as a PC user, stamp your little foot and cry “But it’s not FAIR!”, be comforted by this link to Andrea Mosaic, which is a similar, also free, PC version. I can’t vouch for it, but you can give it a go if you like the idea and don’t do Mac.

Hopefully that illustrates my point – it is a traditional page, created using a printed photo, scrapbook paper and embellishments, sticky stuff, scissors and journaling, but has an undeniable technological aspect to it. THAT is what I like.

Thanks for looking.