Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gimp Free Photo Editing Software

Years and years ago, back in the stone age, I found a program for editing and adjusting photos. I loved it, used it for everything, used it until the disk was so scratched it would read anymore. Then it became obsolete and you couldn't find it anywhere to replace the disk. Even then I copied the files onto a CD and still used it.  I've used it so much I can make it do almost everything I want. Almost.

But I kept seeing all these fabulous things you could do in Photoshop, so I went looking to give that a try. Holy canoles! The price tag ranges from $400 to almost $1,000! And that's not including all the little $79.95 add-ons.

Nope. I am far too cheap frugal for that nonsense!

Then I found Gimp.  It's an open-source program (which means someone else is far too cheap frugal and created a program that is free to everyone! Kudos, fellas!) that rivals Photoshop in all the things it will do. They actually encourage everyone to distribute it, and contribute to making it better. Did I mention it's FREE?

It takes a lot of getting used to - it's not a program you can just pick up and use like a pro, you have to learn all the cool things that it does, and how to access them. I've been at it for a few weeks now, and I'm still learning.

So, being the cheapie frugal girl that I am, I'm passing it along to all my frugal friends.

Download the program, and learn more about it HERE or at

Happy Gimp-ing!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Season is (Almost) Upon Us

It's almost a month till Halloween (a holiday I can't stand) and already I'm seeing Christmas (a holiday I absolutely adore!) in the stores!

The holidays are almost upon us. Every part of that makes me happy (-except the snow, I like snow about as much as I like Halloween).

Last year, I made a project that turned out very well, so I'm posting it here.  Every year, we find it a bit of a struggle to balance the fun of the season with the reason for it. We're out of the Santa stage at our house, and it has left a bit of a hollow spot which we parents try to fill up with the better, and real, reason for the entire Season. this project went a long way toward that cause.

Our Advent Tree

I found a tiny little (fake of course) evergreen tree, and made the ornaments to go on it. Here's how:

I found wood sticks at the craft store in the wood section and cut them into different lengths. The shape doesn't matter, as long as the ornament will fit a scripture reference. I painted them different bright colors. You could easily fit this project into any color (or shape) scheme to match the rest of your decorations.

When the paint was completely dry, I cut out slips of paper with the chosen scriptures on them and glued them to each ornament. 

Then, a little eyelet screw on one end (or you could punch a hole through, whichever fits your own design) to make a place for the hanger.

I used these adorable stamps to number each scripture for the day it was to be read.

When the glue and ink dried completely, I used clear varnish to seal each one. 
(Be careful going over the paper strips- some printer inks smudge very easily when you try to varnish.)

Our little tree sat on our entertainment center - which doubles as our mantle, since we don't have a fireplace. Every evening of December we read a scripture. Sometimes it only takes a minutes, sometimes we end up talking about what we read. Either way, it's a small reminder of what we are really celebrating - 
the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Here's the list of scriptures I used.  This list includes scriptures from the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ as well as the Holy Bible, since I am LDS. If you don't have a Book of Mormon, but would like one, Request a FREE copy HERE. Or adjust the list to include your favorite scriptures.