European VAT on Etsy Digital Downloads

UPDATE:  February 17, 2015:  Etsy sent me an email with additional details on how the VAT will be handled. I hope it's good so I can start back selling to the peeps in Europe.

I just got an email about VAT being placed on digital downloads on Etsy.  Ummmm, I don't know a thing about VAT.  I can barely keep up with tax laws in America!

I'm not sure who is supposed to be handling the VAT after reading as much as I could.  It seems as though this VAT collection is Etsy's responsibility, not individual sellers, but I'm not sure.  So, since I'm not sure how this is going to work, beginning January 1, 2015, I won't be allowing EUR payments through my payment processor.  I really don't want to stop allowing payments from EUR, but it appears I have no choice right now.  I just can't handle trying to learn all the VAT guidelines within Europe.

What a way to start a New Year.  I will miss meeting people outside of America.  Uggghhh!  So disappointing.


Restoring Photos from Library of Congress

I've been practicing more with the process of restoring old photos.  I use Adobe Fireworks mostly, but I'm also working within Photoshop too.  I'm not as confident using Photoshop's tools, but I'm getting better with it.

Here are some photos I cleaned up recently.  The frames were created in my Pazzles Pro 2010 (not the first photo) software using Pazzles' flourishes and photo corners.

I just know these would look good on some glossy photo paper.  Click on photos to get a closer look.


Fleece Hat and Earrings

Finally finished up the fleece hat I learned how to make on Youtube!  Talking about easy!  I added my Beauty Afro Girl vinyl decal to the back of the hat.  Designed my Afro Girl in the Pazzles Pro 2010 software.

I mentioned the chipboard earrings in another post.

Back View

Front View

It hasn't been cold enough here for me to wear my ear warmers or hat!  :-)

Talk with ya later.



Beauty Afro Girl Paper Earrings

Remember my Afro Girl Vinyl Decal?  I've been using her in quite a few projects.  She's made it onto some ear warmers, a cape, a bag, a wall, a laptop, and now on some earrings.  She's not done yet.  :-)

Here are my chipboard and vinyl earrings featuring my Beauty Afro Girl.  She is available as a digital download on Etsy.

With my earrings, I cut out a plain chipboard piece onto .022 chipboard.  I painted the chipboard with acrylic black plaint.  I then cut out the decal onto silver Oracal 651 vinyl and sealed the whole thing with glossy mod podge.  The french hooks and jump rings are silver coated.  I used my crop-a-dile to put in the holes.


Photo Restoration

I've been thinking about doing some photo restoration for a long time.  I was looking up some information on Google and stumbled across a website of this person who does photo restoration and it was absolutely wonderful to see the transformation.

Well, since I had the time I thought I would try to restore my grandma's photo.  This is my first time trying this really.  I've tried to remove flaws on photos before, but they were not successful or as good as this attempt.

I wish I could get that white line from her face, but I could only remove some of it.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

I see much improvement ahead of me, but I like what I have so far.

Here's the second one.  I was completely afraid to alter some of this, especially around that tree.  I've got to work on that fear because these are scanned in and not originals.  You may need to click on the image to see the changes I made.  After I enlarged this, I realize you can't really see I fixed those cracks near the tree, my uncles white shirts, my aunts white dress, and the cracks that were on the bed, etc.  :-)


Christmas Pudding Gift Bag (SVG, MTC, WPC)

By request I created this Christmas Pudding Gift bag. Find it in my Etsy shop.

Here's the assembly videos (I apologize for the lighting).


Finally got a decent pic of the cape I made recently.  I added my Afro girl to the top and the bottom back using heat transfer vinyl.

Afro Girl Decal

Capricorn T-Shirts

Capricorn days are coming soon!  I still have these t-shirts available (one a piece).  They are medium sized for men, but I think they fit as a large for women.

T-Shirt 1

T-Shirt 2

T-Shirt 3


Picture It Postage and Silhouettes

I just stumbled across this site while looking for USPS info. I'm going to try it with one of my silhouettes.  Here's a snapshot of what I uploaded to the site.  You can purchase the stamps based on how you mail out items.  For me, that would probably just be the .49 cent stamps.

You can also upload a photo or logo to be placed on your stamp.  According to the website, they are authorized by USPS to do this so I'll take my chances.

The one good thing about this is that I can do a silhouette for you, size it the right size for you (although you will probably have to adjust after the upload a little.  Really easy process.) You can then give a personalized book of stamps to someone you know that mail stuff out regularly.  I bet your gift won't be like anyone elses.  :-)

Here's my upload. I haven't ordered yet, but I will soon.  The site says it may take up to 10 days to receive the stamps.  That's a long time it seems, but if you want to give as a Christmas gift, guess you gotta get on it.  :-)

I'm not affiliated with the site, so order online using your existing safety techniques and knowledge.  Any complaints with the site after you order from them should be directed to them, not me.  I'll just be the person converting your photo.  :-)



Female Nutcracker Christmas 2014

Here's my new Nutcracker for Christmas 2014 (this is the prototype).  It's supposed to be a female, but she still looks like a dude to me.  :-)  I've made some slight changes to the file, but not anything big.  I'll post again after I've cut the final pieces and assembled it.  This prototype is not painted, but the final one will be painted.

Also, in the final version I will draw in the eyebrows and nose because they are too small to cut out on chipboard.  I'm also thinking of taking the two button off from the neck band because they are tiny too.



Elves Christmas Wrapping Paper (SVG, MTC, WPC)

Here is a sheet of print and cut Christmas wrapping paper featuring elves.  The only piece that should be cut in this file would be the blackout pieces (for sturdiness) for the elf tags above the paper.  This paper was created for 11"x 11", but you can resize. Tip:  To save on ink, once you open the file you can ungroup everything and take out the green background or even change the colors.

 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. :-)


Criminal Minds T-Shirt

I keep running out of black, white, and red HTV!  Ok, so I use those colors the most.  :-)

Anyway, I hope to be getting more black, white, and red HTV soon so I can make this shirt for myself.  When I make mine, there's gonna be bling.  :-)



Penguin Vinyl Decals (SVG, MTC, WPC)

Here are some penguin vinyl decals.

In the second file, there is a split set of penguins with no words in the middle so you can add your own word/letters.



Butterfly Girl Vinyl Decal (SVG, MTC, WPC)

Here's another little vinyl decal I created in my Pazzles Pro 2010 software.  You'll probably see her quite a bit with different decor on her.  I have more girls in my Etsy shop too.

Click on her image to visit the specific listing.



Silhouette Meets A Letter

Here's a letter I used to incorporate my daughter's face in.  I created this a little while back, but I wanted to cut it out in black.

Here's the originals:

Here's the vinyl cut out. I placed this on the front of my craft cabinet.


Fleece Ear Warmers

I'm making my first set of fleece ear warmers today!  My daughter's ear warmer will be easy because she wants no decorations.  For me, I've got to add something.

I have to decide which color heat transfer vinyl I want to use.  I'm really leaning towards the silver and black style, but the orange and black is a part of Mercer University's colors.  I'll be adding either rhinestuds or rhinestones.  Not sure yet.  I'll show the finished product later today.

This is going to be a test.  I've never put heat transfer vinyl on fleece before.  :-)

UPDATE:  I decided to go with the silver with the silver rhinestuds, but, I'm going to make another one.

Thank you Crafty Gemini for giving me the idea to make these.  :-) 

We had been going around looking for ear warmers (all were just plain ugly and only pullovers) until I remembered her video.  I paid less than $2 for about 7/8th of a yard of fleece.  So far I've made 3 of these and still have plenty of fabric left to make more.  I must admit mine are not perfect, but my picky daughter likes hers.  :-)

The one thing I messed up on with the first one is that I only cut the circumference of my daughter's friend's head and it was not long enough for the button and buttonhole to meet.  I ended up adding another 3 1/4" inches and it fit perfectly. I also doubled the fabric, sewed a 5/8" seam, left an opening, turned outside, then sewed a top stitch to keep it from losing it's form after washing or just plain handling.



Black Con-Tact Shelf Lining

I have been looking for black shelf lining, locally, so I can cut out my vinyl decal designs for a while.  I finally found some at Home Depot today!  It would have been even better if it was smooth, but it has what looks like a cheetah print or something on it.  Not bad though because the other shelf liner I have is way too busy to show anyone the test cuts.

With this product, I had to increase the blade depth to 1.5 instead of the 1 I was using with the Duck Brand shelf liner (I have a Pazzles Inspiration).  This product is 18" x 15ft.

It was a little less than $8.  This is good for me because buying vinyl online would have cost me much more with the shipping included.

I had never put contact paper on a wall before.  We'll see how it holds up with the varying temperatures in the room.

Here's the design.  If you saw this before, I had way more details in the decal, but my daughter likes things plain...not like her blingy mom.  :-)



Abstract Collection - Jessica Vinyl Decals - Split Monogram (SVG, MTC, WPC)

Here's the letter J in the Abstract collection.  Find it on Etsy.

The one with the name welded is really just so you can see how a name will look.  This is a bonus if you know someone named Jessica like I do.  :-).


More Abstract Collection Vinyl Decals (SVG, MTC, WPC)

Head on over to Etsy to grab these abstract vinyl decal designs.  :-)

Enlarge them for a wall design or scale them down to fit on a greeting card or envelope.

Thanks for stopping by.  :-)

Gina Stevens

Abstract Design Vinyl Decal Design (SVG, MTC, WPC)

I'm making some vinyl decals I call my Abstract Collection.  I really like "curves" and "circles" so you will see quite a bit of them in this collection.

Note that with any of my vinyl designs, my intention is for them to be used with vinyl because some designs, if paper is used, some pieces will fall out (but can be glued down if you are putting it on a surface).

You can find this design at Etsy.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, but don't forget to visit my Etsy shop.  :-)



Steampunk Hats Vinyl Decals (SVG, MTC, WPC)

Steampunk Hats - Vinyl Decals
Find at Etsy

Thanks for stopping by.  :-)


Natural Afro Beauty Star Viny Decal (SVG, MTC, WPC)

Find this natural afro vinyl decal design at Etsy.


Portrait to Vinyl Decal Cleanup

There's a few applications out there used to clean up images before converting to a vectorized image for a vinyl decal.  My favorite cleanup buddy is Adobe Fireworks, but I'll have to give that up once I get another computer since Adobe is scrapping it.  Uggghhh!  I miss Macromedia!

I can clean images in Pazzles Pro 2010 and Make-The-Cut too, but only after I've vectorized the photo.

Some people like to convert black and white or gray scale photos, but I tend to use whichever will make the converted image look good.  The fewer the steps the better for me.

Here's a photo I found online of someone with natural hair.  I chose this photo because I wanted to see how the hair would look.  As you can tell from the photo I cleaned up quite a bit (if I had left it as is, I would be weeding this for days).  This photo was easy to convert because the background was really clean, which did not disturb the main object in the photo.

When I'm cleaning up vectorized photos that I know I will make into a cut file, I clean out as many tiny pieces as I can.  I would probably clean more off from her hands and around her eyes for an easier cut.

These silhouettes can be adhered to many surfaces and some people even cut them from paper.  I usually use vinyl because I can pick up all pieces at once using clear contact paper.

I've made these personal portrait decals for people to use on cell phones, cell phone cases, laptops, wooden plaques, walls, t-shirts, jackets, tote bags, doors, tiles, license plates, etc.  It doesn't take me long to create these.  I don't charge a lot to do these (especially if you want a downloadable digital file).  People love to give these silhouettes as Christmas gifts.
If you ever want to convert a photo to a silhouette, delete the background and clean off as many small pieces as you can.

There are some photo to stencil programs (or vectorizing programs) out there for you to freely use, but you'll still have to clean the photo so you can have a clean cut file.   When you upload a busy background to one of the free programs, you will get undesired results if you plan on cutting the file. If you only want a print out, the free programs are the way to go.

Here's a video I did a little while back.

Talk to ya later.

Gina  :-)