Sarah Hearts - Where Joy is Found in Creating

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Get your home ready for the holidays by creating on of these fun and festive DIY projects!

Happy December!

Whether you’re ready or not the holidays are happening! I’m looking forward to checking out the local art + craft markets this weekend and next. I’m hoping to find the perfect gifts for our family members (and maybe a gift for myself too if we’re being honest). Have a happy weekend, friends!

This week I’m loving…

  1. This photo tree would be perfect in places where you couldn’t fit a real tree.
  2. Add a little joy to your mantle.
  3. These terra-cotta ornaments would make great neighbor gifts.
  4. Can you believe this is a gingerbread?!

I’m also a fan of…

These elf mugs.
My new pink jacket.
This commercial.
This cookie video.
This tinsel wallpaper & this geometric wallpaper.

P.S.

Have you seen this week’s video?

December 2016 Christmas Cookie Calendar Wallpaper

Deck your desktop, phone and tablet with this free festive Christmas cookie wallpaper!happy holidays!

I cannot believe this year is already coming to a close. It almost feels too early to be Christmas, right? I’ve created a festive wallpaper of cookies and candy to help get you in the holiday spirit. All you need is a glass of eggnog and an ugly sweater and you’re set. Get it for all your devices below!

Deck your desktop, phone and tablet with this free December 2016 Christmas cookie wallpaper!

DOWNLOAD THIS MONTH’S WALLPAPER

Computer | Computer with calendar | Computer with quote
Retina computer | Retina computer with calendar | Retina computer with quote
iPhone | iPhone with calendar | iPhone with quote | iPhone home screen
iPad | iPad with calendar | iPad with quote | iPad home screen
Apple Watch

Deck your desktop, phone and tablet with this free festive Christmas cookie wallpaper!

Deck your desktop, phone and tablet with this free festive Christmas cookie wallpaper!

Design and illustration by Sarah Khandjian

Want more free wallpapers?

Find more holiday inspired wallpapers I’ve created over on the wallpaper page. And if you just adore the Christmas cookie illustrations, you can purchase the vector and hi-resolution JPF files for use in your own designs over on my Creative Market shop!

Customizable Christmas Advent Calendar

Learn how to make your own custom printable advent calendar! Click through to watch the video tutorial.

I know it seems like Thanksgiving just ended but the holidays are now upon us and before we know it, it will be Christmas! In an effort to help slow things down a bit and savor the season, I’ve created a customizable Christmas advent calendar for you.

Each day features a tiny card that you can customize in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. I’ve created the template so all you need to do is place your favorite photos in it and print it out. The photos can be of your family, friends, or adventures you’ve had throughout the year. My advent calendar is full of little adventures Kevin and I can take this season like getting donuts for breakfast or going on a bike ride. I’ve used photos I snapped of donuts from our favorite shop and of my bike at the farmers market and hand wrote a note inside each card.

Learn how to make your own advent calendar in the video below and learn how to customize the template using Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 and the Adobe Elements Organizer 15 . Then you’ll have a head start on the holiday season!

Learn how to make your own custom printable advent calendar! Click through to watch the video tutorial.

Watch the video below to see how to make your own display board!

DIY Advent CalendarEvery year I always say I’m going to make an advent calendar and never get around to it, so this year I got a head start on the holidays and made this fun Christmas tree version! You can make it at home and join in on the tradition!

Created with Adobe Photoshop Elements

Posted by Sarah Hearts on Monday, November 28, 2016

 

Printable Photo Advent Calendar

Supplies

Advent Calendar Photoshop Elements 15 template

Photoshop Elements 15 Directions

  1. Gather 25 photos you want to use and open them in the Adobe Elements Organizer 15. I’m using some of my favorite iPhone photos I’ve taken this year.Use the Adobe Elements 15 Organizer to sort, label, and tag your photos.
  2. Edit your photos. Don’t let this intimidate you, the built-in Guided Edits (found in the top center menu bar) walk you through editing your photos one step at a time. I used the Guided Edits to adjust the colors of the photos and remove some small blemishes. My favorite ones to use are Brightness & Contrast, Enhance Colors, and Scratches and Blemishes. The last one is really cool—in just one click you can remove things from your photos!
    You don't need to be a designers to edit photos like a pro using Adobe Photoshop Elements 15's Guided Edits
  3. Open the Photoshop Elements template and enter Expert mode (found in the top center menu bar).
  4. Select one Advent Calendar number. In the layers palette, click the eye next to the advent calendar number you want to print. Make sure all other number layers are hidden; this is indicated by a red diagonal line through the eye icon.
  5. Place your own photo on the card. Grab one of the photos you added to the Elements Organizer from the Photo Bin at the bottom and then switch the dropdown menu from Show Open Files to Show Files Selected in Organizer. From there, you can drag and drop the photo you want to place. Rotate or make it smaller if necessary.
    Create your own custom advent calendar using Adobe Photoshop Elements 15
  6. Update clipping mask. In the layers palette, click on your new photo and drag it between the layer titled, “PLACE NEW PHOTO BELOW” and “Photo Template”. Hide the old photo by clicking on the eye icon next to that layer in the layers palette.
    Create your own custom advent calendar using Adobe Photoshop Elements 15
  7. Print out the advent calendar card on white copy paper or matte presentation paper. Cut it out using scissors or a paper cutter. Fold it in half length wise and then in half again keeping the number on the front side. Write your own advent message inside and clip onto the advent calendar tree. Repeat this with the other numbers.

Before I printed my advent calendar, I saved each number as a separate Photoshop file. Then I used the Picture Package feature to print 8 per sheet on an 11” x 17” page. You can use this same feature to print them out on a standard 8.5” x 11” page. Just be sure to change the individual image size to 3” x 4.5”.

Add your own photos to make a one-of-a-kind advent calendar this Christmas season!

Add your own photos to make a one-of-a-kind advent calendar this Christmas season!

Christmas Tree Display Board

Supplies

advent calendar Photoshop Elements 15 template
2′ x 2′ sheet of plywood
painter’s tape
craft paint
paint brush
25 small bulldog clips
super glue
copy paper
paper trimmer or scissors

Directions

  1. Use a ruler to find the center of the board and mark with a pencil.
  2. Apply painter’s tape on the wood board in the shape of a large triangle, leaving a few inches on the bottom for a tree trunk. Use your hands to press down on the inside edge of the tape to make sure it’s firmly adhered to the board.
  3. Paint inside the triangle and remove the tape immediately after you’re done painting. Allow it to dry.
  4. Apply tape on the lower part of the tree to create a tree trunk. Press the tape into place and paint inside. Remove the tape again while the paint is wet, and allow it to dry.
  5. Arrange all the clips on the tree. Use super glue to glue them down one at a time, pressing them down for a couple seconds to bond the clip onto the wood surface. I found a ruler to be really helpful aligning each clip.
  6. Once you’re done, add your advent cards and you’re ready for the season!

Learn how to make your own custom printable advent calendar! Click through to watch the video tutorial.Learn how to make your own custom printable advent calendar! Click through to watch the video tutorial.
Get ready for Christmas and print out this adorable advent calendar! Add your own photos inside each card with @AdobeElements. #ElementsCreators #sponsored

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This post was created in partnership with Adobe Photoshop Elements 15

Links to Love

Get your home ready for Thanksgiving! Try one of these modern, cute, or quirky DIYs this weekend!

Happy Friday!

It’s now officially less than one week until Turkey day! If you’re hosting this year here are 4 fun ways to make your Thanksgiving pretty—whether you’re a minimalist or love color.

4 diys to try this weekend

  1. Use jersey yarn to make a Scandinavian inspired trivet.
  2. Transform any pie into a Palm Springs pie.
  3. Print out placemats for your Thanksgiving table.
  4. Create a chic garland for your mantle.

I’m also loving

This DIY jewelry stand.
These printable letters.
This pink jacket.

P.S.

Did you buy a baking mat yet?

Fresh Cranberry Salsa and DIY Patterned Acrylic Food Trays

 Serve this sweet and savory fresh cranberry salsa with @HarvestSnaps at your holiday party! #harvestsnapslove

I’m all about taking classic holiday traditions and giving them a refresh. Today I’m sharing my mom’s cranberry salsa recipe. It’s the perfect remake of traditional cranberry sauce—it’s sweet and savory all in one bite and equally perfect as an appetizer as it is on top of turkey.

Everyone loves Thanksgiving and Christmas staples like sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie but every year I like to do a few classic dishes with a twist (hello pumpkin flan!). Several years ago my mom started making this cranberry salsa as a holiday appetizer and now it’s a staple in our family holiday dinners. You can serve it with your favorite crudités, mine being Harvest Snaps! Not only are they perfect for dipping the bright green color makes this snack oh-so-festive.

Watch the video below to see how to make fresh cranberry salsa!

Serve this sweet and savory fresh cranberry salsa with @HarvestSnaps at your holiday party! #harvestsnapslove

Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 – 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
2 limes, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 large jalapeño pepper seeded and finely diced
2 scallions (white & green parts) finely chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
Lightly Salted Harvest Snaps

Directions

  1. Wash and dry all the produce. Place the cranberries in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until cranberries begin to float to the surface and pop. Drain the berries in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. In a medium glass mixing bowl, combine the sugar and lime juice. Add the drained cranberries, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño and scallions. Season with salt & pepper and let cool for 30 minutes. Serve with Harvest Snaps and enjoy! Hand wash the trays when you’re done using them.

Notes

Since oil from your fingers will make the paint pens not stick, I recommend wiping them down each side with a clean cotton rag before drawing on them. And if you mess up when drawing, no need to worry, just wipe away the paint with nail polish remover before it dries. Just be sure the outside surface is completely dry before drawing on it again.

Serve this sweet and savory fresh cranberry salsa with @HarvestSnaps at your holiday party! #harvestsnapslove

You can get a head start on your holiday cooking by making this salsa a day ahead. In fact, the flavors have time to mesh and get extra tasty when it’s made ahead. Just refrigerate in an air-tight container after the salsa cools. It can be served at room temperature or cold, whichever you prefer (both ways are delicious).

Since a holiday meal is a good reason to use fancy dishes, I’ve created my own fun serving containers that are perfect for this salsa and snap combo. I used paint markers to doodle on clear acrylic trays to create my own holiday-ready serving pieces.

Use paint pens to doodle on acrylic and create custom trays for food and knick knacks.

DIY Patterned Acrylic Food Trays

Supplies

Small and large square acrylic trays
permanent paint markers

Directions

  1. Hand wash each tray in warm water and dry completely. Use the paint markers to doodle on the outside of each tray. Allow each side to dry before rotating it and drawing on another side.
  2. Allow the paint to dry completely before using, this only takes about 5-10 minutes. Then they are ready to be used at your holiday party!

Use paint pens to doodle on acrylic and create custom trays for food and knick knacks.

These acrylic serving dishes (and this recipe) are definitely all-occiason goods and can be used well after the holidays. I also think the trays would be fun on a dresser or desk for storing jewelry, paper clips and more.

 Serve this sweet and savory fresh cranberry salsa with @HarvestSnaps at your holiday party! #harvestsnapslove

What traditional holiday foods do you like to refresh? Leave a comment and let me know!

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This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps