Sunday, November 24, 2019

How to get Windows 10 for Free

I have been using Windows 7 for the last 10 years and I like it.  I really didn't want to upgrade to Windows 10 because I tried it out when they had their free trial and I didn't like it.  It is very different from Windows 7.  Everything is becoming too much like mobile apps, which I don't like for a desktop.  I even bought a new computer specifically with Windows 7.  Then they decided to quit support for Windows Essentials (Support for Windows 7 ends in January of 2020, followed by the end of support of Windows 8.1 in January of 2023), so I was forced to get Windows 10.  

They offer a free upgrade on the Windows Website.  

You also have to make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements:
  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
  • Display: 800x600

But after you upgrade, you'll have to update your drivers.  Otherwise your computer could lag really bad, as mine did.  I have a DELL, so I just went to, logged into my account and downloaded "Support Assist."  It scanned my computer and automatically updated all my drivers for me.  Now it runs smooth.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tired ALL the TIME

Related image

Last year I suffered with low energy, I felt like I just didn’t have the strength to do anything.  I went to the doctor, had tons of blood tests done, and after $500, was told I was anemic.  I took iron and vitamin D supplements and after a few months, my energy returned.  Now I’m suffering with being tired all the time.  You know the feeling you get when you’ve stayed up all night and your eyes are sore and want to slam shut? That’s me . . .ALL the TIME.  I went to bed early last night, and according to my fitbit I got over 9 hours of sleep.  I woke up in the middle of the night for about 45 minutes.  I was wide awake and had to force myself (through meditation) to go back to sleep.  When my alarm went off, I felt like I had just barely gone to sleep.  I was so tired.  I don’t understand what is going on with me.  I eat healthy, I take my vitamins, I get on average 7 1/2 hours of sleep.  I bought a fitbit a few months ago just to keep track of my sleep because I honestly thought maybe I wasn’t sleeping at all during the night.  I’m at a loss.  I think I’m going to have to see a doctor.  I just don’t want to spend another $500 on doctor bills.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Above Couch Home Decor

This is what I've been working on today.Above our couch has been an empty wall since we remodeled our kitchen in November.I got everything from Joann's fabric and spent a little over $60 for everything.It was all on sale, plus I had a 25% off coupon.

The door on the left was Halloween.I painted over "trick or treat" and used my sizzix eclips to cut out "Home" with some self-adhesive vinyl. I then took out the Halloween decorations in the wreath and added my own.

I also used my cutting machine for the sign on the bottom (and I think to myself what a wonderful world.)

I spray-painted the "family" gray.It had been orange.
Now I just need to pick out some pictures for the frames!

Here are the links to the products I used:
Frames - (8x10) (11x14)
Spray Paint - Matte Shadow Gray
Floral - Daisy and Berry Bush

Monday, September 2, 2019

Gamer Pregnancy Reveal Shirts

My sister is having a baby!  So she sent me some pictures of these adorable onesies and I had an idea to use my cutting machine to make her some.  Then I figured I could also make some matching shirts for her other two girls.  Then we had this awesome idea to make pregnancy announcements with these shirts, so that's what I did instead.   I of course needed to use up my stock since I was just going to be getting rid of it anyway.

So here's what I made:

Dad wears this one:

Mom wears this one:

 Kids wear these:

You can download the svg files here.

Remember to use the mirror option when cutting these on iron on vinyl.

If you're interested in having some custom-made tshirts made, please feel free to contact me, using the contact form in the upper right corner.  I normally charge $10 each, depending on the cost of materials.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

DIY Minion T-Shirt with Sizzix eClips 2

A long time ago I created a Minion T-shirt for a coworker of mine who loves minions.

Then recently (like within the last year or two, maybe three) I bought some more yellow T-shirts because I wanted to make more minion T-shirts to sell.  I am clearing out my stash of crafts, so I figured I’d better do something with these T-shirts.  So, I decided to make more minions.  Perfect for Halloween coming up in just a couple months.


  • Bright yellow T-shirt
  • 11x6” SILVER iron-on vinyl
  • 7.5x4.5” WHITE iron-on vinyl
  • 3x2” BLUE (or brown, or whatever color you prefer for the iris)
  • 4x2” BLACK iron-on vinyl
  • Parchment Paper
  • My svg minion design (cuts all together, or separated.)


Make sure when you place the vinyl on the cutting mat, it is shiny side down.  You will be cutting backwards.  Because my design is the same either way, there is no need to mirror it.  For the settings, I use blade depth 4 and pressure 5 for the regular Cricut* iron-on vinyl, or pressure 6 for the glittery iron-on vinyl.Pressure 7 will cut through the plastic, which you don't want. 
*Silhouette Heat Transfer Paper is much thinner, so you only need pressure 4.

Also, so that I’m not wasting vinyl, I like to group the designs together.

After cutting out the designs and taking off the outer pieces of vinyl that you won’t be using, iron your T-shirt.  Then lay the SILVER piece down towards the top of the shirt.  Do not take off the plastic!  It is used as parchment paper.  Make sure you do not iron for too long or it will start to melt the plastic.  About 15-20 seconds is all it takes.  Of course, each iron is different.  I use parchment paper on top of the plastic, too.

After you’ve completely let it cool (which can take several minutes), carefully peel off the plastic.  Be patient or you could ruin it!  Then I like to go over it again with parchment paper, just for a few seconds.  Then lay down the WHITE pieces.  If the pieces are separated into two pieces, make sure they are not overlapping the plastic.  (I’ve done this, and had to peel off the entire white piece and cut a new one.) You shouldn’t have to cut them in two pieces, though, if you keep them at the same distance apart as the original design.  It is also much easier for placement if you leave the two on the same piece of plastic. 

Lay down the parchment paper over the top of the entire design.  This is very important because if you get direct contact with your iron on the vinyl, it could ruin it.  Iron for the same amount of time, again letting it completely cool before taking off the plastic.  Again, go over it again with the parchment paper.

Then lay down the blue circles and do the same.  Then the black pupils and goggles ends.
When you’re completely done, flip over the t-shirt and iron the backside.  I recommend putting parchment paper between the shirt where the design is, and the ironing board.


  • Make sure your blade is sharp
  • Use masking tape on the edges of the vinyl to keep it down, when on the mat.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Difficult Decision—Time to say goodbye (sort of)

Seven years ago, I made a decision to quit my pursuit of becoming an ultrasound technician, because I believed wholeheartedly that I could make the same amount of money doing what I love—making things to sell.  I was inspired by what I saw on ebay that was selling for really high prices—barbie outfits that someone made that sold for hundreds of dollars!  I never made that amount. It’s been a long road, but it’s finally come to an end.  I have struggled to create a business that would thrive, but it has failed.  I have spent thousands of dollars on fabric, sewing and craft items, and endless hours making things, only to see pennies returned to me. 

At the peak of my business making custom cabbage patch kids, I got a job outside the home (two in fact) and injured my wrist.  I’ve had to quit making custom cabbage patch kids due to my injury and my on-going tendenitis in both my wrists.  I’ve also had to deal with anemia, which literally has taken all my energy from me.

We live in a very small house, so the only place for my crafts is in my bedroom, in which I share with my husband.  He works graveyard, so I come home after working and have to be quiet and can’t do anything in my room until he awakes, which is when I go to sleep.  Thus, I have no time, no energy, and no space for my crafts.  It has caused a great deal of stress on me.  Seeing all that I have purchased, with so many hundreds of ideas of what to make, just makes me even more depressed.
So I have decided to end my business and my hobbies.   My hobbies include scrapbooking, papercrafting, custom t-shirts, sewing, and photography.  It pains me to no end that I can’t do the things I want to do!!  So the only answer I can think of is to end it all.  In a way, I feel like I am having a “pre-estate sale.”  It’s time to simplify my life.

I have already started going through my scrapbook paper, sorting, combining into bundles, taking photos, etc.  It took me 12 hours to do just that!  I have been listing things on ebay.
I have too much invested in my “sew inspired” names, so I will just keep them.  I will keep my Diana’s Patch facebook and blog, but more for informational purposes only.  My cpk ebay is still cpkdiana.

I will of course continue posting projects.  This isn't completely the end, just partly an end.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Old Farm Square from Sims 1

One of my favorite places to go when I played the Sims 1, was the Old Farm Square.  I’d take my dates there and we had a lot of fun.  So I decided to recreate it.  I wanted to make it as close to the original as possible.  I had to use some custom content and recolor some objects, but here it is…

Here is the original from Sims 1:

Link To Mods Used

Old Farm Square Custom Content

I’ve recreated the Old Farm Square from the Sims 1 Hot Date.  I will be posting the Lot later.

Links To Mods Used

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Digitizing Old Negatives - Epson v550 and Kodak Mobile Film Scanner review

It’s a sad story, really.  My mom passed away about 5 years ago and my dad has taken it so hard that he threw out all the family photos so he wouldn’t be reminded of her.  Luckily, he found the negatives, so I’ve been digitizing them.  This article is the walk-through for digitizing negatives, and also a review of the products I used.  If you’ve read any of my past reviews, you know I am very thorough in my reviews.

Scan Yourself or Have Someone Else Do It?

First of all, to clarify if anyone has any misguided opinions regarding if it is better just to get them printed or digitized by a company, I’ve done my research and it would cost literally hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  I have already scanned nearly 1,000 frames, mostly 110s, and I am not even done with half of them.  Keep in mind, this is 25+ years of negatives.  The cheapest price I found to digitize them was 39 cents each print, which would be $390, just for the ones I’ve done already. 

Also, you can’t use just any scanner for negatives.  You have to have one that is specific for negatives because it has glass on both sides so that light can shine through one side, and it gets scanned on the other side.  Now if you only have a few negatives to scan, then by all means, having someone else do it would be more cost-effective.  In my situation, buying my own scanner was definitely worth it.

Keep in mind, the quality of the photos will heavily depend on the condition of the negatives.  Most of the negatives I scanned were scratched and poor quality.

The Search

At first, I just wanted to get started right away and didn’t want to spend much money, so I went ahead and ordered the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner for $49.  It was the cheapest one out there.  With further investigating, I decided it probably wouldn’t be the best solution if I wanted to have good quality.  I had looked up on youtube how to make your own scanner using your phone, glass from picture frames, a tablet (for the light), a box, and some tuna cans.  I downloaded the Kodak app and tried it out.  The quality was terrible!  So I figured the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner would be about the same.

So I decided to search online and read reviews on amazon for the best scanner out there.  After all, if I’m going to spend all this time scanning thousands of negatives, I might as well make it worth it and get quality good enough to print if I wanted to.  The problem with reviews, though, is that everyone has different standards of quality.  I read some reviews on the same items that say the quality is great, while others say it’s horrible.  So I decided to base my decision on customer’s photos of the results of each product.

So before the Kodak even arrived, I decided to order the Epson v550.  It is a flatbed scanner but also does negatives.  (I received the Epson days before I received the Kodak, even though I ordered the Kodak a couple days before ordering the Epson—both on Amazon.)

The Espson v550 is the latest model and costs less than its predecessor (v600).  Comparing the Espon v600 ($200) with the Epson v550 ($160), they are pretty much the same.  The only difference is the software.  The v600 has the capability to get rid of scratches and imperfections on negatives AND photos that are scanned (with Digital ICE software), while the v550 only despeckles negatives.  Since I wasn’t worried about photos, I figured for $40 less, I’d go with the v550.

Setting Up and Getting Ready to Scan

First, get all your negatives out, being careful to only touch the edges to keep fingerprints off.  Then, using a scratch-free lens cloth, wipe each negative and lay them out.  I use a camera lens brush to help position the 110 negatives on the scanner bed (when placing directly on glass.)  I purchased the lens cleaning kit and it came with both.

If you have many negatives from many different rolls of film, create a folder on your computer for each one.  Name it by the number that you scan, then the date.  Because mine are from so many different years, I have a folder for each year, then a folder for each roll.  I also label the envelopes the same as the folders.  This way, if I see a photo I like and want to scan it again, then it’s easy to find.  Most of the envelopes were not dated, so I had to scan the negatives first so I could see what they were and get an idea of what year they were.  Luckily, I had my album that had some of the photos, so I could reference them for the date.

If using one of the negatives holders, like for the 35mm film, it is very easy and you can simply place them and press scan.  The 35mm holder can fit two strips of negatives.  If using 110 negatives, which does not come with a film holder, you have to either place them directly on the glass, or buy an adapter (more on that later).

Using 35mm film, one thing to keep in mind if you want the negatives to be scanned in a particular order, is that it scans the bottom negatives first (the ones closest to the edge of the cartridge.)

Since I had a lot of 110 negatives, I went ahead and bought the 110 adapter.

In the photo below, I didn’t use the 110 adapter, so the negatives are crooked and each frame had to be selected each time I changed the negatives.

110 Adapter

At first, I was very disappointed in this expensive piece of plastic because I had it in the wrong slot, used the wrong template, and had it face up instead of face down, therefore making the images blurry and terrible.  It does not come with any instructions or photos.  After I emailed the seller and he kindly sent me the link to his instructions, I got it right and now I am happy with it.  I don’t understand why he didn’t include this with my order.

Anyhow, by using the 110 adapter, it makes it much easier because the frames will always be in the same spot, so just a minor adjustment of all the frames together, then scan.  If you place the negatives in the same exact place each time, you could skip the preview, making it faster.  You will not have to keep selecting each individual frame if you use the adapter.  If you don’t have the adapter, you will have to select each frame because the negatives will not be in the same place each time you switch them out.  (See the photo above.)

For the proper placement, you need the template that has “B” on it.  Place the negative shiny side the same way that the flat side of the adapter is, slide it inside the allotted space of the template, then place the adapter face down, so the rough side is up.  Place inside the big empty space in the template.  It will not fit snug, but just enough to get a good placement for scanning.  If you place it upside down, the photo will be blurry because it will be too far away from the glass where it gets scanned.

110 adapter

I wish that the design was a little different.  It drives me nuts that the dividers are in the wrong place.  When placing the 110 negative, you have to slide it in even further than needed in order to properly line up.  If the dividers were shifted just about 1/2", then it would be perfect, or just get rid of the dividers altogether.  Also, if it was designed to have two strips, side by side.  Then 8 frames could be scanned at a time, instead of four.

For a video on how to use the adapter, click here.

Software Settings:

Full Auto Mode is really easy, just press the “start” button on the machine and it automatically scans individual frames (provided you are using the templates [holders] that they provide with the correct film.)  I scanned 413 frames in 8 hours.  All I did is place the negatives in the cartridge and hit the Start button on the machine and walked away for a few minutes.  It did the rest.  I did have to do the initial settings on the first run.  It scans each frame, one at a time, so it takes about a minute per frame.  This was on the setting to make the end result 4x6’s at 300dpi, and I didn’t have Digital ICE checked.  Digital ICE removes scratches and flaws on the negative.

To get out of auto mode, press the “start” button (or open the software), then click “pause” with your mouse, and change to “Home Mode.”  Full Auto Modeis great for 35mm film, but if using another size, like 126 or 110, it has to be done in Home Mode.  On Preview you have to select each frame in Normal preview mode, otherwise it cuts the frames in half.

I found that 3200dpi was best for the 110 negatives, which makes it over 300dpi once it is enlarged to 4x6 inches.  I didn’t try any higher, though.  In Home Mode, it will go up to 4800dpi, but in Professional Mode, it will go up to 12,800dpi.  The Professional mode doesn’t scan negatives.

One thing that is very frustrating is that after you select each frame, you have to click “All” before scanning.  Otherwise, it will only scan the last frame that you selected.

“Remove dust” sometimes blurs the eyes, as though it registers eyes as dust spots, so I make sure it is not checked in Full Auto Mode.

“Digital ICE” makes it really slow, but is very good at removing scratches. “Color Restoration” is pretty good, too, for adjusting color. For large batches that don’t have a lot of scratches, I just use Color Restoration, but for negatives that I want to spend more time on, I use both Color Restoration and Digital ICE, then I go further into Photoshop.



  • Produces excellent quality photos.
  • Digital ICE and Color Restoration features in the software are excellent as well, and saves time from having to photoshop. (You will still need to photoshop some, depending on the negative.)
  • Has the capability to scan a multitude of different sized negatives, as well as regular photos and documents.
  • Easy to use.
  • The actual working part that you do yourself is not much, so it’s fairly quick compared to if you were sitting at the table with your phone, taking photos of each individual frame, especially if you are scanning 35mm and have it on auto mode.


  • It does not come with the 110 template, so you have to buy a very expensive adapter or make your own, or have them on the direct glass, which can make the negatives move around a lot.
  • When selecting the individual frames, it is very difficult to see because it shows it so small.  It would be nice to zoom in a little bit.  It can zoom in, but only on one frame.

Kodak Mobile Film Scanner Review

Just as the other reviews state, it is a simple design made of a hard cardboard-type material.  You turn it on (batteries not included), place your negative on top of the light, and place your mobile phone so that the camera lens is over the hole.  It matters little how good your camera works--it is still blurry and poor quality.  My phone is an iphone X, which has a great camera—one of the best.  I think mainly because you are taking a photo of something so small and expect it to be larger and clearer.  I got the same result by using the home-made scanner.


  • Less expensive than other scanners, but still not worth the price.  I agree with other reviewers that have said it’s only worth about $10, not $50.
  • Good for if you just want to see what a negative is, but not good enough quality to print a photo.


  • Does not produce good quality photos. 
  • Way over priced.

Photo Comparisons

First, here is an original photo (from 1990) scanned by a regular scanner:

Here is the 35mm negative “scanned” with the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner, using my iphoneX:

Perhaps some photoshop could help.

Here is the same negative scanned on the Epson v550 in auto mode:

Using Color Restoration and Digital ICE:

Color Restoration only:

Digital ICE only:

Here is a 126 (about the same size as a 35mm) from 1978, using the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner:

Epson v550 with Color Correction/Digital ICE, 2400dpi in the 35mm cartridge:

Directly on the glass, without the cartridge:

And last but not least, a 110 negative (from 1978).


Here’s the same 110 negative directly on the glass without the holder or adapter, 3200dpi (with the Epson, of course):

And here’s the same negative in the adapter (I figured out I had the negative placed upside down, which is why it is backwards from the other photos):


Overall, the Epson v550 is well-worth the money spent.  It is excellent quality, easy to use, and pretty fast.  It is really amazing that it can turn a 1/2” size negative into a 4x6” (up to 8x10 inch [at 4800 dpi]) photo.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Huff N Cuff’s Koda Cross Body Bag Review

Pattern Description:
“The Koda Cross Body Bag (by Huff 'N Cuffs) is the perfect size for any event. Approx. 9 1/2" H by 10" W with a front zipper pocket for your phone. A top zipper closure keeps the rest of your possessions safe and easy to access.”

Pattern Sizing:9 1/2" H by 10" W (I changed it to 9x11")

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
No, because I altered it quite a bit to meet my needs.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, and she has a video tutorial that makes it even more helpful to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked it because it was simple to make, and also easy to alter.

Fabric Used:Cotton Quilting Fabric- from Susan Winget's chocolate collection (OOP).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a LOT of alterations.

  1. I wanted the strap to be removable, so instead of stitching the strap directly onto the bag, I stitched two D ring connectors instead. (I also used D rings instead of O rings.) I used cotton belting for both the strap, and the connectors.

  2. I wanted it to fit my Samsung 10 tablet, so I altered the size. The main panel pieces were cut to 10x12" instead of 10-1/4x10-1/2". The zippered pocket piece is also 10x12" instead of 10-1/2x10-1/2". The end result is approximately 9x11”.

  3. I omitted the bottom darts, so that it lays flat because I wanted it less bulky.

  4. I added an inside zipper pocket to the lining, exactly like the front zipper pocket. The outside pocket is perfect for my cosmetics. The inside pocket is perfect for my wallet/credit card holder.

  5. I added a back pocket and a front pocket. The front pocket has dividers so it is easy to fit my phone, pens, and keys. The large pocket in back is perfect for flyers and coupons.  They also both have piping at the top, for added contrast.

  6. Instead of using vinyl or pleather, I used cotton, each piece lined with interfacing.

Would you sew it again?
Definitely!  It is an easy enough pattern to make it any size you need, and to make alterations like I have.

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, as mentioned above.

Hardware used:
I used 3 zippers: 1 for the top, one for the outside pocket, and one for the inside pocket.  I also used D rings, a buckle, and Swivel Clips for the strap, which I looked up on youtube how to install.I added an “I Love Chocolate” keychain for decorative purposes.  I thought it went perfect with it and adds a little more character.  I also added embroidery thread to the zipper pulls.

I am not an expert, by any means, and this bag has given me confidence that I can make bags, and alter them, too.  Being able to make my own bag to fit my needs is the greatest pleasure I have in making this.The only change I would make if I did it again is to not use so much interfacing. I used interfacing for every piece of fabric.It was overkill and made it a little bulky.Next time I will just interface the exterior pieces, not any of the lining.

I absolutely love this bag and how it turned out.  I love chocolate, and I love this fabric, so it sort of jumped out at me when I was looking for fabric to make this bag.

More photos here:

Special thanks to my 12-year-old daughter for modeling it for me.