Gear & Gadgets

Think Outside the Box

For gifts that take just minutes to make, look through your digital stash for pre-designed treat tents and toppers or chocolate bar wrappers—like the “Confection Collection: Joy” set shown here by Shabby Princess from theshabbyshoppe.com.

Open a few designs, adjust sizes as needed, then personalize and use them more creatively. Wrap pencil boxes, fancy soap and hot chocolate or mixed nut cans. Crop them to make wine, soda or spice bottle labels. Reinvent them as CD case inserts for custom music mixes, recipe cards, bookmarks or gift card holders.

And nothing says treat topper bags or tents have to be filled with cookies and candy. Use them to package slipper socks, marbles, crayons, bath cubes, cookie cutters, potpourri, pasta, golf tees or Post It notes.

 

Make Musical Memories
Not sure how to entertain guests after the holiday dishes are cleared away? If you use Photoshop Elements, it’s easy to create a funny or moving musical slide show of the year’s highlights to watch on your flat-screen TV.
 
Simply open Photoshop Element’s Organizer, click on the Create tab and select the Slide Show option. In the Slide Show Preferences that opens, set the Static Duration to 5 sec, the Transition to Fade, the Transition Duration to 2 sec and leave the Background Color showing its default black. Check Apply Pan & Zoom to All Slides, Repeat Soundtrack Until Last Slide and Crop to Fit Slide for Portrait Photos. (You can also crop your photos yourself as you work inside the application.) Set Preview Quality to Medium and you’re off.

Inside the Slide Show Editor, add more photos by going to Add Media on the menu bar. Edit the size, rotation and pan of your photos in the Properties pane. Add your favorite music in the bottom bar. 

Save your slideshow and it appears as a file in the Organizer. Follow your TV’s instructions to attach your computer. Open the file, press play and watch your special story unfold.

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