Happy Planner Me with Create365 and Canon New Print Media

I am going to be more hardworking this year as I embark on my first happy planner project; something I want to do but been lazy to get started. Because we’ve got a new printer in the home and new photo stickers medium by Canon, this is the best time to get started! I stepped into my favorite scrapbooking store and out with happy purchases – Create365 2017 planner, some pretty stickers and new washi tapes. With the other stash I’ve accumulated over the years I was all set and ready to fill up my happy planner.

Keeping it Simple

I know time is limited and I may only have a few hours each month to fill up those pages with memories with my loved ones. So I choose to keep the planner simple, using only photos printed on the new Canon photo stickers, short journaling and little bit of stickers to decorate the page where space allowed.

Photo Stickers Make Things So Easy and Fun

One of the reasons I didn’t start my planner journey before is because I know I will end up with a very thick and bulky journal if I were to print my photos on photo paper and stick them in the planner. When I saw these new photo stickers from Canon for the first time, I knew this is it! I can get my photo memories into journal without adding bulk to it.

These photo stickers are thinner and easy to trim and stick. This makes the whole planner process simpler and mess-free. I create montage of photos over the week into one to two 4R photo sticker, print them with NFC connection from my mobile to my new Canon Pixma TS8070 printer, trim the stickers and stick.

Photos are for Printing

Every year, I can accumulate up to 10,000 photos on my mobile and cameras combined. Only a fraction of these got posted and shared on Instagram or Facebook with family and friends, and some get to see some lights on this blog. More than 90% of these photos are simply stored and backed up in digital form.

My girls, my mum and my grandmother love looking through photos and it is impossible to scroll through the thousands of photos every now and then just to see memories from the past. Print is our way of sharing precious memories among the four generations.

I print highlights of each year into photo books which my girls get to flip through whenever they want to. This year I printed our memories from 2016 onto HD FotoJournals from Canon EShop online. I feel safe leaving these photobooks in the living room for my girls to flip through anytime they want to. Unlike the other photobooks from past few years which were printed on matte/glossy photo paper instead of the High Definition Canon luster paper and mounted together with flatspread binding, making the HD FotoJournals more durable.

Besides photobooks, I also print out photos after each family gathering or celebrations onto photo papers in different sizes. Some framed and hung on our walls, some kept in photo boxes and some gifted to my mother and grandmother for their safekeeping. Everyone is always very happy to receive photo printouts and I simply love seeing them smile. Makes me feel so warm and fuzzy.

Start Sharing Happy Prints

Sharing happy memories in print with friends from the blogging community at a Canon Christmas gathering.

Because I’ve personally witnessed how prints have delighted the little ones and their family, I want to share and spread more happiness. In the month of February, I am embarking on a personal project to spread happy prints. If you would like to receive printouts of your photos, submit your details and mailing address via this form.

  • Please check “Happy Prints Project (Feb 2017)“.
  • Enter URL to your online photos within the message section. *Photos must be posted online, either on Instagram, Facebook or photo hosting sites.
  • Enter a mailing address within the message section.

I will pick 10 families to send happy prints to. Only public viewable photos will be selected for prints. Each family will receive up to 10 photos, printed on Canon photo papers and mailed to you anytime in the month of February.

I hope I’ve managed to inspire you to want to start printing photos too! Let me help get it started, submit your Happy Prints requests to me now!

Things to Consider When Buying Printer for Home Use – Review of Canon PIXMA E560 Printer

Have you ever regretted buying a printer the moment your first set of ink run out? And have you asked yourself how often do you have to make a purchase decision for a printer vs how often do you have to purchase the inks for your printer? Often I’ve seen consumers buying printers just by comparing the sale prices of the printer unit. For some, they would go for one with all the necessary features they need in the printer, then compare the prices. Here are the 5 things I will consider when buying a printer, be it for home, home-office or office use.

Point 1 – Print-Scan-Copy

Because there will be days where you need to make copies of your NRIC or documents for some important and urgent purpose. Having a copier at home is necessary in the modern days, because you probably would have to pay 30-50cents per copy of black-and-white print from the stores. Scanner is perhaps not that necessary these days, most of us use our phone camera as a “scanner”, but when you need to scan a proper piece of say your kids most awesome artwork, a proper scanner will be handy.

Point 2 – Wireless Connection

You want to be able to print from anywhere and from any devices, like those cute photos of your little ones taken with your phone or Canon cameras. With wireless printing on the Canon PIXMA E560, one can easily print quality 4R photos on Canon photo papers and save the trip to the photo print shop.

Point 3 – Size Matters and Duplex Function

To me, a all-in-one printer should be compact enough to fit anywhere around the house, and wouldn’t need to be shifted out when printing. You know how some printers need you to load the paper from the top or back and you got to move the printer just so the papers fit into it? Glad the Canon PIXMA E560 has got front loading trays and prints come out from the front too.

Because I do print documents a lot too, the printer needs to be able to print on both side without having to manually flip the pages. If you need such feature too, remember to get one printer that allows duplex printing.

Point 4 – How Much Are The Ink Refills?

You may have purchased a printer at a steal, but when you do your math properly, cost of some ink cartridges would have cost more than your printer unit. Like my current PIXMA printer (almost 4 years old), the refills cost $36 (colour) and $24 (black) for the standard size pack. With the exact same quality of print and resolution (you can compare them on Canon website), you pay only $24 (colour) and $20 (black) for the PIXMA E560 refills. That’s $16 cheaper for every set of refills. When my current printer inks run out, I’m may just consider getting the E560 instead, and save on refills in the long run. And because the refills are cheaper, you’ll be able to print so much more activities for your little ones and even make your own creative learning resources like what we did!

Good to know: The PIXMA E560 can print up to 800 monochrome documents at $0.02 per print on a black cartridge, and up to 300 pages for colour documents.

Point 5 – Quality of Prints

I print photos a lot with my printer, and am quite particular with the quality of prints. The Canon PIXMA E560 print out photos as good as my current PIXMA MG3570. Printing may be a couple of seconds slower, but that doesn’t really matter.

If you are considering getting a multi-purpose and value for money printer for your home or home office, you might want to consider the Canon PIXMA E560. Available only at selected Popular bookshops (see list below) and school bookshops.

Current Promotion
Canon PIXMA E560 Retailing at $179

Canon PIXMA E560 Promotion

More information of the Canon PIXMA E560 printer

Dimensions (WxDxH): 449 x 304 x 152mm (approx.)

Print Resolution: 4800 x 1200dpi (maximum), 2pl ink droplets

Photo Print Speed: 44 seconds(borderless 4 x 6”)

Print Speed: 5.7 ipm (A4 colour) / 9.9 ipm (A4 B&W)

Key Features: High Yield Ink Cartridges (PG-89, CL-99), Wi-Fi, PIXMA Printing Solutions, Google Cloud Print

Available at these Popular Bookstores

  1. Bra Basah Complex
  2. Toa Payoh HDB Hub
  3. Clementi Mall
  4. Causeway Point
  5. Marine Parade
  6. NEX
  7. North Point
  8. Jurong Point
  9. Junction 8

Family Craft and Fun Time with the New and Bigger PIXMA town

The school holiday is around the corner, though Ayra isn’t going to stop going to childcare in June cos the Mummy me still needs to go to work, I am planning to spend a little more time and effort to make it a fun month for my family. Hopefully with some help from the Father who is the only one who’s going to be (finally) taking a break from school.

Last year, we created some stationery and games from Canon PIXMA town. This year, I am excited to see so many new stationeries, crafts, games and even story books that we can print and create from the new PIXMA town!

Love this colorful and cheerful introductory video of PIXMA town…

With so many new things to do in PIXMA town, it will keep you and your kids occupied throughout the entire June school holiday for sure! For us, we started off with our first “snake-and-ladder” like game by the Doooodolls – Doooo Game.

Ayra watching over the pieces of printouts I made from PIXMA town and deciding which we should embark on first.

In the meantime, check to make sure we have enough sticky tapes to use for the craft.

While Ayra drinks her milk on the sofa, I went on to cut and paste to put the game together and this is what we got…

It took me less than 10 minutes to finish this, and it also took just 10 minutes for Ayra to fall asleep…

The Doooo Game and her Playmobil friends will have to wait till she wakes up to play with them the next day.

And she did! Ayra deciding which of her friends she should pick for the game.

We had a mini game of Dooo with her toys and shortly after, she invented her own version to play on her own.

The Dooo Game became a great play mat too for Ayra and her playmobil friends! Can’t stop her from using her imagination to use things around her for different purposes, and with such colorful sheet of printout from the Canon Pixma printer, it makes role-playing even more fun!

[box]Head over to the PIXMA town to download this fun game and more to do with your family this weekend![/box]

This post was also published on OMY x Canon Pixma blog.

We Are Family Crafting Fun Time with OMY and Canon Pixma

For the second time, Ayra attended her mass crafting session with OMY and Canon Pixma. This time round, it was held at the InterContinental Singapore at Bugis. We almost couldn’t make it as Ayra was unwell and temperature shot up to 39.5 the night before. I was prepared to stay at home, but this girl of mine was up and being her chirpy self in the morning. So we went ahead, and am glad we did.

TheLovingMum x OMY X Canon Pixma

Instead of being surrounded by Mummy’s adult friends like the previous session, this time she had other elder kids at the same table. Though she is still too young to interact and play, she was less shy and enjoyed the event more comfortably than the previous one. She’s probably one of the youngest crafter present at the event, and she didn’t partake in any of the mass activities hosted by the emcees.

TheLovingMum x OMY X Canon Pixma

She sat and tried to catch the happenings around the stage area. And one lesson learned from previous session, get lunch before heading to the event venue! So we sat and enjoy the session while we munch on our FiletOFish and Cheeseburger.

Kids at the event were all above 5 years old and they were running around looking for answers to a crossword puzzle activity hosted by the emcees. They were also tasked to retrieve materials for the day’s craft activity from the various stations setup around the venue. Good idea by the organiser this time round, kids need to move around more often, don’t expect them to sit through a 4 hour session obediently!

TheLovingMum x OMY X Canon Pixma

Participants of We Are Family crafting event also got to try out first-hand printing on the Canon Pixma printers. This time round, all the models on display were their latest offerings from the Pixma family. And that means wireless printing for all! Adults and even some kids, printed photos directly from their mobile phones, tablets and iPads. This is done through the Canon Pixma Printing Solutions application, available on the Android Play store and Apple App store. I’ve previously shared how easy it is to print from my mobile phone wirelessly to my Canon Pixma printer, you can read more about it here.

TheLovingMum x OMY X Canon Pixma

Besides crafting, printing and lots of running about for the kids, the organiser also prepared cut-outs and frames for photo opportunities. This I felt could have been better carried out if they had set up a nicer backdrop, I totally missed this as I entered the ballroom. Nevertheless, kids and families had fun taking photos and some attempted selfies and wefies with these props. As usual, Ayra was too shy to even take a photo with me. So no photo booth love for us again.

TheLovingMum x OMY X Canon Pixma

This time round, I brought along embellishments and tools from my home for the event. Knowing the challenges I would face attending this alone with a anytime-can-get-grouchy-girl, everything must standby and be well prepared. Ayra was engaged throughout the first craft activity, a door-hanging-photo-frame, with popping out the sticker chipboards, pasting and decorating it with washi tapes.

TheLovingMum x OMY X Canon Pixma

The end product, with lots of help from Mummy, was a very bright and cheerful frame which is now hanging on her crafting table. We had one boo-boo in the completed masterpiece which I only spotted when we were home! Can you spot it?

TheLovingMum x OMY X Canon Pixma

Thank you OMY and Canon Pixma for attending an invitation for us to be part of the Craft Guru team for We Are Family crafting event. Though we didn’t get a new Pixma printer *coughs*, we still had a funtastic session together throughout this season. Without this campaign, I probably wouldn’t have the push to do these fun activities with Ayra, nor have time to touch-up our long overdue photo wall.

Till the next event, keep on crafting and love your family!

Created Our Own Playhouse

I wanted to get a playhouse for Ayra as she loves watching kids role-playing with their Barbies and dolls on YouTube, but I didn’t want to spend too much money on a solid one that will stand through serious rough playing by toddlers (aka Playmobil). Not sure whether or not Ayra will want to continue playing with a playhouse and the things she will do with one, I thought why not make one myself and “test the market” first? Here’s what we did… materials I used for the simple DIY Playhouse as follow:

  1. Chipboards – 2 pieces of 6in x 12in and 1 piece of 12in x 12in
  2. Pattern paper printouts from Canon Creative Park
  3. Pattern paper of 12in x 12in for the base
  4. Some washi tapes
  5. Cutting board and pen knife
  6. Scissors and sticky tapes

First I cut two slim openings in the 2 pieces of chipboards to make a groove for them to slide into one another. Then just make sure all your chipboards are covered with the pattern papers. I used washi tapes to go around all the sides to cover up the chipboards. Final product as shown below… Right after I’m done with the DIY Playhouse, Ayra is 100% focused on imaginary play on her own! Helped her set up some of her toys and tried playing with her. But she rather I just sit and watch. So I just sat there and watch her story unfolds. Story telling is the most difficult thing to excel in my opinion. If the kid is able to start mumbling and do her own imaginary play, I will fully support and encourage it. From the video below, looks like soon I may just need to get a proper playhouse for her to start creating more adventures of her own. Find more fun and easy activities to do with your kids over at OMY Crafty Ideas by fellow bloggers, or read more of what we had done with our girls.

Ditch those USB Cables! Wireless Printing made simple with Canon Pixma

For the third time in a row, I’m back with OMY x Canon Pixma as one of the 10 craft gurus! And this time the theme is “We Are Family”! Super excited to catch up with fellow Mummies – Angeline, Ting, Irene, Winnie, Waiwai and meet up with new Mummy friends at the coming workshop on 31 May 2014 at Hotel InterContinental! As we countdown to a fun day of crafting with our family and friends, we are sharing our experiences and ideas with Canon Pixma printers. Well, I have been using mine for more than a year, and it has been a very useful and convenient gadget for all household, especially family like mine, whom snap too many photos every day! It is my personal practice and routine to have the best shots printed out every few months so that if ever *touch-wood* my external hard disk breaks down, I’ll still have these precious memories stored in physical copies. With wireless printing feature it is really super easy to print print print!

If you have never tried the PIXMA print app yet, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get acquainted with it. I will also be sharing my personal tips and tricks to getting organised with your photos!

The PIXMA Print application is available for download on iTunes and Android Play stores for FREE of course! With the app, you can print and scan wirelessly with your compatible Canon Pixma printers. For the new models of Pixma printers, you can also use the Pixma Cloud Link print feature to print from anywhere around the world as long as your printer is on and connected to the internet, and you’ll also be able to print documents and files from Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and Evernote.  The model I have at home does not support this new feature though, perhaps its time to upgrade! To a A3 printer perhaps!

From the Photo Print selection, the app will load all your photos in your phone default storage. And from here, you can tap to select multiple photos you want to print.

After selection, you will then be able to set the printer to print from (in case you have more than one printer in your network), you will also set your print paper size and number of copies per image. Easy peasy!

And from the paper setting, you can also select the type of paper and whether or not you want a border around your print out. My personal preference for all my photo print with the Canon Pixma, is to go with Canon Original Photo paper in either Glossy Plus or Premium Semi-Glossy. If you need reference for their packaging, refer to my previous post here.

Once all your setting is done, just go ahead and tap on print! Then watch as your beautiful digital photos get printed out. When photo printing is made so easy, walls around your house will never be dull and empty anymore! Create a unique Family Photo WallSetting up your own photo gallery is quick and easy. With the right tricks, you’ll be able to swap the photos out easily too over time. Here are some useful tips from me to you for decorating your walls with nice family photos.

Tips #1 – Print photos in variety of sizes to spice up a photo wall.

Tips #2 – Use frames of matching colors and attach them to the wall with 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips. You can remove the frame without damaging the strips and will be able to reuse it after replacing your photos.

Tips #3 – When in need of fresh inspiration for display of photos around your home, try Pinterest.

Tips #4 – Keep adding to the wall! Though I can easily swap the photos out from the frame, but I prefer to just keep growing my photo wall! My kids’ playroom and our study room each have a photo wall that I hope to fill up over the years.

Hope these tips will be useful! Ending this post with few more tips on how I organise my photos and ensuring that they will never be lost.

  1. I snap photos primarily on my mobile phone and either of my 3 digital cameras. All my photos from my phone is backed up automatically daily to a cloud-link external hard disk drive at home. Or you can do so with Dropbox or Flickr, set it so that whenever you have your phone connected to a wireless connection, the phone automatically backs up your latest photos.
  2. For photos taken with my digital cameras, they are never deleted from the SD cards. This is my first and original copy backup. Yes, I do have a lot of SD cards stored in a dry box with month and year labelled on it.
  3. Besides the SD card backup, I also copy all my photos (from phone and cameras) into a external HDD connected to my computer at home. This is my second copy of backup. These are categoried in monthly folders.
  4. Lastly, my final backup is up into my flickr account. I used to do monthly uploads of all my photos into flickr as private (so only I can view them), but lately I only upload the better ones few times a month.
  5. FINALLY, I print out those photos I love on my Canon Pixma or Canon Selphy printers. These are stored in a Muji box according to the month and date they are taken. On days when I see good Groupon deals for photo books, I will buy them and compile yearly photo books for my girls. This they can flip through when they grow up.

That’s how I keep my photos and memories safe and forever. Kinda kiasu, but this is what happened when one has lost too many precious photos from years ago due to a bad HDD! So now you know my tedious but necessary steps, if you have got better ideas do share them with me!

This post was also published on OMY x Canon Pixma blog.