Monday, December 1, 2014

December iWhatever Calendar and Desktop

Here we are, folks! Down to the last month of 2014! 
Is your phone ready for a new look?

Does the frame remind you of something from an old Christmas card? It came from Crafty Secrets' Vintage Christmas Digital Images and Ephemera. Wow! That's quite a mouthful! I've had that set for a couple of years and love it. I'm using one of the images of Santa for my Christmas cards this year. This calendar is going in the December Linky Party at the blog, and if I can figure out how to post a second item, I will include my card, too, in a couple of weeks. (I need to actually put some together first!) 
I had a great conversation with Sandy (the owner of Crafty Secrets) recently. I was having computer issues that carried over into my email and she called me to see what on Earth was going on! We talked for almost an hour! 
OK--back to December! Here is a calendar sized for your desktop, with lots of room for icons all around the edges....

...and here is a plain calendar if  you would like to design your own...

 Sometimes I still use the Coolibah app on my iPad to design these, but I am beginning to use Photoshop more and more all the time. Just pull in any background papers or embellishments you want to use and "build" it like you would if you were using paper. (Yes, I know that is an over-simplified explanation. One day I will get up my nerve to do a tutorial on using digitals. It's on my list. Along with forty-eleven other things!)

Here is something I might be able to cross off of my list. I've been playing around trying to come up with a solution for those pesky iPhones that blow up your pictures so much that they can't be used as a lockscreen. I thought maybe resizing the photo would work, but it didn't. Finally I decided to just put a big empty background behind the calendar, kind of like what I do for the desktop. I made one horizontal and one vertical. The vertical one fits perfectly on my iPhone lockscreen:

...but I thought the horizontal one might be better for smaller tablets, like iPad minis:

 I know it looks funny when you look at the whole thing--some of the embellishments are chopped off at the edges--but that won't show if the calendar is the right size. Please let me know if this is something you will use! It only takes a minute to add that background.

Now I must say goodbye and get to work on Christmas cards. In the interest of full disclosure, I send holiday cards. There are a whole lot of people who get all up in arms about that, like Christmas has a monopoly on glad tidings. Christmas is just one day! I want to wish everyone an ENTIRE SEASON of peace and happiness! Anyone who wants to hold that against me, be my guest. ;)

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November iWhatever Calendar

I bet you thought I forgot. Nope...I just got too elaborate (Trying to make up for last month!) and couldn't finish last night! November's calendar is much prettier than October's. I guess you could say I feel dull and colorless when I get tired. :-/

 In November 2012 I used a font called Jane Austen because this is the time of year when I would love to spend a majority of the day on Saturday and Sunday wrapped up in a warm soft blanket reading one of Miss Austen's novels. I read that she once said the heroine of any story she wrote would always find her happy ending. So how can you go wrong?
For the past few years, I have read at least one or two of her books each winter (She only published six during her lifetime), then I watch one of the dozens of film adaptations. My hands-down favorite is Pride and Prejudice. I like two film versions of the story: one is a 1995 mini series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, and the other is from 2005 with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.
Last winter I went really crazy and read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Seth Grahame-Smith, who wrote Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, added some undead characters ("unmentionables") to the story. Honestly, doesn't it seem like that would be catering to a very small market? I mean, it was hilarious, but I just can't see that much cross-over between zombie enthusiasts and Jane Austen enthusiasts. I know, I know--I read both, but I'm kind of weird. Plus I was just back from a trip to Mexico with our boys, who were both reading zombie books on the beach! Well, it just so happens that there is now a movie version of this book being filmed, too! Go figure!
Back to the point....
 I used the Jane Austen font again in November 2013, along with some of the same colors I used in 2012. Now I've decided that I should just stick with that theme! So here is this year's version....

Of course I made a one for your desktop, too:

And here are the days and dates in case you would like to make your own....

We are in the process of moving from our old pc to one with MORE POWER! (This is where Tim Taylor grunts, "ARRRR, ARRRR, ARRRR!")  I can't wait until everything is up and running, but with some programs here and some programs there, it gets a bit frustrating. Maybe Andy will go straighten out all that stuff while I read tomorrow. ;-)

I hope you have a wonderfully cozy November! I'll be back soon with something fun. I just have to decide which fun something to do first!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Not Exactly a Christmas Card

Has anyone else been thinking about Christmas cards? I believe I have decided on a design for mine this year. This card is a non-Christmas version of what I hope to do. 

    Among my digital Christmas images from Crafty Secrets is a vintage Santa that I really want to use on the front of my Christmas cards, but since it seems a little early to post Christmas stuff, I decided to try out my design using an image from a Crafty Secrets pre-printed cardstock sheet of vintage photos. (Yes, they have "hard copies" of some of their images, too! They are moving to digital only, so most of the printed items they have left are marked down. A lot! Go check out their Linky party at the Heartwarming Vintage Blog to see if anyone else is thinking about Christmas cards!)
I kept it pretty simple--I don't want anything too complicated since I will need to make so many. 

First I cut a brown mat with a deckle rectangle Nestie and adhered the vintage photo. Then I embossed some pearlized paper with these beautiful autumn leaves. 


I had planned to put some sort of Thanksgiving sentiment on the card, but then I came across "happy together" from the SU! set A Dozen Thoughts. Perfect! All that's left is wrapping some ribbon and twine around the leaf-embossed paper and layering everything on top of a card. I used Cajun Craze for the card. I know that's not a very Christmas-y color combination, but the dark brown, brick red, and cream looks nice with the Santa image and this photo. 

See?! Nice and easy! So.... What kind of card are you planning for the holidays?

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Free October Calendar and Desktop

Wait just a minute! What happened to September?! 
Did we just completely skip a month? 

Don't get me wrong--October is a perfectly lovely month. There's Grandma's birthday, Friday night football, marching band competitions, and...and...hmmmm....

No--October really IS a lovely month. I'm just a little bit (totally) bummed out that the summer months came and went without giving us much summer weather! 
Here in southwest Missouri we have beeeeauuutiful foliage every fall, and the colors are just beginning to change. 
In honor of autumn, I wanted to do something that felt warm and cozy, but I didn't want to use the reds, golds, and oranges everyone always uses for fall decorating. So I went monochromatic instead. (Quite out of the norm for me, right?) These are the browns of hot chocolate and creamy coffee drinks. Both with whipped cream on top, of course!

Here is a calendar for your iWhatever:   

 And here is one for your desktop, with lots of open space for all those icons that keep accumulating:

And if you would like to design your own calendar, here are the days and dates I used:

I hope to be back in a few days with some pictures from our booth at AvaBelle's. See you then!
Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Free September iWhatever Calendar and Desktop

Have you ever had a job that you enjoy so much that you don't even think of it as a job? I have been fortunate enough to have had TWO jobs like that! I taught preschool for twelve years, beginning when the boys were little. Cole rode the bus to Honeytree after school each day and Michael was able to spend the day at preschool with me, becoming one of the most well-prepared kiddos ever to enter kindergarten. I only worked 20-25 hours each week, so I still considered myself a stay-at-home-mom.

My other "non-job" was working with the color guard--you know--the girls that spin the flags and rifles in marching band. I started with the band one year after I started at Honeytree and stayed there for sixteen years. I remember one evening during my first year of band camp (Go ahead. Think it. I know you're dying to!) I was cleaning up after dinner and I just kept giggling because I couldn't believe that I was being PAID to do something that was SO MUCH FUN! Eventually, waking up at 5 a.m. each day, along with the daily dose of drama (TEENAGE GIRLS! UGH!) took a toll on my nerves. My boys had graduated and weren't marching anymore--yes, they were both band nerds like their mama!--so just less than two years ago, I retired my marching shoes.

I want to clarify something here. In our town, "Band Nerd" and "Band Geek" are monikers that are hard-earned and worn with pride. The Houn Dawg Marching Band (NOT Marching Houn Dawg Band! There IS a difference! Think about it.) has a decades-long history of success. The kids who stay in band from sixth grade through high school are the students who learn what it feels like to work for something and achieve it. They know how it feels to be part of a team that works together and WINS! (Stepping down from my soap box....)

Now you are probably wondering what all this reminiscing has to do with a September calendar. Honeytree always waited until after Labor Day to start school, so September will always feel like The Official Back-To-School Month for me. Back-to-school feels like yellow--for school buses and happy faces, blue--for bluebirds, red for apples, and green for The Very Hungry Caterpillar! Yes, those were the building blocks of our first few weeks of lesson plans. 

So...when I was looking for inspiration for September's calendar, I thought of back-to-school colors.

This is what I came up with....

I started feeling kind of like I was stuck in a rut because I have a pretty basic pattern for my calendars. Then I realized I use the same basic pattern because I like it! I like flowers, I like sparkles, and I like swirls and greenery. I haven't heard any complaints, and until I do, I probably will not deviate far from said pattern! 

Here is a calendar to pretty up your desktop background....

And if you would like to make your own, here is a plain Jane calendar that is just begging for some flowers, sparkles, swirls, and greenery! Go forth and make it beautiful! (Sometimes I get a little carried away.)

I have some ideas rolling around in my head, so I hope to be back next week. Until then....
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Free August iWhatever Calendar and Desktop

***Saturday August 2nd***
I'm back. I wasn't happy with a couple of things, and it was bugging me so much that I had to go back and fix them. Then I couldn't have you all still walking around with inferior calendars, so I had to share the fixed ones with you here! the iWhatever calendar has a piece of kraft paper behind "August" to help it show up a little better and the background paper and the frame on the desktop are a little different. I feel much better now. I know--I'm weird that way. I guess it's my own little form of OCD.
I don't want anyone to feel like you have to delete the previous versions and replace them with these new-and-improved versions, but if you don't...well....
Does everybody know what time it is?! Yep, it's time to freshen up that stale old desktop screen or homescreen on your phone or iWhatever with a new calendar! I think by now you know the routine, so here you go! This one is for your small-ish screens...

...and here is one for your desktop or laptop...

I would love to stay around and share some fascinating story about my amazingly interesting life, but I AM POOPED! So, sadly, I must sign off and head to dreamland.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stand-Up Mini Album

Ok. I said I'd be back with a project, didn't I? It took longer than I expected to get fully inspired, but this is a sneak peek at the finished album. It's 5x7, so it will fit in an envelope for mailing (with a couple extra stamps. Mine turned out quite thick.) If you want to see the whole thing, you'll just have to stick around and read the rest of my post. ;)

I started with a plan and even took a picture of my supplies to share with you here. Then I shifted gears just a bit, so instead of the pic, I'll just give you the list of what I actually used:
  • Two sheets 12x12 heavy pink cardstock for the body of the album
  • Three sheets 12x12 heavy white cardstock for the frames
  • Glitter cardstock (a girl has to have her glitter, right?)
  • Punches for embellishments--I used flowers, a flourish, and a paisley
  • Ribbon and jewels or brads
  • An assortment of dies for cutting frames--I started with circles and squares but decided rectangles and ovals were a better fit. 
From one piece of pink I cut a 7x10 strip and scored it down the middle, so I basically had a 5x7 card. From the other piece of pink I cut a 7x12 strip and scored it at 5 inches and 10 inches, so I had a 5x7 card with a little 2 inch flap. That flap will connect the two pieces later. 

But first....
I folded both pieces and ran them through the Cuttlebug in a paisley pattern embossing folder. I used paper with a white core, so I sanded the embossing a little to make it pop. 

Next I adhered the two pieces together using that two inch flap, so I had a four page accordion album. 
Don't worry about the flap--we will cover it up later. 

Now for the frames. Using a variety of rectangular and oval Nesties, I cut frames for each of the four inside pages and the cover, as well as a solid piece of white (not in the picture) to serve as the back of each frame. I used a Dotted Swiss embossing folder on one of the two matching frames and the thinner oval, and I layered the two ovals together to make one frame. 

I adhered a strip of ribbon across the front--long enough to wrap around and tie a pretty bow. Then I placed all the frames. 

Remember that extra two inch flap on the back? I cut two 5x7 pieces from my strips of leftover cs and
adhered them to the back. Then I added a piece of lined paper, die cut to match the frames, for journaling. 

Now for the embellishments! I cut a 'J' for the front because this is going to a new baby whose name starts with 'J.' Then I punched several flowers, flourishes, and paisleys from the glitter paper and some of the scrap pieces of white. I scattered those among the frames, and this is what I ended up with:

I know it's basically just an accordion album, but with the extra layer on the back, it's stable enough to stand up and use as a table top frame. Now I think I'll try one in landscape orientation. Hmmmmm....

    No, I didn't make a horizontal version already. I was so focused on making this stand up that I didn't even consider hanging it on the wall! How cute is that?!

Ok. That's it for now. Time for me to go work outside. 
Thanks for stopping by! See you in a few days with the August calendar!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Free July Calendar and Desktop

Whew! What a month! I do believe June 2014 was one of the most hectic months of my life! I hate to wish away any of our warm weather months, but I am honestly relieved to see the end of that one. 
Now, to help us move on to a new month, here is July's calendar....

Save it to your iWhatever for a handy dandy lock-screen calendar. 
And to keep everything nicely coordinated, use this one (which has lots of open space for icons) for you desktop background:

Sometimes a phone or tablet (I'm not naming names, but this particular one starts with an i and ends with Pad or Phone) enlarges the picture too much to see the whole calendar, then it won't allow you to shrink it. If your device does this, you might try the desktop version instead, and just zoom in on the calendar part when you get the "move and scale" option. 

If you'd like to make your own calendar, here is a copy of just the days and dates:

Have a great Independence Day! I'll be back in a week or so with something fun. I'm not yet sure what it will be, but it will definitely be fun!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Free June Calendar and Desktop

Ok, folks! It's time to update your calendar and make your iWhatever happy! Yes, this calendar works on other devices, too--I just like to use the term iWhatever. 

You can save this to your smartphone, reasonably intelligent phone, iPod, iPad, tablet, laptop, desktop, Mac or pc--I don't discriminate. Just save it the same way you would save any picture then choose it as your background or wallpaper. Easy peasy! I like to use it on my lockscreens, so when I need to get a quick peek at a calendar, I just click one button and there it is!

If you need open space for icons around the edges of your desktop, you will probably like this version, with the smaller calendar in the center:

Perhaps you want to design your own calendar. You can find days and dates with an internet search, or if you like my chalkboard-ish one, here you go....

Now, does everyone have a happy iWhatever? Great! Have a wonderful June!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, doing exactly what you want today. I am, at this moment, on my way to a special Mother's Day brunch at the very trendy restaurant where my younger son works. My mom has never been there and Andy's mom has only been once, so our gift to our mothers this year is the experience. I like those kinds of gifts--doing something fun and spending time together. 
If you need a last minute card to send someone, this is one you can email. Just right click on it to save it to your computer, then send it like any photo. 
I embossed the front of the card and highlighted the embossing with a little ink. Then I layered a doily and an image from Crafty Secrets. It is from a set of bobbin cards that are part of all their sewing images. I printed the one I wanted to use, stamped the sentiment in the center, tied some seam binding ribbon around it, and layered it on top of a doily. Easy peasy! 
If I get home in time I will add this to the Linky Party over at Heartwarming Vintage.

*A few hours later....*

OK--I'm home, so this is going to the Linky Party.
I just had to come back to tell you that the brunch at Touch was spectacular! I even ate a little seafood! Michael has talked about how delicious their smoked salmon is, so I tried it. I can't say I could survive on that alone, but it was pretty tasty! I also had a lobster ravioli. I do not do seafood. Ever. Because fish sticks and canned tuna aren't really seafood, right? So this is a BIG DEAL, people! Anyway, I think everyone enjoyed themselves and ate waaay too much!

Once again--Happy Mother's Day!
See you next time!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Free May Calendar and Desktop

Dang! I guess I wasn't paying attention, because Wednesday night I suddenly realized it was time for a new calendar and I didn't have time to get to it until Thursday night. So I'm a day late. I hope that didn't throw anyone off!

I may have missed May Day, but today is pretty important, too. My parents were married fifty years ago today. Yes, FIFTY! 

So...Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! 

Now, back to the task at hand.... Just click on the calendar above to save it to your iWhatever or other device. If you need more detailed instructions, click here.

If you would like a calendar on your computer desktop, I've got one of those, too. My own desktop is pretty much covered with icons--mine on one side, Andy's on one side, the boys' along the bottom--so I put a small version of the calendar in the middle of a very simple background. Like this:

And last, but not least, if you would like to make your own calendar, feel free to use my days and dates:

Ok--I have forty-eleven things (our middle school/jr high band director used to say that all the time!) on my list for today, including de-skunking a dog, so I am outta here!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Free April Desktop and iWhatever Calendar


*April 10--Here is the link to the Linky Party I talk about a few lines down.*

No, this is not an April Fools' joke. It really is free! The one above is great for the lock screen on your phone or iWhatever. 
And if it is too busy for your computer desktop, I also have a version that leaves space around the edges for your desktop icons:

The strings of jewels make me think of April showers, and I just love the vintage style illustrations from Crafty Secrets.  The adorable little Easter chick is from this Spring Printable and the flowers are from this Flowers Printable
This calendar is going to the Crafty Secrets Linky Party at the Heartwarming Vintage Blog next week. I'll come back and add a link as soon as the ladies there get it set up.

If you need a little reminder to save the calendar to your device, follow this link. And if you'd like to make your own calendar, feel free to use my days and dates:

Andy and I have spent a lot of time away from home in the last few months (Thank goodness! It was really cold here!) but I think we are here to stay for a while now. I have tons of projects to get caught up and some weddings to prepare for, so I kind of need to stay around for a while!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tiny Houses

My friend Jackie at Smooth Pebble Studio was feeling a bit hemmed in by winter recently and decided to host a party. And by party I mean a swap. Since the only swaps I've ever participated in are those that we have for Christmas cards and Valentines at our monthly Stampin' Up! gatherings, I decided it was about time I give it a go. So along with several other crafters, I accepted Jackie's challenge and started thinking about Tiny Houses. Jackie gathered everyone's contact information and assigned partners. I don't know who is sending Tiny Houses to me, but I sent mine to Emily at Mousy Brown's House. And what, pray tell, did I send? I am so glad you asked! 

This mini album is six inches wide and about eight inches tall. I chose this paper for the front and back cover because it gives a bit of an English cottage feel. Emily lives "across the pond" and has taken some beautiful photos of flowers, so that just felt right. Inside the covers are four pages, each a house with a different roofline. Here are a couple:

These tags and journaling cards slip into the side of each of the houses. 

And here is the back cover....


I hope Emily will be able to find a good use for it. I have enough of these papers to make a similar mini album to put in my Etsy shop (when I finally get it back up and running!) so I've added it to my to do list.

It's time for another Linky Party at Heartwarming Vintage and I'm heading there right now to add a couple of my pieces.

Thanks for stopping by today! See you next time!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Free March iWhatever Calendar and Desktop Background

Is your phone ready for a new calendar? Mine is! 
Hopefully you know the drill by now, but just in case there's someone new out there....
Click here if you need help saving this to your iWhatever, and here if you want to see how to design your own calendar. I will add a plain calendar--just the days and dates--at the bottom that you can use if you like.

Here is a calmer version that will work nicely for your computer desktop. There's lots of open space around the edges for all those icons that seem to keep piling up!

And here is the plain March calendar. Feel free to load and use any of these!

That's it for now! I shouldn't be gone so long next time ;)  Thanks for stopping by!