happy march {and a free desktop}

here’s your computer desktop for march. add a little spring cheer or classic kraft to your computer.

free march desktop background free march desktop background
notes about this month’s desktop
1. a couple of weeks ago i painted an old unloved framed piece of artwork my grandmother used to have. it was headed for the trash so i figured there was nothing to lose. i’m not sure yet what it will become, but for now just the coat of white paint and frame painted black is an approvement.
2. these flowers have been around for over a month. i am pretty sure the key to keeping them alive so long is a cold house.
3. earlier this year i bought a fountain pen and some ink. for writing i use a grey/black mixture, but i love taking the ink and brushing it on paper to title lists and important things.
4. catching up on sending out some thank you notes. these cards are good for anyone.
5. working on some new address labels. a new option is going to be assorted color packs.


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paper lampshades

the dining room fixture in my dining room was fine. it worked. but it was dated and not my style. with a little spray paint and some paper i gave the chandelier a little update.
before i did anything, i removed the lightbulbs and glass covers, cleaned the chandelier and taped up the sockets. using tape and paper, i created a tent around the fixture to protect the ceiling and walls.

the chandelier was sprayed with a couple of coats of black spray paint. between coats i worked on the paper lampshades.

i printed a few sheets of my little pine forest pattern with a light grey background. in the spring i’m planning on switching the design with the yellow lemons from this years calendar. they will go great with my yellow countertops.

you don’t have to print your own paper for the shades, though. you can use gift wrap, scrapbook paper or anything else that suits your mood. dining-room-light-diy-accordian
i cut the paper to be about and inch and a half taller than the glass shades and long enough to wrap around the glass cover twice. i scored the paper every 1/2 inch. the paper was then accordion folded.

if the paper you choose doesn’t make it around twice, you can easily use double sided tape to put two lengths together.

to create the shades the ends of the paper were taped together and tiny holes were punched about an inch down from the top on the center of each fold. twine was then fed through each hole. some cute ribbon would add a nice touch here.
after the paint was dry, the final step was to put everything together. the tape was removed and the glass covers and bulbs were put back on. the shades were slipped over the glass covers and the twine was tightened a bit and knotted. the top needs to be a little bit smaller than the bottom so the shades won’t slid off.

i am pretty happy with my new and improved chandelier. and when i get tired of it, i can easily switch out the shades to anything i want.

happy february {and a free desktop}

here’s your computer desktop for february. add a little color and hugs & kisses with the XOXOX design to these winter days or go with the classic kraft.

february desktopnotes about this months desktop
1. the walls have been painted. it is so much better than the old color. the white is a little grey for me so it might be painted again, but it should only take one coat.
2. the buffalo painting is back up. it’s one of my favorite things. first, it was painted by my niece from a photo from my trip out west last fall. second, it’s a buffalo.
3. the feel inspired jar was a gift from my nieces. there are some good quotes in there plus some fun memories.
4. the smile mug makes me happy – not because it has a smiley face on it – but because it was one of the two mugs i made my grandma coffee in everyday. she was very specific – instant, decaffeinated, and half full of sugar and milk.
5. have you seen the XOXOX pencils that are now available? they make a fun valentine’s day gift.
6. right now one of my big projects is working on the new collection of goods that will be ready in may. the first step is to go over what was popular and not so popular last year. then comes lots of sketching and lists.
7 the are some new reporter notebooks in the shop. i use the shopping list ones along with the any list app for grocery shopping.

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valentine’s day treats

these foil stamped glassine bags are a simple and sweet way to spread a little cheer to all those you love this valentine’s day. fill them with candy, homemade goodies, stickers and other tiny gifts.

use heart and arrow cookie cutters with sugar cookies and tuck them inside the bags. with the adorable packaging you don’t even need to decorate them.

glassine-bags-valentines-silver-heart glassine-bags-valentines-pretzels
my favorite filling is chocolate covered pretzels. they take minutes to make, but look impressive. put some pretzels on top of wax paper, with a spoon drizzle some melted chocolate over the pretzels and let the chocolate set. for a special touch add some valentine sprinkles on top. i picked up these adorable wilton xo sprinkles from a local store.
what will you fill your treat bags with?

behind the design :: pattern wall calendars


since 2008 i have been designing pattern calendars. it took a few years, but i now have a process of how they are designed. here’s a little look behind the design.


in the back of my mind i am always thinking about patterns. when i start to work on the calendars i go through notebooks and planners to see what i have been randomly drawing, as well as take a look through my photos on my phone. once i see what i have, i make lots lists of all pattern options. there are a few themes i like to show up each year – ocean/nautical, trees, snow, florals, lines and loops – so i make sure to include them.

once i have an idea what i am looking for. i paint, sketch and digitally draw the pattern elements. then everything is scanned in, cleaned up and turned into repeats.

calendar-behind-design-4 calendar-behind-design-3

after the patterns are created i start to work on color. i will fill up my screen with lots of little blocks of color choices, then narrow it down to about 15 colors. patterns and color options are printed up. then the blocks of paper are mix and matched until i get something i like.


welcome 2016 {and january desktop}

happy 2016! here’s some desktops to help start the new year. hope 2016 is great to you.


some notes about this months desktop:

– i’m excited about using the larger calendar this year. even though i have the month on my computer it is usually covered by 12 different open windows so i never know what day it is. i know the days by shipping days and non-shipping days.
– i really need to paint the walls in this room. it is one of the two rooms in my house that isn’t white and this wall color jacks me up – but apparently not enough yet to actually paint the room. i think this might be the month i break out the tape and paint.
– the stormy pattern is the most popular planner cover choice (as or right now). i’m not sure if it’s the pattern or if it is blue. in the past blue has always been a popular choice. i like it because it’s this year’s interpretation of snow – and snow is my favorite.
– there is a new notebook size in the works. i’m kind of excited about it – small, square, has lots of paper and will have dot and liked paper. the larger notebooks have been in the wholesale catalog for awhile and will be online soon.

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