Snippets of Creativity

By now you probably know that I can fill some downtime at work by making some images. Well, I'm back at it!

I made this money web layout for our open source: finance page.

I put together this against the current image for general use.

I also created a text-free version to make it more versatile.

That's all, folks!


I recently bought a very large stock pot from a certain housewares store. No big deal, I just needed something big enough for making marinara sauce.

I got home and un-boxed the pot to find out that it was less than new. Discoloration, spoon scrape marks on the bottom, and smudges all over the lid. Who does that? Who buys a piece of cookware, cooks with it, and then returns it? Weird.

In the end I decided to keep it because it will look worse than that after one batch of marinara sauce. And really, it's no different than borrowing a pot from a friend but it disturb me. Come on people, you know better.

Laundry Room

We're living in exciting times. We have a black president. Electric cars are available and (somewhat) affordable to the public. And we have this little thing called Pinterest.

It's like someone read my mind, sifted through the tumbleweeds in there, and made my wish come true. Before Pinterest I would email myself things I wanted to remember, so my inbox was a jumble of recipes, crafts, hair tutorials, clothes, and a few dozen actual emails. Now I can organize all the wonderful things I find on the internet. Not that this is news to anyone on the internet...

The downside is that I am also bombarded by beautiful homes with elements I want to put into my dream house.* I am particularly weak in the knees for cozy yet organized closets and laundry rooms. There are so many good ideas it would take a monster of a house to contain it all.
*Dream house meaning keep dreaming, it ain't gonna happen any time soon.

Today, in an effort to tame the madness (and because I was bored at home while the hubby played tennis) I laid out my dream-yet-still-practical laundry room.

Most items in this layout are fairly standard. Fancy front-loader appliances: check! Folding surface, ample cabinets, and utility sink: check, check, and check! But what kind of architect (and Pinterest fan) would I be if I didn't add a few special items?

When I saw this pin, I fell in love with the idea of hide-away sweater racks. So smart!(5)

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Ever since I bought my laundry sorting best friend I knew I would have to incorporate some bins for clean clothes - one for each member of the family. (6)

And if I end up with a combination laundry/mud room (which just seems practical) then I have to have this super snazzy bench with coat hooks and hidden shoe cubbies. (10)

source unknown
What would you put in your dream laundry room?

A New Twist on Hair

Today was one of those typical autumn days that started out cold but got downright warm by lunchtime. Before I knew it I was desperate to get my hair off my neck. I reached for my purse but I was missing my emergency hair tie. What's a girl to do? Leave her hair down and move on? Nope. I grabbed a pen and did a super fast hair twist.

Then I did what any adult woman would do and took a quick picture of it with my webcam.* 

Normally, successfully completing a hair twist is not an occasion to document. Normally, you are not me. My hair is super fine, meaning it finds it way out of up-dos, clips, barrettes and even the most heavily-sprayed curls. The fact that my hair has stayed like this for more than 10 minutes is a minor miracle. As sophisticated as the red ballpoint is, I am now tempted to get a pretty hair stick. Do I dare?

*You know you're getting old when this is the only webcam picture you've ever captured. I never did get the appeal of that.

One Of My Many, Many Pet Peeves

Let's just get this out of the way now: I am generally a judgmental, irritable person. It doesn't take much for me to roll my eyes at something. In fact, I've even been tempted to start a separate blog just to bitch about stuff that annoys me. In the mean time, I'm just going to bitch here.

Over the past year or so household items made of concrete have become quite popular. From Pinterest to blogs, and everywhere in between there are tons of concrete lovelies to be made or bought, such as this,
 or this.
That's all fine and well. I love an unexpected use of concrete. In fact my husband's wedding ring has a band of concrete in it.

My problem is that people tend to think that "concrete" and "cement" are interchangeable. And, well, they're just not.

Cement is one of the many materials that makes up concrete. Without completely dorking out on you, cement is simply the binding agent that holds all of the ingredients together to make concrete. Think of cement as the flour that you add to the biscuit dough. If you were to walking around referring to biscuits as flour, you'd feel a little silly.

This may seem a bit pedantic to some people, but for folks that know the difference this is enough to drive you batty. Or maybe it's just me.


That is all.

Tonight's the Night to Fake It

Or tomorrow night, whenever you get around to it. Of course, by "fake it" I mean use Photoshop to make something awesome that only looks like you spent hours meticulously writing with chalk.

My mom found this quote and asked me to lay it out and print it for her. She wants to put it in her office because she has difficulty telling people no at work. Or ever.

At first I was just going to pick a pretty font and be done with it but when I found this tutorial by Foolish Fire on how to fake a chalkboard effect I knew I had to try it. I will leave the Photoshop instructions to her, but my basic process was this:

1) I laid out my text in Illustrator. I used a variety of different fonts to create the composition you see above.

2) I printed my file and traced everything onto white trace paper. To add to the chalky texture I used a pencil (both HB and 2B, for you art supply nerds) instead of pen and added dashes and fills to give extra differentiation to the fonts.

During this step I also gave some extra personality to a few parts. The "but" didn't have the curled line work so I free handed it. The "please everybody" didn't curve like that so I tweaked each letter by hand. I just drew a curved guide-line in Illustrator so I knew where each letter would need to extend to.

3) I scanned the hand-drawn artwork and made some adjustments in Photoshop, following the tutorial. If you're comfortable with Photoshop this is a simple process, but if you're just learning it's probably a little more difficult. Either way you really do need full Photoshop for this, a simpler photo editing software won't cut it.

So that's it! I just need to print this bad boy and pop it in a frame then I will have some free and (mostly) easy art for my mom. What have you made lately?

P.S. - If you like the artwork feel free to download it for yourself! It is sized to an 8x10 but you could scale it down if you'd like it smaller. Leave me a comment telling me where you plan to hang it, and please don't use it for commercial purposes. Thanks!

I'm The Funny One

For serveral years now the hubby and I have had an on-going disagreement. You see, each of us is convinced that we're 'the funny one.' In my mind he's the Ethel to my Lucy. He thinks I'm the Teller to his Penn.

Allow me to present the only evidence you will ever need to prove that I am, indeed, the funny one.

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