Friday, 31 May 2013

Create a Header/Banner Using PicMonkey


Recently I accidentally deleted my header/banner at the top of my page. Whoops. It took me a while to remember how I had originally made mine and make a new one that I was pleased with so I thought I would share how I made it using PicMonkey. This way, you can make one too and I'll never have to spend significant amounts of time trying to remember what I did.



Step 1: Open PicMonkey and select “create a collage”.

Step 2: Choose the second square on the left, which is “layout” and then select the four square option under “ducks in a row”. You can delete squares if you like but this option gives you a nice size banner.



Step 3: Select the top square on the left, which is “photos” and open your photos from wherever you have them saved on your computer.


Step 4: Drag and drop the photos you have selected onto your collage.


Step 5: Choose the fourth square on the left, which is “background”. Play around with the spacing until you have one you like.



Step 6: Save your collage. Go to PicMonkey again (I can’t find a way around this) and select “edit a photo”. Open the collage you just saved.

Step 7: Select the button on the left that is a P for “text”. Find a font you like and click “add text”.



Step 8: Add your words, change the size and colour of the font, and place it where you would like. Once you’re happy with it, save your banner.


I am in no way a computer expert and there may be better ways to do this, but this is what works for me. I like this because it lets me make a new banner fairly quickly (now that I remember how) and allows me to showcase some of my favourite posts or base my banner around a theme. If you make one for yourself, let me know. I'd love to see it!

Shared at: Diana Rambles, Life On Lakeshore Drive, Natasha In Oz, Lines Across, Kathe With An E, Sugar Bee Crafts, Fluster Buster, Hickory Trail, Clean & Scentsible, Ginger Snap Crafts, Someday Crafts, Sew Much Crafting, A Creative Princess, Artsy-Fartsy Mama

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Linen Closet Solution


I love my linen closet. It’s perfectly placed in the hallway across from the bedroom and provides lots of storage. It’s been very functionally serving our needs for the past four years.


This is what it used to look like… sort of. This picture misrepresents the amount of stuff it’s supposed to hold. I had been slacking on laundry and was in the midst of doing several loads of towels.

The one thing annoyed me with the closet was that the shelves were so far apart, causing a lot of wasted space. I looked in to get some baskets that hung under the shelves but I couldn’t find them in Canada and refused to pay $40 for shipping. Seriously, I live 2 hours from the US border. Why is shipping so much? Boo!


Rather than pay that much for baskets I dug through my basement and found a few blue baskets that would work. I don’t love the look of them but they serve the purpose. I screwed two screws in for each basket and hung them on the wall. Then I rolled up our facecloths and placed them in the baskets.


By moving the cloths off the shelf, I now have plenty of space for everything else. It also allows me to use some wasted wall space. I’d done laundry so you can see what it looks like with more towels in it, and I’ll be talking about it more when I review my space for May: the hallway and linen closets.

Shared at: Hickory Trail, Sugar Bee Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, Ginger Snap Crafts, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, Someday Crafts, Sew Much Crafting, Artsy-Fartsy Mama, Diana Rambles, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Natasha In Oz, Lines Across, Kathe With An E, Organizing Made Fun

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Puzzle Piece Bulletin Board


A few weeks ago I showed you my Painted Vases and Paper Lollies that were the centerpieces for our Education Week tea. That post got me thinking about why it is that I rarely share anything from school with you. For me, teaching goes well beyond a job. Those who know me know that my career often takes priority over everything else. This isn’t always a positive thing but it is something that those who love me and are important in my life understand and accept. Being a teacher is a huge part of my identity and an integral part of how I define myself.  



With that thought, I’ve decided maybe I shouldn’t work so hard to keep that aspect of myself closed off from you. It’s not much, but to start here’s a bulletin board that I put together a couple weeks ago. This board was pretty simple to make. A TA cut out the words with a Cricut and I copied a bunch of puzzle pieces from a random picture online. The staff and students then decorated them and a student helped me hang them all up. The photo is a bit blurry because I took it with my iPhone but I like that because it blurs the names on the puzzle pieces. I also blacked out the name of my school.

So there you have a glimpse into another (very important) aspect of my life. It’s going to be a process to become comfortable with sharing more about school with you but hopefully I’ll adjust. I know a lot of my readers aren’t teachers but maybe you’ll get some inspiration from my work projects that can translate for you.

Shared at: Lines Across, Kathe With An E, Artsy-Fartsy Mama

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Lime Fruit Dip & Chocolate Fruit Dip


Have I got a treat for you today (pun totally intended): two recipes in one. I recently had to bring a desert to work and wanted something healthy and light but still yummy. I made Lime Fruit Dip and Chocolate Fruit Dip.


Lime Fruit Dip

Ingredients
1.5 cups whipped topping
1.5 cups lime yogurt 

With a spoon mix the ingredients together.

This is a recipe I got from my mom, who typically uses raspberry yogurt but you could use whatever flavor appeals to you. You could also use more or less yogurt, depending on the flavor you choose.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Ingredients 
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whipped topping

Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar. Next, blend in the cocoa and vanilla. Finally, blend in the whipped topping.

This is a recipe from Taste of Home, which I modified to make it less fattening. It’s so good I could eat it with a spoon. Seriously. Amazing. 



To serve with the dips I cut up pineapple, strawberries, and apples. I tossed the apples in lemon juice because I cut them up in the morning and didn't want them browning. 

All together, this desert was easy and delicious. I think it will become a go-to for me for summer barbecues and potlucks.

Shared at: Someday Crafts, A Creative Princess, Sew Much Crafting, Artsy-Fartsy Mama, Diana Rambles, Natasha In Oz, Life On Lakeshore Drive, Lines Across, Kathe With An E, Hickory Trail, Sugar Bee Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, Ginger Snap Crafts, Fluster Buster

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Garden Is In



Before I get into my post I want to let you know I finally started a Facebook page. If you'd like to check it out, the address is https://www.facebook.com/Alspolkadotsandpaisley.


I’m so excited to finally have things growing in the yard again. After last year’s eggshell seedlings, I decided to buy vegetable plants that were all ready started. I have planted cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce. Hopefully the cage J built last year (after Benson ate my cucumber plant) will keep the dogs out of my veggies this year.




Please ignore the mess of grass and weeds and dirt. We plan on enlarging our stone walk to make a stone patio and it will cover this space. I’m hoping it’ll happen this summer.



I also cleaned out my front flowerbed and got that planted. I lost a lot of plants this year; only three survived the winter. Our grass also looks horrible and we’ve been watering it daily. The woman at the nursery said that it’s because we had very little snow this winter. Either way, it made me sad. I replanted the back row with perennials and the front with a mix of perennials and annuals. For now it looks sparse but it will fill in once they grow.


The top row shows the plants that came back. I don’t know the names of two of them and also my bleeding heart. On a positive, this is the first time in 4 years that we’ve had a tree survive the winter.


Last but not least, I planted some annuals in pots. This one is on the front step and a smaller version of it is on the side step. I love the instant improvement placing some plants around can make. It’s such an easy way to make a house look loved.

Shared at: Kathe With An E, Fluster Buster, Clean & Scentsible, Hickory Trail, A Creative Princess, Artsy-Fartsy Mama, Diana Rambles, Natasha In Oz