Sunday, March 29, 2009

Easter Bunny Card, Envelope & "Bag" - FREE Download

I was completely inspired by Jessica's tutorial over on How About Orange last week. Check it out here. She cleverly showed how to make a bag out of an envelope. I literally grabbed an envelope while I read her post and tried it. It works beautifully! I started thinking about how I could use this idea and Easter goodies came to mind. Here's what I came up with. I thought I'd share. I'm going to put some candy in the bags and give to my kids for Easter. I had to use tissue for the photo because if I bought Easter candy now, I'd eat it all before Easter. No lie.After you've looked at Jessica's tutorial, download this PDF template formatted for an A2 envelope. You CAN CHANGE THE NAME in the template and print it out. Just open the PDF in Acrobat 8 or later (download for free at, click in the text box and type your info. I printed on light blue envelopes. If you're using a different size envelope or a store-bought bag, print the pdf on paper, cut and glue to your bag. Label paper would work too.

You can also download this PDF template of a 2" square envelope and coordinating card. You'll need a color printer, 8.5x11 card stock and scissors. No glue needed. The envelope folds to interlock in the back. So simple. You don't have use the card with the bag. Tuck one in a bouquet of flowers or at place settings and write trivia questions on them. If you don't want your card to say "happy easter", cut 2" squares from any paper and write your note.

Have fun and leave a comment on how you'll use these freebies!
Thanks Jessica for the inspiration!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Look

I don't know if its all the trees starting sprouting new growth or the flowers blooming, but I've been feeling that my business identity needed to grow/change too. Something cleaner. Something fresher. So I did a little overhaul on my blogger header. Knowing me, I'll probably change it again in 6 months!

Pretty and Cheap Flower Vases

Spring is in the air and I couldn't be more ready for it! My yard is currently offering up a few pretty flowers, some of which were begging to come inside and live. As I was digging through my "vases" I realized some of my favorite containers were really never intended for holding flowers. But oh my, how I love how they look.My all time favorite "vases" are balsamic vinegar bottles from Trader Joe's. After the vinegar is all gone, I run the bottle through the dishwasher and then use Goof Off to get the label completely off. Over the years I've collected about 8 of these guys. They are so pretty all lined up down the center of a table at a dinner or party.

I have only one of these pretty blue bottles. I don't know what drink came in it. Someone must have brought it with them when they came for a visit. I couldn't bear to throw it away. So, out it comes each spring working as a bud vase.

And of course, there are the hard-working canning jars. I like the blues ones the best. (The daffodils did not come from my yard. My pal, D, gave them to me yesterday.)

I hope spring is finding it's way into your home. If the flowers aren't out yet where you live, I hope you enjoy the photos. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

And the Slacker Mom of the Year Award Goes to...

ME! Everyone has a natural talent. Some people can sing, some can write, some look good, some are funny. Me, I'm a natural slacker mom. It comes easy to me. I don't mean to brag. Really, I don't. But, take today for instance. It's St. Patrick's Day. Little Cat A has been dropping hints for days wondering what the leprechauns would bring or do on this special day. Well, last night at about midnight it dawned on me that I needed to do some "magic". I put a few drops of green food coloring in the kids' potty. Ta da, magic (it was the least I could do, literally). Well, the toilet got flushed in the night, in the dark, without anyone noticing.

Never one to give up hope, this morning Little Cat A wondered out loud directly AT me if perhaps the leprechauns might be planning on coming during the day this year instead at night as in previous years. Smart girl.

While at my pal's house this morning (where the leprechauns did some serious magic with cookies and necklaces and treats), I was lamenting on my lack of effort in the magic department. So, I asked if I could have a couple of the treats the leprechauns left at her house. She graciously shared. I did try and make them a little special, but come on, who uses recycled holiday treats? A slacker mom extraordinaire, that's who. I'm a natural. (humble bow)

Recycled treats in baggie. I dyed some string a light green with food coloring.

Printed and punched out some shamrocks tags.

Wrapped in parchment paper and ready to leave on their pillows.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Testing. Testing. 1, 2, 3 -- I Need Some Help

I apologize for my lack of posts. I've been busy, busy creating some invitation designs to enter in a contest here, trying to figure out how to take better photos for my ad here, working on a web home page for Whisker Graphics and last but not least, working on a new product for my shop. The new product is where I need some help. I'm looking for a few people to help me work out any kinks.

Here's what it would entail:
-I will email you a PDF set of paper goods with instructions and a questionnaire. You follow the instructions and fill in the questionnaire.
-What you'll need: color printer, MS Word (or something like it), paper, scissors, ruler, x-acto knife.
-Time commitment: less than an hour.
-What's in it for you: You can select any 2 PDF sets from my shop for free.

If you are willing to be a tester, leave a comment (with a way for me to contact you) or send me an email (click on my mugshot) and let me know your level of craft skills (i.e. from "Craft Goddess" to "I Know What Scissors Are"). I will email those selected.

Thanks in advance!
**** UPDATE***** Thank you all for your responses! I have enough volunteers now and will be contacting you shortly.

Monday, March 9, 2009

MORE Mini File Folders

I'm lovin' the mini folder concept so much, I can't stop myself from designing more. For this set, and those in the future, I made a right-tab folder, a center-tab folder and a left-tab folder so they can be used in file boxes/drawers/containers just like grown-up folders and you'll still be able to see all the tabs. I just put this Geometric Set in my esty shop today.The second photo shows one printed out at 60%. Just the right size for a business card. Might be fun to print some out in tiny sizes and use them for scrapbooking or use some uber-cool Japanese masking tape on the sides to create a pocket.

Oh, my aching back... No more!

I started Whisker Graphics last June on a shoestring budget. That budget has not changed. My "studio" is our 4th bedroom. It's not fancy, nor beautiful. My computer workspace is a "desk" (a plastic folding cafeteria table from Costco, ugly but roomy) and my laptop.
My laptop sat too low for me. I constantly hunched over to look at the screen and that made my back ache in the worst way. I wasn't sure how to remedy this. Then, I saw a photo of Marty Stewart in her office and she had this nifty stand for her laptop. "I want one of those," I thought to myself. With my budget in mind, I set my spending limit at $0.First I asked friends if they had an old keyboard I could have. They did. Then I did a trial run with a folding breakfast tray to make sure the height and keyboard would work. (That ugly legal pad to the right is my mouse pad.)The LOML made the stand out of some scrap plywood we had in the garage. Not up to Martha's standards for sure, but then again, Martha's budget is bigger. I had some white craft paint (bought when it was on sale 2 for $1), a foam brush (bought when on sale 10 for $1) and my trusy paint tray (an old frozen dinner plastic tray) and leftover paint from our bathroom.
A coat of the white craft paint first to act as primer.Then coat of Gossamer Blue paint from Benjamin Moore and my backsaver was finished. Both my back and my budget are satisfied!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

FREE Download of Mini File Folder

I'm just so excited about these little file folders that I wanted to share. Click right HERE to get your free pdf template download. Cutting it out with scissors seems to work best and if necessary do a little clean up with an xacto knife on the curvy parts. I printed it out on white and kraft cover stock. Read here for some ways to use this petite organizer. Enjoy!

If you like, leave a comment on how you are going to use your folder(s). I'd love to hear! :)

Plain Stuff in Pretty Packaging

Take a gander at this.
I found it while shopping at Trader Joe's.
It's rice. Just plain old white rice.
But, oh my, what pretty packaging.
I'm leaving it out on my kitchen counter to enjoy for a couple of days.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mini File Folders

I love when regular things come in small sizes. Dogs, cupcakes, baby shoes, cars. Even as a kid I liked little stuff. When my grandma took me toy shopping for my birthday one year, I picked out miniature boxes of food that were for display in miniature doll houses. I didn't have a miniature doll house. I just grooved on the teeny, tiny food boxes. Anyway, when I saw that Paper Source started carrying these Mini File Folders I wanted some. But I wanted them with a little more umpf. So I created my own version. This is the first PDF template set I've created for the shop.

They are only 4.75 x 7 in size. Just right for so many good uses:
- Store recipes from magazines
- Print a out and give as gifts
- Keep one in your purse to wrangle receipts
- An invite's handsome carrying case. (They fit nicely in a A7 envelope.)
- Put photos in them to give to family and friends
- A pretty place to keep your to do lists

I'm really excited about these little guys. I hope they find a place in other people's live who like little stuff.

Mailing Labels

Something different for the shop. Mailing labels.

I ALWAYS like to receive stuff in the mail (bills and junk advertising being the exception). When its personal and packaged in a unique or fun way, it makes me smile as I walk from my mailbox to my front door. I think of the person who sent me the special something and feel a warm fuzzy that they took the time to do something they knew I would appreciate. That's how the mailing labels came to be. My first design is this little birdie. (click on image to enlarge it)
I love the idea of the label wrapping around the envelope. I made them generously sized at 3.5 x 5 so they can work on packages too. I learned I have to flip the address around to make that work. I'll work on more designs over time .

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cheering Up from My Family

I've been MIA for a couple of weeks. The first week my mom came for a wonderful visit and the LOML and I went away for the weekend (sigh of contentment), and then the second week, I had a complete melt down (origin unknown) and went to a very dark place. (It had nothing to do with my mom's visit, honest.) I don't know what happened. I'm going to point the finger at hormones and leave it at that.

Hanging on the wall, in a location I can see while laying in bed if I turn my head to the left, is a big (3'x4'), linen-covered bulletin board. I tack images on it that make me happy. You know, shoes, lake houses, travel destinations, etc. During my ugly time last week, I took everything off and just left the assortment of tacks scattered randomly. This is what my 14 year old son did with the tacks to try and put a smile on my face.

My husband added the "tongue" the next day. It's a piece of paper from the top of a business form. In other words, trash. Clever boys.

They love me.