Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lunch Paper Bag Book

Another craft from this week, a lunch paper bag book.

You will need three lunch paper bags. (They come in lots of colors besides brown. However, they might have a wax coating on them which may make it difficult to use glue stick for adhering decorative papers or embellishments.)

A hole punch, glue stick and a length of ribbon, twine or yarn

Stack the lunch bags alternating the bottoms and the open top flap.

Fold in half.

With the hole punch, punch three holes. One in the middle, one at the top and one at the bottom. I didn't bother to measure, but go ahead if you need to be exact. Lace the ribbon through the holes and tie with a knot or bow.

The paper bags I used folded to 5 inches square.

You can write on the bags as is or you can cover the pages with decorative paper. The open tops of the bag make handy pockets to hold ephemera.

The book can be used as a journal, a photo album, or storing ephemera.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paper Bag Purse

One of the crafts we made this week was a a purse made out of a brown paper lunch bag.

While working on the template, I found not all brown lunch bags are standard in size so I had to alter the dimensions for the cardstock. I also found printed cardstock at Walmart so that eliminates cutting decorative paper and gluing to the card stock, though you can still do that to gussy up plain cardstock if you wish.

You will need a brown paper lunch bag cut 4 inches from the bottom

One piece of cardstock measuring 5 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches high. This is the back of the purse. Score and fold two inches to form the flap of the purse.

One piece of cardstock measuring 5 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches high.

A length of ribbon, string, yarn or something to be used as the handle.

A hook and loop closure (Velcro)

Decorative paper and stickers used for embellishment.

You can follow the directions by LilSweetPea on YouTube.

Won't this make a cute favor or gift bag?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Counting Blessings

This week I'm teaching calligraphy at a summer recreation program.  I have a group of 12 and 13 year old girls. 'Tweeners. The girls are bright, talented and funny. How fortunate to be able to play at work.

Do you get to play at work?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

This week's pick The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence.  Jimmy Stewart as newly minted lawyer, Ransom Stoddard comes to the West to bring law and order with his law books. Before Stoddard even steps foot in Shinbone, he meets the silver handled whip of the terror of the territory, Liberty Valence (Lee Marvin). Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) the only person in Shinbone able to stand up to Valence comes to the aid of the young lawyer.

The territory is up for statehood and an election is to be held to choose two representatives to attend a convention at the territorial capital. Valence tries to bully the townsfolk into picking him. Stoddard and the publisher and editor of the local newspaper are chosen. Valence viciously attacks the editor and calls Stoddard out to a shoot out. A legend is born, but who is the man who shot Liberty Valence?

What's your pick for me this week?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Favicon

If you love tweaking and customizing your Blogger layout, Blogger has added a new feature. You can now add your own favicon to Blogger. What's a favicon, you ask? It's sometimes called a short cut icon, URL icon, or website icon. It's a tiny 16 x 16 pixel picture located in the address bar of your browser.  Blogger uses a B on an orange squarish background. Do you see it? I created a favicon using my pony express rider. Ain't he cute?

From your blogger dashboard above the Navbar ribbon, you'll see a place to edit the favicon. Upload a 16 x 16 pixel image and save. Ta Da! Instead of the Blogger B you'll have your own icon.

If you don't have a tiny image to use, you can create your own using image editing software (Photoshop, PSP X3). If you don't have image editing software you can download Picasa 3 for free.

Don't want to fuss with creating a favicon, but still want one? You can generate and download your own favicon from Favicon Generator and Gallery and it's free!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Friday Five

My letter is C

Something I like: cowboys

Something I don't like: cheese

Someone I know: Mrs. C, The Young One's 3rd grade teacher

Something I want: chocolate

Grab your jump rope and chant along. What's your letter?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Counting Blessings

One of my guilty pleasures has been to take a break in the sun room and watch monster movies. TCM has a monster movie marathon on Thurs. night, and sometimes I record those to watch later. Verizon also has a large selection of monster movies On Demand. As a kid I watched a lot of those movies lying in front of the ol' RCA with my face buried in the carpet. since I don't remember a lot of the stories, it's almost like watching the movie for the first time., and this time around I don't have to bury my face in in the carpet.

Do you have a favorite monster movie?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

The Long Ships begins with Rolfe (Richard Widmark), a shipwrecked Viking trying to make his way home. He tells stories and legends especially about a bell called The Mother of Voices. The bell is made of solid gold and is as tall as three tall men. Rolfe's story attracts the attention of Ali Mansuh (Sidney Poitier), a Moorish prince who is obsessed with finding the bell. Imprisoned in the prince's tower and threatened with torture unless he tells where the bell is, Rolfe makes a daring escape and returns home. His hope is to obtain another ship and crew to go after the bell. The only ship available is the king's death ship. Rolfe and his brother Orm (Russ Tamblyn) steal the ship and kidnap the king's daughter as insurance.  Another shipwreck, captured by Mansuh, a mutinous crew, and chased across the seas by the Viking king, will Rolfe live long enough to find the bell?

Real life best friends, Widmark and Poitier play off each other well. Make some popcorn for this action packed Viking saga. The opening titles are worth the price of admission. Too bad, Widmark wasn't allowed to narrate the opening sequence.

Edumacate me. What's your favorite movie starting with the letter L?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Marketing

If you or your group needs a way to keep in touch with clients or members, Constant Contact may be just what you need.

The Constant Contact site is a marketing tool. You can create a newsletter to keep in touch with clients or members to let them know what you are up to. The service allows you to send to multiple e-mails without your email address being flagged as a spammer.

The service offers a free 60 day trial. The site interface is easy to navigate and intuitive. There are hundreds of professionally designed newsletter templates which you can easily customize with your own logo and pictures. You can then track your results to see how effective your newsletter campaign is. You also get free personal coaching.

The paid service is affordable for small businesses and there are discounts for nonprofits.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Friday Five

Five movies I watched this week.

1. My First Mister, a coming of age story for a Goth girl

2. National Velvet The Young One and I shared a nostalgic moment.

3. Tron inside workings of the computer and computer programs. Blast from the past memories of tape drives and 15 lb. disk packs. As the Young One observed "You worked with refrigerators."

4. Attack of the 50 ft. Woman (1958), don't tick her off! I wish I looked that good at 5 feet something wrapped in a sheet.

5. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) I still love the original but the remake is growing on me.  I thought the acronym for Gort , genetically organized robotic technology, was clever. Gort was cool though I wondered why he needed prominent collar bones. Probably for the same reasons the original Gort needed metal under-roos.

What movies did you watch this week?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I See The Moon

I know you, but I don't know you. 
Sometimes I feel as if I know you
as well as I know the Man in the Moon. 
I wish I understood you a little better.

Water soluble oil pastels on Strathmore watercolor paper Visual Arts Journal.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mini Planner

The Young One needed a way to keep track of her hours at work. Scribbling on a scrap of paper wasn't working as dates and times didn't always jive with calendar dates. Like me, The Young One doesn't like carrying a lot of things around, especially a purse.

Having nothing better to do early one morning, I tried to come up with a solution that would be large enough to write her hours down, but small enough to fit in the pocket of her phone case/wallet.

I started with an oak tag. It would be sturdy enough and two oak tags taped together would be wide enough to hold calendar pages and would form a booklet when folded. A scrap of red paste paper I had made was cut and glued to the outside of the oak tags. The calendar needed to be functional, but it didn't have to be dull.  Red is The Young One's favorite color. Calendar pages were reduced to 50% of their size and photocopied.

The calendar pages were held together with tiny brads and glued to the oak tag with glue dots. Using the oak tag holes as a guide, holes were punched into the red paste paper.  Red crochet thread was cut to hold a pencil in place. No excuses about not being able to write down hours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Counting Blessings

I was excited when hazy, hot, humid weather finally arrived. My kind of weather. Looks like I jumped the gun. It's been damp, cool, and grey since I decorated this page with Crayola paint pens.

What's the weather in your neck of the woods?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

One of my favorite movies, Kiss of Death, a film noire classic starring Victor Mature and Richard Widmark in his screen debut role.

Nick Bianco (Mature), a small time jewel thief is doing time in Sing Sing. The Assistant D.A. wants to cut him a deal if he'll turn evidence against Tommy Udo (Widmark). While he's out Nick is reunited with his little girls who have been in an orphanage after the suicide of their mother. Nick also meets Nettie, who used to babysit for the little girls. Nettie has loved Nick since that time and they marry. Nick gets a taste of a normal life and he likes it.  The plan unravels when Udo beats the rap on the A.D.A.'s case and Nick is marked as a squealer. In order to have everyone get what they want, Nick must take things into his own hands to protect his family.

Widmark's performance is chilling and shocked the 1947 audience for Udo's violence. His maniacal laugh became his trade mark. In an interview, he stated the laugh came out when he forgot or blew his lines.

Ignore the fact that over the 3-5 year story timeline, Nick's girls never age. It's a suspenseful story with a thrilling showdown between Nick and Tommy Udo.

Edumacate me. What's your favorite K movie?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Cloud

Backing up data is a critical function of computing life.  In the olden days, as a computer programmer, my company did a double back up. Just in case one back up failed (maybe a bad sector on the disk), we'd have a second back up. The second back up would be stored off site at a data storage facility like Iron Mountain.  Secure but not convenient if you needed the back up toot sweet as you'd have to wait for a driver to retrieve the backup.

Portable solutions like DVDs, thumb drives, and SD cards are convenient. If you don't want the hassle of burning DVDs, carrying around thumb drives,  or SD cards, Office Skydrive is a perfect solution. And it's free! You get 25 GB of free storage. You can upload picture files, documents, even PDF files.

If you're working on a group project, you can select people you want to share files with. You can even give them permission to edit the documents even if they don't have Microsoft Office on their computer. Or you don't have to share files at all. The best part? You can access these files from any computer. Anywhere. That means you don't have to carry around a squid of thumb drives. Now there's no excuse for not backing up.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Friday Five

Not long ago, I LinkedIn with a friend from high school. Dropped her a note, told her who I was. She wrote back calling me by a nickname I had in high school. Made me laugh because I haven't gone by that name in a very long time.  (Just noticed the date. I graduated this day 38 years ago) Five nicknames:

1. I was called Bones in high school. I had a major crush on DeForest Kelley who played Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the tv series, Star Trek. I also wanted to be a doctor.

2. My best friend from grade school called me, De. That was a play on De Kelley's name and the last syllable of:

3. Cindie. The lady I babysat for called me this and spelled the name this way. When I went to public school, the teachers began calling me this so spelled it with the ie ending. The nuns never used nicknames and neither did my parents.

4. When I was 25, I gave a drawing to my best friend signed with my initials. She started calling me CJ and I've used the name since then.

5. Ceej. My boss at the food brokerage where I worked gave me this moniker. Would stick his head out of his office down the hall and holler: Ceej, where are Simplots potatoes?

My brother had other colorful names for me.

Did you have a nickname or do you go by a nickname now?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Google Doodle

Google is celebrating Les Paul's 96th birthday with an interactive Doodle  You can strum the strings of the guitar by moving your mouse across them. Click on the small black box with red dot to record your composition.  Click the red dot when your done. Here's my Plink

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

The J choice for this is week is the taut drama Judgment at Nuremburg. An American judge is chosen to preside over the trial of four German jurists accused of passing legislation to legalize Nazi atrocities.  The judge (Spencer Tracy) must walk a tightrope between upholding the letter and spirit of the law and bowing under political pressure. He also has to act as referee between the military prosecuting attorney played by Richard Widmark and the counsel for defense played by German actor, Maximillian Schell.  The pace of the movie can be slow at times, but the courtroom scenes are tense. The star studded cast also includes Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, and Montgomery Clift. Schell won the 1961 academy award for Best Actor.

Do you have a J recommendation for me?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets

Another set of desktop widgets I rely heavily on are the sidebar widgets that come with Vista and Windows 7.  I found the widgets I use the most at the Widget Gallery.  I like the sidebar gadgets as they fit neatly in the sidebar on the right hand side of the monitor.

I sometimes lose track of time so the Desktop clock is modified to 60% is large enough for me to see (the 100% view is enormous) and comes with the added feature of displaying the date.

Moonphase II is a bit of fun as I'm a firm believer in the full noon bringing the crazies out of the woodwork. Can't help it. I worked in a hospital a million years ago and the ER was always hopping when the full moon came out.

I'm a weather nut and the weather widget satisfies that craving. Expanding the widget gives me a 3 day forecast or I can follow a link to see a more detailed forecast.

iOutlook syncs with my Outlook calendar. Out of all the calendars around, I like Outlook the best as I can color code appointments. The widget gives me a 3, 5 or 10 appointment snapshot.

The sidebar comes with a daily calendar, but it's orange. Not my color. I like the Ice Blue calendar better. Nice to see future or past dates without having to call up Outlook.

If you're a widget junkie, what widgets do you find most useful?

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Friday Five

We had some wicked weather on Wednesday. Three confirmed tornadoes touched down in Springfield, Sturbridge, and Monson, MA. Tornadoes are an unusual event for New England. We've had them maybe once in a generation (the 1953 Worcester tornado). Hurricanes, blizzards, Nor'easters are the usual norm for New England weather. Not tornadoes and not three in one afternoon. The video shows the tornado moving from West Springfield, MA across the Connecticut River by the Memorial Bridge. The storm then moves through the downtown area of Springfield.

1. Hail pellets beating the cars woke me up from a nap. I was never worried about hail until last summer when golf ball sized hail punched holes through the porch roof.

2. I went to the sunroom and turned on the afternoon news. Was shocked to see the tornado footage live from Springfield. It looked like some sort of movie special effect.

3. I was very grateful that we were all home, especially The Eldest. The town where her college is located had some severe damage.

4. For awhile, we watched the thunderstorm from the sun room. There were incredible displays of lightning.  I love watching lightning fork across the sky and feeling the reverberating boom of thunder. The hail and downpours increased and it became evident that watching the storm and the news from the glass box wasn't a safe idea.

5. The Young One grabbed Ink, and  we all trooped downstairs and watched events unfold on television.  I'm glad we have a basement and I'm glad we were all together and safe. Thoughts and prayers go out to those in the effected areas not that far away from our snug bunker. But for the grace of God.

Have you ever seen a tornado?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Can You...

Can you trace clockwise circles with your right foot and then draw the number six with your right hand?

I know you want to try it. Go ahead. I'll wait. Ceej hums an earworm ditty: Her name was Lola she was a show girl. With flowers in her hair and her dress cut down to there.

Pretty cool, huh?