Can you spot a fake smile?

This has nothing to do with design, but I was fascinated anyhow. Think you can tell when someone's smile is forced? Take a quiz, brought to you by the BBC, and find out. Watch little movies of 20 individuals smiling and judge whether they're faking it. I got 11 out of 20 right. That's an F.
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How to decoupage fabric onto furniture

And now for Caroline's next trick: thrift store nightstands she painted and dressed up with fabric. She's on a makeover rampage! And best of all, she wrote a tutorial to go with this project so we can all decoupage. After reading it, I think I would like to decoupage my entire condo.
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Make a font from your handwriting, Part 2


Noeudpap left a link to this site in the comments a couple posts ago. These folks, apparently named Kevin and Amanda, accept submissions of people's handwriting. If they like yours, they'll make it into a font for you for free. You can also download all the handwritten fonts they've ever made, in case you like other people's handwriting better than yours. Now I just need to teach myself to write like some of those people so it will flow out of my pen instead of my printer.
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More fonts: 35 freebies

A German type site has compiled a list of 35 of the least hideous free fonts available from the world wide interweb. View the list and get them here if something catches your eye. Via Craftzine. Shown above is Fontin Regular.

Update: There's an English version of this article here at Smashing Magazine, which readers are saying is the original. Even better, because now I can read it!
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Make a font from your handwriting

For $9, you can have a font made from your own handwriting. I'm not going to do this, since why would I want to read something in my own bad handwriting when I could use a beautifully-designed font from somebody else? But there might be a cool reason to do it that I haven't thought of. Try it here, at Fontifier.
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Mini bamboo

These were $1 each at the local Jewel grocery store. The little vases are about 3.5" tall. So cute. I hope they don't die. Everybody says it's impossible to kill bamboo, but I had three in a row that bit the dust. Maybe they don't like the chlorinated city water I give them. Too bad for them, though. That's all they're gonna get. Maybe some plant food if they're lucky.

Update: Almost a year later, one is dead. One is thriving. Beats me.
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How to makeover a chair

A couple weeks ago I bought a brown, scuffed up chair from our local Salvation Army and turned it into this for our bedroom. I think I'm in love with it.

How to do it:
1. In your workshop (or dining room, in our case), flip your ugly chair over and remove the four screws holding the seat on. The seat will now lift off. Set it aside.

2. Sand the whole chair to rough up the finish a bit so the paint will stick. Smooth off any scratches or weirdness. Wipe the dust off with a cloth.

3. With a brush, apply a coat of general-purpose latex primer. Don't worry that your chair looks hideous after this step. Then put on as many coats of latex paint as you need for an even finish. I put on three over the course of two days. This is a pain.

4. To recover the seat, flip it over and remove the staples or tacks that hold the fabric on. Don't be grossed out by the condition of the foam cushion under there. If it's icky, just go buy new seat foam at a fabric store. A piece of new seat padding is available for a couple bucks and comes wrapped in plastic and perfectly sized. I was astonished. It turns out most seats are a standard size. The foam piece is perfectly rectangular, so just trace your wooden seat bottom onto it with a pen and cut off the wedges with a scissors to form a trapezoid that fits your seat.

5. Stack the foam and wood bottom onto a piece of fabric and use it as a template to cut a new seat cover, leaving enough margin to be able to fold your fabric around to the underside of the seat. When positioning your seat on the fabric, pay attention to the pattern in your fabric so your seat will align nicely with the repeats. (This fabric is Peapod.)

6. Use a staple gun to tack the new fabric cover snugly onto the seat.

7. Screw the chair bottom back onto the chair, and you're done.
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Open an online store

I bookmarked Big Cartel awhile back because it seemed potentially useful. It's a site that allows you to create your own online shop (kinda like etsy). Looks like it's most popular with people selling clothes, art, and music—three wonderful things.
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Made me laugh

From the mind and pen of Dave Walker.
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Children's book illustration tags

Download a PDF of printable tags featuring vintage children's book illustrations from doe-c-doe.
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Irresistible

This was an impulse purchase a couple days ago from etsy seller Good Grace. I just couldn't stop myself. Visit her shop for retro dresses, bags, shoes, and vintage home items, all photographed nicely and shipped out speedily.
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Before-and-after chair

Caroline reupholstered an ugly $5 thrift store chair with Leaflet, and it was on Design*Sponge yesterday! I tell you, that woman is a genius with a sewing machine. You can read about her process here.
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Valentine's Day treats

Happy Valentine's Day! Make something for your sweetie or drown your sorrows...

Unbelievably cute cupcake pops from Bakerella.

Nifty pink drinks from the Hostess Blog (scroll down in the post for the recipe links).

(Images from the respective blogs.)
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Wee Valentine's boxes

Emily of Orange Beautiful designed a downloadable, printable template for little Valentine's Day dice you can fill with candy. Get the template here, at Daily Candy (appropriately).
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Stop sending email. Start sending Official Communications.

Yesterday Barry sent me an Official Statement of Gratitude, which cracked me up. You all must immediately head over to the online Bureau of Communication and send out your own fill-in-the-blank correspondence. Choose from a variety of forms, including Unsolicited Feedback, Airing of Grievance, Formal Apology, and Acknowledgement of Occasion. Fantastic.
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Make an ironing board cover

Here's the ironing board cover I made from Herb using this easy tutorial. A perfect project for the sewing-challenged, like myself. If you can sew a somewhat straight line, you can make this. And a note: don't forget to leave the opening to feed your string through the casing. I sewed the whole thing shut and had to rip a couple stitches out. :)

Maybe I will actually iron my shirts now. Doubtful.
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The most wonderful baby bed ever

HAO reader Nancy sent me a link to this retro bassinet that's for sale. I love it, but have no use for it. Someone else should snatch it up. Hurry!

Update: It's been snatched.
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How about orange Jello?

I'm not usually a big Jello fan, but I got inspired this week after looking at crazy pictures of Jello molds from the '50s. (Thanks, Diane.) And I do like orange, as well as anything that's kind of kooky. So I have to make these Jello oranges sometime. Not Martha's recipe with play-by-play is here, and Food Network's version with vodka is here.

(Image from Food Network)
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Posters

You can get cool event and band posters, many for $25, from Patent Pending Industries. Via Modern Craft.
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Printable Chinese New Year decorations

Chinese New Year is tomorrow, Feb. 7. In preparation for your party, print some paper lantern votive holders, door decorations, 3D zodiac animals, and more from HP's Chinese New Year downloads section.
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My recent etsy purchase

These prints from Krista Peel just arrived. They're this vibrant in real life, too. Welcome to my orange office, little prints.
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Vintage furniture scavenging

Chicagoans! My friend Barry just notified me about an amazing mid-century modern, vintage furniture source in Carol Stream. Jubilee Furniture Company is open on Friday evenings and Saturdays only, and it's a treasure trove of vintage goodies you can buy for a steal. Best of all, the proceeds support programs for children and families and provide transitional housing for single mothers. To see photos of some pieces in stock right now and read Barry's write-up, click here. For the store website, click here.

(Photograph by Barry Smith)
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Look to the right

A couple of newish sidebar things: a button linking you to the FAQ page and two simple little orange wallpapers you can download.
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Modern Flora™ project gallery

Caroline sent over this photo of storage bins she and her mom have already made from The Fabric. I'm delighted! We've started a Flickr group for anyone who wants upload pix of their own projects or see what others have made. I've added a link to the sidebar so you can check out the gallery as it grows.

Update: Caroline made a tutorial for these!
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Various project tutorials

Decoupaged canvas from Chris Glass
Pop-up flower card at MetaCafe
Oilcloth lunch bag at Tumbling Blocks
Paper chihuahua (and many other animals) at Canon's Creative Park
Bag made from fused plastic bags at Modern Cottage
Bowl made from magazines at A Little Hut
Fabric luggage tag at My Longest Year
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