Giveaway: $100 from Ugallery.com

Ugallery.com is an online store selling original art from top collegiate artists. Ugallery realizes most people can’t afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars for original artwork, so they've created a curated gallery with prices from $20 to $5,000. You can search for art by genre, color, size, medium, and price, and try out your favorite piece on the Virtual Wall to see how it will look before you buy it.

And good news! Ugallery is offering a $100 credit to two lucky How About Orange readers. To enter, just leave a comment here with a way to contact you. Two winners will be randomly selected and sent a coupon code for $100 toward any purchase. Contest ends Friday, 4/3/09, at midnight CDT.

UPDATE: Contest is now closed. Commenter #538, Leanna, and commenter #205, Megan, are the lucky winners. Congrats, ladies!

(Images from Ugallery.com artists)
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DIY wall art ideas

Check out this gallery of 30 do-it-yourself wall art projects from DIYIdeas.com (appears to be the brain child of Better Homes and Gardens). I'm especially intrigued by the painted medallions. You can get ceiling medallions at Home Depot or online at places like this.

(Images from DIYideas.com)
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Quiz: Whaddya know about art?

Test your art history knowledge with this little quiz. It will help you kill about one minute while you're waiting for the weekend to start. (If you need to kill more time than that, see other posts in the time-wasters category. Maybe you could waste up to an hour, even. Good luck.)
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2010 color trend forecast from Pantone

Apartment Therapy just posted a peek at Pantone's 2010 home and interiors color trend forecast. I like 'em a lot. Selected palettes:

Greenmarket (Yum!)

Galaxy (Note to self: learn to like purple.)

Gatherings (Nice and earthy.)
Read more about what inspired these at AT.

(Images from Apartment Therapy)
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Make a little boy's tie

The Purl Bee has a pattern and instructions for sewing a neck tie for a little boy. And it doesn't require a sewing machine, either. So cute! A fun gift to make, or perfect for an Easter outfit.

(Image from The Purl Bee)
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Gift bags made from envelopes

The event for which I needed that non-Satanic craft was this past weekend. In addition to little demon-free booklets, we also made these mini gift bags. "Baglets," as one participant christened them. (Or maybe you'd spell it "Baglette"? Looks more elegant than spelling it like "piglet." Beats me.) If you, too, would like to make Baglets out of envelopes, here's how.

Find an envelope of any size. (I embellished these by printing a label on the front of them first. You can use my design if you want; these PDFs are set up according to how my printer feeds envelopes through. If yours is different, you might need to experiment. Download the label for a small A2 envelope or a larger 6x9 envelope.)

1. After you've finished printing a design on your envelope (optional), seal it shut.

2. Cut off one end of the envelope. 

3. Fold one side in toward the center (maybe about an inch or slightly less). Do the same with the other side, then fold the bottom up by the same amount, making creases in the paper.

4. Put the bag over one hand. Use your other hand to shape a flat bottom for your bag, pushing the bottom center crease downward, causing the side folds to buckle out. Crease the corners of the bottom into triangles.

5. Use a bit of double-sided tape to stick the corner triangle flaps to the bottom of the bag.

6. Reverse the folds along the sides of the bag to give it shape.

7. If you like, punch holes and thread ribbon through for a handle.

All done. You can fill your Baglets with candy for party favors or put little gifts in them.

Update: Try this envelope gift bag project with decorative masking tape.
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Internet extrovert

Last week I set up Facebook pages for How About Orange and for my graphic design business. I'll admit it: I only did it because everyone else is doing it. Could someone enlighten me as to why it's good to have a Facebook page for your blog? Help me out here, folks. Next, I will be setting up a new blog where I shall blog about this blog. And then probably a Facebook page for that blog, too.
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Even more wallpaper

If you need still more desktop wallpaper, the artists at Kindred just launched a new site with new selections. And now I promise I won't talk about wallpaper for awhile.
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Swizzlestix pillow giveaway winner

The lucky random winner of a Swizzlestix pillow was commenter 148, Nicole, who has been notified. Her comment was, "I love the Flowerburst Spring. They're all so pretty, though!" Congrats, Nicole!
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Time for new desktop wallpaper

I just went browsing at Pixelgirl Presents, still the best source I know for interesting wallpapers made by artists from around the world. Submit your own with a link to your website if you want, or raid the supply donated by other people.
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Pillow giveaway from Swizzlestix

San Francisco company Swizzlestix produces paper goods and housewares with groovy colors and retro patterns. Looks like they like orange, too! Swizzlestix is offering a special giveaway to How About Orange readers. Just leave a comment here with a way to contact you and the name of your favorite pillow design (click here to see the choices), and one comment will be drawn randomly. The lucky winner will receive the pillow of their choice, free! Contest ends Friday, 3/20/09, at midnight CDT.

UPDATE: Contest is now closed. Congrats to commenter 148, Nicole, who has been notified!

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Things to make

I'm sick to death of winter, so excuse me if I err on the side of too much flowery stuff in this list of tutorials.

Butterfly straws at Good Housekeeping, above left
Buttercup bag sewing pattern from Made by Rae, above right
Crooked coasters at The Long Thread
Paper roses from Imagine, Create, Inspire
Dorset buttons from Craftstylish
Bamboo veneer flowers on an IKEA table by Craftynest
Felt tissue cases at Martha Stewart
A tea towel apron from Living Creatively
Flower party decorations at Martha Stewart
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Monday giveaway: free postcards with birthday card purchase

Mondays stink, so how about a pick-me up. Buy a set of birthday cards from my shop, and I'll throw in a pack of 8 postcards free with your order. One day only, March 16, while supplies last.
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Make a booklet with a pocket

A friend and I have the task of planning a craft project for women to do at an upcoming retreat held by our local church. The limitations: relatively quick, cheap, doesn't rely on electrical outlets or long glue drying time, doesn't take up much space, doesn't require any special expertise, and I guess, isn't Satanic. Got any ideas? Have you tried any projects in a group?

Here's the leading contender: Paper booklets with a pocket. I revised the template from this post at Curbly to be easier on your printer and have a curved pocket. You can download the revised template, print it at 100% on 8.5" x 11" cardstock, cut it out, and trace it onto fancy thick paper. Watch this video from Paper Design to see how to assemble the booklet.

I used cardstock for the cover, 3 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper (cut in half to make 6 sheets for the interior), and colored embroidery thread for tying.

(Thank you to Curbly and Paper Design for the help!)
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DIY roman shades

I'm pondering Roman shades lately, after seeing a couple DIY tutorials on the world wide interweb. Maybe our orange room could benefit. (This shade in there is flimsy. And any excuse to use fabric makes me happy.) Check out a project by Jennifer Hagler based on an inexpensively purchased Roman shade, or try this project made from an old set of mini blinds at Little Green Notebook.

(Image from Apartment Therapy)
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Books galore!

There's a stack of fabulous books on my desk right now that you might find inspiring. Starting with City Chic: The Modern Girl's Guide to Living Large on Less. I love the premise, and it's chock full of useful tips, ideas, websites, and recipes that will help you save money while enjoying the good things in life.

Sew What! Bags: 18 Pattern-Free Projects You Can Customize to Fit Your Needs is wonderful. If you're a sewer (excuse me, "sewist"), especially one that's daunted by sewing patterns (me!), get this right now. The photos, fabrics, and projects are completely inspiring, and you'll feel happy just looking at it. I kept thinking, "This is my style. I would make that. And that. And that." It's a spiral bound hardcover so it lays flat, and it's a great price!

This is a page from Material Obsession: Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots. I've never made a quilt, and normally all those crazy patterns thrown together in one place make me a little nauseated, unless they're carefully coordinated. This how-to quilt book had some that didn't make me barf, which is high praise coming from me. And the photos are styled beautifully. You might like it.

I'm not a knitter, either, but if I were, I'd try to make these slippers from Weekend Knitting: 50 Unique Projects and Ideas.

Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching is also very lovely. The instructional illustrations are completely charming, and the projects include such things as slippers, bags, clothes, you name it. You can even learn what Heather likes to listen to on her iPod when she sews.

It looks like I have many, many projects on which to procrastinate now. Excellent.
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Free vector graphics

Hey, all you Illustrator users. You can download lots of free vector graphics to work into your websites and brochures over at keepdesigning.com. Most are for both personal and commercial use. Thank you, nice folks at Keep Designing.
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Fabric covered magnets

Some friends were over the other day, and I showed them how to whip up some fabric-covered thumbtacks and magnets. (See the tutorial here.) For the magnet version, you'd obviously glue on a magnet instead of a thumbtack. I know that seems readily apparent, but if I don't state it for the record, I am guaranteed to get emails asking about it.

I had some 1/2" magnets I got at Walmart a long time ago, and used 3/4" buttons to glue to them. You can get buttons to cover at your local fabric store, or order some right here. They're so satisfying to make that one of the girls sighed wistfully, "I wish I could make these all night long."
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Desktop wallpapers for March

Smashing Magazine offers a monthly collection of free wallpapers to download, created by various artists around the world. Get them with or without calendars on them. Help yourself right here.
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Printable mini file folders

You can download, print, and trim out these mini file folders, kindly made available by Whisker Graphics. Hmm, maybe I should convert everything in my office to mini so I can use more of them. Mini design proposals, mini invoices, mini letterhead... it would all be so adorable.
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Some ribbon

Some 1-1/2" wide ribbon I designed is now available here at JCaroline Creative. Check out the other lovely ones by Patty Young, too. This was originally going to be part of a fabric pattern, but Caroline snatched it up and made it into ribbon. Alex saw it yesterday and jokingly suggested I make him some suspenders. Yeah, and I'm sure nobody would make fun of him. Right.
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More fabric in the works

News flash! I've got more fabric coming out this month. Braemore Fabrics will produce and distribute a collection of my designs, consisting of Calliope and Fireworks from the last printing, plus two new designs: Stacks and Beads. Three color ways will be available. The fabrics are printed on a home decor weight 55” wide cotton canvas again.

"Spa" color way.

"Earth" color way. Which I mistakenly referred to as "Dirt" the other night during a brain lapse. Somehow "Dirt" just doesn't sound as nice.

"Candy" color way.

Starting today, you can pre-order all of it from JCaroline Creative right here. And soon it will be available from other home d├ęcor retailers. For wholesale purchasing information, email Caroline Devoy.
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Kelly+Olive giveaway winner

Lucky comment number 313 was randomly generated as the winner of the Kelly+Olive decorating consultation. Congratulations to Kerry B., who is unhappy with her living room. Help is on the way!
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Wish I had a window seat

Look at this room that Sarah put together for her 14-year-old daughter, using my Calliope fabric on some cushions. How lovely!

If you'd like instructions for making some quick throw pillows, here's a tutorial for a simple envelope pillow, the easiest kind there is.
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Online baby name picker

My friends are producing babies like crazy lately, so this is for you pregnant people. What a Lovely Name: a site that helps you choose the right name for your wee ones. Personally, I like the Other Worlds categories. I think if I ever get a hamster, I will name him Erlian.

The website will even help me order him a coffee mug with his name on it.
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