Tailgate party free printable invitation

Compliments of the team at Ellinée, get a free printable PDF you can customize with your own information, inviting your buddies to a tailgate party.
You have read this article downloads / printable with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/tailgate-party-free-printable-invitation.html. Thanks!

Useful book: Sew Up a Home Makeover

I just got ahold of a copy of the new Lexie Barnes book, Sew Up a Home Makeover: 50 Simple Sewing Projects to Transform Your Space. It was fun to see my fabrics featured on a few items, including this cute butterfly chair and pillow. The book is full of instructions for customizing everything with fabric: a roller shade, sofa slipcover, upholstered headboard, duvet cover, reversible placemats, marshmallow floor pouf, switch plate cover, window curtains... and a mere 42 other things. It's really too bad Lexie was running low on ideas.
You have read this article books with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/useful-book-sew-up-home-makeover.html. Thanks!

Rex Ray wall decals at Blik

Friends, humans, countrymen, lend me your eyes! My friend Susie just sent over a link to these new wall decals at Blik, saying "You like Rex Ray, right?" Heck yes I do. While I feverishly try to think of a place to put these, you should go have a look if you like playful, retro graphics.

Every few months I hear someone say that wall decals aren't in anymore. Nonsense. What better way to put a cool image on your blank wall, for relatively little cash, that won't harm your paint job? Long live wall decals!
You have read this article art / shop with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/rex-ray-wall-decals-at-blik.html. Thanks!

Giveaway: The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer

Maybe you splurged on a digital SLR camera, imagining yourself taking dreamy photos like a pro. Except that you haven't quite gotten around to learning how, so your camera is permanently stuck on the auto setting. You know you can do better... but how? If that's you, Katie Evans' new e-book, The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer, will help you show that camera who's boss.

Katie writes in a conversational style that's friendly and accessible, and won't make you throw yourself off a bridge when you read about f-stops and shutter speeds. Topics include types of lenses, exposure, settings, lighting, how to get subjects to relax and act like normal people, composing pictures, and fixing up your photos using software. Some of my favorite tips are:
• How to get your subject's eyes to look sparkly instead of dull
• How to make a DIY clip for your camera's flash to minimize the harsh edges you usually get
• How to make a so-so photo great with a few editing tricks

Win a free copy
Katie is giving away five free e-books, each a $35 value. Want one? Leave a comment here with your email address or other way of contacting you. And mention something interesting you'd like to photograph. (I'm betting 70% of the answers will be kids, but we'll see.) Five winners will be selected, contacted, and announced in this post. Giveaway closes at midnight CT on Friday, Sept. 30th.

Get a discount
Interested in purchasing a book? Enter the code ORANGE at checkout and get $5 off the e-book, now through Oct. 7th.

Update: The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to lucky random winners Robyn, Britt, Jolkipalki, Rachel, and Jessica! They've been contacted and will be soon be taking better pictures.
You have read this article giveaway with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/giveaway-key-to-taking-pictures-like.html. Thanks!

Metallic oil-based Sharpies = nice

I bought a couple of oil-based Sharpies at Michael's recently—the package says they'll write on metal, pottery, wood, rubber, glass, plastic, and more. I chose a two-pack with gold and silver pens and tried one out on this ceramic cup. Nifty! The paint is opaque and shiny and didn't bead up. Now I'm plotting what else needs gold and silverizing. I'm like Midas with markers.
You have read this article tutorials with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/metallic-oil-based-sharpies-nice.html. Thanks!

Make your own wall art

Folks planning to spruce up the house might enjoy these budget-friendly DIY wall art projects. Some cool ideas for sad and naked walls:
Woodgrain contact paper stripes from Maude at Apartment Therapy
Trendy pinwheel painting by Elise Blaha Cripe
A canvas full of words from Alisa Burke
Log wall display by Liv and Jeff McMillan at Curbly

As for me, I've got another chair makeover planned for the weekend. If it's a success, I'll show you next week. If it flops, just pretend I never mentioned it.
You have read this article decorating / tutorials with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/make-your-own-wall-art.html. Thanks!

Free printable cards and illustrations

Find a pile of charming illustrations you can print out at The Handmade Home, including a set of retro automobiles. You can also download an alphabet for the nursery, kitchen utensils, campers, and more. Use them as postcards, gift tags, framed art, you name it. See all the free printables here. Also: it would be kind of awesome if I drove an orange station wagon.
You have read this article downloads / printable with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/free-printable-cards-and-illustrations.html. Thanks!

Quiz: Typography terms

Are you interested in typography? Fontroduction is a little website that teaches you basic terms and classifications. Test yourself with a quiz at the end. A note: Music plays when you complete the quiz, so if you're sneakily using this as a diversion at work, turn your sound off first!
You have read this article fonts / graphic design / quizzes with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/quiz-typography-terms.html. Thanks!

Reupholstered Steelcase chair project

I paid my first visit to Jubilee Furniture a couple weeks ago and returned with a car full of projects. Jubilee is a giant furniture resale shop in Carol Stream, a Chicago suburb. You'll find mid-century goodies mixed with more contemporary pieces—a whole lot of awesome combined with some things that look like hopeless cases to my non-expert decorator eyeballs. It's a treasure hunt. And somehow Jubilee has assembled a staff made up of the nicest people on the planet, so go visit them! Highlights from new inventory are posted regularly on their blog.

But anyway. While I was there, I came upon two 1982 Steelcase task chairs begging with sad puppy eyes to be rescued. They could replace the not-very-comfy wooden dining chairs Alex and I use at our desks. The challenge was figuring out how to get them apart and re-cover them, because the stained, scratchy burlap-like upholstery had to go. After studying them in the store it was still a conundrum, but Susan the manager cheered us on. (Hi Susan!) So into the car they went.

And we conquered! Say hello to our refurbished woodgrain office chairs. We're in love. In case you, too, ever encounter a Steelcase task chair begging for a re-do, read on to see what we did.

We were champing at the bit to get started on the chairs, but lacked enough free time. So we brought them along on a visit to my family in Minnesota last weekend where they turned into a family project. Everybody had a hand in this chair makeover, which you'll see in the following photos. A disclaimer: We don't know anything about reupholstery, so our method is take it apart and copy what the people before us did.

We easily removed the screws from the underside of the chair to get the pedestal (leg? foot?) off. Then we discovered the front of the seat was attached to the back with small screws hidden underneath a strip of plastic edging (casing? trim?). Let's call it edging. We pried the lip of the edging up with a flat screwdriver to get at the hidden screws to remove them. This involved a lot of wrestling. Good thing Alex was on the team in high school.

See? These screws go in through the back of the chair, pass through the edging on the front side, and screw into the plastic back of the seat. A mystery solved.

When the screws are removed, the two halves come apart. (Leave the edging attached to the back piece or it'll be a nightmare putting it back on again.) The arms are easy to detach; each is held on by two screws.

Approximately 378,920 staples secured the fabric around the edges of the seat. We removed those.

Mystery number two: there was a seam across the fabric where the vertical backrest met the horizontal seat. And somehow that seam was anchored to the chair.

Turns out two pieces of fabric were stitched together, leaving a 3-inch seam allowance. This extra flap was tucked down into the crack between the foam pieces and stapled to the bottom of the chair.

We removed it and pinned the fabric onto the new woodgrain material. (Monalis from IKEA.) Using the old fabric as a pattern, I cut out new pieces and Mum sewed them together, mimicking the seams and the topstitching from the original fabric.

Pa stapled the new fabric down into the crack while I squished the foam down. (Yeah, I call him Pa. It's the most suitable name for dads on farms.)

Then we stretched the fabric around the edges of the chair, stapling it in place. The old foam and batting were in fine shape, so we reused them. Then the arms and front and back pieces of the chair were screwed back together again.

Because these chairs will be used on our hardwood floors, we put felt discs under the feet so they'll slide without scratching the floor. I'm opposed to wheels and floor mats because they're ugly.

Here they are in all their glory!
You have read this article home / tutorials with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/reupholstered-steelcase-chair-project.html. Thanks!

Make simple tote bags with The Purl Bee

Outside Oslo, the fabric line I designed for The Needle Shop, is now stocked at Purl Soho. A beautiful store in New York City, Purl Soho has an equally lovely blog that showcases projects made from the goodies they sell. Check out these Oslo tote bags that take just twenty minutes to whip up. Find a link to the instructions in The Purl Bee post right here.
You have read this article bag / design work / sewing / tutorials with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/make-simple-tote-bags-with-purl-bee.html. Thanks!

Free vector ornaments and frames

The other night I was designing something for a friend's wedding and needed some fancy curlicues. I could make some—but I'm lazy. I opted for a quick internet search for free vector graphics and found lots of useful goodies.

If you have a vector editing program like Adobe Illustrator, you might be interested in these from the Vector Graphics Blog:
Ornate design elements
Vintage decorative elements
Vintage decorative frames
Vintage ornate frames

Plus lots more where those came from. A word of caution: you'll need to navigate through a minefield of advertising links to get these, so be careful what you click. Skip the Google ads and click "Download link" midway down the page. When directed to MediaFire, ignore all the large flashing buttons! Look for the name of the .zip file and directly underneath, choose "Click here to start download from MediaFire."
You have read this article resources with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/free-vector-ornaments-and-frames.html. Thanks!

My new favorite magazine

Can the Danish magazine BoligLiv be my new favorite magazine, even though I can't read a word of it? Awhile back they contacted me for permission to use a small photo of my DIY bunting birthday card, offering to send over a magazine when the September issue was printed.

Guys, it's so lovely and full of products I'm coveting. Sofas! Bookshelves! Pillows! I want to make all the recipes and live in all the beautifully photographed homes. Apparently in Denmark, everything is spare and modern with a dose of quirkiness to keep it fun.

Google suggests that BoligLiv means "housing life." If that's a weird translation, maybe a Danish reader can help me out. Visit BoligLiv's site right here, translated into English. Be sure to check out the Creative Ideas section. Some project highlights:

A customized roller shade with instructions right here. (Or rather, "A drop down with a personal aside," as Google helpfully informs us.)

A mismatched mosaic tile backsplash, right here. Enjoy browsing!
You have read this article favorite things / tutorials with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-favorite-magazine.html. Thanks!

How to make wall art from wood scraps

Janine at Salvage Love has posted a tutorial for the DIY wall art she made for her living room. She snatched up a pile of leftover wood scraps from her dad and transformed them into this! Learn how right here. You don't have to paint yours orange, but I highly recommend it.

(Photos by Claire Ferrante)
You have read this article decorating / tutorials with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-make-wall-art-from-wood-scraps.html. Thanks!

Giveaway: Jo Totes camera bags

It's giveaway central around here! Anyone who entered last month's camera bag giveaway might be pleased to get another shot at a gorgeous bag built for cameras. Jo Totes, specializing in "camera bags for ladies," is giving away two bags to How About Orange readers. Winners can pick any style and color they want from the Jo Totes site. Those of you outside the U.S. are included, too, so don't be shy.

Every bag is padded and features repositionable dividers so you can customize the interior for the number of lenses and amount of gear you're toting. Each bag also has extra pockets, a top-zippered closure, a comfy shoulder strap, and a removable cross-body strap.

I have the Betsy bag (pictured below) in Chocolate, and I love it. Even the flap is a zippered pocket. Pretty sweet. It's also equipped with a small fan that causes one's hair to blow photogenically in the breeze. You'll look really good while carrying it.

So I lied about the fan. Whatever. You'll still look good carrying it.

Want to win a bag? Just leave a comment on this post with your favorite style and color. Make sure you leave your email address, a link, or other way of contacting you. The giveaway closes Friday, Sept. 16 at midnight CT. Winners will be randomly drawn, contacted, and announced in this post.

Update: Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to winners Natalie, comment #1455, and Krista, comment #606!
You have read this article giveaway with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/giveaway-jo-totes-camera-bags.html. Thanks!

Adventures in canning + printable jar labels

The folks at SweetPreservation.com are aiming to make canning cool for a new generation. They invited me to be a "canbassador" again this year, sending over a generous box of Washington state stone fruits. After my first low-budget but highly-successful canning effort last year, I was happy to try again. Though I still refuse to buy a giant pot and special tongs. And I couldn't find any pectin at the grocery store, so I went for recipes that use just fruit and sugar.

This year I made plum jam using this easy recipe, altered to a 1:1 ratio of plums and sugar as suggested in the comments. I chopped the plums up with a kitchen knife. The resulting jam is a little runnier than I'd have liked, but very yummy. The only mishap occurred when my back was turned and the pot of plums boiled over, creating a delicious lake of plum syrup on my stovetop. Oh well. I needed to clean it anyway.

I made peach butter, too, with this crock pot method. The house smelled like a country gift shop all day. I halved the recipe to fit in my pot and omitted the cloves, but the peach butter is still a little too spiced for my taste. Next time I'm ditching the allspice, too. The consistency turned out perfectly, and the method for skinning the peaches worked like a charm.

I also whipped up a printable freebie for some jar labels. The circles are 2" in diameter when printed at 100%, sized to fit on the lids of small jam jars. You can also punch a hole in the top and tie them to a jar with baker's twine. Download a PDF right here, then print out the page and write on the labels.

Check out SweetPreservation.com for more free printables and recipes!
You have read this article printable / recipes with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/adventures-in-canning-printable-jar.html. Thanks!

Play with silk online

A little fun for Friday. Via Jeannie Jeannie, I bumped into Silk, a site where you create artwork that resembles silk blowing in the breeze. Just click your mouse and drag. While you're over there, scroll down the page a bit and grab a set of four desktop wallpapers.
You have read this article desktops / time-wasters with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/play-with-silk-online.html. Thanks!

Styled magazine: free DIY ideas, recipes, and printables

The second issue of Styled magazine hit the internet yesterday, and it's lovely! Full of beautiful photos, recipes, DIY ideas, and entertaining tips, this issue's theme is autumn merry-making.

My favorites were the DIY gilded bottle project and Melissa Esplin and Jill De Haan's pretty six-piece printable party stationery set. The best thing about online mags are the clickable links, so don't miss a single free download, product source, or project tutorial.

Flip through the entire magazine online, read the PDF on your iPad, or buy a printed copy right here.
You have read this article printable / resources with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/styled-magazine-free-diy-ideas-recipes.html. Thanks!

How to "wallpaper" using fabric

I couldn't stand our boring white door anymore. Something had to be done. So over the weekend, we wallpapered it with a big, fun piece of fabric. I love it. And it's useful, too. There are four white doors in this corner of the apartment—bedroom, bathroom, coat closet, and outer door—and sometimes departing guests get confused about which one they came through. Now we'll just tell them to exit through the village.

This fabric is fairly thin cotton from IKEA. It's called Britten Hus and designed by someone named Emma Jones. No relation that I know of, but clearly someone I would like. She's also got this handwriting print which I adore. Someone should use it! Bed sheets would work really well for this project, too.

For this DIY fabric wallpaper project, you'll need water, cornstarch, a big brush (or a paint roller if you want to do a larger wall), scissors, and a craft knife if you have obstacles like we did.

First mix up your paste, since it will need time to cool. I made way too much, but better safe than sorry. I don't think I even used half of it, so you might want to cut this recipe down. I adjusted a bit to get a nice consistency that's thickened, but pourable. Like really thick gravy.

Boil 4 cups of water in a pot. Mix about 3/8 cup cornstarch with a little water in a small bowl until the powder is dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the water slowly while stirring. Boil until thickened and then let it cool.

In the meantime, measure the area you want to wallpaper and cut your fabric to size. I just made small cuts in the edge of my fabric and tore each side, since I knew it would make a straighter line than I could cut. I trusted that the design was printed to be aligned with the grain.

Brush the entire door with paste, then begin applying fabric from the top down, adjusting and smoothing as you go. The paste is very forgiving and will allow you to smooth out wrinkles or peel a section back off and reposition it. If you need more paste in dry spots, just brush more on. It doesn't change the color of the fabric when it's dry.

Use a scissors or Xacto knife to cut around any obstacles. We made a few quick slits where the lock and doorknob were, just to get the fabric fitted over them so we could continue smoothing out the rest of the door. Then we went back and trimmed carefully around the hardware with a knife. Apply more paste to stick down the raw edges.

Finally, we back went around the sides of the door and applied a little extra paste to smooth down any loose edges. The paste will keep the raw ends from fraying. If you like, you can brush another coat of paste over the entire door, decoupage style. Our fabric was stuck down well enough and I liked the soft fabric texture, so I opted not to. If you use thicker fabric, it might be a good idea to glue it down a little better with a top coat, though.

When you're tired of the fabric, just pull it off and your paint job is unharmed. You may need to use a damp sponge to wipe off any clear paste residue or thread stragglers. I'd also suggest machine washing brightly colored fabric first to make sure the dyes don't bleed when the fabric is moistened with paste—do a small test first.

Update: To show how the fabric peels off, I pasted another chunk onto my hallway wall, then pulled it off.

The fabric peeled off easily. In this case, the edge of the glued area showed slightly. After taking this photo, I went over it with a damp sponge to see if I could erase it, but that just made the faintly darker area larger. The slight discoloration is the result of getting the wall damp. The walls in my hallway have flat paint, which doesn't like wetness—it always shows every water drip and isn't very wipeable. I don't mind, since this part of the hallway is dim and it doesn't show. Or I can always wipe the whole wall with a moist sponge and it will all match!

If your wall or door has flat paint, you might want to cover the whole area with fabric so you don't see any discolored edges where the fabric starts and stops. If your paint is satin or semi-gloss, which withstands moisture much better, I don't think you'll see any lines at all. You can always test a small area first.
You have read this article decorating / home / tutorials with the title September 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-using-fabric.html. Thanks!