Vintage-like desktop wallpapers

If your tired old desktop needs a February facelift, check out the latest selections at Fossil. Tomorrow you can kick off a new month with a fresh look, available here.
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Meet my Two Zip Hipster

My Mum sewed up another of Erin Erickson's Hipster bags, this time in the Dusk colorway of my Sticks fabric. It features orange zippers requested by moi. The strap on the bag is adjustable so you can carry it over your shoulder or across your torso.

See? All my orange stuff fits in it. Notebook, calendar (yep, I'm old school like that), and my iPad. (P.S. If you need this orange iPad wallpaper, grab it here.)

This baby is going everywhere with me. Thank you, Mum!
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Quiz: Are you an introvert or extrovert?

How about a Friday quiz? Time magazine will determine whether you're an introvert or extrovert with this quiz. I answered yes to every single question and would have added exclamation points if possible. The quiz rightly suspects I am "likely to be an introvert." And I just learned the word "ambivert," so I'm smarter now, too. It's a good day. Test yourself right here.

(Artwork by Matte Stephens, available at Poster Cabaret, one of my favorite sources of prints.)
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Make a solid-color origami heart garland

A variation of yesterday's striped paper garland—try solid-color hearts folded from origami paper. They even have a pocket in the back to run your string through, so no taping needed. Get the instructions here.

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Make a striped origami heart garland

These striped origami hearts are quick and easy to fold—you won't be tempted to say any bad words as you make them. (Unlike with this box or this cat.) Connect the hearts with twine to make a simple Valentine's Day decoration.

Get the folding instructions here; choose diagram or animation. I used 6" sheets from this awesome pack of 100 different colors of origami paper. Each square will yield two hearts that are about 3 1/2" wide. And a tip: use a little piece of double-stick tape to keep the fronts of the hearts from popping forward. They'll lie flatter this way.
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Create Valentine dishes with edible paint

For a party or special dinner, try decorating plain dishes with icing. Designs will be perfectly edible, and if you make a mistake while painting, just lick it off and start over. (Don't tell anyone your tongue made contact with their plate.)

To make this "paint," I mixed 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of water, and 2 drops of liquid food coloring. Apply with a paintbrush. If needed, run your fingernail around any wiggly edges to smooth them out before they dry.


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Match a cocktail to your favorite music

After days out of town, I've got a work pile-up and an overflowing inbox. I struggled all day to resist the impulse to lie on the couch and eat cookies. If you, too, need a breather (and something stronger than cookies), try out Drinkify. Type in a musician or band, and you'll get a cocktail recipe to pair it with! (Via It's a Small Web.)
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What to wear to the farm

I'm headed to the Altitude Design Summit today, so Grandma G. will have to look after the blog while I'm gone. (For those unaware, she's my mom. And a frequent commenter.) I've noticed that many bloggers are enthusiastic about their Alt wardrobes, and lots of style articles have been popping up. See examples here, here, here, and here.

Since it looks like Alt is covered, I thought it might be helpful to post some fashion suggestions for visiting Grandma G. If you plan to attend a conference at a Minnesota dairy farm, you might consider packing the following wardrobe.

1. A pair of everyday jeans. Forget skinny, low-rise, stretch and all that business. The heifers don't care. Pick something nice and comfy.

2. A coat to wear outside. Preferably something your grandma bought you at a rummage sale, so you won't need to worry if it gets dirty.

3. A flannel shirt. Preferably something your grandma bought you at a rummage sale, so you won't need to worry if it gets dirty. Or you can raid the closet in my old bedroom, where there are probably lots to choose from. That came from rummage sales.

4. (Optional) On warmer days, a promotional seed corn cap that has collected dust in the basement. A note: don't wear this ironically like the hipsters do. The cap was likely a free gift after you spent thousands of dollars on seed corn. It's functional, not a fashion statement.

5. On colder days, a knitted stocking cap. Preferably something your grandma bought you at a rummage sale, so you won't need to worry if it gets dirty.

6. Bring a pair of old glasses that you wore a few prescriptions ago. Replace your regular frames with these when you go outside into the cold, because they'll fog up like crazy when you come back in. Once inside, you can immediately switch back to your good glasses since you'll want to see clearly right away. Right, Mum?

7. Overshoes in case the yard is muddy.

8. A stylish accessory. Instead of a sequined handbag, bring a flashlight for locating things at night, including raccoons and possums.
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Printable Valentine card and coupon freebie

Floris of Love vs. Design just sent over a link to a new printable. It's a Valentine's Day card and a set of coupons you can fill out for your sweetie to redeem. Help yourself to the free download here!
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DIY macaron coin purse

An addendum to the list of things to sew in the last post: check out these little macaron coin purses. One hundred percent adorable! I want to eat them up. Get the instructions here from Joanne at Craft Passion. You know her. She's the same genius who provided directions for the self-zipping coin purse.
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Sewing tutorial round up

Check out these bag, pouch, and apron instructions, graciously provided by the people of the internet:
Naughty secretary bag tutorial at Sew Sweetness
Urban jungle bag pattern, also from Sew Sweetness
Laminated messenger bag tutorial by Sew Can Do
Boxed pouch how-to from Terrabyte Farm
A Kindle slip case project by Charm Stitch
Shannon's apron instructions from Buttercream and a Sewing Machine

And a bonus: If you share a link to designer Tanya Whelan's pretty new book Sew What You Love, you can choose a free bag pattern to download. Find out more right here.
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Cuteness alert: more kitten origami

I tried another origami neko model from Jo Nakashima—the 3D version of yesterday's flat bookmark. I skipped the step where you shape the cat's back since my crisp paper wanted to crumple. (This is due to my lack of skill, not the fault of the paper, I'm sure.) Follow along with the video tutorial here.

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Make an origami cat bookmark

On You Tube I found video instructions for making a cat bookmark designed by Jo Nakashima. So I tried it out. A couple of the steps were tricky, but I managed to prevail! I think this kitty is funny. He looks like he tried to cross the road at the wrong moment.

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January desktop wallpaper

While it's still January, you might enjoy this quirky desktop art from illustrators Julianna Brion and Rand Renfrow. The image is part of the Desktop Wallpaper Project at The Fox is Black. Grab it here!
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DIY polyhedra: trendy and cool

Geometric 3D solids are popping up around the internet lately. Adorn yourself, your home, or your party with gem pendants and paper polyhedra using these smart tutorials:
Geometric garland at Urban Outfitters
Platonic solids garland from Mini Eco
Glassine gem paper lanterns at Martha Stewart Weddings
DIY geometric necklace by Dismount Creative
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Guess the movie from the object

Here's a Friday time-waster: guess which movie the illustrated object comes from at Famous Objects From Classic Movies. I was horrendous at this game. Maybe you'll have better luck! (Via It's a Small Web).

Update: I'm a moron. I just figured out you can guess letters one at a time like hangman; you don't have to know the entire title at first glance. This just got way more fun.
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Five free fonts

Check out some more nice font freebies I found at Myfonts.com. Log in and add these to your cart for a complimentary download: Novecento Wide (scroll down the page to find the freebies), Nashville Serial, Abril Fatface, Deftone Stylus, and Wichita Serial. I often grab the free weights (ha, that sounds like I'm at the gym) for use in logo and print projects, and then go back and purchase the heavier or lighter weights as I need them.
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Jonathan Adler toilet paper holders?

I'm a big Jonathan Adler fan. And now I see (via Felt & Wire) that he has designed some toilet paper boxes for Cottonelle. Yours for a mere $1.99 when you buy a specially marked roll of TP. I'm torn between "what the heck would I need that for" and "shoot, they're kind of cool and I could put something else in there." Plus I received this awesomely orange Jonathan Adler turtle tray for Christmas and it might need a friend. (Not that I keep the tray near the toilet, I hasten to add.)

Mr. Adler intends the TP covers to be "mood-enhancing." Wow. So just think how mind-blowing my baƱo would be if I added toilet paper origami, too. I could go sit in there whenever I felt sad.

(Images: PR Newswire and Jonathan Adler )
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Thanks for reading my blog, guys.

I'm back from vacation and wanted to start off 2012 by thanking you for reading How About Orange. It's so much fun to feel like I belong to a community of nice people. I love your comments, helpful emails, and the spirit of goodwill around here. You guys make me giggle, offer great ideas, and email me tips with cool links all the time. I love it. Not to mention the way your kind comments boost my self confidence. Here are just a few real examples from the past year:

"Great blog, Saying thanks will not very soon be sufficient, for the outstanding precision in your writing. You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years."
-Evaporative Cooling

"I really enjoyed reading this post. I congratulate you for the terrific job you've made. Great stuff, just simply amazing!"
-Prescription Discount Card

"Really your post is really very good and I appreciate it. It’s hard to sort the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it. I really impressed by your post."
-Baby Kittens

"Amazing man! I can't believe it, such an incredible and create job you have done. I really enjoyed that."
-Business Logo Design

Thanks, Evaporative Cooling! (Okay, those are clearly from comment spammers who attempt to litter posts with links to their sites. I try to delete them before they appear, but you may have noticed a few sneaking in once in awhile.) But seriously, a huge thank you to all of you non-spammers for reading this blog.

If you'd like to kick off 2012 with a printable calendar for your bulletin board, Celia Sanchez sent over a link to her design, pictured above. Help yourself to the free PDF right here, and let's make 2012 an incredible and create new year that's amazing man!
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