Saturday, October 27, 2012

Milk-aholic SVG for Avery Round Labels 5293 - 1 2/3"

I am working on a baby shower for our daughter - her first (so excited!!!), in the darling Milk-aholic theme that's all over Pinterest. Although there are lots of pix for ideas online, there are very few actual templates for making some of the cute things that made the shower look so good, so I will be posting whatever I design for it, so that it might help out someone else that wants to throw this shower.
Although these labels have the Milk-aholic designs on them, you could easily pare down the graphics to get the actual template for the round labels. (After the shower, I'll get this done and post the blank template.) I tried using the template available on, but it wasn't accurate. Hope someone can use these!
To download them in svg format, click here.
To download them in a pdf version, click here. (I haven't tested the accuracy of the pdf file. You may have to fiddle with it.)

PS - Just to explain my labels, "Sparkle" is for club soda to add fizz to juices, "Sunrise" is for grenadine.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Glaucoma, My Eye!

This picture has been the header for my Facebook profile for a while, now. It is funny (in a black-humor sort of way), that I chose my left eye to highlight, and made some comment about "still having a twinkle in it". I was diagnosed with glaucoma in that eye three months ago, and started on an eye drop regimen that will continue for the rest of my life (unless I actually go blind in that eye, in which case...).

A couple months ago, I underwent laser surgery to blow a hole through my iris to relieve the pressure that was causing my iris to bulge. The surgery was a piece of cake. In fact, my doctor said she'd never had it go so well before: she only had to make two "shots" - one with the hot laser, and one with the cold laser - and ...voila!...a perfect hole in my iris, which has not closed up since the operation, which often happens. (BTW - she said she usually makes 12-15 shots with the hot laser, and 15-18 with the cold laser to get a big enough hole!!!) I had a BUNCH of good friends praying for me, and I can only give the glory and praise to my Heavenly Father for seeing me safely through the procedure.

 I have recently taken a turn for the worse - I developed a white "haze" in that eye - like looking through gauze or fog - and went from seeing 20/20, to not being able to read the top row of letters on the eye chart - with my glasses on. My doctor increased the dosage of steroid drops to 4 times a day (up from once a day), but a side effect of the steroid is that it increases the pressure in the eye, which is basically what glaucoma is. The other two medications I'm taking are drops that limit the production of fluid in the eye, thus reducing the pressure. These drops seem to be making my eye "shrink" - it is not as pronounced as my other, healthy eye, and my eyelid has a decided droop to it. Consequently, my eye doesn't look much like it does in the picture above. My vision does seem to be improving ever so slightly, day by day, though, so keep those prayers a-coming - please! They are mighty powerful stuff!

Unfortunately, I cannot do much work on the computer, as my eye tires easily, and that means blurrier vision, so I am not able to do much design work right now. The Lord has given me the wonderful opportunity to watch my beautiful little granddaughter on a daily basis, which takes all my time, anyway, so I probably wouldn't be getting much design work done anyway. (As proof, notice the "Hello Spring" header on my blog. Sigh.)

Anyway, I just wanted to let some of my peeps know what has been going on with me. Thanks for thinking of me.


Update: I am doing fine and dandy as long as I use my eye drops twice a day. My vision is clear and pressures are low, thank the Lord and all the docs who've worked on me, and especially all those of you who have prayed for me. Prayer works!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Luring Grandkids to Grammie's House

I don't know where this idea came from...I saw it on Pinterest and couldn't get the original source to open (it was a Spanish site - all I know.) But I LOVE the idea. I corrected the color a bit, from the overall yellow of the original. Gotta do this!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Cute Wedding Favor Box

Here's a little larger favor box I designed, that would hold a couple of cookies, or a small slice of wedding cake, or whatever. The box measures 4"L x 2½"W x 1½"H. "I DO!" pops up through a slit in the top. The popup sentiment can be personalized in Inkscape, bearing in mind that there is only 2½" in which to fit the sentiment on the band.
This file is available for free here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Painting Foam Board - To Prime or Not to Prime? - That is the Question

I just finished a project where I had to cut foam board, then paint it, and had trouble finding a definitive answer to the question of whether or not to prime it first, so I thought I'd post my experience with it. The foam board - also called foam core board - had a fairly matte paper finish on both sides of it (I used Elmer's brand), so I painted right onto it without priming. I had read that the stuff doesn't warp when paint is applied to it. Wrong!  It did warp while wet, but as it dried, it flattened back out. I would recommend letting it dry on a flat surface because of this.

I also was painting a piece of rigid foam insulation, which I was using as the surface to which I would be mounting the foam board. This had a plastic film on one side, and foil on the other, but the same recommendation applies to the plain foam insulation with no coatings: PRIME IT! I used Zinsser Sealer/Primer. It rolled on smoothly, and dried very quickly. The can says 30 minutes dry-time, but it was more like 15. It gave a nice "tooth" to the surface, so that the acrylic paint could grip and hold. I used a foam roller to apply both the primer and the paint. The acrylic paint was dry to the touch after 15 minutes, but I gave it 30 minutes before applying a second coat. Only two coats were needed for the black parts, but a third coat was need for the parts I was painting red, which is usually the case when you're painting anything red. It is a "weak" color, even though it wouldn't seem so. Hope this helps someone else looking at painting these two types of foam products.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Build an Indoor Awning

A Rainbow of Awnings
Installed in unfinished hallway
I am in the process of building some awnings for the hallway windows of our church's children's wing. The theme is 'Kaleidoscope Kids. 
I constructed the frames from 1x2" pre-primed MDF from Lowes, since it was less expensive than even pine boards. I glued & screwed the 90° joints, and glued and used a nail gun to secure the angled joints. I took the measurements of the wall space, extending the awnings out 2 inches on either side of the windows (they have no frames), and drew up a pattern for the awnings themselves, which consisted of a large rectangle, and two triangles for the sides. 

Bare Frame

Awning with Fabric Cover

Back View
Attaching the Aprons
The aprons have white piping where they join the body of the awning. I used a standard upholstery technique to attach the aprons: stapling through a narrow strip of poster board and stapling through the seam allowance, into the frame, with the apron flipped up, out of the way. 

I used pocket-hole joinery with glue for most of the framing, and glue and a nail gun for the angled joints. The awning covers are stapled on because the budget couldn't accommodate Velcro. I had to make a jig for my miter saw because the angle cut for the diagonal braces was more acute than the degrees on the saw. I found directions online from a woodworkers' site showing how to make a jig for cutting crown molding. I am using Industrial-strength Velcro to attach the awnings to the wall, since they're pretty light - about 7 pounds each. I have a cornice in my study that has been hanging there for 12 years by means of this Industrial-strength Velcro. It does a great job.

The logo below was designed by an artist that goes to our church, Andy Bennett. 

Psalm 139: 13-16
13 You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother's body. 
14 How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well. 
15 None of my bones was hidden from you when you made me inside my mother's body. That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth. When you were putting me together there, 

16 your eyes saw my body even before it was formed. You planned how many days I would live. You wrote down the number of them in your book before I had lived through even one of them.

Simply put...

 The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me....
yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. 

This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” 

Tim Keller, The Reason for God

Friday, February 24, 2012


I came across a blog today, and I have been so intrigued by the photos and quotes I found there. Both this quote, and the one below on the regrets of motherhood, are from Please check it out.

I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.
— Peter Kreeft

Young Mothers - Take this to Heart!

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. this is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. there is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. and I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

anna quindlen

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Changing Inkscape Document Properties Default in Windows

I recently updated my version of Inkscape, and every time I opened a document, it reverted to pixels as the default unit of measurement, with an letter-sized document. I prefer using a 12x12 inch document to coincide with the Cricut mat I use most often, as well as the use of inches as my basic unit of measurement. I had changed the document template once before, but couldn't remember how, and it took me several perusals of different technical posts to finally figure it out on my own, so I am posting this to try and save someone else the trouble.

Here we go: (Inkscape should not be open at this point.)
1. First, find the drive where the Inkscape folder is located: (You can go to 'Start' then choose 'Search' to do this if you don't have a clue. Type 'Inkscape' into the Files & Folders line. A ton of Inkscape files will come up - you are looking for a folder icon. You want to find the version of Inkscape that you use - usually the most recent one. You can find out which one you use by opening Inkscape, choosing 'Help' at the top of the window, then 'About'. Don't forget to close Inkscape).

2. Save a copy of the original Default template file: Open the Inkscape folder, then open 'Share', then 'Templates'. Find the 'Default' (Scalable Vector Graphics File) template (there will be a few others that are Default_something else - ignore these.) Right click on the file, and choose 'copy'. Then left click in a blank space in the folder to deselect the Default file. Right click in the blank area and choose 'Paste' to create a copy of the original Default file. Close the window.

3. Change the Document/Template Properties: Open Inkscape. Go to 'File/Document Properties, under General', choose the default units of your choice (in my case, inches), then under 'Format', go down to 'Custom size', and choose the units you want to use, then change the width and height measurements (in my case, I chose inches and 12x12.) Close the Document Properties menu window. Next go to 'File', and choose 'Save As', and go to the drive where the Inkscape folder is saved on your computer. Open the folder, and select 'Share/Templates'. Select 'Default', and choose 'Save'. It will ask you if you want to overwrite the existing Default file. Choose 'Yes', and then close Inkscape. Reopen Inkscape and your preferred document properties should now open up each time you open Inkscape.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Food: Velvet Potato Soup

Years ago, Panera served a scrumptious potato soup. My aunt came up with this recipe after trying Panera's soup and getting a nod from a guy who worked there when she asked if the original had this or that ingredient. It is outstanding! My family loves it, and everywhere I've taken it I've been asked for the recipe. Hope you give it a try - perfect for this chilly weather! I usually double the recipe and give some away.

Velvet Potato Soup
Serves 4-6

1 qt. chicken stock
1 medium onions, diced
3-4 ribs celery, diced fine
1 32-oz. bag frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
4-8 oz. diced ham
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
Salt & pepper to taste
1 t. dried chives (or 2 t. fresh, chopped fine)
1/2 t. dried dill weed
2 T. butter, softened
2 T. all-purpose flour

Bring chicken stock to boil in large saucepan. Add onions & celery, and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and milk, and heat almost to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. Add ham to soup. Place softened cream cheese in a medium bowl, and add a ladle or two of the soup liquid. Beat on low until cream cheese is pour-able. Return liquid to soup pot, and add salt, pepper, chives and dill. Make roux by combining soft butter with flour in a ramekin. Drop by spoonfuls into simmering soup. Stir slowly until thickened.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February? Already? How Did THAT Happen?

I finally got around to changing out my Christmas blog background...sorry for the lateness (typical). I can never remember how to go about doing this, and I get caught up in the miasma of 'Template Designer'. I am posting this here so that I can remember how to do it next time, instead of having to search for it online or on my computer. I finally figured out that it was simply a "Page Element" matter, where I delete the old code, which is one of the HTML/Java Script gadgets on the right side of the Page Elements Navbar (Note to self: 2nd one from the top), and copy the new code and save. Voila! I have learned a lot from the Background Fairy (, and she just directed me to Picnik - the absolute easiest way to add text to a .jpg image for use as a blog header. Of course, being the Johnny-come-lately that I am, I learned that Picnik is closing as of April 12, 2012, but all of their photo editing capabilities will be moved to Google+ ( As for now (until April 12), ALL of Picnik's premium content, for which you used to have to pay, is available for free. Go and check it out here.
After uploading your new background and header, go to Template Designer, and choose 'Advanced', to change the colors of the different text elements on your blog to compliment the new background. I have a widescreen monitor, and had black bands on each side of my background, so I changed them to a rosy pink under 'Page Background Color'.
Have fun!


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