Monday, January 30, 2012

Tutorial: How to Create a Personalized iPhone Case


Isn't my little phone so cute? Something about it is just so me! Ha!

I have an iPhone 4 and created this little cover back in October or November with the intent of sharing how to do it, but time got away from me.

And now Picnik (which is how I designed my cover) is going away in April. Isn't that sad? So I knew that I had to act quick and get this tutorial out in case anyone might want one, too.

1. The first thing I did was start on with a plain white canvas, so to speak. You'll want to check out my tutorial here on how I always get a blank slate for beginning a project like this.

2. Once you have a blank slate, you will resize it to be 751 x 1414 pixels. I ordered my case from and those are the recommended demensions. If you wanted to order from another company (I don't know of another company, but you might be able to find better prices out there), you'll want to check their image specs first.

3. Then, under the Edit tab, select Stickers. During the next couple of months, everyone gets free Premium service from Picnik so it's a great time--though limited-- to do some fun projects.

4. I used the Common Symbols stickers and selected the one that looks like a staircase. I expanded it to fit across the whole rectangle.

5. Then I rotated it to become a horizontal staircase and repeated it to create a chevron pattern. To repeat the image, right click and select Duplicate Image.

6. This time, I selected a dark navy color for my bottom shade and adjusted the fade by 10% for each zigzag line going up to make an ombre chevron.

7. Now you can play around with stickers and text until you have a design you love. Save the image and go to The link that will take you straight to the iPhone 4 cases is I chose the Barely There design.

8. Select Create A Case and then select Select Image from the pop-up screen.

9. From the next screen, select Select Images to Upload and upload your saved Picnik image.

10. Select Make It Now and add to cart. 

Oooh. I might have to order this one. I think I like it better than the first. 

You'll be so proud of your new phone cover and everyone will think you are the absolute most talented thing ever! And you are, of course!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


...or, as my four-year-old named it, "Hop-chalks." Hey, it makes more sense to me.













Monday, January 23, 2012

Homemade Caramel Sauce for a Cold Day

Before Christmas I made several batches of this lovely caramel sauce and divvied them up into pretty glass jars with tight lids for my girlfriends and the kids' Bible class teachers. Such fun!


To make each jar personal, I used glass etching cream and a stencil to monogram them.


A little blue velvet ribbon and a felt snowflake on top (attached with hot glue), and they were ready for gifting.


I told each girl to spoon a little into her coffee, drizzle it over ice cream or pound cake, or eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon (my personal pref.).


I keep my own little stash in the fridge and have really lavished my evening nip right out of the jar. Another delicious idea: use as a dip for apple slices. Mmmmm.

The weather where I live is actually as perfect as perfect could ever be, but I imagine that if I were locked indoors because of a snowstorm, this would be the nicest treat to warm up with.

The caramel sauce recipe I used is from The Joy of Cooking, and I found a wonderful step-by-step visual tutorial for the same recipe here, at Mel's Kitchen Cafe


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Restful Break, I'm Happy to Be Back, and a Little Plywood Modern Art

I enjoyed my little vacation from blogging, and let me tell you, I've enjoyed January!

Christmas... it's glorious... but I am loving this normalcy.

During my time away (which is funny to say because I've really only been right here in my own house), I've completed a few projects, written a couple of dozen lists of projects I want to complete, and embarked on a more natural, healthful way of eating. I'm hoping to share some recipes with you soon.

I was a design major in college and have always loved art. I wish we were in a place right now to be able to support artists and buy beautiful, original works. In the meantime, I decided to create my own art.


I used what I had on hand-- plywood, latex paint (as a base for the other colors) and various acrylics.


If you want to create your own (sorry that this isn't really a proper tutorial), start with a clean piece of plywood. Using a tack cloth to clean off any little bits works very well.


My first coat of paint was a beige wall paint that I had left over from another room. I wanted my final piece to look a little rough so I applied paint sparingly and didn't coat the entire piece. Holes of true wood grain peeping through paint was what I had in mind.


Then I blended colors roughly on a pallet before coating my brush. In other words, I wanted a very blended look for my second layer. 


To add dimension and movement, I used bolder colors (especially toward the bottom) and applied thickly. I used straight unblended color sparingly and continued my focus on blending-- even with bold strokes.

It was a satisfying project. I loved that my oldest son was outside with me the whole time and I could share a little of my past with him while he tinkered around the driveway.