Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fill-In

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Thankful Cards

Pin It We have so many things to be thankful for. And, sometimes, a simple "thank you" is enough, but, sometimes... showing gratitude with some art is needed. :) You don't have to paint a masterpiece... it can start with something as simple as some paint on paper.

We decided this morning to do just that. I cut up some paper that I rolled with paint into little 3x4 pieces that I could mount on a 4x6 card. We gathered some wooden blocks from my art stash, some leftover foam leaf stickers, and some fun fall colors.

I could have quickly stamped some leaf images and been done with it, but, I'm inspired EVERY DAY when I turn over the supplies to my son and see what HE creates. I'm never disappointed. The prints for the card turned out beautiful and we had a fun morning together making art. Yes, we went through almost a full package of wet wipes, and, I had to sacrifice a paintbrush (or two), but, I know the person receiving this thankful card will love it. That's what matters.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Artful Year | Autumn - Thankful Stones

Pin It We completed another WONDERFUL project from The Artful Year | Autumn book by Jean Vant Hul.
Can I just say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when an art project is so fun, EVERYONE joins in?! You can see the project details here. This was a super easy and quick project, but, lots of FUN! And perfect for a cool or rainy day. We decided to bless our potted plants with the colorful stones when we were finished. Might be fun to drop a couple in a neighbor or family members pot too... just for fun. :)

Did you know that you can get this amazing e-book at whatever price you want to pay?!?! This weekend only, Jean is allowing anyone to pay-what-you-can to get this book! So, don't miss your opportunity to get your hands on all these amazing fall craft projects! Your family will thank you! :D

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blog Business - Grab my button

Pin It I remember back in the day, when little round 1 inch buttons were SO popular to wear... I had them on my backpack, on my tennis shoes, and on my purple suspenders (yes... I grew up in the 80s). It was SO fun to collect them and show them off! They told people that I was in love with Kittens, rainbows, unicorns, and Joey from NKOTB. As an adult, I still love buttons and showing off the things I love. No, I don't wear purple suspenders, but, I do have a beautiful collections of buttons on my blog! :) And, I have my own button that people can grab and show off too! And... I will now show you how you can create your own button! Ready?!? let's do this! First, you need a square graphic. I designed mine in photoshop. If you don't have photoshop, you can use to create your button graphic. I'll show you how.

Go to click on the button, "Edit a Photo"... Yes... the other FUN tools on the site are tempting... but... please..focus... you can "play" later. LOL!

I will be making a fun button for Mr. Momma Harvey. (He is gonna love this...)

Ok, once you upload your photo, you can make a few quick edits (or spend all day long playing! lol) before you crop. Here is what I recommend:
  1. Use the Auto Adjust button... it will automatically edit the photo to the best quality. If you don't like it, you can always undo. 
  2. click on the little science beaker icon... this will take you to a library FULL of fun filters. 
  3. once you like the way your photo looks, you will want to crop it. 
I made my photo Black and White. FYI.

Once you click on the crop button, you will see the window below.
  1. From the sizes in the drop down options, choose square.
  2. crop your photo to a square.
  3. click apply. 
Easy Peasy. Now it's time for the FUN part. :)

 Now that the photo is square, it's time to add text to the graphic.
I also wanted to do some grunge look around the edges. You can do that with the textures.

  1. Put on a texture if you want. There are many to choose from! :)
  2. you can use this tool to put on a graphic if you want. I want to make a tag for this button, so, I'm using the paper scraps tool. 2.5 - place your shape or graphic on your layout before adding text.
  3. add your text!
Now it's time to save your file.
  1. Click the Save button.
  2. make sure "Mel" is selected. You do not need a large file size.
  3. Go ahead and set your Dimensions at 150x150
  4. Save photo!

Now, upload your graphic to your flickr account. Once it's uploaded, click on the photo to view it. Now, right click on the photo. You will see this option. Choose to view the photo as it's original size.

Once you see the image as it's original size, right click on the image and click on View Image Info.
A new window will open. You will see a url for the image's Location. Keep this window open.You will want to COPY and paste this url into the HTML code I'll provide below.

Ok. Now it's time to go to your blog. I use blogger, so, that's what I will be showing you. Go to your layout, choose to add a gadget. Add an HTML gadget and copy and paste this coding:

<img src="YOUR FLICKR PHOTO URL HERE" /> <br /> <textarea style="text-align:center" rows="4" cols="22"><a border="0" href="YOUR BLOG URL HERE" target="_blank"><img src="YOUR FLICKR PHOTO URL HERE" /></a></textarea>

Once you have the HTML above in your gadget box, input your urls where I've marked in RED. Be sure NOT to delete anything in black... only replace what's in red. :)

Once you replace the red copy with your urls, you're all set! Done! Presto!
If you complete this tutorial, PLEASE comment below with a link to your blog!  I want to see the buttons you create! THANKS!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Glass Pumpkin Patch

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Everyone thinks of pumpkins this time of year. And you see them everywhere! Maybe it's a family tradition to pick your own from a patch, or, maybe you pick them up from a church or store. I've seen some neat ones this year... different colors (gourds?), massive sizes, made from all sorts of different things, but, my absolute favorite are the glass pumpkins at Karg Art Glass. They are AMAZING and range from all different sizes and colors! I would have one in every color if I could... maybe I should start collecting... lol.

I was excited to see that my friends, Patti and Rollin Karg are helping out Heartspring and the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita this year by having a glass pumpkin patch benefit! If you are in the Wichita area next weekend, head over to Heartspring Campus and "pick" your favorite glass pumpkin, with a percent of the sales going to Heartspring and D.S.S.W.

If you can't make it over to the glass pumpkin patch next weekend, you can always stop by Karg Art Glass in Kechi and browse their AMAZING gallery. 

I SUPER thrilled to announce that I have one of these AMAZING pumpkins to give away! Yeah! And it's a beauty! (Mr. Momma Harvey asked me if it would be wrong if HE ended up being the winner... lol)

 So, be sure to follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below to get your entry in! A winner will be chosen Friday, October 12 and I will ship the pumpkin to you that day! And hey... if you don't win... you still have Saturday and Sunday to stop by the Glass Pumpkin Patch! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Color Your World - Orange

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Design by Leslie Harvey using Tangie Baxter Product

Funny how the first Color Your World post is about orange... as, orange has been SUCH a prominent color in my life for a LONG time... Orange first showed up in my life when I met my husband for the first time. He was wearing a BRIGHT orange Tennessee Vols jersey. Since then, it seemed that ANYTHING orange belonged to us in some way. I adopted the color with wide open arms. I spent a ton of money for a special ordered neon sign (for him for our first Christmas)... I could've saved money to have it made in blue, or red, but NO... it could ONLY be orange. Orange was the dominant color in our wedding. Orange lives in our home decor. Orange is the color of flowers we receive from family members on special occasions. I have probably 10 orange Tennessee Hats that are nasty and dirty (and smelly) that my husband refuses to throw out... lol... I can't help but think of my husband and our life when I see ANYTHING orange. It's automatic... and... I love it.

What is the color you feel is branded in you or your family?

List List and more Lists - Project Blog Posts

Pin It Ok, so, I will be involved with a blog chain in December. I've partnered up with some talented bloggers and the post line-up gets my blood pumping every time I review the calendar! It's gonna be a FUN month of bloggin' in December!

Design by Leslie Harvey with products from Tangie Baxter

I want to be super organized for this project so I don't accidentally drop the ball on my end.. so, I 've decided to start planning (in detail) my posts now, so that I'm not up all night brainstorming the night before my post is supposed to go live! (yes.. I've done last second writing before, and it's not fun)

I've also found that by putting my original thoughts out on a list, it helps me brain storm a little more on them... I can post it up on the wall, and, if I'm taking an online class, or, I see some great quote on Pinterest... I can jot a new idea down in the box for later.

It's also very helpful to start visualizing what the photos should look like in the post too... I know I want a photo of my son making sugar cookies in my cooking post, so, I will probably want to set up a different table in the kitchen so that I can get a great shot of him surrounded in cookie dough, flour, supplies, etc. ... Your photos are just as important as your content... try your best to rock them out!

Here is one of my lists so far for the Blog Chain project. I love that this list was editable in PDF format... So easy to just type in my information! I now have piece of mind, knowing I have my projects and their basic details mapped out... this will keep me excited about the posts and not flustered, trying and throw something together.

 So, how far in advance do you start planning posts?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lists Lists and more Lists

Pin It As a BUSY person.. (Mom, manager, wife, designer, blogger, artist, friend, freelancer, etc) my to-do list can often overwhelm me and can dominate my life. So much so, that my list of goals and dreams can be quickly shadowed by the tall list of to-dos and I then find myself just "doing" and not "dreaming". Do you ever feel that way?

I've learned that, if I have EVERYTHING organized, I can power through the task list quickly and efficiently and still have time to do some big-idea-dreaming. So how can I get EVERYTHING organized? That idea alone is overwhelming... where can I begin?!? With Lists...

I've found that when I have my to-do's written down in front of me.. they are not so intimidating and you better believe I do a happy dance each and every time I can mark a task COMPLETE! And wouldn't you agree that a nice big sheet of crossed off tasks is almost like an award, mounted to the wall?!?


So, It's time for me to buckle down, make my lists, create my plan-of-actions, and accomplish.

Graphic design by Leslie Harvey using Tangie Baxter Products

Step one: Find the right lists... for everything... easier said than done? Not any more!!!! I found an amazing library of lists online... ready to print/download and use! And EVERYTHING is there! In one place! No more time waisted, google searching for the right list or document! Yee Haw! :D

Step two: Pin point the major areas of my life that need organization and time management:
  • FAMILY - My Amazing Husband, and my ray of sunshine, my son.
  • HOME - I feel like my to-do lists at the house could form it's own novel... ugh
  • WORK - Being successful at work means taking on more responsibility and projects.. being organized in this area is a MUST if I want to move up the ladder.
  • BLOG - I'm ready to be proactive here.. no more late nights of throwing posts together for the next day... I want to have a plan of action, everything put together and scheduled so that I can interact with my readers more.
  • MYSELF - Coming Soon... I'm going to have to sift through this mess of craziness to find the lost Leslie... She is in there somewhere...
And would you believe that ListPlanit has organizing tools for each and every one of the categories?!?! Love it.

Step three: Download the lists needed for each category and start organizing/planning. I'm going to start with the blog category, because, I KNOW many of you have been asking about time management and planning for your blogs... let's do it together! :)

Are you ready to get more accomplished? You can join me as I create my lists and get organized! I'll post about each one in the weeks/months/decades to come! Join me in the facebook group and we can talk one-on-one and share tips and tricks too!

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Birthday - Celebrating YOU!

Pin It So, My birthday is Saturday! Yee Haw! And I'm planning a super fun party for all my friends, and followers! But, if you don't live in the area, I have some fun things planned here on the blog too! First up...(drum roll) a GIVEAWAY!

If you've seen my blog posts on "The Artful Year | Autumn", you know HOW MUCH I'm in-love with this e-book! It is FULL of fun and easy craft/art projects for the kids (and adults!).. Not to mention the amazing recipes too! This will for sure be a book we turn to every fall for years to come.

And guess what?!? Jean, from The Artful Parent, has SO GRACIOUSLY allowed me to give away 4 free e-books!!!! Hooray! So, here is the deal. In the spirit of giving, I'm going to allow TWO lucky winners a chance to share a book with a loved one! I give, you give, we all give! It's a beautiful thing!

So, enter for your chance to win in the raffle widget below. Two winners will be selected on Saturday, October 6th, and the winners will be announced on Sunday, October 7th! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Business - Topic Buttons

Pin It I've noticed lately that people are using custom "buttons" as their "topic" navigation on their blogs. It's almost like an advertisement for each section of your blog. I will admit, it's more appealing than a small line of text and a fun way to continue to stamp your blog with your brand/look. So, I'm jumping on the band wagon and designing mine! I thought it would be helpful to document each step... just in case someone out there wants to know how to do this too! :) Here goes!

Step One:
Design your buttons. I guess the sky is the limit here on what you want your buttons to look like. What I've seen out there ranges from photos, word art, decorative graphics, clipart, etc. I've also seen them all over the place... on the right hand side, on the left, on the top, on the bottom, AND mixed up through-out ads... interesting.... I guess it all depends on how you want to use these. For me... I want to use them like a navigation... and what I've learned from designing websites and blogs, is this... make everything EASY and QUICK to find. Especially your important stuff.

So, I'm designing my buttons to be fairly narrow, Large text, with a photo in the background. I want to keep these thin enough that I can stack them and have all my topics show "above the fold" (which means that they will be seen before a visitor has to scroll down on the page).

Here is my first button for my "Do It Yourself" posts: 
Designed in Photoshop
Image Size 250px wide by 108px tall
Tip: I saved the original file as a photoshop file and titled it "template". That way, I can always go back, edit the pieces on each button, or design a new one for a new topic and it will match all the others.

Step Two:
Once you have your buttons designed, "Save for web" as a png file. Now, go to your blog, (and if you have labels already designated for your posts) click on your first topic so that all the posts under that topic open. COPY THAT URL (highlight it, right click, and click on copy). Open up your blog layout (I'm using blogger) and add a Picture Gadget to your column. When the window opens, find where it says "link". Right click in that text box and click "Paste". This will put the url from your topic in this section. you can now find the button you designed that corresponds with that topic, upload it in that window and then save it. I suggest you preview your blog and the location of your button before you save the arrangement.

Step Three:
Continue adding your buttons for all your topics! Easy Peasy!

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or if you get stuck... xoxo - Les

P.S. - If you don't have Photoshop... or... Design Skills... I'd be Happy to HELP! Just send me an email and we'll chat. :)

The Artful Year | Autumn - Mixed Media Fall Tree

Pin It I can't tell you how much I am LOVING The Artful Year | Autumn book by Jean Can't Hul... The projects in here are too much fun! And, they are simple enough that, I can take the basic idea and put my own spin on it if I want to! For instance, it's been pretty rainy here lately... making it hard to collect leaves or go on a nature walk to collect pieces for our projects. But, this mixed media project could be used with just about anything!

I helped a little by forming the tree trunk and branches first. Once he saw the basic tree shape, he knew exactly what to do... I could barely get the paint poured before he was grabbing a brush and painting his "weaves" on the branches. We then took it a step further and added foam leaf stickers to the mix. We finished it up with one more round of painted "weaves" and swirls. He was so proud of his painting, we just had to take a drive to show it off to Nana and Papa. We will for sure be doing this project every fall, for years to come. :)

Be sure to check out Jean's Autumn book on her blog and get your copy for only $9.99! We can't wait to get started on the next project!

Do It Yourself - Window Cling Organizer

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Have you seen these? The fun, seasonal, gel window clings in the stores? I've had my eye on them for a couple of years now and KNEW they would make a fun addition to our Holiday decor. Not to mention, they are fun for little hands. A nice mixture of sticker and jello-like textures, easy to peel, stick, un-peel, squish between fingers, and re-stick. Now that my son is old enough and I am confident these little decals won't end up in his mouth... (lol) I wanted to stock up on them and allow him to decorate the windows every season. First Holiday, Halloween! And I was super excited to see SO MANY options at the stores! And reasonably priced so we could get them all! But... what happens when he wants to mix and match... and what happens when its time to take them down?

Well, I designed my own little system that will work to keep them organized and neat so we can use them for years to come!

Window Clings
3-ring note book
clear plastic page protectors
white card stock (optional)

I wanted to make little sleeves in a notebook style layout... that way... I wouldn't have to try and fit all the pieces back onto the small piece of plastic they came on. I also wanted to keep them all in one place, so, when the times comes to decorate, I can just hand the notebook over to my son and let him loose.

Here's how it works. Take a page protector and cut off the bottom hem. Next, cut off the folded edge. The sheet will now be two pages of plastic that will open like a book... held together with the left edge, with the holes, that goes in the binder.

Open the page protector and you can now stick your clings down, in between the two plastic pages. Once you close the page, the sheets will protect the clings from dirt and from sticking to the next sheet. And there you go! Keeping doing this for each set of clings and you will soon have a binder of organized clings! If you want to easily see each page of clings, you can insert a white sheet of card stock in between each set. I did this so my photos turned out and I may do this for the finished book. I may even write which set goes on each page when it comes time to take them off the windows... we'll see.

This process worked well for my son. Once I had all the clings organized in the binder, I handed it over to him and he started sticking! It was fun to watch him flip through the pages and decide which cling he wanted to use next!

I'm excited to see what they come out with for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I may need more binders to collect them all!