Friday, September 29, 2017

Paperless Post

*This is a sponsored post, all opinions in this post, however, are mine.

While I am the first person to enjoy giving and receiving a paper card, the act of going out and buying one, and signing it, finding the person's address to write on the envelope, finding a stamp and then getting it in the mailbox, has fallen into the 'too-much-effort' file over the past few years.

Enter Paperless Post!

They have a HUGE selection of cards for so many occasions.  I recently used the service for some birthday cards and for a thank you card.

It is a lot of fun to peruse the Paperless Post selections.  As you can see on the left, there are many options to filter your selection.  Here I filtered 'free' cards and cards with "orange" in them (since that is my recipient's favorite color!)

These cards are customizable, editing and formatting text are free.  There are also a lot of fun upgrades that will cost you a couple 'coins'. You can buy coins in bulk starting at $6.00 for 20 coins and the deals get better from there.

I love some of these small details that you can customize.  The backdrop is a fun customization available for 1 coin.

There is a fantastic selection of fonts for all you typography lovers.

Customizing the envelope and liner is another small and appreciated detail.

One of my favorite upgrades is selecting a stamp!  How fun is this!?  This is such a sweet little touch and I absolutely love coming to this point in the card creating experience and having the option to select a stamp that matches the design and mood of the card.

Finally add your recipient.  Another great feature is the ability to schedule your delivery.  I love this option, so I can prepare a bunch of cards at the beginning of the month for all my birthday recipients, schedule them to deliver on the morning of their birthday, and then forget about it!

The Paperless Post user experience is an absolute joy.  It is user intuitive, and every page is pleasing to the eye.  There are fantastic free, customizable options, and the paid options will allow you to send something highly customized for well under one dollar.  Paperless Post is convenient, easy, and environmentally friendly! Also - it's just plain fun!

Using Paperless Post has, without a doubt, upped my thoughtfulness game.

In addition to using this service for individuals, there is a robust system for sending out invitations, tracking RSVP's, and sending messages to your guest list.

That's all for today, but the rainy weekend weather forecast tells me I'll be back soon to talk about beads, Bead-it-Forward, and my recent experience participating in the NH Bead Bop!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Color Palettes!

After this weekend's post, I realized I had made a bunch of color palettes last year, but never posted them! I had created them for Znet Shows' Creative Spark Magazine:

While reviewing my blog to see if I had posted any of these palettes, I came to find some of my favorite pieces were inspired by color palette challenges:

Perhaps it's time for a color palette challenge blog hop?  
Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thread Colors, Juvenile Birds, and Farm Dinners

Since the beginning of my bead-weaving forays, I've always known the importance of thread color.  Mostly because it might show in between the beads.  In other words, if you are weaving a project in black beads, you don't want hot pink thread to show through.  Well....maybe you do, if that's the look you are going for but as a rule, one might select black thread with a primarily black bead project for a cohesive look.

So over the years, I faithfully purchased every color imaginable of Nymo thread.

I'd heard of folks using Fireline, but I simply couldn't understand why they would when there are so, so many color choices with Nymo!

Fast forward some years later, there was a weaving project I wanted to try that was very crystal heavy and the crystals simply sliced through the Nymo thread.  So for this project, I was finally inspired to try using Fireline.  I'd heard all the fanfare about this stringing material.  It rarely knots while using, it's super strong, etc....   It was all true and I have been hooked since.

You can find Fireline in the fishing section of any store selling fishing supplies, and of course plenty bead supply sources.  The only 'beef' I've ever had with the product is that it comes in only two colors, crystal or smoke.  Though I have seen others post about additional colors, just have never seen it for sale myself!

In spite of the lack of color choices, it is still my favorite bead stringing material. Recently I've been working on some peyote beaded shapes.  The main bead color is a color lined crystal Delica.  I was blown away at the difference in appearance when I used two different color threads.  I thought the color lining would be opaque enough to be hidden by thread color, but no!  Here below is two peyote components using the exact same bead colors but the top one is using smoke Fireline, and the bottom is using crystal Fireline!

In other news, birding is a touch on the quieter side lately, but still awesome.  I have been watching a small group of common yellowthroats over the past couple weeks and they are really coming into their colors.

Here is one of them from about a month ago:

Here is a juvenile from yesterday:

Eventually they will look like this:

Another juvenile bird gave me a treat yesterday as well.  On one of my regular hiking trails, there is a dead tree abutting a pond where I usually view nesting osprey.  The pond is situated in a rather deep valley.  So the dead tree top is practically eye level, and I always wish for one of the osprey to perch on that dead tree.  While that has never happened, I did see a juvenile red tailed hawk there yesterday!

Work is plugging along as usual: busy but inspiring. Each year we do a series of farm dinners on the actual farm where one of the restaurants is located. So far it has monsooned for every dinner, except the most recent dinner, and it was nothing short of magical!  Here were some of my favorite snaps from that day!

Can you see the little bumble bee buzzing between the flowers and the water!? So cute!

These candied cherry tomatoes were glistening in the setting sun.  I did not apply a filter or starburst effect to this photos - these were just sparkling like crazy!

And speaking of the setting sun...once it set, the crescent moon made an appearance in the colorful sky!

Here is a video roundup of the evening as well:
Farm dinner round up from Amy Severino on Vimeo.

And finally - here is a color palette from the same dinner!

Until next time!