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I use my computer a whole lot, and because of how things have to be set up, my wrists are usually resting somewhere uncomfortable. I thought about buying a wrist rest, but then I realized I could make one very easily! So I did. =) Today I’m sharing how to make a keyboard wrist rest with you. I hope you enjoy this easy sewing project!

how-to-make-your-own-keyboard-wrist-rest [click to continue…]

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Wellbeing Wednesday – You Are so Loved

Hello and welcome to the first Wellbeing Wednesday of 2017!! I’m so excited to start my second full year of sharing printables with y’all. =)

Today’s printable was inspired by an Etsy teammate who recently blogged about “love” being her word of the year for 2017.

You are so loved free printableIsn’t the fox so cute?? Especially with the heart on his nose! I hope this printable reminds you that you are loved and worthy of love whenever you see it. As always, this image is available as a free 8×10 printable for newsletter subscribers! Just head to the “printables for blog subscribers” tab. =) If you’ve forgotten the password, please just let me know and I’ll send it to you again!

Oh! I almost forgot to mention – this printable uses one of the textures in the free grunge paper texture overlays pack from yesterday. (I used the middle paper on the right column, if you’re curious.)

Do you have a “word of the year” for 2017?

Natasha - The Artisan Life

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Free Grunge Paper Texture Overlays

Starting something new always makes me feel like I’m on a seesaw trying to balance between excited and scared! Even low-risk endeavors, like starting a new blog series, can be scary and make me face my fear of rejection (What if no one likes the new series? What if someone actively dislikes it and leaves a mean comment??), but it’s worth it. Now that the brief WV trip series is finished, I’m restarting the “Friday Photoshare” series and launching a new one! Starting today, I’ll be sharing more photography resources, starting with a set of free grunge paper texture overlays!

Free grunge paper texture overlays

Although I may create a password protected page where I’ll house some of the photography resources in the future, this first set of grunge paper texture overlays does not require any sort of sign up. There are six papers with a ‘light’ and ‘dark’ version of one because I couldn’t decide which I prefered! All the images are housed in this Google Drive folder.

So what use are texture overlays? As I’ve mentioned in several of my Friday Photoshare posts, I enjoy using textures on my self portraits. The picture I shared on Instagram yesterday uses one of my new overlays! In fact, creating my own texture for this image is what inspired the new photography resource series.

For those with eyes

Textures are also great for digital art (or digitized art) when you’re working in Illustrator. I created several hand drawn textures almost three years ago for use in Illustrator, long before I began using Photoshop to make creative photo edits.

Please use these textures however you would like. No attribution is necessary and you are welcome to use them in commercial work. All I ask is that you 1) do not redistribute the files 2) do not claim the textures as your own. If you’d like to share them – that’s awesome! Please just refer folks back to this post. 🙂

Although I may not share new texture overlays every single week, I’m excited about this series and look forward too seeing where it will lead. 🙂 If you have any requests/questions/things you’d like to know more about, please let me know and I’ll keep it in mind for a future post!

Natasha - The Artisan Life

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Cinnamon Spice Meringue Cookies

I love making meringue cookies. They’re a favorite of mine whenever we need to bring something to a get together because they’re delicious without being decadent, don’t involve too many ingredients, and can be prepared several days in advance. I made four flavors of meringues for our DIY wedding, and I’ve kept experimenting with them ever since then! I’m always trying out new flavors and, while some are, admittedly, big flops (literally – a batch of chocolate mint meringues I tried to make recently refused to set), sometimes I create a new favorite. These cinnamon spice meringue cookies are one of those delicious successes that keep me experimenting!

Cinnamon Spice Meringue Cookies [click to continue…]

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West Virginia Day 8 – In Which we Closed Up

As I sit down to write this post, I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since we left West Virginia! December is always a fast-moving month.

After our antique store fun on Thursday, Friday we had to get down to business and finish a few important tasks. We didn’t need to rush, but we did have to keep an eye on the time. We fly in and out of Pittsburg when we visit WV because there are no sizable airports in the state – it’s easier and more cost effective for us to fly into somewhere like Columbus, Pittsburg, or even Washington, DC and then drive. We like the Pittsburg airport and have always had pleasant experiences there (plus they have a nice volunteer-run ‘military family lounge’ where we can relax and get a snack), so it’s our airport of choice. Cold weather was moving in and it looked like there might be ice Saturday morning, so we decided to go ahead and drive up to Pittsburg Friday evening for our Saturday flight.

at-the-farm

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Free Blog Planner Printables for 2017

They say that what you measure grows. I don’t know if that’s entirely true, but I do know that if you don’t measure it, you won’t know if it grows! I’ve been tracking my monthly blog stats on paper for two full years, and trying my best to actually use the blog planner printables I create for most of this year to keep me organized. Because I love using these printables and hope they help other folks, too, I’ve shared  monthly planner calendars and stats trackers in 2016. I am posting free blog planner printables for 2017, too, but doing things a little bit differently this year.

Free blog planner printables for 2017

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West Virginia Day 7 – In Which we Found a Bargain

My grandparents, particularly my grandfather, frequently treated going into town as a Big Event. It was a once a week, All Day type experience! The closest town (with a grocery store) to the family house is… about 6 miles away. Yes, there are dirt roads and you have to drive slowly on them, but it isn’t what most people would consider a long trip! My grandfather was a highly educated, very intelligent person who visited Asia and Europe, but he preferred to stay at home unless he had a “reason” to travel. Anyway, his general attitude towards travel is why I had basically ever visited a town in the same county – a town we decided to visit on our Thursday in West Virginia.

My husband really likes antique and consignment stores (how lucky am I??), so we found an antique store in this ‘other town’ and headed out. When we arrived, we found a sign pointing us to head down some stairs below a real estate office.

heading-downstairs

A sign on the door instructed us to bring any items we wished to purchase upstairs to pay, and there was no one staffing the shop. Certainly not something you’d find somewhere less rural! [click to continue…]

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If our Tuesday in West Virginia was a glorious, last burst of fall, then Wednesday was the first breath of winter. The weather change overnight was astounding! The weather went from sunny and glowing to overcast and glowering (clouds can glower, right?) in just a few hours. We had to make sure to layer up before heading outside:

man-boots

bundled up

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DIY Rustic Wax Covered LED Taper Candles

In middle and high school, I’d have an argument each year with my dad about the Christmas candles in my bedroom window. My room was on the front of the house and was supposed to have two sets of three of those plastic candles in the window. The problem was, all those little light bulbs in my window annoyed me and kept me awake, so I’d unplug them when I went to bed. My dad said it ruined the intended effect of having candles in all the front windows for anyone driving by at night; I didn’t care and kept unplugging the candles when I went to bed. If the modern, LED, battery operated Christmas candles were around then, I might have left them turned on because they glow more faintly – almost like a real candle instead of that annoyingly bright bulb from the plug in candles! In today’s tutorial, I’m sharing how to make these candles even more realistic by showing you how to make DIY rustic wax covered LED taper candles you can decorate with all year long!

DIY Rustic Wax Covered LED Tapers

Like many of the tutorials I share, this project is very customizable. You can choose to use beeswax, as I did, soy wax for a whiter look, or even colored or scented wax. You can decorate the tapers for Christmas, tie lace on them for spring, or make them spooky for Halloween. [click to continue…]

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Wellbeing Wednesday – Love Does not Consist…

As soon as I saw this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, I knew I had to turn it into a printable:Love does not consist...free printable

Isn’t it lovely? As always, it’s available as a free printable in the “Members” area of the blog. =)

I’m super busy today/this week (and I have a cold. Ick.), so I don’t have much else to add today, but it’s a busy time of year and I’m sure y’all don’t have time to read more today, anyway! I hope everyone is looking forward to time with friends and family and is staying safe and warm.

Natasha - The Artisan Life

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