01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 | How About Orange

January 31, 2013

Make a wall of paper hearts

I like 3D paper things, and multiples of things, and Valentine's Day.

The other night I made these paper hearts while watching TV. You could stick them on a wall or door temporarily, or glue them to a board permanently to make a 3D wall poster. They'd be cool to attach to presents, too. Surprise somebody with an explosion of hearts!

These are made from traditional heart shapes with a slit cut partway down the center. Cut your own hearts freehand, or print and cut out the shapes on the template I made, which might be faster and uses fewer brain cells.

Download the page of hearts here.

To make a flat heart into something three dimensional, roll the inner edges of the two arcs toward the back with your fingers to get the shape started.

Then add a bit of glue or double-stick tape along one edge. Pinch the two edges of the heart together from the back, forcing the center to naturally pop up.

When the edges are glued together, the heart looks 3D.

I used bits of double-stick tape to secure mine—a speedy method—but a few of the hearts popped apart within a couple days and had to be re-stuck. Glue holds better, I found.

Once you get the hang of it, you can bend that paper to your will and make dozens.

Then stick a flock of hearts to a wall with loops of tape or poster putty placed at the bottom point on the back side of each shape.

January 30, 2013

Free printable Valentine cards

Love vs. Design has posted a pretty set of folded cards and Valentine's Day coupons to give to your sweetie. Download them right here for the nice price of zero dollars.

January 29, 2013

Make unconventional Valentine treat boxes

These free Valentine box templates at Mr. Printable made me smile. Who needs pink anyhow? Choose heart-shaped favor boxes with faces, or two other options with triangles and stripes.

January 28, 2013

A Valentine latte with pink froth

We were goofing around in the kitchen this weekend and decided it would be fun to make colored milk froth for our lattes. Here's a pink heart that I glopped on with a spoon and shaped with a toothpick.

I think I need a little more practice. But we amused ourselves. Alex often tries to make me a stiff foam 3D cat with pointy ears that looks as if it's half submerged in the cup. I always get a kick out of that one.

He's the foam master. We make stovetop espresso in our Bialetti pot and add hot milk, and then he uses a $2.99 frother from IKEA to make foam. I've tried and can't get it nearly as nice as his. So asked, and here's his method, with direct quotes. Keep in mind this man is an engineer.

Heat about 1/4 cup of milk in the microwave on high until it's just about to boil. At the first hint of bubbles, stop. (About 45 seconds.)

Don't scorch the milk. "It denatures the proteins and changes the flavor profile." Oh, okay. "You have to keep an eye on it, so put your face right up to the microwave door. You'll risk microwave exposure, but it's necessary." Sure, no problem. A good latte is worth it. Heat your milk on the stove if this idea bothers you.

Update! From FKMN's husband in the comments: "The milk must never get above 65 degrees Celcius [149 F] — that will start the milk sugar (lactose) caramelizing and completely change the flavour of the milk and resulting latte." Whoa, good to know. So don't microwave it so long.

Then put the frothing wand in the hot milk and run it for 30 seconds or less. "The key to getting the right foaming consistency that you like is a combination of cup tilting and moving the frother in and around. I like to move the frother in a circular pattern so that new areas of the milk get hit with the shearing motion."

Shearing motion. Got it.

Then let the foam sit about 30 seconds, and it will stiffen up. "You can wait a little longer, but at some point the foam cells start to break down."

Spoon the foam onto your latte.

To make colored foam, add one or two drops of food coloring to the hot milk before you froth it.

January 25, 2013

A cookbook I plan to enjoy

The other nifty thing that arrived on my fun mail day was a review copy of this cookbook from Chronicle Books, The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. The timing was perfect. That very day Alex asked me how I would like to celebrate when I turn 40. It's years away, but I already know. I would like to go to Paris. And then this cookbook arrived in the mail and solidified my plan.

I'm not a big cook, especially in the last year or so since I've sort of lost interest. And this isn't a food blog, but for some reason I'm captivated by this cookbook so I have to show you.

The dishes include my very favorite foods: Bread. Cream. Butter. Eggs. The recipes look pretty simple, with often relatively few ingredients. I had no idea you could slice potatoes, put small cubes of pear on top, crumble on some blue cheese, bake it in the oven, and it's suddenly "Galette aux pommes de terre et poires avec Roquefort." I can't possibly pronounce it, but I want to eat it for lunch. Some other yummy-looking things...

Cheese, ham and egg on toast in a muffin pan (croque madame muffins).

Spicy meatballs.

And don't get me started on this picture of a chocolate thing.

The book is peppered with romantic, atmospheric photos like this that make me want to hop on a plane immediately. Instead, I will try to cook some of these things. Wish me luck.

January 24, 2013

Illustrated typography desk calendar

I had a fun mail day recently: one of my packages contained a 2013 calendar gift from Italian designer Simone Massoni. Called "Chicks and Types," Simone has illustrated a series of pin-up girls and paired each one with a featured typeface for every month of the year. A few of the ladies are a bit spicy and missing their tops, and I'm too bashful to show you those. But here's a sampling of the more modest pages. There's a Sherlock Holmes girl!

I'm completely charmed by the illustration style, the interesting color palette, and the deliciously thick, soft paper stock. Plus I get to familiarize myself with more fonts. Terrific!

Calendars are available in Simone's Etsy shop. Meet the other girls here.

P.S. Simone has added a comment to this post, and I wanted to share it:

"It's funny how you picked Rosa as the main image for the post, since it's one of my faves.

Just for people to know, every pin-up has a story. I'd like to suggest few hints to better feel the mood of the artwork: Fabrizio, is a display font by a friend of mine and well-recognized designer, Federico Landini.

Fabrizio is named after Federico's father, who the font has been dedicated to. Federico's mom is Rosa (italian name which means "rose"), they both come from Pistoia, a medieval wonderful city in the centre of Tuscany. Despite the pin-up is not the mom's portrait I imagined to build a story about a romantic picnic lunch in the country side surrounding Pistoia."

Now we can appreciate this page even more!

January 23, 2013

Looking for 2013 Oscar bingo cards?

Update: You can grab 2013 Oscar bingo right here!

A quick note to answer an FAQ: yup, I'll be making my annual Oscar bingo cards and a ballot again this year. I'm waiting until a little more information about the ceremony becomes public, but it should be early February. I'm getting so many emailed requests that I've made a little signup form. Add your email address and I'll send you links to download the free printable sheets when they're done. (See last year's set for an example.)

Sign up here!
Update: I've sent out the email to the folks who signed up for this list. If you missed it, you can grab 2013 Oscar bingo right here.

I'll also post them here on How About Orange, but if you're one of the worried persons concerned you might miss it, join the mailing list so you can sleep at night. If you've already emailed me this year to inquire, I've probably added your name to the list already.

January 22, 2013

Make some paper teacups

Check out these striped paper teacups! Next to Nicx has posted a free template and tutorial for making your own. Coming soon: another version with a lid, so you can use them as gift boxes. Fun.

January 21, 2013

Printable birthday party game sheets

Anyone in need of birthday party games for adults might enjoy this one. For my husband's birthday, I collected photos of celebrities and asked party guests "Is this celebrity older or younger than Alex?"

The photos came from Google image searches with the "large" size selected in the search filter. I saved each photo on my iPad and put them in an album to make flipping through them easy. You could also use magazine clippings. Or just read a list of names without using photos, but guests who don't know what a particular celebrity looks like will be at a disadvantage. To find the ages, I just Googled "[celebrity's name] age" and it popped up at the top of the search results.

Guests could number their own pieces of scrap paper. Or you could get all fancy and make your own answer cards personalized with the guest of honor's name, which is what I did.

I also made this generic version in case anyone wants it. Download the game card PDF here.

It turned out to be really fun. Alex did fairly badly, which was even better. It's good for some laughs! I had no idea Keanu Reeves is 48.

January 18, 2013

Free font: Mathlete

Quirky, hand-drawn fonts are more popular than ever. If you need another one for your typeface arsenal, try out Mathlete from Mattox Shuler. It comes in four styles: Skinny, Skinny Slant, Bulky, and Bulky Slant. Best of all, it's free! Get Mathlete here.

The name takes me back to my days on the high school math team. Too bad I've forgotten every single thing I ever knew. I recently asked my engineer husband what that little symbol in calculus is called that looks like a fancy "S." I used to be able to solve problems that had those things. Nerds who can still do math, I salute you.

January 17, 2013

Heart-shaped page marker origami

Here's a quick little origami project that's fun to do with patterned paper: heart-shaped bookmarks that slip onto page corners. You could mail somebody a couple for Valentine's Day.

Each heart requires a half sheet of square origami paper. (My paper was 5" square, so my starting piece after cutting in half was a 5" x 2.5" rectangle.)

With the patterned side to the outside, fold the rectangle in half lengthwise.

Then fold it in half width-wise to mark the center line, and open again.

Fold one side up at a 45 degree angle, so the edge aligns with the center.

Repeat with the other side.

Turn the paper over. Fold the top downward. You can eyeball this; about 1/3 of the top section gets folded down.

Fold in the corners to form a heart shape. The little pocket at the bottom can fit over page corners if you use this as a bookmark.

January 16, 2013

Frame purse inspiration

For Christmas my mum (Grandma G) asked for metal frames for making a couple of clasp clutches. We bought her frames and glue from While Baby Naps at Etsy. Looking forward to seeing the outcome!

There are tutorials all over the internet for this type of bag. Sew 4 Home has just posted a tutorial featuring Joel Dewberry's Notting Hill fabric collection, above. Find the how-to for those right here.

And for further clutch bag inspiration, check out these fun items from various Etsy sellers: Phone clutch from Octopurse, Squirrel and Striped purses from Misala, and Cars bag with handle from Oktak.

January 15, 2013

A printable 2013 calendar for the office

I just paid a visit to A Pair of Pears blog to see what those kids are up to. The pair didn't disappoint—I found a free printable 2013 calendar designed for Emma Magazine. The illustrations of office stuff are pretty darned cute! Download the calendar here and print yourself an 11x17 poster (or shrink it if you like).

January 11, 2013

A gallery of the world's best fashion windows

Need a 5-minute break to enjoy a little window shopping... at the fanciest department stores and fashion boutiques in the world? WindowsWear is a gallery of 1,500 windows from over 350 stores in New York, Paris, Milan, and London. They're magical, gorgeous, and strange.

See the best of 2012 right here.

Photos one and two are from Lanvin, Paris. The following are windows at Dior, Paris; Ralph Lauren, London; and Bergdorf Goodman, New York.

January 10, 2013

A tiny, handmade gift

Look at this miniature zippered case my friend Megumi brought when she visited from Japan last weekend. Her mom sewed it for me! It's an inch and half in diameter, and practically the cutest thing ever. Eek!

If you wanted to attempt one, this tutorial looks pretty close.

January 09, 2013

Stitch Savvy, a really pretty sewing book

I just got my hands on a copy of Stitch Savvy by Deborah Moebes. First, the part where I get excited because some of my Outside Oslo fabric makes an appearance, including that beautiful shot on the cover.

Some Tulip.

Some Picket.

Second, the part where I admire all the lovely projects and pick out some of my favorites:

A fun footstool slipcover.

A really cute purse. You can also sew the shirt. If you wear them together, you will laugh happily.

There are even instructions for a jacket. If I managed to sew an entire jacket, I wouldn't be able to stop beaming, either.

I haven't studied the book enough to evaluate the instructions, but I love the visual style of it. All the fabrics Deborah uses are terrific, and the photos look clear and helpful. You can peek inside and get a copy at Amazon.