Itty Bitty Jitney : Baby Shower Necessities


We have officially created our first Baby Shower Package. My best friend from high school (and one of my most amazing-est friends to this day) asked me to help her out with a baby shower her and her mom were hosting for her cousin. I had sooo much fun with this design / theme which they so lovingly ran with... "Sugar & Spice"

This was the final banner design:


Please excuse the pink which was not this "pepto-bismol" pink you see pictured. Truth be told, I was a procrastinator in taking these photos and the lighting was just not working with me. So I did was any amateur photographer would do: increase the exposure, get crazy with the tripod and attempt at Photoshopping the correct color. Well, at least now I know which classes I should take next.


The ends have a paper flower with a sweet pink vintage brooch at the center of each.



The finished package (sans pro photography and Photoshop color correction):


The package included the banner "Ella" with paper flowers on each end, Sugar & Spice poem (8" x 10"), 24 cupcake flags with the baby's monogram (ELE), Sugar & Spice tags for the spicy foods and the sweet desserts, and Everything Nice display tag for the gift table. I also designed and printed the invitations and addressed the envelopes with the classic Jitney handwritten font. :) 


The Todd Nest : Guest Bedroom Revamp

Yesss!! 

It is finally finished.


Remember when we posted about our new guest bedroom furniture a couple of weeks ago?

It looked like this...


We threw a plant and a globe on there to make it look somewhat complete, but let's be honest here... that just doesn't cut it around the Todd Nest. 

It didn't take long for inspiration to hit as I began unpacking a few other things and started to develop a theme of milk glass, dried flowers and burlap.


Simply charming, no?

We found the shutter laying on the side of our street a few Sunday mornings ago. We were running somewhat late for church (we were meeting with someone before the service) and I was rushing JD out of the door. "HURRY!! We gotta go!!" So he's driving down our street when I begin yelling, "SHUTTERS!! SHUTTERS!! REVERSE, REVERSE!!" After he realized what I was attempting to say, we hopped out of the car, snatched those big guys up and threw them in the backseat. And off to church we went. We actually made it on time (in case you were wondering). 

Worth. It. 

The burlap centerpiece is actually a small portion of a special order I'm making for an Etsy customer's wedding. Won't that be lovely? I loved it so much that I've decided to make another one with a T to put in its place. Until I ship that order, I'll be leaving it here for safe-keeping. ;)

We bought the lamps from Hobby Lobby as one of our first "real" home decor purchases. I was drooling over these things!! But then I got tired of them and decided to put them in a yard sale... until I decided they would look fantastic in this set-up. So, I kept them and I'm happy with them again. 

Story of our life. Always changing things around. This is why it's a bad idea to throw things away in this family. I will always find another place for it, you just gotta give it some time. 


Finally, the books. I wrapped all three of these books in shipping / packing paper. One is an atlas of the galaxy, one is an old school Laura Ashley decorating book and one is a faux painting book (I'm mainly documenting this for my own memory of when I forget what's wrapped up in there). I considered writing the names of the books on the sides in pretty cursive but decided against it because I just love the simplicity of it. 


What do you think of the new set-up?
How long does it normally take you to gain inspiration for finishing a bedroom design?
Do you change things up often or leave it be for a while?




Etsy Shop : Annual Planner / Agenda / Calendar

Now announcing the Jitney's Journeys line for the 2014 Agenda.

Call me old school, but nothing helps me to get more organized than pencil and paper. I love flipping through pages without having to scroll down a screen. Writing something down helps me remember dates way more than typing it in a phone. I try to utilize Google Calendar the best I can since it syncs mine and JD's calendars but I still run to my written out planner when the time beckons.

Like all of our printables, the annual planner set was designed for personal purposes but with hopes that others could find good use in it as well. My 2014 agenda is already bound up with dates penciled in. 

Below you will find a by-the-hour daily printable planner that includes extra room for notes and checklists.


It is available for instant download in our Etsy Shop here


It is available for instant download in our Etsy Shop here


This annual calendar includes the scripture Zephaniah 3:16-17, our theme for the year.
It is available for instant download in our Etsy Shop here


List out your upcoming events on this page.


 This set includes a calendar for every month in 2014 and pairs perfectly with the set when bound into a notebook.


Don't forget to stop by our shop and see what other items we have stocked. 


Are you a digital planner (using Google Calendar, etc.) or do you still prefer a good ole' fashioned date book?

The Jitney's Journeys Studio : DIY 12-foot Desk



Once again, I was inspired by Young House Love when I saw their DIY 13-foot counter. Originally I really wanted to get the Bedford desk collection from Pottery Barn because I knew I could build on to the collection if I needed to and the color / design was just what I had in mind. Then I remembered my mom had a custom built desk in her office using Lowe's kitchen cabinets so I decided to combine snippets of these ideas into one. 

The wall in my studio was only 12 feet, so we settled on a length of 12 feet instead. We ventured down the road to Lowe's where dad picked through the large pile of lumber and pulled out the best looking 12-foot 2" x 10"s he could find. Rather than assembling several pieces of lumber, we simply bought four pieces of lumber at the full 12' length. JD and dad set up two sawhorses in the garage and placed the pieces of lumber on top, ready for me to sand away. After sanding, I stained the backs and sides of the planks using PolyShades Antique Walnut Satin.


We carried the four planks into my office, setting them on top of a couple of scrap lumber pieces and two large pieces of plastic (since I would be staining the top part). They assembled the four planks by drilling three pieces of plywood into the back. Please note that they are totally rockin' the headlamps.


We carefully flipped the super heavy desktop over and I stained 2 coats on the top side.


We bought three unfinished cabinets from Lowe's for the drawers. Though this wasn't as money-savvy as the Young House Love bottom cabinets from the thrift store, they were WAY more money-savvy than the Pottery Barn cabinets (and more practical too). The middle is an unfinished base sink cabinet and the other two are unfinished drawer base cabinets. I sanded them down a little and painted on a few coats of Dover White (Sherwin Williams) in the garage. 

Our neighbors graciously helped us carry the cabinets into my studio as half of us lifted the desktop while the other half placed the cabinets into their rightful position. {Have I mentioned lately how thankful we are for our neighbors?!}

Mom, Elizabeth (neighbor) and I stood in the back of the room, examining this creation we had assembled. 

"Aren't the cabinets a little tall for an actual desk? Normally desks are a little lower to the ground, right?" asked Elizabeth.

"Ooooh yeah. I forgot to mention that we had to custom order the cabinet bases for my office so they would be short enough for a desk size," laughed mom.

"Aww man," was all I could say at the moment as I began sweating profusely. I really thought we messed up.

But in reality, it's perfect. I stand up anyways when I cut materials for sewing or other projects so it's helped to prevent the back pain I felt from bending over using the other desk. In fact, I prefer standing during most of my work. Somehow it gives me a steadier hand. Plus the desk fits perfectly under the windowsill and couldn't be at a better height for decor purposes.

I'm currently on the hunt for an industrial chair (vintage, please!) for the smaller nook of the desk. 


After everything was set up, I lined the drawers in these lovely Laura Ashley Shelf Liners.


Then I drilled holes for the knobs and handles we picked out from Lowe's. I debated between getting the simple knobs from Lowe's or getting some funky ones from Hobby Lobby, but the threading from the knobs at Hobby Lobby stick out pretty far in desk drawers. I was going for looks and practicality with this studio. As clumsy as I am, I'd have scars on my hands from reaching into the drawers with Hobby Lobby knobs. But they sure are precious! 

I digress.

We settled on these knobs from Lowe's. :)


When the desk was finished, we decorated. 



and paid much attention to detail, flow, inspiration and organization. ;)





Voila! 


What do you think? 



DIY Blog Design : How to Add a Social Media Bar to the Bottom of Posts {Step-by-Step Tutorial}



Would you like to add a social media bar to the end of every post?

Something that looks a little something like this:

Great news - we're going to show you how!!

Most of you probably won't need this entire step-by-step tutorial but we wanted to offer it up just in case.

First step: Go to Share This

http://sharethis.com/

This site offers several ways to add a toolbar but we'll show you how we created the one for our blog.

STEP 1: Get The Button
Click "Get it now" in the Multi Channel box


STEP 2: Pick Your Platform
If you use Blogger (or blogspot), click on this button.



STEP 3: Stylize It
You can pick whichever style you'd like but we went with the horizontal, simple look (no visual stats). The last choice is the vertical style that you may have seen on some blogs.


STEP 4: Customize
This is where you can pick your thumbnail size (we decided on the large icons).



STEP 5: Customize Your Icons
Scroll down and you can drag the social media buttons from the right side and add it to the "Selected Services" box on the left side. Put it in the order you prefer and click "FINISH: Get the Code".



STEP 6: Sharing Preference
You can choose between Multi Post or Direct Post. We like the Multi Post because it doesn't take our readers away from our site. Click your preference and hit "GO!"





STEP 7: Add Page Element
You're almost finished...
When you clicked "GO!", it should direct you to Import Page Element from your blog. Click on the Add Widget button and Share This does the rest. How easy is that!?



You're Awesome
Here is a screenshot of what our layout page looks like with the ShareThis element.







DIY Blog Design : How to Link Your Blog Buttons {Step-by-Step}

Yesterday we learned how to make blog buttons here

It's only fair to share the secrets of how to link the blog buttons, right?

Put your party hats on, people. It's time to learn...


Let's get started with a website to host your images.

Log into your account. 

If you don't have one, we suggest Flickr.

Hit the upload button (you'll find this at the top of the page).

Click "Choose photos and videos to upload" in the middle of the screen, select your blog button files and open those beauties.

Your page should look a little something like this: 


Now you're ready to rock 'n roll.

STEP 1: 
Because we don't like for our Flickr page to be filled with all of our bloggin' elements, we click the privacy button for these images. Hit "Only visible to you" and "Hidden from public searches" if you'd like to do the same.


Click the "Upload Photos" button at the top of the page and the buttons will begin publishing to your Flickr account. 


STEP 2:
Click on a blog button from your photostream. Hit the "Share" button and choose the "Grab the HTML/BB Code" tab. You will see your code as well as options for the image size. We went with the small size as it measures 200 x 200. Just the size we need for our sidebar.

Click on the code, right click and hit copy.

We're finished with Flickr for now. Let's move to your blogger dashboard. 


STEP 3:
Hit the Layout button on the sidebar menu.

Click "Add a Gadget".

P.S. Sorry for the overwhelming Layout template on the example. It's a little overcrowded...


STEP 4: 
Scroll down and click on the "HTML/JavaScript" button.


STEP 5:
A box will pop up like the above image. 

Paste your code from the Flickr account inside of the box.

We're going to mess around with code a little now...

STEP 6:
Replace the first link with the link to the page you would like the button to direct. For safe measures, delete only what is inside of the first set of quotation marks. (Although, I also like to delete the title gibberish too. If that's not too confusing, go for it!!)

For example, we want our France button to direct our readers to a page that shows all of our travels from France (which we haven't written about yet... note to self: need to get on that).

We replaced "http://www.flickr.com/photos/jitneysjourneys/8509521400/" title="CircleBlogButtonFrance by jitneysjourneys, on Flickr" with 
"http://jitneysjourneys.blogspot.com/search/label/France"

Leave the second link alone, as that is the link of the original image. 

Now we get something that looks a little like this:


Click "Save" on the HTML box.

Click "Save arrangement" on your dashboard.

Boo-yah.

You just linked up a blog button to a website.

You're awesome.

If everything went well for you, carry on, good friend! Otherwise, we've written up a couple of questions that we felt may be brought up among our readers and wrote the answers below. If we don't cover your question(s), write your question in the comment box of this post just in case others have similar inquiries and we will answer to the best of our abilities. :)

***

What is a label?

A label is a word you can use to identify a series of posts. You will find a box in which you can enter labels in the Post Settings toolbar. For example, we would write the word "tutorial" as a label for this post. Other labels could be "DIY" or "how to". On our sidebar, you will find a Tutorials button that will link you to all of our tutorials. The link for that is:
http://jitneysjourneys.blogspot.com/search/label/tutorial

If you have labels for a series of posts, you can use the same link format.
http://YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME-HERE/search/label/NAME-OF-LABEL

Use that link if you want to link a blog button to a series of posts.


***

Why does your new code have the dimensions of 170 x 170?

We decided that we wanted our sidebar to be smaller than 200 x 200 after seeing the finished product so we made the dimensions smaller to fit our ideal blog size. If this happens to you, you can change the dimensions in your code but be sure to keep the sizes consistent to the original dimensions (i.e. changing 200 x 150 would be 100 x 75 if you wanted to decrease the size by half).


DIY Blog Design : How to Make a Blog Button {Step-by-Step}

Today we're going over....



Are you pumped?

Let's do this.

**You can use any photo editing program but I believe Photoshop is the easiest - as well as the most convenient - tool when trying to make more than one blog button in the same format.

STEP 1: Getting Started
Open a new document in Photoshop. 
I made the dimensions 500 px x 500 px with a transparent background.
We will change the image size before posting the image but this size is much easier to work with.


STEP 2: Create an Ellipse
Click on the ellipse tool and create an ellipse by pulling from the top corner to the bottom corner, forming a perfect circle. Be sure to hold down the Shift button while creating the circle for perfect measurements on all sides.




STEP 3 : Place an Image
File  > Place 
Choose the main image you would like to use for your button.




STEP 4 : Size / Adjust the Image




STEP 5 : Grab & Pull
Grab and pull the ellipse shape into the same layer as the placed image. 

STEP 6 : Pioneer Woman Action
I use the "Seventies" action from the Pioneer Woman to add some vintage love on my blog button images. You can download her incredible group of Photoshop Actions here
If your actions window doesn't appear, click Window > Actions. After you download the actions, click the action you'd like to use and hit the Play button.





STEP 7 : Erase Background
Click on the Background Eraser Tool.
Select the Shape layer (unlike the screenshot below - whoops!).
Erase AWAY!! 



STEP 9 : Or Delete the Shape Entirely
I feel ridiculous after doing that step. You can delete the shape entirely and have the same outcome. 
But erasing is just so much fun...



STEP 9 : Add Banner
Find a banner image online and download (or you can make your own). 
File  > Place the banner. 



STEP 10 : Color Overlay
Pull up your color scheme in a different window so that you can still see the file you're working on AND the color palette. 
Double click on your banner layer.
Click on Color Overlay. 
Click on the color block to change the color of the banner.




STEP 11 : Change Banner Color
Click on the eyedropper tool.
Click a color of choice from your color palette with the eyedropper tool.
Click OK.
There's no need to copy the number. I'm not really sure why I put that there.



STEP 12 : Add Text
Click on the Type Tool.
Add text, change the size and have fun with font options.



STEP 13 : Align Layers
Maybe I don't know my way around PicMonkey enough yet, but this is a big reason I choose Photoshop over other photo editing programs.
Select the text and banner layers (hold down Command while clicking on the layers). 
Click Align Horizontal Centers. 
Boom. 
No eyeballin' here.

**Now is the best time to save this document. We will use this document as our Blog Button Template.
File > Save As > "Blog Button Template"
Save as a Photoshop (.psd) file. 


STEP 14 : Resize Image
Let's make this image the perfect size for your blog. 
I like 200 px x 200 px for a toolbar size. You may want to go smaller though. Just make sure that the width and height are the same sizes. 

Click OK. 
File > Save As > "Blog Button {Image Name}"
For example, I saved my image as "Blog Button France".
Save as a .png file.


STEP 15 : Create More Buttons
Guess what!? 
You don't have to start a new document in order to make more buttons. 
Open your Blog Button Template again.
File > Place a new button image.
This image should be a layer in between the first image and action. Your Layers box should look a little something like this: 


Pull the circle shape into the new image layer. Click the eye on the first image layer so that you won't be able to see that image any longer.
Hopefully you have the image sitting perfectly in the circle now.
Change the text in the banner.

File > Save As > "Blog Button {New Image Name}"
For example, I saved my image as "Blog Button Bungalow".
Save as a .png file.

Voila! 

You just made two blog buttons. 
Whoop whoop!
Now you have the ability to make as many as you'd like!!

Come back tomorrow to see how we will place the buttons onto our blog.


We hope you enjoyed this tutorial - and that is was super thorough and helpful!
We aren't professional designers by any means but I love playing around with our blog's appearance on a frequent basis. Please let us know if you have any questions and we will try our best to help!


DIY Blog Design : How to Pick a Color Palette


Ok. So neither JD nor myself are professional graphic designers, by any means. However, I looove learning how to spice up our blog design on a very consistent basis. 

Anytime JD is away on travel or when we're off traveling somewhere together for his job, I revamp our blog design in some way or another. Designing helps ease my anxiety and makes the time fly by as I wait to have my husband back in my arms.


[Side note: Can you tell from our new design that JD has been out of the country for three weeks!? Needless to say, I really really missed him. I spent the three weeks with my parents crafting, leather-working and helping to set up my mom's booth at The Cotton Depot. It was a beautiful time with our amazing friends and family in Georgia, but I still really missed my husband. He flew in Saturday where I greeted him with this painting at the airport. But more on that another day.]



It would be so much easier if I bought a template from one of the awesome professional designers on Etsy, but I'm a stubborn DIY-gal. 

A very stubborn DIY-gal... And I married a very stubborn DIY-guy. 

We're not stubborn in the sense of close-minded, rather in the sense of being frugal and wanting to do everything with our own hands.

So it only makes sense to try our hands at designing our own blog... right?

Now, let's get to chattin' about a main element of design.

Color.

It's crucial to design.
Absolutely crucial.
So choose wisely.
For our newly revamped blog design, I picked "Sparkled Hues" from Design Seeds.


I wanted a color palette that would incorporate the colors of spring but could possibly carry into summer, if needed. So we have Easter blues as well as a Fourth of July red, white and blue. I love the pop of red but only implement it in smaller places on our blog.

Color schemes are so wonderful and inspiring that I made a Pinterest board here. Color palettes are perfect for anything design... websites, home decor, sewing projects, weddings, you name it!

You want to choose a palette with four to six complementing colors to integrate into your design.

Here's a great tutorial from The Mother Huddle on how to create your own color palette using a photo with PicMonkey.

What do you think of this palette? 
What are your favorite colors to work with?