Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

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Entries in free (9)


Geek love: just because

Because today is Thursday. And because I am a geek.

© 2009 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

I designed this geek love printable last year and sold it in my short-lived Etsy store. To, like, one person. But I know there are other geeks in love out there. So. Have at it. The download includes the folded card and envelope shown above, a plain graph card for you to get creative with, and graph wrapping paper (shown below).

© 2009 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

Download the whole package here. Instructions for printing, cutting, folding, and gluing are included.

As always, please be nice. Do not sell, modify, or redistribute for anything other than personal use. And if you'd like to link to the printable, please link to this post!


A favor

Favor Box © 2009 Cottage Industrialist // Cameron BlazerSo here's the deal. I have made you a favor box for your Halloween treats. In return you owe me nothing. BUT. If you like my little box and the other things like it that I share on this wee blog, I have a favor to ask of you in return. We'll get to that in a minute.

So. Teeny take-out boxes. They are cute, non? Well. I am going to level with you. They are kind of a pain to cut out and make. But if you have a free evening, say, while you watch the best two hours on television,* you could whip out a bunch of these. They are the perfect size for just a couple pieces of candy. Or a tiny toy. Or a monocle. Because...monocles? Awesome.

© 2009 Cottage Industrialist // Cameron BlazerAnyhoo, if you set out to make these, don't say I didn't warn you about the drudgery factor. Still, I think the end result is cute enough to warrant the effort if you're having a small party or want to limit the nutso candy consumption of your small-but-mighty child at Halloween time. Or maybe that's just me.

If, in spite of my entreaties to the contrary, you want to make these little guys, download the free, printable PDF here. All the instructions are in the printable file.


Now. The favor. If you're not really the you-scratch-my-back-i'll-scratch-your-back type, just skip this and go about your freebie business. Seriously, I don't mind. But. If you read this site with any regularity and are of a mind to help a sister out, I would love your advice. See, I have changed jobs recently, and though the work is generally the same, I have had to up my game in every way for this new playing field. It means that I don't have as much time to doodle and fidget and take pretty pictures. But I want—no, I need—to keep this blog going strong. And, truthfully, it's not that I am at a loss for content--I have OODLES of printables just waiting to be packaged up and shared, recipes that have been road tested and kid-approved, and nifty projects that are ready for prime time.

If, at this point, you are thinking, "So, then, what's the big problemo, señora?" you are probably one of those reasonable people who adjusts sans drama to the changing of the seasons and does not have a crisis of confidence in the face of complimentary valet parking. You are one of the lucky ones.

The point is that I sweat this stuff. I fret over photos and pixels and color schemes. And even more? I fret over the words. A lot of times I think people don't really read my blog but just pop in the way I pop into Whole Foods for the free cheese. But the words really matter to me. I don't just want to post braggy pictures of whatever goofball thing I've just made. I like to share the story behind the pictures and projects. But sometimes that impulse keeps me from posting because I don't have time to explain why I just came up with a printable baby announcement (i.e., no, I am not having another baby, mom). And, on the flip side, sometimes I have things I'd like to talk about that aren't connected to a cool project and that don't fit into the 140 characters I regularly exploit on twitter.

I really am getting to the favor part of this blather. Just stick with me for another minute. The favor is really simple—I'd just like to get your feedback. If I post more frequently without projects or freebies, will you tune out? If I post random freebies without the cute story behind them, will you still tune in? Do you think I should invite guest bloggers? Would you like to be one, or do you have one to suggest? Any suggestions, words of encouragement, rotten tomatoes, or golden eggs are welcome in the comments. Cheers, and happy Halloween!

*Wednesday nights: So You Think You Can Dance and Glee. Obviously.


A new leaf and a new calendar

The other day, my mother-in-law called to ask me if we would be available for dinner on September 19th. That just sort of blew my mind. That's like a MONTH away! How on earth could I be expected to know what we're up to a month from now? See, we're not exactly the world's great planners ahead. Like, when I signed up for summer camp at the kiddo's school, we knew that at the end of the summer they would be going on break, right? But then we sort of got sucked into life and work and stuff, and all the sudden it was the Thursday before a two week (!) break, and we hadn't made Plan B. Uh oh. While I would never SELL the kiddo to the gypsies, I did consider for a brief moment a mutually beneficial rental arrangement (I kid, I kid!). We made it through the two weeks without childcare thanks to the generous help of our friends and family and the occasional abbreviated work day. But still.

I have vowed to do better. Which starts with owning a calendar. That I actually write on. But all the calendars I see in the stores are either attractive but ridiculous overkill (I do not want to carry around a three-ring binder of my obligations) or totally antiseptic, blah, and insufficient. Can you see where this is going?

Obviously, I had to design my own calendar. I had certain requirements. It had to be pretty but not fussy. It had to have big enough blocks to jot down a couple of words about important events, it needed a spot to put random notes, and it needed a place to scribble reminders of stuff happening in upcoming months. So, you know, we wouldn't be caught off guard next time el pequeño gets two weeks at Club Med from his school.

For those of you who have your calendars filled in and accounted for into 2012, I salute you (albeit with slight suspicion of you and your kind). For the rest of you, feel free to download these calendar sheets for your own use. And check back later in the week--I'm testing a mini tutorial for a easy, nifty way to bind these all together.

Download September-November here.

Download December-February here.

Download March-May here.

Download June-August here.


You Rang?

Don't you think old fashioned calling cards should make a comeback?
Back in the day, when stopping by a friend's house was "coming to call," ladies and gentlemen carried calling cards to announce to their would-be hosts just who had arrived--or who they had missed if indisposed. (If well-to-do folk could have bothered themselves to answer their own doors, maybe this little nicety might never have come to be.)

Now most of us have business cards and vcards and bluetooth profiles and all the other  social networking blahdeeblah known to man. But sometimes you don't want to share your every means of being contacted with every person you meet.

That's where calling cards come in:

Going to the park with your kid? When you meet a new playmate, give his mom or dad a way to get in touch with you that says "Cameron / M's Mommy / cblazer@gmail.com."

Going out on the town?* How about a card with just your name and number? A little vixen-y, but still classy.

Heading to a tweetup? A card with nothing but your web address is memorable, no?

I have dreams of going to a party where everyone's cooler than me (which is just about every party I've ever been to) armed with a stack of cards saying only "I'm rockin' the suburbs, just like Quiet Riot did."**

This downloadable pdf is designed to print 8 patterned cards. It's really just a form--when you type your information on any of the cards, it updates all the cards accordingly; you can enter as many words as you like, but the more you type the smaller your text will be. (It all makes more sense when you see it in action.) I designed these to be compatible with Avery pre-cut business cards (look for products 5881, 8373, 8869), but I printed mine on plain-ole cardstock and just cut-em out. I've included cut lines to make it a little easier.

As always, you can use this template as much as you like for personal, non-commercial use. 

* My use of the phrase "out on the town" probably gives away the fact that the last time I actually went out on said town was sometime in the last century, but you get my drift, no?

** Well, really, I'd use a different quote from the same Ben Folds song, but this is a family-ish blog, so you get my drift.

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