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A Kiddo Valentine | Free Printable

Dear Friends,

This creative idea grew from the same place many of my creative ideas currently come: necessity.

I know, boring boring. I haven’t been brooding in a coffee shop (though I’d like to some days) having fabulous creative ideas just come forth from nowhere. Nope, not right now. Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. Around our house, my limited energy has taken a very practical turn. How can I store my brooms and mops with no pantry? (Still working on that.) How can I label all of this food I’m freezing? And maybe, could it also be cute? (Blog post forthcoming! In the form of free printables, btw.) This week, I think I said “Oh SHOOT next week is Valentine’s Day and WHAT THE HECK am I gonna do for little dude’s classmates?”

More specifically, what are some of my little’s man’s favorite things?

Yogurt pops? Too messy.

Construction equipment? Nah, there are girls in his class.

Treats? Some that aren’t filled with sugar? Because I’ve been fighting the snots and losing all week. I don’t wish that upon other moms in the class.

Then it hit me.

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BOOM.

Cute? Check.
Not sugar? Check.
And, I already had everything on hand? DOUBLE CHECK.

Naturally, I took to Pinterest to see if there were any super cute printables…

There weren’t. So, I made some. And I want to share them with you because I love all you busy mamas out there who really want to do something cute for your little buddies’ friends.

School-o-Fish Valentines

You’ll need:
this printable!
• white cardstock
• a good color printer (I actually sent these to Kinkos because my home printer isn’t so great for color)
• exacto knife
• straightedge
• A2 size cello bags without flap (I order mine here)
• scissors
• goldfish
• (optional) a pair of little (germ free) helping hands! (I did not have these readily available at the time of this post.)

1. Print out this printable onto the white cardstock. Copy as many times as there are children in the class. (Don’t leave anyone out! That’s the worst.) (This printable is laid out two Valentines per page. So keep that in mind if you’re ordering from Kinkos, Staples or wherever.)
2. Using a straightedge and your exacto, trim along the crop marks. (Design school hint: don’t cut all the way to the edge of the page so that your crops stay intact for reference!) #allthefreetips
3. Fill the cello bags with the fish.
4. Eat a fish.
5. Eat a few more fish.
6. Give your little buddy some fish.
7. Wash your hands in between filling the bags so that you don’t leave fingerprints on them!
8. Fold the trimmed printable in half, lengthwise, and place over the opening of the cello bag.
9. Staple each end down.
10. Hand out to all the friends!

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Want more Miss Wyolene-y Valenteen-y treats? Check out this post for another super cute DIY! (Just a friendly reminder not to sell this or any other project you see here in Miss Wyolene, since it’s all under my copyright.)

Share the love, y’all!

Love,

misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow-alone

 

Making Things New | Free Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

Happy 2015!

Today I made you a desktop wallpaper calendar. So that you may be reminded that you are lovely and valued. That you have been created for a purpose. May you bloom this year, friend.

Download yours here! Or right click and save the image below. (Please feels free to share this link with others! Just remember it is for personal use only.)

MissWyolene-Jan2015-desktop-insert

Love,

misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow-alone

Merry Merry and Hello Again

Hello, dear readers!

Wow, it has been QUITE some time since we last spoke. We welcomed a sweet baby into our family several months back and while I haven’t spent nearly the time designing, printing, blogging, promoting, and frankly worrying as I have in previous years, I have been cuddling, cooking, cleaning, and absorbing as much of these two littles as I can.

I must be honest, I was very tempted to be discouraged upon opening my blog folder and seeing only four dates (including this one!) for the entire year. Over the past few months, I’ve had TONS of thoughts and lots of prayers relating to my work, His work, mama-hood, life, and busyness. I just haven’t quite found the right words to post yet. In due time, friends. For now, know that I think it’s a conversation that is long overdue, this one about creative entrepreneurship and the pressure we put on ourselves as women and mamas to be the best and first at EVERYTHING. (If I see the word “hustle” pop up in my IG feed one more time…I swear I don’t care how cute the lettering is. I might throw my phone out of a moving vehicle.) But…more on that later.

For now, know that I started out making these tags for our family and I thought to myself “Self, you could like, totes put those on your blog as a free printable!” (Which, I did.) But seriously, y’all, there is NO SUCH THING as a quick and easy creative project. First I had to create the tags. Then I printed them. Then I trimmed them out. Then I styled them. Then I took pictures of them at 1:35 pm in my kitchen (which, I’ve discovered is the ONLY time of day to get a decent picture in my house and also, coincidentally, directly coincides with the last ten or so minutes of naptime). THEN, I photoshopped them and laid them out as you see below which took up .99 percent of today’s naptime. The only reason you are able to download the printable from the post right now is because the hubs came home a bit early and surprised us. So, everybody wins!

Even though mamahood is all consuming these days, I just can’t shake my love for creating paper goods. And the holidays bring it out in me like none other. The tree could still be naked in the corner but, by golly, those presents are going to be wrapped ADORABLY. And the key to a great gift? Really cute tags. These are the perfect size for stocking stuffers and smaller gifts. You can print them on whatever stock you have lying around. I even dipped a few in glitter! (Those are not shown because of aforementioned naptime constraints.)

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So, these are free for you, darlings. (Download the printable  here.)  Please remember these and all free gifts on my site are for personal use only.

Maybe these tags will save you a little time and money this season. My hope is that this time and money will be multiplied and can be a blessing to others. If you think about it, please pay it forward and give to a charity or organization that speaks to you. That would be so lovely. I’ll list a few of my favorites below. I would encourage you, if you can, to give locally, regionally, and as far into the ends of the earth as your pocketbook allows.

http://www.virtualtoydrive.org/
https://www.savethestorks.com/
http://www.mealsonwheelsgreenville.org/
http://www.eastwest.org/

Thank you, sweet friends! Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!

Love,
misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow-alone

Thoughts on 2014 | Free January Wallpaper Calendar

Greetings, friends!

I don’t know about you all, but I’m sitting here thinking “what just happened?” Was it not Thanksgiving, like, two minutes ago? Christmas was a whirlwind and now it’s already 2014. I kinda feel like I got gypped a little bit. There wasn’t as much time to savor the holidays. I let Christmas get to me. Not the advent Christmas that my soul craves, but the busy, hectic, I-forgot-I-needed-to-bake-that Christmas that I vow to avoid each year.

Coming away from the chaos, I’m really wanting to approach this year differently. We spent some time with the real Miss Wyolene over the holidays and I was reminded of an interaction she and I had when I was in the fourth grade. She and my grandaddy had come up from Georgia for a few days to hang with the broseph and me while my parents were out of town. According to my grandmother, my mom left her no major instructions, except, could she possibly organize Morgan’s bedroom? (Shudders all around.)

Now, understand that I have ALWAYS been a creative person (meaning, I’ve lived amongst piles of glitter and magazine scraps my entire life.) Also understand that at her core, Miss Wyolene is THE most organized person I have EVER met. So imagine my dismay when I came home from school to find my “creations” and belongings categorized into piles that stretched from my bedroom, down the hallway, all the way to the den. We’re talking, Bedazzler, colored pencils, baskeball card collection, and aforementioned glitter. I’m sure my horror bordered on disrespect towards Miss Wyolene. She calmly sat me down and explained why this exercise in organization was important.

(Please read the following in your best “Scarlett O’Hara southern accent.)

“Morgan, I have a saying that I want you to learn. ‘A place for everything and everything in it’s place.’ Do you know what that means?”

“No,” I undoubtedly hmmphed.

“It means that everything you have needs to live in a certain place. That way, you always know where everything is. When your grandaddy comes to me and says ‘where is such and such?’ I say ‘I know right where that is because it is in it’s place.’”

I’m not going to lie, it was probably brutal for my grandmother, who swears up and down she didn’t throw anything away. Even my Michael Jordan and Larry Bird posters. (Have I mentioned that I was an odd girl…hair bows and basketball cards?) The thing is, Miss Wyolene was right and is still right. Her home is the epitome of organization. I fear I might have broken her heart for all of her efforts because I still struggle to keep an orderly home. And an orderly workspace? FORGET it.

But in reflecting on this vintage conversation, I am realizing all of the wisdom nuggets I can glean from it. I have pulled a few loose “challenges” (not resolutions. I hate those.) from them that I’d like to share- if only to keep myself accountable. I want to:

1. Have an intentional amount of stuff.
As a creative, it is SO HARD to purge things. But freeing up space and ditching clutter can really make room for my eyeballs to see new things. White space is a designer’s best friend. I know I always end up filling it in, but it’s always there when I begin on a sketch page or on a new InDesign document. Why not make the spaces where I work and live look more like this? There’s probably a zen lesson in there somewhere: about giving yourself room to breathe for the purpose of creating. And if I can’t find a place for a thing, maybe it’s time to evaluate whether or not I need that thing.

2. Apply this rule to my boundaries, too.
Boundaries are HARD, y’all. Now that I’m a mama to one with one on the way this year, it’s more important than ever to find and defend my borders. As I move into this year, I’ve been outlining my goals and plans for Miss Wyolene. (Complete with Excel doc, guys. I’m not even playing.) I’ve tried to keep my work/creative life manageable. I can’t blog multiple times a week. To be honest, I don’t really want to. I have a plan to blog once a week. And hopefully those posts will be more deliberate. I’m also mapping out a studio schedule and setting aside very specific hours to work. And that frees me up to be a mama, wife, and homemaker the rest of the time. I can’t tell y’all how excited I am to see how this plan unfolds. This past year was far too muddy with overlapping time. And the guilt that ensued from my attention being devised was brutal. Kid time is kid time. The computer will be off. The phone will be at it’s charging station. Likewise, work time has its place, too. When the kiddos are in bed or napping or at Mother’s Day Out, then I can completely focus on taking the spreadsheet out of excel and building tangible, beautiful things from my plan.

3. Have less Netflix, more reading.
This kinda goes along with my previous points. I really want to purge what isn’t helpful, to make room for what grows and challenges me. I’m about halfway finished reading “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. It’s an easy read and it’s all about writing. (Sheesh, I hope she never reads this blog. I’m kind of a brain dump writer.) However, there are SO MANY great nuggets to glean as a creative person. I keep thinking to myself  ’This is so much more helpful than catching up on “Scandal.’ I gotta pump myself full of this kind of thing. What inspires me to make beautiful things? I need to go to there.

So, many things ahead for Miss Wyolene in 2013. I will be packing up my office to make room for baby and moving into a coat closet. Literally. I will be learning how to juggle these items with two kiddos. I’m hoping and praying that the above points will serve as a framework as I seek balance. I know I will fail. I know it will be hard. And I know I can’t do it alone. As Lamott says in her book “Make plans and watch God laugh.” (Or something like that.) But I gotta try.

And to celebrate this intention, I’m sharing a desktop wallpaper calendar with you all. It’s going to be mind all month. Hopefully it will encourage you to find beauty and to make your time count towards whatever it is that moves you. For me, I want to savor time with my little people (and also my Big person), enrich their lives and the lives of others around me, all while finding space to create beauty. So, cheers to you, 2014!

Jan-2014-desktop-2

(©2014 Miss Wyolene. For personal use only.)

Love,
misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow-alone

PS- I have a few more printed desktop calendars left in my Etsy shop! Snag yours here!