A Fun Project: Getting Freaky With A Couple Of Jigsaw Puzzles

These are pictures of how each finished puzzle is supposed to look.

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Jigsaw puzzles are suddenly popular. We have a stash of them so for snorts & giggles we mixed two of them together to create two unique masterpieces. Here’s how we did it.  

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1. Find two puzzles with the same number of pieces that were cut using the same machine. Just because two puzzles are from the same company and have the same number of pieces doesn’t mean they have the same shape pieces. Lesson learned hard way on this point. 

It’s all about the details when you decide how to merge the puzzles.

2. Put together one of the puzzles then put together the other puzzle beside the first puzzle. Stare at the puzzles until your eyes cross you see an interesting way to mix the images in each puzzle. This takes imagination, but you can do it;  time is your friend.

This is an action shot as we began the methodical mixing of the pieces.

3. Carefully begin the process of extracting the pieces that form one image in the first puzzle, setting these pieces aside on a flat surface like a baking sheet, then extract the same area from the second puzzle. This requires patience and a steady hand.

Our first masterpiece called: Hot Air Balloons Landing On Giant Folded Quilts

4. Put pieces from the first puzzle into the empty space created in the second puzzle. Continue this mixing of the pieces until you’ve created your own unique puzzle that makes you smile. If you’re not smiling at this point you’re doing this wrong. 

Our second Masterpiece called: Giant Quilts Covering Hot Air Balloons In Sky

5. Photograph your masterpieces, pat yourself on the back, then deconstruct your puzzles, keeping track of which pieces belong in each box. Congratulations, you’re officially a jigsaw puzzle artist nonpareil.

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Your turn. Whatcha been doing for snorts & giggles? What else should we be doing with all this free time? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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Five Photos From A Walk In The Park On A Gloomy Afternoon In February

This blog is mostly words and thoughts, but perhaps you’d like to see what I’m seeing around here at this time of year?

It’s not the brightest time of year but there is weak light that makes for some interesting photos.

However, mostly it’s gray outside with not much snow.

Of course, with the leaves off the trees it’s possible to see from afar what’s ahead of you on the path.

And despite the gloom there are bridges to cross just for the heck of it.

But in the end, it’s not the most cheerful time of year outside, she says stating the obvious while counting the days until spring.

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GOT ANY SUNSHINE WHERE YOU ARE? DO TELL

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All The Fruit In The Bowl Is Orange, But Do You Know What You’re Seeing?

It’s Friday and despite wanting to have something profound to say about this week, about my experiences in said, my goals accomplished, my relationships strengthened, et cetera, et cetera— I got nothing.

It’s been a long *blah* week for me.  I have a sore throat with post nasal drip that won’t go away, but other than that I’m the picture of health so I shall be grateful.

And not at all cranky.

Not muttering about a thing here.

I’ve started about a gazillion and one blog posts this week but ended up deleting each one.  Sometimes the words came to me and looked all pretty on the page, but the import of the words meant nothing worth talking about, or talking about kindly, so I deleted what I wrote.

Other times, like this one, I kept what I wrote and have decided to publish it [obviously] because I feel that for me there’s value in showing up, even if what I have to say ain’t all that and a bag of chips.

Or to re-phrase, all that and a bowl of orange fruit.  While my saying doesn’t have the same timeless ring as the original saying, it does fit the photo so I’m going with it.

And that might be the real message of this blog post, a clue into how I think. Sometimes you gotta go with what you’ve got, knowing that you’ve done better… you’ve done worse… but right now, today, this is what you have to work with.

So do it, Ms. Bean.

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HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE.

MAY YOU BE PROFOUNDLY HAPPY DOING WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU’LL BE DOING.

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[Spoiler Alert: The answer to the question posed in title is in the comments below.]

Fun With Pedicures: Conning Mr. Man, If Only For A Moment

It’s not easy to pull the wool over Zen-Den’s eyes. He’s smart and lawyerly and hyper-aware of liars. But for a moment I had him going, so I have to share it here. For posterity. For snorts and giggles.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

I.  In the photo above the color of nail polish you see on my toenails is unusual for me.  I usually go clear/pale OR dark/bright.  I rarely wear halfway/medium colors like you see above.

II.  OPI nail polishes, which I prefer, are grouped into cleverly named collections.  For instance a pale pink called Bubble Bath might be found in the Always Bare For You Collection.  A bright pink red called California Raspberry might be found in the Fan Faves Collection.  [These particular colors are so old that they’re no longer featured in any collection, but I’m making a point here so please go with it.]

III.  After wearing Bubble Bath for a few weeks I decided it was too blah for me.  No character.  So on a whim as a way of zhooshing it up, I mixed a bit of California Raspberry with it.  I figured I’d create a new medium color.  And I did.  That’s what you see on my toenails in the photo.

THE CON *tee-hee*

Z-D came home from work the other night and noticed the pink color of my fresh pedicure.  He looked down at my feet and asked me if I had a rash on my toes.  I instantly realized that he thought my created shade of pink was calamine lotion.

So I told him: “No, that’s a new shade of nail polish.  It’s called Chicken Pox Pink, part of OPI’s new Childhood Illnesses Collection.”

He said nothing, just kept staring at my toes.

So I continued: “There are other colors in the collection, like Measles Mauve and Flu Shot Fuchsia.”

With a totally confused look on his face he said: “There’s a nail polish collection called Childhood Illnesses?”

I said: “Oh yes, there’s Bronchitis Burgundy and…”

He interrupted: “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS THIS COLLECTION.”

But I kept going: “Boo-Boo Bunny Beige and…”

He said: “You’re making this up.”

I said: “Oh no, this is for real.  There’s Drippy Nose Rose and…”

At which point Zen-Den, shaking his head in disbelief and laughing, wandered away from the conversation, as if I might not be telling the truth.  Can you imagine that?

THE END

Presented For Your Consideration: 7 Writing Prompts + 1 Photo Challenge

Another busy week here so I’m going to do something fun & different. I’m using the following back-to-school writing prompts AND I’m snapping my first #bumblebeebookstack photo. Tell me what you think…

Teacher Turned Mommy is hosting a blog hop in which she has provided these 7 prompts. Click HERE to be magically taken to her blog where you can learn more about it.

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ONE

My memories of the first day of school involve two things: ANXIETY about what my new teachers would be like & CURIOSITY about who I’d be sitting by.  People, figuring them out & getting used to them– that’s what I remember from my first days of school.

TWO

My favorite school supply was paper.  Whether it was lined or with grids, plain white or a beautiful color, small size or large, loose or in a spiral notebook– I LIKED PAPER.  [Still do.]

THREE

The teacher who made a difference for me was my freshman high school English teacher, Mrs. L——-,  who believed everyone could be a writer if they followed one simple rule: BE SPECIFIC. [Years ago in response to a prompt I wrote about Mrs. L——- here: The One About My Favorite Public School Teacher.]

FOUR

Here’s the thing about apples, they are my favorite fruit.  I LOVE APPLES, all varieties.  Cooked, baked, raw. In salads. Turned into juice or cider. With peanut butter on each slice. With chunks of cheddar cheese to go with.  With popcorn, even.

FIVE 

Getting a new box of crayons was [and is] a treat.  My mother, who had strong opinions on this topic, felt that one child with 64 crayons was excessive and unnecessary, so I MADE DO WITH 48.  Periwinkle and Cornflower Blue were my favorite colors.  I did not like Raw Umber.

SIX

When I think about new friends I’m reminded that I went to three elementary schools in four years.  I walked into the first two schools only knowing a few kids from church, but the third school was different.

It was a new school with a new building that combined about half the kids from each of the first two schools I went to;  therefore, for the first time, I KNEW ALMOST EVERYONE.  And this made me happy.

SEVEN

Answering what’s in your lunchbox is difficult for me because my mother didn’t believe in packing lunches.  She was all about a HOT MEAL so she made me buy my lunch every stinking day until I got to high school when I was allowed to pack my own lunch, that I put in a brown paper bag.

Some of the cafeteria food wasn’t so bad.  I liked the fish sandwiches and the Spanish rice and the baked beans and the no-bake cookies– but the salmon loaf was beyond bleech.  Subjecting innocent children with their tender taste buds to it was cruel.

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I got this idea from Instagram. This is what is called a Bumblebee Book Stack. Finding the books was easy, but photographing them was more difficult than I thought it’d be. Go figure. 

In Which Ms. Bean Confirms She Is Who She Is: A Dreamer

I took the fast & fun interactive What’s Your COLOR ID Quiz on the Sherwin-Williams website.  Click HERE to go take it for yourself.

My quiz results told me I am a Dreamer.  A Dreamer is defined thusly:

I was further told that as a Dreamer I do the following:

Here is a screen shot of a few of the Sherwin-Williams colors that a Dreamer likes to see in her home.

Here is a photo of the wall in this particular Dreamer’s home office [or study if that’s what you want to call this room] where she is currently sitting.  This wall is painted SW 7666 Fleur de Sel, one of the colors shown in the image above.

It’s not often that I take an online quiz and end up with results that I agree with 100%.  In fact some of my previous posts [here & here] have been less than kind when discussing my quiz results, but for whatever reason, this time the quiz results made sense to me.

And with that I’ll end this pleasant post about knowing who I am by wishing you, my gentle readers, a Happy Weekend.  May it be colorful in a way that pleases you and filled with sweet dreams ’til sunbeams find you.

This Is How I Make 2 Types Of Images For My Blog

Have you ever heard someone say that their mantra is to always be recommending?  I love that idea.  Information is part of what makes the world go round.  

To wit, here’s what I use to make 2 types of unique images that I share on The Spectacled Bean. I’m often asked about where I get my images, so here you go.  

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WHEN I TURN PERSONAL PHOTOS INTO ART I use a free app called Waterlogue.  It’s on my phone, ezpz to use, and offers a variety of looks.  Here’s an example of a before and after image.

First I took a photo with my phone.  This is that photo.

Then I used the app choosing one of their filters, in this case the Illustrator, to make my photo look snazzy.  This is the after.

As you can see the app has taken a so-so photo and turned it into a bombdiggity blog-worthy picture.

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WHEN I CREATE IMAGES WITH TEXT I use Canva on my desktop computer [or here for your phone].  It’s a graphic design website [or an app for your phone] featuring a variety of free templates, many pre-sized for any social media you might use.

First I picked a template.  This is the before.

Then I did a fast little rewrite using the first movie quote that came to mind, thus creating something clever and unique.  This is the after.

In this example I did a color change & resized the font but there were many free and $$$ options I could have used to make this image even more amazeballs.

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I hope that this information is of some value to you.  

If you know of other ways to create blog post images [preferably free] please recommend them in the comments below.

And on that note, with nothing more to say here, I shall wish all of you Happy Blogging.