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Three digital wallpapers and a playlist for Spring

We’re pretty excited about the winter-to-spring transition here at Think.Make.Share—excited enough to completely ignore the April Fool’s aspect of the first to instead be really earnest about our love of this season. Today we have three spring-themed digital wallpapers and a spring playlist from Hallmark composer Chris Johnson to help celebrate the season of New. 

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Download “Ken Sheldon’s spring floral pattern” HERE.

Download “Daniel Miyares’s dragonfly spring floral” HERE.

Download “Amber Goodvin’s spring florals in vase” HERE.

Spring playlist details from Chris: Spring is here…maybe? Let’s say yes, for the sake of this blog theme and our collective sanity.

In my role as a composer and sound designer, I get to write music almost every day. Being asked to create original music in a variety of styles means listening to a lot of music for inspiration. “Work Me” calls it research, but “Music-Junkie Me” calls it totally rad. (Yes, I’m old enough to use ’80s slang unironically and with only slight embarrassment.)

So, I’ve made a playlist to mark this brief sliver of bliss between shivering and sweating. And in the spirit of Spring/Newness/Freshness, some of it’s new to me, and hopefully some may be new to you as well. Some of it’s just straight-up fresh. (See previous note of age/decadal-slang usage.)

Enjoy!

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An artist Easter basket exchange

With Easter right around the corner, we’re checking back in with designer Em Bronson, known for organizing crafty get-togethers, like the stocking-making party we covered during the holidays. Today, she introduces us to a fun Easter tradition you can do with your friends, too. 

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Spring always kicks off for me when we have our Annual Maker Easter Swap. It’s a tradition I started about five years ago, mainly because I secretly wanted an Easter basket even as an adult. Now the season just wouldn’t be the same without our basket exchange.

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For our Easter swap, several crafty co-workers each make a small gift to exchange with each other. It’s so inspiring to see what everyone comes up with and to leave with a basket of lovelies!

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This year, I decided to paint small bud vases that each held a crepe paper flower. It makes a cheerful gift that never wilts. You can download the instructions here.

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I also did party favors perfect for co-workers and friends. Easter egg fortunes add to the whole colored egg-filled-with-candy experience. You can print the fortunes to use yourself here.

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And now it’s (officially) spring.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EASTER TRADITIONS WITH FRIENDS?

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Favorite things: Easter gift edition

Today Think.Make.Share managing editor, Tobe Reed, is sharing a few of her favorite Easter gift ideas. Easter-basket-gift-ideas-from-Hallmark-Cards

This is an exciting year at our house because, at 18 months, my youngest daughter is old enough to start sharing in holiday traditions. I have fond memories of Easter as a kid: waking up early to see what the Easter bunny left in our baskets, racing around the yard with my brother hunting for treat- and treasure-filled eggs, dressing up and seeing everyone in their Easter finest at church, and having a special family meal to end the day. I’m very eager to start building traditions with my own kiddos. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite items from our shelves this season:

  1. I love switching out home décor to reflect the season. These floral embroidered tea towels will give our kitchen the perfect Easter vibe and can easily stay through spring.
  2. This little embroidered loom will make a great addition to my daughter’s gallery wall.
  3. No Easter season would be complete without sweet treats! This polka-dot bowl is begging for jelly beans or—my biggest weakness—candy-coated chocolate eggs.
  4. A precious little card pack is perfect for sending wishes to friends and family who are far away.
  5. I love the fresh palette of this card for my daughter Ava. Bonus: We’ll be able to practice our shapes, animals and colors!
  6. I love the idea of having at least one wrapped item in their baskets. This sweet box from my favorite spring Hallmark gift-wrap collection is just the right size for an Itty Bitty. (Which we are acquiring at a rapid rate at our house. They’re just so cute!)
  7. My youngest will love getting stickers! We’ll also include bubbles, bath crayons, coloring books, a couple of spring tops and seed packets to plant annuals in the yard together. I particularly like that we can talk about the symbolism of the holiday with the latter.
  8. Our older daughter lives with her mom several hours away. This card has the perfect look and long-distance wish for a teen. (The inside reads: “Good thing we’re so close at heart!”)

You can find all of these items at your local Hallmark Gold Crown Store (with the exception of the card pack and card I found for my youngest daughter, which are available in the Hallmark aisle at Walmart).

For more Easter basket and craft ideas, be sure to check out the Hallmark.com Ideas section. If you’re on Instagram, tag us at @Think.Make.Share to share your own Easter gift ideas!

WHAT DO YOU INCLUDE IN YOUR EASTER BASKETS?

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DIY, hand-painted Easter egg ideas from Hallmark artists

Today Kellie Bloxsom-Rys, a designer on the Easter greeting card team, shares an egg-cellent DIY craft project that everyone in the whole family can get excited about…hand-painting Easter eggs! Kellie rounded up several talented artists to bring some simple wooden eggs to life.

Hallmark artists decorate Easter eggsFor this project, we used wooden eggs bought from a local craft store. I gathered about eight of my crafty friends and gave them an assortment of materials to work with, including acrylic, paint, painter’s tape, markers, spray paint, wood stain, Hallmark tissue paper and Modge Podge. It was a lot of fun to see the range of unique solutions!

Hallmark artists decorate Easter eggsHallmark artists decorate Easter eggsHallmark artists decorate Easter eggsThis project was very low-stress; eggs were finished in under an hour with minimal cleanup. This is a great spin on the traditional egg-dyeing process because the wooden eggs can be kept for future Easter décor. I love the idea of buying them in bulk and doing this craft year after year!

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HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HAND-PAINTED WOODEN EGGS

 

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Step 1. Use a dark water-based wood stain and apply one layer on the wooden eggs. (It doesn’t take much. I bought the smallest can from a local hardware store.) Let the eggs dry for a couple hours. I recommend wearing rubber gloves when applying the stain and letting the eggs dry in an old cardboard box.

Step 2. Select a few colors for a simple palette. Use painter’s tape to mask off sections you want to paint a solid color. The tape gets a little tricky when going around the egg so you will have to overlap it a little. (Tip: I liked the eggs with around 50 percent of the wood stain showing through best; it added a nice richness to the palette.)

Step 3. Allow the paint to dry for 10 minutes. Repeat the taping process if you want to overlap the existing paint colors.

Step 4. using a small paintbrush, add stripes, dots, crosses and dashes around the egg. I used a gold sharpie to draw the final line work on top of the paint, which gave it a nice little shimmer, too.

Photography by Lindsey Mehlhorn.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EASTER CRAFT TRADITIONS?

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Exploring the world of watercolor for Hallmark books

Hallmark Gift Book Editorial Strategist & Associate Publisher Delia Berrigan Fakis and Hallmark Gift Book Senior Designer Laura Elsenraat join us today to talk about a beautiful new Hallmark book series featuring the lyrics of beloved songs…and the watercolor artists who made it possible. 

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We started with Amazing Grace, because we had the idea of turning a popular, traditional hymn into a beautiful gift book. We knew we had to pick something well-known, because the song title would also be the title of the book. The Hallmark books team decided to have hand lettering be the focus of the design, using watercolor to interpret the mood and feel of each line of song. We held a one-day watercolor workshop and invited many of our talented lettering artists to explore different styles for the lines of lyrics.

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When Amazing Grace turned out so well, we realized we had the opportunity to do a whole series of lyric books—Lyrics You Love. The follow up book was What a Wonderful World, in our encourage and inspire section, followed by Can’t Help Falling in Love, in the love category. There was a challenge in choosing songs for each of these books: We couldn’t just choose any song with “lyrics we loved,” because if the title itself wasn’t a giftable message, it wouldn’t work on the book cover.

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For Can’t Help Falling in Love, we went through many different love songs before landing on the Elvis standard. It had a great title as well as a beautiful lyrical message. We held one-day workshops with our hand-lettering artists for What a Wonderful World and Can’t Help Falling in Love, too.

I think the workshops—and books—were successful because the artists had the freedom to choose lines of lyrics that stood out to them and to interpret them in their own style. It’s that combination of meaningful lyrics paired with a range of styles that makes these books so special featured.

Lyrics You Love workshop artists include Ken Sheldon, Lynn Giunta, Amber Goodvin, Lisa Rogers, Livy Long, Craig Lueck, Barb Mizik, Elissa Duncan, Allie Fields, and Maria O’Keefe.

Find Lyrics You Love books from this series like Amazing Grace  at Hallmark.com and in your local Gold Crown store.