ONLINE WRAPPING PAPER CREATOR

Epson.com/community/wrapping-generator   Choose your message, a holiday or birthday theme, and a background in whatever colors you wish. Presto! Out comes one sheet of wrapping paper suitable for a small gift. Be sure to click “settings” or “setup” and check the box for background graphics or images. We used it and printed the person’s name onto the wrapping paper.

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LOOK LIKE A PEANUTS CHARACTER

The website PeanutizeMe.com lets you look like a character in the “Peanuts” comic strip. Choose a boy or girl and then select what he or she is wearing, and select a background. With brown hair and glasses, Joy’s Peanuts character looked something like her. This is a very clever use of an old programming routine and is being used to promote a new movie titled “The Peanuts Movie.” Likely we’ll see it used frequently now to create your own super hero, android, cowboy or whatever new show or movie is coming out.

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APP HAPPY WITH CHUCK AND ADA

“Lovelace & Babbage” is a free iPad app for a comic book about the lives of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. Ada, born in 1815, was the daughter of the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” poet, Lord Byron. After being steered toward math to tame her wild blood, she invented the first computer language for the first computer. (The computer was never finished but was fully conceived by Babbage.) A print version just came out, for $21, re-titled “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.”

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CAPTURING THE SCREEN

After extensive research – we talked to several people – we found that most people don’t know how to capture what they see on the computer. This is shocking but true. Why would you want to do that in the first place? Well, if you can capture the screen image or any part of it, you can print that out, email it, use it yourself, or post it to Facebook. Somewhere in all that there may be a copyright involved; so it you think there is, don’t do it without permission. You can capture anything you see on your computer screen. No exceptions. And there are lots of different tools for doing it. What’s more, you can add comments, include […]

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PRINT IT ON ALUMINUM

We just had a photo “aluminyzed.” It looks great.

Aluminyze.com will turn your photo into anything from wall art to a license plate. Joy took a photo at a woman’s club event and had it aluminyzed for the chair of her committee, who typically receives a gift certificate at year’s end. This was different.

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OUR PERSONAL AVATARS

Below our email signatures we often use a cartoon portrait of ourselves. We’ve gotten lots of compliments on that over the years, and requests for information about it.

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ART OF THE GREETING CARD

Joy is mad for greeting cards, usually making her own with programs like Nova Development’s “Greeting Card Factory.” But CleverCards.com was too clever to pass up, for digital as well as printed cards.

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APPS FOR ART’S SAKE

“Famous Paintings” is a free Android app with paintings by Matisse, Homer, Uccello, Velasquez and dozens of others. Tap to zoom in once, then spread your fingers to zoom more. The details are remarkable. (Bob once visited a home in Morocco with $25 million worth of paintings in the entrance hall: A row of Fragonards on one wall and Watteaus on the other. Raphael was in the study. Now Joy has seen some of them too.)

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TEMPORARY TATTOOS

 “Picattoo“ can turn your Instagram photos into temporary tattoos. Twelve ink-transfer tattoos cost $15. Start by going to Picattoo.com and sign in to Instagram. You can either take a new picture with your phone or choose one you’ve already stored in your photo gallery. Back at Picatoo.com, choose the photos you want to make into tattoos. Our favorite example was a photo of a cute dog. The ink is high quality and looked almost as detailed as the original picture.

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FINDING CLIP ART

The other day Joy was showing her friend Frieda how to add a picture to a Word document. Frieda has a really old version of Microsoft Word, and Joy was astonished to discover that a search on the word “flowers” turned up nothing, a big contrast with the rich choices available in later versions of Word, which automatically search Office Online.

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