8 Free Styled Desktop Photos for Amazing Blog Posts
Today I’m excited to share a fun freebie for creatives, bloggers, Instagrammers and small businesses. Good images are a key part of putting together great visual content for your website, promo material or blog posts. But finding images to use can sometimes be difficult. If you’re not using strong, quality photos, you could be losing potential readers, clients and customers. Not to worry, I’ve got you covered.
If you’re looking for professional, feminine styled stock photos, you’ve come to the right place. Perhaps you haven’t heard of “styled stock photos” before – it’s a term used to describe stock photos that have been organized to capture a particular look and feel. Usually, these are photos of desktops with various business, tech and lifestyle objects laid out together. Photos of objects taken from directly above are called “flat lay photos”. Flat lays are super trendy and all the rage these days, especially on Instagram.
I love fooling around and experimenting with photos so this was a fun little photo shoot for me. These styled photos are my gift to you. They’re versatile and can be used for so many things including social media headers, banner, blog post images, sidebar and website banners, mock-ups, text overlays, desktop wallpapers and more.
I’d love to see what amazing things you do with these photos. Email, facebook or hashtag your photos with #dabblesandbabbles on Instagram or Twitter and I’ll post your images on my social media accounts.
Crochet Christmas Stocking Pattern – While I was off recovering from knee surgery I had a lot of time to sit around. Of course, I had prepared for my down time by making a little bin of yarn and hooks to keep beside my bed so that I could crochet. One day, not too long after my surgery, my daughter suggested that I crochet a Christmas stocking…for our cat (um ya, our cat). While I’m pretty sure our cat had no need or desire for a stocking, I liked the idea of trying something new to crochet. I have to say that I’ve never been a huge fan of crochet socks and slippers – mainly because of all the counting you usually have to do.
I set about researching patterns and came across this really cute sock pattern by Maria over at Pattern Paradise that looked relatively easy. After reviewing the pattern, I thought I’d give it a try, turning it from sock into a Christmas stocking. Maria’s pattern is super easy to understand and she goes into great detail and has nice photos to help with the dreaded heel. Seeing as I wasn’t mobile yet I had to use the colors I had on hand so I came up with this slightly unconventional Christmas color palette but I think it works.
This pattern may look complicated but trust me, once you get in the rhythm, you could practically do it in your sleep. I never bother with complicated patterns so I wouldn’t have bothered finishing this if it was too challenging. It took me two evenings to make it so it’s not a huge investment in your time. I love the new crocheted Christmas stocking for our cat (Milo is ever so excited) and think it will be a wonderful addition to our mantle.
Crochet Christmas Stocking Pattern
TERMINOLOGY: Pattern in U.S. crochet terminology
SKILL LEVEL: MEDIUM but definitely not hard
Hook: The original pattern calls for a US I/5.50mm but in the end I think a US J/6.00mm would give the sock a little extra size – better for a stocking.
Worsted weight size 4 Yarn – 4 skeins each in 4 different colors
Darning needle & scissors
Size: From toe to heel 7″ long, from heel to top of sock (when folded over) 10″, 4.5″ wide.
st = stitch
ch = chain
sl = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
sc2tog = single crochet 2 stitches together
Xst = Modified X Stitch
Color A = Color choice 1
Color B = Color choice 2
Color C = Color choice 3
Color D = Color choice 4
Special Stitch: Modified XSt – X Stitch – Worked over two stitches crossing the second stitch in front of the first stitch and encasing the first stitch within it – think of it as the second stitch hugging the first stitch! Skip next st, dc in next stitch, working around stitch just made, work dc in skipped stitch.
Crochet – Modified X-Stitch Tutorial
Weave ends as you work
Ch1 at beginning of round/row does not count as stitch.
Stitch count is in ( ) at end of the round. Stitch count is same as previous round, unless noted.
Work instructions in [ ] as designated
When a number precedes a stitch, such as 3hdc, work that number of stitches in the next stitch.
Join each round with sl st to first st. Start each round in the join.
Do not fasten off at each color change, instead carry the unused color along inside.
Make color change in last pull through of last st before the color change.
Refer to Maria’s slipper sock pattern here if you’re having any challenges.
Round 1: Color A, Ch2 (does not count as st), 8hdc in 2nd ch from hook, join. (8)
Round 5: Color B, Ch3, dc in next st to the RIGHT (beg XSt made), working in the usual direction, XSt around to end, join. (16 XSt)
Rounds 6 – 7: Color A, Ch1, sc in each st around, join. (32)
Round 8: Color C, Ch3, dc in next st to the RIGHT (beg XSt made), working in the usual direction, XSt around to end, join. (16 XSt)
Round 9 – 10: Color A, Ch1, sc in each st around, join. (32)
Round 11: Color D, Ch3, dc in next st to the RIGHT (beg XSt made), working in the usual direction, XSt around to end, join. (16 XSt)
Round 12 – 13: Color A, Ch1, sc in each st around, join. (32)
Round 14: Color C, Ch3, dc in next st to the RIGHT (beg XSt made), working in the usual direction, XSt around to end, join. (16 XSt)
Round 15 – 16: Color A, Ch1, sc in each st around, join. (32)
Round 17: Color B, Ch3, dc in next st to the RIGHT (beg XSt made), working in the usual direction, XSt around to end, join. (16 XSt)
Round 18: Color A, Ch1, sc in each st around, join. (32)
You will work heel gusset in rows and then continue working remainder of sock in rounds (see Maria’s photohereto help give you a visual idea of how this works).
Heel Row 1: Ch1, sc in next 18 sts. (18) Heel Row 2: Ch1, turn, sc in each st. (18) Heel Row 3: Ch1, turn, sc next 6 sts, sc2tog, hdc next 2, sc2tog, sc last 6 sts. (16) Heel Row 4: Ch1, turn, sc next 7 sts, hdc next 2, sc last 7 sts. (16) Heel Row 5: Ch1, turn, sc next 5 sts, sc2tog, hdc next 2, sc2tog, sc last 5 sts. (14) Heel Row 6: Ch1, turn, sc next 6 sts, hdc next 2, sc last 6 sts. (14) Heel Row 7: Ch1, turn, sc next 4 sts, sc2tog, hdc next 2, sc2tog, sc last 4 sts. (12) Heel Row 8: Ch1, turn, sc next 5 sts, hdc next 2, sc last 5 sts. (12) Heel Row 9: Ch1, turn, sc next 3 sts, sc2tog, hdc next 2, sc2tog, sc last 3 sts. (10) Heel Row 10: Ch1, turn, sc next 4 sts, hdc next 2, sc last 4 sts. (10) Heel Row 11: Ch1, turn, sc next 2 sts, sc2tog, hdc next 2, sc2tog, sc last 2 sts. (8) Heel Row 12: Ch1, turn, sc next 3 sts, hdc next 2, sc last 3 sts. (8)
Continue working in rounds.
Round 19: Ch1, turn, sc2tog, sc next 4 sts, sc2tog, working down side of gusset, work 6sc (approximately one every other row), working along stitches from Round 18, work sc in next 14 sts (you should be at the beginning of the other side of the gusset), work 6 sc up side of gusset, join. (32)
Rounds 20– 44: Repeat rows 5 – 18 two times, excluding row 5 the second time around (see photo for color change example).
Round 45 – 64: With color A, Ch1, sc in each st around, join. (32). Note: In row 35, at the back edge of the sock, I chained 12 and then slipped stitch back into the same stitch to create a little loop for hanging the stocking but this is completely optional.
Round 65: sc in first st, [Ch 4, slip st into st, sc in next st], repeat across row.
Break yarn, weave in ends.
Download the free Christmas Stocking Crochet Pattern here.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
If you enjoy this free crochet pattern, please consider supporting me by purchasing one of my patterns from my Ravelry or Etsy shop Belle Noelle Crochet. Your support will help ensure that I’m able to continue making new patterns to share. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Easy Cozy Crochet Blanket – a great pattern for beginners.
There’s still a nip in the air at this is the time of year, so it’s a perfect time to grab a cozy blanket and cuddle up on the couch with a good book.
I was getting a bit bored of always making baby hats so I decided I needed a new project. When my daughter Noelle saw me looking at blanket ideas she begged me to make her a blanket. I knew Noelle would really enjoy and appreciate a blanket that I made just for her. So I formulated a plan and took Noelle to the store to pick out some yarn. She picked out this fun and colorful yarn by Bernat that’s super chunky and has great colors. I also picked up a size P/11.5mm crochet hook and went to town on my newest project.
This blanket is super easy and crochet’s up really quickly. I’m not a fast crocheter and it took me a little less than a week to finish it off. Noelle loved the finished blanket and uses it all the time now. It’s great because its cozy without being too warm. I’ve used this blanket on occasion myself and it really is the best of both worlds.
My finished blanket is 44″ x 55″ which is the perfect size for my daughter.
Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, dc = double crochet (U.S. terminology)
If you choose to make this blanket smaller or larger, for the initial chain, make in multiples of 6. For example 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72. etc.
Row 1: In the 4th stitch from the hook, *2dc, skip a ch,* repeat until at end of row with 1 dc in the last chain. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 3. 1 dc in first ch, *skip 1 st, 2 dc in the next st* and repeat until the end of the row with 1dc in the top of the turning chain (making sure the 2 dc should be in between the “v” stitches from the first row). Turn.
Row 3 – 50: Repeat Row 2
When adding the fringe, cut the yarn to about double the length you want the fringe to be (mine were 8 inches each total length). Fold your yarn in half and take the side with the loop and push it through the gap on each side of the 2 dc along the border of your blanket. Then get the side with the loose ends of the yarn and pull them tightly through the loop to secure. Continue until both ends of your blanket have fringe across the entire width of the blanket.
As a graphic designer, I spend much of my day working with fonts. We are all familiar with fonts but do you really understand what fonts do – beside the obvious of course. Using a cooking analogy, I like to think of fonts as the herbs, spices and condiments that add flavour to your meal; without these flavour combinations, meals would be somewhat boring and bland.
There are thousands of fonts available but as a designer I find I tend to go back to the many of the same fonts over and over because they work in so many scenarios. Of course, many of my standby fonts are commercial fonts that must be purchased before you can use them but luckily now there are many lovely fonts available for free too. I’ve selected some great fonts that can be downloaded for free (personal use only). Some free fonts offer an option to donate to the designer and as a fellow designer I often try to give them a small donation if I can afford to do so. Please keep that in mind if you have the means because it takes a long time and effort to develop and design a font package.