A bouquet of sites, from me to you

What's a girl to do with thousands of hours on her hands while she bides separate "four hour windows" for the cable guy, the paint company estimator, appliance delivery, the piano tuner (okay, he gave me an exact time not a time window), and the furniture deliverer?

Finish unpacking? Hmmm...interesting idea, but no.

Overhaul my entire bathroom in a day? Sorry, not that ambitious of a homebody. (But hats off to you, friend!)

No, I have been surfing the internet on the one rogue open signal in my new neighborhood. And now (in a bid to make it seem more productive than it has been) I'm sharing the fruits of my labors--fun tools and sites to wow your friends and amaze your neighbors.

Big Huge Labs has a great menu of fun tools to use, including the frame function I used here to turn a photo of Maddy into a postage stamp (not to be actually used by the USPS, of course. Especially since they're not 39 cents anymore). You can also do other stamps, a polaroid-style border, film frame, etc. It's very easy and you can upload photos from your computer, Flickr, or any URL. So cool. They also have the mosaic maker that I used to create yesterday's post. To upload photos from your computer (and not flickr) for the mosaic you just have to do the free registration on the site. Trust me, you can lose hours here just playing and experimenting.

I don't own this, but it looks really great. Do you know anything about it? Curio 4 (for macs, sorry pc owners) lets you create digital bulletin boards for projects. I think I'm especially swayed by the testimonials of novelists and writers. Hmm....maybe this could finally be the trigger to writing that novel that's been wandering around my head (or at least meandering through my intentions). A little digging found a review here.

I have a fondness for the old card catalogs of yore. When I came upon this Catalog Card Generator I had to use it. (In fact, I used it to make my earlier blog banner.) You can type in whatever you want (the prompts ask for title, reference number, text, and scribbles). Each time the handwriting scribbles are different so if you don't like how it looks, run it again for a change.

Colorcharts is the ultimate paint chip site. You can view color palettes from virtually every paint company and it provides a matching service between brands. For instance, my painter is using Benjamin Moore but I saw a color in a magazine I loved that was from Farrow + Ball. So I just entered the color and it pulled up all the nearest matches in the other brands. Perfect for those decorating geeks among us...{me!}.

MIT (yes, that MIT) has opened all their course lectures, syllabi, and other course materials to the public. For free. OpenCourseWare is a "a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world." How cool is that? Browse through the departments, download a lecture, or engage your brain in a whole course. Next time you are chatting with a co-worker or neighbor, you can drop the nuggets of knowledge in casual conversation. When pressed you can say, "oh, I learned that at MIT" and be telling the truth.