Friday, April 27, 2012

DIY - Laundry Room Vinyl Decal Picture Frame

Laundry. It consumes most of our lives and seems to grow exponentially when we aren't looking. That being said, I honestly think we spend more time in our laundry rooms than we would like to admit. Why then, should those rooms not be aesthetically pleasing?

For instance, I have a sign in my laundry room - which by no means looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens - that reads "Drop your pants here".

I have found that I really like laundry humor. It's dirty, but in a good way...

While perusing a local craft store, I came across vinyl decals. "Wash - Dry - Fold - Repeat" one decal read. Enter my "ah-ha" moment of adding photography to the laundry room using an image that I took of some weathered clothespins that had been left outside near a clothesline.

The vinyl decal, the photo and a floating picture frame - that I already had at home - lead to the following idea for sprucing up your laundry room.

How To:

1)   The trick with floating frames is trying find the center of the frame to place your photo. Now, by no means am I going to offer any advice as to how to find the center, as I am sure that I did it in the most backwards way possible. Although, you want to mark and adhere the photo onto the back piece of glass.

I did find that using a dry erase marker to make the marks on the glass works wonderfully, and comes off easily!

I may measure badly, but I did want to
take a picture of the tape measure ;)

2)   Use photo safe double stick tape to adhere the photo to the glass. (Again to the back piece of glass, and obviously this would be a good time to wipe off the marks)

3)   As for the decals, just follow the directions that come on the packaging. Tip: I did find that using a popsicle stick to press firmly against the bottom of the clear adhesive sheet as you are pulling it back helped to keep the vinyl on the glass. 

This is an 11 x 14 inch floating frame with an
8 x 10 inch photo.
As a smaller option, I do sell this image in my shop in the form of a handmade greeting card, which you could frame in a 5 x 7 inch frame and put in your laundry room as well!

Now, google laundry humor, and you can find fun sayings like: "Laundry today, or naked tomorrow!"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Photo A Day Mom Challenge"

A big thank you to Inspired By Family and The Hollie Rogue for allowing me to contribute a prize to this great contest, just in time for Mother's Day!

Inspired by Family Magazine

I love having the opportunity to encourage my fellow photographers to capture those moments in their day-to-day lives that we all seem to take for granted from time to time. Not only does it give you motivation to take more photos, this opportunity can - and probably will - foster learning new techniques as well!

Without further a-do, here is a sneak-peak at what you could win:

Set of 4 Blank Greeting Cards
featuring my photography

So, take the plunge and try out this challenge. If nothing else, you will come away from it with a wonderful little slice of your life as a mom, in photos!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Photo of the Week

The only thing I can say is that it is becoming embarassing-ly clear that I have a little boy, given what he is doing in this photo, shot from my phone.

(Please take note of the magazine in hand, use your imagination as to where he could be - I mean, what is the best room in one's home to read a magazine? Remember, he's a boy who is currently potty training and his daddy is into cars - oh and note the black marker smeared across his face)...

This moment was so spontaneous, and he was so serious about the magazine, that I had to take a picture. Not to mention that his story behind needing the magazine was because he was looking for a new engine for our boat...

Whatever you say son, whatever you say.

Click on the image above to check
out other fun photos from moms
just like you and me!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Time keeps on slippin'...

There is something about having the windows in your house open, a fresh breeze blowing past your curtains, welcoming the sounds of birds and the sweet smells of Spring.

I'm not one of those people who could live, in let's say Southern California, with virtually one season that never seems to vary much. I once was talking to a friend who was living in San Diego at the time, and she was yearning to move back to Oregon, back to a place that experiences seasons. (Ah what a concept, four seasons each year, one fading right into another.)

The other night, when I managed to strain a back muscle while trying to roll over in bed - did I mention that I am very pregnant -  I found myself sitting on the couch at 4 a.m. listening to the hypnotic tick-tock of the wall clock. That sound always reminds me of being a little girl at my grandma's house listening to the tick-tock of the travel alarm clock in my room as I fell asleep. I loved the sound of it then, just as much as I do now.

My mind wandered while in that hypnotic-like state and I started thinking about how life just keeps on moving, whether we join it or not. Each second ticks by, followed by minutes, hours, days, get the idea, and sometimes we aren't ready to move along with those changes. But changes aren't unlike the changing of seasons - winter into spring, spring into summer, etc. - they are necessary and healthy.

I guess the point of my lost-in-thought-in-the-wee-hours-of-the-morning post today is to say that we should try not to take time for granted.

Take time to relax, take time to be busy doing the things you love, take time to cuddle. Take time to stop and just listen, to the chirping of birds or maybe the gentle tick-tock of a clock.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DIY - Turning a Photo Calendar Into a Scrapbook

It may be obvious given my chosen occupation that I like photography. Let me re-phrase that, LOVE it. That being said, I tend to go a little crazy when it comes to all things related to photography, and that includes creating keepsakes for my family.

In this digital age especially, nearly everyone owns a digital camera - and because of its ease of use and the vast amounts of images you can store on a computer or memory chip - I think people are taking more photos than ever.

I, for example, took somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 photos of my family in 2011. Knowing that there was no way that I was going to take the time to print that many photos and then put them in albums (out of the first five years of my marriage, only one of them is in an album) I decided to create a calendar full of photos. I figured this way I would be forced to choose only the photos that I really liked and that were memorable.

After the first year, I didn't quite know what to do with the calendar, but it was too special to just put in a box. Then I had an epiphany - these pages of photos would make the perfect scrapbook!


Because I have a Mac, it comes with iPhoto, a photo program that also allows the user to create calendars, photo books, etc. within the program. However, there are tons of websites out there where you can upload your photos and do the same thing. Two examples are Snapfish and MyPublisher.

Calendar Cover
Below are two examples of pages I created for the past two years. As you can imagine, there are a ton of different layouts and designs that you can use.

I tried to use photos that corresponded with that
particular month and/or season.

Sometimes, simplicity says it all. 
Here's some of the nitty gritty:

First, I cut each page from the binding. The photo portion of this calendar measured 10 x 13 inches, so in order to fit my pages into a scrapbook sleeve, I had to do some trimming (the standard scrapbook album uses 12 x 12 inch pages). Therefore, I had to take 1/2 inch off of both sides of the page to make it fit into the sleeve.

This is so simple, it's ridiculous. Lastly, I inserted the trimmed page into the plastic sleeve...

...and added some textured scrapbook paper to compliment the collage.  It can be this simplistic, or you can go to town and add the usual scrapbooking suspects like lettering, stickers and things of that nature. Honestly though, for those of us who lead busy lives, leaving it this way may be the only way it will get done!