Archive for July, 2010
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
I am a grid-kind-of-girl. There is no denying that I prefer a perfectly aligned grid over any other arrangement of pictures, prints, and frames. Those of my readers who are familiar with my scrapbooking style and specifically my sketches over the years, know what I’m talking about. I think order is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I don’t know how Martha does it, but I thought I’d share with you how we hang grids around here. “Oh Patient One” (a.k.a. David) has hung many, many frames with me over the years and I give him full credit for figuring this out during one of our grid-hanging projects. Maybe some of you have already implemented these tricks.
Here is our most recent grid collection. A little gathering of some family pictures (taken by the lovely Kara Layne last year). To help our 6 frames fill the wall more, we used leftover scraps from our kitchen wallpaper and John (our handy-dandy wood-workin’ magician) created the yellow frame, all of which are attached directly to the wall in our hallway. And because I know some will ask — the neutral grey paint on our walls is called Castle Path by Behr brand at Home Depot.
To talk about any kind of picture-hanging, I have to first share with you that these picture hanging strips are the only way we hang pictures. No hammer & nails. No holes in the wall. No crooked lines. And no, they haven’t pulled paint off our walls. We are believers. Seriously. Check them out here or your local hardware store or Target or WalMart or home store … and note they come in a variety of sizes.
At the beginning of the grid-hanging project, we adhere a velcro tab set to each side of each frame. No measuring or figuring out if they line up or whatever. Just wipe the surface clean and stick the tabs on. Leave the paper on the exposed sticky side until you’re ready to stick the frame to the wall.
Here’s the secret (these secrets are meant to share, of course): A level is good for more than just leveling. It’s also great for creating perfectly even and straight spaces between each picture instead of measuring how far apart each picture should be from the next.
So you start by figuring out your measurements for your specific space and figure out where that first picture (choose a corner) is going to be. Peel the backing off the sticky velcro backs and using level on top as your guide, firmly place that first frame on the wall.
Then — place the level flush against the edge of that first frame. If you have another level or something long enough & straight, put that across the tops of the frames. Now you know exactly where to place your second frame without having to measure. Get it? Bingo! You would do this for each picture across and up and down. The lines are perfect. The spaces are perfect. Yay!
And if you’re curious about this velcro concept, here’s what you’d see if you lean up against the wall next to a picture frame. You so can’t tell looking at it normally. Did I mention we’re velcro fans for hanging picture frames?
Added note: If you happen to be in Arizona and happen to need any woodwork done and happen to have missed when I shared his info before here, our friend John Broderick rocks. He has done several wood-based projects for us and we highly recommend him. email@example.com | 623.566.2232.
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
I know many of you are anxious to know when Project Life will be available again. An appointment is finally set for Amazon to receive the shipment on Thursday which means … Project Life is expected to be available THS WEEK, probably on Thursday or Friday.
Say hello to Candace and Ross who live in Indiana (gorgeous couple, aren’t they?):
Here is part of an email Candace sent to me:
“I got married on January 1st of this year and Ross (my husband) and I are loving documenting our first year of marriage! Ross has taken an awesome interest in the project too, taking pictures of his daily activities and journaling at least 2 or 3 of the days each week. Without fail, every weekend he asks if he can go get our “pictures of the day” printed! It’s been so much fun. Not only have we already been able to document our wedding and honeymoon during this year’s project life, but we have a lot of big milestones coming up this year too! This book will be something we both cherish for the remainder of our married life because we will be able to remember all those special moments from our first year together in such an awesome way!”
I’d like to extend a special THANK YOU to Jan in Indianapolis. Who’s Jan? Jan Gerbers is Candace’s sister and the one who gave Project Life to the new couple. Candace is just entering the world of scrapbooking and I’m so, so, so pleased that she’s entering with Project Life.
I’ve heard from many other readers who have given the gift of Project Life as wedding gifts and graduation gifts and I just want to let you know how much I appreciate that. You are truly giving a gift that will keep on giving. Project Life can start any time, any season, at any age or stage.
Here’s the thing.
Scrapbooking can get a bad reputation. There are so many who view this wonderful hobby as one that requires a lot of time and creativity and even money, right? I don’t blame them for thinking that. Scrapbooking can be that. But it doesn’t have to be. They are the reason — and you are the reason — that I created Project Life. So that anyone who would like a beautiful scrapbook can achieve that WITHOUT all the time and creativity and money.
Project Life is scrapbooking in the simplest form.
So think about your friends and family members. Think about who you know that could really benefit from knowing about Project Life and give them the heads-up that this week they’ll be available again. When they sell out, they are gone until we release the next edition later this year. My blog is the place for the most current information. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, what questions might you have about Project Life? Ask me here in the comments. Be sure to check out the Project Life FAQ section here too, as your question might already be addressed.
And remember — the digital version of Project Life doesn’t run out. Anyone can try that out for free, any time.
Monday, July 12th, 2010
How about sharing a little good news with a few lucky winners? First of all, the winner of a Project Life kit is Jeane in New Iberia, Lousiana!
And going back to the Big Photography Giveaway I did in May … I have 2 more winners for that (since original winners never contacted their respective photographers). So congratulations to these 2 readers who left comments and entered to win a free photo shoot: Marilyn in Connecticut (who would like some portraits of her children with their grandmother) and Holly in Utah (with 2 boys and expecting a little girl).
Marilyn: Email Shannon with skt photography.
Holly: Email Jessica Mandile with Jessica Jo Photography.
Jeanne: Email us to get the Project Life hook-up.
Monday, July 12th, 2010
A little do-it-yourself home decor project to start off the week. (I’ll be announcing the Project Life winner later today.)
(I know someone’s going to ask about the yellow candlestick and that turquoise vase-pot-container-thing. Got both of them at Home Goods.)
This is what you need:
styrofoam ball (I used a larger size but you have options)
hot glue gun
small flowers or moss (more on that toward the end of the post)
mini fake fruit ( same or a variety). I picked up a couple of these little variety packages of mini fruit at Target, in the home decor section, but you can find mini fruit at your local craft store too.
So this is what you do to start: Poke a toothpick in the bottom of one of the little fruits:
Then you stick that anywhere on the styrofoam ball. Push it all the way down:
Repeat those first two steps with each little fruit, placing them side by side or clustered, so long as they’re touching one another. Nestle them as close as possible:
Keep adding fruit. Get some water and stay hydrated. : )
You will eventually have your entire ball covered in fruit. Adorableness:
Okay … notice all those gaps? There are a couple ways to fix this. 1) Cover your ball with crafting moss first so that you see that instead of styrofoam. Or 2) use very small flowers to fill the gaps. I picked up a couple bunches of these flowers. The yellow goes well and they’re little. Perfect.
Trim the little flowers so there is just a short stubby stem:
One by one, hot-glue those little flowers between the fruit, filling in all the gaps:
That’s it! Done. So easy. And there is even something therapeutic about covering a styrofoam ball with fruit or flowers. (I’ll be sharing a flower topiary soon.) Know what? This could be a really fun project to do … on your own, with your friends, with your kids …
And remember: Those big craft stores (Michael’s, JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, etc.) — they offer great coupons (like 40% an item) and have sales on florals and stuff ALL the time. There’s no reason to pay full price. Also keep in mind that the bigger your styrofoam ball, the more stuff (fruit, moss, flowers) you’ll have to have to cover it.
Friday, July 9th, 2010
[ thank you ] so much for all the happy, thankful, warm messages regarding the Doors of Tallinn collection. I’m so pleased that some of you can actually use that. It’s neat to hear that some of you are printing & framing it as a gift also.
[ interview ] Kari over at Ucreate asked to do a little interview with me recently. If you’re interested in a quick read, you can find that article here.
[ a few of my faves ] You can view some of my favorite household products by going here – Becky’s Picks on Amazon.com. Be sure to notice the categories to the right. I finally found the perfect mousepad – in Finland, of all places. It’s marimekko, which I love, and really thin, which I love even more. I’m picky about that. Anyway, they have the marimekko mousepad on amazon, so that’s in my collection of favorites.
You’ll find various things we use & love in our home — cameras, computer, label maker, the best gadget for going paperless in your home office, those cool canisters in our pantry, my favorite scrapbook albums, baby must-haves and yes — oh yes — even spray paint. This is a start and I’ll more things.
[project life update] More kits have been made and we’re just about ready to release those on amazon.com. I will let you know as soon as they’re available — here on my blog and on twitter and facebook. So if you have that friend who thinks “Good for you that you scrapbook, but I don’t have the time or money or creativity” — this is an excellent way to help her do something with her pictures without having to invest the time, money, and creativity that tends to be scrapbooking’s reputation.
Or maybe … you’re that friend and you need Project Life?
Let’s have fun today. Who wants a Project Life kit for FREE? Leave your first name, city, and state (U.S. shipping address only) and I’ll announce a lucky winner on Monday.
PS – Yes, a school kit is still in the works and Yes, I’ll be releasing a newly designed (same kit, new graphics) Project Life kit later this year … in time for Christmas. The one that is about to re-released is the original Project Life kit and this will be the last chance to get this year’s design.
Thursday, July 8th, 2010
***NOTE: I have re-posted this with easier downloading this time.
While visiting Tallinn, Estonia I became especially fond of the doors in that city. Each one seemed to be entirely different than the next. So much character. I found myself snapping pictures of a few of my favorite doors and then it became kind of a game. We would walk and discover and see and shop and walk and walk and walk … and when a door stood out to me, the camera went up to my face. As I was doing this, I saw in my mind’s eye the end result, which is this –
I’m putting this in a frame in our home office because it reminds me of a wonderful experience, and it’s a fun collection of color and texture that inspires me.
I am reminded of something I’ve heard from home decorators and organizers: Surround yourself with things that you love or things that you use. That’s all you need. The rest is unnecessary.
In the unlikely event that one of my readers may want this print too, I’m including it here in a few sizes. Just right-click on the size you want & save the image to your computer. Then upload it to your favorite online print shop.
11×14 – click here.
8×10 – click here.
5×7 – click here.
Applying this concept to your own photography, can you find a collection of things on your next trip, in your town, or even in your home? I’d love to hear what you’ve done or what you plan to do.
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Like so many do in the summer time, we enjoyed a little family road trip over the weekend. We headed north a couple of hours to beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona. It was about 30 degrees cooler than our home base in the Valley of the Sun and we had a really wonderful visit with some dear friends that we’ve known a long time.
From my seat in our car, this was my view.
David driving. Kiddos in their bathing suits from being at the lake, wet towels drying over the back seat, a mess of toys and things that Claire insisted on bringing …
This was my view. And so I took a picture.
Think about road trips you’ve been on. Have you aimed your camera out the window to take some scenic shots? Have you photographed signs and landmarks? What about inside the car? What snacks do you enjoy on the road? What activities are the kids doing? Who is driving? What view do those in the backseat have of the driver? Are you using a map? GPS? Turn your camera inside on your road trip too.
Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
Scrapbooking isn’t in every little corner of the world, of course, but it is very wide-spread and very much a passion for many, all over the world. I love that. I love that this desire to do something with our photos, record our memories, and express creativity through scrapbooking is shared with so many … in Finland, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia …
These 3 women – Linda, Outi, and her daughter Heini – are a few of my parents’ many new friends there in Finland. They also happen to be scrapbookers. It was a pleasure to stop by their scrapbook gathering to say hi on one of the evenings while we were there.
I noticed Sanna’s comment in yesterday’s post and wanted to briefly address the concern she expressed about so many disappointed Finns not knowing that I was coming. First of all, I send big hugs. I know I would have loved meeting all of you.
You should know that I made a very thoughtful, intentional decision a few years ago to stop traveling for work. I haven’t been teaching classes, doing book signings, or making appearances since then.
That said, David and I went to Finland to experience Finland, to spend time with my parents, and to enjoy a getaway together. My reason for the brief visit to this scrapbook gathering was 100% personal. It was not about who I am or what I do or promoting my brand or selling products or any of that. It was because a few of these women and their families have become so dear to my parents over the past year. We wanted to stop by and say hi, but they kept it on the down-low because they weren’t even 100% sure if I was going to come. They were very respectful of our vacation time. I love them for that.
(I love them even more for so many other reasons. We ended up spending more time with Outi and Heini and their lovely family at their summer cottage and it was just remarkable. David and I will always be grateful for their generosity and examples of being completely lovely and inviting and genuine.)
It’s also worth noting that these ladies wanted to have a smaller, more intimate gathering. They didn’t want it to be any bigger than it was and they didn’t make any money doing this. I was so touched that they put this together purely to share their love of scrapbooking with others in the area and to create an opportunity for these women to connect on this level.
Friday, July 2nd, 2010
You don’t know how badly I want to ship out 1500+ of that fun bag so you can each have one. But the randomly selected winner is none other than … Chrystine on Minneapolis, Minnesota! Chrystine, we are now BFFs because we have matching bags. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll ship that out to you.
These are my fantabulous parents, who of course are the reason we made our way to Finland. I love, love, love my parents. Love them.
This photo was taken in Estonia. We crossed the Gulf of Finland on one of the days and visited the beautiful city of Tallinn. I have some fun pictures from there I’ll be sharing. Here is a quick geographical overview of where these places are, in case you don’t know.
In this corner of the world, I caught on quickly to the fact that needle crafts are very, very big. Yarn is everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean even at the little gas station markets. Seriously … everywhere. All the color was so inspiring.
These hands belong our new friend, Outi, who was working on a new piece that she may already be wearing by now. You know that hammock/trees/lake photo below? That’s at Outi’s family’s summer cottage where we spent some time. Outi is a scrapbooker, like so many of you. We actually got to meet half of Finland’s scrapbookers. : )
More on that tomorrow.