Monday, November 23, 2015

Five Fun Gift Ideas Using PHOTOS

I love unique and meaningful gifts.
So I’ve started a top secret pintrest board with the title, 
“Christmas Giving Ideas”.  
Unfortunately the board is still very sparse when it comes to pinned ideas.
Sometimes it’s just plain difficult to come up with something personal and fun.

While I’m pondering on the gift theme, I think I’ll share some ideas from
Christmases past (or birthdays, or just-for-anyhows) on this blog
 in the next few weeks.

Here are five different gift ideas using PHOTOS!

#1.    Turn someone’s facebook timeline into a book!

  I love this idea. 
This book does require access to a facebook acount, 
so you might have to get sneaky to get a password, 
but this is so worth it!
I actually did this book of my own facebook timeline as a gift for myself.  
It’s like a diary from the year 2009 to 2014. 
 I do poorly at writing things down, but having these random snippets
 that I’ve posted over the years is making up for some of that!

I used the site, “My Social Book”, and it was amazingly simple to do. 
“Fonicle” is another source for making a book from a facebook timeline.  
And I’m sure you would find there are other places 
out there that do the same thing 
if you do some searching.  

#2.     Use someone’s phone photos to create a book.

  I did this for my husband, Nathan’s birthday. 
I kept mentioning to him that I’d like to have some photos from his phone, 
and that he could just download them all onto my computer. J 
Then I did a simple photobook (from “My Publisher”) 
and left plenty of white space next to the photos for writing. 

I honestly cannot even identify some of the objects on these pictures.  
And I’ve certainly never made a photobook with so many pictures of 
car/truck/tractor/motorcycle parts, guns, and dead animals in my life!!! 
It was really fun. 

I gave him the book along with the promise that I will do the writing 
and explaining in the blank edges if he tells me what to write!  
I purposely put in pictures that he had snapped 
for their usefulness and not their beauty. 
A picture of a receipt he was using to remember something 
will be pretty cool to look at in twenty-five years from now. 
Or just think of how vehicle styles change. 
And trust me, there will be plenty of vehicles to look back at!

Reminiscing over this book in the future will be completely different than looking at my own scrapbooks of kids, holidays, decorations, and flowers. 
I like it! 

Here’s a site I like to use when looking to compare photobook printing companies.  And she has some good coupon codes too!

#3.          Make a small keepsake book. 

I did this little twenty page book as a gift for my sister and brother-in-law

It’s from Artisan State, and for first time users 
is only $5 (with $5 shipping for a total of $10).   
  It has beautiful thick board pages that lay flat.  

This was the simplest book I’ve ever done!  
Yay for that!  
I found it easy to arrange the pages exactly how I wanted them 
without a lot of messing around. 
 This little book would be a sweet idea for grandparents!  
Here’s the link

#4.        Turn a blank canvas into a photo canvas.

  This is the canvas I made of my niece last spring, and I gave the instructions here.

#5.      Use foam board to make a small stand-alone photo for display.  

Last Christmas I put photos of my niece and nephew 
on pieces of foam board that were about 5”x 7”. 

I used the same technique as the canvasexcept I didn’t lay the 
canvas fabric over the wet modpodge to create texture.  
This little photo board is very easy to make, 
and would be cute tucked somewhere in a child’s room. 

Happy Creating!

"As water reflects the face,
 so one's life reflects the heart."
Proverbs 27:19

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Think Thanksgiving, Think Garlic

When Thanksgiving comes around here in Virginia
 that means it’s Garlic Planting time!  
I don’t claim to be a gardening expert, but it is something I enjoy immensely.  
And I do believe garlic makes most savory recipes better. 
So why not grow some garlic?

We didn’t plant garlic in our garden when I was growing up.  
But my father-in-law taught me how to raise it, 
and it’s a very simple thing to grow, with minimal work.  

 Sometime around Thanksgiving is the time for planting in our area.  
(We’re in zone 7.)
From what I read,  wherever you live, 
garlic should be planted a few weeks after the first frost, 
but before the ground is really frozen.

And where do you get the seed garlic? 
 Well, I’ve heard different thoughts on the subject. 
 Some say only buy from a nursery or seed source. 
 Others say you can plant what you buy at the grocery store, 
but only use organic garlic, which wouldn’t be treated by a sprout inhibitor.  
Honestly, what I’ve been planting the past few years is just regular ol' garlic,
the cheapest thing I could find at the grocery store!  
The Sharp Shopper store has five heads for $1.19.  Not bad.  
 For what it’s worth, what my father-in-law plants is 
seed garlic from an expensive organic company.  
And I must say, his plants did look better than mine
 all through the past growing season. 
 But when they were dug up, the grocery store heads
 were just as nice as the ‘spensive ones. 
 So I figured I’d go with the grocery store method again.

We just break the heads apart, and put each clove
 in its own hole, tip up, ready to grow. 

We make rows of holes about 7” apart 
and plant the garlic about 3” deep.

Here in Virginia, the garlic is usually ready to harvest sometime in June.  
You know it’s ready whenever the leaves are dead enough 
that they flop over and bow down to the ground. 
 Just pull up the stalks and shake off the dirt. 
 I spray the bulbs off with a hose right away so they’re nice and clean, 
and then let them “cure” in a dry place out of the sun. 
 You don’t want them to stay wet very long!

 Here’s last summer’s garlic, 
hanging in the garage, curing.

Garlic is an easy thing to grow.
And since I never seem to plant enough to last more than a month or two,
we upped our number this year to around a hundred cloves.
Maybe that will last a bit longer!?

We shall see.

"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 
for we brought nothing into the world, 
and we cannot take anything out of the world. 
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
1 Timothy 6:6-8

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ryan & Keturah -- Family Photography

On a warm evening near the end of October,
 I met this sweet family to capture this stage in their daughter’s life. 
Giana is a little doll. 
All the expressions and actions of a little girl
 who just turned one are just pretty cute!  


We used up every bit of daylight we had
 on that beautifully warm evening.  
I enjoyed getting to know you a little bit more, Ryan and Keturah!  
God bless your family!

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