Archive for September, 2011

I Have Wall Guides!

I finally caved in and bought the Photographer’s Wall Display Guide templates.  I’ve been looking for a way to help my clients design gorgeous wall displays using the photographs I take, and this is the perfect way.  Selfishly, I also wanted to use them to create a new canvas wrap gallery above my couch.  Being a visual person, I really wanted a visual for it!  We’re talking about completely re-doing a couple of rooms in our house over the next year or so.  Honestly, we thought we’d be out of our house by now, but then the housing market crashed and it looks like we’ll be here for a while.  Next year we’re planning to refinish the hardwood floors that lie beneath our carpet.  The couches are from IKEA and have tan-colored covers over them.  I’d rather buy photos and art than new couch covers, so we’ll work with those.  I’m still trying to decide on a wall color.  Our house has a very relaxed feel to it.  Lots of neutrals and beige.  I’ve been told by many that it has a sort of spa-like quality, and I like that.  Well, except for the crayola-bright kids’ toys scattered about.  I thought I’d make up a potential canvas wrap design and use the photos I choose as the basis for the color.  Here are a few mock-ups that I made for my living room:


I would LOVE some input on this.  I’m hoping to order these gallery wraps in the next week or two, and I am just at a loss.  For the next year or so, they’ll be on beige-colored walls.  Just about the same color as the couch.  Which size design do you like best?  Which wall color?

If you are a client of mine and you’d like me to help you design a wall gallery, let me know.   I also have templates for framed images, if you don’t like the look of canvas wraps.

For reference on sizing, the images above use these sizes:
First and Third images: Trilogy package: 1 20″x30″ in the center with 2 16″x20″ (one on each side)
Second image: Bookends package: 1 20″x30″ in the center with 2 10″x20″ (one on each side)

I look forward to hearing your feedback!


Facebook Free Week

Hopefully nobody has tried to reach me on Facebook this week.  Started on Monday at 8:30 am, I instituted a “Facebook Free” week for myself.  I’ll log on next Monday around 8:30 am and respond to any messages awaiting reply.  This is the fifth day.  The first two were kind of a challenge.  On Monday I had gotten to a point where I’d blissfully forgotten all about Facebook until my mom called to ask me how my FB free day was going.  She has a knack for stuff like that.  When I was in my senior year of college I went on a LOT of interviews for marketing positions (I’d gotten caught up in the business world and forgotten my true calling).  I’d wait anxiously by the phone on the day the interviewers said they’d call me back, and every time my phone rang, it was my mother… asking me if they’d called yet.  “Nope, but thanks for the reminder” I’d say.  “I’ll let you know when they call.”  Then she’d do that at least five more times… that day.  Each time I’d think I was getting called back about a job, and each time it was my mom reminding me that they hadn’t called yet.  Anyway, same thing happened on Monday.  I’d managed to forget about FB, until she reminded me.  Then I struggled with it all day.  The biggest challenge has been not checking on my phone.  It’s right there, a big blue box with that little “f” saying, “Press me!  Find out what you’re missing!”  I haven’t though.  I won’t for 3 more days.

In truth, it’s been kind of liberating.  Yes, I feel out of the loop.  But hopefully if anything big happens with my close friends and family, they’ll let me know.  People shouldn’t rely on Facebook to make major announcements.  When I announced my pregnancies on FB, it was only after sending or making announcements to my immediate family.  I would hate to think that somebody I last saw in 7th grade found out before one of my sisters!  I’ve heard so many stories about feelings being hurt when someone found out about a close friend or family member’s engagement, birth, death or accident on Facebook.  FB is a great way to stay in touch, but don’t underestimate the power of a personal call, letter, or even email.

During this week, I’ve concentrated on my family.  I’ve played more with my kids, made a bunch of food for Rosh Hashanah, and dreamed of goals and ambitions.  In the time that I did spend randomly searching on the internet (I couldn’t quite kick the habit completely), I looked up craft ideas and recipes.  I’ve done a lot of editing this week, too.  Although I do have 2 more left before I’m caught up.

If you need to reach me this week, you can always email me at


Trip to Indiana

I’ve been MIA for the past week or so.  I went to Rushville, IN to visit my sister.  She lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere.  She had a house that was over 1oo years old, but it burned down in a house fire several years ago.  They rebuilt and kept the classic look.  While their new home is thoroughly modern on the inside, it looks almost exactly like her old house on the outside.  It’s so cool.  She has a gorgeous wraparound porch with a wooden swing and everything.  She has a bunch of cats who’ve come to her property that she feeds.  They were all over us when we went to take pictures.

I really wanted to get some portraits of the boys while I was there.  Unfortunately, neither would sleep on the way there, or during the night times, or nap times pretty much the whole time we were there.   Levi had just started walking a couple of days before we got there, so he was taking off everywhere.  Unfortunately, since her home is set up for adults and parrots, that meant that we were constantly taking him away from whatever he was running towards.  Levi was a complete grumpfest most of the time.  Seth was back and forth.

When we were driving there, my air conditioning went caput.  I’ve been having all sorts of issues with my car ever since I had an accident involving rolling over a semi tire about a month ago.  Anyway, so we went to visit one of Theresia’s friends at the CAT shop to see if he could figure out what was wrong.  Sadly, my air conditioning is still messed up.  However, Seth got to go on a bunch of different CAT trucks, which made him super happy.

In the end, we left on Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday morning because I was worried about driving after a third night of no sleep.  We had a great time though, and got a few fun pictures out of it too!


Race Car Birthday Party – DIY Party Theme

My oldest son, Seth turned 3 in August.  Since he’s reached the age where he cares what his birthday party is like, I asked him a couple months before what kind of party he wanted.  Without hesitation, he said, “A RACE CAR party!”  For the next two months, he proceeded to tell everyone he could about his race car party.  I knew that I had better make it good.

My family is huge.  I have 5 sisters.  So our guest list is never under 30 people, and I can’t figure out any way to make it smaller.  I am always challenged to organize a party that will entertain a large group of people with a wide range of ages.  I also have to figure out what to feed them!  This year we went with pizzas from Costco.  I could eat them, since I was recently told by Levi’s allergist that I’m allowed to eat dairy again (I went dairy-free from Feb-Aug).  They were delicious.   Normally I’m inclined to go overboard with appetizers and desserts and all of that, but Andy has gotten pretty good about keeping me in check.

We had planned an outdoor party from 10am-12pm.  Then the forecast came in that morning, calling for rain from 9:30-11:30.  Fun.  So we had to bring everything inside our tiny house.  Thank goodness we have a finished basement!  We made race cars out of boxes for the kids to race in.  Andy was going to mow a racetrack into the backyard, but that didn’t end up working out.  Instead, we set up a couple of tables for them to race around.  Some other things we did was make a sign that read “The Pit Stop” to hang over the food, and we covered the coffee table with paper and made a racetrack for matchbox cars.  I put out crayons for kids to decorate the racetrack, but they didn’t.  I made a racetrack cake, with instructions from Parents magazine.  If you’re trying to make this cake and it isn’t Christmastime, you’re probably wondering where you get green sprinkles.  I got them at the bulk food store nearby.  They have sprinkles in all sorts of colors. I should have made a much bigger cake though.  It was tight to cut that into 30 servings.

Here are instructions for the race car boxes.  We used the Pampers boxes from the gigantic packs of diapers (size 3 and size 4 boxes).  My husband did all of the folding and taping, so I’ll try to remember how it did it.  He folded in all of the sides from the top of the box.  On the bottom, he folded in all but one of the sides.  That one side, he taped up so that it would be the “hood” of the car.  Then he taped all of the sides inside the box so they don’t pop back out.  We cut slots for holding the box right in the middle of the sides, between where the top flaps are on the inside.  Then we spray-painted them.  I’d recommend a primer color before painting a lighter color.  The blue only took about 2 coats.  The orange, without a primer, took an entire can.  We could still see some of the letters underneath it.  After the paint is all dry, cut two circles out of yellow or white construction paper for the headlights.  For the grill, you could paint it, draw it with a marker, or make it out of tin foil if you’re feeling adventurous.  We were running out of time, so we drew it on with a thick black Sharpie.   Then write or paint numbers on the side.  Voila!  Race cars!

I’m guessing you’d like to see pictures.  Here you go!


BTW, he blew out all of the candles completely on his own!  I was impressed.  Stay tuned for more DIY birthday party fun.  Levi’s first birthday party is in just a few weeks, and I’ve come up with a completely original theme.  Well, it’s original to me, at least.  I’ve never seen anything for it before.

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