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November 2007
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January 2008

New Year’s Photo Resolutions

The awesome photo-resource blog Photojojo has compiled 19 New Year’s Photo Resolutions:

We’ve come up with 19 photo-related New Year’s resolutions that’ll have you learning more, practicing more, and taking more risks in two thousand and awesome...So here they are: 19 New Year’s Photo Resolutions. Pick even one, and you’re likely to leave 2008 with vastly improved photographic skills.

They include ideas like take photography classes (live or self-study), trying Project 365, experimenting with new techniques, and BACKING UP YOUR PHOTOS.

Read all 19 photo resolutions at Photojojo.

Christmas Family Photo Advent Calendar - Completed!

Long about the end of November, I had such grand plans for creating a Christmas Family Photo Advent Calendar.  Turned out to be quite a bit more work than I had anticipated - but I ended up really enjoying the whole process.  From choosing the papers, to sifting through all the photos of Christmases past, even choosing the 'title' for the piece - it was just so nice to be making something just because I wanted to. 

And my family kind of got into it - I narrowed down the photo options to 29, so I had to cut out 4.  Everyone got a vote, and they were surprisingly outspoken about their reasons for cutting specific photos - it was kind of funny!

I finished it the 2nd weekend in December - quite a bit later than I would have liked, but still in time for a partial countdown at least.  (What I find very amusing is that my oh-so-jaded 13-year-old son is the one who takes off the magnet every morning.)

I did mine on the back "bumped-out" part of a jelly roll pan. 

  1. I painted the rim and sides clover green, and covered the back with cardstock and patterned papers (adhering with Mod Podge). 
  2. I printed out 25 photos in 1½x1½ and 1½x2" sizes, and trimmed to size.
  3. I adhered those on top of the patterned paper, and Mod Podge'd over the photos and paper.
  4. I printed out the numbers 1-25 in 1½x½" and 1½x2" text boxes, and trimmed to size
  5. I edged the numbered squares with Ranger Stickles, then smoothed it out with a small paintbrush, to give them "snowy", sparkley edges.
  6. I mounted the numbered squares on square magnets, so they would attach on top of the photos.
  7. Title letters are chipboard covered with green felt from Hobby Lobby
  8. We take off the numbered magnet square for whatever day it is - I realize this makes it more of a "countup" than a countDOWN, but I also know my family, and it will be easier for us to figure out what day it IS, rather than how many days are left until the 25th.  ;)
  9. We store the removed numbered squared on the reverse side of the pan.

Without further ado... the pictures.


Continue reading "Christmas Family Photo Advent Calendar - Completed!" »


I found a new site, via HungryGirl, that is TOO FUN: FreeRice.

Play You play a vocabulary game, and get to "give" rice to help feed the hungry around the world.  For each word you get right, FreeRice donates 20 grains of rice through the United Nations World Food Program to help end world hunger.  If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.

From their FAQ page:
"The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry)...When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people."

It's a fun & easy way to give this holiday season.

Book of Me quote: The purpose of life...

Spotted recently in a Positive News, Positive Sayings email - a perfect quote for a Book of Me dedication/introduction:

I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate.  It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.

-- Leo C. Rosten (1908-1977) American Writer

Speaking of The Book of Me, don't you think that would make a great gift idea?  :)

Holiday Gift Idea: Altered Tin Brag Book

I recently received an email with the following quandary:

Help I need help with an Idea my daughter and I have, but we have no Idea how to do it. We have a Sucrets box - a small box with attached lid, hinges on one side.  We want to put small pictures of the grandkids on it so grannys can show them off.  Any ideas how to do this?

I responded:

Good question, and a great project!  It's very popular, and there are lots of examples out on the Web.  Just search for "altered altoids tin" [handy search box below, for your convenience].  Here are a couple good tutorials:

Altered AOL tin at
Altered Altoid tin on the Infarrantly Creative blog

I also attached a couple of example I did with a little tin I got at the Target Dollar Spot.

Altered Lunchbox-outside

Altered Lunchbox-inside

Altered Lunchbox-accordion book

Anyone out there making similar brag books as gifts this year?  Share your example by link in the Comments!

Journaling Your Christmas: Day 1

Christmas Journal Cover

It's that time of year again -- December 1st marks Day 1 of Shimelle Laine's  Journal Your Christmas online class/experience.  For several years, Shimelle has offered an online guided art journal class centered around Christmas journaling prompts.

Journal your Christmas is an online class that helps you document the holiday season for you and your family. The class starts December 1st and goes through the 6th of January—the twelfth day of Christmas. Every day, you receive a prompt with a theme for that day’s page, writing to get you started and pictures of pages from a range of artists, all designed to let you decide if you want to take your time to make something original and from scratch or work quickly by borrowing ideas from others.

...once you join, you’re in forever. So you can join us this Christmas and make as many pages as you like without the pressure to try to finish everything in a limited time frame. Because next Christmas? You’re still in, and you can add to what you already made. Some of the original participants are working on one album compiled over four years while others have made a new book every Christmas. Whatever works for you is the key.

That automatic "once-you-join-you're-in-forever" is a good thing - I originally joined in 2005.  I altered my journal cover and did Day 1 and Day 2.  Then got caught up in ordinary life details.  Last year I finished up on Day 2 in that same journal.  I'm laughing at myself for how lame that is, but I know I'm not the only one.  And not matter how lame it seems, just reading Shimelle's prompts, and checking out other people's journals helped me pay a little more attention to my own holiday season preparations and activities.

This year I'm not going to commit to completing all 30-something prompts.  I know myself well enough.  But I have gotten the journal out - that's something, right?  I have strong hopes that just having it out on my desk will remind me how much I would like to do this, to just jot down some thoughts throughout the season.

Here's the dedication/introduction/manifesto I wrote in 2005:

Continue reading "Journaling Your Christmas: Day 1" »