Monthly Archives: December 2009

Summer Carnival

I’ve had some fun lately using the online photo editing site, Picnik. I love that you can upload your photos and do cool effects without the commitment of buying a program like Photoshop.

Here’s some of the photos I’ve taken over the past couple summers – enhanced with Picnik.

Swings at the Oregon State Fair

Chicago's Navy Pier

Motorcycle Ride at the Oregon State Fair



Filed under art, photography

We Wish You a Crafty Christmas

Warning: If you are one of my relatives and don’t want to know what some of your Christmas gifts are, don’t read this post. Read it in 10 days!

I’m no Martha Stewart, but I do try. I find that letting my creative side come out, whether it’s through making handbags or greeting cards or trying to arrange flowers, makes me happy. I also think that giving kids a creative outlet in a semi-controlled environment is a good thing. I was at a kids’ function (I’m being purposefully vague here as to not hurt anyone’s feelings) not long ago where the kids were to make scrapbook pages. They were given lots of paper, scissors, markers, photos – all the usual scrapbooky stuff. I must say here that with all the crafty endeavors I have, scrapbooking is not one of them. Anyhow, back to the kids’ scrapbooking…some of the parents were obviously very into scrapbooking and were getting upset with the kids when they weren’t following conventional scrapbooking methods of centering pictures and cutting straight lines and such. I was truly shocked at how Type A some of these folks were being with the kids. I was helping my son out by handing him the tape and glue sticks. I figured he had an idea of how he wanted his pages to look so why should I impose on that. They’re his pages.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m a better parent or anything because I let my kid do what he wanted. I just think it’s great to see what comes out of the minds of my little ones. A child’s mind is open and has no concept of conventional art. Why not let them go nuts while they still want to?!

But I digress…

This Christmas has been a crafty one in my house. More crafty than in years past. And it’s been fun. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Printable Calendars – I found some cool shops on Etsy that offer PDF files of calendars that you print out yourself. I bought three different calendars all for around $5 each, the Etsy sellers emailed me the files, and I printed them out multiple times as gifts for various people. One of them had a blank top half on each month on which I let the kids draw and color on. I think grandmas and aunts will love having original art by the kids.

Printable Calendar by A Little Hut

Painted Picture Frames – I went to Michael’s and bought a couple unfinished wooden frames for about $3 each and had the kids paint all over them however they wanted. My boy painted his camouflage for his grandpa. Grandpa will love it!

Santa's Workshop

Wooden Ornaments – Again, at Michael’s I bought a bunch of unfinished wood ornaments that are also little picture frames. I had each kiddie paint five of them and then printed out pictures of them to put in.

Photo Envelopes – I’ve been a bit lax about printing out family pictures and sending out to the relatives throughout the year. So when I got on Shutterfly and ordered 300 prints, yes 300, I figured I needed a nice way to present them to everyone. I found an Amy Butler card and envelope pattern and used it to make a cute photo holder. A little cardstock, a little cutting, a little gluing, a little decorating by the kids, and done.

Greeting Cards – My mom was telling me a couple months ago that she has had a hard time finding sets of cards to put into her “stash.” She has always kept a drawer full of greeting cards so that when someone’s birthday or anniversary rolls around, all she has to do is open the drawer and mail it out. Smart. I’ve been saving fortunes from fortune cookies for I don’t know how long. A lightbulb went off. Make greeting cards with all the fortunes. So I scanned in a couple dozen fortunes and placed them each on a Pages/Word document, printed them on cardstock, cut them out, and folded them. I bought coordinating cardstock and envelopes to make them a little more professional. Greeting card set, check.

Fortune Cookie Fortunes for Greeting Cards

Phew. I’m worn out. None of these were actually very hard. It takes a little time and preparation, but I think worth it.

Merry Crafty Christmas!

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Filed under art, craft, holidays, kids, project

Canadian Style

I had no idea that Canadians could be so stylish. Not that I’ve ever really given that much – that is, until I ran across Canadian House & Home magazine online. With so many of my favorite magazines going under these days, I was thrilled to find this one! (Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this beautiful magazine does go the way of Gourmet or Cookie or Blueprint.)
Assistant Style Editor Michael Penney has a blog on the site called “Affordable Style.” Love it! He’s described as creating “prosecco-and-crostini rooms from a beer-and-nachos budget.” What a descriptive description – I know, I know, that sounds dumb, but you know what I mean.
You can bet I’ll be taking tips from him!

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Filed under art, decorating, shopping

Blustery Beach Vacation

We had the wonderful opportunity to stay the weekend with some friends in Lincoln City, Oregon, a few weeks ago. You might not think that this would be the best time of year to go to the beach, but in Oregon, any time is a good time. Considering the water is never warm enough to really swim in, even in the middle of summer, winter offers some beautiful scenery and great weather watching.
Our friends built their house this year, so it is brand spanking new – and gorgeous! They call it the Knee Deep Beach House – cute, huh. My friend did a great job decorating and furnishing the place. It’s a great example of how if you take your time, you can put together a modern, fresh home on a budget. She bought most of the furnishing from places like IKEA, Cost Plus World Market and TJ Maxx. But you’d think that it came from much more expensive stores.

The house is just over the bluff from the beach so it took only 3-4 minutes to walk there. And though it was a little chilly, we had a blast looking at the tide pools and dodging waves. They rent the house out, so I’m sure we’ll be back lots of times!

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