Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

My son LOVES Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. You know...the book all about letters traveling up the coconut tree. He is really into letters, what sound they make and how to spell words right now. At the beginning of the school year, we decided to make our own coconut tree in my office. So, here is a quick look at one of the closet doors. We started with the tree and then added all the lower case letters. In his preschool class, they go over letters each week and bring home an uppercase letter which has worked out perfectly. When the uppercase letter comes come, it goes straight to the coconut tree.

Trying to find the lower case letter that matches the one in his hand.

He found it! Time to put it on the tree!

He has been asking when we can do a number tree like in Chicka Chicka 123 (another favorite of his). When I find more wall/door space, that's our next little project!

Monday, February 6, 2012

My "fresh" Picture

At the beginning of January, I decided to take on the challenge of taking a photo every day during 2012. Along with the every day challenge, Develop has a couple other photo challenges that I've taken part of. There is a 10 on 10 challenge where you take 10 photos on the 10th day of each month (one each hour)....that was a hard one but fun to see what I was doing on a regular work day....the mundane stuff that you normally wouldn't take notice of.

The other challenge is that each month, a word is offered. The challenge is to take a picture that depicts that word...your own interpretation of it. In January, the word was "fresh." I submitted three pictures. This weekend, I was cruising the internet, checking stalking Facebook, blogs, etc. To my surprise, I saw one of my pictures featured on the Develop blog. How exciting that someone took notice of my little picture and featured it for all to see :-) It's the small things in this girl's life! Check out the post HERE!

Here are the other two photos that I submitted for the word "fresh" in January.

February's word is "cherish." I'm constantly on the look out for something that depicts that word for me. Time to get my creative juices flowing! Feel free to check out my photo a day Flickr photostream. It's never too late if you want to jump in at any time. It's a lot of fun and it has made me really look at my day in a wonderful new way!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

QR Code Picture Frame

The other day I was surfing Pinterest and I ran across this cute Valentine's Day card. Immediately I thought....I can do something like that. This is what I came up with....something that can sit on my husband's desk at work and him know we are thinking about him. You see, my husband is very much a tech guy. He could really care less if I make him some kind of frilly love note declaring 366 reasons why I love him (believe me, I only recently came to this realization). I thought this might be more suited to him and his love for technology---and the fact it is a little bit on the geeky side.

I started to do a little research because honestly, I'm not a techie in comparison to my husband. The first search was how do I make one of the QR Codes by myself. Let me tell you, Google is a wonderful tool! I'm sure there are many great QR Code generating websites out there, this happens to be the one I found first and it was user friendly enough for this girl that doesn't know enough about computers and tech stuff. I went to quirfy to generate my own code. Below are a couple screen prints showing how easy this process really is!

Step one, type in the message you want to display with the QR Code.

Once you hit "qurify," the code is displayed to the right. You have the option to print the
code from there or save it as a file. I chose to save the file that way I could resize it if I wanted to.

I resized the image (careful to keep it a square).
This resizing was perfect for an 8x10 frame.

Here is the code itself. So easy!! I know there are other programs where you can link a photo to the code.
I plan on playing around with that some in the future too. If you have a scanner on your phone,
just scan this box and you will be able to see the "secret" message!

To be able to scan the code, you need an app to do it. ScanLife is the one I happen to
have on my phone that I use for other codes I come across. Again, I think there are
SEVERAL out there to pick and choose from.

I just cut a piece of card stock to fit into a 5x7 frame and cut out the
QR Code to attach to the card stock.

Here's the finished product. Here in an 8x10 frame.

Here in an 8x10 and 5x7.

My son scanning the code to see if it really works.

It does work! It says "We love you and hope you are having a wonderful day!"

I think the next version(s) of this will have pictures and codes meshed together to make it even more meaningful. What a fun and pretty unique gift to make/receive! Have fun playing around! The possibilities are endless!

Goodbye Precious Pictures

Once upon a time, there was a girl who LOVED to scrapbook, make handmade cards, stamp, just do crafty stuff around the house. One day, this girl found the love of her life and started spending every waking moment with her Prince Charming. The boy and girl eventually got married, built a new house together, took wonderful vacations together and eventually had two adorable sons. All during this time, the girl worked full time while raising her family. Her love of scrapbooking has always remained, but time dwindled more and more every day. She wanted to devote her "creative" time to her boys and husband. Family became the new priority over all the fun stuff she used to do.

This is a basic summary of my life over the past seven years or so. Several months ago, I went to My Little Yellow Room and saw all the neglected pictures, stickers, stamps, beautiful paper, etc. that I knew in my heart that I wouldn't be able to catch up on. It was all too far gone. I made a decision that day that it is okay that I won't be able to do a physical scrapbook for all these special events in my life as I did in my "previous life." I love to do photo books online and they have become so user friendly that I can do my own layouts and not use the typical templates. It is easier to sit down at my computer and upload the thousands of digital pictures and slam a book together in a day or two verses sitting in my little yellow room and go through thousands of pictures, run out of glue, have to make a trip to Michaels, get busy and not get back to my scrapbook until the next day (if I'm lucky).

I decided then and there that I would make photo books for all the special events that have made an impact on who I am today. I sat down and looked at all the photos on my computer and then made a list of the different books that I want to make. You can ask my husband, I LOVE to make lists. I get a rush out of actually crossing something off. I have a real sense of accomplishment. It's the small things! I try to make a book and then wait for an email offer for 40% off or a Groupon offer for a good price on a photo book. I've been able to save a lot of money that way.

My little list of books I want to make vs. those I want to make.
An example of some of the scrapbooks I've made. They are a
bit scattered around here.

A few of the books that I've made. They take up
MUCH LESS room than the scrapbooks I've made.
Here are some of the websites that I have used before for photo books:
Blurb (I've used this website to convert my other blog into books)
Are there other websites that you like to use for photo books?

I can't bring myself to actually throw away any of my old pictures that I have stored away. I'm in the process of sorting through those now and putting them in some kind of chronological order. These are the pictures that were taken well before the invention of digital cameras (or before I ever dreamed of owning one). I have tons of pictures from a once in a lifetime trip to Japan with my best friend. Maybe one day I'll succumb and go back on my previous statement and do a scrapbook. We'll see what the future brings in that department.

First step in trying to organize my photos. I've got tons of
them. I'm afraid to keep looking around my room for fear of how
many more I will end up finding. Categorizing and trying to REMEMBER
when/where the pictures were taken has proven to be a challenge already!

My box of random travel stuff. I'm definitely fearful of getting rid of this great material.
With two boys heading to school in the coming years, I've already anticipated social studies
projects where this stuff will be cool to have a hold of and use in one way or another.
I'll be figuring out something to do with this stuff somewhere in the future.
Till then, the box is a perfect place for everything to rest.

What do do with all that scrapbooking "stuff?" Well, I've got a plan for that too. You will see that I LOVE to hang on to "stuff" that I can use around here for one day. It drives my husband a little crazy, but I try to keep it stowed away in My Little Yellow Room so he never has a second thought about it.