Archive for March, 2016

Pixel Art

When my daughter was a freshman in high school, she and one of her friends would spend hours creating pixel art.  I had forgotten all about this until last week when she asked me if I still had some of the files on my computer.  As keeper of the archives, of course I did!

I had forgotten how detailed and intricate these little pieces of digital art were.


She even made one of me!


My favorites were the ones she made of each one of her dance costumes that year.



Although the images are small, they work well for online avatars. I even printed the dance costume ones out to use as small embellishments on her dance scrapbook pages. They were a fun and perfect final touch to her photos.

It’s not difficult to get started. A simple Google search for “pixel art dolls” will bring a myriad of resources to your finger tips.

I wonder if I could convince her to create all the rest of her costumes from the other 6 years she did of competitive dance?

Scrapbooking in Tandem

With two kids sometimes involved in the same events, scrapbooking is easy. I can just do the same layout with the same photos twice. There are also times where the photos may differ as I personalize what I print for each child, but the layouts remain virtually the same.

Other times it takes a bit more creativity.

During our Disney visit in 2003, we enjoyed breakfast at Chef Mickey’s complete with all the fanfare and had portraits made.  The problem was that we only had one set.  This activity was a pretty big deal for both kids, so I wanted to include the portraits in both of their scrapbooks.

I disassembled the portrait folder, scanned, and printed copies.  The originals with the original folder mats went on my daughter’s pages as it was really her trip.  Her middle school dance team was performing and UDA Nationals at Disney.



I matted the copies using card stock in similar colors to the originals for my son.  I carefully trimmed the artwork from the cover of the original folder and used it as embellishments on his pages.

Matted copies of our own photographs completed the pages.

Similar, yet different, and a very workable solution for only having one set of portraits!


Pocket Page


I am still working my way through my 2003 photos. In amongst my Disney ephemera from our trip that year, I found the brochures to the parks we visited. Each one had my son’s address labels on them, evidence that they were taken to preschool for Show and Tell. Obviously they were very important to him at that time. They were also nice reminders of how the resort looked in 2003.

At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. I usually keep several copies and cut them apart to make collage pages. Since these were the only copies I had, I wanted a way to leave them intact.

I made the pocket by cutting a 5 inch strip of 12 by 12 card stock and attaching it on the bottom and the sides.  I embellished it with coordinating paper, ribbon, and stickers in Mickey Mouse colors.  Incidently, I wrapped the ribbon around the pocket before attaching it to the base so that there were no rough edges to unravel.  Our room key finalized the pocket.  I placed the brochures in the pocket, fanned out in an attractive arrangement.

The page will go inside a top loading sheet protector which will provide relatively easy access to the brochures for later review.  Super easy.  Super simple.  And a perfect solution!

Photo Cards

What do you do with a bunch of extra photos?


Turn them into beautiful note cards!

I ran across these photos that were left over from a project my daughter had completed months before.  She is a naturalist and really has a talent for capturing amazing photos of nature and wildlife.

Actually, my photo does not do justice to how spectacular these photographs are.  I had forgotten to take a photo of my finished project before I gave them to her so this was taken after the fact with my aging cell phone.  The colors are just brilliant and I was so pleased with the results.

It really was just a matter of minutes to slap these cards together.  I had some precut card bases so it was just a matter of trimming and matting the photos.  I chose mats that would accent but not detract from the photos.

This quick little project has opened my eyes to repurposing extra photographs.  Old postcards, vacation scenery, and family photos would all make wonderful personalized cards for notes or for special occasions.

Moonlight Stroll

When my daughter and I planned our “Girls’ Weekend”, we decided we wanted to take at least one day for a road trip to explore some place new.  Clarksville, Tennessee was our destination.

When I found an art studio that offered painting classes I was thrilled.  This was something I’d been wanting to do for quite some time.  A number of my friends had already done classes like this, but I myself had not had the opportunity.  I was even more thrilled that my daughter was totally up for it.

Swirls Art Studio had classes on both Friday and Saturday nights of our weekend.  My daughter loved the Moonlight Stroll painting that was offered on Saturday.  It was a couples class where each person paints their own side of a two part painting.  Her only concern was what we were going to do about each of us only having one half of the painting.  For me it was about the experience and spending time with her so I told her that my half of the painting would be my housewarming present to her for her new apartment.


We arrived at the studio and collected our canvases and paints. Neither one of us had done a painting before so the virtually empty canvases were a bit intimidating.


Our instructor guided us through the process of painting the background and soon our painting began to take shape.


Before long we were mixing new shades and adding more colors. Although we were supposed to be painting our own sides, we chose to cross over to each other’s sides so that our individual techniques blended and the painting as a whole would have a more cohesive look.


My daughter added the lights on the left while I worked on the trees to the right. I was happy to allow her to do the detailed final touches. Just look at that concentration!


Voila! It was finished. Not bad at all for a couple of amateurs. (Actually we are pretty proud of ourselves!)



What fun we had and what an amazing experience. We both cannot wait to do it again.


Our painting is displayed proudly in her new apartment where she can look at it every day and be reminded of our very special weekend. There’s nothing quite like making memories with someone you love.

Home Sweet Home


My daughter has a new apartment! It’s an adorable little two bedroom place with a yard. Maddie, my granddog, is at the door to say, “Hello!”

We had planned a “Girls’ Weekend” long before she found her new apartment and decided to move. As it turned out, amongst our shopping, restaurant sampling, and playtime, we managed to move all her furniture and things to her new place.

Her apartment is bright and cheery and full of windows. When she opens the door she hears birds and other nature sounds. She loves it. She’s still got lots of unpacking to do, but I stayed on an extra day to help her with a few quick projects.


Amidst the chaos of the move, I managed to create a small workspace on top of her dryer. The container of spackling on the left of the photo became one of my favorite tools to hold fabric in place while measuring and cutting. We set up her sewing machine in the other room on her desk.


The alcove where the water heater is, as well as the shelving for her linen closet, are without doors. There had been an attempt to hide the water heater with a garish geometric print shower curtain that had been tacked into place. She selected a much more elegant curtain to go with her décor and we hung each panel in place with tension rods. The linen closet required a quick turn up of the hem so that it would clear the floor, but within minutes she had a beautiful result.


Next it was the curtain for the back door. This curtain was repurposed from the one she had purchased for her room in Georgia. She had used it on the back door of her previous apartment, but had never shortened it. I set to work measuring, cutting, and hemming it to the proper length. What a huge improvement!


The curtain for her bathroom window was probably the most critical. The window is inside the shower and while covered with a blind, there is no way to avoid water getting on the blinds and pooling on the window sill when showering. There was no doubt that this would become a constant nightmare to keep clean. Way back when, I remember my Mom had been able to purchase a plastic curtain for the window in our shower, but times have changed and there were none like that to be found. We opted to purchase a white fabric shower curtain liner that I cut off from the top and created the rod pocket and header. Working with the liner was great because three sides were already finished. All I had to worry about was the top.


The final project for this visit was the valance for her kitchen window. Having not found a premade kitchen curtain or window treatment that she liked, we began to consider alternatives. We happened upon a pretty floral table cloth with a number of colors that would work well with her kitchen plans. Plus she loved it. A little bit of measuring, cutting, and sewing and we had an adorable window treatment. Again, working from something that was premade, most of my work was done because three of the sides were already finished. All I had to do was sew the rod pocket and header.


There was enough fabric left over to quickly create a table cloth for her twist top table. Having run out of time, I brought the rest home with me to maybe create some placements, napkins, or other coordinating accessories.

There are still the living room window and two bedrooms with two windows each to go. She decided to use the window treatments from her old apartment in the living room for now and until she decides on the décor for the bedrooms the blinds will suffice. She also wants to refinish her end tables and a couple other furniture pieces. And then there are some small platforms we need to put together for on top of her kitchen cabinets so that she can display her teapot and teacup collection. I feel another “Girls’ Weekend” coming on and I cannot wait!

Calendar Page Envelopes


A while back, my daughter, the naturalist, brought me an envelope she had made with a class of her students.  They had made them from colorful calendar pages.  It was a craft that not only exposed them to some beautiful wildlife photography, but also reinforced recycling and repurposing concepts.


Inspired by her and having inherited an extra calendar with some beautiful flower photos, I decided to give envelope making a try.

I didn’t have a template so a quick Google search provided me with any number of choices.


I selected this one from When I first printed it, the output was a bit too small to accommodate a 5-1/2 inch by 4-1/4 inch card. I created a Word document in which I set all the margins to 0 inches and then inserted the file. I had to do some resizing to get it just right. Because of the margin settings, when printing, Word does warn that objects are outside the printable area. This warning can simply be ignored as there is enough empty space around the outside of the template. The next step was to cut it out and then trace it on each of the calendar pages. I chose to trace the template on the calendar side of the page rather than on the photo so that if there were any stray tracing lines, they would be hidden on the inside of the finished envelope. From there it was just a matter of a bit of cutting, folding, and gluing.


In no time at all I had a dozen beautiful envelopes! I can’t wait to use them!

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