Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Exciting Announcement: Free Photo Downloads and Art Album

Hi everybody!  I have some exciting news for you today! 
I mentioned a while back that I'd had the awesome honor of doing some work for author, Holley Gerth.  I combined her words from her new book You're Going to Be Okay with my photos.  She has been using these on social media to help share the good news and encouragement of her newest book!  
(and can I just mention, I'm also honored to call Holley a friend.  She's gold.)  
I had someone contact me a while back about buying a print of the photos.  Through several discussions with some trusted people in my life, prayer, and much meditation, I decided to choose ministry over money and offer these as a free download.  

That means you are free to print any of these photos at your leisure! 
To print you will simply visit the "Photo Downloads" tab on my blog (see above!) and click on the Flickr link.  Once on the Flickr page you will click on the photo you wish to print and then look to the right for a symbol that looks like 3 circles or dots in a row.  OOO 

Next, you'll see a variety of options for the photo.  You will click on "Download/All sizes". 
If I were you, I'd click on "Original Size" and then save it to your computer where you can find it easily.  The last step is to send it to the photo printer of your choice! 

For my own personal use, I love Walgreens and Shutterfly.  Walgreens is a faster and cheaper option.  I usually use their one-hour option and then I can easily pick my photos up in the same day.  The quality of the print has always been good for me!  The paper is much thinner than if you ordered from Shutterfly so it's up to you as far as what kind of quality you're going for.  

Shutterfly is an online photo ordering service and your photos will be mailed to you after ordering.  I use them a lot also and you can usually find a coupon code for photos on their website. 
I recommend that you print these no larger than 8 x 10, seeing as I don't currently have them sized correctly for anything larger.  
And the last, but not fun part about this, 
I ask that you please respect Holley and I by only printing these for personal use.  Like hanging in your home, at church for your small group, or in your office.  These are intended to be used for ministry, not money making.  Please do not print these and resell.  

 And now on to another fun little change on the blog! 
I added a section at the top called "My art" (catchy isn't it!).  

Because, for example, this new canvas is something I wanted to show you but for my own personal use I'd like to have a spot to see all of the canvases I've been painting in one place!
Ok, so maybe this "announcement" is just exciting for me?!...

 So feel free to take a peek on this fun little page too.  Where I declare my love of paint. 
This canvas was so fun to do.  I held the idea in my head for a few days and it was so exciting to see it come to life.  This is going to hang in the girls room!  

{I plan on also adding one free photo download a month from The Rosy Life!  Is this something you're interested in?  Please let me know in the comments below!}
Blogger Tricks

{DIY} Photo to Wood Transfer

Doesn't this look fabulous?!  
If you've been hanging around here long at all you know how passionate I am about food, friends, and crafting.  So combine all three of these and it's a winning combination.  A few friends and I have started a monthly craft meeting.  We were lucky enough to enjoy this delicious food this month!  
 Last month I brought both the girls with me because there would be other children attending also.  It didn't quite work out trying to tend to the girls and craft so this time I left them at home for their nap and went solo.  It was a nice treat for me to have real adult conversation AND get to eat AND get to make a craft and take pictures!  

This month's project was transferring a photo to wood.  We first started by printing out a color or black and white photo on a laser jet printer.  You can do this at the library or a copy store like Fedex or Office Depot.
 Next we brushed gel medium on to our wood in a thin layer,
and then laid the photo (picture side down) on top of the wood.  We smoothed out the paper carefully, starting from the middle.  Next we took a credit card and used the edge to smooth down the paper some more, eliminating any excess glue out the sides of the paper.  

 My friend teaching us how to make these said you could wait to let the glue dry or hold the hair dryer over it for about 7 minutes, waving it over the picture.  I chose to do that.
After using the hair dryer to let the glue dry I then sprayed water (generously) on the paper with a squirt bottle...
 and with my fingers rubbed the paper off the wood.  
You were then left with an awesome, antiqued looking photo! 

This is mine.  I plan on adding some paint or something to the edges of the wood to make it blend in a bit more with the photo.  
This is how the other girls photos turned out.  Aren't they awesome?! 

I can't wait to make even more of these!  

What a sweet, talented, smart bunch of friends these girls are. 
(and what you can't tell from this picture, is my friend on the right is expecting my newest nephew in about six weeks! We are so excited!)

Have you ever tried a photo transfer like this?  Have any tips? 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cuteness Overload: Our new puppy, flowers, and farm girls

Y'all.
I mean really. 
I just about can't take the level of cuteness in this post.  Let me start by introducing the newest little farm GAL.......
 Our 4-week old puppy, Bouncy.
 We got her last night and already she is just a perfect fit for us.  She is the cutest little thing you've ever laid your eyes on.  She's even kept me from tearing up about Be-Bop in the last day.  BIG accomplishment.  
We knew we wanted to get the girls a puppy so after yesterdays' adventure to the Gentry Safari (which deserves a post all of its own) we headed to the local animal shelter.  We looked at a 3 month old puppy named Ranger.  He was the most playful, hyper dog!  Which I'm sure is very normal.  His size was just too big for my comfort level.  I'm ok with the girls getting used to a puppy and then it growing with them...but I didn't want a bigger dog starting out.  I could tell Brett really liked Ranger but I pretty firmly said no and Brett is so kind, he listened.  So we left Ranger there.  And on we traveled to the next animal shelter.
 There just happened to only be one puppy there....
this one.  She was obviously very excited to meet us! 
She's been nipping at our hands and feet some but we have already seen a MAJOR improvement in her not doing that since we've had her in the last 24 hours.  We just hit her nose and tell her no every single time she does it.  Like having a baby around! (except I don't hit my baby's noses, promise, lol)
 Anna Ruth gave little Bouncy her name and it suits her just fine.  She's been in the house with us and just follows us around everywhere.  Just the way we  like it.  

 This afternoon Brett needed to fix some fence on the farm (a never-ending job) and the girls and I (all 4 of us.....Bouncy totally counts!)  loaded up in the Ranger and went with him.  We had the grandest time!  
 Bouncy took turns hanging out by the fence with Brett and traipsing all over the pasture with us.  I am most happy and proud to teach the girls the fine art of making your own adventures.
 I love showing them how you can truly have fun with only your imagination on hand, no toys required.  For this little journey we decided our water bag would be our treasure bag.
 Every time we spotted something interesting, into the bag it'd go.  Anna Ruth would say "Treasure!!" every time.  Every.  Single. Time.  

 We bent WAY down to look at every single lady bug we spotted,
chased a butterfly,
sat on a log and pretended it was our train,
picked a cactus, 
ran, 
looked at the clouds,
picked flowers,
giggled,
talked,
and walked holding hands.
 After all that we were quite satisfied to sit and give ourselves a rest.

 We even had a few sisterly love moments..
 but this is really what my "real life" could be summed up as today. 
A sleepy, sweet puppy on my lap, gorgeous flowers, and the cutest girls I could imagine. 
With Betsy Grace trying to jump ship.  Looks about normal to me! 
 When we got home I traded our old daffodils for the new ones on the mantle. 

Brett grilled us chicken and we ended the day like kings and queens. 

What a day! 
Welcome home Bouncy, welcome home. 

Park, Painted nails, Peace like a river.

 Be still my mama heart.  Anna Ruth got her first painted nails.  She was pretending the other day like her toy was "nail polish".  Considering I have chronically ugly fingernails and can't ever seem to keep polish on them (paint, that's another story) I was surprised.  I expectantly asked her if she wanted her nails polished and was most surprised when she said "yes". 
 I think I held my breath during the whole process, seeing as Anna Ruth is my neat and tidy little one.  She almost never prefers a mess and doesn't quite know what to do when Betsy Grace is wallowing right in the MIDDLE of a mess!  She patiently sat still for one hand to be done and then just couldn't take anything else being put on her hand.  She decided she was all done, one hand painted and all.  Isn't it the sweetest, tiniest yet biggest, little hand you've ever seen? I about made Brett cry when I showed him.  He grinned so big I thought his smile would bust.

 We also had a rare moment in the kitchen where I let Anna Ruth help.  Mamas of one baby will think that's awful and I might have too before Betsy Grace came along.  It's just the tiny season we're in, where Betsy's no longer a baby who sits in the seat and watches.  But she's also not big enough to jump right in and help with things like plastic knives.  So I'm sorry to say Anna Ruth gets to help sometimes, but not all the time like she used to.  I'm waiting for a few more months and then both girls will be closer to the same developmental age.  Anna Ruth did awesome using the plastic knife to cut the strawberries!  

 Because of that little age gap I just mentioned, regular everyday things have become a mountain of a task.  Betsy Grace is SUCH a daredevil so usually while I'm cooking or emptying the dishwasher I'm looking behind my back or over my shoulder to see what she's in, delightful little brave gal that she is.  It has made me the most skittish I've ever been in my life!  Basically I'm a nervous wreck but sure am getting a lot of exercising chasing after her.  Which would help (maybe) explain the two week break from jogging.  But I'm glad to say I'm trying to jump back in...

And so some tasks I've just simplified or quit altogether for right now.  It's definitely more worthwhile for both the girls and myself to choose joy over frustration just because they're both curious and growing and healthy.  

 This day I decided to forgo the "cleaning day" status and go to the park instead.  It's beyond beautiful outside, we'd be tracking in stuff for days from all the fun outside, and before we know it summer will be here with hot, hot, hot temperatures.  Sounds like a million reasons to have fun outside instead of task-mastering inside to me.
 We met my twin sis and her kiddos at the library first,
and then headed next door to the park and pond.  


 After playing the girls and I had a picnic.  

I mean, is this not the cutest?! 
 Seriously. 
Tears jumping in my throat and headed straight to my eyes.

That's my whole heart sitting right there on the bench.  




It looks to me like these ducks are catching up on the pond gossip......
"Did you hear the news?!"
"In short, all good things are wild and free."
I'll amen to that. 
This day brought peace like a river flowing through our home.  Much needed. 
Thank-you Jesus for your beautiful blessings!