cubin’ it

Block Project-1

Photo cubes are all the rage these days and they add of touch of personality to your decor. You can pick up blocks here and you can also find them at one of the craft stores, Michael’s, Jo-Anns, etc. After finding some of my favorite photos, I printed them out in 2 inch squares, cut them out, put Modge Podge on the back of the photo and the face of the cube to adhere them, added some patterned paper on a couple of sides and a few rub-ons (you could also handwrite some details or love notes or add even more photos). It really is a quick, easy project to display those photos and stories.Block Project-2 Block Project-3 Block Project-4

because design matters

Valentines Block-2At this point, it pretty clear I love photography and all things related to photography so it probably comes as no surprise that I love to give and get photography related gifts, Valentine’s Day was no exception.

I have been eyeing Artifact Uprising for quite a while and trying to figure out an excuse to make something. I love, love, love there core values. This was taken directly from their website:


CREATIVITY / for all things, endless possibility. for every story, endless ways to tell it.
COMMUNITY / we seek to cultivate a community of inspired storytellers – of movers, shakers, do-ers, designers, creatives, artists, thinkers, joy-makers. we believe in the power of community to ignite creativity.LEAVE A LEGACY / we believe in the story that is archived for future generations. we believe in moving stories off our computers…and into our lives.THE POWER OF ONE / to create art. and change the world.

PASSION / without it, we are nothing.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY / we strive to be kind stewards to mama earth and her happy forest. we are committed to using environmentally responsible papers and are always seeking ways to minimize our impact on the outdoors – a playground that shapes so much of who we are.
AUTHENTICITY / in all things. in our communication. in our company. in the transparency of our supply chain. in our own story.



When I finally decided I needed to get my husband something for Valentine’s Day, I knew where I was going. I don’t know about you but I think men are so difficult to shop for. After looking through their different possibilities, I chose the “wood block and prints“. The wood block is made using beetle-kill pine reclaimed from the forests of Colorado. It also includes 12  5″x 5.75” heavy weight card stock photos that sit neatly in the wood block. Now the choice was finding the right photos. Most of their examples were black and white and very abstract which lent itself to my husband’s simple style but I did need to make it a bit more personalized – with special moments between us, a couple of our son and a couple of just me (it is for him) and converted these to black and white. I also added a beach shot, a sunset shot and a sky shot which I kept as color because that it was makes them special. Artifact Uprising was very easy to use and once I had decided on my photos, it only took me a couple of minutes to place on the computer and submit. My husband loved it! It is sitting in a prominent position on his desk. This was a great, easy and simple gift. I am thinking about making one for my desk too.

Valentines Block-1

Valentines Block-5

love you because…

love you because-24

Another Valentines Day Idea! It is only 4 days away! Yikes!

I cut about thirty pieces of construction paper in various colors and wrote 30 (completely random number) love notes to my son, folded them, put them in a box and tied a bow on the top.

My son loved opening the box and each note was like a new present. He couldn’t get enough!

It is also wonderful to remember and write down all the good things (because sometimes it is hard and we forget).

I love you because…..

  • you are goofy and silly
  • we have so much fun together
  • you love your kitties
  • you have a really big heart
  • you always try
  • you are a great snuggler
  • you always let me take your picture
  • you share your last cookie with me
  • you are you
  • ( and a million more reasons)

I hope you enjoy this simple, meaningful project as much as I did!

wall of travel

wall of photos-1The long expanse of white wall was just boring. It needed something, but what? And then it came to me, I take thousands of photos and we’ve gone to some really cool places, what if I combined the two!

After much research, I found the right company Canvas 4 Life.  I purchased a canvas with the same image from various companies until I found the company that had what I wanted. Canvas 4 Life had a large selection of sizes and I was impressed with the canvas’s texture and vibrancy of color. Another bonus was the fact that I could chose my own custom color for the edges.

I searched for photos of us with iconic images of places we’ve been (and some of the photos were just special to us). Since all the photos were from different times and places, I knew I needed to create a sense of continuity so I chose to keep them all the same size and cropped my photos accordingly and ended up purchasing eighteen 10″x10″ canvases. Once the canvases arrived, I placed them in various spots until the colors seemed to balance each other.

Now that blank wall of blah became our wall of fabulous, colorful memories.

wall of photos-2

it’s all in the details

There is something about the details that really conveys a story. This is the story of the loved, furry ones that are always at our side, those little details that make them unique. My cats have these quirks and funny stories to tell and I wanted to capture their essence.

I used a 105mm lens to capture these details. A collage seemed the easiest way to put the details together and I am thinking I will have these printed and framed.


Syberia Close-Ups1

  • If you look really closely she has these slight brown spots near her iris.
  • She has one dark front paw and one beige front paw. (It gives her a dainty touch.)
  • The very tip of her tail is beige too.
  • She loves to drink water from the sink and always ends up with a wet head.
  • There are tiny brown spots on the pad of her brown paw.


Raja Close-Ups1

  • He has black whiskers that ombre into white whiskers.
  • He has an inordinately large amount of fur between his paws. (He definitely leads the plush life.)
  • When he is really happy, he drools.
  • Even though he looks very white/grey as a whole, when you see his tail, there is huge contrast with a very dark colored edge. (He seems sweet and innocent but he has a dark side.)



  • There is this crazy long tuft of fur on the very top of his ear.
  • He has piercing green eyes.
  • Only his belly has the sweetest, curly fur.
  • His whiskers are crazy long. (He is the gentle giant.)

By the way, taking photos of cats is just as hard, if not harder, than taking photos of a toddler in action.

one little word

Build Book-1

I have been following Ali Edwards blog for years. She constantly inspires me with her real world storytelling. At the beginning of each new year, she talks about choosing a word for a year. This years story about her word is here:

I can embrace the idea of an inspirational word rather than trying to make a dozen resolutions that never seem to happen. We usually choose a word as a family, something we want to strive towards, a foundation for change, a feeling to embrace and live by. Our past words include, change, create, rediscover, emerge. This years word is BUILD. In an attempt to figure out how to embrace this word, I started perusing the internet looking for quotes that included the word “build”. I looked through pinterest and then went to on to quote sites: There are tons of good quote sites out there but these two are my favorite. The following two you can search by whatever word you are looking for and it will come up with quotes including that word.

Once I found all these inspirational quotes, I wanted to make sure they were in a place in our house that we could refer to them and remind us of our goals/ inspiration for 2014. I decided to make a cute little book that we could refer to.

I turned to Blurb.

Blurb have a variety of sizes and cover options, very user friendly templates and you can make enormous books ( really great for books over a 100 page limit which most companies have). My complaints with their books is if you have high quality photos they can look a bit noisy or grainy in print and they do not have a lay flat option. For this book, Blurb was the perfect choice.

I started with a 7×7 softcover book. I took some abstract photos I had of flowers, trees, architecture, etc. and instagrammed them to get that whimsical, oversaturated look. I stuck with one basic format of picture on the left, quote on the right.

Build Book-2 Build Book-3 Build Book-4 Build Book-5 Build Book-6 Build Book-7 Build Book-8Now we have a great little book to leave around the house to remind us to “build”.

a year in a jar


Year End Notes Jar-19

Last January, I set up a jar, scraps of paper and pen in the kitchen in hopes of documenting a years worth of memories. I sat it right in the middle of the kitchen, so my family couldn’t miss it. The idea was to write down milestones, trips, fun stuff or anything we wanted, that happened in 2013. Sometimes we were diligent and sometimes we were slackers. But the ultimate reward, was opening all those notes in the beginning of this year. There were milestones – new karate belts, turning 50 and so much more. There were also funny ones that made us laugh out loud – “Daniella thought Harry was cute” or “Mom learned to ski. She was very slow.” I really didn’t know how this project would turn out but it was such a reward at the end of the year and of course the responses like ” I can’t believe all that happened in one year” gave it quite the “wow” factor. This was a great project with minimal effort.

Year End Notes Jar-15