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Blog Planner Printables for April 2017

I was excited and ready to write a Friday Photoshare post when I realized the end of March snuck up on me! That means it’s time to share free blog planner printables for April 2017. =)

free printable blog planner pages for April 2017

I have to admit that this month I’m slightly less excited than usual about filling out my stats tracker. I don’t think I’ve made that much ‘progress’ this month in most areas, but hopefully I’ll be surprised. February was also a little slow, but from reading other people’s posts it seems like lots of folks had a slow February this year.

As usual, the monthly stats tracker page is available for download from Google Drive right here.

If you’d like the accompanying blog post scheduler/calender page, then please check out the entire year’s calendar right here. I’ve really enjoyed having the entire year’s schedule printed out so I can pencil in ideas at appropriate times throughout the year! It’s particularly helpful for me as we look forward to the summer and planning our month-long trip to West Virginia. (You can read a little more about our trip plans in Tuesday’s post.)

Also looking forward, typically May and June are my best months of the year for traffic. I’m really hoping to see the uptick starting soon! When are your best traffic months? Do they coincide with the December holiday season, or are they at some other point in the year?

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How to Make your Own Beach Wedding Table Numbers

Beach weddings will always have a special place in my heart. I love how they can be casual or chic, rustic or more polished, tropical or Down East. If you’re planning a beach wedding and looking to DIY some of the decor, I hope you enjoy this tutorial showing how to make your own beach wedding table numbers! They’re cute, relatively inexpensive, and easy to customize with your favorite color of paint/stain and shells.

And just because I can’t resist sharing, before we get into the tutorial I have to show this picture. It’s still one of my favorites from our wedding day!

I realize that lots of people don’t have access to vinyl cutters and power tools, so don’t worry – this tutorial has plenty of suggestions on how to make the wood table numbers even if you don’t own the equipment I used! [click to continue…]

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Hello and welcome to another Wellbeing Wednesday! It was great to see folks chiming in on last week’s post about their favorite Dead Poets Society quotations. The movie has so many gems! Since people seemed to enjoy the transcendentalists last week, this week I decided to go with a quotation from another famous member of the school of thought:

The attribution is pretty small on the preview version – the quotation is from Ralph Waldo Emerson. As an interesting note about Emerson – he was born in Boston, but was advised to seek warmer weather for his health in his early 20s. He relocated to Charleston, South Carolina and, finding it still too cold, moved to St. Augustine, Florida! I’m sure it wasn’t the summer that was too cold, but I’m glad I’m not the only one capable of being chilly in South Carolina’s ‘winter.’ I used to work outside and I’d be ridiculously bundled up on cool mornings! Thoreau, last week’s author, was a student and friend of Emerson’s. I frequently find that my favorite authors know (or knew) each other. I’ve seen some of my favorite contemporary authors chatting on Twitter, for example!
As always, the full sized version of this image is available to subscribers in the “printables for subscribers’ menu. =)

Do you have any favorite artistic movements or schools of thought? Anyone you’d like to see featured on a Wellbeing Wednesday printable?

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Life Lately + Looking Ahead to our Summer Trip

I like to do one or two “life lately” posts a month, so I thought it was time for one! I always enjoy reading about what blogging friends are up to, so I hope y’all enjoy this look into life lately over here and a quick look ahead to our summer trip.

The last few weeks have been busy. It’s spring, so that means people are shopping for spring and summer weddings. Since several of my current Etsy bestsellers are wedding items, that means I’m pretty much always working on an order! I turned off the “custom request” button, but I still receive at least one custom request convo a day. Sometimes I can help people out, other times I can’t. Either way, it always takes a bit more time to answer custom requests!

All the orders, especially the custom ones, means I’ve gathered quite a backlog of blog projects! I have a long list of tutorial ideas and I feel like I just keep adding to it instead of finishing projects and crossing them off! I easily have several months of project ideas planned out. I guess I’d better get busy with them so I have some posts to share while we’re gone for a month this summer! [click to continue…]

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Hello and welcome to another Friday Photoshare! I’ve written a lot about the conceptual aspects of photography and some creative editing, so today I wanted take a look at image orientation for Instagram and Facebook. I think bloggers pretty universally want a greater social media reach, so hopefully this little bit of insight will help you!

For ages, I saw Instagram as a place to post square images because, well, it was. This was frustrating when I first got into landscape photography until some friends told me about an app that added white bars to make a “square” with your landscape image. I was so super excited! Even after Instagram introduced the ability to natively upload landscape, portrait, and square images, I kept on keeping on with landscape for a long time. It was a ratio that naturally fit many of my images and I saw no reason to change. I gleefully continued uploading landscape and square images until I watched a CreativeLive class in January that told me I was doing it all wrong. 😱

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Upcycled Painted Glass Bottle Vase

Oh, upcylcling jars and bottles! I should probably just claim that as a favorite hobby instead of “crafting.” As I’ve shared repeatedly, I have a very hard time tossing out perfectly nice glass jars and bottles. It seems like such a waste! I recently got some lemonade on sale and the bottle was so nice I knew I had to keep it! With lovely textures around the neck, it was a prime candidate for painting so I turned it into this upcycled painted glass bottle vase!

I, of course, went with a beachy theme for my glass bottle vase, but it would be so easy to take things in a different direction. This project would be so sweet with twine, lace, and paper flowers like these: [click to continue…]

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Wellbeing Wednesday – I Sound my Barbaric Yawlp

I love the movie Dead Poets Society. It was released over ten years before the first time I watched it, but I instantly fell in love. I’m not even sure how many times I watched our VHS copy! It isn’t any particular anniversary of anything pertaining to the movie, but this week a Walt Whitman quotation featured in the movie really spoke to me, so here it is 🙂

Isn’t it so much fun to imagine standing there and letting loose with your “barbaric yawlp?” Even picturing it feels so free, so empowering.

On probably our third date ever (I think it was), I told my husband about Thoreau and one of my other favorite quotations in Dead Poets Society {{“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.}} I was either very convincing in my description of the transcendentalist movement or, more likely, he was hoping to impress because he went out and bought a copy of Walden! (Incidentally, you can get Walden for free on Kindle. Yay!) He even read some of it 😉

And just in case you’re not familiar with Thoreau, Walden, and the transcendentalists, the basic premise of transcendentalism is that people and nature are inherently good, you should trust your intuition, and that all people possess a piece of the “Over-soul” and are, therefore connected. Amos Bronson Alcott was a transcendentalist, and so was his daughter Louisa May of Little Women fame. (Some readers may also be interested to learn that Amos Alcott was an advocate of a vegan diet long before the term was coined!)

As always, this week’s Wellbeing Wednesday image is available as an 8×10 printable in the members’ tab above, but I hope everyone who sees it enjoys!

Anyone else out there a big Dead Poets Society fan?

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Spring is officially here! Evenings are noticeably longer for us now, and sunrise keeps getting earlier and earlier. You might not guess it, but certain flowers do have seasons here in Hawaii, and I love all the plumeria I’ve seen in bloom lately. Plumeria are one of my favorite scented flowers, and they come in a lovely variety of colors. To celebrate spring’s arrival, I created a new, softer set of texture overlays, Spring Romance. This collection has 25 high resolution files in a variety of soft, but still slightly ‘grungy’ and perfect for adding a soft, dreamy feel to images.

Because I love giving samples and previews, there’s also a mini preview pack of Spring Romance available for free to anyone who enrolls in my weekly newsletter either with the signup box at the bottom of a photography post or by downloading another freebie from the texture store. (If you’re already on the newsletter, I’ll be sending out the free download link this Friday. Don’t worry – you aren’t going to miss out!) These are the textures available in the sample pack: [click to continue…]

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Hello and welcome to another Friday Photoshare! I’m really excited about today because I’m sharing my first ever Photoshop tutorial, How to Make Layered Textures. Yay!

I’ve talked a lot about textures lately and demonstrated a bit of how I use them in last Friday’s post and this Wednesday’s post. When I first began using textures, I only applied single layer textures, like something with cracks in it or with a particular pattern to add the feel of brush strokes or fabric. Here are a couple of examples so you can see what I mean:

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Easy Beachy Ombre Monogram Letter Tutorial

Do you ever happen upon a project when you originally had something else in mind? That’s exactly what happened with this beachy ombre monogram! I had something else in mind, but the project changed along the way and this is what I ended up with:

easy beachy ombre monogram tutorial

I’d recently thrown away all our plastic plates, and I didn’t want to contaminate my watercolor palette with acrylics, so I played around a bit and realized it is completely possible to paint an ombre effect without mixing the paint ahead of time! It’s easiest if you have two or three brushes, but the effect can be accomplished with a single brush if you work quickly. Of course, I added some tiny shells and a starfish to my letter, but everyone knows I love the beachy vibe! If this isn’t your thing, it’s very easy to modify the colors and accents to suit your personal style. [click to continue…]

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