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Year in Review Photobook

January 4, 2014
By mattyjhb in What to do with Photos

Welcome 2014!! And with the new year, comes the task of putting together 2013’s Year in Review Photobook. Had I been on my toes, I would of done each month as it finishes, or had some sort of system for getting those photos organized, and documenting life’s moments. But, oh crapola, I didn’t.

So in the last few days, I have been searching for Year in Review Photobook ideas, and have created a Year in Review Photobook Pinterest board, because, you gotta admit, that’s a pretty fun way to organize ideas and projects that you find on the Internet.   So if you need some inspiration, take a look and follow, as I am still in “search and pin” mode.

First time doing a Year in Review Photobook and not sure how to tackle it? Here’s a great blog post from Lazy Sloppy Mommy, to help get you on your way.

A loss that breaks my heart

November 15, 2013
By mattyjhb in Life Happenings

[mt_two_third] The other day the email came, around mid-morning.  But I didn’t see it until late afternoon, as the sun was setting and the day was winding down. I knew this email would be arriving.  But still, the news that it brought was very hard to read.  One of my best friends from high school had passed away, after battling a brain tumor.  I haven’t seen or connected with her in the last 20 plus years, so I really wasn’t expecting the grief that overtook me.   I can only imagine the deep sadness and loss felt by her husband, boys and family.

My middle school and high school years were spent living in the midst of Dairy farms and attending a very small high school (89 in our graduating class) in southern Wisconsin.  We lived on my mother’s homestead and my Dad’s homestead was a mile down the road.  Almost everyone was somehow related, and Nancy was a distant cousin.  Our Great-Great Grandparents were siblings and we both had that northern German makeup of  blue eyes and blonde hair……though Nancy’s was much lighter, almost that white blonde.

We attended the same Methodist church, and spent much time together in church youth group, from middle school to high school.    My first time to summer church camp, was with Nancy and I remember how we both felt a little homesick.  That was 6th Grade.  We went through Confirmation Class together with Rev. Miller in 8th grade.   We did the church Christmas programs together, which always involved those long drawn out rehersals and suffered through many early morning Sunrise Breakfasts together.   And we had youth retreats in the dead of winter at Camp Lucerne, where we complained about having to drinking “cow milk” brought by one of the boys from one of the farm families.

We skied together at the not-so big ski hill just north of Milwaukee and both had Moms that worked professional jobs, which back then wasn’t too  common.  We both were Candy Stripers at St. Agnes Hospital and actually wore those crazy red striped dresses too.  I always thought Nancy looked much better in hers then I did.

One of my fondest memories of Nancy and I together is  getting locked out of her house, when we were in middle school. I was so very impressed when she was able to curl up and crawl through the little door near their kitchen back door, that I think was for leaving milk or maybe was a doggy door.  “Oh, I do this all the time,” she said.  Her sister lives in that house now, and I wonder if that little door is still there.

But many of my memories stem from days of being on the high school cheerleading squad together.  Cheerleading camp, practice after school in the lobby in front of the big trophy case and many, many games to cheer at.  Football, basketball and even wrestling.  And many bus rides on the team bus to “Away Games,”, were the cheerleaders had to sit up front, be quiet and un-noticeable, so we wouldn’t “distract” the players.  Often Nancy and I sat together, all bundled up in our red wool letter jackets, with our legs freezing wearing our red and white pleated cheerleading skirt.  To stay warm (and hidden and quiet, to not “distract” those boys) we would squish down in our seats with our knees tucked up against the seat in front of us, trying to pull our cheerleading skirts over our legs as best we could to keep warm. And during this time, we had many long conversations, that often included a yell to the bus driver to “turn up the heat!”

Of our group of girls, that hung together, Nancy was one of the smartest.  She took the harder classes in high school, did very well  and went on to UW Madison and became a nurse.  Nancy always had a plan.  She married her high school sweetheart.  She was sensible, even in high school when many of us weren’t.

I think the last time I saw Nancy was my wedding in 1989.  After that I moved east with my husband and have never returned to live in Wisconsin, where most of my high school girlfriends, including Nancy live.  Throughout this past week, we’ve been sharing pictures of all of us together with Nancy.  It’s been comforting to see those photos, which allow you to go back to a moment in time, if only for a very, very brief moment.  I can tell you right now, I’d love to go back to those high school years, and the time with Nancy and my other high school girl friends.  But we all know life moves forward not backward and next year “us girls” turn into “50 year old ladies”, without Nancy here on this earth.  And that just breaks my heart.

I wonder why Nancy was taken from this world and her family at the young age of 49 years….I’m having a hard time making sense of it…….I keep telling myself that she really is at Peace now, with her Dad in heaven and in a much better place then we could ever imagine.  And perhaps there in heaven she is meeting those Great-Great Grandparents of ours that are siblings.  And when my time comes, maybe she’ll introduce me to them when I arrive.  But in the meantime, I have many fond, precious memories of my friendship with Nancy back in the day.  And I have those photos.  And I know our Father in Heaven now has Nancy.

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By mattyjhb in ABC Photobooks, Custom Photobook, Photo Collage, What to do with Photos

[mt_two_third]  Enough Stuff!  As my sister Heidi said years ago, around Christmas time and in anticipation of gift giving – “we don’t need anymore stuff!”  Yea, I’ve been dealing with all our stuff the last few weeks.  I’ve been on a mission to clean out closets, drawers and attempt to reorganize our “Wanna Be Project Room” that has unfortunately turned into a dumping ground for way too much random stuff.

And this means, I’ve been unearthing forgotten stuff, like my collection of winter sweaters, that I totally had forgotten existed.  And the other day I came across a baby sweater I had bought for my grand-nephew, who is now in third grade.  Grrrr – I hate it when I buy stuff, and it gets lost in the mirage of stuff and forgotten. (Luckily, my other neice is having  a boy in January, so it will be used!!)

When I start to feel overwhelmed and somewhat guilty about all the crap floating around, I remind myself that my husband and I have been married for almost 25 years, and that is fairly long enough time to accumulate stuff.  Right???  And I also think of other folks I know and love that have way more stuff then I do, and in multiple houses (you know who you are!) and feel somewhat better that I haven’t spread my stuff beyond our one house and garage and a very small office away from our home.   But having grown up in a house, where nothing was thrown away, (my parents were raised during the depression years) I loathe stuff accumulating in my home and unorganized living.  And my husband is the same way, so between the two of us, we’re pretty good about giving away our stuff, rather then holding onto it.

But, getting rid of the stuff is just one part of the problem……the other is not accumulating it in the first place.  Which gets me back to sister Heidi saying “we don’t need anymore stuff.”  And in this consumer driven society that is a hard practice to adhere to.   Especially if you’re prone, like me, to wonder the aisles of TJ Maxx, Pier One, Anthropoligie or some random antique store.  And let’s not even talk about Etsy.

Oh I know what you’re thinking – “But wait – Martha, don’t you sell your products, on Etsy?  Girl, you just kicked yourself in the pants!!!”    Yep, I most certainly have an Etsy Shop, and you need to get over there and look at it, because here’s the thing…….your photos, all the zillions of them that you have, on your cameraphone, your computer, in boxes……..that’s all stuff.  And getting that photo stuff organized, is all part of dealing with your stuff.  And taking those photos, and doing something with them, well that’s all part of it too.

So this Christmas, instead of buying random stuff for folks, do something with those photos that you have, such as a Photobook or Photo Collage.  These are gifts that don’t end up in the Salvation Army pile 10 years from now.  Instead, they get passed down to the next generation.  I tell you, often when I am working on a Photobook, I think of what my great-grandchildren will say about it 60 years from now.  And sometimes, I know, at the time I give it to my daughter or my husband, they may not totally appreciate it like I would like them to,  but I know that appreciation will come in their later years and by future generations.

Do something different this Christmas….turn a collection of those special photos into meaningful stuff this Christmas.  And if you need help, you know where to find me.

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The Wanna Be Project Room that has become Dumping Ground

The Wanna Be Project Room that has become Dumping Ground

 

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By mattyjhb in Photo Collage, Wall Art

Finally it’s done!!  I started working on this project, two years ago, as a Birthday present, for my husband.   Initially, my plan was go take all the photos I had of him with our two daughters, and do a Photobook entititled “16 Years of Fatherhood.”

So I began the process of gathering up all those photos, which included going through boxes of printed photos from the pre-digital days, and then scanning them, and then also searching through my digital library of photos.  Over the course of two or three days, I worked on this and all those random photos of Jim with the girls, were saved into a one file on my computer.  That was two years ago.  Then I stopped working on it, because, that’s what happens a LOT of the time with projects.  They get started with the best intentions, and then STALLLLLLL.

And then a month or so ago, I began working on it again, but instead of a Photobook, I decided to do a photo collage.  But since there are a ton of photos, like 49 of them, this photo collage is really a photo album on a wall.  And it’s looking very impressive.  My plan is to do it as a 26″x26″ canvas, which will allow the photos to be about 2″x2″ in size, except the middle photo which is almost 8″x8″.

For the large center photo, I choose one of the most recent photos of Jim with the girls, that my dear friend Shannon took in May.  And surrounding that photo, are all sorts of photos of Jim in the last 18 years, with both of the girls, or one of them.  It’s precious.

This photo collage will be listed in our Etsy Shop soon, so remember,  we can create this Photo Collage for you, using your photos.  49 of them, so start your gathering those photos now.

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By mattyjhb in Life Happenings

A few weeks back, some of us from my family gathered in Wisconsin at my sister Mary's house for a Gender Reveal Party for my niece Kelsey and her husband Luke.  For most of us, it was our first Gender Reveal Party - and if you're not sure what that is, don't feel bad. It was all new to me too!  Basically what is, is a baby shower to reveal the sex of the baby via cake or cupcakes.  Inside the the cake or cupcakes is either blue or pink frosting, and yep, when you take a bite, you see the color of the frosting and find out the sex of the baby.

Since we have family living in different states, we did a Google Hangout/Gender Reveal Party and even the folks that weren't there in person but at the party via Google Hangout, had the "special gender reveal cupcakes", so it was a great way to connect with family that couldn't be there. We all took turns sitting by the computer chatting with them and Kelsey opened her presents near the computer so they could see the gifts, and geez, in many respects, it's like they were just there with us.

The inside of the yummy lemon cupcake revealed blue frosting, and that little nugget is due in mid-January.  And being that this is their first, folks in my family (including me!!) are pretty darn excited.

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By mattyjhb in Memphis, Photo Booth

[mt_one_third] Last Saturday (Oct. 26th)  I took the RosieJanes PhotoBooth and headed over to Hollywood Feed (the local pet store chain here in Memphis) on Poplar and Yates, for their Pit Bull Awareness Event.  StreetDog Rescue was also there, as many of the dogs rescued by StreetDog are Pit Bull mixes.  In fact, one of the dogs in the picture here, is a StreetDog Rescue – Maddie, the pup in the bottom left photo.

A few words about StreetDog Rescue – they are my favorite rescue here in Memphis, as they continually go above and beyond what a rescue can do.  They have rescued from the streets, and abandoned homes, dogs that are so abused and neglected that often it’s very hard to see photos of dogs they’ve rescued.  But those dogs are always taken to the vet and StreetDog pours energy and love into saving them, finding a foster and then a forever home.  A few years back, I met the founder of StreetDog, Melanie, and she is a vibrant, caring, and very energetic person.  She and her husband started StreetDog a few years ago and in the last few years, they have most definately made a positive impact on the lives of so many dogs.  Given the number of dogs that are abandoned to the streets of Memphis, they have taken on a monumental task of rescuing them.  You can follow them on their Facebook Page, and read the stories of the many dogs they rescue.

The RosieJanes Photo Booth was decorated for Halloween and the first hour there was very busy with dog after dog getting their photo done.  Such wonderful owners for these dogs and most of the dogs you see in these photos were adopted from a rescue or a shelter.  It was a fun event and I enjoyed talking with the dog owners, and hearing the various rescue stories. [/mt_one_third]

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By mattyjhb in Photo Collage

This Dog Photo Collage featuring photos from your pups first year of life is now available in our Etsy Shop.  You’ll need 13 photos from the first year, and don’t worry if you don’t have those newborn photos and a photo from every month.  It still looks adorable and is a precious way to showcase all those photos you took of your pup during that first year.  Their little faces do change and those big ears get smaller as the months go by once that puppy dog head gets bigger.

If you’re new to RosieJanes, then you need to know that we’re dog people here and if you’re looking for unique ways to showcase your dog photos, then you’ve found the perfect place.  And even though most of our pet products showcase doggy photos, they always work for any pet, like kitty-cats, or guinea pigs!!

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By mattyjhb in Photo Apps

These two Photo Apps, (which I blogged about during the summer) rank high on my list and I usually find myself using them almost everyday –  A Beautiful Mess and Rhonna Designs.  I’ve shared a few photos that I’ve edited using either the Beautiful Mess App or the Rhonna Designs App.  And yes, I know, I take way too many pics’ of my pups!!!

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Pet Memorial Plaque

September 27, 2013
By mattyjhb in Etsy Listings, What to do with Photos

We’ve just added the Pet Memorial products to our Etsy Shop.  A litte about this product – Using your photo, and our design we create this Pet Memorial Plaque for you. It’s printed on a 3/4” Bamboo Block and comes ready to hang.  We can also do this in a larger size and customize the quote for a small extra charge.

As I said in my earlier post losing a dog, or any pet is never easy, but never owning a dog, well that’s just tragic.  As the old saying goes, “Better to have loved and losted, then never to have loved at all.”

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Wedding Guest Book

September 23, 2013
By mattyjhb in Etsy Listings, What to do with Photos

[mt_one_third] We’re excited to offer a Wedding Guest Book as one our photo products available in our Etsy Shop.  This design features photos of the couple, amongst various “signature boxes” including a large Heart, where Guests can sign their name and special wishes to the couple.  To help your Guests craft their message to the two you, we’ve also included “writing prompts”  next to the “signature boxes,”  such as “Now, that we’re married, tell us fun things we should do together as a couple.”  You can customize these writing prompts, or leave as is.

What I love about this product? Well first,  it’s perfect for featuring your Engagement Photos, or those fabulous couple photos of the two you. But most importantly it will serve as a lasting keepsake for the two of you, and a remembrance of who was at your wedding.  Years from now, you’ll love reading those messages and words of wisdom from your Guests.  That I can guarantee.

We print this Guest Book on a paper stock that is friendly to ink, given that it will be used as a Guest Book.  No worries about pen smudges, with this paper.  I designed a Guest Book for my Dad’s 92nd Birthday Party and printed it on this ink friendly paper, and was really pleased with it.

You’ll need at least 21 photos for this design, and it’s available in two sizes – 8×8 and 12×12, and either size is available in 20, 30 or 40 pages.

Need a Guest Book, but not for a Wedding?  No worries, as we can easily revise this design for your special celebration, such as an Anniversay, Birthday Celebration, or whatever you’re blessed to be celebrating!!

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