Planning Ahead for Mother’s Day (updated 2017)

Mother's Day

Explaining Photo-to-Artwork – the Unique Gift

I am excited to share info on our Photo-to-Artwork with you.
This is such a creative endeavor, where we  work with each customer to preserve their special memories.

For example: Here we have taken the photographs of five special grand children and put them together in a basket of daisies for one very, special Mom.

What we do is take the customer’s photos on the  phone. They can text or email them to us, very easy. Then we retouch and enhance the pictures.. We add a special texture which makes the picture look like an oil painting.  Then we frame it up exquisitely. It can then hang on the wall or stand on a desk.

We spend a lot of tender loving care on each picture. However, we do not charge for the photo work. Each picture is priced by size to keep it simple.  So if a customer has old or damaged photos in an old shoe box, wants retouching, this can be a good deal for them. Yes we also work with hard copy photographs, some of them really, really old.

What is superior about our photo-to-artwork is the excellent selection of quality frames.

Here are some pages that illustrate what we have been able to do.

     My Granddaughter Sofia when she was Five

At our events we also sell sheets, soft cuddly blankets, and a unique homeopathic pain relieving cream that reduces tension. All our products are unique, truly wonderful comfort products. We are delighted to share them with you.

Finally here are some Stories from Happy Customers.

We look forward to scheduling a fundraising event with you for Mother’s Day or sometime in the near future.

Quote for the Day 

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever . . . 

Photo-to-Artwork

A very personal gift: A Picture Lady Photo-to-Artwork 

 

Create a unique picture for each child or grandchild 

 

 

 

Photo-to-Artwork is the ideal gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day or Christmas.

This is because it is so personal and unique; something really special. If your parents have downsized, you may want to consider a collage where you are able to put many family pictures into one frame. You create this work of art together with Picture Lady and there is no extra charge for making a collage, as there is also no extra charge for photo-restoration. In this collage above there is a special scripture and you can always add this as a family inspiration. One customer wrote a short poem for a new baby and included it in her collage, another wanted to remember her very special Mother’s Day Card and we put this in the center, with family pictures all around. Photo-to-Artwork is about making and keeping good memories and passing them down through the generations.

Prices for a Photo-to-Artwork creation:

  • 8×10″      $55.00
  • 11×14″    $75.00
  • 16×20″    $125.00

    (Because no extra charge for photo-work this is a very good deal)

You can make a collage not only of your children or grandchildren, but also of your pets; they don’t live as long as we and so there is often a loss and a sadness when they go. Here is a tribute to a smart cat who passed. He managed not only his owner but also all the other furry friends in the house. This big cat was unique in that he used his paw to eat. He lifted each morsel from the bowl and only then would he consume. Not a pretty cat, but can’t you just see the intelligence?

.cat collage

Here are some Picture-to-Artwork stories that we think you will enjoy:

“Picture Lady”, said the bride “ when we married we were as poor as church-mice.” She showed me the picture. The were young and quite attractive.

It was not a white wedding, but she was wearing a fine blue dress and while he was not in a tux his suit was dark and also appropriate. Behind them arched an old oak tree. So far, so good. They looked great.  The problem was that right behind the gorgeous couple and the gorgeous tree stood an ugly, beat-up gray-blue truck.  Not good. We changed the background to add more trees and flowers and some blue sky to match the bride’s dress and we gave them perfect wedding photos twenty years after the fact.

Some photographs go on some strange adventures! We were brought a photograph of a family that was taken back and forth in Africa, folded up in the father’s pocket as he fled from land to land to avoid civil strife. His family had been engaged in a project to relocate the family (all five children) to America. Mother came first and began training to be a nurse. This is how we met for we did an art show at her hospital. Each year she brought another child to freedom while the father staid in East Africa with those who had been left behind. Unfortunately after the last child (the eldest) came to America civil strife broke out in North East Africa and the father was forced to flee to save his life grateful that at least his family was now safe. While on the run he would take out a folded picture of his beloved family which he always kept in his pocket. It was this picture that kept his hopes and dreams alive that he would eventually be able to join them.

And he did. This is a story with a happy ending.

His wife brought the scratched picture he had carried so long in his pocket to me (now crusted with sweat and dirt). She asked if it could be recovered. They would have been able to have a new celebration family picture in America but the truth was that no other picture would have as much meaning. Could we fix and restore the picture? Yes indeed we could. But there was still an extra challenge. The picture was torn and the oldest daughter was missing cut in half on the right hand side of the photo.

We took her from a different photo and put her back into her family picture. Then we also fixed up the cracks and the photo damage. The father gave it to his wife for Mother’s Day. It sits in a place of honor in their living room.

We sometimes forget that not everybody has it as easy as we do in America.

Some of our better results are for precious family members who have passed.  The family needed a good picture of their mother, recently deceased; they wanted it for her celebration of life. The problem was this happy mother had been such a social person there was not a single photo of her alone; there were several children and not one had such a picture! There were many photos but always placing her in the middle of a group.

So we extracted her smiling face from a family photo and erased the busy background.  There she was finally alone in all her glory. I think if she was there at her special memorial event she would have liked that picture.

We have the skill to put your photos together to create a whole new family picture.
It is in the art of putting what is important in one picture together. The family had always remembered Poppa and Nanna with the house where the family met on special occasions. Here they are together with their lovely home.

final house

Our last story is from a customer who was raised by a grandmother and it had been a warm and sustaining relationship. The grandmother lived a long productive life and raised her grandchild with love and affection but she was older and she finally moved on.  Also gone were several of her siblings who had often been around the home while our customer was growing up.  She had many older (somewhat tattered black and white photographs

She chose to do her frames and pictures in sepia which gives that antique look.   It was a good call.

grandma

 

This is what she thought when it was done:

“My family loves the pictures. When you come into my home, the Heritage Wall is like a magnet and everybody goes there to admire it. It brings the family together providing us with a history – a pictorial story of the family including all our loved ones who have passed. You do really excellent work! Thank you so much” Carol B.W. Riverside

 

What do you need to know if you chose to do a Photo-to-Artwork with Picture Lady?

Our frames are exquisite.  We are also able to frame needlepoint. In addition to do Photo-to-Artwork we do custom framing.

frame one

ArTex makes the photo look like an oil painting when it really is not.  You would pay between $500 and $1000 for an oil on canvas even when it is a copy. With our service the cost to you is between $55.00 and $175.00 depending on the size and the frame. Nor do we charge for the photo work. We keep it simple.

 

What a great gift Photo-to-Artwork is for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day and for Christmas!

The ache for home lives in all of us, a place to which we can go and be ourselves. It has to be a safe place into which we can retreat and not be questioned. It should also be a beautiful place, for beauty is uplifting and a pretty and comforting home is where we like to go to get recharged. When we have the people that we care about around us, even if they are not actually physically present but in the form of precious, enhanced photographs, it brings back past joys of sharing and this is what is sustaining.

Quote for the Month

 Now that . . .  my children are grown, I understand how much work and love it takes to keep a family together. The example of my mother’s strength, devotion and patience is now rippling through the generations.

Forest Houtenschil

Ruane Manning: Most Popular Wildlife Artist (August 2013)

Some Quirky Facts about Wild Animals

Long and narrow 12x36

Wild animal textured pictures.

Ruane is known for his delightful pictures of wild animals, like lions, tigers, giraffes and elephants. Each picture has an emotional quality and one feels the artist’s reverence for our small planet and the wild creatures that share it with us. His images come to life through expert use of light and shade, outstanding composition, and his intimate knowledge of the animals he paints so well. Ruane published his first wildlife print as far back as 1968.

He studied Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and won some art awards there especially from the Philadelphia Art Alliance. He is internationally famous for his sculptures, some of which are in the art collection of  Presidents Reagan, Carter and Ford.

He lives on a farm in Southern New Jersey with his family and many animal friends.

Here are some fun facts about the animals that he paints.

 elephant with baby

  • Elephants are the largest animals on the planet and the females have the longest pregnancy – a full 22 months.
  • Elephants hate peanuts and don’t eat them in the wild, are not fed them in the zoo so don’t think you are giving them a treat if you offer them peanuts.
  • Like small human toddler, magpies, and dolphins an elephant will recognize himself in a mirror.
  • Elephants are very social animals. They form close, lifelong relationships with their families. They support each other, helping family members if injured or sick. They comfort each other just as we would.

Mommy giraffe kissing baby

  • A Giraffe’s tongue is almost 2 feet long.
  •  A male giraffe can weigh as much as a pick up truck! That’s about 1400 kilograms.
  • Although a giraffe’s neck is 1.5 – 1.8 metres, it contains the same number of vertebrae at a human neck.
  • Drinking is one of the most dangerous times for a giraffe. While it is getting a drink it cannot keep a look-out for predators and is vulnerable to attack. Furthermore his neck is shorter than his legs.  Poor beautiful, long-neck giraffe, it has to splay his legs in order to reach the water. Then it really can’t see any attack in the making.

Lion with lamb son of god

  • The roar of a lion can be heard from 5 miles away, it is so loud! On the other hand a tiger’s roar can only be heard from only a mile away. All the same both animals have mighty roars.
  • People are very impressed by lions. Lions have been chosen as the national animal of Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and even Singapore.
  • Why we admire them I know not for lions are lazy animals, they sleep 20 out of 24 hours a day.
  • They also put their women out to work; Lionesses are better hunters than males and do most of the hunting for the pride.

white tiger in snow

  • Tigers have eyes that are brighter than any other animal found anywhere in the world. Their eyes blaze out at dusk or at night in the light of a torch, with a burning intensity.
  •  A tiger can eat 100 lbs of meat at one night sitting, like that is about 400 hamburgers!  They eat so much because they go many days between meals.
  • Tigers are man eaters, and to be avoided if out alone in the wilds. Yet they also eat frogs, monkeys, porcupines and tortoises, (ugh) when a good man or deer is not easy to get.
  • Tigers are magnificent creatures and unfortunately the specie is sadly endangered. If we learn a little more about them, we can maybe help them grow to grow back in numbers once again. By survey pictures of tigers at Picture Lady, are more popular than pictures of any other wild animal.

  Quote of the Week

Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see that you are afraid of them . . . they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.  

Orison Swett Mardin

 

 

 

Days of Summer!

And guess what, your house is an unholy mess!

It seems to you that all the world is descending on you for a visit.  The problem is that you were so busy in March and April that you forgot to spring clean, and now it is just far too hot to bother.

But . . .

Your husband is bringing his golf buddies back for dinner!

And challenge of all challenges the in-laws are coming to stay for a week or two or three or four  . . .  and so it goes.  Oh my, will you ever survive?

To add to your distress all the kids in the neighborhood have descended on your pool. You are going to have to jump in and create some summer cleaning games, and create some summer music before you send them all back home and get to it  . . .

Now for the Serious Stuff:

First:
The kids helped but you still need to hire a cleaning lady or service. With all you have going, and are expected to do, you have rights!

Two:
Take a clipboard and walk through your house and really look at what is there. You want to make three lists:

  • One, everything you love.  These are the things you plan to keep.
  • Two, things that you dislike and would prefer to discard.  These are the items you are going to replace. It doesn’t have to happen all at once.  You start with the 20% that will make the 80% of difference.
  • Three: The worn & shabby list: Furniture etc that has become old and threadbare.  Don’t hesitate. Throw it out.  It is better to leave an empty hole than fill your house with anything that you feel is sub-standard. (there are a few exceptions – beloved things you really couldn’t do without because they are so useful, so expensive to replace or hard now to get any more – they stay but try to refurbish them!)

Now, here’s the rub: What about those items on the first list that are dated.  You have been holding on to them because you love them. Meanwhile fashions change, the world moves on,  and while the images may still be beloved, the frames, well those old gold frames don’t they really suck?

Did you know that at Picture Lady we can Resurrect Your old Artwork? This is one of our more affordable and very gratifying services.

Art for the Home:

Spend a little bit of money to cheer your spirits and your home. Invest in one new bright picture for each of your main rooms.  (Living, Dining and Family) Primary colors are always best for the summertime

whimsy one

                                            Cafe Marie 

(I just love the whimsy in this bright picture that reminds me of touring in Europe)

Picture Lady wishes you a summer full of fun and friends and all good things!

And if you are traveling on the I-5 don’t forget to visit us at our weekend store!

Quote for the Week

“A messy house is a must – it separates your true friends from other friends.
Real friends are there to visit you not your house!” 
Jennifer Wilson 

Creating a Home with Atmosphere

The blogger Seth Godin  said, ” In every city there are expensive hotels that are noisy, with $56 breakfasts, no parking, blinds that don’t make the room dark and rooms that don’t have enough closets. But the fact of paying extra to stay there ensures that you’ll be surrounded by others just as wealthy as you, and just as interested in proving it.”

Paris hotel

I consider there is a little more to a five-star hotel than location, wealthy clientele and flashy decor.

Did you know that the luxury hotel market was first created in France with a hidden agenda. The country desperately needed to improve their balance of trade so they decided to get creative. Can you believe that a whole country invented a luxury culture that they then used for the country to prosper. The French created an image and a style that was uniquely French and tourists flocked into the country to wine and dine, and shop. I know that the French were successful, for we visited with Peter’s brother, who was living on a house-boat on the Seine, and we were shown the  best of Paris. My mouth still waters as I recall the subtle tastes of the delicious food and I can still see the fancy, fashionable ladies swaying down the Champs Elysee.

I am not trying to talk you into going to France for nowadays who wants to go through Airport Security?  I m rying to show you that what the French can do so can you. You can create a uniquely stylish home and it won’t even cost all that much money. You can even add French pictures and they always add a touch of class and at Picture Lady they are not expensive.

french cafe onefrench two

So I don’t quite agree with Seth although I do know of some hotels that are overpriced.  What I believe though is that there is a subtle quality in the best hotels, which I like to call it “atmosphere”   As a creative homemaker you can become a master of atmosphere in your own home.  I believe that a loving atmosphere in your home can become the foundation of your life.

My message is that if France could do it, so can you and creating a home with atmosphere does not need to cost a great deal.  With a little bit of imagination you can create your own  home culture, something special for your family, and it need not be based on pretension, it need not even be expensive. It is all in your attention to detail.

Much can be done with lighting. Ever notice how many lamps hotel rooms have – at least five lights in the room? Real estate agents will turn on every light in a house they are showing. Lamps create atmosphere faster than anything else!  Much can also be done with Aroma. I invite you to check out the Aroma Lamps from Picture Lady Home Products.

Even more can be done with color.Here is the color palette for 2013:

art palette

We are fortunate this year in that the fashionable colors in 2013 are positive, and strong. For some years we have lived with tepid colors, but all that is gone. Now opposites attract  like never before, exerting a magnetic pull on the spectrum. Today’s colors may fight with each other, yet they always make a strong statement.

color palette 2013

 Quote for the Week

Love is a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.” 

Happy Decorating!

Lynn
The Picture Lady

Let the Holiday Festivities Begin!

Holiday Decorating Tips

(Why do we write these blogs?)

christmas tree and snow flakesChristmas Decorating Tips for you.

For working women it seems there is not enough time in a day to decorate for the season, take care of the boss and still go out and have some fun!

We need, we want, we demand a quick, quick, and easy solution!

  • Fill large tubular vases or long wine glasses with red cranberries to add a beautiful splash of Christmas red to your dining area. Add Poinsettias to virtual vase as an option. (after you have added water).
  • Take some small household, clear glass bottles or old glass vases. Throw some holiday-colored drops of paint inside, shake it up and the paint will splatter inside to look like a modern piece of art. Decorate with a fancy ribbon and voilà, you have some unique holiday decorating!
  • Pick a short craggy branch from a tree. Spray paint it silver. You can stand it in a glass vase or hang it from the ceiling above your dining table and drop tinsel balls from it.
  • For a daughter or granddaughter put a Poinsettia on the mantel and arrange some Holiday dolls bought at a Picture Lady Holiday Boutique around the Christmas flowers. It adds a festive touch and can be set up in less than half an hour.
  • All you need now to set the Christmas mood is Fragrance Candle Lamps from Picture Lady. We recommend Apple Cinnamon Aroma Oil. It fills the house with Christmas cheer and sets the mood for the holidays!  Oh so quick & easy!
  • We suggest you get your Christmas Pictures and stocking stuffers from the Picture Lady Five Dollar Fun Table.
  • Take two or three little Christmas pictures (depending on the size of the wall) and hang them on the wall. String yarn from picture to picture and add your Christmas Cards in a loop from one picture to the next.

To tie the holiday decorating all together it is a good idea to select a theme. Here are some popular themes:

  • Angels (Great selection at a Picture lady Boutique)
  • Rustic – don’t omit the candles or the gold painted pine cones and the scent of pine
  • Modern and/or abstract – add colorful shapes on solid poster board. Instead of florals suggest you put colored tissue in your vases.

ackaging pictures

Christmas Decorating One thing you absolutely DO NOT WANT TO DO. Don’t wrap your pictures in Christmas paper unless you want your house to look like a fast food restaurant!

 Quote for the Week

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

 Hamilton Wright Maple

Diego Rivera

Artist of the Month

In honor of Latino Heritage I am choosing the greatest of all Mexican Painters.

Diego is remembered as a revolutionary painter. His art reflects the spirit of his times.

Before he returned to Mexico in the twenties to attain a measure of fame, he spent fourteen years in Europe (Spain and France) joining the free- spirit artists that congregated around Picasso.

There the Russian Revolution was  fresh in everybody’s mind and it was still playing out – not the failed experiment as we see it today. Exciting (or that was how Diego saw it) ideas were breaking up the old and not just in society.The new Cubistic school of art effectively depicted the emotional content (rather than realism) and  this new style fascinated Diego..

After his return to Mexico he was commissioned by the Mexican Government to paint a series of murals. This he did and his art was bold, colorful and vibrant, depicting the simple life of the peasants.

In 1933 Nelson Rockefeller commissioned him to paint a mural for the Rockefeller Center.  Diego included a communist in the painting and Rockefeller absolutely insisted that he remove it. When the artist refused the rich man had the entire mural chipped off the walls!

Here are some of the Diego Rivera images in our catalog.

Digo Rivera  Peasant with basket of fruit

         Man with Calla Lilies                           Burden

In 1929 Diego married Frida Kahlo a renowned artist in her own right. His life has become memorable as a result of the outstanding film that described Diego’s wayward ways and his life with the tragic woman that loved him so much and that he hurt so deeply.

Quote of the Week

Every good composition is above all a work of abstraction
Diego Rivera

 

Latino Heritage

Celebrating our American Diversity

As we remember Black History in January and February in America, we appreciate our Latino Heritage in the months of September and October.

It has been impressive to see more and more Spanish leaders emerge with each new election.

Music dancing and great food is very much a part of the Mexican tradition.

dancing mexican womenMexican Celebrations

Each city in Mexico has a Zócalo, where celebrations take place and people of all ages come out to enjoy themselves. The square livens up with music, laughter and vibrant colors. Parades are so popular that people wake up early and rush to the streets seeking a good spot to watch and enjoy them.  It takes months of rehearsal and preparation for marching bands to perform and compete, all wanting to be the best.  There is usually dancing and music in the square with the ever so popular mariachi bands.

No celebration can be complete without food.  A few days before the big event, hundreds of stalls start aligning on the streets near the Zócalo.  Restaurants all over offer the most representative of Mexican cuisine: Mole Poblano is a thick spicy sauce that comes from blending more than 40 ingredients, and is spread on top of turkey or chicken with Mexican style red rice.   Mole is so popular that it is served on nearly every important Mexican occasion.

Here are some Latino pictures from Picture Lady:

The artists are Leonel from Guatemalo, Diego Rivera,  & Segura Torres from Guadalajara.

Boy with Calla Lilies  ]   

The most exciting of the Mexican celebrations is the 16th of September, their Independence Day.

Quote for the Week

Art is the lie that makes us realize the truth – Pablo Picasso

Vincent Van Gogh

Featured Artist for the Month

I met a delightful customer at our store in the Flying J this last week. She was particularly interested in the Art of the Old Masters. In our American rush for the novel and the new we sometimes forget the lasting quality of art  and products that have stood the test of time.  In her house she  had the Van Gogh sunflowers and we carry a spectacular version of this picture in Art-Tex that seems to bring out every brushstroke. It was she that inspired me to write this post.

art masterpiece

Van Gogh Sunflowers

There are some misconceptions about this artist:

  • Van Gogh did indeed sell some paintings during his lifetime.
  • Although he was wild and suffered from some deep depressions and did some strange things, it is highly unlikely that he was really insane.
  • He was considered so good that he was often copied. He had a stong following of student admirers. Once during his lifetime his work was even forged.
  • He didn’t commit suicide with a shotgun. This was a gun accident, he tripped and fell on teh barrel of the gun causing it to go off.

The most remarkable thing about the artist is that we do not have a single mediocre picture from him, not even done in his formative years. All are masterpieces. Either he was so good or he had the good taste to destroy his early efforts.

His talent is astounding!  Many of us know and enjoy the the vitality and brilliance of his paintings like Starry Night, Night Stars, and Cafe Terrace.   These pictures are stunning when done with a white linen liner and a black ornamental frame that contrasts with the bright colors. They are perfect to add to your Creative Homemaker decorating for the fall.

What we remember about Van Gogh is that he is one of the most gifted draftsmen who ever lived. he is right up there in the same class as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso.

 Quote for the Week

To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one’s fling from time to time, smoke one’s pipe, and drink one’s coffee in peace.”  Vincent Van Gogh  

 

Fourth of July

Caught flat footed?  Been working too hard? Not yet ready?

Go out early and buy some blueberries and raspberries and whipped cream. Take some squat glasses and put a layer of blueberries then whipped cream, then raspberries then whipped cream and so on up. If your kids have a sweet tooth, sweeten the cream with Stevia to stop that sugar frenzy that will spoil your day.  Your family will love the decorative dessert!

Independence Day

Independence Day

Now hotfoot down to “Dollar Tree” and buy some flags and red white a blue artificial flowers. You can make the house look festive in less than an half an hour!

While there buy some red white and blue tissue paper and a bunch of red white and blue “whatever”!. Put the trivia objects in a basket or a bin and leave it in the center of the table.  Tell your kids this is a “hat contest”.  Tell them they can use anything in the bin or anything else they can rustle up to make themselves a 4th July hat.  Give them until noon to get their creation finished. That’ll give you time to do the cooking.

Then settle back to enjoy the fabulous lunch or barbecue!  Hey, you are a creative homemaker and it’s your day too!

Did you know?

The bald eagle our national mascot can achieve a speed of nearly 200 miles per hour  when diving for a catch. Normally it flies about 30 miles per hour.

It is rumored that during the cold war in the ball on top of our flagpoles, there could be found a razor blade, a lighter and a bullet.  This was so that Americans could destroy the flag if the Russians invaded.

That Calvin Coolidge was born on the Fourth of July.  That Thomas Jefferson died on the Fourth of July.

That there are 31 places in our nation with Liberty in the name.  Iowa has more than any other state with Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

Some good Fourth of July Quotes

Better to starve free than be a fat slave – Aesop

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. – George Bernard Shaw

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every Fourth of July. They celebrate not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a parade of strength and muscle; but with family picnics where the kids throw Frisbees. They are having fun where the potato salad gets iffy and the flies all die of happiness!

You may think you have overeaten but it is all about patriotism – Erma Bombeck