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

Snap-e Pie

Quick and Easy and Healthy also!

Snap-e Pie has become a popular meal in my home. I bake at least two or sometimes even three pies in a week. We like them but I love them even more.for they are easy on my wallet and a good protein substitute for meat and also gluten-free.   Best of all they are easy to make.  One pie takes ten minutes to prepare, and twenty-five minutes in an oven at 300 degrees. There is usually enough in a pie to continue eating for two or three days, unless the kids fall in love and gobble it up, which is entirely possible!

I started making Snap-e Pies because I wanted more protein and a freedom from gluten.

(When we all began eating Snap-e Pies there was an additional bonus. We became “regular” – this was from the psyllium; psyllium is a husk-like product that gives roughage. It can be bought at TJs. )

Here is the basic recipe.

4 eggs
A half a tub of TJs whipped cream cheese ($1.99)
A half a cup of Psyllium or a cup rolled oats (gluten free if you or family members are gluten-sensitive)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of baking soda

Separate the eggs, putting the yokes in the blender together with the cream cheese.

Whip the egg whites with the salt until so stiff that the little eruptions stand up firmly.

Blend the eggs and cheese and fold into the whipped whites. Add the Psyllium and the pinch of baking soda and mix thoroughly. Bake in a baking pan at 300 degrees for twenty five minutes.

This basic pie is delicious if you serve it with butter and Marmite. Marmite is a spread rich in Vita B1 and is an acquired taste. Your kids may love it or hate it. Adults usually love it and so do animals because of the B vitamin factor.   If your kids hate Marmite, serve instead with butter and marmalade.

marmite

Sweet Snap-e Pie

(Here are some sweet variations It is the same basic recipe)

To the blender with the cheese and egg yokes, add grated apple and grated coconut. To the final mix add oats rather than Psyllium and finally, just before baking, add a little box of raisins. Garnish with baked, sliced coconut. (Instead of the coconut you can use honey roasted sliced almonds or spicy pecans.)

 Or

Use banana or peach or pears instead of the apple. Blend thoroughly before adding to the egg whites. I almost always add raisins to my sweet Snap-e Pies.

Snap-E with Sausage and  Cottage Cheese

Snap-E with Sausage and Cottage Cheese

Savory Snap-e Pie.

(These can serve as a meal replacement rather than a snack)

Chop Up a zucchini and press some ginger into the mixture in the blender. Add raisins. It is a sweet and savory variation..

Or

Add hummus to the egggs and cheese. Then add lentils to the final mixture and spread a layer of TJ lentils on top of the savory pie covered with a layer of salsa. Garnish with grated cheese. Yum – delicious.

Or

 Add TJs chopped Asian vegetables to the final mixture. It is kind of crunchy and I serve it with marmite and butter. My husband likes this one

 Or

 Add cooked spinach to the final mixture and garnish with a thick layer of cheese. Trim with tomato slices.

Gluten-free pie savory

Snap-e Pie savory

With the basic recipe so easy and quick and truly healthy, there is no end to the variations you can create. Easy & Delicious!

 

Helping your Parent’s Move into a Retirement Home

This is a big event, like getting married or having a baby.

Moving on

I talked with a man in our store last week who had traveled all the way across from Vegas to help his aging father move into a home.

“You are a good son,” I said.

“Today,” he said, “I would agree with you!”

It wasn’t the time of the traveling that had stressed him out, it was sitting with his Dad while he helped him sort through his things which went on for nearly a week. The father had to decide what to take with him and each item was a momentous decision!  Then the next day the old man would change his mind or forget they had handled that item.

“So were you patient? “ I asked.

“Yes I was patient,” he twinkled, “I was really, really, really patient.”

When an elderly parent moves from a home they have lived in for many years it can be a stressful and a highly emotional time. It is a big transition and there is loss and always some grieving.

“Then you are a good son,” I said and I could see that he was.

In early September we often visit Retirement Homes.  I have been amazed at the level of luxury provided by these facilities.  Typically we deal with the Activity Director, officially the Director of Lifestyles. Let me ask you whether at any time in your life you have ever had a Director of Lifestyles at your beck and call, all yours and just to entertain you?

What astounded me was that these homes are not all that expensive; they are in the same degree of rent that my kids are paying in the city. Admittedly I was looking at a five star facility in Bakersfield.  So if your parent’s are able to afford a good retirement home and are outgoing, know they will have a grand old time: they will play Bridge, Bingo, participate in Water Aerobics and this in a pool heated to 85-95 degrees – there is always something going on. Understand that it is only the change that is hard on them.

An excellent idea to help them through these times is to pull out the old photos. Go through the album with them. Notice which ones they like.  Take a child with you so that they can absorb the old family history and stories. Encourage Dad or Mom to talk about the pictures. Each one will have a story. Select the favorite photos and have them made into a collage or two or three. With a collage you can even select a favorite saying like “The Handsome Patriot”  There is not much that they will be able to take with them if they are going into a small suite of rooms. Photos are the one thing that will give them a sense of continuity and connect them to their old life.

Change is hard on older people, but with their family helping them through the transition and their precious memories still with them, it will make it easier to settle down happily into the golden years of their life.

Quote for the Week

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

Grandparent’s Day ( Sunday, September 9th)

We owe them so much
Let’s make a big fuss of them this year!

Did you know?

Grandparent’s Day is in September to symbolize they are in the autumn of their life

Grandparents residing in theUSA? About 70 million a full one third of the nation’s population and 1.7 million are added to their ranks every year.

Grandparents control 75% of the nation’s money, and spend 52 million on the grandkids alone

Grandparents spend 100 billion on entertainment and 77 billion on travel.

Grandparents provide extra support for their children & grandchildren with a full 62% contributing in the last year.

Grandparents often invite their kids and grand kids to live with them in their homes.  6.2 milliion up from 5.0 million in 2000

Grandparents read a lot and 71% say reading is their favorite activity. 86% read a newspaper either in print or online.

Grandparents are surprisingly tech savvy, with 75% online and even 30%  use text messaging with their kids or grandkids.

Grandparents get thier own special blog. Click on the icon below to read more.

Old woman with umbrella walking on water

Grandparents are getting younger by the day – their average age is 48.

Grandparents say their families don’t often celebrate the day. 66% have never gotten a gift or been taken out for dinner on their own, very special day.

Grandparents Day flower is the Forget-me-Not (see image above) so let’s not forget them this year. 

 Quote for the Week

To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent — that is to triumph over old age.” – Dave Barry

The Joys of Summer

Is it time to summerize your home?

The sun is rising early, your days are long and warm, and best of all are those slightly cooler, long, lazy, summer evenings, ice clinking in the glass!

You will be wanting to spend much of your time outdoors perhaps at the beach or on holiday or with the kids at the pool. There will still be times when you will want to retreat alone  into the ‘coolth’ of the house. As a creative homemaker you can prepare for those quiet, alone moments of cool retreat that help you get back into the comfort zone.

As a creative homemaker you may also want to prepare for the extra guests you are going to enjoy in the summer. Expect your kids to bring over their friends, expect your husband to invite guests to the barbecue.  So you may want  to spruce things up a bit.

Curb Appeal and the Outside of your Home 

  •  Sweep the path to the front door and dust off the planters.
  • Think about cleaning, re-painting or replacing your house numbers. It’s the first impression of your home.
  • Get your hubby to repaint the front door, a lighter and brighter color.
  •  Vital and Important: Note any areas of clutter in the yard or in the house and very quickly fix them. Clutter detracts from the charm of summer.
  • Here is an engaging suggestion: Find one unique, outdoor chair, and place it near the mailbox. Make this the comfortable and inviting place you always sit while you sift through the mail.  A good idea is to have  easy access to the garbage bin on the way back to the house. After all, why take the junk-mail into your house?

Summerizing the Inside of your Home  

  •  There is nothing like a fresh natural summer scent to fill your house with joy. The easiest way to turn your house into a summer garden is with the Picture Lady Aroma Lamps and the Natural Oils from Africa. 
  • Use mirrors to lighten up your rooms and to set a magical, airy, look. Did you know that you can order mirrors in any of the Picture Lady exquisite frames?.
  • Take down any pictures with dark or heavy colors (or people in winter garb). This will include your winter family pictures which you can bring back again for Christmas. Replace these with lighter summer themes.
  • Fill bowls with citrus to add color and to also freshen the scent. Place these on your dining and coffee tables.
  • On your coffee tables place summer magazines with pictures of  gardens or vacations homes on the cover
  • Microfiber summer sheets Last but not least an excellent choice for summer sheets is the silky Microfiber sheets from Picture Lady where you have a choice of many summer colors.  It is vital to find your good summer sheets before the autumn nights, because nothing is worse than feeling hot and sticky in your bed at night. Men seem to suffer worse than women on hot summer nights and you can expect them to get crabby.

Often parents wonder what they can do over the summer to keep the children busy. We suggest if you can,  that you fill your long, lazy summer days with PLAY. My mother taught me how to water-ski and precious are those memories of a time shared with her and of gliding over water that was as smooth as a mirror in the late, long, summer evenings. I remember seeing a lazy duck swim out of the reeds, the only movement beside the wake of the boat in my laid-back summer world.

It is with memories of family quality time, of a lazy life in the comfort zone that filled my childhood with joy!

Quote for the Week

Flip flops & sunshine = FUNTIME!  –  Source Unknown.

 

 

Decorating Ideas for a Pretty Stairwell

Stairwells are usually ignored or overly decorated.

The stairwell, a place you and your family pass several times in a day – is the perfect place for those precious smaller pictures, the ones you love but have nowhere else to go and here is a space where you can put them all together. There is an art to creating an effective montage. (A montage is a pictorial composition made by juxtaposing (or superimposing) many pictures in one place in order to create a new cohesive, total creation from the many). The important thing is not to think of your stairwell in parts – stand back and get a comprehensive view of the overall space.

The walls under and above your stairs provide a large amount of decorating play-space.  This part of the house leads up and into the more private parts of your house, and is the perfect place to hang family portraits, those private pictures you want to hang but not to put “in the face” of mere acquaintances who may pop in to visit.

Here is how it can be done right!

The Perfect Stairwell  It could be a Photo-to-Artwork Montage 
  •  The gray green walls recede giving the small space a bigger look.
  • There are family portraits, scenery and artifacts.
  • The white frames match the railings of the staircase, each enhancing the other.
  • The color of the wall is slightly different from both the upper and lower stories but it blends with both.

A very good idea is to mix family pictures with scenery, possibly places the family has been together. Contrasting black and white scenery with colored family pictures can produce a stunning effect especially if showcased against a pastel wall.

You have many topics to choose from on the Picture Lady web site to help you create a cohesive whole.  Spend a little time with virtual decorating before you decide what you want to do.

Have the goal is to provide the depth (perspective) in your nook, that makes the space look bigger and draws your family members in, and involves them.

Practical Details 

While you can do an eclectic mix of frames in your living quarters, it is wise to keep the frames and possibly even the mats the same on your stairwell wall.

Before hanging pictures, consider the lighting. If the stairs are dark, add overhead spotlights.

Storage opportunities

Downsizing Solutions

One last thought as many are thinking of downsizing right now; the area under your stairwell is the ideal place to find a little bit of extra storage. Planned well,  the area can become functional space as well as one of the most aesthetic corners in your home.

It is suggested that when planning your montage, that lay all the pictures on a large table or carpet, and shift them around until you get the effect that is pleasing.  Replicate the picture sizes in newspaper and stick these up on the wall before plugging in your picture hooks.

Quote for the Week

Serious is a word that must be entirely avoided when it comes to decoration.”  —Designer Kathryn M. Ireland

Beating Death by Volunteering

Age (or threat of death) could not dim those hazel eyes, filled with so much  life and intelligence.

“So what stands out in your volunteering as a special moment?” I asked.

She smiled.  “At the gift shop late one night,” she said, “I had almost closed when a big Spanish family came, maybe six or seven people. They were so happy I was able to relate to them. Their attitude  made it worthwhile for me to stay the extra 15 minutes or so.”

“How much did they spend? “ I asked.

“Over a hundred dollars,” she said proudly.

Volunteering

Taking Responsibility

Then she looked up at me, her hazel eyes laughing as she made sure I got the right importance. ” Money is not important.  I get much more out of working here than they could ever, ever pay me.”

“Do they pay you?” I asked.

“Of course not, but being a volunteer allows me to be part of something worthwhile.”

This was her story: She had had cancer and it had spread to her liver. She followed the standard therapy guidelines, surgery and chemotherapy but she had decided she was not ready to die.

“I just wasn;t ready to die,” she said.

So she made a strong decision to live and within days was given a chance to be a part of a special study for a new cancer drug which saved her life ,  no side effects..

“Yet you didn’t go back to work?” I watched her count out the change, far faster than I could ever do and I also keep a store.

“There are parts of my brain were impaired by the chemo.” she said, ” I may not be perfect but I decided I would still function and contribute. See here, this machine tells me exactly how much change to give. . . ”

Not just beautiful, not just intelligent but also practical.

I admired her.

 Weekly Quote 

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
-Albert Schweitzer

Color Trends for 2012

Here are the fashion colors for 2012: the terms they are using and what they really mean.

TANGERINE TANGO   – A burnt orange
SOLAR POWER- a dark yellow
BELLFLOWER – soft lilac
MARGARITA -dusty grass green
CABARET- loud and pretty pink
SWEET LILAC soft pink
STARFISH – dusty dark beige
SODALITE BLUE – almost navy blue
DRIFTWOOD – a rich dark brown
COCKATOO – a cross between light teal and aqua.

Weekly Quote

“Yellow wakes me up in the morning. Yellow gets me on the bike every day. Yellow has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yellow makes me suffer. Yellow is the reason I am here.” — Lance Armstrong

Why do we write this blog?

This blog is dedicated to helping you to get your life together and to bring your home and your family a better quality of life.

We want you to be able to re-create your comfort zone. 

How is it done?

Firstly filter out the noise. Yes you can turn off the TV even if only one night a week. Go more to the Internet and seek out sites that are positive and have no hidden agenda.
Then, too, you can learn to become a Creative Homemaker on a very gentle  gradient.

What are the qualities of the Creative Homemaker?

  • The Ability to lighten the load for all and to create a little bit of magic.
  • The Ability to listen to your friends and family and make each one special
  • The Ability to beautify your home, making it a place of joy for others. .
  • The Ability to laugh at yourself and let your family  laugh along with you.
  • The Ability to turn your Home into a Sanctuary – to close the door and leave a troubled world outside.

Creative Home Makers are blessed with unique qualities; they are compassionate, but only sometimes competent and organized. They may not be great cooks, but they know how to get along with the in-laws. Unlike Lady Gaga the Creative Homemaker may or may not be a knock-out but like Lady Gaga they also don’t mind cleaning toilets!

The creative homemaker is good at forgiving and most of all she knows how to forgive herself.

We write because if we can make you smile, that is a very good thing nowadays.  In addition if we can also give you some useful information you can use to improve the quality of your family-life that is better still. You can access these posts directly or via links in our monthly newsletter.

We closed out the comments section as we were getting too much foreign spam.  Know however, that you can always communicate with us by using the email contact feature of http://www.picturelady.com/signup.htm .  We are very interested in your views and love to hear from you.

Wishing you the joys of spring and summer and all good things!

Quote for the Week

When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping.
Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.

— Elaine Boosler