Couples Photo Map

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This was a fun project! I can’t wait to make one for Tony and I, but this particular one was a Christmas gift for my parents. You’re probably wondering, “Wow, Christmas was months ago. What took so long?” I couldn’t figure out how to get this present to them, so they didn’t get it until the kids Spring Break. I couldn’t post about it until they had seen it. So here we go!

This pin has been on my photo display board for a while now. Honestly, until today, I didn’t even look at the actual blog. I had seen the picture on Pinterest and fell in love with the concept. The original blogger used push pins, attached to the back of her photos to hold the pictures in place, giving the map more depth. Not having read the blog, here is what I did:

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I started with this 24×36″ map from Amazon. I love Amazon! If they don’t have it, it’s not to be had! I went with that size because I wanted to be able to see the pictures when they were all in place. Then the fun started. I had to sift through my pictures, thousands and thousands of pictures, to find pictures of my parents in different states. I wanted pictures with just the two of them, but the Missouri picture included my kids (mom still loved it!).

Then the tricky part. Cutting the pictures into the shape of states. Certain ones are easy, like Ohio. Others, like North and South Carolina can be difficult. Especially considering you have to cut the photo in such a way as both people are still visible.

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Some states, like Hawaii, there is nothing you can do, so make up your own mind what to do with the special states. I just did a cutout around them and put it by the state.

Once I had placed all of the photos I had, I framed the map and considered it complete. There is always the option of adding more photos, I definitely want to add a picture of them from Alaska when I find one!

Mom was very happy with the gift. I haven’t heard what dad thinks yet, but I picture a smile, a nod and a “looks good”. Sweet and a little shy about it, just like he’s always been.

If you travel, if you take pictures, even if you wanted to do a family map instead of a couple map, this is a fun, and only slightly complicated craft!

Happy crafting all!

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DIY Lego Table

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Arthur got this table for his 8th birthday. That was almost a year ago. Wow. It has been a long time, but Tony and I just figured out how to attach the top to the drawer units. I couldn’t settle on an idea for a while, then I had to wrangle Tony into using power tools for me.

I found a picture on Pinterest, but the link was broken, so I was stuck staring at a picture, then drawing my own conclusions.

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What you need to start are three of these drawer units, inexpensively found at Walmart (where I get almost everything). I used two 3-drawer carts and one 4-drawer cart. I liked the 4 drawer cart to allow a place for Lego books, although they now take up a full sized drawer, and a drawer for the mini figures. The other small drawer currently holds his Lego magazines.

Then all you need to do is select a material that you want for your surface. We chose an MDF board from Home Depot. Measurements of the board will depend on if you choose to go with the standard size drawer units or the wider ones.

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Here we are, almost a year later, Tony drilled holes through the top of the unit and through the board. Then you insert the screws and attach the washer. The third cart is meant to rest under the table, where the child’s legs normally go, when the table is not in use. When they’re using the table, the third cart slides out and can sit on the side for easy access.

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Ta-da!

Arthur loves his Lego table, it is in a constant state of use, whether he’s building on it or using it to display current creations.

Do you have a Lego lover in your house? If so, this is (about) a $40 project that will help save your sanity by keeping the mess contained! Ever stepped on a Lego? Ouch!

Happy building!

Schoolwork Memory Book

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As any parent will tell you, young children generate papers. Artwork, doodles, schoolwork that they did well on. The amount of papers that come home from school is mind boggling! I’m a saver. I want to save all the moments, but I don’t want to keep all the papers. Let’s be honest, it’s a fire hazard, it’s more clutter and once you put it away somewhere, you will probably never pull it out again!
Once again, I fell back to my dear friend Shutterfly. I’ve used Shutterfly in the past for my family yearbooks, printing Christmas cards and pictures. Coke points are great for saving money on their products too!
Before the idea fully formed in my head, I took digital pictures of every paper Arthur brought home, saving it on my external hard drive. Then it occurred to me, I could put them all in a book to have a hard copy!

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Opening page featured first days of kindergarten work, pictures he colored of the bus and his school. I also included the name of his school and his teacher.

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I had the mix pages, like this, which was just a grouping of his artwork. He went through phases in school, drawing ships for a while, then switching to bats, then a frightening looking man. I did try to group those together.

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I also did themed pages for holidays, like this one for Thanksgiving.

All in all, I loved this project! I was so happy when the book came in, allowing me to sit and look through Arthur’s kindergarten work in one setting. Now I need to do one for his first grade work, then I’m done until the end of this school year!

Allegiant

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This was a weird movie for me. I went in to the theater knowing from the previews that it would be different from the book. I loved the book, as much as the ending devastated me, but I had also enjoyed the movies.

The movie picks up with the trials of those who had worked with Janine to destroy Abnegation and take over the city. Four, Tris and a small group of friends are working to escape the city to see if the message from the founders was true. Is there life outside the wall? Can those outside the city help stop the violence going on inside the wall? 

Once they find what is outside the walls, there are suddenly a whole new set of problems. Four, who has always been there to help Tris, finds himself suddenly considered less than her. I mentioned it in my Divergent review, but these characters have always been there for each other find themselves separated by a prejudice they never knew existed.

Tris is “genetically pure”, Four is “damaged”. While Tris assures Four that he is still the same to her, giving me an “awe” moment in the theater, she is still being influenced by David, the head of the “Chicago experiment”.

I wasn’t sure until the end if there would be a final movie, but there will be. Although the drama portion of the movie is wrapped up by the end, you are left with a sense of impending doom.

Arthur, my eight year old, was very fascinated by the technology in the movie. It’s much more advanced than I remember from the book. Flying transports, floating elevators, oh my!

Although the movie has ventured off into directions I wouldn’t personally have chosen, far from the book, the characters are true to form. At the end of the day, that’s what is most important to me. You do fall in love with the characters after all!

I hope everyone enjoys the movie as much as I did!

In this house we do Geek

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I know I just did a Disney version of this, but both apply to our family, so yes, I did both! They were both so much fun, and they perfectly describe me. After all, how many people are out there that love both Disney and the Fandom life?

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This one features the following movies:
We believe in Magic – Harry Potter
We go on Unexpected Journeys – Hobbit
Going where no man has gone before – Star Trek
In galaxies far, far away – Star Wars
We assemble and defend – Avengers
We know the answer to everything is 42 – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Family don’t end in blood – Supernatural
We’re all mad here – Alice in Wonderland
The odds are ever in our favor – Hunger Games
All the stories are true – Mortal Instruments
We aim to misbehave – Firefly

I had the second frame from Goodwill, so now I have a beautiful pair of pictures, just waiting for me to find the right spot on my walls…..

What fandoms inspire you? Which quote would you choose for your print?