We know, we know, it's beginning to look a lot like December out there already, what with Hanukkah fast approaching and Christmas countdowns waiting in the wings—but we love Thanksgiving here at WCS and wanted to feature a few more inspired ideas you can tackle before Thanksgiving Day from some of our favorite creatives on the internet (and a few home-grown ideas, too). Today we welcome designer/memory keeper/author/blogger/wife + mama Ali Edwards to share her thoughts about preparing a home for gratitude. Enjoy!
As we prepare for Thanksgiving next week I’m busy thinking about the organizational details: planning a grocery list, deciding what and how much I’m going to cook, thinking about the atmosphere I want to create in our home, wondering what time family are arriving, remembering that our knives need to be sharpened, etc.
In the midst of all those logistical details there’s another thing on my list: establishing my attitude of gratitude.
For me, establishing an attitude of gratitude begins with a simple choice: a choice to wake up on Thanksgiving morning (or any day) and greet it with a long, deep breath and a short “thank you” for all the blessings in my life. Taking just a few moments to center and focus myself and set my attitude before anything has gone right or wrong can make a huge difference in the atmosphere of my day.
It’s a little like an old-fashioned clock that needs to be wound; we all need to be reset from time to time.
As many of us know all too well, the chaos of the holidays, the anticipation, and the dynamics of family can add up to one big overwhelming mess of expectations packed into however many hours of non-stop fun.
It’s your attitude towards that mess that potentially makes all the difference.
My thought for you this weekend: establish an attitude of simple gratitude as you begin your day and then again anytime throughout the day when you need it most.
When it all gets too chaotic, too noisy (my personal issue), too rambunctious, or you look around and see all those things you wish you’d done in advance…in those very moments where your attitude may be heading downhill make the choice to turn it around and be thankful for those very things you dislike the most. Reframe the situation for yourself and rather than get frustrated, get thankful.
In my own house when things get off-kilter I plan to close my eyes and…
Choose to be thankful for the noise because it’s often a sign of celebration.
Choose to be thankful for any awkward or uncomfortable family moments as those are signs that we are all so very, very human.
Choose to be thankful for the rambunctiousness and wrestling because that’s a sign of life.
Choose to be thankful for all the things left undone because in letting that expectation go I free myself up to be more present in the celebration with my family.
I think one of the things I’m most thankful for is that I have a choice in terms of my attitude. I get to control it for better or worse. So here’s to low-stress holidays, good food, and peaceful interactions. May your day be infused with the spirit of thankfulness and may you not need too many attitude adjustments.
You may download this special message of gratitude by clicking below. Happy Thanksgiving!
Ali Edwards believes in capturing everyday life with photos and words and creating scrapbooks from those moments that often pass by in an instant. Author of four books about scrapbooking, she currently designs digital scrapbooking products for Designer Digitals and stamps for Technique Tuesday, and teaches workshops for Big Picture Classes. She invites you to participate in her signature annual project, December Daily, this holiday season. Read more about Ali at her website, Ali Edwards Design.
We know, we know, it's beginning to look a lot like December out there already, what with Hanukkah fast approaching and Christmas countdowns waiting in the wings—but we love Thanksgiving here at WCS and wanted to feature a few more inspired ideas you can tackle before Thanksgiving Day from some of our favorite creatives on the internet (and a few home-grown ideas, too). Today, WCS member Rebecca Cooper shares terrific ideas for Thanksgiving photography!
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with everyone in the midst of holiday preparations photographing this special holiday may not be at the very top of your priority list. To make sure this years Thanksgiving photos are more than just an afterthought keep consider this simple list of photos to capture this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Photo Ideas
1. How about recording a visual list representing the things you are thankful for. 2. While family and friends are gathered together take advantage of this perfect opportunity to capture some of the special connections between loved ones. 3. Don't forget to take photos of the details (the table setting, eating the meal) 4. Record a special Thanksgiving family tradition. 5. Take photos during the meal preparation. 6. The turkey (before, during, after) 7. Photograph the finished product of a favorite family recipe. 8. If others are contributing to the meal snap a photo of each person with the dish they brought. 9. If your kids have created any Thanksgiving crafts or artwork take a photo of them with it. 10. If you're always the one behind the camera make sure you hand it over to someone else. 11. A photo of the outside of your home on Thanksgiving Day (I see a yearly tradition coming on!) 12. Everyone sitting down together at the table to eat (try taking the photo from on top of a chair for a different view.) 13. How fun would it be to purchase a Thanksgiving hat or other prop and photograph each person with it. 14. A closeup of a person holding their plate of food. 15. You MUST photograph the cook—if you are the cook have someone else take a photo of you! 16. A photo of all the groceries purchased to make the Thanksgiving meal. 17. A photo of your favorite Thanksgiving food dish. 18. Photograph the front door of your home.... 19. ...or any Thanksgiving decor around your house. 20. A photo of the pile of dishes left after finishing the meal.
If you're anything like we are, there's a good chance that Thanksgiving is one of the more under-documented holidays in your photo library! It's time to change that. Have your camera in an accessible yet protected-from-food-and-a-houseful-of-company spot, charge your camera battery/set your tripod up the night before, and print Rebecca's list in checklist form to hang on your fridge so you don't forget to take photographs of the special moments throughout the day. This bears repeating: hand your camera over to a loved one so there's proof that you were there, too. You'll be thankful one day you did!
This past year, we had to say goodbye to one of our dear team members, Karen Glenn. While we were terribly distraught, we were very excited to watch the next measure of her success. And it didn't take long. She teamed up with her wonder twin, our very own, Kim Morgan, to create a terrific new endeavor. Please put your hands together for a newbie company that we know is going to achieve great success. A warm welcome to,
Pearenthetical Press is a custom stationery shop specializing in tastefully designed, personalized papergoods for a variety of correspondence needs. Our products include personal stationery, holiday cards,invitations, birth announcements, bookplates, and more.
All of our stationery is printed on premium, smooth, matte, ultra-thick 110 lb paper using archival pigment inks.
Pearenthetical Press is owned and operated by twin sisters Karen Glenn and Kimberly Morgan. Each design is our own original and each order is carefully personalized and beautifully printed by us.
Pearenthetical Press is sure to provide you with all the paper goods you will need.
Today, one of you has the chance to receive one complimentary set of 15 personalized holiday cards or personal stationery. But in the spirit of holiday gift giving, now through Thanksgiving, all of you may receive 15% off your purchase of $25.00 or more! Thank you, Pearenthetical Press!! **enter the code POACHED PEAR to receive your discount!!
If you would like to be considered for today's giveaway, please leave us a comment telling us the last time you sent someone a handwritten note or card. And then, perhaps you could take a minute, or thirty, to create a layout which documents the changes in communication over your lifetime. Are you a cyber baby who knows nothing else? or were you born at a time where only a select few had telephones? What an interesting page this might be.
Comments will remain open until 8:00 pm PST. One lucky number will be selected at random and posted in the morning. Please remember it is your responsibility to claim your lucky number by midnight Saturday by emailing us at writeclickscrapbook at gmail dot com. Thank you!
We know, we know, it's beginning to look a lot like December out there already, what with Hanukkah fast approaching and Christmas countdowns waiting in the wings—but we love Thanksgiving here at WCS and wanted to feature a few more inspired ideas you can tackle before Thanksgiving Day from some of our favorite creatives on the internet (and a few home-grown ideas, too). Today, WCS members Monika Wright and Elizabeth Dillow share a few ideas and some free downloads that can be used to share thankfulness with family and friends who won't be at your Thanksgiving table this year!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, and Christmas standing noisily in line behind, the kids will be home on school break. And we'll be scratching our heads wondering what we're going to do to keep them busy.
I'm lucky enough to have my in-laws (who live up the driveway from us) and my Mom and brother (who live 20 minutes away) close by. It's not always been this way, so we often mailed art projects and notes and letters to our friends and family far away.
That's my little Spunky. She's our hand model today as we show you how to make your own handprint turkey, just in time to send out to family and friends who might not be able to make it to the get-together this year. You might even want to share this idea with your child's teacher at school for a fun art project.
Next, we'll pull out one of Mommy's old t-shirts (aka our painting shirt) because this might get a little messy. I opted to make this a two-step process with Victoria, but with an older child it could easily be accomplished in one step.
We're going to make a handprint turkey. To make the turkey, paint the bottom half of the hand and thumb with brown paint (this will be the body and neck of the turkey). Then paint the fingers with red, yellow or orange paint. Make them different colors or alternate two colors as we did. Using markers, draw the legs (brown), beak (orange), waddle (red) and eyes and eyelashes (black).
If painting is really not an option in your house, print this download on an 8.5x11 piece of cardstock or matte photo paper. After trimming, you will have a card that can be folded and mailed. You can close the notecard by cutting out the label provided and attach with your favorite adhesive.
The digital papers and die cut elements are from a variety of kits by Crystal Wilkerson. I used this font from Kevin and Amanda inside the die cut shapes. There are faint lines just above the return address label and just below the round label to use as score lines for folding.
Here's what I came up with:
I chose to add a photo (just had to trim 1" from the side of a standard 4x6 photo) to send to my dear friend. One could also have the kidlets draw a picture or even have them write a short note.
You can see that I fussy cut around the 'thinking of you' die cut shape and used it as a closure for my mailer. I rounded all the corners and also added yet another die cut shape to the bottom portion inside the mailer.
Elizabeth made a quick and easy postcard that you can download here. The blank side can be used for children's artwork and the back for a Thanksgiving message written by a child (or with help from the grownup!) Everyone you know coming to Thanksgiving? It's a good bet that a handful of these art projects and Thanksgiving cards would be very welcome at your local nursing home.
Time to get your printers revved up and start those downloading engines!
1. Thanksgiving is a week away.
2. If you sent some Thanksgiving mail by Saturday, it would most likely arrive at its destination in time.
3. No stamps and no time to make it to the post office? You know you'll be driving back and forth from the grocery store approximately 19 times between now and Thanksgiving anyway, and chances are you can buy stamps at your grocery check-out, so just go for it! The end.
We know, we know, it's beginning to look a lot like December out there already, what with Hanukkah fast approaching and Christmas countdowns waiting in the wings—but we love Thanksgiving here at WCS and wanted to feature a few more inspired ideas you can tackle before Thanksgiving Day from some of our favorite creatives on the internet (and a few home-grown ideas, too). Today, we welcome designer Sharilyn Wright (and her daughter, Adelaide!) of Lovely Design to share a beautiful idea for Thanksgiving décor. Enjoy!
The past several weeks, Adelaide and I have been spending many hours out and about and gathering. Acorns, chestnuts, pinecones, pretty twigs and branches, and so many beautiful Autumn leaves. It was out on one of our gathering expeditions that it occurred to me, studying the make up of a leaf, that we could possibly recreate our own leaves using a little bit of wire, paper, and paint.
To make our own Autumn leaves, we first went out on a walk all around our neighbourhood and gathered up a variety of fresh leaf samples, in all types and sizes. We brought them home and together traced about 2 dozen out onto sheets of 80 lb drawing paper. I then cut a few out, and got my daughter painting.
To paint the leaves, I had 3 bottles of acrylic paint which we had picked up at the dollar store: red, orange, and yellow. (although, really you would only need red and yellow.) I squirted a little bit of each paint colour onto individual saucers. I then cut up dollar-store sponges into 1/2" - 1" blocks, and showed Adelaide how she could dab a little paint onto each sponge and use them to dap and mix and blend colours all together to paint a leaf.
I found at first it was good to give her a big leaf to paint, so she would have lots of room to experiment and check it all out. I placed several real leaves alongside of her, and together we examined them closely. I showed her how not one leaf was a solid, single colour—each was many colours blended all together: red, yellow, orange. And I also encouraged her to try to do her best to cover all of each leaf so that no white would show, just like a real leaf.
While Addie happily painted away, I used a glue gun and wire cutters and began to cut and glue wire "spines" onto the back of each leaf. When the glue dried, I found that I could bend and shape each leaf to look quite real. With a bit of trial and error, I found that a thinner wire around 16—18g worked best for these leaves. I glued and collected up a bunch of paper leaves in this manner, and bent and worked the wires until they looked authentic and were ready to be painted up. As Addie finished up her first practice leaf, I was ready to pass her the leaves I had ready-to-go.
Note: After seeing how the paper leaves dried - quite solid and stiff, I think that it is important to bend your leaves into shape first before painting them. I found that if I bent the wires when the paint was wet, the paper could tear. And if I bent the wires when the painted leaves were dry, then they could crack.
Painting leaves kept Adelaide very occupied and busy for almost two hours. Together we ended up making about 15 or 20 leaves in this manner, and so it was time for a break. Leaving the leaves to dry, we headed to the forest to find a nice branch for them. By time we had returned, the leaves were mostly all dry, and I found that they had dried quite solidly—surprisingly, they weren't very fragile at all. Happy with the results, Adelaide and I selected some of the prettiest leaves and I used bits of brown florist tape—which I had purchased ahead at Michael's—and taped leaves to the branch, one by one. Placed all together on a branch, Adelaide's leaves really do look quite real! At the very least, they do not look like they were painted by a three-year-old. Adelaide was thrilled and we are both very happy with the results of our project.
These painted leaves are so lovely and can be used in many ways—taped onto a branch and kept in a vase as we have, or perhaps all along a branch for a Thanksgiving table centerpiece. I think it would be nice for perhaps each member of a class or a family to paint their own leaf, and write their names on them to make a family tree. Or even woven into a garland for a door frame or window. All around a wreath. Or even just to keep as a single leaf, tacked to a bulletin board to keep for always. I think that it may be nice to make some more leaves in spring or summer, all green and yellow and happy.
Sharilyn Wright is the owner of Vancouver, Canada-based Lovely Design, where she creates gorgeous address file boxes, beautiful posters, and other one-of-a-kind treasures. Her work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, The Washington Post, ReadyMade, and other design publications. She is both a full-time mama and a full-time maker of lovely things, and believes firmly in including her daughter in her creative space. Please visit her shop and blog to learn more about Sharilyn!
So much of our Thanksgiving memories are wrapped up in the things we make—from pies to pilgrim hats, it is a creative holiday that builds upon a foundation of a cozy home full of those we love. By including children in your Thanksgiving preparations they'll feel a sense of pride when that beautiful table is set. So grab some paint, go find a few branches buried under the leaf pile (or snow!) and get those children working on their contributions to a homemade Thanksgiving to remember.
We know, we know, it's beginning to look a lot like December out there already, what with Hanukkah fast approaching and Christmas countdowns waiting in the wings— but we love Thanksgiving here at WCS and wanted to feature a few more inspired ideas you can tackle before Thanksgiving Day from some of our favorite creatives on the internet (and a few home-grown ideas, too). Please welcome our first guests, the girls from Eighteen25. Enjoy!
Two years ago we started our Book of Thanks.
Every Thanksgiving everyone takes a turn writing what they are grateful for in it.
We especially like what the kids have to add to the book.
We also make sure we gather together, put the camera on a timer and snap a quick shot of us all.
Jennifer, Jamie and Jodie are the sisters behind Eighteen25, a popular crafty blog that showcases each of their own little crafty talents, lots of fun inspiration, and a free download every now and then. They were born and raised (and still reside) in Vegas, where they get together as often as possible with their children (11 between them!)
Let this terrific project from the Eighteen25 sisters make your Thanksgiving celebration a little more special. Set up a little card table or set your book on a coffee table and be sure to have a few pens and crayons ready to go beforehand. Appoint a few "plants" that can explain the project and remind guests to add an entry to a blank book, specialty album (this project features an album from Once Upon a Family) or even a plain white mat that can later be framed. Making sure someone else is doing the reminding is crucial if you're the hostess, because you might be a little busy in the kitchen... Make sure your camera is ready and accessible (and tripod if you have one!) and know that you've just created a priceless snapshot in time that can become your family's newest tradition, too.
Earlier this week, one of our readers asked us for tips on taking interesting Christmas Tree pictures. I immediately understood where she was coming from because I have asked myself the same question before. To compile the best possible tips, I asked the Write.Click.Scrapbook collective for their input and they did not disappoint:
Amy Sorensen said: "If your tree is in front of the window, open the window coverings, then take a photo once it's dark outside. The lights on the tree will reflect from the black windowpane, creating even more sparkle". Melissa Kaiserman did just this last year and here is the result. Rather gorgeous, don't you think?
Elizabeth Dillow suggested to take a picture of Christmas Tree tradition such as a picture of the person who gets to put the tree topper on the tree each year. Here is the darling picture she took last year:
Marie Taylor suggested to take a picture from outside the house. I haven't done this but it's definitely on my to-do list this year!
Finally, my own tip: take close-ups of your tree. Better yet, include the close up in a picture but don't make it the focal point of the picture. For example, I took this picture of my daughter sleeping next to the tree:
Before signing off, I would like to thank all of you for following along this week. Here is a link to three of my templates if you are keen to get a head start with your holiday layouts. Remember to use my clipping mask tutorial and you'll be off to a running start with these templates.