Living Room Art

Our formal living room has remained void of any art on the walls since we moved in over two years ago. Something about the super high ceilings needing a certain scale of art left me feeling too intimidated to even begin. It was over a year ago that I started thinking about adding one or two large photos above our couch, and I even explored a few options in this post but never had the photographs printed. After returning from our northern California trip this summer, however, I finally decided to take the leap.

I selected two images from our visit to Bodega Bay and had them printed at 24 x 36 inch and mounted in 30 x 40 inch frames.


The images were shot on the tip of an area known as Hole in the Head, with the photo on the left representing the southern view and the photo on the right representing the view to the north.


Mini Gallery Wall


I’ve been working on a gallery wall in our family room for a couple of months now. Between selecting images, framing them, trying different layouts on the floor, deciding to change several photos and finally hanging them on the wall, it’s taken much longer to complete the gallery wall than I ever dreamed.

This week we finally finished our big wall of travel photos and I couldn’t be happier with the results. It was definitely worth the effort we put into it. And as a bonus, I had several pictures that ended up not making the cut for the family room gallery, so I’ve started another gallery wall in my office. (more…)

Six Sources for Affordable Art

My top 6 favorite sites for affordable art.

I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall of photos for a few months now, and I’m finally *almost* ready to start adding art to a large empty wall in our living room. The imagery is mostly my own photography from our travels and family photos, but I’ve also added a few prints into the mix. I did quite a bit of research before selecting the prints, so I thought I would share some of my favorites. Just compiling these examples has made me re-think my initial selections – so many great images out there, it’s hard to choose! (more…)

Snow Day Scenes


We’ve had a snow-filled week in Texas. Two canceled school days, one late start and one early dismissal, and now we’re heading into a weekend with a chance of more snow and freezing rain. As much as my plant-filled blog suggests that I’m wishing for sunshine and green trees, I have to admit (more…)

Digital Image to Printed Page: Custom Journals for Kids

My process for creating awesome and inexpensive custom travel journals for my children - so easy to create these on your phone.

Remember in the 80s when you made collages out of cut-up magazines, stickers and other print ephemera? Maybe you don’t. Anyway, these days collaging has gone digital, and my children love taking photos and layering on all sorts of drawings, stickers, text and other digital effects.

As soon as I saw how much my daughter loved taking pictures with her new phone, I introduced her to A Beautiful Mess, an app that let’s you add doodles, text, filters and other effects to photos. Soon after, she introduced me to Pic Collage. It’s been photo-editing bliss ever since.

With all of the images we captured at Disneyworld recently, I decided to up our game in the photo documentation area and create journals for Jason and Jenna using some of my photos along with some of the photos they ‘enhanced’ in their favorite apps. (more…)

Weekend Snapshot

weekend snapshot

After weeks of gray skies, the sun finally made an appearance this weekend, and I spent much of my time soaking up evidence of the light with my camera. On a related note, I finally purchased a VSCO Film Pack, something I’ve wanted for quite awhile. The images in this weekend snapshot were all post-processed using VSCO Film 01, and I love the extra bit of drama it adds. (more…)

Photo Challenge: Texture

I haven’t participated in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge in quite a while, but this weekend’s trip to Yosemite has me in full-on picture taking mode. The theme this week is Texture, something this park has in abundance.

Here are a couple of my favorite Yosemite texture shots so far:

Fallen Tree at Mariposa Grove

Fallen Tree at Mariposa Grove Yosemite National Park

Detail Views: Boulder and Tree


View of Half Dome from Glacier Point

Half Dome at Glacier Point

Yosemite Valley Near the Village

Yosemite Valley as seen near Yosemite Village

All photos were shot with a Canon 6D. The landscape views were shot with a Canon 24mm-70mm f/2.8 II lens and the detail views were shot with a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens.


Yosemite: A Photography Packing List

Trip to Yosemite: A photography packing list with top app recommendations for photographing Yosemite

Next week, we’re heading on a trip to California that will include a few stops, including Yosemite National Park. I’m crazy excited about visiting Yosemite, mostly for the opportunity to take pictures with my new camera.  Here’s my list of essentials for the trip:

The Basics

Lightweight jacket / Comfy walking shoes / A backpack

Serious Gear

My camera / My Favorite Lens / A Lens I Rented Here / A Grid System for Chargers, Batteries, etc.

Just For Fun

I recently bought some film for my vintage Spectra Polaroid camera. I haven’t had much success with it yet, but if I’m ever going to get some good shots, I’m thinking Yosemite just might be the place.

The Impossible Project Polaroid Film

Essential Apps

  • Canon EOS Remote: One of my favorite features about my new camera is the ability to connect to my phone. This app makes it all possible.
  • VSCO Cam: This has become my go-to app for editing and filtering my iPhone photos
  • The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite: I haven’t explored this app very much yet, but the contents look amazing. It is based on the author’s book of the same title and it provides comprehensive recommendations on where to shoot, settings to use, time of day, etc.
  • National Parks Yosemite Guide: This is the official guide to Yosemite and it provides a general guide to what to what to see and do in Yosemite along with maps for getting around.


Note: post contains affiliate links


Weekend Snapshot

It was a gorgeous weekend, and it’s finally starting to look like Spring in our yard. We spent lots of time enjoying the weather, planting in our garden and, of course, taking photos. I’m really starting to love my new camera! Here are a few of my favorite pics from the weekend:

weekend snapshot

Weekend Snapshot

In typical Texas winter style, we went from 70 degrees evening-on-the-patio weather on Friday afternoon to freezing rain by Sunday. Perfect weather for fort building, balloon bouncing and just generally being lazy.

weekend snapshot

Large-Scale Photo Prints

creating large scale engineering printsI’ve always wanted to try printing a photo in a large-scale format. Staples, Office Depot and other print/supply stores will create large, black-and-white engineering prints for under $10. After our big ice storm a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had the perfect photo to try it out.

I started with this photo that I took while we were sledding in our neighborhood:


I converted it to black and white, bumped up the contrast and cropped it to the print dimensions – 36 x 48 inches.


And after printing it at Staples, I attached it to my office wall using 3M poster strips.


Take One: Christmas Card Photos

christmas card outtakes It’s not even Thanksgiving and I can already check ‘Christmas Cards’ off my list. Am I on a roll this season or what?

I took our Christmas photos early this year, with the idea that we may need to go a few rounds before getting that perfect shot. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but by ‘perfect’ I mean: everyone is smiling, in focus and looking in the general direction of the camera. My expectations have been rather low based on historical evidence (see last year’s outtakes). This year, I’m happy to report that our shoot went fairly well, and we ended up with quite a few adorable shots of this brother and sister duo. I’ll be sharing our cards (selected from the Tiny Prints holiday collection) along with a DIY project for displaying holiday photos on the Tiny Prints blog soon. In the meantime, here are a few outtakes: christmas photo outtakes

Thank you, Tiny Prints, for our gorgeous holiday cards!