4.29.2011

.Tea For Three Please.

I did it.

I woke up at 4:55am and arrived at Adam's grandmother's house at exactly 5:30am to watch the Royal Wedding. My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law awaited my arrival with hats, snuggies, and an AMAZING spread of English treats and teas.

I am one special daughter-in-law. So much so I call Adam's mom and grandmother simply "Mom" and "Grandma" and from now on will refer to them as just that! They are wonderful women. Women who have truly welcomed me into their family and who love me deeply. I love each of them and cherish our times together. 

This morning was no different. Mom created such a peaceful, relaxing, fun environment to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The three of us bounced our excitement and eagerness onto each other and it resulted with three giddy women eating tons and tons of food drinking not only tea, but a little coffee too..after all, it was 6 in the morning :)

Here are some of the photos I snapped quickly before we all dove in for food. All of the credit goes to Mom or "Mum" as Adam likes to call her. She worked so hard in creating English treats for us as well as decorating the tables with our wedding photos and other beautiful touches..not to mention a few Wills and Kates soaking it up in the "hot tubs" ;) 


There are a few photos of us in our snuggies and hats but I think those need to stay just in the family ;)

I hope you enjoyed our Tea For Three! Leave some love for my mother-in-law, she always reads my blog and would be delighted to hear what you think!

Happy Weekend To You!

4.26.2011

.Royal Wedding Week.

This past weekend after spending time with Adam's family, my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law asked me if I was going to watch "the wedding."  

"The wedding, what wedding?" 
{I admit, I am a bit out of the loop. Adam and I do not have cable and I guess we are behind.}

My mother-in-law explained the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton will be airing this Friday. {I honestly thought they were already married because I've seen Kate's face on every magazine, shows how much I actually read!} Adam's grandma will be hosting a tea party Friday morning at 6am and invited me to join her and my mother-in-law. At first I thought they were kidding but then I remembered something: Adam's great-grandmother came over to America from England--they are English! It all made sense at that moment, my "light bulb" went on and I knew they were very serious. 

The conversation was quickly directed to a magazine purchased by Adam's grandma all about the Royal Family. I was fascinated with the pictures and really enjoyed the styles from years past to present. My mother-in-law told me Lifetime had been airing 40 minute episodes about the Royal family leading up to the wedding. (They are all available on hulu.) She went on to share her memory of watching Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding and how magical it all felt. After viewing the photos, the little girl in me awoke and I felt the magic too..it was a true fairytale..


By the end of our conversation I will not lie to you, I was and still am interested. I feel like I should be a good daughter/granddaughter-in-law and wake up early, throw on a hat, and enjoy a splendid tea party with my loving, English family :) My grandfather had some English in his blood too so why not indulge in some English culture and history?

This week while the girls nap, I will begin watching the 40 minute episodes on the Royals and see where it leads me. It's fun getting excited about something when the ones you love are really "into it"--ya know? It will be a great memory we can share together and someday tell my little girl (if the Lord chooses to bless me with one). 

I am going to watch "the wedding".. 
"the fairytale"..
of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
I am ready to feel the magic.

  
Are you?

4.24.2011

.In Christ Alone.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand


4.23.2011

.Canvas Logo Art.

Adam's painting project is finished.

It feels AMAZING.

Before I get into the tutorial and revealing the final result, I need to share some background information on why I chose to do a project for Adam. My husband is an incredibly talented man and is always working on perfecting his "craft." He is a motion graphics artist. Adam creates visual effects, motion graphics, and logo animations. He works not one job, but two--yes, my baby is something else! At his 9-to-5 job Adam is the Creative Director at Hello Studios here in Lynchburg. On the "side" Adam is the Site Editor for Aetuts+, one of the largest Adobe After Effects training sites in the world.  Aetuts+ is part of a network of educational sites created by Envato, an Australia-based company. Their mission is to help people earn money by selling digital goods and grow in their fields by learning new skills. (Yes, he walked me through that word for word) 

Pictured below are the logos for each of the different tuts+ sites:
I wanted to create these logos for Adam to display in his studio office. I easily could have printed these out and framed them..but where is the fun in that? I decided to familiarize myself with my set of paint brushes and practice painting. Let me state one fact: "I, Katie Miller, am NOT painter." I enjoy painting and the idea of painting but have never been a painter. Drawing has been more my "thing." So this project is for all of you non-painters out there. 

Here is a shot of my finished paintings:
   Materials needed to create Logo Paintings:
      - Canvases (Michaels has a package of 10 canvases for $19.99--that is $2
        per canvas PLUS you can use a past receipt from their store for an extra 
        40% off--talk about a great deal!)
      - Acrylic Paint (To complete Adam's project, I needed many ounces of 
        numerous shades. Michaels had a sale for 8oz Acrylic paint for $1.99! I
        lucked out as an 8oz bottle is originally $3.50)
      - Paint brushes: one thin, angled brush and one thick brush
      - Paper plates
      - Pencil
      - Sharpie fine tip marker
      - Projector
      - Ruler (I used an old laundry card from college since I had to draw many
        small straight edges)
 This entire project cost me under $40.00! Keep in mind I completed not one, but ten canvases for Adam's studio office.

Making Your Logo Paintings

1. Download a logo of your choice onto your desktop or laptop.
2. If you have access to a projector, connect the projector up to your 
   computer and project your logo of choice onto a wall. 
3. Once your image is projected, grab your blank canvas and hold it against the 
    wall until you are satisfied with the sizing of the logo on your canvas. The 
    pictures above and below captured me lining up "ae" with my canvas. My goal 
    was to have "ae" as large as it could be with fitting perfectly on my canvas. 
    Adam's projector was situated on the chair a few feet away from the wall in 
    his office.
Our friend, the projector. You do not need a projector that looks just like this one--have any teacher friends? I'm sure by asking around you can find one in a school, I know they still "exist" because I used them 2 years ago during my student teaching! Your church may have access to one as well, just ask around :)
 4. When your canvas is in place, using your pencil, carefully trace the 
    logo. 
   Hint: Take your time as you trace. I learned this is
   the most important step. If you have a spouse, 
   child, or friend nearby have them hold your canvas
   in place while you trace. Feel free to even use a
   ruler or another straight edge to help with your 
   lines. I did this by myself and rushed the process 
   thinking I could "fix" my lines later on. To my 
   surprise, I relied on the exact pencil lines I drew
   during this step. Take your time! 
Canvas before and after tracing the logo. Please note the not-so-straight lines.
5. Depending on how many canvases you plan on painting, repeat steps #1-4 
    until you have completed tracing all logos on your canvases.
6. Set your traced canvases aside and set up your painting station. Your station
    should include a paper plate with your choice of paint color on it and paint 
    brushes (one thin and angled, one thicker).
7. Begin using your thin, angled brush to outline your pencil lines with paint.
    Hint: Use very small amounts of paint on your brush
   during this step and take your time. You can 
   practice "getting to know your paint brush" on your 
   paper plate. Try and get a feel for the different 
   angles the bristles make and how to use this to 
   your benefit.
    After completing one coat of paint, painting only around the outline of your
    pencil lines, your canvas will look like this:
8. Wait as long as it takes for your canvas to dry. This project will definitely 
    teach patience :)
9. Continue the method you used in step #7 to paint a second coat. Pictured 
    below is the beginning of painting my second coat. (Yes, I am a certified 
    Elementary school teacher even though I hold my pen and paint brush in a 
    horrid, horrid way)
   Hint: Please notice the way the bristles are hugging 
   the pencil line. Be confident in your brush and trust
   the way it moves.
10. Allow time for your second coat to dry.
11. When it is dry, using your thicker bristled brush, paint a light first coat on the
      remaining canvas including all sides. 
12. Wait for the paint to dry and repeat for a second coat including all sides.
      Hint: The lighter, warmer colors only require 2 
    coats while the darker, cooler colors required up to
    4. The purples were the hardest to cover up the
    white canvas.
13. When your canvas is completely painted (as many coats as it took you) it will
      look like this:
 14. The edges will appear rather rough and will be needing some extra love from
      you. Take your Sharpie fine tip marker as well as your ruler (or old hotel key,
      gift card, old laundry card, etc.) and begin outlining your logo. By using a 
      ruler or old card, it will allow you to trace your logo with your Sharpie and 
      create straight lines.
    Hint: This is the step I "fixed" my not-so-straight
    lines I drew during step #4. I made sure my 
    laundry card was aligned with the rest of my 
    canvas before tracing it with the Sharpie. You can 
    press harder on your Sharpie to create a thicker 
    line which is great for fixing your lines. Pressing 
    lighter on your Sharpie will create thinner lines.
15. Using your Sharpie, continue tracing the curved edges. You cannot use 
     anything as a guideline so remember to take your time. If it is not perfect, 
     that is okay! Your final logo painting will look something like this:
16. Hang up your hard work and enjoy your painting--YES!--you completed a 
      canvas painting! Now show it off :)
Thank you for taking the time to read this tutorial. I really wanted to share this painting project with you because the result is clean, fresh, modern, and very attainable! I think these would look darling in a little boy or girls room using their initials..or is a kitchen reading "eat"..get creative everyone! Where would you use a craft like this in your home? Stay tuned for a similar painting project, one that does not require using a projector, just a simply pattern made of cardstock:) I hope you will all come back and visit me at Little Things Bring Smiles.
  
 Happy Living--Happy Crafting
and remember
--Little Things Bring Smiles--

4.21.2011

.Nakate Giveaway Reminder.

This is just a little reminder about the 


going on to win one of these beautiful creations by Nakate:

 

Please click here for the giveaway post and how to enter! 

Hope everyone is having a great day :)

4.19.2011

.I will paint today.

Today is the day I will finish Adam's project.

I mentioned in a previous post I have been working on a project for him since FEBRUARY and I decided today is the day to finish--I will paint today! I have been having a crafting "itch" for a few weeks now with many, many, many ideas running through my head for our new house. Only problem is we are not living in our new house until May...I have to be patient (easier said then done.) Hopefully by completing Adam's project, my "itch" for crafting will be satisfied a bit. The forecast is rain for the rest of the week which means the perfect time to have some good cuddling/movie watching with the two little girls I nanny, a few peaceful packing evenings with Adam, and some splendid afternoon naps! This week is going to be a good week.

Check back soon to see the COMPLETED painting project for Adam :) 

P.S. Remember this post explaining Pinterest? (If not, please read its a fabulous site!) Well, I had been noticing my blog was receiving heavy traffic recently from Pinterest so I clicked the link and became thrilled to see how my page has grown! People have been "pinning" my projects all over and I am blown away. THANK YOU for everyone who has taken an interest in my crafts. It really means a lot and is the perfect encouragement to keep the creative juices flowing! Thanks again, please check it out here :)

4.18.2011

.I'm Back.

It's Monday and I'M BACK!

The weekend is officially over and I am excited to share what Adam and I were up to :) We took a trip--a getaway--a mini vacation with dear friends! I am back to myself and feeling GREAT this week!

We all headed to Williamsburg, VA and enjoyed a certain park..a park called BUSCH GARDENS! It had been so long for most since we were last at an amusement park and we felt like kids again!! The rain held off and we had the perfect day at the park. Good food--good entertainment--good company equals a GOOD DAY!

Here is the only group shot we managed to take--there are some smiles, some in between grins, and a few concerned looks because we were holding up traffic, a lot of traffic, on the bridge as we attempted a self timer shot. 
Enjoy the awkwardness :)
Left to right: Ben and Hannah Manley, James and Lynette Banks, Adam and (me), Courtney, Joel and Joy Guelzo
Last week was a little hard on me and I was grateful when my weekend started on Thursday night. My sweet husband knew I was feeling down and bought us tickets to see Phantom of the Opera at Liberty University. We had a nice dinner date before the play and had a great time together..I love talking with Adam and am blessed to be married to my best friend. 

Friday was a day of cleaning and packing for our trip! I love cleaning the house before leaving because it makes coming home so much sweeter. Adam and I met up with our friends later in the afternoon and we all headed for Williamsburg! Three hours later and we arrived..at a hotel! Hotels are special to me--Growing up, hotels always meant a fun, family vacation and the excitement I felt as a girl always comes rushing back whenever I step foot inside a hotel. Adam feels the same way which makes the whole experience more fun! :)
Adam and I in our hotel room! It's a bit bright but I like it :)
Saturday was an early morning but worth it!! We all met in the hotel lobby at 830am to leave for breakfast at a local pancake house. For those of you who have visited Williamsburg, you know how hard it is to choose a "pancake house" because they are everywhere! There had to be at least 5 different breakfast restaurants on every road! When every single person in your group is "go with the flow" it makes it difficult to actually choose a place but we finally all got the hang of it and took turns making decisions. After breakfast we drove to Busch Gardens. Besides allergies being terrible for everyone, everything was perfect! It was cloudy and cool with a few sprinkles here and there and everyone was feeling good and in great moods! We were all thankful the rain held off and we could enjoy ourselves and the park without sweating! Being cooler is always better than sweating in my book! The flowers were gorgeous, the European theme of the park was fabulous, and the rides were just awesome. Everyone realized after riding 3 roller coasters in a row that we were all getting older..our bodies did not respond as they used to when we were back in high school and we had to have a "buffer time" between rides. The last time I did a big coaster was at the age of 18. Now at 24, um yeah, I definitely needed that buffer time because I lost my head in the clouds!! Thankfully amusement parks have other rides and lots of FOOD! I ate a caramel apple with nuts for the first time and loved it--messy but amazing! After the park, everyone met at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate Joy's birthday. I do not recall the name of the place, Plaza something, but it was hands down the best Mexican food and trust me, Adam and I eat a lot of Mexican! When we all made it back to the hotel, some people (me) went straight to bed while the others (Adam) stayed up until the wee hours of the morning playing poker. 

Sunday morning I was refreshed and ready to go, I cannot say the same about Adam ;) The group headed to breakfast at you guessed it--another pancake house, this time at The Astronomical Pancake House. Food was delicious and I cannot wait to go back on our next visit. When everyone was ready to burst from all of the yummy food, we decided walking around the outlet mall would be the perfect activity. We all split up and headed to some stores. Adam and I are not shoppers BUT we love finding some good kitchen stores and looking at all of the cool new gadgets there are and did we mention these stores usually have demonstrations which offer free samples of some tasty treats? :) After walking around a bit, Adam and I said goodbye to our friends and headed home to pick up our pup who we miss a little too much while we are away. Sunday night was spent in bed cuddling and catching up on some shows, thank you Hulu. 

The weekend was perfect and though there are some headaches and tiredness today, it was worth it! Thanks to our friends for all of the laughs and good times together, looking forward to our next trip!

4.13.2011

.Off Week.

Hello friends.

This is my fourth attempt this week to sit and write a blog post. As a follower, you are aware my last post was on Saturday night and it is now Wednesday night. Please note I said "attempt" in the first sentence. I have written three different posts earlier in the week but they all ended with me pressing backspace until every single letter typed was deleted. I simply did not know what to write and how to communicate my thoughts and feelings into words. Tonight I am just going to type and type until my finger scrolls down to "PUBLISH POST." Here I go!

It's been an off week.

Not really in a bad way, just a different kind of way. Adam and I have been very busy packing up our duplex and are currently surrounded by boxes, bins, and laundry. I think this is the cause for the off week. The mood is different in our home and even poor Colden feels it. We are excited about the new house but sad to leave our little place. This is the first house we brought our puppy home to and spent our first 2 years of marriage in. We have had fights, laughter, romance, and tears in this home. So many "firsts" happened in my marriage and as a puppy mom in our little duplex. Memories are everywhere and I am sad to leave. Packing has been bittersweet. 

It's been an off week.

The girls I nanny have been very confused by the situation and do not understand why there are boxes everywhere and why our pictures are packed up. This has definitely caused a funk with the girls and even myself. Again, not in a bad way, just a different kind of way.

It's been an off week.

I am tired tonight and typing this does not feel very natural, it's more like a task to complete. All week I have been wanting to finish a painting project I started for Adam back in February, February! This is not a "Katie" thing to do--I am always on top of my projects and usually cannot sleep until it is finished and "perfect." His paintings are not finished and I find myself always putting them on the bottom of my to-do list. I must paint tomorrow! I must, I must, I must! 

It's been an off week.

Going back to packing (cannot get past it especially when I am staring at the very boxes my feet are resting upon), I have realized Adam and I differ in a very big way--let me phrase it as, "To Keep or Not To Keep." That's right, one wants to keep everything and one wants to donate/get rid of everything. Can you guess which one feels which way? It's okay if can't, I'll just tell ya! Adam wants to KEEP EVERYTHING! I like to GIVE, GIVE, GIVE, GET RID, GET RID, GET RID! We have been struggling on what to keep and what not to keep. I understand why you should keep things (especially when you have more room in a new house) but certain things that I know have been sitting in a box in the closet under the stairs for the past two years are things you can say GOODBYE to! I am a huge fan of having a garage sale, donating items to Goodwill, or even giving some of our nicer things to friends in need. Trust me, I do keep a lot and I do keep my things in good condition however there are always "those things" that are simply too random or are duplicates that need to go bye bye. I do not want to bring unnecessary things into the new house, I do not want clutter. Just for kicks, how do you feel? Would you keep it, or get rid of it? 

It's been an off week.

One thing in particular this week that has discouraged me deals with my blog. I "lost" a follower. I know this should not mean anything, but I took it personal and feel badly for letting that one person down. So much so that they decided to no longer follow my blog. I am sure this sort of thing happens in the blogging world (or at least I am telling myself) so I will try and keep my chin up and remember how lucky I am to have all of you reading my blog. Thank you again.

It's been an off week.

I am tired. I know I already told you this, but I am. Sleeping has been difficult for both Adam and myself because we cannot turn our minds off to rest. There are so many things we want to do to the house and we like to dream and pretend we can afford anything and just talk about it. I have a husband who talks more than me, pretty cool huh? We talk too much in bed. When you are in bed it's time to sleep but how can one sleep when you will be moving in a few short weeks?! Oh the possibilities you can create in a new home. Yep, we are tired. I am sure tonight will be no different.

I think I'll end on that note, whatever kind of note that is. I'll be back soon with more craft projects and updates on the new house. Until then, I am just having an off week, it happens :) Thank you for reading my ramblings.

Goodnight friends.

4.09.2011

.Giveaway WINNER.

I almost forgot to announce the winner of the Little Things Giveaway because I've been a bit distracted with this :) I am thrilled so many of you participated--61 of you! That definitely made me smile tonight!  Here it is everyone!

The WINNER is..
cjmrrw said..
Hi Katie,
Please do not include me in the giveaway- things I smiled about today, certainly not the weather, rainy, gray and still cold. I smiled looking at the house that may be yours soon and then I had to laugh at Emma with her cool sunglasses on. Just so cute. Love you and enjoy reading your blog. So excited for both you and Adam. MOM 


{Did you all catch who won? True story, the random generator picked #34..the one comment that did not "count" because it was from my MOM. I had a good laugh at this one. Congrats Mom and thanks for being generous and giving away your prize, love you!}

Take 2:

The REAL WINNER is:
Wilson Family said..
What a cute idea!!! I may just have to copy you. . The little thing that made me smile was when my 15 month old woke up talking to herself, oh yeah and a HUGE cup of coffee. P.S. Im thinking that I see buttons - - cute buttons.

Congratulations Wilson Family! You are the winner of the Little Things Giveaway. Thank you for entering, I hope this package brings you MANY little smiles! Because you found item #25 hidden in the photos the buttons now belong to you!

.White House NAVY Shutters.

Welcome to Narragansett Dr.
{try that pronunciation!}

My man took some pictures of our new house today and I would love for you to take a look! There is still plenty of work to be done on the exterior of the home but good news is the interior is brand new and move-in-ready!
 Enjoy our cute house:)
As you just saw, fun projects awaiting us! I cannot believe this gem is ours, AMEN!