diy cupcake liner flowers

DIY Cupcake Liner Flowers

I figured I’m really overdue in posting about my crafting endeavors, so I thought I’d share about these sweet little flowers I made last Saturday.

I love having fresh flowers in the house, but we’re still months away from any cutting flowers growing in our garden. When I came upon some cute yellow polka dot cupcake liners for $1, I decided I could make my own flowers to brighten up our dining room.

This whole project probably took about 15 minutes, and it was started and finished while Luke was coloring and playing with stickers, so I was kind of figuring it out on the fly and using what I could easily grab.

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Supplies:

  • cupcake liners
  • felt (or fabric/paper and drinking straws)
  • glue
  • floral wire
  • scissors

IMG_6391The first step is to take two liners. Flip one inside out – so the pretty part is on the inside – and stick it in the other one. It gives it a double-sided look and some fullness.

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Then just pinch the middle together to form a point.

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For the felt, I just used some triangle shaped scraps I had (like I said, I was working fast!). They were about 7 inches tall, and the bottom edge was about 3 inches wide. They made for pretty short flowers, so I’d cut a taller triangle if I was actually cutting out a piece – at least 10 inches. You could also use other fabric or scrapbook paper, you’d just need to wrap it around something like a drinking straw. The felt is thick enough that it forms a good stem simply by wrapping around itself.

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Okay, so take the narrow tip of your felt and wrap it around the point of your cupcake liners. It might be super helpful to have something like a glue gun, but I made it work. Make sure you grab enough of the liners to get a good hold on it, then tightly wrap the floral wire around both the felt and the liners. Don’t worry too much if your liners are getting a little wrinkled, because they’ll unfold and cover that part up.

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Once you’ve gotten it started, just keep twisting the wire around the stem, and keep twisting the felt around itself.

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The stem will get thicker as you work downwards, since it’s cut in a triangle shape. The wire makes it sturdy but bendable.

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Now it’s time for the center. Take another cupcake liner and squish it into another point.

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Unfold the base flower that’s already attached to the stem and add a dab of glue (again, hot glue would be super helpful). I just squished and pinched until it felt secure.

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Unfurl and primp and do what you need to do to make it look pretty! Make a few more and you have a sweet little bouquet that won’t go bad in a few days!

You could totally try making all kinds of flowers – I stuck with the one inner bloom because I thought they looked a bit like daffodils. But you could fill them out more and try all sorts of variations!

IMG_6403Makes me excited for spring.

Speaking of spring, I’ve added a few spring-y things to my etsy shop, like this fun mini bunting garland.

The bright colors just cheer me up.

Happy flower making!

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happy 2013 (and holiday recap)

Happy new year! Our year is off to a fine start, and I hope yours is as well. I had a great Christmas / birthday / anniversary, and it’s always a little sad to return to the daily normal after all those festivities. That and the fact that Ian was on vacation for a week and a half. Little boy is missing his daddy today too.

This Christmas season was really fun with Luke – he is at such a great stage. Yes, there are tantrums and crazy moments and lots of needs, but he is developing a little boy personality and is starting to communicate so much better. He is learning new words every day, but his favorites are always animals – “dol-dol” for dolphin, “pup-pup” for puppy, and “orca” (yes, as in orca whales… I swear I did not push him into this marine mammal obsession, he developed it himself). It’s so fun how he turns his new words into games – he likes to say “stuck” and pretend that he’s stuck somehow, or pretend to go “night-night” on anything and everything. He loves to make people laugh, and he’s picking up on the fact that language is very effective at getting the attention and response that he’s looking for.

Anyways, back to Christmas. We enjoyed the anticipation of the advent season by doing several different advent calendars each evening. Luke loved this tradition again this year. Here he is last year and this year…

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We had lots of fun doing Christmas-y things, like making cookies, making some rice-filled neck warmers for Christmas gifts, and playing Christmas songs on the piano.

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Of course, there were also moments of general Christmas cheer…

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…as well as awkward moments where the camera timer goes off before you’re ready…

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But all in all, it was a great Christmas. Wishing you all a great 2013, from our family to yours!

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12 days of crafting: paper punch christmas tree

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decor From December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 12: Paper Punch Christmas Tree


Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Well, here we are on day 12! I’m going to leave you with this sweet little tree that only took 15 minutes or so to make. If your kiddo is old enough to safely craft with straight pins, this would be a fun craft for them – it doesn’t need to look exactly like mine, there are lots of ways that this festive little tree can be made!

PPaper Punch Christmas Tree

Supplies:

  • 1″ circle paper punch
  • styrofoam cone (whatever size you want)
  • straight pins with some sort of head to them – I had these fun colored ones, but the white ones could look pretty too!
  • scrapbook paper, light cardstock, or re-purposed Christmas cards

This is seriously easy. First punch a bunch of circles, then start pinning them at the base of the tree. I pinned my circles right in the middle, and I started the first row so that it overlapped the bottom of the sytrofoam cone.

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Then you just keep working up your tree, overlapping the circles so that the whole thing is covered.

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

My cones were flat on top, so I pinned a row of circles right at the edge, then I put a small wad of paper towel (hey, it was handy) in there and pinned the last row to it.

IMG_5815 Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Once that was done, I finished it off by taking a few circles, bending them and sticking them in the top center of the tree to fill it out a bit (and hide that chic paper towel).

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Make little adjustments as necessary and ta-da! You’ve got yourself a little tree!

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Thanks so much for joining me for 12 days of crafting! It’s been so fun to share some ideas with you, and a special thanks and shout out to Laura, Janelle, Carrie and David for their contributions as well!

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding
Day 4: Paper Circle Garland
Day 5: Rice-Filled Neck Warmer
Day 6: Felt Stacking Tree
Day 7: Painted Wooden Message Boards
Day 8: Paper Dot Notecards
Day 9: Simple Sewing Projects
Day 10: Stamped Candles
Day 11: Little Man Workbench

12 days of crafting: felt stacking tree

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decor  From December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 6: Felt Stacking Tree

felt stacking tree

Today’s project is just a cute little decoration that can be made a bunch of different ways.

felt stacking tree

Supplies:

  • old 100% wool sweater(s) or other felted wool
  • fabric scissors
  • about 10″ of wire (I used a thicker floral wire leftover from another project, but it doesn’t need to be that thick)
  • wire cutters (if needed for your wire)
  • tree topper (felt, a bead, small figurine, etc)

If your wool isn’t already felted, you’ll need to do that first. This is great if you have an old wool sweater that you want to upcycle into a fun project, but you can also check out a thrift store. It’s totally fine if the sweater has holes or issues – the felting process shrinks and binds it all together, so if you are buying one, look for the cheaper damaged ones! Also, I only used one color because I only had one sweater that was falling apart and didn’t want to buy more, but the multi-colored trees I’ve seen are super cute. So if you can get more colors, go for it! It’d especially be worth it if you were making a bunch of trees for gifts, so you’d use more of the sweaters.

To felt the sweaters, all you need to do is toss them in a mesh laundry bag (because they will give off lint like crazy!) and throw them in the washing machine on the hot/cold cycle. They’ll shrink up all funny and be super soft and perfect for crafting! Lay it out to dry and it’s ready to go!

felt stacking tree

Making the tree is so easy. First you’ll cut out your circles – I found it easiest to cut the smallest one first, then use that as a template for the next one by cutting just outside of it (maybe about 1/8″ or so). I kept doing that until I had a circle the size that I wanted for my base (it’s about 4″ across).

felt stacking tree

I had 21 circles all together. Then you just bend your wire at the bottom and start stacking them by poking the wire through the center of each circle.

felt stacking tree

Just keep stacking them all the way up…

felt stacking tree

When you get to the top, you can attach your tree topper by bending your wire around it (or, if you are using more felted wool like me, you can thread it right through).

felt stacking tree

And your felt stacking tree is complete! You can bend the wire around to find the perfect position for your tree.

felt stacking tree

My little tree is going to hang out in our entryway, so I’m going to leave him as is. Depending on where he ends up in the future, I may dress him up – maybe a little beaded garland or glue on some beads or pearls as ornaments!

felt stacking tree

A few alternative ways to do this project:

  • Glue the felt circles together. Your tree will just be permanently positioned but will still be cute.
  • Use regular felt. Regular felt is fine, it’s just thinner and cleaner than the fuzzy, thick felted wool. So it will look different but be equally fun. You’ll probably want to cut out more layers, and probably cut out two of each size.
  • Make an ornament by using thread or fishing line and threading that through each layer. My mother-in-law has a similar ornament that has a bell at the bottom of the tree – that is an easy and cute way to secure the bottom layers.

Hope you enjoy this simple little tree as much as I do!

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding
Day 4: Paper Circle Garland
Day 5: Rice-Filled Neck Warmer

12 days of crafting: paper circle garland

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decorFrom December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 4: Paper Circle Garland

paper circle garland, paper punch garland, diy paper garlandYou can never have too many garlands! This one is quick, easy and fun to make!

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garland

Supplies:

  • paper circle punch (mine is 1″, but you could do any size you want)
  • double-sided cardstock (or do what I did – glue two one-sided papers together! Thank you Joanns $1 section for carrying 12×12 Christmas paper packs!)
  • sewing machine
  • thread

A quick note about the paper circle punch: if you don’t have one, get one! They are SUCH a handy craft tool to have around. When I first learned to make bottle cap magnets, I borrowed a friend’s and fell in love with it. The next time I made the magnets, I bought my own and I use it all.the.time. In fact, there will be two more craft ideas in the 12 days series that use the 1″ punch, so get your Joanns or Michaels coupons and go get one!

Okay, back to our project. It’s so easy. First, punch a bunch of circles – you can decide how many you need based on the size of the punch. There will be about a  1/2 inch gap between each circle, so you can estimate how many circles you’ll need for your desired garland length (with my 1″ circles, it took about 8 to make 1 foot of garland).

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandOnce you’ve punched all your circles and your toddler has dumped the bowl out at least twice – that might just be me – get out your sewing machine and put in whatever color thread you want. I went with white, but a bold, festive color would be cool too.

All you do is feed these puppies through the machine, one at a time. Let the machine run a little bit after each circle – mine seemed to do a certain amount and then stop feeding, about 1/2″, which was perfect. This part is so fun, it comes together so fast! Ian walked by and thought it was pretty crazy (crazy good, I’m assuming).

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandThat’s all there is to it! Isn’t that sweet?

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandThe photo above illustrates two things NOT to do. First, keep the garland away from your coffee. A few of my circles went for a quick dip. Second, see that pile on the upper left? Oh, it’s a happy pile now, but pick that thing up and hastily try to hang the garland while keeping it out of your toddler’s hands? Bad idea. I had the tangled mess of the century. After a few minutes of trying to untangle it while standing on a chair, I decided to go with my original plan of hanging vertical pieces of the garland (thus cutting apart my loooong tangled garland into manageable 2 foot pieces). This mess could have easily been avoided by either being more careful or wrapping the garland around something like a toilet paper tube or water bottle or something that would keep it untangled.

Regardless, I’m happy with the result!

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garland
paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandI’m even quite fond of how it looks on the tree, and Ian liked it too. So I may be whipping up some more for our tree.

paper circle garland, paper punch garland, diy paper garlandIsn’t it cute? You can use them for so many things – hang them in different ways or cut them apart and wrap them around your gifts.

Don’t have a sewing machine or time to make one? There are lot of fun ones on etsy!

Paper circle garlands. Love them. End of story.

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding

12 days of crafting: iris paper folding

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decorFrom December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 3: Iris Paper Folding

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament

Today’s handmade Christmas craft is brought to you by my good friend Laura! We were roommates in college, and her fun little crafts were always so creative. She’s made me tons of fun stuff over the years, and one of my recent faves is the mobile she made for Luke – you can catch a glimpse of it from afar in this post. Anyways, I loved it so much that I asked her to share her technique in making what I called her “ribbon art” – come to find it actually has an official name! – and so here she is to explain iris paper folding!

“This is a great way to recycle leftover Christmas scraps of ribbon, wrapping paper, or Christmas cards and can be used for a variety of crafts! The official name is iris paper folding. You can find hundreds of templates online, and can also make your own. It is a great way to add a homemade touch to your Christmas decorations or gifts without a large investment of time or money! This project usually takes about 1/2 hour once you have your supplies together.

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament
Supplies:

  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Card stock paper
  • Tape
  • Glue stick
  • Ribbon, wrapping paper, or other lightweight paper

Here are the basics:  Pick a Christmas themed shape such as a Christmas tree or Christmas stocking. Pick your ribbon or wrapping paper that you will use for your craft.  You can do it with one color of ribbon or paper, or pick a couple of colors and alternate. Pick a contrasting color of card stock paper for a backing.

Use a pre-made template, or cut your own out of card stock paper.  Then trace this template onto your card stock and cut out your shape with the knife. You will then flip over the template and work from the back.

Have your template or wrapping paper cut into long strips. You will essentially start in a triangle, taping your strips down. Keep working in concentric triangles towards the center. This is where it is easiest to have a pre drawn template, because it guides you just like working on a paint by number like you did as a kid.

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Always remember that you are working from the back, so you want to see the ugly side of everything. When you make it to the middle add some extra tape strips to secure everything.

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament
Then flip over, and voila, you’ve created something new! You can then back your creation on a card for a homemade greeting card, or another piece of card stock for a gift tag, Christmas ornament, or whatever strikes your fancy!”

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament

Thanks Laura! I am super excited to try this – really, when she said it was like “paint by number,” I said “I’m in!” And for reals – I might give this ornament pattern a try for some gift tags and Luke would flip out if I made this dolphin for him. You can totally think beyond seasonal tags and ornaments and make a gift out of your creation – Laura also made me an awesome squirrel a few years ago. She framed it in a picture frame and it was such a fun gift to receive! He still sits happily on my desk. So go get your paper and ribbon scraps and give this craft a try!

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea

12 days of crafting: christmas kissing ball

12daysFrom December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball

christmas kissing ball  handmade christmas decor

Tired of hanging mistletoe in your doorway? Give this festive little guy a try!

christmas kissing ball  handmade christmas decor

Supplies:

  • Styrofoam ball (mine is the size of a mandarin orange, but choose whatever size you like)
  • Glue that works well with fuzziness – Fabritac worked great for me.
  • Little pom-pom puff balls – I had some smaller ones on hand and bought another pack from the dollar store. Craft stores have some really fun Christmas ones (with sparklies and such!).
  • Ribbon

Start by putting a few dabs of glue on the ball and wrap your ribbon around it. I went ahead and tied it and made a bow – I later made the bow a little bigger. You may want to wait to tie your bow until you have some little puffs in place, so you can see how big you want it. I think this would look great with a wider ribbon, but I didn’t have enough wide ribbon so I went with tiny!

IMG_5654Next, you just start gluing on your puff balls, one by one. Luke had a lot of fun throwing the puffs around and putting them in and out of his cups, but older kids could definitely help with this part!

christmas kissing ball  handmade christmas decorIt may look a little funny as you’re building it, but just keep going and then you’ll end up with a fun little guy like this:

christmas kissing ball  handmade christmas decorNow tie that little ball of puff up in one of your doorways and call your sweetie over!

Ian says that the color scheme reminds him of the Christmas decor from his childhood (okay, so that might also be because I claimed the small puffs when your mom was cleaning out her crafting stash… thanks, Lynne!). Anyways, you could switch it up by using less primary colors if this kissing ball is too much festivity for your home. It would be pretty to do one in blues and white too. But anytime I can sneak some 70s style decor into our home is a good day for me!😉

You know what would look super cute with this kissing ball? Some mini bunting! I’m so excited to get my Christmas colors up. There’s still a couple left in my shop if you are interested!

running through the pumpkin patch

We headed over to Bellewood Acres a couple weeks ago to pick out our pumpkin and some apples. Last year Luke fell asleep during this trip, this year he wouldn’t stop running! Bellewood changed its location, which was a little sad to us – now they have a huge market and restaurant area, but the farm just isn’t as homey as their old one. Nevertheless, Luke was super excited to be there and run up and down the rows of pumpkins. Here are some photos from our time there.

Giddyup.

Seriously, he ran the entire time.

…with the occasional break to excitedly point to various pumpkins.

Me and my little man. Such a big boy now.

My boys. Love them.

He loved all the colors and textures.

It was a fun family outing.

I’ll be back later this week with some exciting news, stay tuned!

so long, sweet summer

Despite the beautiful sunny days we’ve been having around here, I’m starting to embrace the fact that fall has arrived finally arrived. We had a long, full summer, and I am grateful for every moment.

This past spring, when the sunlight got longer and the weather started to take a turn towards warmth, all my emotions and memories from last summer started to come rushing back. And it was wonderful. Last summer was definitely one of the best seasons of my life.

Not to go all Koine Greek on you, but last summer I felt like I was living in kairos time. Chronos is the word used to describe chronological time, but kairos is a special experience of time – an appointed time, or an experience that is beyond the normal chronos of daily life.

Last summer was such a blessing – Luke entered our family so quickly and seamlessly, a perfect gift from a gracious God. We spent hours snuggling, staring at him, just being together as a family of three. Luke was on a 3 hour schedule, but we still lived beyond that. I was working 15 hours a week, but I was able to take Luke into the office with me – though it often took me 7 hours to get in 5 hours of work, it didn’t matter. We were together and content; it was such a special season where chronological time mattered a lot less than the time we were experiencing.

{And don’t get me wrong – there were days when I prayed for grace, grace and more grace; but God always delivered on that, with the added bonus that Luke was a very content newborn.}

I remember times last summer when I would think about what this summer would be like – would it even compare? The joy and contentment I felt in becoming Luke’s mom was so incredible, it was hard to imagine life beyond that season.

And really? This summer was great. Different, but so great.

Naps in the yard were replaced by lots of play in the kiddie pool and splash table…

It’s funny, because gardening seemed challenging last year – trying to fit it into his 3 hour cycles. I imagined that this summer he would be able to play happily next to us while we worked… that didn’t happen until a couple weeks ago. Finally his quest for dangerous places and gross things to put in his mouth was replaced by a new satisfaction in simply playing in the dirt.

I will say that he and Ian had the cutest little routine all summer. Ian would get him all set up in the stroller and take him out to water the plants and tend to the garden. My energetic, always-moving little boy would sit contentedly and watch his daddy, often for an hour or so. I would look out the window and see Ian explaining something to him and Luke would be watching with such an earnest little face. Freaking adorable. And sometimes dad would let him hold the garden tools.

Last year outings to the park were more for my sake than Luke’s. And it was really only fun if I happened to be babysitting an older kiddo – though I’d never complain about those newborn snuggles.

Luke’s first trip to Boulevard Park.

But this summer Luke was all over trying the slides, climbing up stairs and finding awesome mole hills to destroy.

Adventures and outings were a ton more fun this year. Last year Luke hung out in the ergo when we’d go somewhere, which he absolutely loved.

This year he got to participate in whatever we were doing, and, like any kid, he just loves to be included. Okay, he especially likes to be included when it comes to food…

Luke’s first gyro at the St Sophia Greek Festival.

One thing that people pick up on pretty fast is that Luke is very excitable. When he sees someone or something that makes him excited, he starts making excited grunts and sounds and points to everything in sight. So taking him to new place is a lot of fun because he reacts so much. A trip to the Vancouver Aquarium was a recent favorite.

Again, it was just a really fun summer. There were definitely moments of kairos, and the chance to experience the growing joy of really knowing someone. Last summer we nurtured and cared for a tiny little baby; this summer we watched our baby become a toddler and develop all kinds of new skills and aspects to his personality. It is such a privilege to be his parents, and every season brings new joys and challenges – I am grateful for the past and excited for the future.

Typical family moment captured by Evantide Photography.

it must be spring

That’s my excuse for being absent from this little corner of the internet.

Half of you just want to see photos of Luke, so I’ll get that taken care of right now…

Yep, he’s still a happy camper. Mama is going through a bit of a “he’s growing up so fast!” panic, so baby boy may be getting extra snuggles and cuddles at the slightest whimper.

So for the other half of you that are hoping to hear about my latest crafting endeavors… well, you’ll just have to hold tight. I am on the cusp of finishing this incredibly awesome project for Luke – I’m so happy with how it’s turning out! So stay tuned for the reveal.

And what about the project I mentioned last time? Oh, as predicted, it quickly took a turn and spiraled into a huge undertaking. I’d say I’m about 10% finished. Yay.

What else have we been up to? Dealing with 5 yards of compost (okay, that’s all Ian – I’ve only pulled a few weeds here and there), planting some of our veggies, and getting the yard cleaned up when it’s sunny (or at least not completely soggy). I also took action on my obsession to make crockpot yogurt. More on that later.

Ian and I have also been discussing painting our shed (I know – why would we even think of covering up that pale pinkish awesomeness?!). As often happens with these conversations, it spiraled into trying to find a paint color for the eventual painting of our whole house. Of course this happened after our bedtime, when our judgment isn’t at its peak. The next thing I know, we’re using one of those useless paint preview programs where you upload a photo and play around with different colors. This is the photo we uploaded:

I then spent the next ten minutes snickering about the awkward/creepy Ian in the window. We don’t even know what’s going on with this picture – is he kneeling? sitting right up against the window? We may never know.

On that note, I’ll wrap this up. I hope you are enjoying springtime as much as we are!