Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY message board

There is an episode on Simpsons where for Marge's birthday Homer buys her a bowling ball with his name on it. Marge is so tired of Homer always buying her presents that are really for him that she takes up bowling. I can't remember the ending. I think she becomes a really good bowler. 

The point is . . 
This has become a family joke for my husband and I. When one of us buys the other one a present that is really meant for ourself the other one will say, "Is this really a bowling ball with your name on it?"

Recently I gave my husband this gift, but before he unwrapped it I said, "Just to warn you, this is really a bowling ball with my name on it."

Isn't it cute? It's a picture frame turned into a message board. (I have no picture taking skills, it's on my list of things to learn).

I saw this version (click here to see how she made it and her flower tutorial). This amazing lady sewed this fabric to look like paper. Whoa, sewing scares me, so I made mine out of actual paper, and I put a little twist on mine to make it into a message board. 

The funny part is my husband actually uses it sometimes, and the person who LOVES it the most is our 6 year old. She is always writing little messages and impatiently waiting for us to see them.  

So here are some easy steps. Print out your wording on actual paper. 

If you like my font here is my template (click on image and save to your computer, make sure to scale to correct size before printing)
After it's printed, cut to frame size (I used a 5x7 cheap-o frame). And then give the paper a good crinkling. Smooth it out and put in frame. 

And wa-la! 
For a tutorial on the fabric flowers click here. 

That would be pretty awesome if my husband did actually give me a blowing ball with his name on it. I might take up bowling. 

-Spring Time 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My brothers

If there was a contest for the meanest brothers in the world . . .  I would win, or at least earn honorable mention. 

I have 4 brothers, three older and 1 younger. While they all LOVED teasing me, the worst were my two older brothers who are twins. 

To win this award I have made a list of things they use to do to me:

-They had the most creatively horrendous nicknames for me.
-They always had a plethora of candy and pop that they never shared, but loved to eat in front of me.
-They loved to practice their knot tying skills on me and then leave me.
-They use to threaten me with cruel and unusual punishments, such as "If you don't stop whining we're going to give you paper cuts on your fingers while you're sleeping and dip your fingers in lemon juice." I slept on my hands for months.
-Worst of all, they had me absolutely convinced I was adopted. They use to get on the phone and pretend they were talking to someone and say, "uh hu .  ok . . sure, I'll let her know. Thanks, bye." Then hang up the phone and say, "Hey Spring, that was your mom, it's time for you to go home." I would cry and cry and say, "I am home!!" and they would say, "No seriously Spring, it's been fun, but you really need to go home now." I can't even count how many times they did this to me.

Here is a picture of my siblings. I am the adorable baby in the middle. However, this picture is missing our youngest brother (he wasn't born yet).

And here we are 25 years later (Oldest to youngest). This picture is also missing our youngest brother, darn him! But don't you worry little brother, I will do a post dedicated just for you, start worrying! :)

Now, if there was a contest for the best brothers in the world . . I would win that award too, or at least earn honorable mention. Yep, with the same twin older brothers. 

To win this award I have made a list:

-They knew how to tell a great story with amazing sound effects, and could always make me laugh.
-They often let me win at "tag-team wrestle mania" on the trampoline.
-They let me and my little brother tag along anywhere, and as they got older they invited us everywhere with them.
-One Christmas when they had their first real jobs, they probable spent a whole month paycheck buying presents for my little brother and I. Expensive boardgames, race car track, etc. I will never forget that Christmas.
-When I was 9 my uncle took all the cousins on a hike. A barbwire fence decided to attack me and I ended up with a deep 2 inch gash on my leg. Who came to my rescue but my big brother, who picked me up and carried, more like ran, me all the way down the hill.
-They were so very talented and I secretly wanted to be just like them, I tried to do everything they did.
-To this day they still call me several times a month to check up on me. They are truly the best brothers a sister could ask for.

For Christmas I drew this picture for my brother Tyson (one of the Twins). 
Tyson loves Mt. biking, his wonderful wife loves to bake, and as you can guess their kids love to dress up, and not just for Halloween. Cristine is all cowgirl, Brooklyn is a sweet fairy, and Tanner, oh I love this boy, he loves robots. 

Now the other twin, Rusty, wanted his family pictures a little different. 
The first one he wanted was with his two older kids telling them bedtime stories. He can still tell a great story with ridiculous sound effects. 

The next picture he wanted of him and their youngest. This sweet boy is a treasure to us all. Rusty wanted a picture of them growling at each other, something they LOVE to do.

 And the last picture, he wanted of him and his awesome wife, strolling through the woods. Well, I don't know how to draw "strolling" so this was second best. It ended up being one of my favorites. 

There is a quote that says, "Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a super hero." - Marc Brown

I made my own version of my brothers and I.

My friend said this would be a cute quote to hang in a boys' room, so I made one with two brothers. If you like either one you are welcome to them. (Click on picture, save to your computer and make sure to  scale to correct size before printing)

I LOVE my brothers and sister, and especially "the twins." They were and are wonderful brothers! I still want to be like them. However . . . I sometimes sleep on my hands worried they will come and give me paper cuts and dip my fingers in lemon juice. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

be happy

I have a confession . . .  um . . . this is hard to admit . . . okay here goes . . .

Sometimes when I am stressed and overwhelmed . . . I am grumpy.
Sometimes when I am stressed and overwhelmed . . . I am grumpy to people around me.

Whew, that was hard to say. So glad I got that out there. Okay . . maybe just one more . . 

Sometimes I eat a king size Snickers bar . . . . really fast, so fast people around me stop and stare.

Okay. I am done now. I wouldn't want to say something embarrassing. 

Now, when I am NOT stressed and overwhelmed, I feel like I do a pretty good job in life. I'm not  baking a gourmet cake, while folding laundry and teaching my children a third language. But . .

I can play play doe with my kids for hours (but I mean, who couldn't? that stuff is awesome). And I don't mind messes and clutter.

I think all of us do a pretty good job in life. Sure, we can all improve, but when we are in good moods we are friendly, kinder and more willing to help others. 

This New Years was a little off for my little family. We didn't sit around drinking horrible Sparkling Cider (who drinks that nasty stuff, all it does is give you a horrid tummy ache) and writing down ridiculous resolutions. Nope instead we spent it in the hospital (It wasn't all bad mind you, we watched a Star Wars marathon on TV). My husband was in a snowboard accident, and well the next few weeks were kind of crazy (but no worries, he's fine, just 6 broken ribs). Instead of resolutions, I have been thinking about a certain little picture I found a month ago.

I have thought about this at least once a day. Sometimes I think about how I would draw it, but most of the time I think about what I do to "be happy." Not just cute things that I think everyone wants to hear, but genuine things that make me happy. And I think this is what I have come up with. This is my New Years resolution . . to deliberately remember to "be happy" and try these things when I feel that grumpy, stressful cloud gathering around me. If I can do that, I don't need a resolution to be a more patient mom, be a kinder wife, do things for others, because I am those things when I am happy.

This is what makes me happy . . . 

A wise person once said, "I have bad moments, not bad days." When the day starts rough I don't have to label it a "bad day" and than everything that happens after it will be bad too. But I can chalk up the last 10 minutes when I tripped and spilled a whole pan of cupcakes on the kitchen floor, that I spent hours icing in the shape of baseballs for my daughter's T-ball game, (oh ya, that really happened) as just a bad moment, and I can move on with my day. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This may come as a complete shock to you, yes even bigger than the one that I sometimes get grumpy. But I did not study art, not even graphic design. I know, I know, you take one look at those stick figures and figure I have real knowledge. Actually, I graduated with my Social Work degree, and worked mainly in mental health. So when I talk about being stressed and grumpy, please don't think I am a nieve girl skipping around, passing out daisies and rainbows, and curing the world with my "be happy" pictures :). Although I am a mighty fine skipper, I'll show you sometime if you like. 

Hope you have a great week, and think of your own "be happy."
- Spring Time

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Custom family stick figure pictures

UPDATE: This post is one of my first posts and still one of my highest looked at. If you like these pictures, check my more recent picture . . . custom family portraits 2013,  custom family portraits 2014 & custom family portraits 2015. I like looking back and seeing how my drawing & editing style has changed/improved. 

Now that Christmas is over I can finally unveil some pictures I drew. Hopefully I am not ruining any surprises here. 

My absolutely beautiful niece, Ali, is almost 18, is that even possible? For a Christmas present for her friends she asked me to draw the following picture. I have know most of these girls since they were in the 7th grade and am in awe of how awesome and gorgeous they have turned out. 

My dear friend and wonderful roommate from college Megan is from a family of 5 sisters. I LOVE her sisters, and I LOVE Megan. Too many crazy stories about Megan, but here is one for the books. 
We use to bum rides off our guy friend, we shall call Jim, and his awesome minivan to get groceries. One evening Megan, another roommate Shelly, and I were jamming to songs in the minivan with Jim, when all of a sudden Jim slams on the brakes to avoid something and Megan wraps her arms around her stomach and yells "MY EGGS!!" The van comes to a safe stop and Shelly, Jim and I look at Megan stunned & confused, and she finally says, "My eggs in the back of the van, with all the other groceries, I didn't want them to get crushed." I don't know if you find this hilarious or not, but I am laughing hysterically right now . . and every time I think of this story. Megan is a fierce friend and will stand by you though anything. She is always up for adventure, and has no idea how to whisper . . . seriously. While her sisters are all unique they are all loyal to each other and a blast to be around. 
Love my Bevans girls! 
Now I made the top one first, but stewed over it for a few days and didn't like how tall they looked, and then I realized they had almost the same hair styles as the picture I drew for my niece Ali and her friends, so I put their names on that picture and changed the hair color and wa-la, it's a new picture. (Sorry it's not an original- I promise all of my pictures are, except this one).

I was asked to draw the Clark family (it was my first official Etsy order and I felt pretty cool), and while I don't know them personally, they are adorable, and I LOVE their sweet dog. Too cute. I am really starting to like drawing pets. I hope they liked their picture. 

My adorable and beautiful friend Kylie asked me to draw a picture of her and her friend. I added my new favorite caption, "I would trade two of my other friends for you." I love sarcasm, probably just a little too much.

This adorable lady, Micaela, has the cutest family. Her oldest daughter is a beautiful tomboy, always reading, not necessarily because she loves books, but because she is competitive and wants to be ahead in her reading program at school. Her second daughter is all girl with the cutest dimple. I'm not quite sure how to draw dimples but I made her cheeks look a little rounder to show her cute smile. Their son is super handsome and while he is all boy he loves to help his mommy, folding laundry, etc (but Micaela and I decided a bike looked cooler than him holding a laundry basket.) The husband is a nurse and of course loves basketball. Which leads us to his wife who is beautiful and just had a sweet baby boy. (Can you tell that I LOVE lots of details when I draw a picture? I can't always fit all the details in but I see their wonderful personalities peaking through when I look at this picture).

Whenever I see this family I smile. How awesome is 4 girls? They might not always think that, but seriously, that is so adorable.  We moved into a new neighborhood around 5 years ago and this family welcomed us. Rhiannon, the mom, was going for a neighborhood jog with another neighbor and saw my husband and I laying down random scraps of sod in our front yard that we found (I wont even tell you where we found it). She said, "What time do you want us to come help tomorrow morning?" she didn't even leave room for me to say no thanks. While we no longer live there I will forever be indebted to her for her willingness to jump in and help, it meant more than I think she will ever know.
I seriously enjoyed my evenings drawing with your families & friends, while listening to cheesy Christmas music like Santa Baby & George Michael's last Christmas!  
Thank you!