Your Guide to a Creative and Affordable Valentine’s Day

You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a memorable Valentine’s Day experience for you and your partner. These ideas are romantic and affordable — plus, most avoid the typical cliche Valentine’s Day spots as well. That means fewer crowds, and you’ll get points for creativity!

CoupleHeart Your Guide to a Creative and Affordable Valentines Day

Head to the Bookstore
With everyone else vying for tables at fancy restaurants, the bookstore will be mostly deserted. Spend some time in the travel section planning future adventures, or just grab a few books to look through together as you share a cup of coffee. You won’t spend a lot, but you’ll have a chance to catch up and engage without electronics, kids or other distractions.

Play Outside
If you’re surrounded by snow on Valentine’s Day, then a snowball fight and a walk in your own little winter wonderland would be an inexpensive and fun way to celebrate. Not only will you spend time with that special someone, you’ll also boost your mood by soaking up extra sunlight and fresh air. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and take a romantic stroll through your closest park, golf course (they often have cleared paths in winter), or your own neighborhood and simply enjoy the time together.

Hit the Arcade
Whether you choose a fun zone for kids or a bar with arcade games for grownups, your visit won’t cost much and you can enjoy some friendly competition, too. If you choose an arcade that is typically for kids, visit in the evening or before school is out to have the place largely to yourselves. Arcades are inexpensive and fun — and you might even win a prize to take home to remember the day.

Track Down a Food Truck
If you live in a city with a thriving food truck industry, pick a few that sound intriguing and track them down. Food trucks have come a long way — you can find everything from specialty cupcakes to high-end French cuisine to share and enjoy without overspending.

Stay Local
A little research can reveal some surprisingly good deals timed for Valentine’s Day weekend. Many museums and attractions offer free or low-priced admission to increase attendance over holidays. Spend some time browsing an art or history museum with your sweetie, and get reacquainted with one another!

Revisit your First Date
If you met when you were struggling college students or cash-strapped young adults, you probably went somewhere affordable. Revisit your old haunts and your personal romantic history by going back to where it all began.

Go on a Photo Scavenger Hunt
Bring your cameras or smartphones and set out to capture some amazing images of the two of you enjoying your town or city. Choose some local landmarks or destinations you both enjoy and snap some Valentine’s Day photos you’ll treasure for years to come.

Have a Sunrise Breakfast
Beat the crowds and celebrate the day in a special way with a sunrise breakfast. Whether you dine at home or travel to a beach or other picturesque location, you’ll spend less on your meal and you’ll fight fewer crowds, too.

Have an Indoor Picnic
Splurge on some fancy cheese, wine, and chocolate from a local specialty store and enjoy them in your own home, picnic style. You’ll spend a lot less than you would if you went out, but still be able to mark the day in a romantic way.

We hope that everyone has a fun, romantic Valentine’s Day! Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to bring the camera. Nothing brings out the best in us like spending time with the people we love.

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10 Cupid Approved Photo Ideas for the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

ValentinesPhoto 10 Cupid Approved Photo Ideas for the Perfect Valentines Day Gift

Valentine’s Day is almost here! And that means there’s no better time to treat your special someone to the perfect gift. To complement all the candy hearts, chocolate boxes and roses you’re sure to be giving and receiving, we’ve put together 10 Valentine’s Day canvas gift ideas to make the occasion even more memorable. After all, it’s the perfect time of year to show your significant other just how much you care.

1. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

ThinkstockPhotos 450395799 10 Cupid Approved Photo Ideas for the Perfect Valentines Day GiftMany couples remember the setting of their first date or first kiss, but it’s unlikely that they captured the big moment on camera. Bring that special someone back to your meaningful spot for a romantic night out, and this time around be sure to snag a few pictures! Your Valentine will be thrilled to receive a surprise photo gift from your “throwback” date night.


2. Get a Little Cheesy

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If there’s one time of the year where you can revel in your romance, it’s Valentine’s Day. Don’t be afraid to up the “aww” factor and take some lovey-dovey photos with your partner. They’ll make the perfect traditional yet unique Valentine’s Day gift.


3. Remember Your Best Couple’s Costume

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Let’s face it: if you’ve ever donned a couple’s costume, you definitely took a few pictures. Commemorate your best prince and princess or zombie love moment with a custom canvas print.


4. Make Vacations Last a Lifetime

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For those of you have been with a S.O. for some time, you have likely taken a romantic trip or two. Bring back those happy memories with a beautiful picture from your favorite vacation.


5. Catch Them Off Guard

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Sometimes the best photos are the unexpected. Recruit a friend to take some candid shots while you’re out and about with your sweetheart. To make it even more of a surprise, have them capture you on the sly!


6. Let Your Pet Steal the Show

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For our readers who share a pet with their partner, here’s a gift idea that incorporates your four-legged family member as well. Grab the leash and make your way to your favorite park for an outdoor photo shoot. Don’t be afraid to dress your pet in that cheesy Cupid costume gathering dust in your closet – now’s the time!


7. Show Them Your Best Moment from the Past Year

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Was this the year that you moved in together? Got engaged? Tied the knot? Show your Valentine how much you treasure that moment by displaying it on canvas. Canvas prints would also make a great gift or announcement for parents and other loved ones!


8. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative

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There are so many unique ways to convey your love through photos. Get inspired and make your photo memorable by trying different light techniques, silhouettes, fun props, and colorful backdrops. Every couple is different – keep your personal style in mind, and create an image that reflects your mutual values.


9. Show Them a Symbol of Your Love

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You don’t have to actually be in the photo to create a meaningful canvas! If the two of you share a certain hobby or pastime, highlight that on your walls. Capture the dish you made in that couple’s cooking class, a sport you both love, or some other activity that you share together.


10. Be Your Own Valentine

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Not everyone has a Valentine, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of! Celebrate the single life by putting your best selfie on canvas. Better yet, include your best friends to share the love.


With these ideas in mind, we hope that you will have a fun-filled, romantic holiday that brings many new memories and plenty of photo opportunities. Once you’ve decided on the perfect picture, create high-quality canvas prints and get ready to give the best Valentine’s Day gift yet!

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On Trend for 2016: Affordable Home Decorating Ideas Perfect for Overhauling Your Home

SAILORSCLUB 1 On Trend for 2016: Affordable Home Decorating Ideas Perfect for Overhauling Your Home

The beginning of a new year is all about change, rebirth, and renewal, and that means considering home decor ideas with the same excitement that we scribble down personal resolutions like eating better or traveling more.

Revamping your living space is a chance to set the tone for the next 12 months and to create an environment that reflects your personal aesthetic — and that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. These home decorating trends for 2016 offer affordable ways to embrace what’s new, what’s different, and what’s now back in vogue so you can reimagine your surroundings and tackle the future in style.

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In 2016, home decor is all about materials that make you want to reach out and touch something — anything — everything! Soft velvets, sleek silks, faux fur, suede, rough-hewn rock, and jute cording are all trendy home decorating ideas. Live-edge wood with its natural grain intact is stunning when used in place of traditional granite or marble for countertops, and even simple touches like rustic, hand-carved platters or candlesticks add a touch of warmth and authenticity.

Texture doesn’t necessarily have to be a tactile thing, either. Wall art that features your hand-drawn take on tribal or ethnic prints provides lots of visual interest, especially when arranged as a group of different yet cohesive canvas prints.

Perky Pastels

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Pantone recently announced their official color for 2016, and in a surprise move there’s actually two! The mature, brownish/red “Marsala” tone of 2015 gives way to two pastel choices in Rose Quartz, a soft pink, and Serenity, a tranquil purplish-blue. Pantone explained the choices, saying: “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.”

These pastels could skew a bit young, but there are ways to balance them out and incorporate both into your home decor in a mature and sophisticated way:

  • Pastel-painted kitchen cupboards set against white-washed walls and natural wood floors
  • Combined with minty green and light yellow for a mix of painted shadowboxes ideal for displaying knickknacks
  • A Warhol-style multi-image print using pictures of your kids or pets
  • Fresh flowers — or good quality fakes!
  • Throw pillows, especially tossed onto furniture that’s done in either dark, contrasting prints and colors or completely neutral
  • Painted on walls using faux-finish or decorative painting techniques that give the pale colors an interesting edge

Deep, Saturated Color
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If subtlety just isn’t your thing, fear not: 2016 also brings the return of bold, rich, almost jewel-tone colors like inky black, navy, brick red, and emerald green.

These are powerful colors and as such are best used in terms of color blocking, creating a singular focal point in a room, or providing a counterpoint to a busier pattern used on the walls, carpets, or upholstery. We love the look of a burgundy couch against a navy blue wall, for example — as long as you leave the walls neutral and opt for light throw pillows and other accents — or one wall of striped wallpaper featuring thick bands of eye-catching color.

Oversized Floral and Tropical Prints

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Use overblown prints and eye-catching motifs to inject personality into a space and chase away the winter doldrums. Rather than stale patterns that evoke mass-produced Hawaiian t-shirts, look for slightly faded vintage fabric swatches or wallpaper rolls. Avoid overdoing it by choosing one floral element per each living space — in other words, you can have a rose-covered duvet or poppy-covered wallpaper, but it would be very, very hard to get away with both.

One of the most amazing uses of the floral trend that we’ve seen was a ceiling completely covered in a vibrant print that married lily pads and orangey-red geraniums; to keep the overhead mural from being too overwhelming, the furniture was kept clean and neutral

DIY Decor
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Do-it-yourself home decor is bigger and better than ever. The ability to craft items for your home that reflect your family’s interests and unique qualities is exciting, as is the idea that whatever you create is truly one-of-a-kind.

DIY projects are also a great way to embrace the texture and floral trends: use natural fibers like burlap, jute twine, or linen to bring texture to your dining room table via handmade placemats; take a pottery class and sculpt coffee mugs or flower vases; or turn your photos of the first crocuses of spring into art that will last year-round by having them printed up on canvas for a look that’s both professional and personal. If DIY just isn’t your thing, you can mimic the look and feel with artisan goods from sites like Etsy, ArtFire, and Ziibra.

For more home decorating ideas and examples of affordable home decor check out the Easy Canvas Prints Idea Gallery.

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6 Photography Resolutions for 2016

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‘Tis the season for new beginnings, and whether you’re just learning photography or you’ve been practicing for years, now is the time to up your game. You don’t need fancy equipment, a college degree, or multiple hours a week to take better pictures. All you need is a passion for clicking that shutter.

Maybe you want to capture fleeting family memories or great pictures of your next vacation. Perhaps you’re looking to take vibrant landscape shots and heartwarming portraits — or maybe you just want to document your life as a visual storyteller. The new year is full of possibilities. Ring in 2016 with a commitment to your craft. Improve your technique, take better photos, and expand your horizons with these six photography resolutions for the new year.

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Do you find yourself using your camera’s auto setting in every single situation? While it may seem easy to whip out your camera or phone and press just one button to capture what you see, the truth is that with just a bit of effort your photos could be a lot better.

No matter what kind of camera you’re shooting with, you can make use of some advanced settings to add vibrancy, drama, and clarity to your shots. This year, make it a priority to learn exactly what those extra buttons, wheels, and settings on your camera do. Read your manual, check out books from your library, or simply Google the name of your camera, and you’ll find all kinds of information.

Even camera phones come with all kinds of different settings and modes that you can play around with. Once you know your settings, take time to explore them. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but the better you know your camera, the better your photography skills will become.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Practice a New SkillThinkstockPhotos 473170108 6 Photography Resolutions for 2016










Now that you know your camera better, it’s time to practice some new skills and techniques. Have you always admired those magical waterfall shots that you find online? Perhaps you’d like to become more comfortable photographing strangers on the street? Or maybe your indoor shots are always harsh and blurry, and you want to improve them?

Whatever you want to improve on, make it a priority this year. It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting with a camera phone, a point-and-shoot, or a DSLR — you are the key element behind every photo you take. Photography books, websites, and videos can help you on your journey, but the most important thing is to experiment and practice.

Print and Display Your Photos
WhiteRoomCanvas 6 Photography Resolutions for 2016Digital photos that live forever on your computer hard drive will not inspire you to improve your skills. Make this the year that you print those photos and display them for the world to see. Take your best shots and turn them into greeting cards, photo books, or wall art. Send your favorite photos to friends and family. Inspire yourself with large prints of your work – they’ll remind you of how far you’ve come.

Whatever it takes, make sure you can look at your photos every single day. Otherwise, all you’re left with is more digital clutter taking up space.

Wake Up Early or Stay Up Late
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Maybe getting up earlier is one of your New Year’s resolutions anyway, but it can also make you a better photographer — especially if you’re shooting outdoors. The sunlight in the early morning and late evening can turn a humdrum landscape into something magical. It’s also a great tool for shooting portraits, animals, cityscapes, and macro shots.

In fact, unless you’re shooting a mid-day event, the warm light of the rising and setting sun will improve every outdoor shot that you take.

Learn the Rules, and then Break Them
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You’ll find that most photographers have a set of rules that they take pictures by. There are all kinds of parameters surrounding the perfect shot. By reading as much as you can and learning from people who have traveled this path before you, you’ll learn about the rule of thirds, proper exposure, and the perfect aperture setting and white balance.

All of these rules will help you develop your skill, but in the end, you can toss them out the window because your individual style and creativity are what make your photos special.

Join a Community of Photographers
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If you live in a place where you can meet and share with other photographers, fabulous! But even if you don’t, you can join an online community for inspiration. The 365 Project encourages you to post just one picture every day. Instagram has taken the world by storm with millions of users, and ViewBug offers cool challenges and contests to help keep things interesting.

2016 is the year that you take your photography to the next level. You don’t need fancy new gear, you just need a little inspiration and lots of practice. Make these six resolutions a priority, and you’ll be amazed at what your little black box can do.

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A Year in Review: The Top 10 Moments to Capture on Canvas

ThinkstockPhotos 179246821 A Year in Review: The Top 10 Moments to Capture on Canvas

It’s that time of year again. The season when Facebook likes to send you extra memories in your news feed and every day seems to be a “Throwback Thursday.” From weddings to birthday celebrations, to births and the adoption of new pets, 2015 was probably a year worth remembering. And so, without further ado, here are our top 10 favorite photo ideas for remembering your most iconic moments.


1. ‘Tis the Wedding Season

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When wedding bells ring, whether it’s your special day or a friend’s, the cameras are sure to be out and about. Choose your favorite photos from all of the weddings that you attended in 2015 to make a unique canvas wall display.


2. Kids Galore

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Do you have kids? Do you have nieces or nephews? If there are kids in your life, then be sure to transform your favorite digital photos into canvas prints. From fun and goofy to “serious” class photos or the iconic “prom pic,” photographs of your children (or nieces and nephews) have the unique ability to brighten your home throughout the year.


3. Don’t Forget Your Pets

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Did you take a particularly memorable trip to the park, walk on the beach, or hike in the woods with your pet this year? Your favorite prints can be used to make a welcome gallery in the entryway of your home.


4. Remember 2015 as the Year of Landscapes

Landscape A Year in Review: The Top 10 Moments to Capture on Canvas

Every year is a chance to explore new landscapes around us. Sunsets, sunrises, moonlit beaches, a flock of birds in the sky, or the serenity of a favorite lake; no matter what your favorite landscape is, it can be transformed into a beautiful canvas print that can enhance your home decor.


5. Make Your Vacations Front and Center

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Oftentimes when we take vacations we snap hundreds of photographs, create a digital picture album, and promptly forget to ever print out the photographs. With 2016 almost upon us, don’t forget to print out your favorite vacation photos. They should serve as timeless memories of fun trips with your loved ones.


6. Remember the Phrases that Defined Your Life in 2015

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Did a certain phrase define your life in 2015? Perhaps there was an inspiring quote that you kept remembering from time to time? If so, you can create a beautiful canvas print that highlights your “quote of the year.” Be sure to frame your quote with either artwork or relevant photographs.


7. Create a Photo Timeline

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Another year is about to pass and it’s time that you look back and remember all that happened in 2015. For each month of the year, choose your favorite photo, print it out on canvas, and create a photo timeline for your home. This unique idea can quickly become a yearly tradition that helps you to preserve your favorite memories.


8. Fine Art Can Don the Walls of Your Home in 2016

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Do you still have your childhood artwork stored in a box in the attic? Maybe you have kids who have been creating fine works of art in their school classrooms? If so, then choose your favorite works of art and turn your home into an art gallery that prominently displays your childhood or your children’s works of art. This fun trip down memory lane is sure to be a conversation starter throughout 2016.


9. Use Photographs to Make Time Stand Still

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Time tends to pass us by all too quickly. Turn your favorite family photo into a memorable piece of art. Ask your family members to write down their favorite memories from 2015. Next, create conversation text bubbles around your favorite photograph. Finally, print out your newest piece of artwork that will be sure to make time stand still whenever you walk by the canvas print.


10. Pick a Color and Create a Color-inspired Photo Gallery

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Did you take thousands of photos in 2015? Are you having a hard time creating your photographic year in review? If so, choose a color and create a color-inspired photo gallery. For example, you could choose the color blue and print out a landscape, vacation, wedding, family, and even pet photo that highlights the color blue. Display the photographs as a miniature wall gallery.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our fun photo ideas throughout 2015. Stay tuned in 2016 as we debut new pin-worthy ideas for decorating your home with beautiful canvas prints.

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Customer Art Spotlight: Four Generations Family Portrait

WomenHoldingPhotos Customer Art Spotlight: Four Generations Family Portrait

When I stumbled across this canvas print I immediately did a double take – there had to be a story behind the photo! Sure enough, a few emails later I was on the phone with Jody Panattoni, pictured here in the second image from the center.

From the comfort of her snowy home in Washington state, Jody gave me all the details of how her family captured this incredible photograph spanning four generations of women. Huge thanks to Jody and her family for sharing their photograph with our readers. We hope you enjoy!

The Inspiration

In this day and age, I should not have been surprised when Jody’s daughter Ani revealed the source of this wonderful photo idea: the internet. More specifically: Pinterest, the go-to site for inspirational browsing and general distraction for women everywhere.

When Ani came across a similar multigenerational photo she thought that it “looked cool” and wanted to try it out with her own family. We’re so glad that she did!

The Process

As Jody’s mother and grandmother both live in Montana, it wasn’t until Memorial Day weekend that the family had a chance to recreate the scene. Their hometown is very small, so it took a little searching to find just the right frames and a fitting backdrop. After a little exploration, they decided on a barn right next door to the home of Jody’s mother.

Although Ani and Jody now live in the city, Jody explains that at heart they’re “country folk,” and that her grandmother was “old school country.” For her, the barn backdrop was the perfect fit: “It had to be that. It couldn’t have been something beautiful, it had to be something old.” With the appropriate scenery in place, they snapped a picture on Jody’s iPhone and headed home.

The Finished Product

It isn’t always easy to catch this group smiling on film, so Jody was excited to get a shot of them both with a smile. But her very favorite part, which she confesses is probably her grandmother’s least favorite part, was capturing all the lines in her grandmother’s face. In Jody’s words: “I just…I love that. She hasn’t led an easy life, so all those lines have stories.”

Between the black and white effect, rustic backdrop, and no frills imagery, the family did an incredible job of creating a canvas that represents their unique background and outlook. The realness of the image is something that struck even an outsider like me. Each family member now has a canvas print to enjoy in her home – a little reminder of where she came from.

Your Turn!

Photos can be an amazing means of telling our story and preserving that story for generations to come. With platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Imgur popping up left and right, there’s no shortage of inspiring images to consider. As Ani can attest, a creative new photo idea is just a search bar away.

Jody was able to take this photo and do most of the edits all from her iPhone. Remember: these days you don’t need a professional photographer to create high-quality images, so take a break from Candy Crush and take advantage of the cutting-edge technology at your fingertips.

As you celebrate family time over the holidays, consider this example and other fun family portrait ideas to celebrate the people in your life that matter most. Jody’s family perfectly matched the photo’s style with their personal narrative – be sure to keep that in mind when planning the look and feel of your own photos this season.

Have a unique family portrait idea of your own? Please share below!

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11 Holiday Desserts That Will Wow Your Family and Friends

December is a sweet time of year – full of decadent concoctions and elaborate desserts laced with all manner of sweeteners. In fact, there’s so much culinary extravagance out there that it can be tricky to find those perfect gems in the midst of the mundane. We can help!

These holiday desserts are easy to make, impressive to behold, and incredibly delicious. So grab a cup of tea and settle in, because after exploring all these indulgences you’ll want to head right to the kitchen.


Melted Snowmen Oreo Balls

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Image Credit: The Girl Who Ate Everything;

This first dessert will make you the star of holiday parties, especially those that include kids. Start with homemade Oreo truffles, then decorate them like little snowmen. I’m not going to lie – these do take some extra effort, but you can make the truffles in advance to save time. Get the details from The Girl Who Ate Everything.


Christmas Crunch Funfetti Popcorn

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This next treat is EASY! Like 5 minutes easy. All you need is some popcorn and festive tidbits for decorating. These make great after school snacks or teacher gifts too! Learn how to make them over at Cooking Classy.


Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes

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Looking for a two-bite dessert that’s both elegant and creamy-delicious? Look no further than these scrumptious mini gingerbread cheesecakes. You can whip these beauties up in just 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for last minute get-togethers. Get the details at Baked by Rachel.


Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake

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Here’s another easy recipe that could double as a treat for breakfast or afternoon tea. Cranberries are so festive and the white frosting looks like candy-coated snow. Find out how to make the Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake at Oh My God Chocolate Desserts.


Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake

Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake Recipe 1 11 Holiday Desserts That Will Wow Your Family and Friends

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Have you ever tried to make a roll cake? Don’t be intimidated. This vanilla cake couldn’t be easier to make, and the results are quite stunning (and delicious). Head over to Roxana’s Home Baking to get the whole scoop.


Christmas Meringue Cookies

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These adorable tree-shaped meringue cookies will be showstoppers at your next party, and because they’re made with light and fluffy meringue, your guests will have plenty of room to sample the whole buffet. Learn how to make these cute cookies over at Smart School House.


Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treat Pops

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Here’s a new take on an old classic that will make every single kid smile. In fact, you’ll please everyone who was ever a kid with these adorable Rice Krispy Christmas Trees. They make a great presentation for a school party – I mean, who doesn’t love dessert on a stick? Get all the details for this easy recipe at Positively Splendid.


Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Delicious Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies on 1 11 Holiday Desserts That Will Wow Your Family and Friends

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We can’t have a holiday dessert list without some peppermint goodness, and these peppermint chocolate chip cookies are everything a holiday cookie should be – festive, delicious, and super easy to make. Kids and adults alike will snatch these up from the party table. You better make two batches because they’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. Find out how to make them at Lil’ Luna.


Easy Reindeer Cookies

Reindeer Nutter Butters 11 Holiday Desserts That Will Wow Your Family and Friends

Image Credit: Our Best Bites;

Nothing could be simpler to make than these cute reindeer cookies. Nutter Butters, pretzels, and M&Ms are glued together with frosting. Adorable, delicious, and even kids can make them. Put out supplies at your next Christmas party for an instant success story. Visit Our Best Bites for all the details.


Eggnog Sugar Cookies

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Another must-have flavor for Christmas – eggnog! These sugar cookies pack an extra punch, with eggnog in the batter and the frosting. Pair it with your favorite eggnog beverage and you’ll be ready to go out caroling as soon as the sun goes down. Whip up these elegant, decadent cookies today for holiday spirit that never ends. Find out how at Creme de la Crumb.


Oreo Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark 11 Holiday Desserts That Will Wow Your Family and Friends

Image Credit: A Pumpkin & A Princess;




















Here’s a twist on the classic Christmas peppermint bark, with a little something extra thrown in – Oreos! If your mouth is already starting to water, you should know that these gems are easy to make, and they make the best gifts. Wrap some up for your coworkers, your neighbors, and your kids’ teachers, but don’t forget to save some for yourself. Visit A Pumpkin & A Princess for the recipe, and check out her awesome ideas for wrapping food gifts too.


If you’re stuck in a holiday baking rut, check out these delicious and creative dessert ideas. Make them for your family, or for your next holiday party. You can thank us later.

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10 Winter Photo Ideas That The Whole Family Can Enjoy

10 Winter photo ideas 10 Winter Photo Ideas That The Whole Family Can Enjoy
Winter has arrived! It is the season for hot chocolate with floating marshmallows, ice skating, trips to the mountains, and spending quality family time with the ones you love. For southern state residents, winter is a season for enjoying warm temperatures, trying new family activities, and greeting friends that come for a visit to escape from the cold weather up north. No matter where you live, this festive time of year is a chance to take beautiful winter family photos that will soon become keepsakes!


1. Little kids wearing holiday decorations.
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From strings of lights to tinsel and bows, kids and adults will enjoy setting up for this jolly winter photo. Keep it in mind for your 2015 holiday greeting card!


2. Document the creation of the first winter snowman.
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Instead of taking a picture of the completed snowman, make sure that you capture a few pictures along the way. These captured moments of joy would make a great canvas photo display that could decorate your living room, entryway, or family room!


3. Use marshmallows to create unique artwork.
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When the cold winter wind blows, it’s time to sit by the fire and find new, fun games. Did you know that marshmallows can be used to create unique artwork? These delectable treats can be pulled apart, stuck together, and dyed using food coloring. Once the artwork is complete snap a photo of the artist and their masterpiece for your winter photography collection!


4. Capture a day spent playing with the family pets.
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Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or rabbit, make sure that your pets are included in your winter photographs. From dressing your pets up in hats, scarves, and gloves, to watching your child turn the family dog into a “sled dog,” make sure that you have your camera ready to capture these merry moments.


5. Don a pair of ice skates and head to the rink.
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Be sure to take before, during, and after ice skating pictures that can easily be turned into festive wall art during the winter season. A word of caution: be careful taking photos while you are actually skating; save the photography for someone who is waiting on the sidelines.


6. Build a sand castle or a snow fort.
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Winter is the time for creating. If you live in the warm weather states (or if you take a vacation to the warm, sunny beaches) be sure to create a sand castle. If you live in a colder, snow environment, then it is the perfect opportunity to build a snow fort. Make sure that you take photos of the sand castle or snow fort with its builders standing proudly by!


7. Who says you have to go outside to create a castle or fort?
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Do you want to spend a day inside with your kids, instead of tromping through the snow? If so, try building an indoor castle or fort with the help of a few chairs, a sofa, throw pillows, and lots of sheets or blankets. Once your kids are inside reading, playing, or maybe sleeping, get your camera out to snap a cute photo that is sure to look great as a canvas print!


8. Walk through the woods searching for icicles.
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Icicles are one of winter’s wonders. Instead of simply photographing the icicles by themselves, try arranging them into unique patterns. Or, if you are quick with your camera, you can capture the exact moment that your family or friends point to the largest icicle in sight. These action shots make for great winter photo keepsakes.


9. Get cozy by the fire pit for great winter photographs.
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The backdrop of the fire, accompanied with smiling, happy faces, will create the perfect setting for a winter-themed outdoor photograph. Don’t forget to capture the moon if it’s shining brightly during your winter fire pit photo shoot.


10. Capture the season’s first ski (or snowboarding) trip with a selfie on the ski lift.
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An iconic ski lift photo is a great way to remember all the adventures of the winter season. Whether you choose to look goofy, smile big, or simply attempt to not drop your gloves during the photo, a ski lift selfie can make for the perfect canvas print.


Are you ready to grab your camera and snap some winter photographs? With these winter photo ideas in mind, we hope that you will have a fun-filled, festive season that brings many new adventures and lots of photo opportunities. Whether you choose to take one photo or decide that hundreds of photographs are more your style, don’t forget to create high-quality canvas prints for your favorite winter shots.

Posted in Canvas Ideas, Holidays, Holidays, Photography | 1 Comment

12 Fast and Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments

OrnamentsFinal 12 Fast and Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments
Add a personal touch to the holiday season by handcrafting your own Christmas ornaments. We’ve rounded up a dozen ideas to get you started – each of these delightful ornaments can be completed in well under an hour and adds a touch of handmade to your Christmas tree.

Jingle Scrabble Tiles

Jingle Bells Christmas Ornament Scrabble Pieces 12 Fast and Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Image Credit: Mom4Real;
























This fast and easy ornament combines real jingle bells with Scrabble tiles that spell out the word “Jingle”. Whether you purchase a set of tiles designed for crafting or raid an old playing set, you’ll find all the letters you need. This simple but impressive piece can be adapted to a variety of themes, from names (attached to a package for easy giving) to other festive words that use up the rest of your tiles. Glue, ribbon, and bells are all you need to complete this ornament in just a few minutes. Image and complete tutorial via Mom4Real.


Reindeer Thumbprint

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Image Credit: Little Bit Funky;

















Quick? Check!
Easy? Check!
Absolutely Adorable? Check!
Complete a whole sleigh’s worth of reindeer ornaments in under an hour – with the help of the kids. This easy piece uses a thumbprint to create a sweet smiling reindeer; just add a few details with paint and your ornament is ready for gifting or hanging on the tree. Get the complete tutorial at Little Bit Funky.


Do You Want to Melt a Snowman?

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Image Credit: It All Started with Paint;

This easy but delightfully cute snowman ornament craft will have you singing along – it assembles quickly but is guaranteed to make the recipient smile. This project is more assembly than actual crafting, so it is easy to create one or a dozen in a short amount of time. Get the scoop – and a full tutorial at It All Started with Paint.


Bottle Cap Snowmen

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Image Credit: One Artsy Mama;

Cute snow folk abound – it’s easy to make a whole family of snow people using this clever tutorial. You’ll need some glue, paint, and ribbons to get started; you can speed things up even more by starting with pre-painted white bottle caps. This is also an ideal project for making personalized ornaments – just add favorite colors and names to each snow person. Get the details and full tutorial at One Artsy Mama.


Pom Pom Handmade Christmas Ornaments 2 Ways

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Image Credit: Northstory;

Whether you try the fast and easy wreath or the more labor intensive sphere shaped ornament, these whimsical pieces will add a splash of color to any tree. You’ll need a glue gun and some wire to complete this project, and can use a mix of colors (as shown here) or more traditional holiday shades. Get the scoop and complete tutorial from Northstory.


Hot Air Balloon Ornament Hack

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Image Credit: The Cheese Thief;

Turn a plain ornament into something special by adding a tiny basket – that’s all you need to revamp it into a delightfully cute hot air balloon. You’ll be able to brush up on your paper folding and crafting skills as you tackle this project, which is much easier that it looks. A printable template and fully illustrated instructions make it easy to complete a bunch of these homemade Christmas ornaments in a hurry. Full tutorial via The Cheese Thief.


Mirror Mosaic Ornaments

Do It Yourself Holiday Christmas Tree Ornaments Craft Gift 12 Fast and Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Image Credit: Creme de la Craft;

Old CDs are the key to this fast and easy mosaic ornament craft. Since CDs can be cut with scissors you’ll avoid the mess and tools required for a traditional mosaic. Just snip, adhere, and then fill in the blanks with a glittery mortar and you’re ready to glam up your tree with these dazzling beauties! Get the full tutorial at Creme de la Craft.


Holiday Dinosaurs

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Image Credit: Boxy Colonial;

This is a fun craft for kids to make – and a great way to recycle all those spare animal and dinosaur toys laying around the house. No extra toys? A trip to the dollar store can yield dozens of options. Since you’ll be painting the toys with spray paint, the original color doesn’t matter. Once painted, the toys are easily mounted to eye hooks for easy hanging. Get the scoop at Boxy Colonial.


Origami Diamonds

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Image Credit: How About Orange;


















Learn more about the timeless craft of paper folding – and create some clever dimensional ornaments for your tree at the same time. This craft is ideal for teens and adults, and by varying the paper you can come up with an entire tree’s worth of ornaments in no time.
Folding directions and complete tutorial at How About Orange.


Mini Snowglobes

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Image Credit: No Biggie;




















These sweet little snow globes look a lot more labor intensive than they actually are. Whip up a bunch of them for easy gifting – you’ll need a small plastic light bulb ornament, tiny flocked tree, and a few embellishments for each. Vary the tree colors, or the items you place inside, to add interest and use up the crafty stuff you have at home. Once you master the technique the possibilities are endless. Get the complete tutorial from No Biggie.


Pinecone Bow Ornaments

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Image Credit: Make It & Love It;

Combine nature’s bounty with a delightfully bright ribbon and you can quickly whip up a whole tree’s worth of these simple but pretty handmade ornaments. Choose a color scheme that works for you and grab a few basic supplies to create these pinecone beauties, which can also be used to adorn wrapped gifts. Full Tutorial available from Make It & Love It.


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Image Credit: Pizzazzerie;

Combine some stickers and glitter along with nifty clear glass ornaments and you can create appealing personalized pieces for everyone in your family. This fast and easy craft takes minutes to complete – just make sure you have enough alphabet stickers for every name you want to use before you start. Tutorial via Pizzazzerie.

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11 Personalized Gifts You Can Make Right Now

The season of light is upon us, and with it comes a bit of magic. It’s a time to celebrate loved ones, revel in late-night festivities, and indulge in the spirit of coming together. For many, the holidays can also be a time of stress – standing in long lines, hustling through crowded malls, and spending too much on gifts that may or may not be appreciated.

These unique gift ideas are a great way to embrace the holiday spirit without spending a fortune. Get in touch with your crafty side this year with these personal, affordable gift ideas you can create yourself!


diy state string art 11 Personalized Gifts You Can Make Right Now

Image Credit: Learning Creating Living;

First up is the perfect gift for loved ones near and far – a tribute to that special place in your heart that can be whipped up in an afternoon. All you need is some string, a few woodworking tools, and a sense of adventure. Check out Learning, Creating, Living for all the details.


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This elegant clock is a great way to turn your favorite photo into your favorite timepiece. It’s an excellent gift for parents and grandparents, but you’ll also be tempted to keep one for yourself. Check out this fun tutorial from Rosy Red Buttons.


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These elegant gold leaf paper mache bowls are both practical and pretty. Yes, they require some advance planning to account for dry times, but they are well worth the effort and totally fun to make. And really, who can resist gold leaf and polka dots? Find out more at Kelli Murray.


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And while we’re on the topic of gilded gifts, check out these cute gold animal memo holders by Sugar and Cloth. These little guys are great gifts for your favorite entertainer – they’re whimsical, straightforward, and totally one-of-a-kind.


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Have you always wanted to try your hand at making soap? Now is the time, and this tutorial from I Heart Naptime makes it so easy to do so. These little hand-crafted soaps are great stocking stuffers or teacher gifts.


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Image Credit: A Beautiful Mess;

Looking for a new and inspiring way to gift your favorite family photos? These beautiful circle frames are super simple, but will really take your wall art to the next level. Get the details over at A Beautiful Mess.



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Image Credit: Simply Designing;

Every bathing beauty needs these amazing vanilla bath salts under the tree. They will chase away the chill of winter in no time at all. Plus they’re so simple to make – perfect for last minute gifts! A trip to the drug store and an hour are all that you need. Get the recipe at Simply Designing.


DIY Photo Collage Letters 2 11 Personalized Gifts You Can Make Right Now

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Looking for a way to share precious memories with close friends and family? These collage letters make a fantastic personalized gift for anyone near and dear to your heart, plus they’re a great way to get those photos off your computer and onto the wall where they belong. Learn how to build these eye-catching collage letters over at House on the Way.


Easy DIY Gold Sharpie Candle great holiday gift idea 11 Personalized Gifts You Can Make Right Now

Image Credit: Happiness is Homemade;

Here’s another one that can be made with the help of the kids, both toddlers and teens. Great party craft for all ages! Just grab some plain ceramic candle holders, beeswax beads, and permanent markers. You can’t get much easier than that. And the results? Amazing! Get all the details at Happiness is Homemade.


diy necklace 11 11 Personalized Gifts You Can Make Right Now

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This list wouldn’t be complete without some homemade jewelry to round out your options, and if you’ve been patiently waiting to try your hand at beading, now is the time. These elegant tube beads are made with Fimo, an oven-baked polymer clay that is really fun to use. Learn how to create these pretty beaded necklaces at The Lovely Drawer.


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Take a quick trip to your local home improvement store and spend an afternoon creating these beautiful painted lanterns. They’re really quick to make and are the perfect accompaniment to the Christmas or Hanukkah table setting. Get all the details over at Ruffed.

And there you have it – 11 last minute gift ideas that are easy on your wallet, beautifully personalized, and a pleasure to create. Make your list, check it twice, and then get crafting!

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