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Click: iPhone Photos Every Day

Just a little over two weeks ago, I launched a project for myself to try and stop and take note of something in my daily life, each day. My tool is my camera phone (I have an iPhone 5, thanks to a tech-savvy husband) and I’m grateful for the awesome technology I have access to, as well as all the little pretty things that exist in my daily grind so each day I’m snapping at least one pic and sharing it. At a little over the halfway point in my challenge, I updated a page here with all of the daily pics, but below I’m shared a few of my favs so far.

Join my over on the Pinterest, the Facebook, or the Twitter where I’m posting them each and every day!

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyMy daughter’s little feet. Well, at almost 7 years old they are becoming quickly less little.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyAre those purple square totally out of control? Out local Farmer’s Market is amazing.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyMy baby, just a little longer. He is sucking on his two middle fingers (as he always is) in case you were wondering. Blankey is a family member, here.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyHomemade egg challah. Mmm.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyWhen she wanted to try calamari, I thought she’d stick with the chewy ring-style ones. Nope. The little tentacle-style ones were her fav and were promptly devoured.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny I’ll update the full gallery page when the project is over, and give ya’ll a head’s up! Thanks for sticking with me, and please share your own photo challenges! Anyone else impressed with purple produce? Have a kid that will eat on the wild-side?

Xoxo, Dani

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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iPhoning It In: Embracing My Camera Daily

I’m making an effort to let go a little bit. You know – relax, and more spontaneously admire things around me.

Daily iPhone Photography Project: eight eight thirteen | Painting Sunny

I love creative forms of expression if you haven’t noticed. I can, however, get hung up on worrying about something being “ready” and “high enough quality” to be worth the effort and to share with others. Is a painting really finished? Is a photography pretty enough? Is something composed uniquely or contrasted enough? It never feels like it. So I’m about to do a little project to “let go and let blog” by each day taking up my iPhone and capturing a photo of something around me.

Above is the very first one, taken yesterday evening as flash floods came down in our area. The drainage outside of our apartment is not quite holding up to rain lately, and as I watched the water flood up over the back patio and sidewalks, I thought about how grey and drizzy the rain was as it threatened to spill over our door-frames and onto the carpet; but how cheerful the children’s toys and scooters and wagons looked sitting outside, and how grateful I am that those things are in my life.

So, here’s the gist. Every day for 30 days I’ll snap the pic, and will post it to my Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest locals. I may edit the photos a bit in trusty Photoshop (things can’t be all crooked, yo) but I promise not to Instagram it or use a filter. Nothing against Instragram – I’m just challenging myself to let things be, just a little bit.

Being a research nerd, I thought I’d round up a few inspiring iPhone photogs and websites, so why not check them out?

Brock Davis’ 2012 iPhone Photography (Yes, I also mentioned him here)

Chase Jarvis’ Photography Blog and his book about it

iPhoneography, an iPhone Photography Blog

National Geographic’s Tips For Better iPhone Photography

Y’all need to hold me accountable, so please share your own camera phone adventures, times you just throw in the towel and call it good enough, ideas for relaxing a little and enjoying the ride…

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Links to products on Amazon may be affiliate links. Keepin’ it real.


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Pin-Fail: Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Are Cute If Your Kids Aren’t Afraid Of Dirt

You may recall this past week, when we happily celebrated Grandma June’s birthday after she arrived from the long 1/3-cross-country drive. I really enjoy DIYing something personalized for a birthday, and so even though we were in the midst of boxes I was inspired to make some cute, trendy, chalk-prop photos of the kids, just like these:

Look at those adorable and well-behaved children and the sweet little chalk sketches. Awww. Easy, right?

Wrong.

Really, really wrong.

Lest you have begun to think I totally know what I’m talking about and spend my days happily baking and crafting… this was the best I got:

(Disclaimer: the sidewalk was not hot at all; it was bright out but cool. I promise I wouldn’t make them lie on hot cement even for the sake of DIY… they just didn’t want to lie flat on the ground in case it was dirty, and weren’t sure what to do with their arms.)

Pin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting Sunny Granted, the sun was bright, so halfway through I realized I would get less-squinty photos if we moved to the shade… but the sunlight clearly wasn’t the problem. They both just didn’t want to lie down flat on the ground, which was sorta necessary for the little photo op to work. Oh well, they can’t all turn out, right?

Also, the scooters were there because I thought I could position them so it looked like the kids were riding on them. Not like they had just toppled from them onto hard pavement. Not quite the effect I was going for.

Anyone else having a total pin-fail? Have kids who don’t want to touch the dirt on sidewalks? Realize your kid’s fake tattoos that just will not fade probably look weird in pictures? Tell me I’m not alone! It seemed like a good idea, right?


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Operation Preoccupy the Preschooler: DIY Travel Activities

Well, we are getting close to our big move! In this case, big move = two long days in a car with little kids. and a cat. OMG.

So, I decided to take a couple evening hours this week and make up some DIY Travel Activities to keep the kids occupied on the road. While watching old Criminal Minds episodes, of course. With just a few supplies I managed to come up with four different types of activities, and some of those are multi-part – so cheers to at least 15 minutes of peace and quiet in the car!

DIY Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

The main ingredients are shown above, and I was also armed with a few basic supplies I had around the house. My goal was to make multiple activities with each of the supplies I bought. Mostly, I used:

  • Popsicle Sticks from the craft store ($2.99 for a large package)
  • 10 sheets of felt from the craft store, 25 cents each
  • Hot glue (I already had the gun and glue)
  • Printed out photographs (printed on our home computer on white cardstock we had)
  • Round yard-sale stickers (I had some leftover from a yard-sale)
  • A fine-tipped permanent marker
  • Scotch tape
  • A cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard cut into squares to fit the felt sheets
  • Optional: I bought a little plastic carrying case for about a $1.80 (originally $2.99)

The supplies above purchased from a craft store were all from Hobby Lobby, which is just the closest one to our house.

Below are pictures and a few notes on how each activity came together, along with a link to the original inspiration! The original tutorials from the blogs noted below are more in-depth than what I’ve written, so please show them some love and go check them out!

Project 1: Popsicle Stick Color Matching Game (almost finished)

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the summer popsicle activity tutorial at  at Roots and Wings Co.

What isn’t finished about these, you ask? They look so cute already! Well, for our 3 year old son who can’t quite read yet, having the colors written on the sticks is great… but having one side painted the color would be much more useful. I just have not had the chance to break out the paints from the pile of boxes! I have about 2 weeks left, so will have to get on that.

While you can’t tell from the photographs, the sticks are removable from the felt popsicle-tops. I’ll take them apart, and them the little guy will be responsible for matching them back up and sticking the sticks into the colorful tops.

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

I cut out one popsicle-shaped top out of the felt, and then used that as a template for the rest of the colors. For each color, I cut two pieces in order to make the front and back.

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Many of the tutorials online for this activity call for sewing the edges, which I have no excuse for not having done. Still, I had the hot glue gun at hand, so went ahead and glued these instead. It worked great! I put a dab of glue at the top, stick it together, and then ran a little down the sides (as shown above) then pressed the edges together firmly. Voila!

Project 2: Personalized Photo Puzzles

DIY Personalized Photo Puzzles, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the Father’s Day Craft tutorial at Impress Your Kids.

These were so so simple, y’all! A couple supplies, and they turned out super cute. Most of all, I love how personalized it is.

DIY Personalized Photo Puzzles, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

I chose pictures of things he loves (pictures of him and his sister reading in bed, or with his Dad at the park, with Grandma June, with his friend at teacher at school, of his cat, etc.) and threw in a couple random images such as a Tiger, for fun.

Above, you can see how I scotch-taped the backs of the sticks together. Then, I just flipped it over and hot-glued the picture down over the sticks careful not to get glue in bedroom the sticks too much. After it dried, I removed the tape and then used an Xacto knife to cut the pictures between the sticks until they were separate.

I’d like to come up with a nice way to store these… maybe sew a little separate for each puzzle? Or stick to the oh-so-simple snack sized plastic bags?

Project 3: Number Matching Pole

DIY Number Matching Pole, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the DIY Preschool Car Trip Activity tutorial at Simple Mal.

Again – this is almost painfully simple. We had a garage sale last weekend, so I grabbed some leftover stickers and numbered them, then wrote the same set of numbers randomly along a paper towel cardboard roll. This was awesomely easy. Thanks Mallory!

Project 4: Felt Board Scenes

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the Pinterest Board of Felt Board Stories from Marcy Bishir. Nice collection of pins, Marcy!

These were the most fun out of all of the projects. I had a great time sitting and cutting out fun little shapes in front of the TV. Some I took straight off of pictures I saw online, and others I came up with myself. Those felt squares are so easy to cut through. I would grab a full-sized sheet and then start cutting out elements and adding to it, “building” the picture was I went until I felt like it had enough pieces to be fun.

Here are some close-ups of my favs:

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting SunnyAll in all, I made 5 different “scenes” to play with. A “house” scene with a tree, lake, sun, etc.; an outer-space scene; a ” party food” scene with  pizza and cupcakes; an “ocean” scene with fish, a whale, and coral; and a holiday scene with a snow man, pine tree, and presents.

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

My strategy was to pick out a few colors I knew I wanted to leave full sheets of, as the “background” for the scenes (I chose light blue, white, green, and black). I wanted to make them firm enough for the kids to sit it on their laps and play with in the car, so I found some cardboard sheets from the back of photo frames I wasn’t using, cut them to size (shown above) and hot glued the full-sized sheets to those (shown below).

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Again, these were easy and fun and my goal is to bridge the age-gap and have scenes both kids will find fun the play with. We actually already have a “quiet box” of Haven’s that she loves, with a little felt girl cutout glued to one side and dress-up clothes of all types she can stick to the girl. It was a gift from her Aunt Norma, and we’re bringing that along to keep H amused as well.

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

This little carrying case was in the “art storage” area of Hobby Lobby, and I was surprised to see that the full-price for it was only $2.99. It expands pretty wide, too, and is so nice and bright. Since I had my Hobby Lobby iPhone app up and used the built-in 40% off coupon, it brought the cost down to just a bit over $1. This post is not sponsored, btw. For me, that was totally worth it to hold the felt boards and cut-outs. I stored the cut-outs for each scene in plastic quart-sized storage bags.

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Want to know the other fun thing about this post? I got all fancy and tried the Katie Bower method for better small product photography. Seems so simple, but her tips totally helped. She is so cool.

Anyone else about to embark on a road-trip with kiddos? Figured out a safe and non-screechy way to transport a cat long-distance? Sit and cut out astronauts and pizza slices while you watch TV?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Art that is Weird and Cool (and now I’m a little inspired)

While my own work has hit a predictable roadblock (like, my art supplies are literally packed in boxes to be moved… underneath other boxes) at least I can stop and take a moment to wonder at what others are creating.

I recently discovered The Jealous Curator. This girl has some mad good taste, and is a one-stop-shop for inspiration and pretty things. I was unsurprised to read that she contributes to SFGirlByBay, which is obviously amazing and a permanent blog roll fixture over here. Check out her Girl Crush Tea Parties, too.

If I had a tea party, she would totally be invited (I’m not quite sure what her name is, though… I haven’t had time to creepy online stalk her yet). Probably along with Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess and Sherry from Young House Love and Rebecca Skloot and… okay, that already sounds random and a little unpredictable so let’s just stop there. Art That is Weird & Cool Curation | Painting Sunny

So, in homage to her I have put together my own little list of artist’s I’m jealous of and/or crushing on:

1. Beth Galton’s Conceptial Food Photographs

Beth Galton's Conceptial Food PhotographsSource: Beth Galton

Beth Galton's Conceptial Food PhotographsSource: Beth Galton

Literally, food cut in half. There is something so simple and clean about her photographs, and the classic foods represented.

2. Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland

Kirsty Mitchell PhotographySource: Kirsty Mitchell Photography

Kirsty Mitchell PhotographySource: Kirsty Mitchell Photography

These are so saturated detailed… It’s sci-fi, fine art, and fashion all rolled into one. The story of how she was inspired as well as how she managed her budget is intriguing, as well.

3. Cecelia Webber’s Human Body Art

Cecelia Webber's Human Body ArtSource: Cecelia Webber

Cecelia Webber's Human Body ArtSource: Cecelia Webber

Okay, how amazing is that flower made out of legs? Did you realize it was legs at first? The composition of these, along with the perfectly perfect hue’s mean I could stare at her photographs for hours.

4. Brock Davis’s iPhone Photos

Brock Davis's iPhone PhotosSource: Brock Davis

Brock Davis's iPhone PhotosSource: Brock Davis

The humor that is evident in many of these photographs is what draws me to them. When combined with his sense of composition and eye for catching tiny and subtle details, Brock Davis is someone I wish I could get coffee with.

5. Anastassia Elias’s Rouleaux

Anastassia Elias's RouleauxSource: Anastassia Elias

Anastassia Elias's RouleauxSource: Anastassia Elias

This are whimsical, sweet, and make you think the artist must be… well, a very unique person. My favorite part = the impact the different lighting can make in the various rolls.

For more blogs I obsess over regularly visit, check out my shout-out list of Blogs To Love, right there to the right —>

Anyone else enjoy art made from toilet paper rolls? Craving a jelly doughnut now?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Meet Me In St. Louis; Street Art Inspires

This past autumn, the husband and I spend a rare and delicious weekend away from the kids and chose St. Louis, MO as our exotic destination. Well, okay… maybe STL isn’t Hawaii  but if you have small children you know that any city seems romantic and exciting when you get a weekend away by yourselves. BTW, thanks Grandma June and Grandpa Mike for enthusiastically caring for the little ones!

Honestly, I think St. Louis is just a romantic and interesting city. With it’s french Cajun tone, it’s pretty architecture, it’s really lovely and almost over-the-top parks and little neighborhoods it just feels special and always sort of up-and-coming. We ate beignets, stopped at a lot of coffee shops, walked around the city, and went running together at Forest Park.

While we were there, I was drawn to the flood wall just south of downtown, a popular location for local graffiti artists. It not a pretty area on it’s own, but the wall is somehow quite lovely in places. Thanks to an overcast sky (it rained almost the whole time we were there) the colors turned out vividly (it was also shot with my husband’s much nicer camera which certainly helps).

What I like most is how differently the photographs turned out, even those these were all taken within about 30 feet of each other.  Most are either wider and distant shots of  more “unintentionally” painted areas (such as the first photographs below) or close-ups of smaller, detail areas of purposeful graffiti.

Some are very moody and romantic…

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

… others are more “80’s” and are fun and flirty…

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

…and still others are more raw, metallic, and industrial.

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

St. Louis Graffiti Photographs | Painting Sunny

I’ve compiled more of them together in a gallery on this page.

Anyone else have a love of St. Louis? Or, street art from any city? I have a whole collection of cities I love at this point, and plan to keep adding to it… in fact, I’m getting excited for this Friday when I get to jet off to Orlando for a work-related conference! More on that later.