Thursday, July 26, 2012

Printing Instagram Photos

As you may know, I am an Instagram fanatic (username is fontsavant, by the way).  But how do you get all those gorgeous Instagrams from your phone onto actual paper you can hold or display?

Here are some resources that I have found and used.

Red Stamp is an app that you load on your iphone.  The app is free and allows you to take any photo from your phone and put it into a postcard.  I like it because it uses my contacts to select the addresses and I can customize the words on the postcard.  It is supposed to save your credit card but I must have a bug because I keep having to reenter mine.

The postcard is very thick and glossy.  And beautiful.  The colors are true to the original.  And I did it all from my phone.  The postcards are printed and mailed for you to the recipients.  I mailed myself one so I could see the quality.  I was not disappointed at all.

Another iPhone app I use is Postal Pix,  I ordered 5x5 prints of my pictures (they also offer 4x4).  The 5x5 prints are 89 cents a piece and the 4x4 prints are around 30 cents a piece.  They ship very fast and I received my order in about 5 business days.  And again I did it all from my phone.

They are printed on glossy photo paper.  I am not a big fan of glossy but was not given the choice to select matte.  The photos are pretty and true to the colors.  They are just not my favorite.

And yet another app I use is called Postagram.  This app allows you to send a photo that is inside of a postcard.  So the receiver can pop out the square photo and just keep the photo and not the whole postcard.  It also accesses your addresses from your contacts on your phone and is customizable and super easy to use.  However, the postcards are very dark and the pictures seem a little dark as well.  And once you pop out the photo, it has those pesky perforated edges that most people don't care for.  I do like their thickness though.  And there is a message on the back of the photo that you can customize.

Now if these babies were magnets that popped out and they popped out that would be amazing!

Speaking of magnets.

I also ordered Instagrams from Stickygram.   This is not an app on the iPhone but a web site.  So you will need a computer and an internet connection.  And as much as I want to do everything from my phone, this is worth lugging out the laptop.  When you use Stickygram it accesses your Instagram feed.  You see all the photos you have on instagram and can select which ones you want printed onto magnets.  You select 9 photos for 9 magnets that cost $15 with free shipping from England.  I ordered 2 sets.  They turned out so beautiful!  They are a matte finish, which I love and the magnets are thick.  And they tear apart cleanly and perfectly.

I totally recommend Stickygram.

But if you don't want magnets then you have to use  Printstagram.  This is also not and app.  You must also log in and it accesses your Instagram account.  But they are by far my favorite printers.  I ordered these little mini books (2 for $12) with 50 photos each.

The photos are almost embossed onto the card stock.  The black ink is shiny and sits on the surface.  The quality is like nothing I have seen. 

I also ordered prints from Printstagram as well.  I ordered 24 photos on 4x4 paper (cardstock) for $12.  They are heaven.  The prints are matte and the cardstock is heavy and smooth.  It is the nicest photo stock I have ever seen.

They are simply the nicest photos I have ever held in my hands.  HOWEVER, it takes a while to get them.  I ordered mine on July 8th and received my beautiful prints all the way from China on July 24th.  But THEY ARE WORTH THE WAIT. 

Here is a side by side comparison of postal pix (5x5) and printstagram (4x4)

The photo on the left is glossy and thin and cost 89 cents but arrived super quick. (And you can order 4x4 for much cheaper)  The photo on the right is matte and thick and cost about 50 cents and arrived in about 2.5 weeks.  If you can wait, I recommend you order from printstagram.

I am going to order their stickers next!  I will keep you posted!

So for prints - Printstagram,

For magnets - Stickygram,

For postcards - Red Stamp, (you will need to download the app from the app store)

What is your favorite way to print your instagrams?  Please share in the comment section.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tomatoes grown from seed!

Man I love photosynthesis!

Camp Takatoka

On Sunday we took Emma Jane to Camp Takatoka for the week.  The camp is on Lake Ft. Gibson near Wagoner, Oklahoma.

She went for half a week last year, but this summer she is going for a whole week!

It was hot and the grasshoppers were deafening.  But it reminded me of being a kid and going to Kiamichi Church Camp when I was a kid.  I loved camp!  I didn't mind the heat.  We sat under a big metal pavilion (chapel) and sweat and sweat and sang songs and sweat.  We slept in bunk beds and put kool-aid in the shower heads and ran from daddy long legs and swam and sweat and sang hymns.

Here is my happy camper.  I can go a week without talking to her.  I can.  It will be fine.  I will be fine.  I know she is happy and sweating and running from daddy long legs and swimming and sleeping in a bunk bed and singing songs about elbows on the table.  (I need to learn this tune)

See, I am fine...

I look happy, right?  I will be just fine without my eldest for a week.  It is just 6 days really.  And 6 nights.  And 17 meals.  And 18 bedtime books.  And 27 hugs.  sigh...

I sure hope she is having fun...

Art Camp and Madeline

Emma Jane went to Kravis Summer Arts camp for two weeks this summer.  She loved it!  Of course, she loves art and they dabbled in so many of the, music, sculpture, painting, beading...  This camp was definitely a great idea and we will be going back.

The last day of camp they had a presentation by all the campers in the auditorium.  Different classes sang and did skits and danced.  When it was her turn she played a solo on the soprano recorder in the style of Native American flute.  She also played the drums on one piece.

Emma made friends with a young artist named Andrea.  She described her as having golden hair.  I agree, she does have golden hair.

And this young lady pictured below is Madeline.

Ah Madeline.  Madeline is my nanny for the summer.  She is the daughter of a physician friend from work and has worked for me at OSU before.  She just finished her first year of college in Newport, Rhode Island, at Salve Regina University.  She is brilliant.  She is artistic.  She is athletic.  She is driven.  She is hilarious.  I could not have asked for a better role model for my girls.  She is patient and caring and my girls adore her...we all do.

This picture says it all.  We have taken over her summer completely.

No, you can't get her number.  I'm not going to even mention her last know who you are you babysitter stealers out there!

  They are not going to be able to let her go in August...

Stop and Write

I can't remember a time when things were this busy.  We have had something to do every single weekend and most weeknights all summer long.  Last week was the busiest week I have at work all year.  But it is over.  I didn't sleep much for worrying about work.  I got up and left before anyone woke up.  And then every night we had an activity relating to their upcoming school year.  Things have got to slow down...

The week ended with Emma Jane having an art show at Art Camp.  Then we went out to dinner with my dad.  We spent Saturday getting ready for Camp Takatoka.  Sunday was the seventeenth anniversary of our wedding.  Mike and I went out to dinner after taking Emma Jane to camp.

I hope things will settle into more of a routine when school starts.

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Lubbock

I can't believe I did not get one single picture of Linda with two of her brothers at the reception.  She has 3 brothers and two of them made the long drive up from South Texas.  I took this picture in her backyard the first night we arrived.

Here she is with Scott and Steve

We drove in on Friday night and went straight to Grandpa and Granna's house.  We ate...

And we swung...

and we laid in the hammock with Grandpa...

It meant a lot to Linda to have her brothers there.

The Reception

Saturday night Davis and Linda threw a party at the Texas Tech stadium.  The groom (from the Mexico wedding) graduated from Tech and is a big, big fan.  Lubbock is Linda's hometown (for the last 30 years) and Tech is where her brothers played football; so it was the perfect venue for a wedding reception.  It was a unique experience to have the stadium to yourself.

When you first arrive the grandeur takes your breath away.  The architecture is stunning and intimidating, as I guess it should be.  We felt tiny and very special at the same time.  The fact that we had access to this beautiful facility was quite special.

When we exited the elevator onto the floor where the reception was, we were met with a spectacular wall of windows that give an unencumbered view of the entire field, stadium and scoreboard.

There were stadium seats inside the venue that became the kids play area.  Lucy went to the bar and got a water (on the rocks) and took it to the stadium seat with her very own cup holder.  Then proceeded to play in and out of the seats all through the night.

There was some k-i-s-s-i-n-g (looks like Kieran is not enjoying this)

The room was decked out in black and red, as you would expect.  But my father-in-law, being the gracious host wore a Texas Longhorn tie as a subtle tribute to his alma mater.

The room was decorated beautifully.  Davis had pictures printed from the Mexico wedding and framed them and put them on the tables.  There was an open bar and hors d'oeuvres.  The cuisine for the night was Mexican and the appetizers were adorable!  And simply awesome!

After all the guests arrived and had a few bites and brews, Granna welcomed everyone to the party.  She made introductions and thanked everyone for coming.  Davis said the blessing for dinner and introduced the video.

The video was a photo slideshow from birth to their wedding day in Mexico.  I put it together with Davis' help.  He scanned in all the photos and took a great many of the photos in Mexico at the wedding.  He is such a handy father-in-law…  When I found out that the video was going to be shown on the big screen on the scoreboard, I felt a lot of pressure to make it really good.  I have made a number of videos in the last 12 years, but none that were going to be shown in a stadium on a jumbotron!  There were flat screen TV's all over the room that would be showing the video as well.  So from anywhere in the room you could see the monitors or the scoreboard.  Since we had arrived all monitors, including the scoreboard had been showing the menu screen for the movie.

I came up earlier in the day to meet with the AV technician for Tech…the Tech tech. (hee hee)  I got to see the inner workings of the Texas Tech television and video broadcast center.  It is in a completely different building from the football stadium.  I was geeking out over all the audio/video gear.  My little DVD was going to be played from here.

And shown here!

What a moment.  To have something you have worked so hard on be played in such a spectacular way.  I told the Tech tech earlier in the day that my payoff is bringing my audience to tears.  That makes all the hours of work worth it.  I got my payday.  And all the people in the video got a huge kick out of seeing their face on the jumbotron!  The video played twice with music and then the audio went silent but the video continued to loop on all the monitors and the stadium scoreboard for the rest of the evening.  I watched people watching it again and again.  And as we were pulling out of the stadium on University drive late that night, I looked over my shoulder to see my girls photo flash by.  It was still looping on the scoreboard at 11:00 at night!  I wonder how many people could see it.

Emma Jane took over as the family photographer for about half of the evening.  She has quite an eye for composition.  And everyone smiles when a pretty little 9-year-old girl walks up with a camera that weighs as much as her head and asks you to say cheese.  I am going to have to start giving her photo credits on the blog. (these pictures were used with permission from the photographer)

And when you have your daughter snapping pictures you get to be in a few.

 Dinner was chicken and/or brisket tacos.  The brisket was out of this world tender and I smothered mine in peppers and onions and guacamole.  Delish.  Absolutely delicious.

And now for the cake....holy lemon dream cake...

The cake was made by a social worker at Linda's hospital and is the best cake I have ever eaten.  Ever.  Oh, and it was beautiful. 

It was heaven on a plate...

There was dancing…

And a whole lot of visiting.

Emma snapped this picture of the beautiful bride Paige and her son Kieran. 

What a night...