Feb 14, 2014

Love is...

everyday and everywhere. I want to share with you a few bits of wonder that touch my heart every Valentines Day to remind me what Love is.
LOVE IS ETERNAL. Love does and should not stop with Valentines Day. Tell your family, your sweetheart, and the little old man whittling wood on a park bench that you love them. You never know when your chance to say it out loud will be gone. Valentine's to my family is bitter sweet, because our dear niece was born on February 13 and died almost 24 hours later on Valentine's Day. But that year I felt the most glorious and perfect love I have ever felt in my entire life. (You can read her story here, but be warned you might shed a tear or two). Every year our family releases pink balloons for Candace. My kids write her little love notes and we let the balloons take our love to her in Heaven. For me, because we remember her she is loved.
LOVE IS FAMILY. Mothers, Fathers, dear Aunts and crazy Uncles. Grandma's and Grandpa's, brothers and sisters and dear friends who become your family. As much as my children drive me crazy, as many extra pounds they have added to my body, and hours of sleep they have taken from my night to comfort their fears; I LOVE THEM.
LOVE IS LIFE. Do you ever just sit and think about life? When I get that chance to lock myself in the bathroom so I can do my thing on my own, I do. It is then that I realize I feel loved when I live my life. Candace lived just short of twenty-four hours but every hour, minute and second was filled with love! That sweet baby received a lifetime of love in those 24 hours because we chose to live her life. Every moment of life is a blessing and I should enjoy the ride. The hills with the amazing views, the swamps that stink, and the straight and narrow path that seems to drag on forever. I am trying to LOVE IT ALL.
LOVE IS GOD. Sorry if you don't believe in Him but I do and I know he believes in me! I feel His love everyday. "Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, God love us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely." President Dieter F. Uchdorf
   **PS you can find the REALLY COOL and free printable of this quote at It's Always Autumn or here

LOVE IS AN ACTION not just a word. Use it! When I think about what my sister-in-law did for Candace, of how she carried her nine months knowing she would only get to hold her for a few fleeting moments, my heart throbs. Love is not found in flowers, or written on a card. Love is found in service, in a hug, in countless hours teaching a child to read, in changing diapers, and holding hands when you are tired and want to let go. No matter what Valentines Day means to you, no matter if it makes you happy or sad, it is only one day out of your year. Use love every day of every year. Find love everywhere you go and allow yourself and others to love you!

Happy Valentines Day 
from the girls at Phat Quarters.

Feb 1, 2014

Lucky in Love – Queen of Hearts Bunting

I consider myself lucky in love.  I pretty much have the most awesome husband ever… but I’ll spare you for now & save the gushing over him for another post  ... most of it anyway.
We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this year on January 13th.  And yes, we DID get married on Friday the 13th.  I’m lucky, I tell ya!  This year, my awesome hubby surprised me with a trip to Vegas.  I had never been & it was such a nice getaway with just the two of us.  We went to a couple shows & enjoyed yummy food and walked about 30 miles total in 3 days.  THIRTY MILES.  Boy, I am so glad I wore my tennies!  Seriously though, it was such a great trip & it even inspired my next bunting!

Yep, the holidays are over, bazaars have quieted down (the children haven’t quieted down, but oh well), so we’re getting back on the bandwagon & kick-starting our bunting posts again!

This is a super simple bunting & I’ve seen many different versions online.  I pulled all the heart cards from a deck of card & punched two holes near the top of each one.  Then, I strung them in random order on a length of ribbon with spaces in between.  I didn’t realize how much ribbon I owned until I pulled out all my red & black ribbon just for this project.  Needless to say, there’s a good variety!  I snipped ribbon in 4”-6” lengths & tied several in between each card & on the ends. 

It was a quick project & would be great to do with older kids.  Jen & I each made one to spruce up a little Valentine vignette in each of our homes.  Jen found a great spot over a mirror.  It shows off the backs of the cards which are red.
{the grey Northwest days sure make indoor pictures a challenge!} 

 I am in love with this red tray I discovered in the clearance section at a local home d├ęcor store.  It has a metallic sheen to it & the white quote just pops.  I cut the quote in vinyl with my Silhouette (you can find the quote in the Silhouette store).  I was lucky & found another red tray just like it at another store, so I had to make one for Jen too.
Here's my display, on top of an armoire in our front room.  I don't have a fireplace, so this is my pretend mantel. :)
 This felt wreath is something I made a few years ago & it has held up beautifully.  Though it took forever to make, (I think I cut about a million & a half felt circles) it’s one of my favorite decorations.

We have two more Valentine buntings to share with you before the big day & we’re also celebrating our birthday in February!  That’s right; Phat Quarters is one year old this month!  We’re really excited to celebrate with you, so be sure you’re following our blog posts.  We'd also love to keep in touch with you all on Facebook!
In the meantime, be sure to check in at our Etsy shop.  We're featuring some fresh fabric bundles, including CHEVRON & adding new items each week! Thanks! :)
{I've linked up to a few parties here}

Jan 16, 2014

Hello...Anyone there?

Uhmm, well, yes.....we have been MIA. With kids, colds, holidays, bazaars, did I mention kids..., and throw in a hubbie (if he is lucky) we have been completely overwhelmed with real life and it has left little time for our virtual life here at Phat Quarters. But we just wanted to let you know that we were not swallowed up by snow or gone missing under the piles of wrapping paper, we are truly alive and well. We hope to be back more often soon, with new buntings and a BIG Birthday Surprise. So in the meantime here is a sneak peak at what I am working on for next week, along with laundry that is....

Nov 26, 2013

Reflection of Love, a Photoshop Tutorial

Alright folks, yes we have been MIA, but the 'A' is the key letter there. Sometimes life requires a little bit of action and lately our lives have demanded it. And I must admit after committing to this blog and our little shop for this past year, it has been kind of nice to take a break, even if it was a short one. We have been preparing for Bazaars, putting on birthday parties, visiting with family, scheduling surgeries (yuck!) and continuing to take advantage of the amazing RAIN-FREE weather! While we all have enjoyed the weather in our own ways I have been trying to work on my photography skills. Some weeks I feel pretty confident about what I can do behind the camera and other weeks I feel like my nine year old could do a better job! Today I was working on some photos for one of my best friends and I wanted to share a fun little trick that I finally got to try out. The best part was...that it was a huge success! Please remember I am not a fancy photographer, yet, nor I am an expert with Photoshop, so the following tutorial is based on my limited skills. If you have a streamlined version or helpful hints for me I would LOVE to hear about them so leave a comment. With that being said I love the results I got and am calling it Reflection of Love. Lame I know but I couldn't resist. I am supper excited to try this again. I can just see a bride and groom doing something amazing with it, but you will have to come back another time for that. For now enjoy the quiet creek version.

'Reflection of Love' a Photoshop Tutorial

The first thing you have to do is find a body of water where you (the photographer) can be in-front of the water and your subjects. You also need to make sure that your light source is behind your subjects so that you can get a great shadow. Once you have identified the perfect location you need to have your subjects pick their poses. You are going to take two photos; (1st) the BASE-photo which will be the upper half of your finial image, and (2nd) your TOP-photo, which will be the lower half of your final image. You want to figure out these poses before you take any pictures because it is important that you and your subjects move as little as possible between shots. If you have or use a tripod this would be the time to pull it out! My kids used mine to build a fort a few years ago and lets just skip to the crash/bang part of the story where the tripod was no more and my face was very red and scrunched up, ahhh sweet memories! Any-who...

For my BASE-photo I had my friends hold hands and look directly at me. I took a few shots like this trying very hard not to change the actual photo composition. I have a tendency to move a lot when I take photos so this is the hardest part for me. You also want to make sure that your subjects try not to change their positions, especially their feet. For this photo you want to focus on the actual subjects and not worry so much about their shadow.

Next you want to have your subjects move into their second pose, this will be your TOP-photo. With this photo you want to focus your attentions on the shadow and not worry so much about your actualy subjects. For mine I had my friends get a little lovey-dovey and pucker up. The important part here is that the feet and legs don't radically change position. This is why I had my subjects give a little dutch-like kiss, simple and sweet with little movement. After you  have a few shots of the second pose you are done in the field, finish your session and head home.

The next step will require a photo-editing program or good old prints and scissors (remember editing photos like this after you had the actual prints and you wanted the flowers to be pink but the photo black and white...did I just age myself?)  I am using Photoshop CS4. You first need to look at all the photos you took for this moment and find one of each pose where there is little change in anything except the poses themsleves. Once you have identified the two photos you will be ready to begin.

Click on the TOP-photo (mine is the dutch-kiss photo) and pull it off of the top bar by clicking on the photo tag and dragging it down onto your work space. You should see both photos on your work space now.

Next make sure that your tool is set as the "hand" and then select the TOP-photo by holding down "CTRL-A," right-click on your mouse and move your TOP-photo onto your BASE-photo then let go of the mouse button and just minimize the TOP-photo, in case you make a mistake and need to start over.

Now you should have your TOP-photo as a 'layer' on your BASE-photo.

Next I decrease the Opacity of the TOP-photo LAYER so that I can see both pictures at once. This makes it very blurry but it works for me.

Then I line up the feet of  both photos the best that I can.

Now that my photos are where I want them, I increase the Opacity of the TOP-photo LAYER so that I can only see that image.
Next I choose my Eraser tool and making sure that the TOP-photo LAYER is selected I erasedfeet UP. Take your time at the feet to make sure that your photos blend. Look for little details. If you take your time here it will make your photo seamless. Then continue to erase the top portion of the TOP-photo LAYER.
the top half of the photo from the
Once you are done you need to Flatten your image. Then Viola! You have a new image with a bit of each of the original photos. Now you can process your final image and enjoy your Refection of Love!

If you are local there is still great weather for some fun winter photo sessions. Just send me an email and we can talk.

Nov 8, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

Celebrate Veterans Day!
Let the sun shine on all our Soldiers both present, past, and future!

 In loving memory of the men, women, children, family, and friends who have given their time, efforts, and life to help protect our County!
Let's Celebrate and Decorate those with Honor.
I wish I could honor each and every one. Sadly so many loved ones are abroad or on special assignments that cannot be mentioned by name or deed, so that they and their loved ones can stay safe. To all of you out there. Thank you!
May each flying banner World and Nationwide be a reminder that we DO care and remember.

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