Create Custom Valentines with the Martha Stewart Craft Studio App for iPad.

How many of you would like to create your own custom cards and invitations?  How many of you feel a bit inadequate in that area and could use a little bit of help?  Can you see my hand waving in the air?  I love to make my own cards, and I have plenty of supplies that allow me to create real paper cards, but the area that I really have been wanting to get better at is graphic design.  The Martha Stewart Craft Studio App is my ace in the pocket.

I have long admired those bloggers who can whip up a party invitation for their kids that looks like it was professionally done.  I have always wished that I could design our own Christmas cards, rather than have to go scrolling through countless pre-made templates.  I never knew how to do it, and lately I’ve been thinking long and hard about teaching myself, but I have no idea where to start (any suggestions?).  Well, the Martha Stewart Craft Studio App is something that I recently downloaded to my iPad and can I just tell you how much fun the kids and I have with it?  LOADS of fun!!!  I am able to make great looking cards/invitations/valentines/etc. right on my iPad!  This past week we have been trying out hand at custom Valentines.  Wouldn’t you love to give out one of a kind valentines this year?  Take a look…

This app is easy enough for a preschooler to navigate.  Let’s face it- some preschoolers can navigate an iPad better than most adults, but I still think that it’s incredibly cool that my kids have fun creating with the Martha Stewart Craft Studio app.  Here are a few things that we have created, starting with the holiday that’s on everyone’s minds right now… Valentine’s Day!

A super simple design or something more ornate…
the choice is totally yours!

Abby (9) and Levi (4) made these with no help from me.
Someone loves glitter!

Luke made this for me with the marker tool.

 

Although I didn’t use a photo in this Christmas card,
it is simple to add one or more photos to your design!

The Martha Stewart Craft Studio App allows you to choose from a 5×7 vertical card, 5×7 horizontal card, 5×5 square card, and just in time for Valentine’s Day a 5×5 heart shaped card!  There are several themes to choose from such as Love Letters and Sweet Stuff (for Valentine’s Day), Everyday, Birthday Party, Nature, Vintage Christmas, Pumpkin Carving, Vacation Adventure, and more.  Each theme comes with it’s own set of papers, stamps, punches, edging options, stickers, markers, and glitters… and you can mix and match supplies from different themes.  Share your creations by email, or on Facebook or Twitter.  Save them as a PDF.  Save them to your photo library.  The absolute coolest thing is that you can have your craft professionally printed with Snapfish directly from the app!  Forget the pre-designed examples… let Snapfish print your custom craft for you!

If you have an iPad, give the Craft Studio app a try, you have fun and be creating custom valentines, cards, and invitations before you know it!

 

I received the Martha Stewart Craft Studio app free of charge. The Southern Institute reviews are honest and unbiased.

Stand Up to Bullies with Awesome Upstander!

Did you know that October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness month?

Earlier this month Abby and I learned of a new app called Awesome Upstander!.  If you have a child in the school system, whether public or private, then you know that bullying is a very real problem that affects a whole lot of children each day.  Did you know how many?

If your child has ever been bullied, then you know how painful it can be for them and you.  If your child is not the victim of bullying then they can be a part of the solution… they can be an Awesome Upstander, banding together with their friends to stand up for victims of bullying!

Awesome Upstander! reinforces the concept of respecting and protecting others, and who doesn’t want their children to have respect for others?  Who would be upset with their child for standing up and protecting a child who is being bullied?  Learning these skills during the elementary school years will lessen the severity and frequency of bullying during the middle school and high school years when it’s at it’s peak.

Awesome Upstander! empowers kids to take action against bullies by getting help from peers and adults.  It teaches them to break the “code of slilence” that allows bullies to continue victimizing others because children have been conditioned not to tell.

Filled with challenges, levels, hidden objects, and sound effects (this mom opted to mute the belching noises), Awesome Upstander! engages kids just like other popular games while promoting social good!  Abby loves playing Awesome Upstander!  It’s a $.99 app for iPhone, iPad, and Android, and this month your money will be helping tp stop the bullying epidemic in this country.  You can also play for free on their website!

As parents, what can we do to foster a sense of trust and communication with our children?

When talking to your kids about their day, be specific. Instead of asking “How was your day?” ask “Who did you play with, and what did you do the playground?” Your child’s explanation may lead to more details and anecdotes about their social life and about bullying.

Let kids play: Don’t over-schedule your child, especially if they are 5-12 years old. Kids need time for free play since this is how they work out their emotional issues. It is especially important to balance work and play during this crucial time when they are transitioning from the summer to school.

Reassure your child that he or she can talk to you. It’s important to teach children “to tell” when something happens that might be harmful. Often adults tell kids not to tattle tale, yet this may keep some children from reporting important information. Communicate with your child that telling on a bully is not tattling.

I know that you care about your children just as much as I care about mine.  It breaks our hearts to see them scared and hurting, but it also makes our hearts swell to see them stick up for the hurting.  Has you child ever been bullied?Have you seen them be a part of the solution?  Help them learn how to be a part of the solution today!

You can find the Upstanding community here:

Twitter            Facebook        Online

 

I was not paid to write this post nor did I receive the app for free.  All opinions are my own.


The Woven Photo App… It’s Free!

There’s a new photography app in town, and it’s free!

Woven is a new photo consolidator app that is available for smart phones, tablets, and readers, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, NOOK, and Android-powered phones and tablets.

Did you know…

-32% of moms say their treasured photos would be the first material possession they’d grab in the event of a house fire, ranking above all electronics.

-More than half of the respondents (53%) reported collecting thousands of photos, but only a third described their photos as “extremely” or “well” organized.

-33% percent of moms admitted the reason they were unorganized with their photos was due to the fact that they simply don’t have enough time.

Does that sound like you?  Woven is the first photo app that I know of that allows you to gather all of your images in one place!  When you set up your free account, you are given the choice of which photo sharing sights to draw from…

 

 

Woven pulls your photos from the sources that you choose and files them in folders within the app.

When you go into a folder you will find thumbnails of all of the photos in that folder.  This is a screen shot of some of my Instagram thumbnails.

 

You can then look at individual photos.  Each photo is labeled with the source and the date that the image was uploaded.  You can view the images as thumbnails or swipe to go to the past or previous photos.

The Woven app is super convenient in that you have all of your images in one place and can access them easily for viewing.  The drawback is that this is all it does at this point… but not for long.  The innovators of Woven are working feverishly to bring new features to the app.  I was recently a part of a focus group where we discussed features that we would like to see in the app, such as editing tools, the ability to share photos from within the app, and “off site” (is that what you call it?) storage.  These are just a few of the features that are being discussed.  For a free app, it’s totally worth downloading, and I believe it will become more useful over time.