two small problems

These are very small problems in the scheme of the universe, but I’m thinking some of my smart friends can help.

#1 Our digital camera got lost on our August Oregon trip, and I keep putting off buying a new one.  Does anyone have strong feelings about a user-friendly, affordable, but takes fantastic pictures model?  Someone yesterday told me Canon ones are good.  Anyone?

#2  I’m not really a crafter, but I have this idea in my head that would be fun to make for my kids for Christmas, which I’m not really sure how to execute.  Here it is…  Because our kids all have “traditional” names, there are lots of famous/historical/heroic people who share each of their names.  What I want to make is something with their name (maybe those chunky wooden letters they have at craft stores?), and then written all over it is a list of the people.  So, Sam would have a big SAM on his wall, and on it would be Samuel, old testament prophet…Samuel the Lamanite…Samuel Adams, American revolutionary…Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet…etc.  Can you picture it?  Can you tell me how to make it?  Can you help me think of a boy name for this new baby?

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20 thoughts on “two small problems

  1. danielle

    I have a cannon point and shoot that Trav got for me at Cosco…I like it fine, but I am not a gadget expert.

    As far as your craft goes–first of all- cute idea. Second, I would use paper mache’ letters if you are going to hang them (lighter plus no sanding), paint them with regular craft paint, and then use a paint pen to write on them. Then I would put a coat of sealant on top. It comes in a spray can. They should have all this stuff at a craft store. Good luck!

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  2. Trina

    I’ve been very happy with my Canon Powershot ($150 at Costco – came with a 2G card). Batteries (2AA) last quite a while, and the picture quality is plenty adequate for snapshots and enlargements. My only complaint is that the flash takes several seconds to recharge, so you can’t snap in rapid sequence in low light, but I rarely find myself needing to.

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  3. liz Post author

    I knew this silly post would be worth it. Danielle, the writing with a paint pen seems intimidating to me — what if I screw it up? Thanks for the tip on the paper mache letters though. I’m wishing I could print the words on a computer and attach them somehow, but I don’t know if that’s really possible. Keep the ideas coming, people :)

    Reply
  4. Christina

    #1 – I love my digital SLR and they have come down a lot in price. It might be worth it to spend a little more and get a better camera. We have a sony point and shoot and I don’t like it – but I compare it to my other camera (which I love).

    #2 – Cute Christmas idea. If you did it with pre-bought wood letters you could sand and paint them and then get someone to make you vinyl letters (for all of the famous names)to stick on. My sister-in-law has a vinyl cutter that she got at costco in Utah, so I think it’s a pretty popular thing around there.

    I think Thomas would be cute with your other boy names. Good luck!

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  5. anne

    Mom likes Thomas, too. She probably already told you that. I’m still thinking…

    Vinyl lettering is a great idea. I think that is going to be a super fun gift.

    I have this idea of handcrafting a lot of my gifts this year, too. Time to get going then!!

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  6. Sarah

    #1 I have the Canon SLR, which I love, but it’s not great if I want to take it somewhere that I might be worried about something happening to it (ie. the beach, camping, etc…), but I also have the Olympus Stylus 850 SW. This one I love because it’s waterproof to 10 feet and you can drop it from 10 feet. Plus, it comes in all kinds of fun colors. I don’t worry at all about Samuel taking pictures with it. You can get it at Costco, and I think it’s around $250.

    2. That’s a great idea. You could also use those rub on transfer letters if you’re worried about your handwriting, although, someone once told me that handwriting is a nice way to go so that your kids have actual examples of your writing.

    3. I vote for William because then more of our kids could match!!

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  7. LCM

    I have a Nikon Cool Pix, I have the same problem as Trina, though, it takes a few seconds to get ready for another picture. The pictures usually come out pretty nicely.
    As for the boy name, we were going to name a boy, if we had had one, Thomas David. Talk about traditional names. So, I vote for Thomas too.

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  8. liz Post author

    On the writing — I like my handwriting, but am worried about executing this (getting it in straight lines, not goofing up), so am still thinking about that. I thought about vinyl letters but didn’t know if someone could make them small enough to work — anyone know about that? I didn’t know about rub on transfer letters – are those easy to use?

    On the names — Thomas and William are both on my short list. Thomas was the #2 choice for Jon’s name. Sarah, would it be so weird if all of our kids had the same names? I love the name William — do you guys call yours Will?

    Reply
  9. kira

    What a cute idea! As far as the crafting goes…I haven’t got anything to add – sounds like you have some crafty friends. :) With the camera thing you’ll run into the flash issue with most cameras. Even at Kiddie Kandids the shortest recovery time was 3-5 seconds. Annoying, but I also read somewhere that we probably use our flash too often. Who knows. Also I wouldn’t get too crazy about having really high pixels unless you are planning on making HUGE reprints you’ll probably be okay with 3 – 4 pixels. Good luck with baby names…

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  10. darla locher

    #1 camera issue: I am kind of a camera snob (got it from my camera snob brother), but I typically go with Cannons. I would get a digital SLR, if possible… they are much better at action photos. You get a lot less blurr problems. BUT I carry my Cannon Powershot SD1000 7.1 megapixels with my everywhere. It is small and fits so nice in my purse. I also immediately by a 1-2 gig memory card to go in the camera immediately, so I don’t have to download as often. Anyway, Brian bought it for me at Best Buy, they match prices… all you have to do is take in the best price (which we printed off the internet) and showed it to the people there. BEWARE, we had issues with price beating at the one on 3rd west and 2100 south. All the others we have had no problem with.

    #2 creative names: I would buy the wood letters, then mod-podge the paper with the names, whether its a bunch of small pieces glued on, or one piece of paper, tracing the letter onto the paper and then cutting out the paper and mod podging onto the wood letter. Sorry for the rambling, but Jen Howick taught this to me and has a bunch of examples I’m sure.

    #3 Here are some names, nephews of mine: Jackson, Ethan, Landon Henry, Logan, Atlin, Damian, Trey, Matthew, Wyatt
    Here are some names in the daycare my kids are at: Dahlen, Zeb (I think its short for Zebediah), Cody, Briody

    I don’t think any of those are sounding traditional enough though.

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  11. Sarah

    Alright, I totally feel like I’m stalking you today, but I just get so excited whenever you post!
    I don’t think it would be weird at all if all our kids had the same names! We were planning on calling William Will, but it just never stuck for us. We always call him William.
    As for the rub on transfers, I love them. You can buy them in lots of different fonts, and they’re easy to use, plus they’re cheap. If you want to go the vinyl route though, you can definitely get them done small enough. You could also invest in the cutting machine, and then you could go vinyl crazy!!

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  12. robinbl

    I don’t know know a thing about cameras, so we’ll skip that part. As for the letters, couldn’t you just write them on really lightly in pensil and then write over the top of them with the paint pen? That seems like the simplest solution. If you did mess up, it really wouldn’t be that hard to cover it up with the background paint using a small paintbrush. Or, if you want to do your own handwriting, but want the precision of vinyl letters, there are several software programs and websites that can digitalize your own handwriting and turn it into a font on your computer. I saw one that charged about $9. Once you have it as a font, you can get someone with a cricut or vinyl letter maker (I know that cousin Lori does that sort of thing–do you remember that cute sign she made for Hannah?) to do the words for you.

    As for names, you can use any of these that I have always liked, since I probably won’t get around to using them: Ely, Isaac, Joshua, David, (I guess I have a thing for the Old Testament), and I do also like William, I really like Will, or if you want to sound Scottish, Liam.

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  13. darla locher

    I was just thinking…. it would be cool if you used multiple ways to list the names on the letters. Do the puff paint, the tranfers, mod podge…. make it 3-D.

    Oh, and I read my previous post and realized I made a LOT of spelling errors. SORRY!

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  14. Marla

    Why don’t you take a page from Sarah Palin? Trig Lamber, Trak Lambert. Who says those aren’t traditional names…somewhere?

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  15. kate

    About the camera. I have a Nikon D40 DSLR and I absolutely love it!! Love! I agree it’s worth it to spend a little more on a DSLR. (but depends on what you really want. I’m so used to my camera that I’m not afraid to take it most anywhere. I’m just maybe a little more thoughtful of it. But can’t just throw it in my purse if that’s what you’re going for.) Canons and Nikons are pretty much the same, but they feel very different in your hand. I like Nikon because it has a smaller camera body and is much more comfortable for my small hands to hold and as dumb as this may sound, I like where the on/off switch is on my Nikon because if I grab it and forget to turn it on (do this often) I don’t have to take my eye away from the viewfinder to turn it on. You do with a Canon. Annoying I think. I say go to the store and hold different kinds and see which is most comfortable. Although I have read that Canons have better point and shoots. And about the flash thing, I almost NEVER use a flash. Unless I absolutely have to. So there’s my ramble. Let us know what you decide and get!

    About the craft: I did some letters for Charlie’s room (I don’t know if you remember that post on my old blog?) I used paper mache’ and it was so easy! So easy and light to hang. As far as writing on them, I think you own handwriting is my favorite idea. Maybe pencil it out first like someone said. I just painted mine with acrylic paints using a sponge brush. Dried super fast. To hang them I actually just scotch taped some ribbon on the back and bought some cute hooks. It took me an afternoon but they look great! Since you have several names to do, maybe the easier the better? I’m sure whatever you end up doing, it will be awesome! I love the idea!

    As far as names go. I have always loved William. Charlie was almost Will/William. It’s turning out to be quite a popular name. I can’t seem to get babies fast enough and then all the names I like become popular. But I think William is such a classic, that pretty sure I’ll use it for my next boy. What about Charlie? Well Charlie is Charles. Does that fit with your set of classic names? Well those are pretty much my fav two boy names.

    Excuse my novel comment!

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  16. Emily

    Camera advice? don’t really have any. I say listen to Kate, though — her pics are gorgeous.

    The letters, I second the paper mache suggestion. And good luck with the writing — I think the vinyl is a good idea or the rub ons. Or handwriting would give a nice homemade/”touch of mom” element. I think it’s a really cool idea and hope you’ll post pictures of the finished products.

    As far as a name for this little boy, I love Charles (good choice, Kate.) That’s one we’d very likely use if we have another little boy. And I adore William, but seeing as how our last name is Williams, well…you know.
    I also like George (kind of strange association, though, with our dad’s partner :) Good luck with all of these big decisions, Liz.

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  17. Nana

    Someone else mentioned Thomas before I did I think and I agreed. The thing is it needs to be a name with a short nickname like your other boys have. Plus it’s nice if it’s a name which makes you think of someone special who had that name. Love you, mom

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  18. Katy

    Elizabeth did you see this http://wordle.net/ on cjanerun? I wonder if you can use this to create a wordle and paste it on the letters for your kids. I would like to make one and print it out and frame it for my kids rooms.
    Katy

    Reply
  19. briannehall

    Hey Liz, I started reading all the suggestions but didn’t get past the first three. So forgive me if someone already said what I’m about to say…
    I was picturing your christmas idea and though it would be cool if you didn’t just write the names of all the other Sam’s, Ben’s, Jonathans, etc. but put pictures of them. Then you would have to stop and think for a minute about who it is and why they are up there before you caught on. And it could be more visually interesting.

    Those “phrase boards” are popular right now, you know the ones everyone has in their living room with their last name in sticker letters. You could put their name at the center and then have all of the pictures around/behind it. You could decoupage (spelling?) actual pictures of those people onto your board or if you know someone who could paint an animated likeness that could be cool too. just a thought. Oh, and Canon’s are great cameras.

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