New In the Studio

We’ve added a few new items, right in time for the holidays!

Large Quote Plaques – our basic Quote Plaques have always been a popular item.  However, customers would frequently ask for custom larger sizes.  We listened…now you have a choice between a small or large Quote Plaque.

Quote Plaque Prints / and a framing option -  Yes, more with the quote plaques.  The design can now be purchased as just a print.  This is great if you have a specialty frame that you would like to use.  Keep in mind that our Quote Plaque sizes are not standard sizes and will require custom framing.  For a simple solution, you can have us frame your print in a basic black solid wood moulding at checkout.

BABY colors and template for the Quote Plaques - Soft pink and blue have been added as background options as well as a baby rattle template.  These are fabulous gifts or wall decor for a new baby.

Also check out our new children’s book, Let’s Go On A Letter Hunt at any online book retailer.  Or quick link here at amazon.com

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How We Find the Letters.

I’ve been asked by a few people recently, “How do you find the letters?”  Well, I’m not sure if I find them or they find me.  Ever since letter art was introduced to me in college by my photography teacher, I’ve just seen letters in things.  This teacher, taught us to look past the obvious.  It’s a wonderful lesson for life in general, but an excellent tool for letter hunting.

The key to finding letters is to let your mind wander a bit on a subject.   Then to narrow your focus on that particular subject to see the detail.  I like to stand on my toes then squat down, just so I can see different angles.  I’ll tilt my head and walk around.  dogI’m pretty sure I look like a dog that has heard a funny sound.  Come on…I know you know that look.  A tilted head and a dazed look.  Yep, that’s what I look like.   It’s ok, I’m willing to look goofy if I can find a good letter.   Usually a letter will just JUMP out.  Sometimes the background is not right and I’ve learned over time when to walk away.  Otherwise, I’ll take about 20 shots from different angles, just to see which one looks best.

In our new children’s book, Let’s Go On A Letter Hunt, we have a little chant for the kids.  It’s a fun way to remember to look around.

Going on a letter hunt.
This is what I do.
I look all around
then I narrow my view.
I take two steps forward,
now I step to the side.
I’m looking for a clue.
These letters can’t hide.
I need to check the angle.
Is it better if I’m low?
Let me turn a little more,
maybe stand on tippy-toe.
I lean a little forward,
then I lean little back.
I do them both again
because I’m on the right track.
I tell myself I can.
And I know that it’s true.

I am a Letter Hunter.
That is what I do!

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Alphie Hits The Classroom

TeacherReadingOur newly released children’s book, Let’s Go On A Letter Hunt, has hit the classrooms.  We’ve heard from teachers around the country that the students love the book and get excited to find letters while out on recess.

A great rainy day activity is to read the book, then look around the classroom to see what letters are hiding inside.  Do chair legs make a letter?  What about a couple chairs BoyReadyBooktogether?  Look at them from various angles.  Have the children say the Letter Hunt Chant and they search.  See what letters you can find and then what letters you can make.  Be creative – it’s all an adventure.

Let’s Go On A Letter Hunt is a great free reading book too.  They rhymes are engaging to the emerging readers and easy to follow.

Books available online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

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New Release – Let’s Go On A Letter Hunt

Alphie_Book_FrontCover-SMOur letter art children’s book is out, released, available, and ready to be read to eager lil’ readers.  Let’s Go On A Letter Hunt is a creative ABC book geared to children 3-9.  The fun loving alphabet guide, Alphie, leads the way up trees, on beaches, into parks, and many other fun places where various letters of the alphabet are hiding—in plain view.

The use of our letter art photography shows children that if they look past the obvious, they can find letters in everyday objects. Letter hunting is a fun treasure hunt that can be incorporated into any activity, indoor or out.

Between the antics of the main character, Alphie, the rhythmic stanzas, and the letter art photography, this fun and interactive book engages young readers from beginning to end. Plus, make sure to read the letter hunt chant at the end of the book. It’s a fun song to sing while out on a letter hunt of your own!

Available at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Alphie the Letter Hunter

Interested in reviewing the book on your blog? Contact Sue at SueT@spellitoutphotos.com

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Summertime Photography Fun for Kids

Summertime is a great time for kids to explore their creative side.  Without the pressure of homework and class time, kids can relax, recharge, and rediscover the fun of down time.   Use our list of ideas to add a little photography to their summer fun.  It’s a simple way to be creative AND keep them busy for a while.

1) Go on a letter hunt.  Use our letter art images as an example.  Have them go out and find letters in the world (nature, buildings, sports equipment, etc.).  Our site is  Spell-It-Out Photos

  • Search for a letter a week.  Find as many examples of that letter.  See which letters are easier or harder to find.
  • Have a word for the week.  Have them search for all the letters to spell a certain word.  You can have it theme related (states, flowers, names, etc.)
  • Give them a location to use and to spell.   For instance, if their High School is named CAMPOLINDO, see if they can spell CAMPOLINDO from letter images found on campus.
  • Make it a road trip adventure.  Search for letters while on the road.  It may be difficult to stop and take a photo of each letter, but if you can, what a great way to remember the trip.
  • Headed to the beach?  Seaweed can form so many different letters.  See what particular item in your surroundings can lend itself to create a variety of letters.
  • Make it a special project.  Maybe Grandpa has a birthday coming up.  See if they can spell GRANDPA out of areas or things that he likes.  This will make the gift so much Calendarmore special.
  • Add a PERSONal touch.  Try to photography the alphabet out of people making the letters.  You can do one letter at a time or use a panoramic lens to capture the entire word.

2) Take a photo of the same thing (tree)  or view (intersection or backyard) every day.  See how it changes.

3) Do a photo journal of their summer.  Have them take photos to explain their summer.  Tell them if they couldn’t use words, how would they explain their summer in pictures.  THAT’s what they should shoot.

4) Take a selfie every day.  Kids love to do this anyway.  Have them see how they change over the summer. 

5) Record growth.  Do they garden? Take a photo of how a flower, vegetable, or fruit changes as it grows every day.

6) Be creative.  Let them come up with ideas too.

NOTE:  You can add writing to any of these to help promote their writing skills over the summer.  Have them keep a journal of their findings or write a small essay on how they discovered certain letters.  Be creative!  There are SO many ways to enhance their skills without them feeling like it iswork.  Make learning and discovery FUN!

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Paradise-JCWe love our quote plaques.  Apparently, so do our customers.  These are our most popular item.  We have noticed quite the trend in quotes in general.  Facebook is FILLED with quotes being shared and liked.  Twitter is a constant buzz of retweets and favorites from various quotes.  Quotes are a great way to reinforce a thought.  Sometimes it’s motivation or inspiration – other times it’s love or life. 

Quotes are so fun, that we decided to start another business based solely on quotes.  We are in the midst of setting up our website and creating our layouts.  Look forWallsOfQuotes_Logo_Final Walls of Quotes  (wallsofquotes.com) to be up and running in the next 6 months.  We’ll have 100’s of quotes in various categories.  There are 11 background colors to choose from and 6 different sizes.  Between your personal photos, Walls of Quotes, and Spell-It-Out Photos, your walls will be decorated and filled with meaningful content.

Do you have a favorite quote?  Send it to me – suet@spellitoutphotos.com .

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Lessons in Letters

We love hearing how our customers use our images or finished pieces.  It’s wonderful to see the creativity and sentiment that goes into creating their letter art.  Sometimes, it just makes us stop and take a breath.  Like this story:

A customer ordered the letters H O P E.  I sent her my usual note, asking how she used the letters.  Here is her lovely response.

Hi Sue,

I work in a wonderful cancer center where the word HOPE means many things.  Hope for additional years of life, hope that the treatment is working, hope that there are people who care and understand, hope to find a way to be pain-free, hope to find acceptance of their illness and peace with the outcome……to name just a few.

During my time in this facility, I had the pleasure of working with a nurse who could inspire, educate and help even our sickest patients find and keep hope alive.  My collegue and friend, Cathy, accepted an opportunity to manage a new cancer practice in another city.  I was looking for a way to let Cathy know that not only will we miss her but that we appreciate and value her rare talents as a patient advocate.

I found your website and decided to make a framed collage of your beautiful photos for Cathy to take to her new office to remember the past patients and employees that she inspired with hope. It is my hope that she will hang it in her new office to remember the importance of hope to every one of us. And especially to point out how important her presence is to her new patients and employees.

Thank you for the beautiful, artful letters and for inspiring this gift.

Michelle R.

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Softball Images Added

softball-passionWe’ve had several requests to add softball letter images.  Though many of the baseball images can be used for softball, we wanted to include some sport specific ones per the requests.  Letters added are S, I, O, U.  We will continue to add as we go.

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WHEW it’s 2014

Wow, where did the end of 2013 go? 

Of course, for any retail business the holiday shopping season can get pretty darn busy.  It certainly did for us.  We had record numbers (thank you to our wonderful customers).  We had some very late nights and put our personal Christmas shopping on hold.  THESE are good problems – no complaints.  It’s wonderful to see this business grow and GROW.  We love growth, but ALWAYS want to maintain our small business feel and customer service.

What is new for us in 2014? 

- Look for new letter images.  Of course, that’s not earth shattering news.  We are always adding photos.

- We have a few new designs in the works.  So look for a new layouts and sizes.

- Our biggest 2014 news – look for our Children’s Book coming out in March (fingers crossed).  Going on a Letter Hunt will feature our endearing character, Alphie.  He will take children on a letter hunt adventure from A – Z.  This is a fun and interactive book.  Look for it on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and MANY other online book shops.  It will be on our site too.

- We will soon be adding a link to CanvasHQ.  So many of our customers make complete wall displays.  Our letter art is often an anchor, then their personal photos are placed around the letter art.  We frequently get questions on where to print personal photos.  We are working with Canvas HQ so that customers can simply link from our site to the them.  They can then easily upload their personal photos (there are many editing features too) to create beautiful canvas prints.

- Quotes are a popular trend in home decor.  They are a wonderful way to keep a saying, mantra, or motivation piece front and center.  They make great wall decor pieces or small subtle reminders.  Look for our 2nd site to come – Walls of Quotes – It will be a quote only website, but you will have MANY choices on quotes, size, and background color.

And one more thank you to our current customer base.  We absolutely love what we do.  It is such a treat to create these custom pieces that become part of your home, business, or gift giving.   Here’s to you!  Cheers.

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Photography Tips

Looking to improve you photo skills? Digital Photography School provides quick tips on various photo topics.  They have great tutorials, equipment, books, etc.   Worth checking out.

http://digital-photography-school.com/halloween-photography-tips

 

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