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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We Love Our Job

B&WWe often say that we are just the right mix of Thelma & Louise,  Laverne & Shirley, Rachel & Monica, and Lucy & Ethel.  We think it has made a great foundation for our business, life, and friendship.  We take what we DO very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously (just look at our list).

Thelma & Louise – While we don’t relate to many of their habits, we do have adventurous spirits.  We enjoy being on the edge of new ideas and are always up for an adventure, which usually entails some “outside the box” photo outing.  We are not shy and certainly try to have a “why not” attitude to trying something new.

Laverne & Shirley – These girls were silly (which we are), but they were also hard workers.  That is our connection.  We work very hard, but we work from the heart.  We do what’s right by our customers, and we treat them how we would want to be treated.

Rachel & Monica -S&L-Faded These two were different, but yet the same.  That’s US!  We couldn’t be more like sisters.  We each have our own style, forte’, and opinion.  However, we respect each other and work together in a very unselfish/supportive way.  Plus, we like coffee (for those Friends fans).

Lucy & Ethel – Gosh, I think you just have to know us and see us in action to fully grasp this connection.  There isn’t a day that goes by where we aren’t laughing at something.  Life just seems to place us in Lucy & Ethel situations…in a good way.

All of the duos above are based on friendship.  That’s Spell-It-Out Photos.  We are the founders, but the whole studio and our supplier relationships are based on solid respect and relationships/friendships.  Everyone seems to have the same work ethic, appreciation for customer service, and respect for running a business.  We are very fortunate.

When our customers call, we feel the same way.  It’s not just someone calling an 800 number.  It’s someone calling for help of some kind.  It can be as simple as a price or as special as a custom gift for a wedding.  Our goal is to treat them as we would our friend.

We frequently tell our customers to send us a photo of them with the finished product.  Yes, they are fun to post on Facebook and our site.  However, each piece that we make is special.  Seeing where and who it ends up with, is like getting to read the last chapter of the book.  We know how the story ends.

Needless to say, it’s a pleasure to say we GET to go to work.  There is not a HAVE TO in there.  It’s definitely a GET TO.  Lucky us!

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What’s Fun & Funky?

Our NEW design option, that’s what!

BeachHouse_50

On word panoramic and poster finishing methods, customers will not have a choice between TRADITIONAL or FUN & FUNKY designs.  This adds a fun alternative to our traditional layout.  We’ve added additional background colors too.

BabyGirl_Boyspellitoutphotos

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Graduation Time

Well it’s just about here.  I can’t believe it.  My baby is about to graduate from High School.  WAIT – I’m pretty sure it was YESTERDAY  that I followed the little country school bus to Kindergarten.  Yes, that’s right, I followed the bus to make sure there were no accidents, tornadoes, earthquakes, apocalyptic events, or possibility of tears (his not mine – mine were unavoidable).  No judging OK?

Ashley-OvertheRainbowIt has been a wonderful journey.

My point to all of this is that I am filled with possible graduation gift ideas for his friends.  There have been some wonderful kids that have crossed our path over the years, especially those who have become part of our family.  I want to make each of them a creation that is specific to their personalities.

If you are in the same position that I am, you may be looking for something special, unique, and personal.  I will be making many of our Spell-It-Out Photos quote plaques for the graduates.  I choose each letter specifically for that person. GradQuotePlaqSpellitOutPhotos I use the baseball images from our sports gallery for his teammates and I’ll use the water shots for his beachy friends.

Take a look at our quote plaques.  They make great graduation gifts.  Each letter can represent a piece of their personality.  Perhaps they sail, ski, or ride horses.  Be creative with your selection.  Make it a gift with extra meaning behind each letter.  OR just choose the letters because their pretty.  It’s up to you.

Sports Quote Plaque

Sports Quote Plaque

Plan ahead though, our custom pieces take 2-3 weeks for delivery.

More importantly – savor every moment.

~ Sue

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