A New Year Is Upon Us

A New Year Is Upon Us

Wow, it's been a long time.  Over a year at least since I posted anything on my blog.

Actually, it's the first time I'm posting since our little boy, Henry, was born last year and to be totally honest, I have so much to say, I'm not sure even where to start….

Henry at 10 days old.

If you've been following Andrew and I on social media (I post more than he does) you'll see that our profiles are mainly of our comings and goings with a lot of pictures of the boys.   We haven't really talked much about work and I know a lot of people have written to us privately, asking us what we were up to (for which I really never had a good answer other than “doing life.”)

Really, we've been very quiet.

The Best Way To Explain It…

Not too long ago, a close family friend of ours summed it up: In the past 2 years we have had the most stressful life events happen to us all at once (the death of a parent, the birth of a new baby and a huge move.)

It's really no wonder that between processing all of that heavily charged emotion that comes in dealing with “life and death,” “love,” “loss,” and the pure chaos of moving that we would end up needing a break; a break to mourn, reflect, recharge, and eventually to gather enough strength to rise up to move forward.

We honestly tried to get back out there but we couldn't do it; our hearts were broken from losing someone we loved so much.

We were fortunate though because it was our business that allowed us to step away and take the time off we needed.

So What Now?

Well, it's a new year and with 2017 just on the horizon, Andrew and I have found a new energy and an optimism that we've been missing since 2015.

It's been almost 2 years since we needed to take the time off and 1 year since we were blessed with a new baby boy that brought light into some of our darkest days.

Bathtime!

It's' funny because in this “social media” driven world (and in our industry especially) we're made to think that everything is great all the time, and that people don't struggle.  

But we all do (struggle) at some point or another.   It doesn't serve anyone to always be looking at everyone else's lives through this perfect filter.  It's not real.

That being said, being away from it all gives you a different perspective on things.

For us, it has given us a clarity that we didn't have before and has made it evident to us what we like about our industry and what we felt we needed to change in order to come back and to continue working.

So over the next week, we are going to be releasing some new videos that contain our own personal insights, as well as to let you know what we're up to.

We're pretty excited to share it with you and it's a project that is close to our hearts that we are going to be working on in 2017.

After removing ourselves for almost 2 years, we've come back with a new but different perspective on things.

In the meantime, I wanted to thank you all for the amazing Christmas and Holiday greetings that were sent our way yesterday.  It was so nice to be thought of and we can't wait to show you what we've learned and gotten clarity on in our time away.

Comments on the post?  Yes, please do!  

I'd love to hear from you!

Andrew and I with the boys on Christmas morning! Jack said it was his best Christmas ever!

 

 

Canvsly Vs ArtKive Vs Keepy

Canvsly Vs ArtKive Vs Keepy

Roundup: Canvsly Vs ArtKive Vs Keepy

Which iPhone App is best for preserving your kids artwork?  Let's find out in this roundup.

The presence of smart phone apps for saving your child's artwork can be an important decision.  If your child is anything like mine, the gems they bring home from school – or make at home are memories we want to keep and collect.

But at the same time, I struggle to keep the volume of stuff – not just art stuff – but stuff in general – down to a minimum in my house.

Having too much physical clutter is just too much.

So the purpose of these apps is to preserve the artwork using a digital record – and allows you to toss the original.

This is especially important for big, bulky projects, like those made on paper plates, or with Popsicle sticks, for example, that you can't fit flat inside a filing cabinet.

Smart Phones App for Kids 1: Canvsly

canvsly review

 

Canvsly is an App dedicated to the purpose of preserving handicrafts and personal creations of your children though digital means. Canvsly is essentially an organizing platform for storing and sharing pictures of the cool stuff that your children have made, but it comes with a few more excellent features packed inside the box. Foremost, there is a separate folder to store pictures of handicrafts of each child in the household. Each picture is stored appropriate to its actual theme or background, for example, schoolwork handicrafts are organized into the schoolwork folder.

A great feature about Canvsly is that it allows groups of parents to privately communicate and share the handicrafts of their children with one another, these groups are referred to as Canvsly circles. Sharing support is not limited to its own circle either, it also features option to share pictures and details of child handcrafts on all major social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The built-in Store inside the app, for a relatively modest price, facilitates high-quality printing of artwork pictures into t-shirts, mugs, banners and other keepsake or gifting items which I think is pretty cool – grandparents love it!  It is also possible to have an entire album of all your kid’s handicrafts printed.

canvsly app review canvasly

Smart Phones App for Kids 2: ArtKive

artkive review

ArtKive is an App that offers a complete solution for safekeeping all handicrafts that children create at home, or bring home from their schools. It allows you to take high quality pictures and store them inside a secure, private setting where they can be preserved for essentially an eternity.

ArtKive facilitates sharing the pictures of child handicrafts on all major social networking platforms as well as its own ‘Museum’, which is a public collection of children handiworks and drawing pictures contributed by parents from all around the world. It is also possible to share pictures directly with other parents, friends and family members using ArtKive.

ArtKive first requires purchase before it can be used. Priced at $4.99.

ArtKive is now free!

ArtKive provides the ability to turn the images into a number of different gift and keepsake items, which can be printed at certain costs, the gifts include t-shirts, mugs, mobile covers, pillow covers and many other similar gifts. There are no specific negatives about the functionality of the App itself, the design is intuitive and functions work exceptionally well.

I'm becoming a big fan of ArtKive for a couple of reasons.  They seems to have the best method of allowing you to convert those digial art works into a physical book.  This is awesome for parent, grandparents, and in the future, those kids of yours 😉

artkive app review

Smart Phones App for Kids 3: Keepy

keepy review

Keepy is a tool for effective preservation of all handicrafts made by your children. Keepy is designed to efficiently snap and organize pictures of your child’s drawings, paintings, paper crafts and other cool items. A great feature about Keepy is that the application is designed to accommodate videos, in contrast to the primary market focus being limited to hosting of pictures only.

Each picture, or memory, stored inside Keepy can be attached with a video or text explaining the events in details regarding that memory. The application is designed not only for storing pictures of kid’s handiwork, but also for the entire family. In Keepy, each child and family member receive their own personal folder for media storage.

It is possible to share pictures and videos stored inside Keepy directly to relatives and friends, this can be set to happen automatically whenever any picture is snapped or stored inside Keepy. Furthermore, pictures can also be shared to all major social networks.

Keepy is free of cost to download or use. Keepy also facilitates conversion of pictures directly into gifting or keepsake items, though such service is offered at a price. Albums or individual pictures can also be printed out.  You can upload 5 artworks or videos per month, and if you do more there is a small monthly cost of $2.99 per month or $9.99 per year.

keepy iphone app

These are just three of the best smart phone apps that you can introduce to your kids. These 3 kid-friendly apps are really helpful in developing your kids’ creativity and arts. They have unique features that can make your kids learn something while having some fun!

Which one do you use?  And why?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

 

June Video Update

A quick video update:

We just launched a real superstar last night.  Here's our video update!

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