Tuesday, January 3, 2012

365 (366) Love Letters Linky

It was such an accomplishment to complete my 365 Love Letters project last year. Some of you have commented, written to me, or Facebooked me saying you wanted to do the same thing this year. This makes me SO HAPPY! (Find the linky at the end of this post).
When I pass other parents in the store and see them with their children, especially the small ones, I look and tell myself "I bet they love their baby as much as I love mine." At least I hope they do.

Seeing your letters come to life shows me that other moms love their babies as much as I do. No matter how big they get they'll always be our babies, and a mother's love is so beautiful

I wanted to create a space where other parents who are working on this project this year can share them, give support, and get inspired by one another.

Here are a few tips for doing them if you are just getting started:
1. Take a photo early if possible. I mean just up, still in PJs, hair crazy. That way if by the end of the day, when you get busy and forgetful, you'll already have one photo out of the way.
2. More than one child? I don't have experience with siblings but if I had two children when I started this, I would have done both at the same time and not tried to do a photo for each a day. But if you're ambitious go for it!
3. Look for inspiration. I tried to be aware of little life lessons I learned during the day and jot them down. If I thought of five ideas I had four extra ideas to use on days I was drawing a blank.
 4. You don't have to be profound. Some days my letter was silly or just a statement about what she did that day. Don't feel pressured to think of something completely new, celebrate the simple things.
5. Always have a camera on you. Camera phones included. So many of my photos were snapped on my iPhone. It's ok if the picture isn't spectacular, your child will love it just the same.
6. Take pictures of details. Little hands and toes. Eyes. Them sleeping, and when you're out and about. It's fun to have a variety. Some days I didn't take photos of her at all, but there was still something to tell her.
7. Say organized! I made folders on my computer for my project. I should have made more, one for each month or each week. But I just had each general folder. I also made a file in Google Docs (so I could access and edit it from wherever) that had every day of the year under each week, so I could go through and write which photo I took which day and what advice I letter I wanted to use for it. This was helpful when I got behind on editing them because it's hard to remember which I took which day otherwise (camera save the date/time settings on the photo but it was still sometimes confusing, and better to be organized). I hope this helps!

8. On editing. I edited using Photoshop but you can also use programs like Paint to write the words on the photo, or an online program like Picnik or download Picasa. I also had an iPhone app I used sometimes in the beginning called Art Studio. It's like Photoshop on your phone (not so easy to navigate, but good when you're in a pickle)! I'm going to LOVE that app when I get an iPad!

Last but not least, HAVE FUN! And don't forget, it's leap year, so you'll have an extra one!

Here's a linky that will be active all year for those of you who will be sharing your letters online (I know others prefer to keep theirs private). All I ask is that you please include this link back to here so others can find it and join in. If you want, you can just grab the button below instead, let me know if you have any other questions!

I look forward to seeing and reading your love letters!

(highlight and push "CTL and C" to copy the button)

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