Friday, February 26, 2010

Sharing the Love!

Our Love Those Family Faces winner was kind enough to share a picture of her finished project. Beth didn't seem to have any shortage of family faces to feature. Thanks for sharing! The display look fantastic and we hope that your family is enjoying the stories that each block holds.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Easy to Make Fabric Frames

About a year ago we stood starring at a stack of unfinished wood frames and a pile of gorgeous fabric scraps when we had one of those peanut butter and chocolate kind of moments...

What would happen if we tried putting the two of these things together?

We think our frames are every bit as fabulous as a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup AND they don't add anything to our hips!

Look for fabric with small patterns. We also found that fabrics with darker backgrounds were easier to work with than light colors.

We combined our frames with distressed pieces of metal for one-of-a-kind magnet boards. Finish a frame to match your decor. It's also the perfect way to highlight a holiday project with coordinating fabric.

Instructions for making these frames are also posted on our website.

First you'll want to gather:

Unfinished Wood Frame (our rim measures about three inches across)
Fabric (enough to completely cover the front of the frame)
Black Paint (spray paint or brush on)
Decoupage Glue (we recommend Mod Podge - Matte finish)
Wide Foam Brush
Sanding Block
Distress Ink
Distress Chalk

Step 1:
Paint all the edges of the frame. We find that spray paint works great, especially when you're painting several frames at the same time. Over-spray typically doesn't affect your final project since you're covering the frame with fabric. Just be careful if you're using a light-colored fabric. Let the paint dry.

Cut your piece of fabric to be slightly larger than the frame.

Step 2:
Use the wide foam brush to apply an even coat of decoupage glue to the front of the frame. Be sure that the coverage is equally applied to all areas of the frame. The trick here is to not use too much glue, though not enough will cause the fabric to lift.

You'll need to work quickly since the glue will start to dry. Once all the glue is applied, pick up the cut piece of fabric and place it over the frame. We typically start in one corner and move in a clockwise position to make sure that fabric properly covers the entire frame. Try not to reposition the fabric more than is necessary. Smooth the fabric into place rubbing out any air bubbles that might appear. Rub your finger along the edges of the frame to ensure proper adherence.

HINT~ Be sure to lay your frame in front of you in its upright hanging position. This will allow you to properly place the fabric.

Step 3:
Let the glue completely dry. Use a razor to cut off the excess fabric around the outer edge of the fabric. It will cut easily if you hold the excess fabric taut while running the razor blade against the wood frame. Cut out the center in a similar fashion. Start in one corner by feeling the edge of the frame with your finger and creating a small incision with the blade. Once the hole is large enough, you'll be able to hold the fabric tight while continuing to cut away the excess fabric.

Step 4:
Sand all the edges of the frame. We like to use a sanding block (it saves the hands). Just wrap a piece of sand paper around the block and your sanding block will last longer. It is helpful to place the frame over a sink or between two tables especially when sanding the center of the frame. Always sand away from the fabric. If you're sanding the outer edge, start with your sanding block on the edge of the fabric. Slide it towards the back of the frame. Don't sand side to side. You'll notice little stray fibers sticking out; keep sanding! The inner corners can be a bit tricky. You might want to use just the sanding block (without any paper) to clean up the inside corners.

Step 5:
Distress the edges. We like to apply a vintage look to everything we make. Our favorite distress ink color for this project is Vintage Photo. You might want to experiment with different colors based on your personal preference and fabric choices. This pad wont fit into the inside corners of the frame. Use a cat-eye (like our favorite Chestnut Roan fluid chalk by Colorbox) to darken the corners.

Hint ~ A Q-tip works great for getting color into the corners of the frame. Rub a little ink color or paint on to the Q-tip and dab on the frame.

Step 6:
All that's left is to apply a a couple coats of decoupage glue and you're ready to enjoy your efforts. Make sure that you let the ink dry before adding glue to the top of the project. If ink streaks into the middle of the frame you can typically pull the brush back to the edge and remove it. As you apply the glue, the distress ink will darken the fabric; this gives instant age to your project and makes the frame look like it's been around for years!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Remembering the Taffy Pull

Found this yummy picture over at Skip to My Lou. Cindy offers a fun activity of taffy making with the kids. Go here to check out her recipe and to see pictures of the work in progress.

It got me reminiscing of the trip that I took with the kids to Taffy Town. We had just moved to Salt Lake City from the Bay area of California. We thought that hotel living sounded fun and negotiated three months of it with the company while we searched for the ideal home. In about 24 hours the kids (ages 5, 3 and 1) and I were desperate for any kind of entertainment. We saw the bright, colorful Taffy Town building and figured it HAD to be a fun place to hang out. Obviously, for health reasons, they don't let visitors help pull their candy (BIG DISAPPOINTMENT) but the kids enjoyed seeing the big machines make the candy. Their favorite part was the free samples that were handed out at the end of the tour. Of course, we came home with about $50 of the colorful candy. (We were giving it away for months!)

Did you know that taffy pulling has been a favorite American pastime dating back to Colonial days? When sugar was hard to come by, the candy was made with molasses, maple syrup and even honey. Saturday nights were designated as THE NIGHT for getting together for the taffy pull. The pulling process is important because it puts air into the mixture, making for lighter and chewier candy.

Taffy got its salt water name around the turn of the 20th century. No one is sure, but the most popular legend attributes candy-store owner, David Bradley with coining the phrase. The story goes that his shop was flooded during a major storm in 1883. The entire stock of taffy was soaked...supposedly with salty Atlantic Ocean water. Bradley was trying to save his inventory and offered "salt water taffy" almost as a joke. Turns out the laugh was on him because the candy was a hit and the name stuck.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to eat an Elephant

Future guitar virtuoso here. I know, that's kind of a bold statement. I figured if I didn't put it out in front of the entire universe, it might slip off into nothingness... like the many New Year's resolutions that I have made over the years. I did an impulsive thing a few weeks ago. I signed up for guitar lessons. I've only had four lessons, but I was kind of hoping to be playing Stairway to Heaven by now. All I've mastered is the five note version of Beethoven's Song of Joy. I just started taking cooking classes too. The hope is that we start eating something a little more exciting than canned soup or cold cereal, but that's probably also a long way off.

The point is, we've all got to start somewhere. It's not like I've found a couple of extra hours a week to take on these new activities. I've just come to the realization that life isn't going to slow down. If I want to accomplish all of my dreams, I'm going to have to get moving.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. EVERYONE knows that! I'm now trying to apply that lesson to specific area's of my life.

Gratefully, I've seen small successes over the years as I reapply this principle. Several years ago I knew very little of my family history. I couldn't tell you much more than my grandparents' names or where they lived. I knew nothing of their parents or grandparents. My mom had done an amazing job of starting the process of unraveling our roots. I always planned to sit by her side and take her work to the next level. Her unexpected death was not part of the plan. Neither was having my father give away all of her research. (To this day, I can't figure that one out!)

Fast forward six years... In spite of the setbacks, I can gratefully say that I have become familiar with the generations that came before me. They are more than just a name or a date. I have been able to learn of the challenges and sacrifices that paved the way for my life of relative comfort.

The information didn't come easy. I spent long (LATE) nights doing research. I think that is why I cherish the stories all the more! I learned that my great-grandmother was a 21st century woman living in the Victorian era. She was a prominent opera singer when she became the mother of her best friend's three young children. Even though she married this friend's husband to honor a deathbed request, she caused quite the scandal because of her musical career. She changed the focus of her dreams to stand by a man that (from my research, at least) turned out to be a soft, pampered elitist. (Elitist sounds so much nicer than snob, don't you think?) I know that I'm supposed to respect my elders, but listen to the rest of the story before you judge me...

The kids were all shipped off to boarding school in England and my GGma sat home while GGpa lost the family farm. Records indicate that he owned a respectable department store in the Boston area that went into foreclosure. By now, several more children had entered the picture. A relative on the west coast offered a ranch to GGpa, but GGpa considered himself an expert on textiles, not cattle and turned the job down. Things must have become a bit of a struggle, because around 1913 GGma boarded a train for a five day trip to Spokane in search of work for her husband. She interviewed the manager of the Crescent Dept. Store and based on her recommendations procured a job for him. She then returned to Boston, packed everything up and moved the family to Washington state! During the 1920's, her efforts landed GGpa as the main distributor of Salada Tea for all of the Northwestern States and Alaska. Business flourished, but the marriage didn't and the Great Depression found Great-Grandma, along with my grandmother on the move again.

This story didn't come together in one night. It's taken time; a whole lot of time! A stolen minute here... sometimes an entire hour there, but bit by bit, I am piecing the history together and I now have a better understanding of who I am.

This genealogy research must be what it feels like to eat the proverbial elephant. I've gotta say, elephant is not bad tasting! I'm actually ready to dig in for a second and third serving while I give this guitar and cooking thing a try.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Easy St. Patrick's Day Project

When I say easy...I mean super EASY!! Found this St. Patrick's Day Printable at Pumpkin Petunia. I think it makes a perfect way to spread some St. Patrick's Day cheer ...and it's one that I might actually do because it's so easy!
Project calls for shiny new pennies. Jo-Ann recommends checking with your local bank, but if that doesn't work, she includes a recipe for cleaning your own pennies. (Sounds like the perfect kid job!) All that's left is to print her downloadable template onto cardstock, cut out the squares and glue the pennies in place.
Everyone likes to share happy memories. Holidays make a perfect backdrop for memories because it's an easy way to pinpoint the event...and you can recreate the memory year after year in the form of a tradition.
Today is February 22. St. Patrick's Day is March 17. 23 days seems like more than enough time to pull off some sort of memorable activity that will create the type of family story that will have your kids telling their kids. I'm going to get started on this project. It's a perfect way to remember my grandfather 'Pops.' He had a little gate in the back yard that opened into a shopping center. He and I would go over hand-in-hand to buy the treat 'du jour.' I am not sure I can remember a single trip that did not involve him picking up a dropped coin. He loved to tell me "Find a penny, pick it up and all day long, you'll have good luck!
Wishing you GREAT luck in the making of your next family story!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recessionista Sale

24 lovely hours to save 30% on ALL of our Stories by Me products. Sale begins at 12:01 February 19th and runs all day. Go check out Recessionista for all the details. Their story started with a belief that despite an economic downturn a woman should NEVER, ever be forced to compromise quality or overpay for an item. Now, we're really proud of our QUALITY and we work hard to keep our PRICES fair, but we agree with the concept. I mean, come on... nobody likes a sale better than we do!! We liked their philosophy so much that we decided to participate in their RP Deal Day.

You've gotta go to their site to get the promotion code. Then COME BACK and shop to your heart's content. Add the promotion code at check out and feel the LOVE flow as you watch the prices drop.

Reading this after the 19th? You can still save 20% from Feb. 20th through March 5th. Just enter the same promotion code.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One Up on the Dog Story

I've received several emails and phone calls from friends laughing (I mean, sincerely offering their condolences) at the events of yesterday. One friend said that she could top my story...

The family decided to celebrate the long weekend by taking the kids to a local water park. This was a new experience for the two-year-old who loved her time in the water...though Mom vaguely remembers that her little girl seemed to be swallowing an enormous amount of water throughout the day. After a full play-day, the family stopped by the mall for a little R&R shopping before returning home. They had only been in the store for a few minutes when little Ellie told her mom that her tummy hurt. Mom did what moms everywhere do when their focus is elsewhere (and when they aren't sure just how serious the comment really is). She told her two-year-old to wait a minute. Well, Ellie couldn't wait a minute. It took my friend about 15 seconds to realize that her daughter had swallowed half the pool. There they were, standing in the middle of a bookstore with NO idea of which direction to run. What would you do? My buddy did what any fast-thinking, resourceful mother would do... she opened her (expensive) handbag and redirected the flow of barf in to it!

Gross, I know, but VERY real and a story that will be remembered (and laughed at) for years AND YEARS! And come on, it is very helpful to know that no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else can ONE UP you!

So, what about you? What stories are tucked away in the recesses of your memory? Take five minutes today and WRITE it down. Don't worry about grammar. Don't worry about filling a book with every last detail. Do try to include the 5 w's when documenting the event -- the WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHAT and WHY of the story. Consider downloading this helpful little handout for a simple, concise way of preserving the memory!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Dog Ate My Cake

I'm think I'll change this poster to read, "I WANT THIS DOG TO GO HOME!"

Today is a day for the books. It is also a day for the bottle...and I'm not the drinking type.

Our house has been overrun by dogs. One dog is more than we can handle, but we turned into a two dog, one cat house several years ago. This past weekend, my tenderhearted son took it upon himself to help a lost dog. By help, I mean feeding it. Everyone knows what happens when you feed a dog... you then OWN the dog! We can't find anyone to claim this very sweet but large, eating (and pooping) machine. My kids have already named the dog (rule #2 Never, NEVER name stray animals. It's that much harder to get them to leave.)

I had a crazy day. And that was before I had an extra dog underfoot. The day included an evening activity where I was assigned to bring the dessert. Things were on track. Cake was cooked and frosted. I had just enough time to run necessary errands and make it back for the event. Imagine my delight when I walked into the house to find my cake with a huge chunk missing from it. Now, my family might be ok eating a dog-slobbered cake, but I'm pretty sure that the group of women I was getting together with wouldn't appreciate it.

Yes, I recovered... thanks to Parson's Bakery. Tomorrow is stacking up to be another crazy day. I have someone coming over to the house for an 8:00 am meeting. While I was gone tonight, someone left a bag of red Valentine candy out where the dogs could reach it and I now have a red pile of dog barf front and center in the dining room.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another Holiday

Valentine's Day was just another day around here. What can I say? A house full of boys and not a single valentine. The good news is that we woke up to another holiday. Kids are out of school and we have tickets to Avatar. I'm taking the day off. Tomorrow will be here soon enough!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Decoupage 101

Found a great post over at Design Sponge on the history of decoupage. Decoupage is actually a 20th century word that was derived from the French word decouper, meaning to cut out. It was considered the poor man’s art form to the Chinese inlay work. Ladies of the era would hand-color prints, cut them out with scissors, paste them to furniture, and then add multiple layers of varnish until the print was completely embedded. It was a time-consuming process, although it was easier and cheaper than the original inlay work done by the artisans from China & Venetia.

According to Amy's research, "At the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the ladies cut up original paintings by Boucher, Watteau and Fragonard in their quest for new decorations for their decoupage fans, boxes or screens."


This site also has some interesting decoupage information, along with great recommendations on books, should you feel the need to further study the art form.

I became fascinated with a concept that used a process similar to decoupage to cover six sides of a wooden block to form a puzzle. These puzzles would sometimes have 30 or 40 blocks in the set to form lovely images of popular fairy tales of the day. Because my husband has roots in pioneer heritage, I found it interesting to learn that western children didn't give up their much loved toy because they didn't have access to lithographs of their favorite bedtime story. Their parents used the wood blocks as a canvas for a painted version which usually portrayed images of farm animals or scenes of nature.

This gorgeous example is described to have come from the Germany in the late 1800's. Because the picture is copyrighted, I simply share a small portion of the puzzle. I found the aging process around the corners fascinating. This is the look that we try to replicate in our projects. Be sure to check out the puzzle here. I'll be jealous if you decide to drop the requested $148 US on the set. I've always wanted to see one of these originals up close and personal!

Stories by Me's roots began with this simple puzzle concept. I wanted to create something that would help my kids identify with their heritage. I had no proof, but I hoped that my great-great-great grandparents might have been lucky to have a set of wooden blocks to enjoy in their childhood. I knew that my kids LOVED puzzles and just might pay attention if I used pictures of my ancestors in the process!

Since my rough first attempt, I've probably made more than 50 puzzles to share with family and friends. (And that's not counting the 100's of puzzles I've helped other people make in class settings!) My blocks now feature family gatherings, favorite pets, a trip to Disneyland... all sorts of important events that need remembering. I love using wood as the base for my story!

Almost as distressed as the 100+ year old puzzle!Check out how to distress your project here.

I'm now dreaming of ways to incorporate family faces into the DIY project that Amy offers at the bottom of her post. (Be sure to scroll ALL the way to the bottom to get see the instructions!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Memories that prompt other memories

Me in all my sixteen year glory!

Melissa's comment to my Superbowl Sunday post reminded me of my own 'broken TV story.' It didn't involve a TV or rough housing, but I did cause major heartburn to my parents and set the family budget back hundreds of dollars.

We were in the process of moving. Mom asked for my help to get the kitchen ready for the sale of our house. I noticed that the kitchen clock had built up years of grim from its perch above the stove. In hindsight, it might have made sense to try something a little tamer...like 409 or maybe Windex to cut through the layers of grease. But I was sixteen. I went for the heavy arsenal. I didn't even take time to remove the clock from the wall. I simply slathered it with a thick layer of oven cleaner and went off to do whatever it is that teenage kids do.

Years later, and I can still vividly remember how well the oven cleaner worked that day. Stripped my mom's kitchen clock right down to the metal. It might not have been so bad if that's where it ended. But no, I wasn't about to lend any of my own elbow grease; I applied so much oven cleaner that it dripped down the wall....down the kitchen cabinet....all over the stove top. Oh yes, and it made sure to puddle all over my mother's new kitchen linoleum. Everything was ruined!

It's taken nearly thirty years and three kids to figure out the full extent of my parents frustration with me that day. I'm sure they gulped air (nearing hyperventilation) and counted to ten (maybe 100) before telling me that it would be ok (someday). But Melissa is so right; "expensive broken electronics are definitely stories that linger in family legend."

Dav...I mean child who shall remain nameless :-), you've got NOTHING on me!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mod Podge Plates

Here's another easy way to preserve a family story. Tell the story on a plate! These decorated plates aren't meant for eating on so don't grab your dinner dishes. Use someone else's best china! You know...the one-of-a-kind plates that you see at your local thrift shop or yard sales. It's an easy project. All you need is the plate, decorative paper, picture and embellishments. Oh, and let's NOT forget the Mod Podge!

Check out Cathie Filian's instructions here. Scroll down to the bottom of her post to see the complete instructions.Kia Howey, at Urban Paper Loft, created a few altered plates of her own. I love how she highlighted each picture with the personalized inscriptions.

Wish I had time to do something with this idea for Valentines Day. But I know my limitations...and trust me, it's NOT happening THIS week! But I do have birthdays and Mother's day to think about. Time to start looking for plates!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Superbowl Sunday

I'm not much of a football player, but I love Superbowl Sunday as a time to hang out with family, munch on calorie-packed food, listen to my kids go crazy during the game and laugh at the commercials.

This was going to be our year to enjoy the big game in style. We really don't watch much TV, but this year we broke down and outfitted our family room with a brand new, latest and greatest HDTV. The kids were thrilled. Kevin and I were even impressed at how much better things looked in high-definition.

So how does this relate to the theme of preserving family stories? Well, we had enjoyed the new TV for a total of six days when one of our children, who shall remain nameless, came to us with his head hanging at about about chest level. We asked him why he looked so glum;

"I can't believe I broke it."

"Broke what?"

"Broke the TV."

"The NEW TV?"

"Yah, the new TV."

Come to find out that he and (another nameless) brother had been horsing around when quite by accident, (isn't that ALWAYS the story?) a innocent part of a musical instrument turned into a missile when launched by their horseplay. Somehow, the two-inch portion of a mallet flew across the expanse of our family room and nailed the TV screen nearly 20 feet away. To look at the screen, you'd think nothing was wrong. But turned in on and suddenly our high-definition picture was now nothing but thousands of shards of glass.

We took the TV in to see if there was any hope of repair. Turns out that it would cost $700 MORE than the price of the TV to fix it!

It took a couple of days to start to see the humor in this situation. Gratefully, the child who was 80% responsible for the mishap, took 100% of the responsibility. We now own his hindy. Driveway needs shoveling? Done! Laundry need folding? Done! It also helped that we bought the TV using our American Express card! Gotta LOVE AMERICAN EXPRESS! Only a portion of the original purchase was covered, but it was a big enough portion to allow said child to remain a member of the family :-) .

The repentant child hauled the old TV back up to the family room so we'd have something to watch the game on. It was a bit anti-climatic, given what we could have been enjoying...

I doubt that anyone would have remembered Superbowl XLIV much more than a day or two if things would have gone as planned. We've bought the replacement TV, (we're tempted to keep it in the box until the kids are all grown and out of the house!!) but this is one story that is going down in the memory book and we're sure it's one that our children will be telling their children!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sad Stories Continue

%`&^# @*&!

Well, it went from bad to worse today. After two hours at the DMV for a ten minute appointment I came home to a hard drive that refuses to share months and months of my work. I sooooo know better. Computer files are meant to be backed up. I typically back up my back ups. But several months ago I got a new computer and I was devising the perfect filing system so my electronic desktop wouldn't look like the rest of my desk. Everything went onto the one hard drive. Now I am reduced to swearing, pleading and ultimately paying through the nose to get this fixed. Lesson learned... I PROMISE!
Today, my mind is flooded with sixteen years worth of stories provided by my middle son, Davis. I can't believe that he's 16! In honor of his birthday, we took [what I thought] would be a quick trip to the DMV. I have heard the rumors of long waits because of the recent regulation changes...but I figured, it can't be THAT bad. I even timed it so that we arrived just before the lunch crunch. Trust me... the stories are TRUE! Every chair in the waiting area was filled. People were lining the back wall. A line even formed out the door. There were a total of seven windows to handle the 100 + people needing to be processed. In true government form, there was never more than 4 windows in use, and as the clock neared the one o'clock hour we actually witnessed the DMV workers head out to lunch with NO replacements! I've decided not to use this blog as my forum for the changes that I think our bureaucracy needs to make. I would like the last two hours of my life back, or at the very least to have had it filled with more pleasant memories of time spent with my sixteen-year-old on his birthday. The good news is that this memory will fade and the story that will be remembered is that he GOT HIS DRIVERS LICENSE!

Let's use this forum to warn all drivers in the greater Salt Lake area; ONE more teenage driver is on the streets!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Look

If you happened to check out our blog late last night, you might have noticed a number of subtle changes as we try to update our image. It really is long overdue. Only problem is that we're (more me than Suni) a bit blogger illiterate. How does one do it? I mean...we'd really like to have the header fill the entire width of the window. We know it can be done, but can't for the life of us figure it out. Or how about menu tabs? We want that too, but we're no closer to adding that feature to our site.

One thing at a time. For now, we're just concentrating on the header.

Here is attempt #1. Seemed kind'a chunky...

Attempt #2 is now thinner, but I went overboard on the pictures...

Attempt #3 is a toned-down version of #2. I think it would look much better if we could expand it across the width of the page. There are still too many pictures, but if we can figure out the menu tab options, these pictures will be the perfect complement.

If any of you can recommend a good website for customizing blogs (as in easy-to-follow for the non-speaking HTML type) we would be most grateful if you'd share!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Memory Lollipops

How cute is this valentine? Studio 5 contributor Laci Davis shared some darling Valentine ideas on yesterday's show. I especially loved the heart-shaped lollipops. According to Laci, all you need are some heart shaped suckers (she said that she found these at a dollar store...3 for $1!), photos and glue. I think that that the bright pink background on the pictures really complement the project. If you don't have the perfect pink wall for a backdrop, you can add the color with a few simple strokes in PhotoShop.

Not only is this idea perfect for Valentine's Day, but imagine a wedding decoration with pictures of the bride and groom!

I want to share the idea at our next family reunion. I'm thinking....big (SWEET) display with all the family members pictures on lollipops. Kids 'earn' a treat by picking the correct picture to the story that we tell. A little sugar bribe just might be the ticket to keeping them riveted throughout the activity!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mod Podge Shoes... Unbelievable!

Yes, shoes that have been crafted using ModPodge! I thought that I had seen every possible application --with the exception of recovering a functional, but less than attractive refrigerator (Come on Suni, you've gotta try it)! Lindsey, over at That's So Cuegly took an old pair of slip-on's and transformed them into something that's not only hip, but screaming couture!! Learn how to create your own here.

Believe it or not, it wasn't even an original idea. Oops, I Craft my Pants shared the idea back in September. Don't know how I missed it.

Personally, I'm one of the few women in the world that hates shoes. I'd rather go barefoot any day of the week! I share the idea simply as another way to use leftover Mod Podge from any of our projects. I doubt that I'll ever try to transform my shoes. Now, if these shoes had family pictures on them...that would be a different story!