Tag Archives: family

Photo Transfer Project (step-by-step)

Preserve your memories by transferring your favorite photos to boards…then add vinyl lettering to complete the project.

This project is not difficult, but it does require several hours of drying time.


  • Board (I used this DIY board from Uppercase Living)
  • White craft paint
  • Foam brush (for paint, gesso and ModPodge…I rinsed out brush between uses)
  • Gesso gel medium (I used one that I found at Michaels)
  • Rag
  • Disposable bowls (for paint, gesso and ModPodge)
  • Photo printed out on regular printer paper from a laser printer with the image mirrored
  • Vinyl lettering (I used this love expression from Uppercase Living)
  • Burnishing tool (plastic…like an Uppercase Living transfer tool or Pampered Chef scraper or a library card)
The supplies you’ll need: board, paint, brush, gesso, rag, disposable bowls, photo from laser printer (printed in reverse), vinyl lettering, burnishing tool.


Paint your board with white craft paint and allow to dry completely.


Print out your photo on regular printer paper. You must use a laser printer (not an InkJet). When you transfer your image, it will be mirrored. Therefore, if you want your completed project to look like your original photo, simply mirror the photo before printing by using the “flip horizontal” choice in your tools menu. Size the photo to fit your surface. (You can cut it to size at this point or trim off the excess after you’ve applied the photo to your board.)


Paint the top surface of your board with gesso. Paint the front of your photo with gesso. Apply the photo to the board with the photo side facing down. Carefully smooth out any bubbles using your burnishing tool. Wipe away any excess gesso. Allow to dry for at least four hours.

Paint the front of your board and the front of your picture with gesso.


After at least four hours have passed, take a warm damp rag and lay it on top off the board. Leave it on for about five minutes.


Remove the rag. Using your fingers dipped in water, make small circular motions on the board to remove the top layer of paper, almost as if you are sandpapering the surface.

Dip your fingers in water and rub in a circular motion to remove the top layer of paper.

It’s a little messy. 🙂 Continue to do this until the cloudiness disappears. (I did several rounds, letting it dry in between.)


When you’ve removed the top layer of paper and the project is completely dry, apply a coat of ModPodge to the front of the photo/board. Repeat two times, letting dry about 15 minutes between coats.

When you’ve removed the layer of paper, allow to dry then apply ModPodge.


It’s vinyl time! Choose an expression from Uppercase Living like the one here or custom design your own using the MyDesign Tool (choosing your font, size and color). You could customize the place and date for your photo (such as “Cape Cod 2016”).

Position vinyl expression.
Remove backing paper from vinyl expression, adhere to surface, then remove transfer tape.

Need tips on applying vinyl? Check out my post with how-to videos.


For more vinyl expression inspiration, please visit http://beth.uppercaseliving.net

And then there’s that.

I’m really good at some things. I mean, we all are, right?

Here’s what I’m good at:

– brainstorming and implementing new projects

– helping someone I care about solve a problem

– tackling a new skill

laundry todayAnd then there’s THAT. There are some things that I have a hard time doing. The tasks themselves aren’t difficult, but as it turns out, I’m heading-towards-lame when it comes to duties that — to me — lack the “wow” factor. Like laundry.

Recently, one of my boys revealed he is having a difficult time focusing in school. The behavior is mirrored at home in many ways. We are working with a team at his school to give him some strategies for coping. (Should we discover the behavior modifications aren’t working, we will continue to the next step.) Keeping him on task (when it comes to chores around the house), has made me realize how many less-than-exciting tasks I put off until they become overwhelming. Again, laundry comes to mind.

I have to say my Mom is one of the most get-it-done people I know. She tackles the small stuff before it becomes big stuff. I need to learn to do that. Yesterday, I made a very conscious effort to do a bunch of the little errands/jobs that I usually put off until the last possible moment: post office! unpacking the suitcases from our recent travel! insurance issue! Checking those little chores off my to-do list didn’t take as long as I had expected (dreaded) and resulted in a less stressful evening.

Which reminds me. I’ve got a load of laundry to deal with.

Driving Away

Today I watched my oldest son back the car out of the driveway and drive away. Now, granted, he was in a car marked “STUDENT DRIVER” and he arrived home safe and sound with his instructor (who had his own set of brakes in the passenger seat) two hours later, but still.  It is a weird experience. I got so verklempt I had to retreat into the house so that he didn’t see me get a little weepy.

But, I realize that’s how this whole thing works. Eventually they do fly (drive?) away from the nest. And that’s a good thing. So, please just bear with me while I get used to the whole idea.

roots to grow

Together may we give our children roots to grow and wings to fly


common cooking measurementsWhat is your family’s favorite recipe? What’s your go-to meal that is always a crowd pleaser? The comfort food in our home is Spicy Peanut Noodles.

The recipe is embarrassingly easy. The hardest part is remembering to prepare it a few hours ahead of time so the flavors can meld.

spicy peanut noodles on cutting boardSpicy Peanut Noodles are served chilled or at room temperature, so it’s a smart choice for picnics or a buffet. Add leftover chicken and now it’s a main course.

Here’s the recipe. For the record, I don’t bother to measure the garnishes (cilantro, green onions, peanuts and sesame seeds). I have also made this with pretty much any type of spaghetti noodle (from angel hair up to regular thickness) and in quantities ranging from 8 oz. up to 16 oz.

From my home to yours: bon appetit!


(This recipe requires 4 hours to refrigerate)

  • 16 oz. thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • ¼ cup corn oil
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ c. roasted chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup green onions, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

In a small saucepan, heat oils and red pepper for two minutes over medium heat.

Remove from heat and stir in honey and soy sauce.

Combine noodles and oil mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Garnish with last four ingredients and serve.

spicy peanut noodles

Measuring Up

Collage of playhouseOne of our favorite family traditions is the annual measuring-of-the-cousins (my boys and my siblings’ kids) when they are visiting their grandparents each summer.

My parents, known as Nana & Papa to their nine grandchildren, have an adorable shed-turned-playhouse in their backyard. Nearly ten years ago (when there were only five grandkids), we took a Sharpie and marked the height of each child on the playhouse walls.

Every year since, we’ve dedicated one summer evening to s’moresplayhouse 1 around the firepit and seeing how everyone measures up (against their last year’s height and against each other).

You’ve probably never seen kids stand with such impeccable posture.

Everyone has fun seeing the results!

playhouse 3

playhouse 2A few years back we started letting the kids write their own names, with some pretty hilarious results.

Each child is so unique in his or her growth rate, even among siblings. I am realizing, that when we measure up this coming summer, one — or two — of my boys will be taller than me. Yikes. How did that happen?

growth chart
Growth chart: $39.95 [click to order]
baseball growth chart
Batter Up! growth chart: $42.95 [click to order]
[Want to ‘measure up’ in your own home? Here are some of my favorite growth charts from Uppercase Living.]

Bloom growth chart: $64.95 [click to order]

Family Rules

Have you seen the Family Rules signs on Pinterest?

Family Rules montage

Custom Family Rules
Family Rules created with Uppercase Living vinyl lettering

Here’s an example of one I helped a customer do with her own family’s rules. Love the way it turned out and I love the thought she put behind each rule: say please & thank you; pray; hug often; play hard; trust God; love; believe in yourself; laugh.

Recently, I came across a post from a special needs resource blog that I follow to help me with my job in special needs ministry. The topic was how to create a therapeutic living room in your own home, and suggestions were given to create both a calming environment and a stimulating environment. The very first item on the list for establishing a comfortable, calming environment was to post your Family Rules. A sense of order is important and everyone needs to know that the entire family, even parents, live by the rules.

I asked my three boys what our family rules should be. Being the goofy tween and teens that they are, their first several answers included gems like:

–         Only one chore per day

–         Every kid should have his own iPhone

…more like a wish list than actual family rules.

Finally, the oldest said: “The Golden Rule” and his brothers chimed in, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” I think that does sum up the Golik family’s rules quite nicely.

Focus on What Matters


Are you a New Year’s “resolutioner”? Or, instead, have you joined the #oneword365 crowd to come up with your One Word for 2014? Here’s the idea…choose just one word for the whole year. Forget the New Year’s resolutions and discover the impact that your one word can have on your actions and decisions. Use your one word as a compass to determine how you want to live or who you want to be.

This idea intrigued me because, truth be told, I am terrible at New Year’s resolutions.

Like most women my age, my life is cram-packed with family, work, and all kinds of activities, and that is exactly the way I like it. I enjoy the opportunity to wear several different hats (metaphorically speaking) and have snippets of every part of my life swirling around in my brain at any given moment.

The word I have chosen for 2014 is FOCUS. (I even put it on the wall of my office, in vinyl lettering.)

By focusing on FOCUS (oh the irony!) I am striving to be more present in every aspect of my life, whether it’s work-related or playing Ticket to Ride (our new favorite board game) with my sons.

What is your One Word?