DIY Backlit Photo Box

Hello, and welcome to the start of a new year of D.Ann’s Crafting Whims! It’s hard to believe it’s been since last year since we saw each other! : )

I’m going to start out with a project that may make you want to go snatch up some of those holiday lights that are on clearance right now. I’ve been wanting one of those backlit photo light boxes like We R Memory Keepers makes, but they only come in 8×8 and 5×7 for $30-$35. I wanted an 8×10 box for my dad to put some of his terrific flower pictures in. Looking around the web, that size runs $80-100+. Yikes!

So, when I was browsing through Hobby Lobby’s 90% off clearance section and saw this combo, I couldn’t resist the whim to try to do it myself:

On the left, an 8×10 shadow box photo frame on sale for $1.80 (marked down from $18) and a gaudy 8×8 backlit sign on sale for $2.50 (marked down from $25). So, all I had to do was transfer the guts of the backlit sign to the photo frame and I’d have my own DIY 8×10 backlit photo box for a whopping $4.30 (+ tax and photo paper)…. now THAT’s more in line with my budget!

The inside of the backlit sign was basically holiday lights poked through wood strips to hide the wiring. So all you would need is something similar to hold holiday lights and a switch box to wire them up to (or just leave the plug if you want)… unless you got some battery operated ones that come with a switch.

I took off the felt backing in my shadow box frame, cut out a hole for the switch, and covered the back with aluminum foil to better reflect the light. Note: the backlit sign came with a tester button that has its own little battery in it… I can take this apart and use it with Chibitronics lights on some cards (like THIS one I made a few weeks ago.)

Always love a two-fer! I printed up one of my water lily photos on some We R Memory Keepers Photo Lights printable backlit film to get them started until dad could choose what one he wanted to print and put in the backlit frame…

When I first closed it up I was unhappy to see that the print was so transparent that you could see the guts of the inside workings right through the picture. Argh!

Then I added a couple of pieces of vellum and that solved the problem. Whew!

Mom and dad really liked it and are leaving my water lily picture in it for now.

I scarfed another set of these from a different Hobby Lobby store’s clearance section and will be making one of these for me, too. The photo is pretty easy to switch out, so you could have one for each season, or just change it up whenever you feel like it. I think that it would be fairly easy to do from scratch using holiday lights. You’ll have to let me know if you try it!

Thanks for stopping by today. I always appreciate reading your encouraging comments! Let’s hope this is a better year for all of us!!

~D.Ann

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Naples Botanical Garden Flowers

Today I’m happy to be sending you all some lovely flowers to brighten your day! On our way back from Sanibel, we stopped at the Naples Botanical Garden. This lovely garden features plants from the tropics and subtropics between the latitudes of 26 degrees North and 26 degrees South that you can see highlighted on the map:

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The 170 acres include Florida, Asian, Brazilian and Caribbean Gardens, as well as an orchid garden, water garden, children’s garden and butterfly house. The paths are exceptionally ADA friendly and they have the most comfortable scooters I’ve ever tried available for a small rental fee. Ok, it’s time to grab a cuppa, sit back and let your imagination take flight with these floral pieces of eye candy…

Let’s start with some of my favorite flowers – orchids!

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If you’ve been here before you know I have a fondness for these flowers and how they often strike up the imagination’s pareidolia…

Pareidolia  the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness.

… like the big ‘noses’ of the Cattleya orchids:

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– that sometimes look like puppies!

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… or the amazing Oncidium orchids, also known as ‘dancing ladies’.:

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What do YOU see in the following orchids?20170129_192023_wm

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For my cat loving friends… do you see what I saw in these next two?

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Another of my favorite flowers is the water lily and there were tons of them.

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I was especially delighted to see the amazing Victoria Regia (Victoria amazona) water lilies in the Brazilian Garden. It reminded me of the ones I saw in the South America.These are the largest waterlilies on earth and can only be found in the wild in the Amazon rain forest. The leaves can grow to some 8′ across and are so buoyant they can support the weight of a small child or an evenly distributed load of nearly 100 lbs!

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The butterfly garden was aflutter with these winged ‘flowers’ and I was happy to see several monarch butterflies.

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Have you ever seen a monarch chrysalis? The little pearls of gold amaze me… Looks like they got a hold of some of my crafting supplies and added some bling!

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Speaking of crafting… we’re always looking for fun and lovely color combinations and there is plenty of inspiration in the Creator’s color palette:

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This one had a sign: Aechmea “Blue Tango”:

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I may have to bookmark this post to use for color inspiration on those days when the brain fog rolls in thick and heavy. lol

Ok, lets close with some interesting and unusual plants and flowers – like this fruit from the Toad Tree (Tabernaemontana elegans Apocynaceae) from Zimbabwe. If you do a Google Search on Toad Tree, you can see a picture of when the fruit bursts open and really looks like a wide mouthed toad!

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I hope you enjoyed the pics! If you did, I highly recommend including this beautiful garden on your next trip to the southwest coast of Florida!

Hopefully I’ll be back to crafting again real soon. Thank you for stopping by today. Ya’ll take care and stay warm!

– D. Ann

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A Visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Florida

It’s been a while since I’ve taken you on a garden tour. A couple of weeks ago we had a lovely stroll through the McKee Botanical Gardens in Vero Beach, Florida and I thought those of you stuck with gray skies and snow might enjoy some flowers to lift your spirits.

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It’s a beautiful park with Monet-esque scenery. There are lots of canals with oodles of water lilies, including the lotus flowers and Victoria Regis Waterlilies. Here are just a few:

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They often have art exhibits scattered throughout the grounds. Right now, they’re exhibiting Nature Connects, Art with Lego Bricks by sculpture artist Sean Kenney. Here are a couple of my favs:

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This one took 60,549 Lego bricks to build. Fun Fact: A Monarch butterfly can travel some 265 miles per day!

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This one took 31,565 Lego pieces to build and measures 64″x32″x77″.

Of course, there are tons of other plants and flowers at the garden. One of my favorites is the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree…

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Here are some more beautiful flowers at the garden:

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I always find it amazing when you look closely at flowers and often find little flowers withing the flower! I hope you enjoyed your tour!!

Traveler’s tip: If you like visiting botanical gardens and know you will visit more than two a year, you might want to check out becoming a member of the American Horticultural Society as your membership not only benefits them, but they have a reciprocal program that gets you into many gardens across the US free of charge. A win-win… just sayin’. : )

Sending you all plenty of sunshine and warm wishes for a lovely day!

~D.Ann

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Spring Flowers at JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC

Hello and welcome!

It’s time to switch gears and get back to nature today. I have just a few pictures of the oodles I took at the last of the gardens we got to visit in May – the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC.

The quality of these isn’t great as I made them low res so the page will load quickly, but I think you will still enjoy them. If you missed the other posts, you can go to the home page and, in the right-hand column – under ‘categories’, click ‘garden.’

You can click on any picture to enlarge it.

Enjoy your tour!

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^ Salvia ‘Cardona’ (They have GREAT signage at this arboretum! I didn’t catch them all, but will let you know the ones I did.)

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^ Gerbera (Garvinea ‘Sweet Dreams’)

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^ Dichelostemma multiflorum (wild hyacinth)

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^ Iris ‘Tea Service’

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^ Dianthus –  hybrid Sweet William

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^ Magnolia… The flower is as big as my head!

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Hydrangeaceae   Deutzia xhybrida “Tourbillon Rouge’

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Dicentra “Amore Pink’ (bleeding heart)

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^ Dichelostemma venustum… a cross between the Dichelostemma multiflorum (wild hyacinth), above, and the Dichelostemma ida-maia (‘firecracker flower’) you saw in my pictures from Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (HERE).

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^Lilium ‘Sunny Morning’

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^ Kniphofia uvaria – Red Hot Poker/Torch Lily (a favorite of hummingbirds)

If you click on the next one to enlarge it, you might see who photo-bombed my picture in the upper left. : )

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I meditate on all your activity;
I eagerly ponder over the work of your hands….

The works of Jehovah are great;
They are studied by all those finding pleasure in them.
His activity is glorious and splendid,
And his righteousness endures forever.

– Psalm 143:5 & 111:2,3

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I hope you enjoyed your tour – feel free to stop by any time!

– D.Ann

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p.s. Any ads you may see are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed by me.