How to make Scripture Wall Art using Canva that is fast and affordable  |  James 1:4

How to make Scripture Wall Art using Canva that is fast and affordable | James 1:4

Do you want to create beautiful scripture wall art in your home but wood signs are too difficult or your handwriting isn’t the best? (or is that just me???)

Well, NOW you can do it!

By using Canva, a FREE online graphic design tool, you will be creating and designing scripture wall art for every room in your home!

(If you just want the printable PDF for your home CLICK HERE)

1. Create a FREE Canva Account

Go to canva.com

Create a free account with your email or Facebook account.

You will have access to Canva via your desktop computer or download the app to use on your smart device.

2. Look for Scripture Wall Art inspiration

First, select a verse or scripture that is currently speaking to you or a life verse that will uplift your spirits every time you pass it in your home.

Second, go to the internet and look for inspiration!

During this phase, please be mindful of what others have created – DO NOT copy their artwork and resale it online. If you see something that another person has created and you know that it would take less time to just purchase the .jpeg and print then go ahead and support a small business owner.

Third, select what you like and dislike from the inspiration via google search or Pinterest.

  1. Do you like the script font?
  2. Do you like the use of images?
  3. Do you like the use of typography?
  4. Do you like how this piece of art will inspire others?

3. Select Correct Dimensions

At this point, you have selected the verse and an inspiring piece of work. Now let’s make sure we design the scripture wall art on the right size canvas!

What will size paper will you print this design on?

As a DIY project, I encourage you to print these simple designs on heavy cardstock paper which would be 8.5 in x 11 in – your standard American letter size paper. Wal-Mart carries these simple and minimalist style frames that will hold these prints perfectly.

4. Select Canva Template

If you struggled to find a piece of inspiring work – don’t worry! Canva has a huge selection of designs that waiting for your individual tweaks.

Select the right template size and design (you can choose a blank one if you want to create from scratch).

5. Design

MY FAVORITE PART!!!

Designing your very own scripture wall art can be so satisfying within Canva. The actual tagline is:

“Canva makes design simple for everyone”

Canva

The side panel is where all the action happens.

Select the text module to load your text. You can upload your own font as I did from Creative Market (my favorite script font is – The Sofy).

Select the elements module to place an image or illustration onto your design.

Select the upload module to upload a personal image or graphic. The image or graphic can be self-made and/or a purchased element from Creative Market or Envato Elements.

Now it is time to place your elements onto the design template. This part is actually harder than it seems because there is an actual skill to placing elements in an eye-pleasing arrangement. YOu can turn on the “guides” to help you keep things inline and use the … to arrange the elements evenly.

For the most part, use a GRID to keep things uniform and easy to read by not using more than 2-3 different fonts.

6. Download and Print

Saving your image is super easy using Canva.

Save it as a PDF to quickly print it on your cardstock paper.

Save it as a JPEG to send to Wal-Mart to have it printed on….

Save it as a PNG (this works best if you want to place it on top of something and have the transparent background) to use later on other designs.

Let’s see your Designs!

If you have followed along with this far and created something, please tag me or share an image of it in your home via email.

If you just want this print CLICK here to download it for Free!

If you want more this print and much more CLICK HERE for my resource library and community HUB.

How to back up your photos like a Photographer

How to back up your photos like a Photographer

As an aspiring photographer and mother to four, I know the benefit of backing up your photos especially when it comes to our digital memories. There is value in backing up our family’s precious memories. Today, you will learn the 3-2-1 Rule to easily backup your digital photos in 2020.

(You never know when something disastrous can happen; many people have shared their story of how a house fire destroyed everything still the most devastating loss was their family legacy of photos especially special events you can never redo. I do not want that to be YOU or ME! Here is how many professional photographers back up their photos.)

backup your photos using free software


HOW? Back-Up Your Photos with the 3-2-1 RULE

I use the 3-2-1 backup rule for all my personal/biz photos and video files.

Back up your images in at least three areas which could be two storage devices and one OFF site (like cloud storage) at a minimum!

3.  Make THREE copies of your images – just copy the ENTIRE folder of your images on your computer and make two more copies.

2.  Leave ONE copy on your desktop. Cut/paste ONE copy on your external hard drive and/or USB storage device.

1.  Cut/paste ONE copy onto a cloud storage space such as Google Photos, Amazon Photos, Dropbox.


321 rule_backing up your photos

(PIN THIS IMAGE)


Step One: Prep your photos before you back up

Prior to backing up ALL your digital images, it would be a wise decision to go ahead and prep your albums with a thorough weeding out of images and a proper organization system.

Computer_software_camera_smartphone_photos

1. Cull (weed through) your images

Ok, so you have captured at least 1000 images from your son’s first tee-ball game, another 500 from a day at the park, and 5000 from day-to-day activities. Your phone is screaming “CRITICAL STORAGE” issue.

Now what?

If they matter to you then you should cull them THEN back them up! (You could also just backup today and CULL once a month or once a year.

Any professional photographer will immediately back up their images then CULL them which means they will sift through ALL the images deleting the worse and keeping the best. I am assuming most moms today have most of their images on a smartphone, therefore, culling them before backing up 3,000 images it will eliminate the 1,500 blurry selfies taken by your toddler.

By deleting the ones that were so-so or absolutely no good, will leave you with a much smaller and easier to manage photo album with the very best images.

tech_computer_pink_back up your files

2. Create a filing system for backing up your memories

You can easily lose images on your computer without a good storage filing system. Using folders and metadata will help you find images quicker and easier.

“A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”

If you are saving your photographs and video files all willy nilly then it will be a hard time finding that precious close up of your daughter from her ballet recital three years ago.

Here is a simple filing system utilizing folders within your file explorer (PC) on a computer.

First, create a BIG category and niche down to smaller categories. I like the use of years, months, days, and events.

  • Start with a folder labeled with the year the media was captured = 2020
    • Within the year folder create a NEW folder(s) with the individual months = 01.2020; 02.2020
      • Within the month folder create a NEW folder(s) for the day and event = 03.16.2020_Quarantine

Filing System_321 Rule

Here is a sample filing system for your photo organization.

Once you have mastered using File Explorer and regularly organizing your photos from your smartphone, cameras, and smart devices then you can move to meta tags and attributes. You will be able to label images with “ocean”, “dog”, or “baseball” so they will be easier to search and find when you need an image fast.

Side Note: Cloud storage devices utilize very smart algorithms and artificial intelligence that immediately recognize specifics in your images so you can search them IMMEDIATELY. I think that is pretty cool and creepy. So make sure, if you utilize a cloud storage device that you don’t mind these images being indexed (i.e. “toilets” could bring up some interesting images if you captured a toddler’s potty training days).

Step Two: Copy/Paste your photos FILE FOLDER on TWO media devices

At this point, you have can back up your images to your computer’s, laptop’s or smartphone’s internal hard drive so they are safe on these devices – for now! Again, all it takes is one spilled coffee cup, one drop of the phone, or a hard drive CRASH to lose all the images saved on these devices.

Hopefully, you were able to create a wonderful filing system within your File Explorer therefore all you have to do is copy the BIG category file and save it to an external media storage device.

⇒ External Storage Devices:

    • USB
      • Small and compact
      • Easy to use
      • Capacity has increased
    • SD cards
      • Small and compact
      • Used in most cameras
      • Mini or Micro SD cards can be used in smartphones and cameras
      • Easy to store for safekeeping
    • CD or Blue Ray disc
      • People may have these already on hand
      • Slim and easy to store in fireproof safes
      • Small capacity but you can be very specific and label them clearly
    • External Hard Drive
      • “My personal favorite”
      • Capacity is wonderful and for most people, you only need one or two
      • Can be very slim but normally bulky like a small hardcover book
      • Fast and easy to organize data

external hard drive_back up your photos

I personally use the following products:

cloud storage_back up your photos files folders documents

Step Three: Back up your photos to ONE cloud platform

You can have an automatic backup for your phone using one of the below options so your digital day-to-day snapshots are always safe in the cloud.

⇒ Cloud Storage Options (FREE and PAID versions available):

    • Dropbox
      • Used it when it first came out but have since migrated to free options such as Google Photos and Amazon Photos.
      • Dropbox offers one free option and two paid.
    • Amazon Photos
      • Use it in conjunction with an Amazon Prime account.
      • Amazon Photos offers unlimited, full-resolution photo storage, plus 5 GB of video storage for Prime members.
    • Google Photos
      • Securely back-up your photos and videos to Google Photos and enjoy them from any device.
      • You have Unlimited free storage at high quality.
    • Google One
      • Perhaps you already know about Google Photos and you want to back up your RAW images and 4K footage. Google is now offering a new option of storage called Google One. Pricing starts at $1.99 a month for 100 GB.
    • Google Drive
      • Store, share, and collaborate on files and folders from any mobile device, tablet, or computer.
    • iCloud (Now available on Windows)
      • Keep all your photos, videos, documents, and more up to date on your PC.

back up files to google drive

Credit: https://www.google.com/drive/

Step Four: Protect your devices

The last step is optional but highly recommended – PROTECT your memories!!!

We use and love Malwarebytes and have been using it for years on our desktop computers, laptops, and smartphones.

Malwarebytes* is a FREE scanner that cleans your PC in just a few minutes and secures your PC, files, and privacy 24/7. We have used this software protection program for years and have upgraded to the paid version to protect our PC. They also recommend the 3,2,1 Rule and explain it further.

Conclusion

The key to this article is to motivate you to take your data seriously, specifically, your family photos and films. However, if this article has inspired you to take a proactive approach in protecting ALL your data. Here are some further resources.

If you own a PC and would like to know more about the 3-2-1 rule, PCWorld has a great article that goes more in-depth on specifics.

The Light shines in the Darkness: Documentary Photography during Quarantine

The Light shines in the Darkness: Documentary Photography during Quarantine

WOW! We are in week ??? I can’t even remember! But definitely past 60 days in quarantine in Upstate NY. School for the academic year is canceled. We are moving into week six of distance learning. The warmth of summer is only just starting and the landscape is morphing into a beautiful, green, and lush scenery.

It has been a hard few weeks.

As a creative, I need to seek out the beauty. Let the LIGHT shine in the darkness all around me! Here is a glimpse into my heart, my work, and my ministry during quarantine.

In him was life, that life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

(John 1:4-5, 9)

Black and White Series

During these historical and unforeseen times, my eyes and heart have been drawn to capture the simplistic nature of black and white documentary photography. My desire is to capture the stark contrast of how we are all feeling. The light in the darkness. The darkness could overtake us with the fear and anxiety of not knowing when this pandemic will end. The darkness of losing all sense of our realities – what truly matters in the grand scheme of things? My Job? My health? My family? The vulnerable? Others? Self?

The darkness did not overtake the light. The light of hope. The light that we all should and can cling to in this darkness that this too shall pass. The light that we are doing our part in staying vigilant, disciplined, and obedient to ordinances put in place for the safety of ALL. The light that we have loved ones near and/or they are healthy (if we are lucky enough to still have our spouses and children home) for comfort and joy. The light that we have technology as a tool to unite us. The light of HIS word.

Dark moments

Light in the Darkness_Covid-19_distance learning 02

The start of the day without the rush of school dropoffs and packing backpacks has led to slower mornings that allow time to pause and enjoy one another. Allowing us time to enjoy the light of early sunshine. Watching the sunrise while holding a cup of coffee still wearing your pajamas. The kids ease into new routines and there is fewer issues. Fewer meltdowns, tantrums, chaos, and busyness.

I sit here this morning before the kids wake writing about hope while my heart aches for my children because they lost their first pet. Real darkness in their lives right now. Thankfully they will have time to mourn since this quarantine is yet ongoing providing time to pour light into their darkness.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26
Light in the Darkness_Covid-19_faith 01

Like many, during the first few weeks of the quarantine, it was a nice escape and relatively easy for us to continue doing activities we enjoyed previously. A challenge to stay active, engaged, and sharp. My goal was to continue reading my Bible daily but soon the hours and days started to mix and those habits are slowly fading away. The depression of being isolated and forced to stay inside coupled with cold weather during the summer months lays heavy on my heart. I am clinging to the truth in Psalms. HE is my stronghold and the refuge I need to run to with fear and anxiety. No matter the circumstances HE is my LIGHT.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—

whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—

of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1
Light in the Darkness_Covid-19_distance learning 01

At the beginning of March 2020, the idea of being home away from school was inviting – almost like summer vacation! Distance learning started like a game allowing the kids to pick and choose new educational outlets via mobile devices, printed worksheets from the internet, and art activities crafted by parents and YouTube. We were all-embracing to this new “normal” the best we could and expectant for a rapid end. Yet, in May 2020, we are still on a knife’s edge hoping and praying for this distance learning to end-and not become the new normal indefinitely.

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105
Light in the Darkness_Covid-19_supermarkets 01
Light in the Darkness_Covid-19_supermarkets 02

Light in the Darkness_Covid-19_supermarkets 03

Walking the aisles of supermarkets during the quarantine in March 2020. The documentation on doors, stickers on the floors, and new ‘protective’ gear around the essential workers made it very clear we were facing a new world. A world of darkness and fear that could overtake us if we didn’t let the light into our hearts and lives.

The sudden cough or sneeze made you weary or people immediately were apologizing for their allergies! Mothers with children were frantically trying to figure out how to go shopping with children with masks and stay six feet apart.

YET, I saw kindness and patience that wasn’t present before all of this. People were using manners in the aisles and not rushing about to get passed you and on their way. Even vehicles were at a slower pace on the road. Life had slowed down.

The unfolding of your words gives light;

it gives understanding to the simple.

Psalm 119:130

Finding the Light

Getting outside in the cold weather is hard for my southern roots. I welcome the warm even sweltering heat of the summer. Along with sunburns and sweat. Yet, here we are bundling ourselves up in coats, gloves, and hats in the month of MAY!

OH MY WORD!

I need the warmth of the sunshine to make this darkness disappear. The seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression was never something that plagued me. Years of living in south Georgia followed by a small-time in West Africa didn’t lend itself to short days combined with the bitter cold that leads to trapping oneself inside for months at a time. AND NOW, we are forced inside on orders by the government.

We were coming up on week five in the quarantine and my spirit started to deflate. The pressure of managing the home, teaching slash not teaching through distance learning with my children, and staying hopeful was getting to me. My priorities were all over the place!

I am a creative that is super flexible. I am also an obliger and INTJ that morphed into an ENSF – motherhood has a way of changing your heart and attitudes (I love personality tests by the way).

ALL of those traits lead to a person who doesn’t fare well with self-motivation and sticktoitiveness. I thrive in an environment of external motivators! I need deadlines, meetings, and other people to help hold me accountable. So yeah, the darkness was trying to creep in….

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9

So as the weather started to warm up and the sun peeked through the clouds I started to get outside of my head and outside of my house.

  • I started running.
  • I started working out.
  • I started calling my friends.
  • I started establishing OUTSIDE communication.
  • I started being purposefully in reading my Bible.

Restore us, Lord God Almighty;

make your face shine on us,

that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:19

I needed the Lord to restore my heart, mind, and soul. We all travel to dark places at times yet do we allow the darkness to overtake us? Do we linger there? Do we stay wallowed up in that place of misery?

I used to. I have struggled with fear, anxiety, and depression.

It is in my past and I have been redeemed by my heavenly Father. It is through going to Him on a daily basis, praying through His Word, and applying the discipline of many of the scriptures into my daily life that has brought joy and peace.

My marriage, my parenting, and my own creativity is dependant on God’s power within and through me provided by the Holy Spirit. His face SHINES on me so that I may be saved.

Color Series

The second series of documentary photography is in color – bright, cheery, rainbow-tastic colors of hope and joy. Capturing the light pouring into our lives at times we didn’t think was possible. The soaking rays of sunshine pouring into my house casting gorgeous light flares around my children and our lives. His light shining into our darkness.

The joy of spending quality time with my girls during this quarantine is something that I am thankful for.

BE Grateful!

I am no baker yet the simplistic nature of making a cake – even from a box – was a great way to teach life lessons, use up some time, and make memories with my girls. I remember baking with my mother as a child. I was too afraid of our gas stove!!!! And now, I wouldn’t cook on anything else.

Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

Isaiah 60:1

The Light dwells with Me

Like I said before, I used to stay in those deep and hidden places of depression. It was easier to just let my emotions dig deeper into hate and anger vs trying to find hope in any situation. I felt unloved and abandoned….

But wait….

GOD still dwelled in that dark place. HE was there with me every step of the way! He REVEALED what was truly lying in the darkness. He has been slowly molding me into a new creation with each disciplined step I take into full obedience to HIM. Each step is another step in serving HIM, my husband, my children, and my community.

and the light dwells with me.

He reveals deep and hidden things;

he knows what lies in darkness,

and light dwells with him.

Daniel 2:22

As the quarantine comes to an end, hopefully, I want to build my town aka my life on a hill with a light shining so bright that all will see.

A beacon of hope pouring out a message of peace to all who are hurting and suffering.

I am not perfect and make mistakes. God is still revealing the things in the deep dark places of my heart and teaching strength, perseverance, and diligence.

WE ARE THE LIGHT of hope, joy, and eternal peace. Let your light shine!

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:14

Finding light in the darkness took much dedication.

FOR ME, as a creative I have turned to my craft of photography and graphic design.

Using this website as a place to express myself through design. I have redesigned this website countless times during isolation. I have picked up my camera almost weekly and used my smartphone camera almost daily.

Every image on this blog post was captured with my PHONE!

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

Not Overtaken

In the image above, you see our fourth child. He is small, young, and unafraid. He sits in one of the most beautiful spots of light in our home. As the late afternoon sun dips down it shines through our front door casting a rainbow of colors onto the wall and floor. He has been provided more freedoms as he matures and now that very step where he sits used to be a protective boundary. You can still see the faint line to his right where a gate sat for over a year protecting him from the danger of going up and down the stairs. He was safe and my mind was at ease knowing he couldn’t go up without supervision.

Over time, we got relaxed in our home and his abilities but that didn’t stop him from growing, maturing, and testing boundaries. He seeked out opportunities to test his limits and quickly mastered the stairs with and without our supervision. And eventually, he wasn’t just crawling but walking up and down the stairs using the side rail as a helping hand – not mine!

The gate was removed and he confidently go up and down those stairs unassisted.

Does this mean the danger is gone? NO. Does this mean he will never fall? No. Does this mean I need to still hover and plan his steps? No.

The Lord is our gatekeeper. He is our shepherd. He guides us and nudges us back into the herd when we get out of line. Yet, he gives us room to grow. To have a teachable spirit that learns and matures by knowing His word. Applying His word.

Our son is young still and needs a guiding hand. I look to the Lord to keep nudging my heart through the spirit to stay alert and attentive to his needs. Though he may have mastered the stairs he still needs my guiding hand from time to time to do the most simple thing – walking.

He will do the same with your needs.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

Walk in the light

The Lord used this time to reveal many different things to us all.

My spirit needed to be reminded of my responsibilities and how to prioritize my time. To slow down and enjoy my children at this tender age. That we are not meant to rush these years because danger still lies around each corner.

BUT, we are also not to let fear overtake us. Not let the darkness take us down into the deep.

Look to HIM and HIS Word to rescue us. We are safe in His arms.

In this time let HIS light shine into your hearts.

Before you go…

As a sweet reminder of HIS light, I have created three verse art images for you to print and enjoy around your home. They can be downloaded and printed using your home printer on regular 8.5×11 paper.

I hope you enjoyed these documentary photographs during COVID-19 along with the verses about light in the darkness. Drop a comment in the comment section below and tell me, what is the greatest light lesson that have you learned? 🙂 Let’s start a discussion! Or better yet, bring this discussion to the Knitting Our Story Community!

—–> CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE BELIEVING THE KNITTER FACEBOOK GROUP

The”Believing the Knitter” community is MORE than just a Christian Facebook group for women. It is a sisterhood of faith lovin’ women who JUST WANT to tear down the technological walls and talk shop – smartphones, cameras, smart home gadgets, bible topics, and parenting aka issues RELEVANT to modern Christian moms, grandmothers, and ministry-driven women today. Join in to participate in the open discussions we hold after a message with me 🙂 This is a place for the Christian woman who wants to be in a group that points them to Jesus — all while learning about their everyday tech (no question is too simple)!

—–> CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE BELIEVING THE KNITTER FACEBOOK GROUP

LIght in the darkness documentary photography PIN 01
LIght in the darkness documentary photography PIN 04
LIght in the darkness documentary photography PIN 02
LIght in the darkness documentary photography PIN 05
LIght in the darkness documentary photography PIN 03
LIght in the darkness documentary photography PIN 06

Here is one more goodie for you to consider before conquering your day!

Over 50 different ways to use Amazon Alexa with your children

Over 50 different ways to use Amazon Alexa with your children

Due to the recent school closings and endless time at home, here is a list of 50+ ways to use your Amazon Alexa smart speaker to break the boredom and introduce some fun into your day. Here are some resources to find inventive ways to interact with your Amazon Alexa:

 

01  |  15 Things Your Kids Will Love About Amazon Alexa and Google Home

The suggestion to play games led us down a path of interactive fun for 30 minutes. My children mostly enjoyed the “Animal Game” and Alexa guessed at least 10 different animals with my 8-year-old son before moving onto the next activity.

 

02  |  20 Alexa games to keep your kids busy

The “Chompers” podcast is a great way to get your children to brush their teeth while the “Kids Court” seems like it would be a humorous way to deal with meltdowns and disagreements between siblings but exercise caution – it is just a game.

03  |  50 funny things to ask Alexa: Jokes, trivia and more

These questions will keep you and Alexa busy for at least a good 30 minutes. The kids enjoyed her comment about her weight and if she knew Siri.

 

04  |  The Ultimate List of Things Your Kids Can Ask Amazon Alexa

Alexa, open the Magic Door” was a great resource and my son went through two options that lasted around 10 minutes total. He enjoyed the stories and sat mesmerized the whole time with a few giggles.

 

05  |  Amazon Alexa Skills

Do not forget that Amazon is also a great resource for finding more “skills” and new games for the Smart Speaker or Home Assistant. You will also be able to disable and enable games or skills on your personal home assistant before you interact with it and your children. Also, you should download the Alexa App onto your smartphone to remotely operate your smart speaker to make calls, announcements, set timers, and make routines. It has been a great resource in our home since the #1 thing we use Alexa for is praise music blasting a solid volume 10 almost all day long.

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    Google Slides Children’s Chore Chart

    Google Slides Children’s Chore Chart

    How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart

    Would you like to learn how to use Google Slides and create a beautiful children’s chore chart and responsibility chart for your family? Wouldn’t it be great to better understand Google Drive to demystify the technology so you can better utilize it?

    Not only can you better understand Google Drive, but you can create amazing printables that will better serve you and your family, today! If you love technology and view it as a tool, not a hindrance then let’s dive into today’s post all about using, editing, and printing a PRINTABLE Google Slide Children’s Chore Chart (or any printable you truly need).

    FREE CHORE CHART_Editable Google Slides Chore and Responsibility Chart for children

    *This post contains affiliate links.

    What is Google Slides?

    Google Slides is Google’s version of the PowerPoint Presentation. What is PowerPoint? It is a great software tool that professionals and students have been using for the last 20 years to present eye-popping, sometimes gimmicky, presentations that have become the #1 standard for presenting anything today. So get on board or get left behind. You can read all about my love for Google and how I use it on a daily basis on this post.

    How do I get Google Slides?

    1. Set up a Google Account by setting up a Gmail account that will provide you with an email and access to Google Drive.
    2. Within Google Drive, you will have an option to create a “+New” digital file.
    3. After clicking the “+New” tab, you will select “Google Slides”

    Another option, you can also download “Google Slides” to your mobile device and create items directly within the program without accessing Google Drive. (Google Drive is your Windows Explorer ONLINE or a cloud service that stores all these files in a place that won’t disappear and you can access anytime anywhere.)

    Why should I create a Children’s Chore Chart?

    As a mom to four little kids that are eight and under, I understand the importance of trying to create routines and schedules. I love drafting children’s chore charts and lists on regular paper but nothing beats a well designed, pretty, and evenly lined up chore chart slipped inside a page protector, or better yet, LAMINATED so my children can quickly and easily check off their achievements – #WINWIN situation!

    *Post was written during the great Coronavirus quarantine so we were desperately looking for systems to stay productive.

    FULL TRANSPARENCY! I am not a born organized person. I lose my keys on a daily basis and have mini piles all around the house! As a creative, I rise to the challenge of creating something beautiful and surrounding myself with beautiful things like clean and straight forward charts HELPS A TON!

    What works for you? Leave a comment below with tips and tricks for staying organized as a creative.


    How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart

     

    STEP ONE:

    You could create one from scratch OR just use the template that I have created for you 🙂

    Use the link below to gain access to the template we will be using throughout the rest of this guide.

    STEP TWO:

    You have two options.

    One, you can download the PDFs of the Chore and Responsibility Charts without any editing needed to print directly. All you have to do is write in the chores and duties the child[ren] will accomplish and Voila! You are done.

    Two, Click the link provided to you via email to access the template. FIRST THING YOU MUST DO is create a COPY! If you do not have a Gmail account then the only option will be to download.

    STEP THREE:

    The edits available are located in the name, chore lines, and verse text at the bottom of the chart.

    Click the first line in the table to start writing the duties and chores needed.

    ^^^DON’T WORRY about making a mistake. There is an easy to use “redo” button located at the top of the Google Slides page that will backup your edits.

    STEP FOUR:

    You have entered all the data needed and am ready to download and/or print.

    You could download as PDF or image file (.jpeg). A PDF would be used to PRINT and utilize on a fridge, etc. An image file could be used on your phone as a screensaver or perhaps inside an app that you can easily manipulate that way you save some paper.

    STEP FIVE:

    The print preview and print option will provide you with more options to make sure the Chart fits onto your paper size.

    You should select “advanced options” then “fit to printable area” so that the whole Chart will print on your paper size.

    Windows 7 End of Life: What does it mean for your personal computer?

    Windows 7 End of Life: What does it mean for your personal computer?

    OH NO! My computer keeps saying it will no longer support Windows 7 by Microsoft after January 14, 2020. What does that mean for my personal computer?

    The time has come for the End of Life (EOL) support for the Windows 7 operating system by Microsoft and for a lot of people this almost constant pop up window for the last year is more than concerning. If you own a personal computer, laptop or desktop PC, with the Windows 7 operating system but use it for nominal use like checking your email or social media, you may be scratching your head about what to do next.

    *This post contains affiliate links which are marked with an *. This means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of my links. If you do, thank you for the support ♥

    I started this article before the end of support date of Windows 7 and am now writing it to myself and the many others who may have a device older than five years that supports this beloved operating system.

    Gone are the days when you could continue using outdated and unsupporeted programs like Winows Vista and those before it.  Every time you tap the keys and connect to the internet you are putting your personal data at risk.

    You are probably saying, “I know Holly but all of this is going over my head! I don’t know what to do next nor do I have any money to protect or upgrade my computer!”

    Let’s discuss the options available to YOU! (Remember I am here to serve you and if your computer is at risk connect with me at holly [at] knittingourstory.com)

     

    1 | WHY IS MICROSOFT ENDING SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS 7?

    Let’s face it. Microsoft is a tech giant and software is a hot business. Over time, they have learned that to keep up with their competitors they have to keep raising the bar with their software packages. It is ultimately their choice to continue or NOT continue to support a product they developed.

    You can read more about their decision here.

    The wave of smartphone technology and the minimalismus categorical design of software is overtaking technology.

    Ever use Netflix? Or have a Roku TV? The cards or blocks with vivid imagery is an easy and visually appealing way to convey information quickly. You can easily select your choice without having to read any information. And that approach has been utilized across almost ALL consumer technology. INSTANT GRATIFICATION with no time wasted on having to sort through useless information.

    What are the differences between Windows 7 vs 10?

    01  |  Account Integration

    Microsoft has now introduced Account Integration which requires the user to link an account to their device for any type of functionality.

    HUH? If you own an Apple iPhone then you are already familiar with inputting your Apple ID to open your phone or download any new apps. It is a way to create a seamless user experience over multiple devices and allows access to some feartures offered by Microsoft.

    02  |  Start Menu

    The Start menu has a new icon, and unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 brought back some of the things that Windows 7 users love.

    The menu has items listed in Alphabetical order and different icons so do not assume a program is gone because you do not see it’s normal image associated with it because the new design is the biggest learning curve. You still have access to the normal functions like Shut Down, settings, and control panel.

    TIP: If you need it larger, you can bring your mouse to the edge of the window and ENLARGE it.

    03  |  Tiles (Apps)

    You will notice an area to the right of your long list of programs on the Start Menu that Mircosoft calls the “tiles”. Each tile can either be a shortcut to program you use regularly, a webpage shortchut, or an application. For example, You have an option to use the “Facebook” app or just log onto the internet using your explorer (such as Edge, Google Chrome, or FireFox). If this all seems a bit much and you dislike the functionality, right click the tile and disable it.

    04  |  Cortana

    Your personal assistant via Mircosoft which functions just like the Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri.

    Ask it to jot down notes, make an alarm, find a document, etc. A new feature that I haven’t full utlized but something you should be aware of since it pops up pretty often unless you disable it which you can!

    05  |  Accessibility (Control Panel, Settings, and Edge)

    Mircosoft really changed up their design and flow to offer a more streamlined experince for their user but if you like continuity and maybe a little resistant to change then serarching for these areas may not come easily.

    The control panel can be accessed by holding down the Windows Key + X to access the nitty gritty areas of your computer, while the all encompassing Gear Icon, which has become the universal Settings icon on everything, is where you access your settings for design, WiFi, devices, etc. The design is pleasing and straight forward but still a learning curve from Windows 7.

    ALSO, you have a new Windows Internet Explorer! Edge is the new and imporved windows explorer so don’t get frustrated when you cannot find your old icons.

     

    2 | WHAT TO DO IF MY COMPUTER IS STILL RUNNING WINDOWS 7?

    Gathering digital images for organization

    You need to know that each day pass January 14, 2020, the more at risk you are making yourself and your precious data on the computer or laptop.

    01  |  Outdated Software

    The functionality of your computer will slowly depreciate. The more programs added and files downloaded the more it will slow down your computer. Like any device, it requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Yet, the lack of security and updates on your computer will make it more at risk of crashing or being hacked.

    The outdated software means that your computer data could be lost if it ins’t back up!

    Back it up!

    Get an external harddrive and save all your documents, photos, videos, and music. This is just regular legacy maintenance but MOST DEFINITELY important if your hardware (computer/laptop/smartphone) is over five years old. Gone are the days when you could keep something for a lifetime with regular care.

    Windows 7 will not be aided or support without an “extended care” support plan. Start looking into if your computer needs to be completely replaced or just upgraded.

    02  |  Security Risks

    Since you do not have Mircosoft providing security through Windows Defender, you need to have an alternative security system to keep your device afloat.

    I recommend using Malwarebytes, it is a wonderful program that is available for FREE with limited security while a full license will provide full security at a reasonable price. Considering you are choosing to continue with Windows 7 against their approval I would recommend this or any other type of third party security software to protect your personal data shared online. 

    We use it and love it.

    3 | HOW TO UPGRADE?

    A while back, Mircrosoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10. According to this article by CNET, you can still get that free download and upgrade. 

    UPDATE: 2/29/2020 I used the above link and it worked! I did find however that one must have already downloaded it previously and chose to revert. When Windows 10 first debut, I did use it but chose to revert because there were too many bugs.

    The alternative would be to pay for the upgrade which could run you around $139.

    Hope that you were able to upgrade, replace, or find the information needed. Leave a comment below if you need more assistance with Windows 10.

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