May 23, 2012

Sunset Photos for your Bellflower Book

Here are some beautiful photographs of sunsets to fill empty photo space in your Bellflower Book.  They would be great in any book, but especially in books being given as personalized graduation gifts, Father's Day gifts and significant birthday gifts.  They would also be inspiring in encouragement or tribute books to memorialize someone special.

All of these photos are in the public domain and are free for your personal use.  There are two photos shown for each image.  The small photo shows the complete picture and the enlarged photo is what you should use for your download.  Downloading the enlarged photo will guarantee that it is the right size for your Bellflower Book.

Please share and enjoy!

May 16, 2012

The Perfect Poem for your Oldest Friend

Reading this poem immediately reminded me of  my relationship with my oldest friend and Bellflower Books business partner Heather Smith.  I thought it would be a great addition to any Bellflower Book being given to a good friend as a wedding, birthday, new baby or support gift.  It would look perfect spread across two pages with old school photos or photo collages on each page.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and that you have someone special in your life that you can relate this to as well:)

The Stages of Friendship

In kindergarten your idea of a good friend
was the person who let you have the red crayon
when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In first grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who went to the bathroom with you
and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls.

In second grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who helped you stand up
to the class bully.

In third grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who shared their lunch
with you when you forgot yours on the bus.

In fourth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who was willing to switch square dancing
partners in gym so you wouldn't have to be
stuck do-si-do-ing with the dork of the class.

In fifth grade your idea of a friend
was the person who saved a seat
on the back of the bus for you.

In sixth grade your idea of a friend
was the person who went up to your new crush,
and asked them to dance with you,
so that if they said no
you wouldn't have to be embarrassed.

In seventh grade your idea of a friend was
the person who let you copy the social studies homework
from the night before that you had forgotten about.

In eighth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who helped you pack up your
stuffed animals and old baseball cards
so that your room would be a "high schooler's" room,
but didn't laugh at you when you
finished and broke out into tears.

In ninth grade your idea of a good friend
to that "cool" party thrown by a senior
so you wouldn't wind up
being the only freshman there.

In tenth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who changed their schedule so
you would have someone to sit with at lunch.

In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who gave you rides in their new car,
convinced your parents that you shouldn't be grounded,
consoled you when you broke up with your significant other
and found you a date to the prom.

In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who helped you pick out a college,
assured you that you would get into that college,
helped you deal with your parents who were having
a hard time adjusting to the idea of letting you go.

At graduation your idea of a good friend
was the person who was crying on the inside but
managed the biggest smile one could give
as they congratulated you.

The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who helped you clean up from that party.
Helped you sneak out of the house when you just
couldn't deal with your parents.
Assured you that now that you and your
significant other were back together,
you could make it through anything.
Helped you pack up for college
and just silently hugged you as you looked
through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories
you were leaving behind.

And finally on those last days of childhood,
went out of their way to come over
and send you off with a hug, a lot of memories
and reassurance that you would make it in college
as well as you had these past 18 years.
But most importantly sent you off to college
knowing you were loved.

Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person
who gives you the better of the two choices.
Holds your hand when you're scared.
Helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you.
Thinks of you at times when you are not there.
Reminds you of what you have forgotten.
Helps you put the past behind you but understands
when you need to hold on to it a little longer.
Stays with you so that you have confidence.
Goes out of their way to make time for you.
Helps you clear up your mistakes.
Helps you deal with pressure from others.
Smiles for you when they are sad.
Helps you become a better person.
However most importantly loves you!

--- Author Unknown

May 11, 2012

Wonderful Quotes about Mothers

Happy early Mother's Day!  I found this selection of quotes about Mothers and thought they would be perfect to put in a Mother's Day card or in a Bellflower Book for a special mother in your life. I have also included some artwork by one of my favorite artists, Mary Cassatt.  Enjoy!

Mary Cassatt ~ Mother and Child III
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~ Elizabeth Stone, high school literature teacher and author of A Boy I Once Knew
“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.~ Dorothy Fisher, American social activist and author
 “Men are what their mothers made them.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher and poet
 “The strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver, American writer and author of Pigs in Heaven
“My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart – a heart so large that everybody's joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation.” ~ Mark Twain, American author and humorist
Mary Cassatt ~ Mother and Child
 “A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.” ~ Peter De Vries, American editor and novelist
 “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” ~ Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

“A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity; it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” ~ Agatha Christie, English crime writer of novels, plays and short stories

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
~Honore de Balzac, author
Mary Cassatt ~ Mother and Two Children

“The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.”
~Henry Ward Beecher, US Congressional clergyman

“By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.”
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author

May 9, 2012

Spring Flower Photos for your Bellflower Book

Sometimes when people create a Bellflower Book we notice that there are a few pages without photographs.  A lot of the time this is because the person creating the page did not have a proper photo for the occasion.  We decided to help people out by creating a series of blog posts with somewhat "generic" but attractive photographs that can be plugged in for many occasions.  These beautiful spring flowers would be perfect for books with wedding, birthday, anniversary, sympathy, tribute or new baby themes.  The best part about these photos as that they are considered to be in the "public domain" so we are not violating any copyrite laws!  The images shown below are just a fragment of the actual photograph.  I needed to add them to the blog in "actual size" so that when you click to save them they will be saved in a file size large enough to produce a full sized photo in your book!  Just click, save to your desktop as a jpg and upload to any page of your Bellflower Book in need of a special photograph.  See below for an example of how wonderfully this works:)

May 7, 2012

Photo Collages for your Bellflower Book Made Easy!

One of the biggest questions that people ask us is if they can put more than one photo on a page in their Bellflower Book.  The answer YES as long as those photos have been combined into one file or jpg.  The best way to do this is by creating a photo collage.

I recently stumbled upon an app that makes creating photo collages from pictures in your phone extremely easy!  The app is Photo Collage HD – the Amazing Pic-Frame & Pic-Collage & Postcards Manager Plus iLoader for Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr Pro and can be purchased from the itunes store for only $0.99.

Here is an example of what it can very easily do:

And this is how this image looks in your Bellflower Book:

Even though it is extremely self-explanatory, here are the simple instructions:

1) Select a Frame from the many wonderful options.  You can even customize this frame by adjusting the color, margin width and corners.  See below:

2) Choose your photos - you can even have friends and family participating in your book send their photos right to your phone!

3) After your photos have been chosen, it is easy to adjust them within the template with their simple editing functions.

4) The last step is to email this photo to yourself so that it can be downloading onto your desktop for easy upload into your Bellflower Book.  There may even be an easier way to do this if all of your systems are connected!

5) To send your collage, touch the button on the top right of your screen and email the photo. Make sure that the file size is large.  You may have to play around with file size a bit to make sure the photo is not too large to upload into your Bellflower Book or that it is not too small.  I have found that keeping the size at "normal" then emailing it as "large" works best.

6) Once the photo is emailed, download and save it and you are good to go!

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