Tag Archives: family

Another Year, My Son

Days and nights

Was that you asleep

On the steps of the store

Just tired, so you seek

Things you don’t have

Things we don’t need

I’m tired too

A heavy sleep

And then

Tough love

Life moves on

My tough heart

Heavy heart

All I can do is weep

Tough love

Should I have bended more

Like the proverbial tree

Will you knock on my door


I fear you are in the prison of my dreams

Tough love my son

Doesn’t feel like love my son

Have I lost you

Once again to the streets

Tough love

The cycle son

Is killing you and me

Tough love

Hurts you

Hurts me

I swear that was you

Down the street

Tough love

I look away

It’s not you

I see

Tough love

My son

Is this really what must be

Tough love

Look where it’s got me

Tough love

Heavy heart

And a boy with no place to sleep

Tough love

As hard as I can be

I see your face everywhere

Please wake from

The seemingly forever sleep

Tough love

I love you

I need you to love you

Please come back to me


Dedicated to my son on this special day.

Photo To Wood Transfer Tutorial

This photo to wood transfer tutorial is one of the most popular posts on Hello Creative Family. It was one of the very first projects that I did on my original blog, Sew Creative. I think people love it so much because of the step by step photos and instructions. It’s a fun project, but does require a bit of patience. You’ll notice as you go through my instructions that I actually did this project twice. I wasn’t completely satisfied with how it turned out the first time, so I scraped the wood and tried again. It’s not a fast project, but if you have patience and stick with it, you’ll get beautiful results. Enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions! -Crystal

Credit: http://hellocreativefamily.com/photo-to-wood-transfer-tutorial-from-sew-creative/


What you need:

-A piece of wood (mine was a small cutting board from the thrift store)

-A laser printed copy of your photo on copier paper, the copy should be the mirror image of how you would like it to appear on the wood. This ONLY works with laser copies. It won’t work with ink jet. (Make sure this is printed on regular paper, not photo paper.)

-Modge Podge

-Gel Medium (I used Martha Stewart’s Gesso. You can find Gel Medium at any Michael’s or Joann’s stores… don’t forget to bring your coupons!)

-A sponge brush

-Scissors to cut out your photo

-A rag to soak your photo

-A cup or plate to pour your gel medium and modge podge into

-A boning tool or plastic card to get the air bubbles out with


Step 1: Print out the image you would like to transfer using a laser printer. Unfortunately ink jet printouts won’t work for this project. Most copy stores (Kinko’s, Staples) use laser printers. You may want to mirror your image as the transfer will make your image the reverse of how it is printed.


Step 2: Trim your image to the size that you want it to be on the wood.

Step 3: Put a layer of gel medium on the printed side of your photo.Photo-to-wood-transfer-at-Sew-Creative-gesso-step

Step 4: Put a layer of gel medium on the wood, then lay the paper photo side down onto the wood. Use your plastic card or boning tool to remove any bubbles of gel medium from between the paper and wood by smoothing the card over the paper pushing excess to the outer edges. Make sure all of your corners are stuck to the wood with the gel medium. If it’s not stuck it won’t transfer.

Step 5: Wipe away excess gel medium from around photo then leave to dry for at least 4 hours.

Step 6: 4 plus hours later, once the paper has completely dried, dampen a rag with warm water and and lay it over top of your photo. Leave for approximately 5 minutes.Photo-to-wood-transfer-at-Sew-Creative-soaking-step

Step 7: Once the paper is damp comes the fun, but time intensive part of this project. Stand over a sink, wet your fingers and slowly start rubbing your finger over the paper, almost using your finger like sand paper. The photo copy is going to appear to split in half. The white part of the paper will start to lift away and the paper with the ink will stick to the wood. Take this part very, very slow. If you go to fast the ink will lift away from the wood and you will be left with bare patches.

*Note- having done this step several times now I have come up with the following technique. I stand at the sink and slowly remove the top layer of paper using circular motions with my fingers. I am constantly wetting my fingers and lightly rinsing the wood under the sink to wash off clumps of paper. Once I think I have the first layer of paper off I set the wood down for a couple of minutes and clean up all of the paper bits. This will give the transfer time to dry. When you look at it you will probably see that there are still places where there is a thin layer of paper left, the image will look cloudy. Wet down your fingers and start “sanding” away again. When you can’t see any white cloudy bits anymore set aside again, clean up a bit while it dries, pick it up again and “sand” some more. I wet down and let me project dry 5-10 times before I was done.

Step 7: Leave your project to dry for about an hour then look at it to see if you are satisfied. Grab your boning tool and rough up the edges a bit if you like. You can take a gray sharpie marker and lightly dot in areas where the transfer doesn’t look quite right. If you need to you can wet it down and “sand” down some more if there are bits of paper that you missed. In my case I decided that I would prefer if my photo filled the entire front of the wood so I wet the wood down, scraped the project off and redid it.


Once your modge podge has dried you have a beautiful photo impact piece that will be commented on by everyone who enters your home. They also make great gifts!


I hope you enjoyed our Photo To Wood Transfer Tutorial. If you have any questions please ask and I’d be more than happy to try to answer. I would love to see the results of your Photo to Wood Transfer projects.




Feel that bit of fabric

Fingers along a face

See what is before you


This is not a race

I can’t rely on memory

See there?

Ah, yes

His face

A kindness that went unnoticed

A love too often late


Autism Tales & Pages Of My Heart

Crinkled pages that might have been tossed away by an untrained eye are kept safe.  Life painted and told in the beautiful song of his first language.  Some speak with words.  He has trained the swirl of the sounds and whispers he first heard as he slept between two worlds in the safety of my belly.  They cover pages with words from the heart.  They bring laughter with their unfiltered look.  He has a gift.  He could just tell us but this will do just fine.  Fine for now.  Fine forever.


The dear letters

Fotos Y Recuerdos






All photos by I. Garay

Words by Me ❤

The Day I Gave My Dad A Camera

He is a man of few words.  As the years go by, it becomes clear he has something to tell me.  Isn’t that just the way it is with everyone.  Each morning begins with new resolve, today will be the day I say, “I love you.”

He’s been on a mission I wish he would have began so many years ago.  I’ve lost the child in me that would ask questions and miss the signs it made him uncomfortable.  I’m a polite daughter, a caring daughter– all the things a good daughter should be.

A new voice with words I’ve yet to learn, pierces my heart even though the meaning escapes me.  His eyes rest on shots I would overthink.  He sees something he needs to tell me in each image we look at together each time we meet.  I can’t ask what I want to.  Like so much with my father, directness must be set aside.  Instead I ask what he likes about the picture.  I see such emotion.  I hear the words I now understand were there the entirety of my life.

Message To The Future by Estela Caballero

benita and estela (2)

Once lost on the road

That one to nowhere

Running and moving

But going nowhere

Cruelest illusion

I was wrong


 Mistake movement for progress

It’s likely we’ll share

A cab on the road

Up the hill

To nowhere

Telling the world

To please hurry up

Exhausted, busy

Rushing, rush, rush

When will we get there?

Wait, that’s not the way

Beware of that beaten path

Be careful

Don’t stray

Join me

Now hurry

No time to spare

No light at the end

Are you certain

It’s there

Wait, wait

No, I can’t

I won’t

So don’t wait

Green rolling hills

My star awaits

Go if you must

Rush to nowhere

Mi madre querida me dijo asi

It’s fear that drives people

Their lives

It seems

Fear that makes people

Forget about dreams

Better to walk

A path not yet known

Better to live

Something you own

Fear owns the people

I’m one of them

You little daughter

Are stronger

You’ll win

Your heart made of things

I gave away

To ready your journey

And chase fear away

Abandon the road

The rush to nowhere

You have a place

A beautiful somewhere

Down, down soft green hills

Never too late

Take flight my baby

Nowhere can wait

Autism Tales: Best Love Note Ever

Dear Mom

I took this picture a while back.  I was at my desk at the day job and doing something super important, I’m sure of it.  I was in a hurry and running late.  I couldn’t find my big notebook so I grabbed the little one with The Cat In The Hat cover.  The little notebook was too small to use for meetings so I kept it near my phone for ideas and quick notes.

It would make it into my purse a couple times a week along with the five or six pens I was sure to have collected by the end of the day–  I have a problem with pens.  We can talk about that later.  My office is the first stop for any co-worker missing a pen.  They have come to understand I’m like a pen magnet and somehow I end up with their pens even when I tell them to have me empty my pockets before leaving their office. Despite my pen swiping, I have managed to build a solid career.

A busy day becomes a hectic week and in 30 days I would be asking myself where the time went.  At the moment I saw the note my son had left for me I remembered why.  Why I was so happy the day I got my first job ever, why I cried when I got so sick with lupus that I had to put everything on hold, including work. Teenage mothers with no car and a family to help support quickly find that jobs are hard to come by for everyone, I was no exception.

Of course I have an identity beyond the relationships in my life.  I am not just someone’s mom or someone’s wife. I am the “best of the hole this Oregon world.”  I’m their mom. I’m his wife.  That’s the identity that has made me pretend to be unafraid as I step into unknown territory.  Whether it’s an interview for a job I don’t know if I’m ready for or a walk on the Oregon Trail holding hands with a group of people I would be lost without.


Beautiful Mess

You probably know that guy.  The one who is unshakable.  At work it might be the person who doesn’t freak out when a deadline on big project gets moved up with little notice.  In families, it isn’t always the older members that have that thing others gravitate to in times of crisis– a calm coolness that puts the ones freaking out at ease.

The unshakables understand that although a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, the measure of success isn’t all about how fast you get there.  This simple sketch captures so much of what we fear– becoming tangled up. We might never get to where we are going if that happens.  If you’ve missed that stinking traffic circle exit for the 5th time, pull the car over and take a step back  Look for a vantage point and take in the full scope of the ride and appreciate that it’s all a beautiful mess.

Art: Organized Chaos by Estela ★