Need Some Last Minute Valentine Card or Gift Ideas for Grandchildren?

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The Sandwich Generation granny nanny and grandkids love coloring page funTomorrow is Valentine's Day. By now you and your grandkids have probably got your Valentines ready, your senior parents' gifts are on their way, and nothing else needs to be done. BRAKES SQUEALING LOUD! Wait a minute. My Sandwich Generation family never works that perfectly – perhaps yours doesn't either? And even if it does, it's always fun to learn about terrific new tools to help with the holidays.

That being the case around here, I thought I'd share another great photo resource for all of us to enjoy and maybe some of us to put to good use on those last minute Valentine cards. Did you notice the black and white Valentine I made for the beginning of this article as well as the bigger one for the grandkids to color on Wednesday in my article, Happy Valentine’s Day Cards and Fun for Grandparents and Grandchildren? I used the very cool little iPhone app – Instant Sketch.

To use Instant Sketch, you just:

  1. Open the app
  2. Tap on the screen to start
  3. Select where you want to get your photo from
  4. Select your photo
  5. Select SD (faster) or HD (manga style but slower)
  6. Tap the bottom of the screen
  7. If you'd like to adjust it a bit, tap the top and a blue line will appear – move it to the left to make it darker or the right to make it lighter. I prefer all the way to the right for the coloring pages but test both ways to see what you prefer.
  8. Tap the first icon – a book – to save the new pix (It's always best to work with a duplicate of a photo – some programs save it as a copy – others copy over your original. I never remember which programs do which so I make sure I back them up on the iPhone or the computer first if I don't want to take any chances)
  9. If you prefer, you can tap the icon of the letter to email the pix, the heart to save it as a background, the person to upload it to facebook or something else called Sina Weibo (per Wikipedia, that is a Chinese microblogging (weibo) website, akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook. It is one of the most popular sites in China, in use by well over 30% of Internet users), or the pencil from the beginning page to go to an editing page that lets you do some very simple edits.
  10. When you want to do another picture. just click the little runner and start all over again. πŸ™‚
  11. And no, I didn't add the text with this program. BUT that is another very cool program I'll be writing about soon…  πŸ™‚ 

In fact, there are several other apps, programs, and sites I'll be covering in the future (primarily on Mondays), some of which also enable you to make cool coloring pages out of photos or clipart, which so many of our grandchildren love! I chose Instant Sketch for today as I really love the simpleness of this app.  If you don't have an iPhone, Gimp.com is a free computer program for the PC that lets you do something similar, as does Photoshop. Both of those are a harder to use, though, so I prefer to stick with simple and fast like Instant Sketch, making me a very happy Sandwich Generation granny nanny – especially when I'm in a hurry, which is most of the time. πŸ™‚ And for another easy timesaver…

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