Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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7 Tips for Gifting the Ultimate Custom Photo Blanket

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Best Grandpa Ever Photo Blanket | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
My father just celebrated his 78th birthday.  It feels like we just celebrated his 70th.  I really wanted to show him how special he is to everyone and how much we appreciate him for all the caring things he does daily.  We ended up gifting to him a photo blanket from both my family and my sister's family.  This might be one of the best gifts we've ever given my dad.  That we were able to present it to him collectively, made it that much more special.

I designed this custom sherpa photo blanket using the tools on  I learned some tips and tricks while doing so that really made this one-of-a-kind blanket into a cherished keepsake for my dad.  I'm happy to share what I've learned, so you can create the ultimate custom photo blanket for your loved one.

7 Tips for Gifting the Ultimate Custom Photo Blanket . . .

1.  Keep the best part hidden.  When presenting your sherpa photo blanket, fold the blanket with the image side facing in.  This way, the recipient will see and feel how soft and cuddly the blanket is, while the best part is still out of sight. When your loved one unfolds the blanket, the one-of-a-kind design will be revealed, causing many Oooo's and Aaaaah's to ensue.
Sherpa Photo Blanket Gift Idea | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

2. Select photos from both the past and the present.  Before you even think about choosing a layout, carefully select which photos you would like to include on this photo gift.  Consider choosing photos from important past memories, such as a wedding, a graduation, or a favorite photo of someone who is no longer with you.  Also include photos from the present to represent things that make your loved one smile today.
Custom Collage Sherpa Photo Blanket Gift Idea | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

3. Choose a blanket that suits the recipient's lifestyle. The sherpa throw was perfect for my dad because we live in New England.  He will be able to cuddle up with the throw while watching football during the chilly fall and winter months.  A queen size blanket would be too large for his needs.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Options | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

4.  Choose a template that accommodates and shows off your selected photos best. There is a large selection of pre-made templates to choose from on If you don't see one that fits your needs exactly, you can always create your own.  Remember that some templates have areas that can be customized.  For example, the template I chose originally said "Best Grandma Ever", but I was able to change it to say "Grandpa" instead.  I was also able to change the the font size and reposition the text.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Templates | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

5. Use the same filter on all your photos. Since you are using photos taken at different times and in different places, they may not look cohesive when displayed together. Running them through the same photo filter will help with that.  For example, I applied the San Carmen filter to all my photos.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Filters | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

6. Use the highest quality photos in the larger photo fields. Likewise, reserve the lower quality photos for the smaller photo fields. If you have a photo that is a little dark or could be crisper, you can use the built-in photo editor on to brighten, sharpen, and crop your photos.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Photo Editing | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

7. Select a background that suits your photo collage. Although it may not seem intuitive, you should choose your blanket's background when the rest of the design is complete.  Select a background that shows off your photos best.  Try to avoid backgrounds with colors that clash with your design, and backgrounds that compete with your photos for attention.  You want your photos to be the stars of the show, not the background.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Background Choices | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

I have to say that choosing the photos for my dad's blanket was the most difficult part of this project.  Once I had settled on those, the tools available on made the whole process super-easy. There's also a guide that tells you what date you should receive your photo gift by for each shipping method, so you can be sure to receive your gift in time for Grandparent's Day, Christmas, or any other special occasion. Be sure to check for photo blanket deals and free shipping deals on before ordering.

Like this photo gift idea? Pin it for later . . . 
Custom Collage Photo Sherpa Blanket | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Who do you know who would love a photo blanket of their very own?
Tell us in a comment here.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Most 3G2S posts contain commission-yielding affiliate links. When you make a purchase after clicking a link, our family earns a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog.

Adjustable Breakaway Kitten Size Collars

Adjustable Breakaway Kitten Collars | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
 As I had previously mentioned, our family recently adopted a pair of kittens that needed to be rehomed.  Having had kittens in our family before, we stopped by our local pet supply store to pick up everything we knew we'd need on our way to picking up Kenobi and Yoda.  Yes, my husband is a HUGE Star Wars fan.

One of the items we picked up at the store was a pair of kitten collars.  They were stretch and stayed in place with Velcro.  They seemed like just the thing we needed.  Although those collars did work, they were not ideal.  Because they were cut to fit, the ends kept unraveling on both collars.  I had to trim them almost daily.  The end of the collars also did not want to stay in the loop that is meant to hold the end in place.  I had just accepted that I would live with these collars until the kittens grew big enough to wear size small cat collars because there was no alternative.

Then one day, while I was shopping for custom pet tags on Etsy, what do you think was mixed in among my search results? . . . Kitten sized collars!  These kitten collars are handcrafted by a woman named Susan, owner of the SusansSewingStall Etsy Shop. They look just like the cat collars you'd find in a pet supply store.  They are adjustable, have a breakaway closure, and have a little bell attached.  The prices are also extremely affordable, which is awesome because there are so many other expenses when adopting a pair of kittens.

At the smallest adjustment, these collars are said to fit most 8 week old kittens.  Since our kittens were about 12 weeks by then, the collars fit them perfectly when adjusted to almost the halfway point.  They definitely have a lot more room to grow.  I suspect that these kitten collars will fit our kitties into adulthood, unless they turn out to be as big as our other cat who is almost 20lbs.

I just had to share these kitten collars since they are so hard to find and I love to shop handmade whenever possible. Plus, the shop owner is such a nice lady, and ships her ready-made items super-quick.  She even takes custom orders if you don't see what you're looking for in her shop.

What great finds have you discovered on Etsy?
Share them with us in a comment here.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Most 3G2S posts contain commission-yielding affiliate links. When you make a purchase after clicking a link, our family earns a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog.

Best Cat Toy Ever for Kittens!

Fun Tower of Tracks Cat Toy | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
 A few weeks ago, we welcomed two new additions to our family, Kenobi and Yoda, a pair of kittens whom we adopted from a local family.  They are in great health according to the vet, which explains how each one is just a furry ball of energy.  We highly recommend adopting kittens in pairs because they just want to play all day and all night.

After shopping around, I found very few kitten toys that enable the kittens to play independently without the toy getting lost behind the sofa or under the bed after 10 minutes of play.  Then I saw this multi-track cat toy on sale during Prime Day for only around $10.  I remembered how my older cats loved their single track toys in past years, so I took a chance and ordered it.  This item turned out to be my favorite Prime Day purchase!
Tower of Tracks Curious Cat Toy | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Our pair of curious kittens immediately started playing with this Tower of Tracks.  It has been so much fun watching them trying to figure out where the balls go when they're out of sight.
Tower of Tracks Super-Fun Cat Toy | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

This toys seems equally as entertaining whether there is one or two feline players.  Sometimes one kitten sits back like a spectator and is thoroughly entertained just watching his brother play.
Tower of Tracks Multi-Kitten Cat Toy | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

This toy is small enough so that can be played with on the floor, on the sofa, or even on an ottoman.  For grown cats, placing the toys on an ottoman or end table works great because they can see the balls more easily without having to crouch or lay down.
Tower of Tracks Multi-Cat Toy | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Just yesterday, I saw the Petstages Tower of Tracks cat toy at our local pet supply store for about $15.  Personally, I think it's worth that much, but the current price on Amazon is much lower. If you have more than two or three cats, you might consider purchasing more than one.

Do you have any cat toy recommendations?
Share them with us in a comment here.