Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rock Your Christmas Card!

My 3 sweet munchkins with Santa last year. :-)

I read an article recently in which a magazine reader asked, "In this day and age of e-mail and facebook and instant technology, Christmas cards seem a little old-fashioned. Should I even bother to send any this year?" I would like to answer that question with a resounding "YES!!!!" Yes, they are old-fashioned, and that is what I think makes them so great. When you walk into someone's home you don't flip open their laptop and start surfing their facebook account. You do, however, peruse the photographs and cards fixed to the fridge and say, "What a cute kid! Is that your niece?"

Now, more than ever, is the time to go back to the days of ink and paper and stamps and envelopes and show friends and family that you can put a little more heart into their Christmas greeting than a click of a mouse. There is something meaningful about holding something in your hand that came from the hands of another, and it is a special experience that I, for one, will never give up!

One year, being my crafty self I decided to hand-make all of our Christmas
cards. Were they pretty? Yes. Did it make me crazy? Most definitely. Luckily, with sites like Shutterfly you can do all the hard work with just a few clicks- no glue stick required! I was just checking out Shutterfly's immense collection of holiday photo cards, and I got even more excited to start designing my own. What I love best about their collection is that you can add not just one, but up to 12 (yes, TWELVE!) photos to your card! My friend, the budding photographer, gave us a great deal on our family photo shoot and I loved pretty much every shot she sent me, so I'm just glad I don't have to pick just one!

Shutterfly also has every design you could hope for, from modern to classic to downright funky. If you still need an idea for your family photo, an online photo card site like Shutterfly is a perfect place to get some inspiration. Once you're ready to design your own card, the other great thing about Shutterfly is that they work with your budget- you can search the cards by price! Perfect! If you're more concerned with the design, you can search by the number of photos you want to use, the format (flat or folded), paper type, card size, color, or designer. I just love it when these places make it simple for me.

Once you get hooked on their photo cards, you can check out all the other fantastic ways you can use your family photos, with everything from birthday invitations to wall calendars (Christmas present for the grandparents, anyone?) and more!

I'm off to go design mine now...I'll be sure to take a pic when they arrive!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spiritual Sundays: Thankful

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the joy which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of All to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise!

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Placecards

I never have time to do papercrafting, so I always try to find good excuses to sneak it in...this time it was to make these elegant little Thanksgiving placecards to be sold at a silent auction to benefit my daughter's preschool. With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I thought they would be both beautiful and useful- a great combination when it comes to a silent auction!

If you've never done papercrafting but you'd like to give it a try, placecards are a great place to start. For these I simply picked out some patterned paper I liked at Michaels, then teamed it up with two solid colors of cardstock and matching embellishments.

Use a solid color 12x12 piece of cardstock and cut it into 9 4x4 squares. Each of these will be folded in half (or "tented") for your placecard. Then simply cut the patterned paper slightly smaller (or not, as seen below- I just made it 2x4 to fit the front of the placecard) to serve as your mat, then cut the other solid cardstock smaller than that and adhere it on top.

Some helpful hints:
- Ink the edges!! It will give it a more finished look. Take an ink pad and simply run it around the edges of the paper. Using a brown ink pad and scuffing it along the edges will give it a nice aged look.
- Use a paper cutter for quick, straight lines. These run about $10 and are SO worth it!
- Corner rounders or paper edgers (like scissors that cut a pattern into the paper) can add interest and class to your project.
- Use the right adhesive- a glue stick will work fine for bonding paper to paper, but if you are adding any kind of fabric or metal embellishments, you might want to consider glue dots or special double-sided tape made specifically for those kinds of materials.

Have you crafted anything for Thanksgiving? Leave a comment and share!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Short & Sweet: Fairy Calendar Art!

Remember my goal of doing non-novel-length posts? Well, I'm going to give that a shot again! I was at my favorite bargain spot, the Goodwill Outlet, When I spotted this beautiful calendar. It was outdated, of course (2008) but I just loved the art in it, so I bought it for $0.25.

I brought it home and dug out some 12x12 LP/scrapbook frames I'd bought at Michaels awhile back on sale for $5.00 each (I've found they often go on sale at this price). I had intended to use them for some of my favorite scrapbook pages, but I never got around to it, and they were perfect for these calendar pages. I had Starlet pick out her two favorite, which I also loved, because the one on the left looks just like her and Little Boo together, and the one on the right looks just like her dancing with big brother Monkey playing the flute in the background!

Cut, framed, and on the wall in the girls' room! Ta-da! Instant fairy art. You could do this with any old calendar if it's got great art you want to save. Could I have been a little more creative with them? Yeah, but I'm trying to keep it simple, remember?

Got any super-simple beautiful thrifty projects to share?
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