Have You Created Your Christmas Cards Yet?

1071-seasonalFor several years now, I have let December get by me and I haven't managed to send out Christmas cards.  And I always feel guilty for that.

So this year, I'm changing it up.  I am going to create my cards this weekend and hope to get them ordered by Sunday night so that I can get them out before Christmas.

One of the big difficulties for me with Christmas cards is the family photo.  Traditionally, I have not had great family photos to share.  Up until about only a year ago, every family photo we had taken, whether it was a special event like a wedding or just a casual photo with our own camera, we had at least one child frowning or crying.  In many cases, we had two children crying.  Which is odd, because in every other candid photo we would shoot, they would drop everything and smile like they were going to win money for it.

In this past year, my kids finally grew up enough to stop crying during family photos, so it's time to send a photo Christmas card this year.

The biggest question for me now is, where can I get a good deal?  Everyone is competing for Christmas card sales now.  I even learned this morning that tomorrow (Sunday) is the biggest day of the year for holiday card shopping.  So I guess I may have to be patient if I wait to upload my card tomorrow.

But hopefully, that will correlate with some really good Christmas card deals.  The only issue will be finding the card that I like because there are so many choices!

If I can get the cards made this weekend, I've decided to take advantage of a cool offer from Tiny Prints.  I really like some of their beautiful designs.  The reason I chose them is that they are offering 40% off my order of ANY size, AND I'll get free shipping.

If this sounds like a good deal to you, here's the how-to:

1. Go to Tiny Prints and select your holiday card style.  There are oodles to choose from.

2. Personalize your card with your pictures, your text, etc.

3. When you checkout, use the promo code TPCARDS40FS to save 40% and get free shipping.

The fine print is that the offer is only available until Noon Pacific time tomorrow (Sunday, Dec 7th), so make sure you get your cards ordered by then.

Of course, if you don't, there may be other offers available starting Monday.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Stay tuned, I'm working on another quick video post if you'd like an alternative to ordering traditional Christmas cards.

Until then, Enjoy!

~ Deb

P.S. – The links in this post are my affiliate links, so if you do decide to take advantage of this, Tiny Prints will compensate me for recommending them.  I had planned to order through them before this became available, and would not steer you to something I wouldn't use myself.

Easy Last-Minute Valentines Cards

Panic attack!  My daughter rushed into the kitchen as I was making dinner tonight and told me that we forgot to get her Valentine's cards to pass out at school on Monday.

I told her, “Don't worry.  I'm working on them.”

So, here's the easy solution for cute Valentine's cards to hand out at school.  This is the second year I'm doing it this way.

Here's what I've done:  I start a new Custom 4×6 project in Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 (landscape or portrait – it's up to you).   Just choose a blank option for now.

Once I've got the project open, I start out by dropping a guide in the middle of the project to visually cut it in half.  (Because eventually I'm literally going to cut this 4×6 card in half to make two out of each photo.)

Now, just like any other freehand Storybook project, it's time to pick papers and embellishments to accent the page.  The purpose for the guide is to visually divide the surface so that you can work with just one side.  (We'll then duplicate it and drop it on the other side when we're done.)

So, to begin with, I chose a paper from the Simply Beautiful digital power palette.  One of my daughters is a purple fanatic, so it's only fitting that her card will have a purple background.  I right click on the paper and choose Add to page.  Then I position the paper on one side of the project, hold down the Shift key and drag the side so that it fits within the designated space.

Now I have the basis for a single card.  I'll add a photo and some embellishments*, and voila!

Now, for the last step, all you have to do is make sure that none of the elements on the card are locked (with the little gold padlock icon next to the item in the Elements list).  Click on one element, then hold down the Ctrl key and type A.  This should select all of the elements in your project.  (If it doesn't, check for the lock and try again.)

Now, if you go to the Home tab, click on Copy.  Then click on the blank side of the project (to deselect everything) and click on Paste.  The result?  You'll get a copy of everything in your project centered in the middle of the page.  Keeping it all selected, you can click and drag everything until it is lined up on the other side.

Now just do a Save pages as and create a .jpg, then upload it like any other 4×6 photo to your favorite photo printer.  When you get them back, cut them in half and add candy.  Enjoy!

* Items used: Simply Beautiful Paper 39, Celebration Digital Alpha Set, With Love Digital Kit, and Be Mine Digital Addition.

Quick, Creative Cards

You've probably heard me say it before, but Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 is useful for so much more than just Storybooks!

This week my oldest daughter was invited to go with her best friend and her best friend's dad on a limo ride when the last day of school let out.  For an alm0st-nine-year-old, it was pretty amazing.  The red carpet was rolled out and the limo driver (a guy who dresses himself to look like Rod Stewart) was dressed head to toe to fingertips in a turquoise blue suit.  What a picture!

They took a ride to a local ice cream shop and then got to tour the downtown area rolling the windows up and down.  For a third grader, that was a pretty spectacular event.

So, for a unique gift like this, what kind of Thank You card do you give?

Here's the one that my daughter and I made with the two photos I took with my phone.  (It took about 5 minutes.)

You can make easy, personalized cards, too.  It's just a 4×6 landscape project with a few photos and words added.  No big tricks involved.  Enjoy!

Simple Instructions for Making Cards on Storybook Creator Plus

This is one of my favorite project options using Storybook Creator Plus. You can create 4×6 postcard sized cards and either print them on your printer or have them printed as 4×6 photos and just apply a label and postcard stamp to the back. It's so much more fun than the usual store-bought postcard. To begin creating a 4×6 card:

  1. Select Create a New Project.
  2. On the Create a new project box, select 4×6 pages (Landscape) under Local Printer and select the Blank page option on the right. Click Next.
  3. Of course, give it a name and click Create.
  4. Here’s where the fun starts! You have a blank 4×6 area and you can do whatever you want with it. Here's what I usually do:
  • Start by clicking on the Paper tab and pick a background paper. Something fun.
  • When you find one you like, just right click on it and select Make Background. Voila!
  • Tip: If the paper looks distorted and just not-quite-right, go ahead and click the Undo button up at the top of the screen. Go back and select that paper again and select Add To Page. The paper will be quite a bit bigger than your 4×6 “page” area, but you can zoom out and reduce the size of the paper, adjust where it falls on your “page”, etc.
  • Next it's time to go through the Embellishments tab and add fun stickers … there are a lot of fun title stickers in the different packages that came with your software … you probably have one that will work. Or you can download more or create all the text yourself with text boxes.
  • Now just add a photo or two (very easy to do now from the Memory Manager 3.0 upgrade) and you will have a great card!

So, go try it! You can use this for postcards, invitations, a fun card just to say “Hi!” and so much more. I'd love to hear about your fun cards!