Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Christmas card time

With Christmas quickly approaching I have finally started work on designing our card for this year. My goal now is not to get them out by Christmas, although I will try, but just to get them out. (I don't think I even sent out cards last year!) And I didn't even have the excuse of a new baby like this year. Anyway, I have yet to attempt the Christmas card letter about the happenings of our family (maybe someday) but have to at least include pics of our cute kids. So I tried to brainstorm the perfect location to snap photos of the kids (I don't want to be included in the picture until I lose some of this baby weight--vain, I know) but because of the weather I decided indoors would be best.

So about a week ago after morning snacks and watching the grinch, I got the kids dressed in their Christmas clothes (a small feat) and attempted to set up a photo area using a plain, blank wall as a backdrop and our flokati rug underneath for a bit of soft texture. I had Kaylin hold Clara while sitting and had Dylan sit next to them. It was hard enough to get them to sit still and all smile and look at the camera at the same time that I didn't even try to do that many different poses. Clara did pretty well but we did have to take a few breaks when she started crying. After many shots (on Tim's new camera!) that I didn't think would be usable, and antsy kids who didn't want to sit anymore, I finally bribed the kids with lollipops, got a few more shots and gave up. I then got some textured pillows and laid Clara down on them and took some cute shots of her by herself. I think I took about 180 pictures total and about 15 turned out well/usable.

Because I was already worn out and semi-over this whole Christmas card thing I knew I wanted to be able to easily design the card online with minimal work and still have a great looking card. So I used Shutterfly to create several designs that I really liked. All I had to do was upload the ones I liked (from Picasa) to Shutterfly, pick the designs I liked, and then drag the photos onto the card. So simple and very easy. The hardest part is picking my favorite design. They have so many different designs to choose from with their photo cards and then they also have beautiful Christmas and holiday cards printed on cardstock that look really nice. We chose several of the Christmas card designs because it's important to us that our cards actually say "Merry Christmas" since Jesus Christ is what this season is about. Another thing that's great about Shutterfly is that they do more than just cards. You can use them to design some great stuff like photo calendars or photo books as Christmas gifts too. I created and designed a photo book for my grandmother from Shutterfly for Christmas that I know she'll love. Anyway, here are a few of our favorite designs:

*Special thanks to Shutterfly for 50 free cards for mentioning them in this post!