diy Christmas cards {without using photoshop}

this was our first year not getting professional pictures done.

to save a buck (and because i like a challenge), i attempted to be our own photographer. i googled “how to use my timer on my rebel Canon” and went for it.

surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard. of course, they aren’t professional, but they’re good enough.

IMG_4776

first, i did a little research on Pinterest to check out family pictures and layouts of the people.

then, i picked a location (in this case it was at my grandmother’s house because she has a lot of fun props).

after that, i had my family choose clothing in a combination of blues and greens with different textures (plaid, striped, floral).

one Sunday afternoon, we all met up at my Grandmother’s place and my dad got the car in position, while i got everyone else in position and then set up my camera on a ladder, set the timer, ran and smiled.

okay, it wasn’t that easy, but almost.

two hours later, we were done. i went home to see what we came up with.

this is what they looked like:

IMG_4350

and here’s the one in my grandmother’s avocado grove:

Kelly_edited copy

besides being a little blurry and a little washed out, we were happy.

the next step was to add some words. since my computer (a MacBook Air, the smallest version) does not have enough memory (or gigabits or whatever…that’s my brother, the computer guy’s, arena), i like to use a program called Picasa. it’s completely free and allows you to completely edit photos and add text and overlays (B&W, antique, sepia, etc) to any photo. you can’t switch out heads (that sounds so morbid, sorry) or cut pieces of the picture out like Photoshop; it’s not that advanced. i have loved it, regardless, and it’s super easy to work with.

here’s what the pictures looked like after adding words:

IMG_4333

and the back:

IMG_4373 copy 4

the last step was to make them into cards.

i uploaded the photos into an online company called Mpix that i’ve been using for the last few years for our cards and any prints i need. they are an online professional photography lab and each card and print is looked over and double checked by an actual individual. plus, the cards are printed on the highest quality of paper. you can choose different textures such as linen, pearl (a beautiful metallic finish) or 100% recycled paper AND it’s all included in the price of the card. we went with the postcard style card (envelopes are included) and opted to pay a small fee to have the corners rounded. i highly recommend this company. i’ve done some price comparisons and they are more affordable than some of the other top leading card companies (tiny prints, minted, etc).

so, there you have it. the basics on how to diy on your Christmas cards.

IMG_4773

pretty easy, huh?

IMG_4435

as long as everyone cooperates. 😉

xo

Advertisements

trend alert: crazy for plaid

have you been noticing all of the plaid everywhere?

IMG_4781

it seems to be popping up on everything lately.

0a73410a7f95180a11d6ab59abff7e08

not just on the standard blanket, we all know and love.

ede6430b05a22b97d6f03a676292eb18

and it’s not all just in red,

09-threshold-plaid-target-pillow-lgn
it comes in all different colors.

1088635-ictcrop_gal

and on everything you can possibly imagine.

plaid-tartan-chairschairs….

8273159_f248

wallpaper…

dd36a19edce8a94564c367d667a17f2c

tartan ware dishes….

fc136522a4314fa0c319af82cececc47

even cupcakes are wearing the plaid trend.

IMG_4784-001

i’m a big fan. i like the balance it gives some of our overly fluffiness we have in the house.

the best part, is that plaid seems to be pretty timeless. i wish we would have stocked up on some gorgeous blankets when we went to Scotland ten years ago.

go get yourself some plaid this Christmas. 🙂

{check out my Pinterest board for more plaid}

it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (our home tour)

this last Monday, i went on a cleaning frenzy and cleaned the entire house.

every square inch.

on Tuesday, i woke up to a very sick little boy with the stomach flu. (poor little guy)

i had to pretty much disinfect every square inch all over again. (never mind, that our house is only 850 square feet.)

oiy. motherhood has its challenges and its ironies.

the plus side, was that i was able to sneak in some pictures on Monday afternoon of our home decorated for Christmas. also, it’s been a quiet, lazy week at home and i have to say, i’ve greatly loved the downtime and an excuse to not rush around.

and also a chance to cuddle on the couch with my littlest man and admire the lighted tree (and watch way too much tv).

here’s what our view looked like:

IMG_4727
i like to keep our Christmas decorations pretty simple. i pretty much just use what i have on hand. last year was our first time having a real normal sized (larger than 2 feet) Christmas tree, and i realized we didn’t have that many ornaments. we had been given a small set of vintage looking glass ornaments from my husband’s grandmother when we were first married, but it wasn’t enough to fill up the tree. so, i made some pinwheel ornaments out of book pages to fill in the empty spots.

IMG_4728

(my son desperately wants to be a fireman when he grows up. can you guess which ornament is his favorite?)

IMG_4740

do you have a Christmas pickle on your tree? i was kind of sad to find out that, what i thought was a German tradition, is not really German at all. nonetheless, we like to keep the tradition going every year.

IMG_4741

i had been eyeing this great tree garland on instagram for a few months.

IMG_4744

i finally scored one at The Holiday Market a few weeks ago.

IMG_4749

i just love it!

IMG_4751

i have a thing for trees.

IMG_4709

my mantle has a little winter wonderland with loads of little trees.

IMG_4765

and a little truck from the cabin, and a house i recently found while thrifting.

IMG_4704

last year for Christmas, we got a bunch of hand made ornaments from my husband’s grandma (the same one who gave us our first collection of ornaments).

IMG_4748

i can’t even imagine how long it took her to put each pin and sequin together to make these. we adore them and always will. especially, since she made them.

you know what else i adore?

IMG_4755

this sweet little nativity. my hubby found it at the thrift store. i had mentioned to him that i really wanted to get a little nativity set that our son could play with. my goal this year, since he is of age to start understanding, is for him to learn the real story of Christmas. when i was a little girl, my most vivid memory of Christmas was playing with our nativity set that looked like a real rustic wood stable, complete with hay. i loved setting it up and playing with the figures. i’ve always been a visual/tactile learner, so it made it easier for me to understand the story of Jesus’ birth.

IMG_4764

the first night i told him about Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the journey the wise men went on, he was wide eyed and wanted to hear it over and over again. it made my heart so happy.

IMG_4756

(one of the wise men had a little accident. he’s been repaired thanks to some trusty hot glue.)

as much as i love the cute little trees, the sparkly ornaments,

IMG_4664

and the soft glow of the lights throughout our house at night,

IMG_4679

i really just want our son to grow up knowing the real reason for the season. the special birth of our Lord and Savior.

wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas.

The Holiday Market

tis the season to be busy!

i am amazed everyday, at the amount of things one can stuff into one day.

between Christmas parties, the everyday grind of school and work, and wrestling season just starting (my hubby is a coach at the local Lutheran high school), our days just seem to be filled.

despite the busyness though, we managed to have a little family movie night and watch, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It’s a staple in our house this time of year.

as we were watching the movie, my husband blurted out, “look it’s Kelly!” at the part where Clark’s brother-in-law, Eddie (the one that shows up in the motorhome) is digging in the trash and “rescuing” his brother’s discarded items *ahem* treasures from landfill death.

oh great. awesome. just what i wanted to be compared to.

so, lets just add that title to the end of my description; Kelly: wife, mommy, talker, crafter, thrifter, diy-er, organizer, furniture collector, old house admirer, vintage lover, decorator, believer and dumpster diver.

perfect.

the sad truth is, it’s not far off.

lets be clear….i do “rescue” other people’s unwanted items, or as i like to call them “treasures,” from the side of the road. however, i have never actually gone in a dumpster to save something.

wait.

no. nope. no, i haven’t. (instead, i’ve batted my eyes and nicely asked my husband)

i have, on the other hand, pulled awesome looking treasures out of people’s trash cans. they weren’t even dumpsters. so, there! 😉

and i like to think i use those items in a good way.

take for example, The Holiday Market, that i just got to be a part of last friday in Old Towne Orange.

photo-8

(sorry these pics are so tiny. i forgot my camera and only had my iPhone.)

pretty much, all of the decor was stuff i saved from the side of the road (even the lighted garland was from my neighbor’s trash. she kindly mentioned that she had just thrown it away and thought maybe i could use it. it was brand new and still in the box!). if you follow my instagram, then you’ll remember the shutters i found on the side of the road (they were leaning against another neighbor’s tree and had a sign that said, “free.”).

photo-11

i quickly stained them grey a few nights before the show. they were the perfect backdrop to hold the vintage music sheet wreaths, i was selling.

photo-12

i also used the drawers from the old nineteen forties desk i had found to hold the oversized ruler growth charts and a smaller drawer for Christmas ornaments. the art prints were hand drawn by my new friend , and i used an old baby crib spring, that my neighbor was throwing out, to clip them to.

so, yeah. i guess i sort of am like Clark’s brother-in-law, Eddie. i like to rescue stuff and repurpose it.

eddie-christmas-vacation-shitter-was-full1

but, please…i would never wear that robe with black socks. 😉

(thank you to everyone who came to The Holiday Market. your support means so much! xoxo)