Thursday, December 9, 2010

holiday cards and a free download


My Christmas cards have all been made, addressed and are on their way to our family and friends as we speak. The material costs to hand make cards are a little high when you start to add everything up and it takes a long time to make the cards .... I know that I could buy a couple of boxes of cards for less ... but I won't ... this is one of my favourite Christmas traditions that I look forward to doing every year.

For this year's card I used old file folders as the base of the card ... I loved the natural and organic feeling of the kraft stock. I combined a number of different Basic Grey holiday papers in this year's design and created the photo element with a black and white photo overlay that I created. Black photo corners, a piece of lace machine stitched to the card and a vintage button lovingly handstitched in the middle of a paper flower are the final touches. I used a vintage date stamp to the back to add the year and my name.



Just in case any of you have not made your Christmas cards yet or would like something to file for next year ... I've created a PNG file for you to download ... it's for a 4x6 card that you use in Photoshop to create your own little card or photo insert. The picture above shows a sample of how it will look ... the photo is an engagement picture of our friend's daughter and I simply added the words that I wanted in the red space.
Please note that the download is free but it is for your personal use only - you can not use it for commercial use of any kind and I ask you to please not modify the art and call it your own (that's just bad karma!). If you would like to share the art with your friends that is okay if you tell them to download it directly from me! You can download the art here. Hybrid scrappers will most likely want to add some elements to this piece ... I can easily see some glitter and bling added to this ... maybe even a piece of lace or ribbon ... you decide!


Here's a quick "how to" tutorial for using the holiday card art ... I use Photoshop CS2 on a PC so you may have to modify some of the commands based on your software ...
1. Open a new file - 6"wide and 4"high, 300 dpi , RGB mode
2. File/Place/ and open my png file (let's call this layer "card design")
3. Then add another layer go to File/Place/ and open your photo ... you will want to move this new layer below the layer called "card design" before you go on.
4. Working on the layer with your photo, you will need to resize your photo and position it so that you are happy with the layout.
5. To add words to your card you will need to add another layer on top of the two we already have ... do this by adding a type layer and add  your text in the red box area.
6. To save your art for printing wherever you do your photo printing ... save your Photoshop file as a JPEG copy and you are ready to print!



Now speaking of printing ... I have to share with you a cute little print project that just arrived in the mail yesterday. I created these buck and doe tickets for Breann and Kyle (featured in the holiday card) and had them printed at moo.com .  This is the first time that I've used MOO myself ... it was really quite easy to upload the files online and they have excellent directions and templates if you want to create your own art. I screamed with delight when I opened the package. These cards turned out so nice ... beautiful colours ... nice thick stock and the finish is amazing. The best thing is that I could have uploaded 100 different images for one side of the cards for the same price! Breann and Kyle selected 4 engagement photos that they liked and I created the card backs as a ticket ... now all we just have to number the 400 cards and they will be ready to sell!


Aren't these just too cute! Oh and before I forget ... we need to give credit to the talented photographers who took Breann and Kyle's engagement photos ... Cindy and Kal at Silver Parrot Studio ! I can't wait to see the wedding photos next summer!