Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cards given...

Get ready, it's a long one...

So I shared with you the papers that I was using on my Christmas card this year, right?

Better late than never, I'll share the process and my card. You might bookmark this as an idea for next year...or you might just learn a fun new way to organize your card making and scrapbooking.

Before I begin, let me say...I've done handmade cards for 14 years now. Crazy. My list has grown and grown. And up until this year I've really enjoyed the whole process for the most part. I do things assembly line style, which means I do one step at a time and then line it all up and compile the cards. It doesn't really take that long...but this year as I was sitting in my office, I realized that I rather be out in the family room with my kids and husband.

So even though my husband has been saying this for years. I'm ready to move on. Next year I'll do a photo card. It's me, so it probably won't be garden variety, but it will for sure be simplified and to the point. Most of my list cares about the picture of the kids anyway. And if they are looking for more detailed work, they can come to my blog or design team stuff, right? I've finally gotten to the point where I am fine with it. And it looks like I'm not the only one. Becky Higgins said the same thing.

But...I'll share my process anyway. It WAS fun...just too time consuming for a mama of three high energy boys and a hubby who works in retail. ;)

First I cut strips of paper (2 1/2 x 12 and 1 1/2 x 12, I think) and then I sewed them together. I sewed in long strips to save time. Sew the two together first (I did do a quick adhesive here and there to hold it in place as I stitched) and then sew the outer edges.

Cut the strips to desired size. I did a long card that would fit into a business sized envelope...I had plenty of those on hand, so I saved money by not having to buy new envelopes. The trimming of the strips does cause the stitch to pop at the top and bottom. I was okay with this. I like the 'rough around the edges' look when it comes to adding sewing to my projects.

(detail shot)

Next I sat down with Photoshop. I found the shots I wanted to use, resized and put them on a larger canvas so I could print multiple at one time. This is a tutorial in itself if you aren't family with Photoshop. I'll share with you where I go for most of my information sometime...but I learn a ton from Cathy Z!

(strip was actually printed on an 8x12 and trimmed down...the family photo was on a 4x6 canvas)

Next I created the printed words. I printed it so three cards fit on one 8 1/2 x 12 sheet (trimmed down from 12x12 and then changing printer settings to legal sized paper).  First the front...

Then the back. Of course, the next step is trim it all down. The pictures, the strips of sewed patterned paper, the actual cards. Whew. See why this took me so long?

By the way...have I shared one of my 'new' favorite tools? The Round it All by Zutter (makers of the Bind it All). If I'm corner rounding one thing, my EK Success thumb puncher works great. But if I'm rounding chipboard...or in this case, a stack of multiple pieces of cardstock...the Round it All is a life saver. I think I stacked up 5 cards or so at a time and rounded the corners. Yes, another time consuming step!

Then I go to town assemblying it all...

I saved my scraps to use on fun tags...

And finally...the finished product!

I always love the finished results...but my time with my family is precious and I must prioritize in this season of life. Next year...I'm scoping out the adorable photo cards out there...or maybe designing my own using my trusty Photoshop!

Merry CHRISTmas to you...I'll be back in a few days...once I put my house back together following house guests and celebrating.

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