Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Cards from Shutterfly!!

I love Christmas cards! They are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. They didn't used to be but a few years back (the first Christmas after Brad and I were married) I decided to make my first holiday photocard and use one of our wedding photos in it. I loved our wedding pictures and finding another way to show them off sounded awesome! They were a huge hit and from then on, I got bit by the bug and we've done holiday photocards ever since.

Photocards have always been my favorite kind of Christmas card to get and I love displaying them on the fridge or mantel or entertainment center. I love seeing everyone in the pictures, especially the young'uns as they get bigger, and the cards themselves just seem to be so much prettier than store-bought. There are so many relatives who live far away and who we never get to see and the more I thought about it, I really liked a holiday tradition that involved a specially designed photocard with a recent picture of our family that was sent to all our loved ones for Christmas. So that's what we've been doing for the last 4 Christmas's and this year would be no different!

Then I got a very pleasant surprise!!! I read in another blog about a promotion that Shutterfly is running. If you blog about your Shutterfly Christmas cards, then you get 50 Christmas cards for free! WHOOPEE!! I was super excited about this for two reasons. First, we JUST had pictures taken for this year's Christmas cards and I was itching to get to my favorite part of the process, the designing/printing stage! So this could not have come around at a more perfect time! And, second, I have used Shutterfly in the past and really like working with them!

I love designing stuff on Shutterfly. Mostly because, while I do not have an artistic bone in my body, ever since my days as editor on my high school newspaper I have really enjoyed graphic design and editing. And Shutterfly gives me lots of creative ways to do TONS of things with my favorite pictures. In fact, remember how I said that I loved our wedding pictures so much?

Well, at the time we could not afford to buy wedding albums or professional pictures of the wedding for our parents. But I knew they would love to have an album of their own of the big event. So after I got the images of our wedding photos back from the photographer, I used Photoshop and Shutterfly to create special "parent albums" for each of them from our wedding day! They both loved them!! And I loved that Shutterfly gave me the creative freedom to design my own album and upload MY designs into their photobooks. You get complete creative control! Or, if you aren't the artsy type, they have loads of great templates you can use.

And the best part is it's super cheap and they always have a bunch of deals going! For instance, right now you get free shipping for spending over $30 (which is easily 2-3 Christmas present worth of stuff) and 20-30% off of almost all of their products. You can find 200 personalized, printed Christmas cards with photos for less than $1 per card and another 600 designer cards that are around $1.50 per card!! Meanwhile you can also spend $3-4 per card (or more) in Hallmark for the mass-produced Christmas cards. No thanks!

I've already started narrowing down my favorites from Shutterfly's Christmas and holiday cards and here are a few of the top contenders for this year's card, all appealing to me for different reasons:

I love how sharp and modern and fun this one is!

Still fun but a bit more traditional.

How cute is this one for our baby girl's "first" Christmas?!?

Because I can't just pick ONE photo!

And while I was perusing their site for Christmas cards I saw some adorable birth announcements! (As if I already can't wait for January, here's another reason I'm itching for time to fly by just a little faster!!) Here are some of my favs:

Beautiful and classic!

Fun, funky and so true!

Just gorgeous!

After I get my pics uploaded I'll start designing and hopefully I'll have my Christmas card in a couple of weeks! I'll make sure you show you the finished product when all is said and done! YAY! I love the holidays!!

~Layne

PS: This is available to any blogger no matter how big or small your blog is! So if you are looking for a deal on adorable holiday photocards, check it out:

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up: http://bit.ly/sfly2010

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