One afternoon last week, I looked out the window, saw that the light looked decent for picture taking, noted that it was nearly halfway through November, and ran upstairs to grab clean blue shirts for all the kids. Milo and Gus had a friend over, so we left the poor kid inside eating nachos while I herded everyone outside to get our Christmas card photo. Fifteen minutes later, we were back inside with a bunch of as good as it’s going to get this year shots to choose from.
Here’s one that did not make the cut:
And here’s the one that did:
Then my PLAN was to plug that picture into a handy, pre-made card on one of the big sites.
But I got frustrated pretty quickly trying to find one I liked that would work. The main issue was that, owing to how Abe is short and all, our blank space was all on the right side of the card, but most of the card designs I was looking at wanted to put the text on the left. And/or on the bottom or top. Everything was just looking weird.
So, since I tend to prefer pretty minimalist card designs anyway, I gave up and just made my own with Photoscape:
Then I picked this outtake (had the kids been smiling, it might have been the winner; I like that it has the dogs in it (not even on purpose; they both just wandered over and happened to be looking at the camera)) for the back of the card:
I wound up ordering from Vistaprint for a couple of reasons:
1. They were the cheapest place I priced out (I paid around $43 including shipping for 50 5×7 matte cardstock cards, which was $30 cheaper than other places I looked at. There were sales and promo codes involved, but pretty much everywhere has those this time of year). I probably should have checked groupon et. al. for deals before I ordered. But I was tired.
2. They had a very obvious way to upload and print my own design as a cardstock card. It’s the first option available when you look at the Christmas cards page.
The shipping was pretty fast, and I’m happy with how the cards turned out:
There was a “lustre” finish or something like that that I could have paid extra for and didn’t…so they’re very….matte. I compared them to the cards we ordered from Shutterfly two years ago (I couldn’t find any of last year’s card….we might have actually sent them all out!). The finish is shinier with the Shutterfly cards, but the lack of the lustre finish on my cards probably accounts for that. I think the photo quality is also a little better with the Shutterfly cards; the Vistaprint ones are, to me, good enough for holiday cards that are going to go in the recycling right after Christmas, but they’re a little grainy.
For anyone who’s interested, I figured out how to go about uploading your own card design on Shutterfly (and getting it printed as a card as opposed to on photo paper). It’s in the scrapbooking section, for reasons that perhaps scrapbookers understand.
So there you have it: our 2014 card. Which you’re reading about today instead of next week because painting dining room chairs takes a really, really long time….and then it starts to rain.