Sunday, December 22, 2013

11 years of our Family Christmas Cards

Every year since 2003, I've been creating our own Christmas cards.  I used to buy cute and funny ones at the store but then I started thinking that I loved to take pictures,  why don't I use that for my cards to showcase my family and my art?

Of course my beloved Charlie was my baby back then, and I wasn't too keen on being in pictures (really, who is?) that made him and his brother, Louie, become the focus of our cards.

All of the images  that just look like photos were actually inserted into photo cards. I just took them out because the cards were nothing to write home about. It was all about the photos.


It snowed outside and we had some Christmas hats so...... ( this was with my first point and shoot camera)


It's like the baby thing but with doggies!


 We got engaged  a little over  a month before this photo was taken so we figured we should  be in this years card. Problem is, after I sent the card, where's my engagement ring hand?.....That's right, behind J........ Doh!

This year's card was a little over two months since we had been married and I wanted to include a wedding picture but the boys were still part of our family...with the power of Photoshop, there they were! And Santa hats too!

Pregnant with K and feeling huge, I wasn't going to be in this photo. It was also the first Christmas at our new house with a fireplace. I just had to use it. This was another Photoshop marvel. Trust me, they never would have done this on their own.


With our beautiful baby daughter here, I had to include her with the boys this year. Did I mention that I love Photoshop? It was a hit . They all did a great job. I just blended them together.

I was pregnant with S this year and again, did not want to be in any photos. I tried to think of something funny that would still show our photos.

 I saw something like this online and made one of my own.


 We had lost my baby Charlie this year but I still wanted a photo to show how big my girls were getting and just because Charlie was no longer with us didn't mean that Louie couldn't be featured.

 This was the first year we had professional family pictures taken.  I had done the previous years with a tripod. The pictures turned out good so that was our card. The dogs didn't make this year.  Sorry boys!

 We had another professional photo shoot this year and again it turned out great. But this year we included some more shots on the back of these fabulous cards I got for attending a photo conference from ACI  photo lab. The layout was a free card from MCP Actions that I modified to my layout and tastes but it really helps to start with a good base.

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year !

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs

 I want to start off by saying that there really isn't a Christmas song I don't like. Nope. Not really.  I love to listen and sing along with them starting in November every year.

My love affair with Christmas music started with my girl scout leader. Mrs. Casey.  She made our troop known for our singing. And every year we would go and perform Christmas carols somewhere  or just walk around and carol door to door  to raise money. When I got my first job at a grocery store, I would stand there all holiday season long and listen to the non-stop no commercial music for 8 hours at a time. It made cleaning a lot more fun.  On to my mall jobs where we got to bring in our own cds to listen to. So I started to amass quite a collection of Christmas cds. This was back before one of the stations here in town would play non-stop Christmas Music and people had Mp3s  of course.  I can't wait for thanksgiving day every year because that is when it starts. Now even my girls can't wait for the music to begin. It just makes my heart happy thinking about it.

These are the songs  that mean the most to me....

1. Oh holy Night  by Lea Michelle from Glee and  Josh Groban


This is my most favorite of the favorites.  And no, these two artist did not do a duet. This song has such power and such feeling. Sung by the right people, this song gives me goosebumps every time. Lea Michelle has such a powerful and clear tone to her voice and the same goes for Josh but in the most manly way. Make sure to listen to these two separatley to appreciate the sound and perfect ton of these two artists.

2. Most wonderful time of the year by Andy Williams

Every time i hear this song it just reminds me why I am so happy this time of year.  It really just says everything I am already thinking. It makes me want to grab someone's elbow, link up and dance around in a circle.

3.  Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
Meet me in Saint Louis is one of my all time favorite musicals and not just because it based on my hometown.  It's  a great old fashioned story line, a great set of songs and a great message of family. It gets me every time {sniff sniff} Here's a little clip via YouTube.

4. Happy Holidays by Andy williams
This is an inside joke with my dad's family. Basically, by the time we would get to Grandma's house around lunch time on Christmas day, most of the kids would already be fighting and arguing with each other or the parents.  Get it ?"Happy" holidays.

5. Baby, It's cold outside  by Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
Yes, I know they got divorced but I like this version of the song.  They are super cute together and you know when they recorded it they were still really in love. 

6. Rockin' around the Christmas tree by Brenda Lee

I started liking this song because of the scene in Home Alone when Kevin has the whole house rigged to look like there is a party when there isn't.  It 's such a fun  happy Christmas song that I can't help but dance along to. I love making cookies while listening to this song. K has even started to sing along.

7. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

 Who doesn't hear this song and think of Christmas? Such a classic. I'm sure it's been used in millions of movies, tv shows and commercials over the years.

8. Christmas time is here from Charlie Brown
This is just a song from my childhood when there weren't fifty million holiday shows. There were just a few and Charlie Brown Christmas was one of them.  Whenever I hear the song, I can see Charlie Brown and his friends walking around in the snow.

9. Mele Kalikiamaka byBing Crosby

Ok, this one is just because of National Lampoon Christmas Vacation which happens to be mine and my husbands favorite Christmas movie to watch together (without the kids around)  It's a fun upbeat Christmas song that just makes me want to hula while wrapping  gifts and drinking cocoa. Hey, don't laugh.

10. Feliz Navidad by JoseFeliciano

Again,  another fun un-traditional song that everyone knows the words to and makes you happy when you sing it. Way to many years in retail working the customer service while listening to this  song.

What are your favorite songs/artists this time of year?  I think I may have to  write a part two to this post.

What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -DIY Show Off
-I should be mopping the Floor


 My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime -The Winthrop Chronicles

 Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado


Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
- The Shabby Cottage The Taylor House- House of Hepworths  Bloom Designs

Naptime Crafters - Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now


Six Sister's Stuff

Cheerios and Lattes

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