Our Christmas Cards with Minted

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is sending out our Christmas cards. Last year we went with a photo with just kiddos that we adored, but this year I knew I wanted a family photo, which is much easier said than done with two small ones. While on vacation we decided to take a chance and see what we could come up with. Thankfully it went off without a hitch and we managed to capture quite a few winners.

A few tips on capturing a great family photo...

1) Dress in what you are comfortable in. You can wear complementing outfits without being too matchy matchy.
2) Keep it simple...especially when using a self timer like we did for the first image. If you try too hard it will show, and not necessarily in a good way.
3) Be yourself. Again this goes back to dressing in what you would normally wear and stay away from too many trends unless that is who you really are. People want to see the real you.
4) Have fun!!! So many people put too much pressure on having to get that perfect shot, but in the long run you will see the stress of it all on your faces. The in between moments are always our favorites anyways.
5) Using a self timer can be hard even for a photographer like my Mr. so asking a friend to help can be a life saver. It also gave us the chance to do something that comes completely natural to us...walking as a family.

Then comes the choosing of the card. We being the creative types like to be a bit different and try to choose something that not only represents our family, but our photography as well. Once we saw Minted we knew they would be the best choice for us. The quality is superb with thick paper and the designs are fresh and so very unique. We liked them so much we choose two different designs this and this one. Really it was too hard to choose just one...so we didn't!

Now to get addressing so I can have them ready to send out the week after Thanksgiving. Yes, I like to be on top of things.

Shirt Tutorial

This is one of my favorite gifts to give at a baby shower. It's a bit time consuming, but so worth it in the end to be able to give such a personal and unique gift. I also make them for my daughter, son, and random friends who need a specific design...

You will need:

freezer paper
x-acto knife
fabric paint

And here's how to do it...

1. using a pencil, trace/draw image onto non-waxy side of freezer paper. My main sources are from books and the internet. i use a yellow pencil, a real pencil may mix with the paint, but you could also just erase.

2. cut out image with the x-acto knife. once cut, toss the cut-out and keep the negative image. make sure the cut-out is nice and smooth, clean up where the cuts are rough.

3. iron a big piece of freezer paper (the waxy side will melt to the shirt and will not leave a residue later) on the backside of the front of the shirt. This keeps the paint from seeping through to the back of the shirt.

4. iron on the negative image to the front of the shirt where you want it. be sure all the edges of the stencil are flat without any gaps or rippling. you want the line to be smooth.

5. paint with fabric paint. use nice thin layers, no goopiness. repeat as necessary till you get the color you want. follow the directions on the paint some require to be heat set after it dries. i use tulip fabric paint (not the puff paint) and it does not require it.

6. set aside and allow to dry. i always let mine set over night.

7. pull off the freezer paper stencil and backing. you now have a fabulous gift.

Let me know if you have any further questions! Have fun creating.

side note: If you happen to be local and happen to have the same friends as I just keep in mind these are the baby and children gifts I give}

{tutorial given to me by katiedid quite awhile back, thanks Katie!}