12 Days * Day 9

OK, I'm super excited to show you my gift pick for today, because …


I'm using one on my Christmas card this year.

I have a friend named Christine and Christine is extremely talented. If I could (and maybe I will) take you on a tour of Christine's home you would know why I admire her so much. She is fun and funky and colorful and well, just plain cool. In fact … not long after I met Christine, she found out I was a "scrapbooker" and she showed me her super-simple scrapbooks featuring her hand-drawn art. I was so struck by the clean lines and simple colorful images, I borrowed one of Christine's albums to take to a Simple editorial meeting in Utah. Those that worked with me way back then may remember this!

Anyway … back to this super-cool gift idea. Christine has started a blog and business where she DRAWS people and families and even pets!


See? This is Christine's family. And this is a link to her BRAND NEW BLOG where you can learn more about her art.

Christine is married to Kevin (professor at Gonzaga) and has two beautiful girls, Zoe and Madeline and twin boys that are Taft's age (Ian and Miles) — and in addition for four children, Christine feeds and cares for Fluffly, Coco, Beans and Boots.

Seriously CUTE family …
but, back to my seriously cute Christmas card.

I decided I didn't want a photo this year. I wanted something different and this is when I "happened" to run into Christine in town. She showed me what she was doing and I was like "that's it!" I'm doing this!

I gave her a family photo and she was off and drawing. I now have an original to frame and LOTS and LOTS of copies ready to attach to cards.

I really hope you'll consider doing this for your family or for extended family or a friend or a child + pet or anyone. I'm always on the look out for something different and unique and personal and I'm just really jazzed about this. All you have to do is email Christine a photo or photos and $35 + shipping (go here for details)


and let me just conclude with the admission that I am NUTS. Last year I did the Shutterfly card thing — which was GREAT. But this year, I felt an urge to cut and paste again. I really do enjoy sitting at the end of the day, engaged in some kind of uneccessary creating … I can listen to Christmas music and reflect and plan and …

if you by chance get one of these cards (hello family) you had better pull this little gift thing off and make a fridge magnet or something! That's all I'm going to say.

If you have time to leave a comment, I'm curious to know what your card is  …

store bought
ordered online

And, if you still need to write a family letter, be sure to check out Lain's class at BPS.


  1. Handmade – definitely! But Christine’s talent looks way too cute! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Holy cow – those cards are adorable! Off to check out Christine’s site… :)
    PS My cards are a combo of store-bought and handmade. :)

  3. My card is…still undecided and pretty far down the to do list right now. They may be New Years cards. Again. And I’m okay with that!

  4. Mine is handmade, but these are just too cute! I may have to bookmark this for next year! :)

  5. Handmade – but printed, not cut and pasted. Just cutting all the cards down to size is plenty of work for me! :)

  6. homemade this year. I have three different designs so far of 15 cards each. The best of each design has gone as a letter to my parents. Even though I live in Renton and they in Tacoma, I have seemed to be short on time to visit this past year and wanted to let them know how much I appreciate how much they’ve done for me.
    I think i still have a few designs left… pondering on it.

  7. Handmade & digital. I made 1″ squares around the outside of the 5×5 card that has a picture in each (photoshop). Then I created a 3×3 card to put in the center. It fulfilled my creative need while adding photos from the year digitally. I love how it turned out.

  8. Our card is a “hybrid”. :) I bought cards from snapfish, not the postcard type, but the one that’s like a card you can open, but with 6 little photos on the front, of our family. I got to put in fun family photos like one of each daughter, one of hubby and I, one of the dogs, one of the girls together, etc. Anyway, then I handwrite a note in each one. I mean I write something different to each person. Takes a lot of time, a lot of thinking and a lot of love. :)

  9. Our card is a “hybrid”. :) I bought cards from snapfish, not the postcard type, but the one that’s like a card you can open, but with 6 little photos on the front, of our family. I got to put in fun family photos like one of each daughter, one of hubby and I, one of the dogs, one of the girls together, etc. Anyway, then I handwrite a note in each one. I mean I write something different to each person. Takes a lot of time, a lot of thinking and a lot of love. :)

  10. Ours will be a mix of store bought and hand made. I’ve missed sending anything out the last 2 yrs due to family emergencies but I MUST this year so the mix…

  11. Alis in Wnderlnd says:

    last year I made and sewed over 200 Christmas/baby announcement cards, so this year I designed a digital card and I am about to upload it to shutterfly…again, about 200-225. Need to check our list. I am not sure I will ever hand make that many cards again, although my hubbie thought sewing the cards was fun! Shh, don’t tell him I told you!

  12. Mine is a picture card from Sam’s of the kids. Last year I did homemade and I do not plan on doing that again.

  13. that is ADORABLE!! I might have to do that next year. I love them!
    I rotate between store-bought cards some years and making about 130 by hand other years. Last year was a homemade year, and this year is store-bought. But when I do store-bought (mine are Danny O cards this year) I like to make some little insert that is homemade, but super-quick : )

  14. Vickie Jones aka AFScrapperMom says:

    This year close family and close friends got handmade cards (A first)
    Disntant friends and relatives got store bought cards!

  15. My cards are store bought and include a favorite photo from the year. I picked the card based on the green pokka dots and fuzzy santa hat on the front. They are signed by my son and I. This type of card allows me to connect with others but leaves time to enjoy the other holiday traditions during the season. I love the art – very unique.

  16. Mary Kunze says:

    My cards this year are a kit I purchased from QVC that Lisa Bearnson designed. I hope next year to make my own cards. The ones in your blog look interesting. Happy Holidays

  17. This year my cards are store bought with a photo inside. With Hurricane Ike and my son injuring his knee…there was no time for homemade!!! Last year I sent out homemade using Becky’s kit.

  18. i didn’t feel like pasting and cutting this year…so i made my first EVER attempt at doing digital and made a from scratch digital 4×6 card using my kids and a very cute online kit. don’t know what i’ve been scared of for so long, but it was a piece of cake!! i’m going to attach to some prefolded cards and throw them in the mail!

  19. I figured out the design for my Christmas cards in October, was able to buy all of the supplies for them on sale and saved between 20-50%, but still haven’t actually created them yet. I need to finish writing my letter first, since I haven’t determined what word to print on the cover of the card.

  20. I made a digital card {using Photoshop Elements 6.0} using the ideas from Jessica Sprague’s column in CK with a combination of B+W and one color photo. I printed the 4×6 photo at home with a white border. (Then I am using a store-bought card from the Lego Store that we bought over the summer while visiting Disney-not very creative, I guess…). Love your card!

  21. I have a family photo, taken at our daughter’s wedding last February, on a card I had done at Snapfish. I wrote a letter of yearly highlights to send to friends far away AND I have a set of cards from a swap that I am loving for our neighbors!

  22. I plan to send a family photo or two in a store-bought card that I got on clearance several years ago and forgot about. I also intend to write a newsletter. I made hand-made cards one year, and don’t EVER plan to do it again. I like my cards to be personal and more like a letter, and I’d rather spend the time on the words than on the appearance. Just me.

  23. Shannon Huckvale says:

    My card is handmade and CRAZY. I always make my cards, and they always have to be better than the last year. I just realized that my card is like a mini-scrapbook, and I’ve made 106 of them. CRAZY! I do love it though! I scrapbook thru the year for someone else, so making our Christmas cards is what I do for me. The stress and insanity of them balance out by all of my friend’s enjoyment! Know what I mean???? :O)

  24. THe last two years have been difficult for us due to parent illness and my father’s death — so I’ve actually had the Christmas cards from those two years [addressed and ready] but NEVER MAILED. I looked through them and pulled the ones that might need an address update and still couldn’t bring myself to mail them [ and I think they're adorable with a little hand-drawn manger, btw] So I took the easy way and chose a photo from our trip to California in the Spring and sent it to Sam’s for a quick photo card. Picked them up in an hour and now they’re ready to mail – a quick viaual update to family & friends that we are still alive and the boys [now in college] are growing up…

  25. Last year I totally did the shutterfly thing (and loved my card), but I agree, there is something about cutting out and embossing 50 stars that just made me filled with joy this year! I did still enclose a photo when I mailed them, but I loved sending a handmade card again this year. :)

  26. Dixie Lee says:

    I made forty cards in 48 hours this year. We live overseas and a new friend here offered to take my US-addressed cards back to the states to mail…a savings of about 50 cents per card. The catch was that she left in two days and I hadn’t started my cards!! I went into over drive… sb supplies don’t exist here so I made do with white card stock some red drawing paper, green saa paper and a Tim Holtz distress ink pad. They turned out really cute!
    Now I have to get on the ball and make about 40 more for our friends HERE!!

  27. Heather T. says:

    handmade here. :)

  28. Julie Johnson says:

    Adorable find..am wishing I wasn’t done with my handmade cards! :) Mine are simple…black cardstock cut to business size envelope, with 4 x 6 photo attached. I used Tim Holtz crackle paint around the edge. Off to the side is a little artsy collage- a piece from Christmas type paper, square of screen mesh, “Christmas 2008″ stamped on twill, and a little piece of kraft paper with stamped kids lines on it. My 4 year old wrote in “The Johnson family” in red marker. Simple to assemble and fun!

  29. Well, sadly I tried to start early this year with my Christmas planning but cards never fit into my schedule so after much stress I decided to let go and buy them at the store. With so many other craft I needed to make this year I felt that it would be better to buy them so everyone could actually receive them rather than wait till the last possible minute to make them and then never get around to sending them out. It was sorta a weight off my shoulders to tell ya the truth. I wanted them to be special and appreciated but I feel that the words inside can accomplish that too. I really love your cards! Truly unique and special!

  30. Jeannette P says:

    Merry Christmas Stacy…yup, I know it’s early but tis the Season right? Anyway, I totally LOVE Christine’s sketches of the members of your family. Very very cute, adorable, talented, & neat. I made some return address labels last year that are something along those lines but to have someone actually sketch them & use them for a card is very original & cool. As for cards…I have a Christmas card kit that I bought by Becky Higgins & Lisa Bearnson from like 2+ years ago. I have to finish the rest of them but I’m almost done & then its off to listen to Lain’s stuff about newsletters. I usually type one up to include with cards & thought it might be neat if I could add something a little different this year.
    That tickle monster book looks fun but what makes it even more AWESOME is the tickle gloves. Just might have to buy them for our family. My kids would get a kick out of them & they could be come quite the tradition around here.
    Rent a toy is a neat idea. I tried to get my sisters to do a toy trade this year instead of gifts for the kids but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. Kinda a half thing…maybe next year with a little more time it will work. We’ll see.

  31. I have this weird thing, that every year, I must somehow put my hands to my Christmas cards! With the economy in a crazy state, I went very low budget, but handmade. I bought “photo cards” from the Dollar Store ($1 (duh) for 8 cards), used my “50 prints free coupon” from Costco and sent my sentiments (12 per page) to my local printer for $0.79 per sheet. I cut, glued photo and sentiment to card and “ta-da”…handmade Christmas cards. (see blog for shot of cards) Got a dose of creativity for not a whole lot of “dough”.

  32. I was in your LOM 2007 & 2008 class (and Photo Freedom!) and I made a connection this year when going through my photos. I had taken a pic of dd when she turned 8 in April blowing out her candles, a picture of my DS at 6 in September blowing out his candles and I just did a faux b-day candle party for my other ds who turns 3 this month!
    The candles were the number candles so each photo will tell the card receiver what age my children are…..all thanks to photo connection the LOM way! LOL!

  33. My health is so much better this year, and yaaaaa, I got to totally make our Christmas cards.

  34. Cynthia B. says:

    Handmade cards this year…all 90+ of them. I know, I know – I’m CRAZY! The thing is, I feel like I have to send out a picture card, and I didn’t have just one good photo of my family or just my kids – I had like 20! So I made a 9-photo collage of some of the photos and stuck them onto cardstock, along w/ ribbon, brads, bling. I’m happy w/ how they turned out, but it was SO time-consuming. Hope my family and friends appreciate it.
    LOVE your cards! So totally going to do something simpler NEXT year. Thanks for the link!

  35. This year’s cards are online photo ones…I had a baby 6 weeks ago and didn’t have a the mojo to make my cards back in July.
    Besides, everyone wants to see Baby Kara and her big brother :)
    Next year, back to cut and pasted cards…

  36. Handmade. It’s as much for me as it is for others. Christmas just doesn’t feel right if I don’t make cards :)

  37. PS. You’re right. Her family is adorable, as is yours, and the card is just too stinking cute.

  38. I went with handmade cards for the first time every – a mix of a family collage for rellies, and a cute gingerbread man or tree for friends… now all I have to do is actually mail them! But it’s the closest I’ve ever got to sending cards since having kids ~lol~

  39. All 3 :)
    Made about 10 cards for my crafty friends that would appreciate it.
    20 photocards from shutterfly (free with a coupon)
    and then the rest are store bought from the post holiday clearance sale at Target last year that I will send out with a photo and a Christmas letter.

  40. I’m doing Costco photo cards. I like an option they have this year on one card to put three pictures. I am letting go of a letter and putting our blog address on the card.

  41. I make my own Christmas cards – always. I have no choice. I started a precedent and can no longer purchase Christmas cards, no matter how cute they are or how little time I may have. One year I did send store bought cards and a friend of mine let me know how strongly she disapproved of them and how disappointed she was not to receive a handmade card!! I make around 70+ so simple is my favourite word at this time of year!

  42. Jeanne Ann says:

    I love doing the handmade thing. I did a dabbling of all of Kolette’s cards from Giving Well ’07 & ’08. I had fun making them.

  43. My card is handmade – an acetate card w/snowflakes stamped on the front and a picture of my kids inside. I love it. I like your card too.

  44. We usually send over 100 cards, with a silly newspaper-style newsletter that is well received (I’m a freelance writer, formerly editorial staff type person and I love Quark XPress – I think it shows ;-).
    But this year we’re doing something different. We’re emailing everyone who’s on the web (all but 6 people – they’ll get cards as usual) and attaching a PDF of our newsletter which we’d normally photocopy.
    Result: the newsletter can be in colour, we save trees, and most importantly, we can give the money we’re saving to CCD, an amazing charity in Thailand that we visited as part of a mission trip this year. You can find more about them by visiting http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YTLTrqA-cPA to watch a short video.
    It feels a bit strange not to be sending all those cards – but quite liberating – and worthwhile. : )

  45. Cute cards! I’m making mine this year. I usually do… all 80 of them!! Last year, I went semi digi. I had a baby Nov 20th so I had them all done before hand. I did one, scanned it, made copies and stuck those on a card.

  46. Hi Stacy, That’s a really sweet card. The family picture on the Christmas card seems to be a particularly American thing. I must say I really like the idea of it. Especially when sending cards to people who don’t really see you from one year to the next. A great way to see how the kids are growing …. and how the hair is greying!! My cards this year are a mixture. Some made, some bought, some recycled from last years (I’m really pleased with those) and some left over from last year when I bought too many. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I love reading your blog.

  47. that is a super cute way to do your cards!! I am making mine this year – actually made most of them last year but forgot to bring them to my destination last year so I had to do the Snapfish thing last year too!!

  48. I do a scrapbook page (8.5×11) then color copy it :) FUN FUN FUN! oh and I write my christmas letter on the back, and send a family photo, usually bulk from shutterfly! :)
    that’s mine from 2006! :)

  49. Great timing – after lunch I’m just about to mail off the US/European cards as today is the last mailing date.
    My card is a photo card using some of the card kit Lisa Bearnson did and then adapting it to my stash as I needed more.
    This year I’ve included a very short overview newsletter with a link to my blog so anyone interested can go and read.
    Your cards are so cute tho’ I do love cutting and pasting and always end up stamping on envelopes and creating tags – quite unnecessary crafting but oh so fun :)

  50. I’ve been doing photo cards for several years now. Usually digi-scrapped and then printed through vistaprint or Lifetimez. But this year I didn’t have the time or energy to get creative with the digi-scrapping part but still wanted a really nice card. Stumbled across this site – http://www.scraplesspress.com – and have a gorgeous card to send out! Hopefully back to creating my own next year!

  51. I made our cards this year and just finished (100 of them). It is a picture of my husband’s grader, grading snow during our April snowstorm (live in Northern MN) – great picture, the trees are covered with pretty white snow – I put on the front “Let is Snow”. We also did not want a picture of us and wanted to do something fun and unique.
    I also bought the Tickle Monster book and gloves for my niece – I love to be the tickle monter. Thanks for the ideas.
    Happy Day

  52. Very cute cards!! I have my kids making our cards this year (with some help from mom). It will be stuffed with a holiday letter inspired by Lain and of course a photo of the family.

  53. My husband is in sales and has a large database of clients. We do a family picture and send out to his clients and our friends and family. We have a photographer take our picture then upload to Modern Postcard’s (in California) website. They do a quality job. Last year’s was all four of us making snow angels. Picture was taken from a ladder and we look like a human snowflake. This year we are carrying our freshly cut Christmas tree. We get a lot of comments from people that love receiving our card. Good for business AND to keep in touch with those we “touch” throughout the year.

  54. photo cards from tinyprints. http://www.tinyprints.com/products/ProductView_5550.htm got our pictures late and wasn’t able to make them, but i don’t think i could have made them this cute anyway!

  55. Carol Van bork says:

    Well there is store bought for some and handcrafted for others. Some always get one or the other and some are on a rotating basis handmade one year not the next although I do not track this. that would be way to much effort. By using both I do not have to make more than what brings me Joy and honestly there are those out there who like the store bought just fine- even better. So why not! Making cards for Christmas is part of Christmas for me.
    Snowing in Western NY as always!
    Love the hand drawn family!! Thanks for all the great ideas!

  56. Family photo taken the week before Thanksgiving (in front of a Poinsettia tree at Molbaks in Woodinville, WA)…downloaded to Costco.com 150 photo cards picked up the day before Thanksgiving….cards in the mail the day after Thanksgiving….Priceless!
    Love your friend’s drawings!
    Merry Christmas!
    ~ Kathy C (Hillsboro, OR)

  57. What a cute card. I love the idea of the family.
    I made 26 handmade cards that were hybrid to send to our closest friends and the family and then used boxed cards or letters for the rest.

  58. I like to send the photo cards. Especially since I have a new little boy (will be his 2nd christmas this year), I know people want to see how much he’s grown. So I put one photo of the family, and one of him by the tree, or this year holding his stocking. I get my photo cards at Costco – very affordable, way more than any other online pricing I’ve seen. And you can do it all online and though the selection is limited they always have cute designs.
    Though I’d love to be crafty and make them, it’s too time consuming for me this time of year with all the shopping and baking and parties and such. Plus, I’m going to be making little mini-albums as gifts for people so I want to focus on that.

  59. My cards are usually store bought, but I always include a photo and some handwritten words.
    My envelopes are ALWAYS HANDWRITTEN never typed.

  60. melissa cavanaugh says:

    handmade of course…

  61. Christina #4635 says:

    I will probably do a combination of all three as well, I really don’t know yet!

  62. I did handmade this year. Last year I designed my own digital card, the year before that just photo cards and I made them for a couple years before that. It all depends on the time that I have and the $ I can spend. This year I used up scraps and had a ball making my cards :)

  63. how fun! our were made by our photographer…

  64. Ordered mine online from Kodak. The photo quality is awesome! Cute holiday card! I may have to get out some paper and try doodling my family! Happy holidays!

  65. handmade cards this year (after taking too much slack for not doing handmade last year). overdid it again this year. too many steps, too many cards, but really cute (if I do say so myself).

  66. I like to send photo cards since we have friends and family scattered across the country. This year, I spent four agonizing hours learning how to use a digital template in PSE and created my own four photo card. I’m always on the lookout for creative ideas for the ‘ole holiday letter too. My inspiration this year was a newspaper article that had words in ball-shaped ornaments. Added a little twistel (finally found a use for it!) as the hanger, and voila – our family card!

  67. I went handmade this year. I saw a card that I liked in the Exposures catalog and I made my own version of it. I took 4X6 b/w pictures of my kiddos and applied a white border and placed it off center on a 4×12 piece of red cardstock. I folded the rest of the card stock over the photo and then on the front I applied white strips of paper onto the opening and across the card to look like white ribbon on a red package. I stamped Merry Christmas in the lower right hand corner and applied a ribbon bow to the intersection of the white strips. I opted for a “fun” message on the inside and did a parody of the Masster Card commercials…Coordinating Christmas dresses- $100, Reward treats for after the photo shoot-$3, Tylenol for the photographer mom- $5, Getting all three girls smiling at the camera- Priceless!

  68. The photo is super-duper cute! OMG.. I love her work and the kitties too!! I’ve made little candies boxes for nuggets for work people – And my hunnys nephew i’m going to make a sand bucket filled with Raw sugar and a shovel and other beach toys and maybe some candy! :)

  69. Love your card this year. I am sending out the cards I made last year. I made them too late to send then, but now…

  70. ScrappyMommy says:

    That card is super cute Stacy! This year I used Close To My Heart’s My Originals Photo greeting Christmas cards, super cute and easy to make a great way to get that photocard look and still have your handmade greeting too! I make our cards every year but this is the first year that I’ve actually made a card where the picture was a part of the card as well.

  71. well, for the past few years we have been making cards that are a little left of usual. last year we did a Game of our Life, where we were the game pieces and each space had something that one of us did/accomplished during the year. the year before we made a Look and See picture and had things in the picure that represented what we had done during the year and a list of a few items challenging ppl to see if they find them. this year we are making a bookmark with a photo of us holding up the letters spelling HOPE and a list of the books that each of us have read this year. next year we are hoping to do a puzzle.

  72. I LOVE your card!! It is adorable!! I will definately look into Christine’s blog. I would love to have her do the ‘portrait’ of my family. :)
    This year I am making my cards…like I’ve done for the last 15 years or so. I am just starting them. ;) My hubby, Kevin, told me last night that I have waited too long and should send store-bought cards. I was appauled!!! So tonight I got started on them! No one will tell me it’s too late! LOL!!!!

  73. I like making them, but Target sells a photo card that has a drawing by a child at St. Jude’s children’s hospital here in Memphis. Each card donates money to St. Jude’s, so we have started making that a holiday tradition.

  74. Those drawings are super cute! I did a fully digital 5×7 card this year. They were done and mailed by the 4th (we just got back from Disney so I had set a goal to have the cards done before we left).
    Merry Christmas!

  75. My cards are a combination: my folded cards are photo cards using MPIX.com’s templates. My 4×8 cards are digi-designed by me and printed at scrapbookingpictures.com.

  76. This year, sadly for us, just a plain store bought card. Next year, hoping to be back on track with photo or created.

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