It's as if I have 65 teenagers who I've spent years raising and then all of a sudden they go off to college and make me proud, but leave me with an empty nest. Yep, my Christmas cards are like college-bound children for sure. And I must say I'm happy to see them go.

Well, I did spend a lot of time creating them [not years or anything, but still]. And then I shipped them off to their destinations across the nation. Yes, I was a little jealous of the ones going south to Texas but I told them to hold it down for their Wisco roots. Now I'm enjoying a little free time to my self in this empty nest, without crafts or projects [except Christmas gifts of course. There will always be SOMETHING to do around here]. It's nice. Very nice. I should do this 'free time' thing more often.

Would you like to see my little babies?

I could not bring myself to design them via Photoshop and have them printed using one sheet of paper. Just couldn't do it. Mostly because I need a break from computerized crafting for a while and Photoshop is taking over my brain [album design for Christmas time turned out to be quite demanding.] There is just nothing quite like the texture of real paper designs. Nothing like the feel of scissors cutting and final layered product coming together. Yes, it took about a gajillion hours longer than doing it on the computer but it was theraputic for me. I missed my old school paper crafts!

Anyway, let's see them in the making, shall we?

First you go nuts in a scrapbooking store and purchase tons of 12x12 papers.
You also find a pimp rubber stamp. Note some of my favorite paper patterns, too.
Get your paper cutter out and get to work. I used the white card stock for my base layer and cut out lots of rectangles for the fronts.

Yes it was a lot. I printed out our text [the horror, using the computer for text! But I just love fun fonts so I had to do it].
I picked our picture [it was a winner with you blog readers, too!] and used one teeny tiny digital scrapbooking embellishment for a frame. Again, I just HAD to. I printed the images at Walgreens for ungodly cheap on a 4x6 background.
Then came the worst 'traditional scrapping' moment---cutting out all the stupid pictures, with their curvy frame included. I recruited Nate for his first real crafting project on this one! At first he was all about it, like, "Ohhhh, look at me: I'm so fast with this cutting, and mine are so awesome. I can even cut 3 at once. This is easy." Then about 30 minutes later he was all, "My thumb hurts, I think I just got arthritis in it. I quit."

His crafting career was short lived, my friends. But it sure did help me out a lot on this project!
So then I took the text and cut them all out, and adhered them to some more fun papers. I had to cut those too, of course.

I didn't like the text pasted directly onto the papers so I tore them all off and added the black background. MUCH better. Now my inner OCD freak can relax a little bit because the text background matches our frame [black and black]. Sigh.

Every one was a little different, as you can see. Most of them had shades of green and reds but some were all funky with browns and blues. :)

I used my same red envelopes this year and still *heart* them.

And on the inside? Well the first half of the alphabet got lengthy personal messages. I was all inspired and feeling connected to our friends and family. Then by about the letter 'M' I lost my flare and started jotting a few words only, as seen here.
Sorry for that, last half of the alphabet. I was getting antsy!

And that, my friends, is how I made our Christmas cards this year. My babies:)

I cannot promise to produce this labor of love each year and I'm sure I'll break down and do digital cards in the near future. But for now this will do.

In other news, the forecast was right and we did get hit hard today. Some areas got up to 11 inches but I'm guessing we were only at 5-6. Please. I thought this was going to be a regular BLIZZARD but 5-6 is totally doable. Anything over a foot and I'll freak out, but I can handle 5-6 inches.

However, this is the depressing view I have during my lengthened drive to work [it sucks when the plows can't catch up to the downfall].
Patio side table at 7 am:
And at 7 pm:
Patio table at 7 am:
And at 7 pm:
It was a heavy and wet snow so I think it all compressed down on itself. Very pretty, I must admit.

Oh and wanna see something cool?

Here is the parking lot at work and THAT would be a gigantor snow pile.
Hi lady! Don't mind me sticking my camera out at you! I'm just taking photographical evidence for my blog. Happy car scraping! :)
You see the size in relation to the cars, right? Yeah. That pile will be there until May....mark my words.


  1. Yes, your cards are too cute! We got ours in the mail yesterday. I especially liked the photo of you two :)

    Great job! Homemade cards are the best!

  2. I have to tell you, I thoroughly admire your card making skills! I feel completely lazy and not very craftful now... thanks. ;) They look fabulous!

    As for the snow, I don't envy you! Although I would mind to be dumped on like that on Christmas! I love snow on Christmas!

  3. Oh my! Drive safely! I think I've lost all ability to drive in inclement weather.

    Your cards are perfect of course. So cute!

  4. Those are so cute! It makes me wish i made my cards this year.

  5. Soooo stinkin' cute! If it didn't sound so painful, I might think about making some for myself.
    And that snow makes me want to gag. I hate coldness. I notice that you are least driving to work now instead of walking. I'm glad for that.

  6. Great job on the cards! I love them!!

    Have you seen the video of the dog hopping around in the deep, deep snow that is going around? When I saw it, I wondered if Henry would do the same thing if the snow ever ends up getting that deep.

  7. Your cards were very cute...I feel like a total slacker for using shutterfly!!!

  8. I love your cards! You should hold a blog contest to see which of your readers could get one in the mail! I'd enter it! :) I love reading your blog and your take on life...aka the weather. I dream of finding the time to make my own cards again...alas, not only are they digitally printed, I paid someone to make them for me! I'm a total slacker! Merry Christmas to you, Nate and Henry.

  9. Hmmm, a contest for a card? I do have one left over....

    And Erin~I drive for about 30 minutes each day [yesterday took 45] THEN I have to walk for about 6 more minutes since I park reeeeeally far away from the hospital. It sucks but not much I can do except take pictures:)

    Thanks ladies!

  10. Wow, those turned out great! Now I kind of wished I would have made the time to make mine!

  11. Way to go! You did great! The snow is beautiful! I walked outside of my house (in Texas) this morning with wet hair and flip flops on and had to use an ice scrapper to get some rain that had frozen over night off my windshield. I seriously would have NO clue how to survive in all that snow!!!

  12. I love your cards. You've almost inspired me to make my own. They look great!

  13. great job on the cards! that is some tedious work.

  14. I love your Christmas cards! Such a great idea. I had to do digital this year since planning a wedding is sucking the life out of me.

    I think Henry is the cutest. My dog, Tupelo, would be in love with him!

  15. Your cards are beautiful!! Everytime I think St. Louis weather sucks... I think about you and Wisconsin. Damn that mother nature!

  16. Your cards are fantastic! You are one patient woman Julia. I wish I had your patience to make all those cards. :-)

  17. I love the cards - it's a shame about that big smudge on your name though! ;)

  18. The cards are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! Wow. So cute, so fun, so unexpected christmasey. Love em.

  19. I really love your cards. I remember last year's and I am in awe of how much you do and how much time you spend on them. I would love to, but I am being lazy... also, holy cow that's a lot of snow!!!

  20. There's a giant coconut cake sitting atop your patio table.....Sweet!
    Your cards are adorable and appear to be super quick and easy to do. (That last part was biting sarcasm in case you didn't get that.) You're nuts girl. :)


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