Say Cheese!

Now that we've thrown out the Halloween candy and have chucked the rotting jack-o-lanterns, we begin to think about who's coming for Thanksgiving dinner and have a minor panic attack that somehow Christmas is less than two months away. And unless you are very "on the ball," (I have friends that are. I am not one of them), you are also realizing you need to get that dreaded Christmas Card picture taken. The one where you are yelling "say cheese" 50,000 times to your kids, while promising candy/treats/toys to your toddlers and hissing not-so-veiled threats to your surly tweens and teens. And the image that's captured on this photo is supposed to sum up your family and life for the year, while wishing others well for the season and year to come. No pressure:)

Christmas cards (and the photos that typically accompany them) have stepped up their "A-game" in a major sort of way. Gone are the days of blurred rectangular photos on flimsy photo paper from your generic drugstore. Instead, you have a booming stationary/holiday card business of incredible variety and talent, where the photo itself begins to play second fiddle to the artistry and design of the card.

And with so many options to consider: card stock, letterpress, calligraphy, ribbons, choice wording, etc., the variety can become overwhelming to anyone. I love receiving Christmas cards in the mail, and always make note of the cards that stand out (to me) from the pack. Here are a few companies that are worth consideration for your next holiday card purchase:

 

Minted

 

I love the images this company presents on their site. I also love how many different artists' work they feature. From stationery to gifts to art, they do it all. What a brilliant way to showcase so much talent on a global platform! Artist and local Nashvillian, Sara Malone (card seen here), has multiple pieces and cards she's created that are featured on the site. What a great way to support artistic talent! 

Tiny Prints

About half of my Christmas cards I receive are from Tiny Prints, and I can see why! It seems there is a perfect card for any family on this site. And my friends' pictures always seem to fit perfectly with whatever card from here they've ordered. The prices are a bit higher, but are reflected with the more custom look.

Shutterfly

 

Shutterfly is fast in their processing and often has great deals (if you order early). I've used them several times in the past and have always been pleased with their work. Plus, if you're like me, you are always looking for other clever ways to send that picture that you worked so hard to achieve! I've been known to send a coffee mug or two (picture included) through shutterfly to out-of-state grandparents and family.

Midtown Printing

Midtown printing is a local print shop in Nashville. If you are talented in the graphics department (or know a friend who is), and are not afraid to design your own card, this would be a great place to take advantage. (Above is a Christmas card I did using them a few years ago). They simply provide the card stock and printing, but you can send them your image (with border, graphics, and anything else) and they do the rest. Their pricing is incredible and turnaround time is fast. Your end result? A custom card without the custom price. 

Trabeautiful Designs

I love the grace, beauty and artistry that local artist, Elizabeth Trabue, adds to her stationery products. I am always reminded of that when I receive her Christmas Cards she does for other people. She has an amazing knack for capturing a family's spirit with her cards and carefully selected ink color, font, paper and wording. You are in for a treat with Trabeautiful Designs.

Hen Pen Paper Co.

 

I'm a huge fan of Etsy...the creative spirit and artistic ability of this website amazes me constantly. It's also a place I can find one-of-a-kind gifts and other handmade items that no one else will have. So, I loved finding this artist and her whimsical "not so serious" take on holiday cards. Who doesn't need a good laugh in the holiday season? Better still, her price points are spot on!

Dancing Pen and Press

I'm obsessed with anything letterpressed these days, and these Christmas cards blew me away with their gorgeous-ness!!! I love the eloquent combination of calligraphy, design and letterpress. This company, also on Etsy, is one to consider!

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Well, that's my roundup for now. Happy (early) holidays and start snapping those pictures!

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Finally, I'm having my first "sip & shop" for Interior Canvas Home this Sunday! Consider it like a traveling showroom of sorts. Here you can feel and see the fabrics, and take home swatches to consider for a future order. Please swing by if you're in the area! I'll be sharing the stage with my dear friend, Kellie Steedman, who is also a Director with Stella & Dot! To get a preview of what you'll see with her, click here!  I couldn't think of a better time to get started on holiday shopping! 

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HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

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(Images: 1-Interior Canvas; 2-Minted.com; 3-Tinyprints.com; 4-Shutterfly.com; 5-Interior Canvas; 6-Trabeautiful.com; 7-8-Etsy.com; 9-Interior Canvas Home)