February 13 Creative Logo


A bit of news, a bit of inspiration, a bit of new work... a bit random, a bit blogish. “bits” is where it all hangs out.

our debut!


Seems like a great time to start our blog, since we have something big to celebrate: our television debut!

The show was View From the Bay, an afternoon talk show that airs live, daily on the ABC affiliate here in San Francisco. The appearance was arranged by our friends at cardstore.com and we're so thankful to them for the opportunity. The View people wanted me to talk about a few ideas for DIY, easy, affordable holiday cards, so we threw in a couple other projects and saved the best—cardstore.com—for last.Take a look at the clip and try to imagine the color of the cards being a whole lot prettier (They’re right about the camera draining color… my lips were a lot prettier than they look here, too.)

We spent about a week preparing for this tiny 5-minute-long segment, which seems absurdly out of proportion, but I know that I would have been a jittery mess without all that preparation. Pam and Amy were my creative genies behind the scenes and I’m thanking my lucky stars all over again to have them.

I could not have wished for a better show to introduce me to TV land. Everyone involved was so helpful and reassuring, especially my host, Lisa Quinn. The whole vibe of the show when you watch is totally welcoming, upbeat, helpful—and that’s how it feels on set.

For those of you who may be wanting just a little more detail than we could fit in our allotted five minutes, here are some more tips on the projects we featured.

simple but sophisticated collage cards

  • We love the stylish results we get from a really simple technique: use one basic shape repeated over and over again.
  • Cut your pieces from magazines and other papers (catalogs, old greeting cards, maps, maybe even some of your kids’ artwork!).
  • Look for images with large areas that are more or less one color but have some interesting texture and depth. Believe it or not, photo close-ups of food, clothing, carpeting, grass, trees can all be used to fantastic effect with this technique.
  • By limiting your palette to just one color family (e.g. pinks/reds/plums), you make the whole thing easier and it you gives you a really sophisticated look in the end.
  • You can cut most of the shapes shown here freehand. Or if you’re more persnickety, use things you find around the house as templates—coins are great for making perfect circles—or make a simple cardboard template for yourself. Different kinds of craft scissors and punches can create interesting shapes and edges as well.
  • For the base card, we recommend buying pre-cut and folded blank cards, to save yourself some hassle. There are lots of great colors and styles available at places like Paper Source and they often come with matching envelopes.
  • Once you have a whole bunch of your shapes cut out, you arrange them on your base card to your liking, then glue them in place. We definitely recommend glue sticks—especially the kind that comes in a thin, pen-like tube—it’s easy to apply, keeps the mess to a minimum and dries quickly and smoothly. You may want to have a pair of tweezers to handle really tiny pieces.
  • If you don’t want to make individual collage cards for everyone on your mailing list (a nice idea, but really, who has that kind of time?!), take one or more of your favorites down to your local photocopy place. Most now have scanning services and inexpensive but good quality digital printing services so you can get multiples of your favorite design really easily.
  • Remember, you can also use your collage to make a frame for a photo, or for your annual holiday letter!

photo booth card

  • This idea was inspired by those great old vintage photo booths. A lot of people like to send photo cards and this is a really unexpected way to do it.The photos are always just fun and spontaneous and, of course, everyone looks great in black and white!
  • You can find photo booths around the Bay Area and I'm sure in many other places around the globe (a quick Google search will turn up some interesting lists compiled by photo booth aficionados). Our favorites are at the Musee Mecanique, on Pier 45 here in SF. They have two booths (both are the old-school, black-and-white versions that we love) and the added advantage of an attendant on the premises in case the thing misbehaves).
  • This project has a bonus: a really fun activity in addition to a totally personal holiday greeting.
  • You can use simple signs (hand-made or computer-generated) to spell out our holiday message...maybe some props… take it all down to the photo booth and just snap away.
  • If you plan it very carefully, you might be able to get it all one take, but honestly, this is so much fun that we recommend taking several strips. The photos usually come four frames to a strip, and cost around $3 each. Then you can just pick and choose the frames you like best and then cut and rearrange them to form a full strip.
  • Make multiple copies on heavy-weight white card stock and cut to size. If you have your own scanner and a decent printer, you could make the copies yourself. Or just take it down to your favorite photocopy store, as we suggested above for the collage cards. Note: you may want to enlarge the final strip (via copier or printer settings) by 10-15%, to get a better fit in your envelope (see below).
  • The finished size is a little unusual, so you might be wondering what kind of envelope to use. We like the business-sized envelopes that close at end with a looping string (We got ours at Paper Source). It’s kind of like getting a photo from an old-fashioned photo lab. If it bugs you that the card seems lost within the envelope, you could fold it up inside a holiday note printed on letter size paper!
  • This card is featured in a fun new book that’s just out in stores now: “Merry Christmas From…”. (The book is full of fantastic card ideas, all made by the people who sent them. It’s a great source of inspiration for doing your own thing!)
  • You could do this every year and make it a tradition. It’s really fun to figure out how to fit into the booth as your family grows!

february 13 creative cards, on cardstore.com

  • Check out our coordinated collections for the holidays. Send a party invitation, photocard or greeting card, and thank you cards—all in the same style. It's like having your own, personal graphic designer!
  • Write your own message and add your own photos to any card design with cardstore.com’s easy-to-use online editing tools.
  • cardstore.com will even take care of the addressing, stamping and mailing for you, with no extra charge for the service. (Stamps are not included in the card price).
  • It’s an environmentally-friendly way to do printed greetings. They only print the quantity you need, so there are no leftover cards, and they are mailed directly to you or your recipients… no fossil fuels to get the cards or you to the store.

And last but not least, remember: it doesn’t necessarily have to happen in December! You could knock something out this weekend and have it in the mail before Thanksgiving. Or just give yourself a break until the week after Christmas and send out a New Year greeting instead!

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