Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Look Back Series – 2009 Winning Entry Transformation

In our current entry into the Look Back Series for the 3rd Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest, we are going to take a look into the transformation of Lauren Ondreko’s winning entry into the final card that we have on sale today.

The process begins with Lauren’s entry being scanned into the computer to create a Hi-Res version of it for editing. Below is the original artwork that Lauren Submitted to the scholarship contest.

Lauren's Original Entry

This is what Lauren’s entry looked like after it was scanned into the system for editing.

Scanned in Version

The next step after scanning in the artwork is to clean up the image and sharpen the edges so that the production person, or Imager, can get to work. At this point the front sentiment is also added to the card and the card design begins to take shape!

Revised Art

Once the image is cleaned up and the front sentiment is added, the card is ready to go through the separation process. The imager determines the different colors and finishing techniques to be used on this Christmas card design. There are all kinds of options to choose from such as including ink color choices, die cutting, foil-stamping and foil embossing.

The creative team will get together and go over all of these choices to test out and find the best one to use. There are many different colors of paper stock, and some of these colored stocks will be tested with different types of inks or foils, depending on the design. Once the team narrows down the combinations, the card is sent to production so that the creative team can actually see all of the different choices and decide which will be the final one. Take a look below to see what these test designs look like.

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After much discussion and back and forth, the final design was chosen and added to our line as the Snowman Surprise Christmas Card.

Snowman Surprise Christmas Card

Once again, we want to thank you for stopping by and taking a behind the scenes look into the transformation of Lauren Ondreko’s entry into the beautiful card it is today. We hope you come back next week for another entry it our Look-Back Series!

Christmas Cards – A Tradition That Transcends Time

Christmas cards are, of course, a great way to catch up with friends in a personal way. When I was younger I always meant to send out a year in review, touching base with the people who meant so much to me over the years, but I was always too busy. It’s a sad fact that time goes quickly. Sometimes years pass before you realize you’ve lost touch with a friend, co-worker, or classmate. Which is one reason why simple, personalized Christmas cards can be so touching.

My mother, for instance, wrote a holiday letter and sent out cards for years. On more than a few occasions I remember her actually handing me boxes of blank cards so I could start my own tradition. It took me more than a few years to finally act on it. Once I did, I realized I had more than 75 people I wanted to reach out to with personal wishes for a happy holiday.

The modern world has simplified so many things, for better or worse. Text messages have all but ended catch-up phone calls. Video games have limited the amount of time children interact with each other away from the television. Email has cut deeply into the amount of actual letters we write. These changing times have made receiving a holiday card that much more special. If someone in this busy world takes the time out of their schedule to write you, it means they care.

Holiday cards, for me, have simply become a tradition. I enjoy keeping in touch with my close friends and informing them of what is going on in my life—and hearing from them in return. More than a few of my friends have asked me where I find the beautiful cards I send and have started reciprocating, mailing out their own cards annually. There really is nothing more heart-warming than receiving a card from someone you’ve lost touch with. Cards reconnect you in a uniquely personal way.

Fond Memories of Personalized Christmas Cards

The holidays are here, and in the blink of an eye they are gone. And what do we have left to remember this special time of year? The toys? The clothes? The leftovers? Or maybe the hours of repacking all the ornaments and knick knacks? No! It’s the beautiful personalized Christmas cards we have received. You know the ones I’m talking about. The one that came from your oldest and dearest friend. Or the one from your favorite Aunt and Uncle who live too far away to visit during the holidays. Or even the one from your neighbor who you don’t really get enough time to sit with. Even my cats get one from my friend’s cat. They really warm the heart. Christmas cards are the best. Some have such beautiful holiday scenes you can almost picture yourself in that setting.

And although everything gets packed away until next season, the custom Christmas cards you received are still on your table. You open them from time to time and begin to drift away thinking about all the fun the holidays are. Family and friends being together, telling old stories and devouring the feast and goodies made from old family recipes. I just love Christmas and all the joy it brings. But my favorite treasures of all are the Christmas cards that I can read over and over again, until the holiday season comes once again.

Creative Crafts with Business Christmas Cards

I hate to throw away all the beautiful personal and business Christmas cards I’ve received through the years. Yes, I keep all the cards I receive, and all the Christmas cards my family receives too! They are too pretty to throw away and they mark the years as my children are growing up. However, since I have so many of them, sometimes I like to get crafty with all the great cards and designs.

One of the great things you can do with your old personalized Christmas cards is to make garlands that you can hang all around the house and outside (in warm climates) as well when you decorate for the holidays. Begin with using as many horizontal cards as you have. You can use a simple ribbon about 6 to 8 feet long. If you need a longer size, make sure your ribbon is a big spool. You can also use a thin clothesline, string, or wire. Measure the size you need and cut it to size. Start overlapping the horizontal cards over the ribbon and staple them around the ribbon making a thin pocket for the ribbon or string to be enclosed in. To keep the cards in place at about 5 or six inches from each other, staple the card to the string or ribbon in the center top of the card. To make them even prettier, use a pair of pinking shears or craft scissors that are available with the crazy cuts on them to put a beautiful edge on the cards.

You can also glue some glitter onto the card in the art or on the edge of the card, or attach some little rhinestones or colorful buttons or small shiny items on the card to give it some sparkle. You will be surprised at what a difference that makes. If you have vertical Christmas cards to be used you can use a small hole punch to make a hole on the top of the card and run a ribbon or string through it and then hang the card with tying a bow on the banner ribbon or string.

You can also use Christmas cards to create cupcake toppers or decorations. Use any and all of your cards and cut around the art on the front of the cards. You will have to make the art somewhat small to fit nicely on the top of a cupcake. Once that is done, get some little sticks that they sell in the baking aisle of your craft store or food store and glue the art from your cards to the stick.  Once dry, you can stick the decoration right on the top of the cupcake and line them up on a platter and you have beautiful, colorful cupcakes perfect for holiday get-togethers.

Now you have two new ideas for you to try when you have all those beautiful cards that you do not want to throw away!

Personalized Christmas Cards and December Madness

The time between the end of the football season, at the beginning of February, and April, when baseball returns, is like a no-man’s land for me. I don’t follow hockey or basketball, don’t listen to sports talk radio, hardly watch the sports on the 11 o’clock news, and I skim through my local paper’s sport page in all of three minutes. For others who are into basketball, especially the college variety, there is something exciting called “March Madness”, which is a tournament where I think something like 300 or more teams play each other until there is a winner. For me, there is only “December Madness”, which is when I have to sit my butt down and figure out how many personalized Christmas cards to send out and to whom.

The sending of Christmas cards should be a joyous task because it’s “that time of year,” yada, yada, yada. But I find it to be a bit on the stressful side because I don’t want to make a mistake by forgetting someone who expects a Christmas card from me, you know what I mean? However, I usually am praised for my personalized Christmas cards selection, as I always buy my cards from The Gallery Collection. My clients want to know from which company I buy my cards and I always tell them to flip over the card for. The Gallery Collection’s Christmas cards selection, which includes designs featuring gift boxes, Christmas trees, wreaths, holiday winter scenes, as well as religious cards – contain beautiful colors, shimmering foils, and sculpted embossing. No one can beat their astounding selection.

As for “March Madness”, I think I’ll pay a few bucks to be part of my office’s contest where one can pick a team to win the whole thing and then you win a big bundle of money. Hey, maybe I’ll get lucky and win enough to pay for my Christmas cards!

What Your Christmas Cards Say About You

November is an exciting time of the year. There’s Thanksgiving, a time we gather with our families and stop for a moment to give thanks for the smallest blessings in our lives. That’s what I do anyway–it gives me perspective. But it’s also the time when I begin to think about what kind of Christmas cards I want to order.

You see, I have a thing about greeting cards. I know, many say it’s just a card and who really cares what it looks like or what it says; it’s the thought that counts. That is true. But how about the card that arrives year after year with an incorrect last name, or the one with the wrong apartment number and no zip code, which then causes it to arrive days after the holidays? That can certainly make you look like no effort was made at all. What about those beautiful personalized Christmas cards with names imprinted? That can save you tons of time and effort, but still show you care.

Christmas is a beautiful time of the year. Yes, it’s hectic with everything one has to do to prepare for it. But when I sit down to write my cards it’s really the only time in the year that I get to think back on all the special people in my life and how thankful I am to them. And although I cannot afford to get everyone a gift, it is through my Christmas cards that I am able to express my gratitude individually. So yes, before I send out each card, I make sure every “t” is crossed and every “i” dotted, because they mean that much to me.

Christmas Cards Keep Us Connected

Who would have thought in these days of instant news and entertainment, getting Christmas cards would have such sentimental value.  We all have anywhere from 50 to 100+ friends on Facebook, Twitter or some other form of social media.  But realistically, how many of those friends would you send, or would send you a Christmas card?  How many of these so-called friends actually “know” you?  Besides looking/commenting on their latest holiday status updates and pictures do you really care about expressing holiday cheer to these so-called friends?  But when you get a card, you know for sure, you have friends beyond the confines of social media.  The fact that you are receiving something in the mail, that you can touch and feel, and has been specifically sent to you, means more than any “like” or “status update”!

Personalized Christmas cards take this a step further.  The fact that your friend or loved-one, took the time to not only select a beautiful card, but express their personal sentiments gives that annual Christmas card even greater meaning.  It means I’m not just a blip on your screen; I’m a person worthy of the time and effort it takes to send a distinctive greeting.  For me it means we’re connected in the real world and it makes me feel special.

Impressing My New Family With Personalized Christmas Cards

With another Christmas holiday fast approaching, it is yet again up to me, and me alone, to come up with the best way to say happy holidays to our family and friends – only this year is VERY different.   This year marks my 1st year of marriage to my husband Rick and I very much want to impress my new family and friends with personalized Christmas cards commemorating our marriage.

It is very important I pick out just the right card, with just the right personalization.  Let’s face it, my mother-in-law never thought I was good enough for her baby boy.  I’m sure there are many of you who can relate, and who are dealing with this same problem I am dealing with right now.  Though my mother-in-law always seems to be criticizing me about one thing or another, I am refusing to give her yet another reason especially in regards to our Christmas cards.

The quality of the card I choose has to be of course perfect.  In order to do so, there are a few steps I have to follow to find this perfect card.  First step, I have to light the fireplace. We moved into our new apartment that actually has a fireplace and I’ve been waiting for this moment since moving in.  Second step, find my favorite Christmas CD to play, and last but not least, make myself a cup of my favorite vanilla flavored hot chocolate to relax me for the long search ahead.

Well, I’m sure some of you are wondering how this story ended.  I finally did find that one special card, with just the right wording that touched my mother-in-law in such a special way that we actually became much closer. In fact, she has even asked me to be the one to help pick out her Christmas cards in the coming year.

Christmas Cards from my Cousin

Working for 25 years for a company that produces Christmas cards has made me very aware of the cards I receive during the holidays. I like to look at the quality of paper and the original designs.  I have a cousin who is an exceptional artist and every year she designs her own cards. The cards she draws are beautiful, but they can only be appreciated by family members.

Last year she painted a beautiful likeness of our grandparents, when they were first married. It was such an amazing creation that all the cousins had the painting framed and displayed in our homes. As we got closer to the holidays I couldn’t help but wonder what the theme for her card would be this year.

When the card arrived in the mail I could not wait to open it. My first impression was that it’s just a painting of Santa. He is sitting on a recliner looking at what appears to be a list of good and bad children. As I looked further at the card I recognized my aunt’s living room, and the gentlemen with the white hair and white beard was not Santa at all. The man in the recliner was my Uncle Jim. On the inside of the card, my cousin had written at the top “My Father Christmas.” I can’t wait to see next year’s personalized Christmas cards.

Christmas Cards – Adding a Personal Touch

Christmas Cards are a great way to keep in touch with clients, family and friends.  Just a simple wish of peace, prosperity and happiness is all that is needed to let a person know they are in your thoughts.  That is why I always make sure to send cards to everyone in my contact list, both business and personal.

However, this year, I didn’t want to send the same old Christmas card that you buy in a package at a retail store.  I wanted to send people a card that was really from me, not just a generic piece of cardstock.  That is why I sent out personalized holiday cards this year.  Aside from standing out from the rest of cards, it just looks so much nicer!

I decided to get my cards this season from The Gallery Collection.  Aside from having such high quality cards in a wide variety of designs, they gave me the opportunity to add my personalization.  I chose the “Season’s Greetings Red Berries” card because not only was it strikingly beautiful, I was able to add my personalized touch in an elegant gold foil.  When I received my cards, I was really blown away by the look and even the feel of them.  I knew that I was going to make a great impression with the people I sent the cards to.

I sent my personalized Christmas cards last week and have already heard back from several people thanking me and telling me how nice the card was.  I actually have received more feedback this year than ever before, and I attribute a great deal of it to the personalization I put into these cards.  I was very happy with how my holiday cards came out this year and will certainly do the same again next year!