How to Pick Out Clothing for Your Christmas Photos

Picking out clothes for a family photo is always stressful. For ten years and over a dozen photo shoots, my goal has been perfection—the perfect combination, the perfect colors, that will come together in one perfect photograph that I can put on a card or hang on a wall.

Here are a few tips that I hope will help you save time when pulling together your family photo ideas, so you can achieve your own version of ‘perfect’ without all the stress.

first pic
This year I wanted a muted, natural palette that didn’t distract from our outdoor location. I am collecting family photo ideas all year long, and as a mother of four I’m also shopping for kids’ clothing all year long. The trick is having a place to keep all my ideas, so I’m not struggling to find them later, when I actually need them.

Create inspiration boards. This allows me to add things, try different color palettes and move things around to establish my final look. Here is a peek at my Holiday Clothes 2013 inspiration board on Pinterest.
How to Pick Out Clothing for Your Christmas Photos
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Love it! Holiday Collection Update

Remember when I shared with you my most favorite things from February in my Love it! post? I wanted to update you to show how these things I love at the time can inspire a new collection. Two things from that post made it into this year’s holiday collection! That’s right, we have designs featuring ampersands and shimmer! Here are a few sneak peeks at those new Christmas cards.

Ampersands
Love the clean look & fun design of an ampersand.
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Love it!

Our resident trends expert, Angela, shares a few of her top summer trends.

C.O. Bigelow Lip Balm
Staple lip balm at my house, even for men.  It’s a matte finish.
C.O. Bigelow Lip Balm C.O. Bigelow Lip Balm

Leather Wrap Bracelets
This season I am obsessed with arm candy. Leather happens to be my favorite. It’s a perfect addition to a layered bracelet look.
Leather Wrap Bracelets Leather Wrap Bracelets

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Bridal Shower Themes: Key Trends in Invitations

Planning a bridal shower just got a lot easier with the introduction of our newest collection of bridal shower invitations. The new invites showcase some of the most current trends in bridal shower themes, from bold colors to innovative type treatments and party décor.

Be sure to check out the matching bridal shower decorations, which will make it easy to carry these bridal shower themes through every step of the party planning, from the bridal shower invitations to the bridal shower decorations to the bridal shower thank you cards.

Our new invitations fall into three key trends in bridal shower themes.

Bold Colorful Type
Bridal Shower Invitations -- Golden HuesBridal Shower Invitations -- Pink and Purple BubblesBridal Shower Invitations -- Multi StripesBridal Shower Invitations -- Vintage Couples Affair

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DIY Easter Craft Idea: Bunny Finger Puppet

Easter Craft IdeaI love doing crafts and activities with my kids, and especially had fun doing this Easter craft idea with them, the Bunny Finger Puppet. They can pick their own colors and create their own bunny faces, then play with them when they are done. It’s an easy way to put a little fun in your Easter week!

Materials/Tools:
Pencil
Felt
Needle
Embroidery thread
ScissorsEaster Craft Idea

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Top 5 Trends in Graduation Announcements

Want the newest look and the best new ideas in graduation announcements? We’ve picked some of the top trends we’re seeing, and are ready to show you our most outstanding examples of each. Here are the top five trends in graduation announcement ideas for the Class of 2013!

Classic / Traditional
Simple designs, one or more photos, classic fonts and traditional design elements such as a crest or shield mark these graduation announcements. Most can be customized to the colors of your choice, and all will bring out the best in your grad.
Graduation Announcements & Invitations -- Favorite Photo Horizontal Graduation Announcements & Invitations -- Grad Cutout VerticalGraduation Announcements & Invitations -- Future On The Line Graduation Announcements & Invitations -- Perfect Photo

Hip / Trendy
These graduation announcement ideas are standouts in any crowd. Interactive spin cards, pop-up windows, mixed styles and fonts, and hot design elements such as washi tape make these designs memorable, each in their own way.
Graduation Announcements & Invitations -- Candid Collage Graduation Invitations -- Chevron Memories Pop UpGraduation Announcements & Invitations -- Spin A Rama Graduation Announcements -- Make Your Mark Ribbon Booklet

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Kids Classroom Card Ideas with Washi Tape

As the Director of Product Development for Pear Tree I work with designers to build the best products for our customers. When I’m working on a project for my own family I tackle it the same way. I start with the big picture then define the requirements and finally focus on the details.

Big Picture (theme): Washi tape.
Requirements —
1. My kids would be involved in assembly. (Needs to be easy to do.)
2. My oldest needs to write (in cursive) the names of his classmates. (Needs extra envelopes for potential mistakes.)
3. My daughter could not bring candy. (The “treat” needs to be flexible.)

These are the three Valentine’s Day card ideas for kids that I came up with–easy, mistake proof and flexible!

Materials/Tools:
1. Washi tape
2. Pen
3. Small paper
4. Lollipop
5. Crayons

Variation #1: Lolipop treats
Use the washi tape to add a treat to the front of the envelope and on the back to secure it closed.
Valentine's Day Card Ideas for Kids

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Chalkboard Holiday wrap with paper straw bow

DIY Gift Wrapping ideas
For the holidays, I like a well set table, a tree decorated with care, and above all, I take gift wrapping very seriously.

This year, when I was thinking of new gift wrapping ideas, I used my holiday card for inspiration.  A chalkboard background with red/white stripes with hand script in white.  To make it work I used black craft paper (that resembled a chalkboard), some striped paper straws, red jute and a white chalk pen.
Angela & Anthony
Follow along for an easy to do Christmas gift wrapping idea:

DIY Paper Straw Bow

Materials/Tools:
4 paper straws
Scissors
Jute or yarn
Glue gun
Wrapped box
Chalk pen

Step 1: Start with 4 straws, cut them each in half. Take 4 pieces from those and cut in half again. Next take the 4 largest pieces and cut a small piece off of each. The goal (see pictures) is to have 3 different length straws. 4 large, 8 medium and 4 small which is a total of 16 cut straws pieces. Then cut 6 pieces of string about 2 inches. These don’t need to be exact.
Step 1

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