Friday, December 11, 2015

Create Personalized Christmas Tags in Photoshop

There's a Christmas project that has become a favourite of mine.  It takes a little effort but it adds such a nice personal touch to gift giving I think it's well worth it.

A couple of years ago I came up with the idea of creating specialized tags for each person on my list. From one of my favourite resources for online images,  iCLIPART.com I selected an illustration that in some way represented the giftee.

For example, my cat-loving daughter had just become a mother for the first time, so  #1088038 seemed just perfect for her.

The tags all said who the gifts were from,  but the images stood on their own as representations of the person to whom the gift would be going.  As everyone gets something  they need, something they want and something to read,  I chose a different image for each present.  It was such fun Christmas morning watching as everyone determined who each tag represented.

Granted, it's a busy time of year for sure. Adding something extra to the workload might not be of interest.  But it can make something special even more so when  that personal touch is added.

If you do feel like taking on this little project,  then,  here are the steps to show you how to create these fun Christmas tags:

iCLIPART.com

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Photograph Christmas Lights

I love to decorate for Christmas. A project that began with a tree in a cosy corner and a few garlands over doorways, has grown to encompass most of the house.

Now my den is dedicated to snowmen, while a variety of Santas hold their place of honour in the living room. They come together in the kitchen and bathroom, with a few favourites hanging out in the hallways. Welcoming guests as they enter my front door is an adorable elf.


These decorations, to my mind, all bring warmth to my home. Yet what appeals most to me are the garlands with strings of light that adorn the top of the hutch, kitchen and down the staircase.

There is something awfully cosy about sitting in a room lit simply by a few twinkling lights snuggled amongst some greenery.  It begs for hot chocolate and a good book, quiet conversation over a glass of wine, or the closest of snuggles with a sweetie.

After a long day, my guy and I enjoy nothing more than to be greeted by the tree lights as we make our way up the street towards home.   Set to a timer they are the perfect welcome as we transition from work mode to our time.

Often I have tried to capture the beauty of Christmas lights in a photograph,  but it never quite lives up to the reality. Over the years I have been helped by some expert advice and continue to work towards a perfect photo memory we can draw on some winter night to brighten the cold dark season. If only for a brief moment.

If you too have struggled to get a picture of your Christmas tree or of sparkling lights throughout your house during the holidays here are some helpful hints:

How to Successfully Photograph Your Christmas Tree

Christmas tree Photography With Your DSLR

Christmas Light Photography Tips

How to Photograph Christmas Lights

Take Great Photos of Holiday Lights

Take Beautiful Bokeh Christmas Images

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

3 Cute Christmas Cat Clipart Collections

One of my favourite Christmas gift shopping searches is part of a family tradition. With the arrival of each of my children and grandchildren I have selected a theme and purchased a tree ornament to match. The collection grows with the passing of time.

It can be fun to pick for a new arrival to the family, given that personality and preferences for an infant are unknown.  Inspiration, therefore, often comes from what I do know.

Despite growing up in a canine-obsessed family, our younger daughter has always been a little apprehensive around dogs. The adoption of a kitten from a shelter after moving away from home effectively completed the transition to cat person for her.

When I was looking to begin her little girl's ornament collection I spied  an adorable one that just happened to be of a kitty decked out for Christmas. The decision to purchase it was based primarily on the fact that like her, it was pretty darn cute. Another factor though, was the fact that her mother really likes cats.

Interestingly, it has been rather a nice fit for our darling Bean. A sweetie with big dimples and hazel eyes, she is as cuddly, playful and cute as a kitten, with, however,  the same fierce independence and attitude.

Like a cat, when she snuggles it's with all the love she's got.  Yet, while these sweet squeezes are typically given generously, you can bank on the fact that they only happen because she wants them to.


So, for our dear Bean, and in the spirit of the season, here are some super cute Christmas cat clipart:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com

ClickArt Online

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1,500 Adorable Images of Elves

He looks at his Papa with a smile to melt the coldest heart. Though barely two, he is the quintessential little boy — fascinated by machines,  hammering on things and being on the go.

He's also got a sensitive side, though. He loves to snuggle with a cuddly baby doll or nestle quietly against you while you read him a story.

He is our 'Sir Lash-a-lot', a tow-headed sweetheart with eyelashes like palm fronds.  The third grandchild for us, this delightful toddler looks at us with a sparkle in his baby blues and more times than not graces the world with an award-winning smile.

That I made the decision last Christmas to start an elf ornament collection for him was one of my better choices in this family tradition. These mythical creatures suit him. He is quite frankly a merry little charmer who always seems to be hiding some private joke.  When I think of elves or look at him the word that comes to mind is impish.

At this time of year, the image of an elf is as magical as the season itself.  Their world is a mythical wonderland where dreams and wishes come true. These clipart collections celebrate the fantasy and fun of Santa's little helpers:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com

ClickArt Online

ClipartGuide

Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Great Collections of Awesome Christmas Tree Clipart

Having been a little under the weather and out of the office for a few days, it was nice to be welcomed back by the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, which colleagues had erected and decorated in my absence.  What had started as a dreary Monday morning, suddenly seemed a little brighter.

A favourite Pat Boone carol speaks to the warmth of this holiday tradition:

"Isn't it strange, how a little green tree,
Can light up a cold, lonely room?
The glow of its light, can warm up the night
And melt away sadness and gloom .

The beauty of this holiday tradition was the theme I selected for our granddaughter's Christmas ornament collection from her Papa and me. It seemed the perfect choice for her.

From the time she could focus she seemed to have an interesting fascination with trees of all kinds. Her mother once sent me a picture of our precious Little Missy sitting in her stroller staring at the huge ficus in the corner of their dining room — a distraction that had apparently snapped her out of a fussy mood and held her attention for an incredible half hour.

On our many trips with her to Northern Ontario it has been intriguing to note her enchantment with all things green, from the leaves on a short shrub to the spiky needles of a majestic pine.

So, for the sweetest of all nature lovers, and with the warmth of all the little green trees brightening the holiday season,  here are some clipart collections celebrating a festive favourite:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

ClickArt Online

ClipartGuide