For those of you who love photos and are frugal, you might appreciate this, especially if you do a photo with your Christmas cards.
Last year I could not find a photo Christmas card with two or three places for pictures at any of the sites I wanted to use to print them. I don't like the idea of spending a lot of money, because in reality, many people glance at the pictures and never look at them again. At the same time, I know that others just love to see how the children are changing (or in our case last year, get introduced to E).
I have been using Picasa, a free digital photo hosting site by Google, for several years. Picasa allows you to crop, straighten, fix red eye, add text, mess with the lighting, and make COLLAGES! I was thrilled when I realized the collage part. Collages can be in grid form or stacked. It took some time to get used to how to make it work because I am fussy. You know, I wanted this picture under this one, and that pictured angled just so. A grid would have been very easy though, but it's not my style. (But a great idea for scrapbooking mini pictures.)
Here is last year's collage that we included in our Christmas cards. I loved how it came out. A picture of the family, the kids, and one each of M and E. Since we just moved into our home, I included a picture of the house, too.
Each photo collage costs the same as a regular 4x6 inch print (or whatever size you choose to make). Picasa allows you to pretty much print wherever you want whether it's Walgreens, Wal Mart, Snapfish or 20 or 30 other places. I'm not exactly sure what our plans are for this year's Christmas photo, but I do know that I won't be buying Christmas photos, even if they are cute.
I enjoy "creating" and get much satisfaction from it, even if it's just a photo collage.
I just loved the pictures of M (age 2) and E (2 months)!
One more thought. In the past I have taped all the photos we get to our fridge, but it got to be too much, and I didn't leave them up year round. I'd love to use the photos we get to remember and pray for our friends and family. What do you do? Do you have any suggestions for me?
Vanilla Joy has a tutorial for creating collages with Picasa. Honestly, I don't think you need it if you just go in and play. If you give Picasa a try, let me know!
Oh, and for those of you who blog with Blogger, Picasa will load your pictures directly to your blog, fully edited! (I have found I can only post four pictures using Picasa, but I'm not sure if that is my fault or not. If you use Picasa and can add more, let me know!)