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Posts from the ‘Articles and Content’ Category

5 Great Holiday Card Photo Ideas

 1.  No cheese, please

It seems that most kids (and some adults) naturally say “cheese!” whenever they see a camera. But getting the best image sometimes involves not only not smiling, but pretending the camera isn’t even there. Try playing a game that you know makes the kids laugh, having a tickle war, or just sharing a quiet moment with each other.



2. Get in close

 Try to get everyone in the photo touching or making a connection in some way. You want everyone to look like one unit. Take the photo below, for example. Just moving their faces closer to each other and having them all embrace each other made the photo look so much cozier!


  3. Get on their level

When you’re taking photos of young kids, try getting down on the floor and experiencing the world as they see it. Not only will your photo be more visually interesting, but your subject will be able to connect with the camera much more naturally than when you’re looking down on them.

4. Focus on the background

Well, not literally, but you want to make sure the background complements your image and isn’t distracting. When looking for possible locations, a brick wall, wooden fence, or some other textured surface will make a great backdrop & add subtle interest to your photo. If your background seems too busy and switching locations isn’t an option, try moving your subject further away from the background and closer to the camera. It will place more focus on the person you’re photographing and blur out what’s behind them.

5. Leave space around the edges

For maximum usability, try leaving a decent amount of space around your subject(s). This will allow you to have art or text overlaying your photo if needed. It’s no fun to find a holiday card you love, but not have enough space around the edges of your photo to use it! 

Baby Announcements Series #3: Create Unique Announcements

Welcoming a new little one happens in all sorts of ways, which is why you need baby announcements that fit your family. You need baby announcements that match the details of your life—which is why Cardstore has a vast array of unique birth announcements.

If you’re having twins or triplets, select a birth announcement designed with multiple babies specifically in mind.

If you want to celebrate the bond between your new baby and his older sister or brother, select a birth announcement that focuses on the bond between siblings.

If you’re adopting, select an adoption announcement that welcomes the new addition to your family with style.

Whatever your circumstances, Cardstore has personalized photo baby announcements perfect for the occasion—just browse our birth announcements and see for yourself! And don’t forget that for every ten birth announcements you buy, you can get ten free.


Writing Wedding Thank You Cards

Now that the Kardashian wedding has come and gone (with no colorful wedding dress, thank goodness), I imagine that Kim is going to have a lot of wedding thank you notes to write in the upcoming weeks! To help her, or you, out, here’s a  list of a few wedding thank you note tips to ensure your thank you cards will be at once easy to write and sincere!


Aim to get thank you notes out a month after you return from your wedding. With gifts that arrive before the wedding date, try to get a thank you back to them within two weeks. Guest are sure to be understanding if your thank you card arrives a little past the one month mark, but try to be timely!


Add a column to your RSVP list to jot down the gift each guest gave you. That way, when writing your thank you cards, you’ll be able to easily match the gift with each guest, and jog your memory as to whether or not the guest actually attended the wedding. This will help you avoid any embarrassing blunders mentioning a guest’s presence when they weren’t actually there!

Cardstore Shades of Blue Wedding Thank You Card by Paper Stories


Select a special, captured moment from the wedding to share with guests. A photo thank you card is sure to bring back memories of your wedding day, and convey your thanks in both images and words.


Begin by noting the role the guest played in your wedding, instead of the gift: It meant so much to me seeing you as I walked down the aisle. Your presence so brightened our special day. In opening your note with a heartfelt anecdote, you put the emphasis on the person instead of money or materials.

Next, thank them for the monetary or material gift, adding a brief note on where it will go in your home or how you’ll use it in the future. If possible, incorporate the guest into the activity or decoration, for example: I can’t wait for you to help us use the beautiful china plates you got us over some of my homemade lasagna soon!

End with a brief, summary thank you and offer your love. Voila! Four simple sentences, and you’ve got a quick and personalized thank you card for your guest.


Peruse for a selection of photo and regular wedding thank you cards.



Our Favorite Blog Posts: June 21 – 27

diy_tissue_paper_lanterns_large1. Handmade Paper Lanterns – I have always loved the romantic, whimsical looks of paper lanterns hanging outside for twilight dinners and parties, but have never known how to recreate the look on my own. However, this post from Curbly has 5 fantastic options for making similar paper lanterns on your own, and they’re all adorable! I’m not sure which tutorial to try first…

crafty-southern-wedding-122. Handmade Southern Wedding – Everything about this wedding seemed heartfelt, laid back, sentimental, and fantastically personal. With so many details from their flowers to the guest book could easily provide inspiration for your own wedding. And that dessert trunk; how cute can it get??

bp243. Hollywood – Summer movies have always been a family favorite, but they’re generally confined to the couch or the movie theater. However, after seeing this backyard movie party on design*sponge this week, I can’t get thoughts of hosting something like this out of my head. The great snacks and vintage-looking decor make this celebration one of the best I’ve seen this summer.

Our Favorite Blog Posts: June 7 – 13

1. Portofino Wedding – This gorgeous Italian wedding, featured at Style Me Pretty, is sure to take your breath away. Everything from the adorable yellow chapel to the all white wedding decor is stunning! The shot above, especially, is one of my favorites. Photography by Jacqueline Schmitz Campbell.

2. Letterpress Video – I found this short film on the basics of letterpress over at Pia Jane Bijkerk’s blog. Any stationery enthusiast is likely to know at least a little about the process of letterpress, but regardless, this film artfully done, interesting, and informative! Made by Naomi Ross.

3. The Internet is my Religion – Not nearly as controversial as it sounds, this totally inspiration video was brought to my attention by The Hairpin. This speech by Jim Gillian, film producer and internet expert, details how the internet helped him fight his battle with cancer, and ultimately saved his life. It’s slightly long, but worth it.

What We’re Reading: June 1 – 8

1. Top 10 Countries With the Best Work – Life Balance: Sometimes it seems that Americans just cannot figure out the right balance to working and enjoying life like many of our compatriots across the pond have been able to do. This slideshow featuring the top 10 countries who have found the best balance has provided me with some inspiration about how that can be achieved in my own life. And if not that, it lets you dream about moving somewhere where work and play are equal.

2. 50 More Food Blogs You Should be Reading: I’m shamelessly obsessed with food blogs. Any chance I get to discover a new one is like finding a long lost friend for me. This article found on Saveur has left me so excited for all the new blogs I’ll soon be adding to my list of favorites.

Our Favorite Blog Posts: April 5 – 11


1. Favorite Wedding of the Week: Safari Themed Forest Wedding – I try to highlight an array of weddings that range in budget, style, and location.  This wedding features lots of cost-saving DIY tips and an unusual jungle theme! Featured at 100 Layer Cake. Photography by onelove photography. -Allison

2. How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 other things no one told me) – This post, from Austin Kleon, is a must-read for any creative individual. Full of great, straight-forward advice. -Allison


3. Up-Inspired Floating House – The second I saw photos from this National Geographic shoot, I felt like I was being transported to a fairy tale. I love that not only did they test the idea of the house floating off with balloons in the movie Up, but the colors are so perfectly matched to the colors from the film. This must have been incredible to see. -Vanessa 


4. How to Make Playdough – As a child, playdough was one of my favorite creative tools. There was something about the feel of the playdough in my hands, along with the variety of colors, that always got my creative juices flowing. This post from black eiffel has an easy tutorial for making your own playdough in colors you want; it sounds like a blast! -Vanessa

Our Favorite Blog Posts: March 29 – April 4


1. Favorite Wedding of the Week: Harbor Island Bahamas Wedding – Featured at Once Wed, this gorgeous wedding features a pastel color palette, pretty arches, and a romantically lit reception.  Photography by Jonas Peterson. -Allison

2. Vintage Inspired Wedding – This cute couple, featured at Ruffled, is sure to inspire you with their quirkiness! Seems like great inspiration for a summer, carefree wedding reception. Photography by Julian Beattie. -Allison

3. DIY Project: Lia’s Lampshades – Add a touch of the English countryside to your home with this cute project featured at Design*Sponge! -Allison


4. Don Draper Disapproves – With the news that Mad Men has been postponed, all Mad Men lovers are in mourning. This post from Miss Moss cracked me up with all the photos of Don Draper looking very upset about this news; these photos will have to tide me over until the next season finally starts. -Vanessa


5. DIY Caramel Popcorn – I’m a huge popcorn lover; and that’s the understatement of the century. The thought of making my own caramel popcorn for a wedding, based on this post from Ruffled, would be such a fun party favor for any party. -Vanessa

Seven Tips for Taking a Family Photo


It’s an annual tradition. Every November, I get the kids in their nice clothes, line them up outside, and take a cute photo for my Christmas cards. The kids complain a little and wiggle a lot, but it’s worth it.

Why? Because in our time of texting and Facebook, holiday cards still matter. I even have a few of last year’s photo Christmas cards on my refrigerator. There’s something truly personal and memorable about a photo card that makes it a keepsake. Some people even save Christmas cards in a photo album when the season’s over, to see how friends and family change over the years.

However, you don’t have to hire a professional photographer or sift through all your family photos taken during the year to see if one of them will do. Take that family photo yourself!

Below are seven tips courtesy of our in-house photographer here at Cardstore, making it easy for you to take an outstanding photo that you’re excited to share. You don’t have to be a professional and you don’t have to own a fancy SLR camera — any simple point and shoot will do just fine!


1. Location – When thinking about where to take your photo, outdoors is usually best. Think about how beautiful that oak tree is in your back yard with the leaves changing colors. Find a serene yet simple background. Always remember to keep in mind the focus is your family not the scenery. Background should remain background.

2. Lighting – Another benefit of taking your photo outdoors is you don’t have to use flash. No more dreaded red eye! Unless you have professional photo lighting, outdoor lighting is the most natural and flattering. Try to take your photo in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn’t too high. It will help you avoid harsh shadows.

3. Get close! – You’re a family! Squeeze in tight. Photos always look awkward if one or two family members are scattered far away. Also, make sure to stagger your family so everyone will be visible.

4. Natural is best – Gone are the days of stiff studio photography. Show off your family’s personality. A few shots where you’re goofing off or laughing together are always a must.

5. Dress – Should you all match? Matching is definitely not necessary. It’s best to avoid busy patterns or bright colors that clash, but you don’t need to all wear green or red. Try different color solid colors that compliment each other.

6. Shoot, shoot, shoot! – One of the benefits of digital photography is you can keep right on shooting! The more to choose from the better! You’ll also have a better chance at getting a photo where no one is blinking.

7. Family Pet? – This could go either way and completely depends on your pet’s personality. If Fido can’t sit still for 20 seconds, let alone 10 or more minutes, you’ll spend more time trying to get him to sit than relaxing and getting a good photo. Another option is take a few photos with Fido and then the rest without.

Best of luck with your photos! Enjoy the time outside with your family, and Happy Holidays from! holiday cards, from left to right, by Rob+Bob StudioSweet Street Gals, and Kate Spain.

What We’re Reading: October 7-13


1. Blake Lively – This compelling interview from Interview–an exchange between Ben Affleck and Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively shows a new, more mature side of the actress. Plus, it’s pretty interesting to observe the dynamic between Afflick and Lively as director and actress.

Jon Hamm: The Last Alpha Male: Who doesn’t want to know about Jon Hamm, the man behind Don Draper? This profile of him, from Details, is a fun, interesting read–the character and the actor certainly seem cut from the same cloth. Also, appropriately enough, Hamm is co-staring with Lively in Affleck’s film The Town.


1. Prince Charles: Royal Green – Prince Charles in Vogue as a fashion icon? I know it sounds strange, but the Prince proves how utterly fashionable he is in this article dedicated to the merits of reused clothing. In it he discusses how important is is to shop vintage, and how important it is that “upcycling” has become so popular. I haven’t considered how the fashion industry can contribute to stopping harmful effects on the Earth, but in this article Prince Charles makes some fascinating and compelling arguments about how everyone can help.

2. Making the Dream Trip a Reality – I’m sure I can speak for tons of people when I say that at least once a day I find myself dreaming about an incredible vacation I unfortunately will probably never take due to the demands of school and work. But hold on; there’s hope! This article from The New York Times has incredibly practical and realistic tips for actually going about making that fantasy a real trip, making these daydreams so much more satisfying.