Auction Wall Art – a BIG success

I was assigned the job of creating my son’s 8th grade class auction
project. Every year each class at our small private catholic school has
a unique item that goes up for live bidding. This is an especially
important year because 8th grade is the graduating year for this school
and all the students will be scattered across the greater Seattle area
in various high schools.

Lucky for us, we have the amazing John Curley, from King 5’s Evening Magazine,
as our auctioneer, hence our live items usually go for pretty big
bucks! The classroom chairperson definitely wanted photos in the class
project, but from past experience I’ve learned that photos of children,
other than our own, doesn’t make very popular heirloom wall art.


So, as I usually do, I worked backwards on this project. What I wanted to bring to the auction was a piece that:

•    Is neutral enough in color and design that it will fit into any home’s décor.
•    Creates a profound emotional effect on, not only the owner of the art, but on anyone.
•    A timeless mature design that would include all 47 children without being overwhelming.

The original idea was to have the 47 children stand hand-in-hand, with their backs to the camera, looking out over the Puget Sound (at the beach only a few miles from our school). Puget_sound
This panoramic scene would then be slightly artistically altered. Well because of our harsh winter weather and school closures we couldn’t pull this off. So as a backup plan I asked that the children stand in groups of 7 or so in front of our stage curtains and I would extract them from the photos and digitally put them on the beach! Molly Schneider  helped me with the extractions, very time consuming. She did a beautiful job.

Using photoshop, I brought together a stock photo of the ocean, 47 kids from 7 photos, a small sentimental phrase. I then tweaked the piece slightly giving it a water colored appearance.8thgrade  Done! The final art piece was professionally printed on an archival 40” long x 20” high x 1.5” wide gallery wrapped canvas.

I believe that what we ended up with was so unbelievably moving that we successfully encapsulated this moment in time beautifully. Some words that come to mind: friendship, brotherhood, sisterhood, community, future, endless possibilities…It still chokes me up!

I’m happy to say that our art project was very popular and ended up raising over $2500 for our school. What a wonderful ending to the beginning of our children’s future.

People’s Celebrity Baby Blog named Paper Locket a Favorite Holiday Photo Card Company

What a JOY!
" Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to prepare for the holidays. Whether this is your first Christmas as a family or you're looking for something different this year, we've rounded up the best of the best in holiday photo cards." read more!
Visit Paper Locket for unique and stylish holiday photo cards!

10 Amazing Holiday Card Variations

Paper Locket's designs paired with our customer's photos & personal style ~








Six more?! Yes ~ fresh designs as sweet as a candy cane!! Check them out & remember, ordering a photo card from Paper Locket is simple!


How Can I Customize? Let me count the ways ~

Maybe we can't count the ways…because they're endless! It's not really important HOW Paper Locket is able to modify each design or WHAT your card could possibly look like with your selection of photos and personal content (for those who don't have a vision for this sorta thing) – what's important is that you will end up with a design that's perfect. It's as simple as picking a design that appeals to you (request changes to the design only if you want to), submit your photos and we do the rest. An online proof is sent to you in less than 48 hours for your review. We don't print your card until you love the way it looks.


Here is our popular Conversation Piece design ~ and below it are 3 examples of how we modified this design to create unique & stylish holiday cards specifically for each customer's photos, content and design changes:


Example #1 > Can I add more photos & change the font?



 Example #2 > Can the main photo be vertical, the background
changed to golden, and can 3 photos go on the back?


Example #3 > Can 1 photo go on the front & can the background be changed to red?


Here are some frequently asked questions we've received about our holiday photo cards;
and the answer to these questions is what? 


Can Paper Locket:

change the number of photos on the front of the card from 3 to 1 or from 3 to 5?

 change the colors on the card?

 combine designs from 2 cards into 1?

 remove all the fluff and have the design be a collage of photos?

 resize the individual photos to all be the same size?

use a design off the custom design gallery for a customer without charging the custom design price?

soften the edges of my photo?

make my photo black & white, sepia or translucent?

add captions to all my photos?

add a small family letter to the back of my card?


And that's why we're so unique ~

5 Simple Guidelines to Selecting the Perfect Photos for your Stylish Holiday Photo Card

It goes without saying that we all want to see current photos of our family and friends in a photo card. So think of distance or action photos as extras when assembling your holiday collection and be sure to include some close-ups of everyone. And parents, feel free to skip a year or two in appearing in your holiday card, but we all want to see you once in awhile too!Cropping

Also remember that a photo can be cropped and re-sized in many ways! Cropping can eliminate others from the photo and it can give a photo a n
ew shape (square, circular, horizontal or vertical).  

1. Go Professional
Professional photos can be easy and affordable. Contact some local independent photographers and ask if they’re offering a mini holiday photo session. ProMany times they’ll set aside a chunk of time for several 15 – 20 minute sessions, specifically for holiday cards. If they aren’t offering this option introduce it to them as something you’d be very interested in. Large families, neighbors or groups of friends can split the cost of a full session as well. Some photographers will sell a CD of images while others will sell individual photos. And definitely make sure they’re not copyright protected if you plan on using them in your holiday card.

2. Semi Pro
With the quality of digital cameras today, it’s almost foolproof to get a professional looking photo. Borrow 10 minutes of someone’s time in exchange for your good company, to be your semi-pro photographer. Semi
Dress in solid complimentary colors, pick an attractive outdoor setting and smile. Capture a group shot, several individuals and some candid shots too.

3. Tell us a little something
Send a smile through your photos ~ photos convey a huge amount of emotion, so whatever makes you smile will be a treasured gift to others! Smile

What happened in your life this year? Include photos that will tell your story ~ you moved, got a puppy, had a baby, got married, went on a vacation, learned to ski… Share with others what you love to do?  Story
Showcase photos of you and yours ~ hiking, biking, cooking, creating, performing, competing…

4. Up Close & Personal
Sometimes it’s just fun to see a familiar face or the face of a child who is growing up way too fast or a furry friend with a wet nose. Forget about the setting, just get into good light (outside is best) and snap a close up. Have them look at the camera or look away – try both ways. The magic comes in with the close-up cropping in photo editing software.Face
Better yet, leave this step to your card designer. I’m talking close up! This is a sure way for an average photo to look amazing.

5. Too Many to Choose From   
If that’s the case then here are some tips for picking multiple photos people really (really) want to see:
•    Maximum 12 photos – not an absolute rule, but a good guideline, so the photos can be sized appropriately and the card isn’t way too busy.
•   Variety – several photos from one photo session but different. Different expressions, emotions, poses, people. Or photos from the year showing a variety of experiences, expressions or groupings (sisters, brothers, mom & kids, dad & kids…etc).
•    Harmony – Bringing a lot of different photos together can be accomplished through color, altering them all to b/w or sepia or a combination of alterations with color images. Size also harmonizes images together. No worries though! Your card designer will know how to visually layout images in a harmonious way using the rules of design.
•    Individuals – generally we only need 1 individual shot of each family member. And remember, cropping can take one person out of a group shot!

And lastly, if you still can't decide, leave it up to your trusted photo card designer to choose for you!

How photos ‘fit’ into our holiday cards – perfectly!

 'Fit' might not be the right word to describe our perfectly made-to-order design process. Selecting a design is only the first step because the photo(s) really lead the way ~ and of course our client's requests for design changes.

This gorgeous family was photographed in September, by Paper Locket's partner in photography, Misty Thacker, of BabesWherryInk .  Wow, right?!

their favorite photos we were able to create something unique for them.
This custom design was a collaboration of several designs that caught
their eye. Custom

We loved these photos so much that out went the old Sprigs design and in came the new. Much better!!Sprigs5

Paper Locket’s Perfect Cup of Joe

Every morning I stumble into the kitchen and lovingly press the start button on my automatic Saeco Espresso Maker. Voila`! I’m sipping a triple latte (a Pacific Northwest staple) in my PJ’s. The real joy for me is that it’s fast, convenient and not just an ordinary Cup of Joe! So much of what my espresso maker does for me in the wee hours of the day reminds me of what I do for my customers during holiday crazy times. 

Confined by the reality of time – gone are the days of handmade holiday cards. In an attempt to send a ‘personalized’ card so many of us have opted for the template holiday cards from a local digital printing company. But what we really want to send our family & friends is more than that ole Cup of Joe card ~ right? Where is that automatic holiday card machine…

Anytime of the day or night you can point and click on a Paper Locket card design, and have a real designer fuss & fret over your holiday card, the photos and holiday content.  It’s our rare hand-touch design process that make these cards so very close to being handmade. And in only a few days, delivered to your doorstep, are your decadent & stylish cards, the ones you were just dreaming of. So the truth is, we can still wish for extraordinary things and actually get them (in our PJs).  Cheers!!

2008’s Holiday Cards are HERE!

Making a list and checking it twice means rattling your brains about Holiday cards.
Now let's see … hmmm … you don't want to grab a box of 10 from the store (boring), you could go to the web sites that everyone is going to and pick from three colors of card (nah), you could …yep, it's starting to feel like a headache.
Put an end to this annual chore and see how simple it is to transform cards into keepsakes that family and friends will treasure for years.

Begin with that darling photo of the kids from summer, or the family reunion in fall, or perhaps it's the cutest puppy you bought. (No need to tell everyone he's chewed 10 pairs of shoes…)
Go to and in three easy steps you will be able to design and order your own cards with fun, emotional, poignant memories that take just days to get to your doorstep.

It's simple to send the PERFECT holiday card this year with  Paper Locket. Rich archival cardstock, flat 5×7 cards, 2-sided designs, that arrive in only a few days.
Each card is customizable and can accommodate a single photo or several photos, so all you have to do is click on your favorite design, upload your photos, and we're off designing for you. Completely custom designs are available too, for people who love surprises!

Well, put away the ibuprofen and rattle your brains no more.
Paper Locket, named as a favorite of TotTrendsWeekly, provides a simple way to send the perfect holiday card!


Hula Hoop Birthday Party

Doesn't it seem like we're always planning for the next birthday party. Only hours after one birthday ends, they start talking about what their next year's party will be like.

I actually LOVE planning parties. It's a fun challenge for me to piece together their hobbies, passions, current trends & favorite things into a party theme. Of course, designing the invitation is one of my favorites too…. (invitation was a combination of 3 photos).
HoopWhile on vacation this summer, we watched Sophie hoop it up on the beaches of Cape Cod, all day long. So, thinking up a theme was easy ~ A Hooping Party!IMG_2054

Now I had the task of finding someone who'd teach her & her friends some new moves. Lucky for us, Susan Chace of Hoop Delite teaches hooping exercise classes for adults in the Seattle area. She was more than happy to come to our kiddie party and show us some new hip moves.

Susan was GREAT! IMG_2076The girls hooped for almost an hour to some tunes, played hoop games, and made a hoop tunnel. To my surprise, I was even able to hoop along using her extra large hoops. Loved the photo opportunities, too!


So, what's next? I have about four  months to dream up  a theme for the next child's birthday…much harder when they're turning a cool 12 years old!!