and now my holiday begins . . .

i know many of you are wondering why i closed shop. well, the business reason is from receipt of info to shipment of cards is about 7 working days . . . this is average, and this holiday season was nothing but average. by the time i turn around all the orders received in the past couple weeks, we will be into next week, just a week or week and a half away from the holidays, that is cutting it close for customers to then turn around and ship. so, store closed. now, onto my more important reason, what you see here. my kids. all of them, 2 boys, a girl and 3 4-legged ones. it is time for the Jay holiday season to begin too. so thank you, thank you thank you for your patronage, your business has helped me cut my hours at my "real job" to spend more time with them. so thank you. now, off to complete orders and hopefully get my own card done and out in time!

What are you waiting for?

This is autumn, my spunky, sassy, lovable & totally gorgeous daughter (i am her mom, i can say that right?). i am sure you have seen her face on my designs, but usually with a smile. this is her little "come on" mom face. she knows our holiday season doesn't start until mom closes shop for the season. so, date set. Last day to order your cards is sunday, december 7th. Information must be received by the 8th and final approvals by the 11th.

I thank you all for your business, this has so far been a fantastic season and it is because of you that i get to spend more time with my family, including miss attitude up there :)

Final bonus sale : purchase before 12/4 and orders over 50 will receive 5 free additional cards*.

*all free cards are printed on standard photo paper, excludes cardstock orders which must be purchased in quantities of 25.

breaks are pure [joy]

pure [bliss]

break is over, we had a blast (as shown above of my two youngest running full speed towards the ocean). thank you so much for your patience while i spent a few days away with my family. my customers are the best. I am back and taking orders. i will be taking holiday card orders until december 7th and information must be received by december 8th. please email me if you have any questions!

to my customers - quick break for family 11/23 & 11/24

in the midst of my busiest holiday season EVER. i must take a break. me and my husband are renewing our vows on monday. any orders via my website between Sunday and Monday will be handled upon my return on Tuesday. i thank you, in advance, for your understanding.

a touch of elegance & a little animal print . .

introducing 4 new designs . . .

a little different for me. i usually consider myself more of a modern designer, rather than an elegant classic one, but i love these. a touch of elegnace, but still chic.

here they are, they will be in my store shortly!!!

actress from Guiding Light chooses a holiday card from autumn's creek!

actress michelle ray smith contacted me for her hoiday cards. she had taken a photo of her son and she said it reminded her of an old vintage photo and wanted something different for her family's holiday greeting. she asked if i could make a custom card and of course i said yes. she said she wanted blue, snowflake and a retro feel. although i felt stumped for a while, something did come to me & michelle was happy with the result. she said,

"Marie, It's beautiful! We love it :) Well done!"

here is the final result:

thank you michelle and family!!

*name and card posted with permission from michelle ray

don't fall for a copycat.

the other day, i was emailed a link to a myspace account. when i opened it, my stomach dropped. on this site were MY DESIGNS for sale. the person who "owned" this myspace account had downloaded my work & were displaying them as examples of her work. she didn't even bother to duplicate the design or remake them, they were MY CARDS, with my children on them. within 24 hours, and after a few copyright infringement letters to both her, myspace & photobucket, i was successful in her pulling down my work. i know i can not stop design theft. i see it on a weekly basis, new people selling designs that i know are based on my work. it is frustrating to see my hard work being sold by someone else. it is even more frustrating when i think that people may fall for it, see MY WORK, buy them and i know the finished product will be substandard as no true designer needs to copy someone else's work. so, my customers, be careful, buy from a reputable designer. i have been in business for over 3 years and take pride in each and every design i make for you.

introducing... two new holiday collections

this is what i do when i should be sleeping :) creating new designs.
snowtastic. . . . love these.

holiday kisses. of course, inspired by the adorable kiss in the main photo. this is my neighbor's daughter & her family. how cute are they?


• minimum order of 100
• available on my website only in 5x7 size
• pricing: 5x7 cardstock 1.45 each
• Process time (from approval to ship) is approximately 5 business days from approval date.

*picture is shown as an example and is not indicative of how your order will arrive

customize? yes, i can do that!

no two families are alike, no two designers are alike, and not everyone's style and taste is alike. so, why should you expect your taste in a holiday card to exactly match someone else's? this is what sets me apart from many online card choices. when you buy from many upload/ do it yourself card sites, what you see is what you get. not with me, i will gladly customize colors, wording and layout if needed. Love a card, but not the font? easily fixed. don't have a design in mind, but want to match your daughter's dress? i love to do that, just ask :) here are some samples from customizing this week:

in-store specials

Order before 11/14 on & get 10 free cards….

and . . .

In addition all direct orders through my site ( will come with free matching return labels. When replying to my information request email. just mention this posting & I will add 10 extra 4x6 photo cards* to your order on me! 5x7 will receive 5 free during this promotion. Feel free to email me with any questions.

*10 free cards applies only to online purchases made on for 4x6 holiday cards at only, made between 10.26.2008 and 11.15.2008.

**Purchases made on ebay do not qualify for this offer.

the face of inspiration

meet deirdre and her gorgeous family. she is the military wife that emailed me with a special request the other day. she wrote,

"We are a military family and my hubby just left us from his 2 week R&R to go back to Iraq where he will be for Christmas.I am having a hard time finding a card that is military related.I was thinking something like your red ribbon card but make the ribbon yellow (for deployment) and maybe an american flag for the whole back ground and one picture . . . please let me know if you could do something. "

how could i say no? i was up for the challenge. however, the next morning, as I stared at a bright yellow ribbon, a red white & blue flag and my mostly brown, red & green collection of cards . . . i doubted myself, for just a second, on how could i make it all work & keep my design style intact. i think i did it though & deirdre's email after seeing the draft made all the work worth while!

these are the three deirdre had to decide on, which did she choose? I am not telling. if you are one of the lucky ones to know this wonderful wife and mom personally, you will have to wait until you get it in the mail :)

thank you Deirdre, I am honored to be a little part of the you family's holiday. And please thank your husband, for all of us, for sacrificing so much to keep us safe!!

special series for special families

i received an email yesterday from a Deirdre, a military wife. she had been looking for holiday cards that had a military theme and couldn't find what she wanted. her custom design to (hopefully) come later, but she got me thinking. i needed some designed for military families (or just anyone who loves the americana feel). So, here is my new "in honor of" series. thank you Deirdre for inspiring me!!

*top left photo courtesy of (flickr) and all other photos courtesy of the awesome & talented ashley of thank you!!!

introducing . . .

my photography blog . . . capturing life one click at a time. nope, not switching career gears, (hence the title), just a place to share my love of photography. up until now, i have been sharing on flickr, but i wanted a place to call my own.


for the love of retro.

new holiday collection . . . hope you love them as much as i do.

Do I make thank you cards?

yes, i sure do. i can create a custom thank you to match your birth announcement, birthday invite or your baptism invites. make your baptism thank you even more special by using photos from the special day - as shown below in actual thank yous from recent customers. To purchase, either email me directly or you can purchase the card on the site and when i email you, let me know you want to make the card a thank you (there is no extra cost).


can't decide which 1-5 pics to use . . . use 9 then!

yes nine. introducing my new collage style announcements! as a photography geek (as well as a graphic design geek), i love photos and choosing is so hard, so i am making it easier, now you can choose nine picture. Don't forget "bits and pieces" pictures. you know, the pics of a hand, a smile, a foot. or as shown in my pics below (that i took for my neighbor) a little ear. both styles have one of my favorite quotes ""Life is not measured by the breaths you take, it is measured by the moments that take your breath away." however, like with all my designs, that can be removed or changed. these will be debuting on my site next week!

try *not* centering.....


I love your designs, how do I order?
Ordering is easy, while viewing the design you like, you will see an [ADD TO BASKET] button. Input the exact number of cards that you need. Price shown is for each card. Quantity Discounts will appear in your basket.

I am trying to purchase the card, but it didn't ask me for my info, how do I customize the card?
After you purchase the design, i will email you for all the info to customize the card.

This is what sets me apart from 99% of the other online card companies. you are NOT alone in this process. you do not design the card, I DO. My designs are not templates where we just type in info and upload a pic. I personally design each and every card just for you. this means your text will fit, i will custom crop your photos to fit and offer FREE photo editing so your photos look their best.

I just placed my order, what happens next?
We will contact you within 24 hours and request the information to complete your order. You will then respond me with the applicable information and email me the photographs you want on your design. If you want, you are more then welcome to submit info on your own. See here for details: ordering process

Can I see a design before I pay?
I am sorry, but due to the time I spend on each design, especially during the holiday season, i can not design cards without purchase.

What makes your designs different then other online card companies?
Me! I do each card personally. a computer is not putting your design together I am. Unlike 99% of online companies, I will (at no extra cost) customize the wording and colors on your design for you. I can match your child's outfit or add polka dots instead of snowflakes :)

Do you offer digital files?
At this time, no. I do not sell my digital files.

The design i like has three photos, but i only have two pictures, will that work?
Again, because i work each card for you, i can usually customize a design to work with the amount of photos you have.

I had my photos taken by a professional photographer, can I scan them to use on the card?
Most photographers require a release to use/duplicate their images. Please check with your photographer for a release.

What is the printing process?
Photo paper cards are printed on FUJI Crystal Archive Paper and are printed at a professional photo lab. Unlike photos printed on an inkjet or laser printer, these photo cards will last a lifetime and not fade. Cardstock orders are press printed (not laser nor inkjet) on high quality cardstock.

I have my own wording I want to use. Do I have to use your wording or can I use my own?
All wording is completely customizable.

Will I see a proof before you print and send me my order?
Yes, I will send you a proof for approval prior to printing.

How long does it take before I see my proof?
Most orders have a proof within 48 hours. During Holiday season, this may go up to 72 hours.If you need your proof sooner, see below.

Time got away from me . . .do you offer rush service?
If time permits, we may be able to accomadate a "RUSH" order. rush orders have a $10 rush fee and we will have your proof within 24 hours, email me for details.

How long after I approve my order do you ship?
Orders are printed and shipped within 3 business days

What happens if I get my proof & I need to make changes.
A revision to your design is included in the purchase price. I ask that you take your time and make sure that everything on the card is correct so any and all changes can be done at once. multiple requests for revisions may incur a revision fee, depending upon the request.

What payment methods do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover through PayPal.

What shipping method is used? We use USPS Priority Mail shipping service (2-3 day standard delivery time).

Can you change my photographs to black and white?
Yes, we can change any color photos to black and white or sepia coloring.

My child has a scratch on her chin, can you fix that?
Yes, for no additional charge, minor airbrushing is included.

term of the day "post processing" or PP for short.

in the photographer's world, the term post-processing is used a lot. this is what they do to the photo after the shutterclick. most photographers have a workflow and use applications such as elements and lightroom to make your photos look their best. this takes a good shot to the next level. not everyone is a photographer and not everyone wants to be one, but we all want our photos too look their best.

as a photographer and a designer, i use both my skill sets to make your card look its best. i do not just add the photos onto my design. i spend hours making photos look their best. i crop, i lighten, i brighten, i adjust saturations to make your photos be the spotlight of the card and not my design. here are some examples of befores and afters.

a personal post.

i love photography. to my friends and family, this is no secret. this helps drive my passion for my cards, i have fun making your pics look their best. last year, i started a 365 project. a picture of day of my kids for a year! last week i finished! i was able to accomplish taking a unique photo of my two younger kids every day for 365 days!!!! the pay off - a awesome poster and a book in the works!! here is a link to their posters:

my 3 year olds

my 10 years olds:

and some of my favorite pics of the year - one also of my oldest who i did not do the project for.

it is halloween time

i know, i know. i am guilty of talking about christmas before halloween even pasted.. but do not worry, i didn't forget all the ghosts and goblines. i have finished my new 2008 designs and they will be in my store this week.

here is a sneak peak:

new birth announcement designs . . .

announcing three new designs. before the big holiday rush, i wanted to add some designs and had the opportunity to have a customer's pics inspire two of them.Photobucket Image Hosting Photobucket Image Hosting
chocolate kisses

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someone tine (new & improved)

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snug as a bug

*sneak peak* for my new 2008 holiday designs

i have been hard at work coming up with some new designs for the holiday season. last year, i got started late and never even got all my 2007 designs in my store. so, we are working on those now and in the coming weeks will have new 2008 designs available as well. remember to order early, my process time goes from 48 hours to about 72 hours and we all know how shipping times can be slower the closer we get to the holidays. so don't wait.

here they are, a few of my favorite designs (and some featuring my favorite pictures of my favorite kids - i.e. MINE). i love that i get to combine my love of photography with my love of design.

introducing my newest design... [boston]

i truly do not know how i come up with names. when i was doing the boy one, i was thinking of a name and boston came to mind. the boston red sox are our favorite team and boston was one of the names we considered for my middle son. well, now this design is boston. fun & full of life, that is boston.

what do the return labels look like?

since i get this question often, i thought it was time to share. labels are available with every purchase. I always try my best to match the card so your friends and family get a little sneak peak of what is inside. here are two samples of a card with its coordinating return label.

holiday cards:

birth announcements

new designs are here!

i had some time this weekend to come up with a couple of new designs.

first up is this this modern design has a soft, muted brown background with either blue for your baby boy or pink for your new little girl with one large main photo and up to three smaller, supporting photos. the center has a strip of your accent color with soft hearts going all the way across the card. i also added a large cursive initial, which could be for the baby's name or your family last name. the girl version also has a soft feminine lace border going across the center.