Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Cards and Other Stuff

(click to enlarge any photo)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and to those of us who stuffed ourselves silly, I hope you are now feeling a little better!

We spent the holiday with extended family, and then the past few days were occupied  with yard work and hanging Christmas lights.  We also have our daughter to blame for our new addiction to the show Glee.  I had never seen it before, so she suggested we watch it on Netflix from the very beginning.  We watched 4 episodes back to back on Saturday evening and then another 2 this morning before she headed back to DC!

I have to say that I love nothing more than to have all of my birdies in the nest, so this weekend was wonderful for me and Mr. Tide.  My Dad used to always say how nice it was to have everyone at home during the holidays, and I now understand why it meant so much to both he and my mom.  And it's funny, but my mother in law said the same thing when we left after our recent visit, that she remembered her own grandfather being teary eyed when they all left their family cabin each year.

I guess that's how life works, you rush around raising your little chicks with the intention of them flying from the nest.  But it sure is nice when they fly back home for a few days!

And speaking of birds, Mr. Tide and I have now officially declared ourselves old people.  And about a week ago we purchased a bird feeder.  The reason I say "old" is because when you are younger it seems like only old people enjoy watching or feeding birds.  Shoot, even in the movie Mary Poppins the lady that feeds the birds is older!  So we've always assumed, and maybe wrongly so, that bird watching was for old people, or maybe we ARE old now!  I would like to think that maybe we aren't old, but that we have just discovered a new found appreciation for everything ornithology! ;-)

After waiting a week for birds to grace our feeder, we were welcomed this morning by lots of little birds anxious for their own version of Thanksgiving leftovers.  I don't claim to know them all, but since I'm embracing my old person persona, I will likely have to break out the bird book soon so that I can be in the know about which ones are which!

I did however recognize a female cardinal without too much thought, and so I happily snapped away at her as she perched atop the wrought iron shepherd's hook that holds the feeder.  I was amazed at the clarity of some of the shots, so I decided to turn a few of the images into holiday cards.

I know that these would be more striking if it had been a male cardinal who had visited us today, but I still think Mrs. Cardinal deserves her due.  It's kind of like Santa and Mrs. Clause, no one lines up to see Mrs. Clause...poor dear!

I used a combination of things on these photos including the new free texture I got today from Kim Klassen, it's called Poetic, and I think that is a fitting name for this lovely new texture!  The top textured photo also has a free texture by Leslie Nicole.  I also highly recommend you purchase some textures from these lovely ladies as they have some great ones to choose from, and some are even on sale right now!

The other overlays I used (except for the one in the photo above which I can no longer find the source for!) all came from The Graphics Fairy.  I love finding beautiful license free imagery from The Graphics Fairy, it is one of my favorite places to go hunting for special clip art and backgrounds...especially for holiday projects like cards!

So there you have it, I'm slowly getting into the holiday spirit.  I was so pumped to get going on decorating this weekend, and then my dear husband lugged all of my Christmas tubs inside only to realize that my enthusiasm had waned slightly upon seeing just how much "stuff" I have!

In my head, I had visions of boxwood wreaths and all white trees, but my tubs full of holiday decor did not agree with my pared down simplistic approach this year.  And had Mr. Tide not pulled a muscle in his shoulder bringing said tubs into the house, well I probably would have sent them right back to the garage.  Instead I am letting my brain battle it out to see which will win, simplicity or surplus!  Until I do, those bins will act as wonderful ottomans for nearly every seat in the living room.  Which is perfect for watching more episodes of Glee right?!


  1. I think the female cardinal is beautiful, and at times even more so than the male. Your images are delightful here and I love what you did with your templates. I thought your feeders might be new. Ours are so much less photogenic . . . here's to us old folks and our bird watching. Yes! You need a book. You've got a house finch visiting too, I see. And a little chickadee.

  2. Kat, those are gorgeous and I have enjoyed bird watching for years and I am old now. Our trees were over running with them this morning. It sounded like there were hundreds. I get the free textures, but don't have a clue how to use them. You should do a course of step by step for us who don't know what to do.

  3. We love watching the birds...but we are 'older'! heehee! Your cards are really wonderful! I did some decorating but got tired of the mess really quick and put boxes away! I'm happy with what I have...until I get in the mood for more! ♥

  4. I used to feed birds, to give my kids and my cats something to watch out the windows. We usually ended up feeding squirrels, which was okay with me. I stopped doing it when the vet bills started adding up, when our dog Emma made trip after trip for stitches to repair boo-boos caused by chasing the squirrels and running into something in the yard. I miss feeding birds, and I may start doing it again.

  5. In that case I am old too. I would rather watch our birds feeding and bathing than do most any thing else. Watching them in the birdbath is the most fun. You do have a birdbath? Near that feeder I hope. We now have half a dozen books on eastern birds.

  6. Your cards are beautiful, Kat...I love all the elements you put together on these! I guess I've been old a long time...we've fed the birds forever lol! I am feeling in a VERY simple decorating Christmas mood this year...I haven't pulled out any boxes this year and bought a small tabletop tree! Its different year-to-year!

  7. Love the birds on the holiday cards, absolutely beautiful!

    Not sure if I will lug out all of my holiday decorations either....perhaps a simple style of decorating instead.

    Your photos are amazing....

  8. The bird cards are very pretty. I was a little overwhelmed by the number of bins our boys brought up from the basement this week. Our bins also filled all the floor space in our little dining room and overflowed to the living room. And that is after sending two big boxes of stuff to the thrift store last January in a bid to downsize a bit. No doubt the dog is wondering what the heck we are up to, she was just a pup last year.

  9. I love those cards - gorgeous photo and lovely vintagey feel.

  10. First do you like Glee? I have to buy whole sets of DVD's on show because I so rarely watch TV. I need to narrow it far I want to watch Madmen and a few others.

    I love to birdwatch. The way some people steal your internet connection, my next door neighbor feeds birds and now they venture into my garden, so i have all the fun and no work! For your photography, this was a great purchase.

    Hail to the female cardinal!! It's about time she got her due! How cliche it is to see those bright manly colors every winter and Christmas. The poor woman is probably at home making a miniature turkey while he poses for Hallmark!! lol!

    I am behind the cart on my decorating, too. Hubby thinks it's too early to bring a tree in and I had to agree. Blogging makes us feel we have to be the first at everything. I truly thought I'd at least get started decorating this weekend but I just caught up on a few small things here and there. I hope to work on it this week. Oldest son flew the coop this weekend as well, just to the north side of the city...about 35 minutes from us on the south side. He had stayed with us a year and is now back on his own. I truly enjoyed having him here, but there comes that time... Now when my girls move out, you will have to pick me up off the floor.

    Oh well, you didn't need a book. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. I saw your are beautiful!


  11. oh wow, your photos are so gorgeous! I'm a bird lover too, love the graphics with these!

  12. Love Glee, have watched from the start

    Love the fourth shot down.Yowza

    Show hubby tomorrow's post about holiday decor storage..or maybe

    Love all your cards- Just beautiful
    Don't know why I am doing a shorthand comment tonight..must be the type of day I had, pulled in many directions in short spurts :D

  13. Kat, I just love that first photo you posted! That little chickadee is coming in for a landing!! I love those Christmas cards you are designing too!

  14. Avid Glee watchers here, too. Beautiful photos and cards! I love the textures you used. I'm planning on a silver and gold color theme throughout my main rooms, but I know that my tubs are filled with color, so I'll need to work that out, too. Looking forward to seeing what wins out in your home. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I absolutely LOVE your bird photos Kat - maybe it is their natural beauty which is making you eye your tubs of decorations with alarm?

  16. Your photographs are beautiful!

    I think, as we age we finally realize we need to slow down and take a look around. There is so much beauty to awe us if we just open our eyes. Hugs!

  17. It was bound to happen Kat....welcome to the backyard birding club! We've been old happy members for several years now...haha! I just love how you made up those Christmas cards...they are so perfect. And I do love the fine detail you captured on all our little feathered friends. xo ~Lili

  18. I love your Christmas cards! How special to get a handmade card with an original photograph!
    It is quite relaxing watching the birds, so I guess I am offically old too!

  19. Your cards are beautiful and so original. It's great to see how much you are enjoying your photography and developing your ideas.

    I'm totally on board with keeping it simple for the holidays. I plan to make some pine bough bouquets as I love their fragrance. But with so few hours of light I'll need to purchase additional greens. Everything is sort of shriveling up here.


  20. Kat...I don't know how you do it!! Your gorgeous Christmas cards featuring Mrs. Cardinal are just beautiful (you did lose me at the word 'overlay', I have no idea when it comes to those things!!). I had the same thought this year and we are keeping Christmas decorating simple (unless you are Miss 4...who has an incredibly blinged out little tree in her bedroom!!). I can't wait to see which way you end up going with your decorating:) So happy to catch up ... off to read what I have missed!! Hugs sweet friend ~ xx

  21. Thanks for the idea about using our Christmas tubs as ottamans...luv it!!! Now I have about a dozen tubs, but not a dozen chairs...ha ha!!! Just called my daughter and told her that when I get finish...please come over and help yourself to the extra decor...gave her wreaths earlier today for her windows.


  22. We have declared ourselves "old people" for so many reasons these days that I can't count them all. Mostly, it is all the aches and pains when I sit too long on the floor wrapping presents, or the fact that my husband can't stand up straight because his back hurts after shifting boxes of holiday decor. It is also that everything sounds like too much effort. "Want to go to a movie?" Nah..."want to run to St. Louis for the day?"...nope.

    I'm really happy with my decorations this year. I did less and I focused on a winter look, so I won't have to box up everything the day we get home from Florida. I didn't have to buy much new, I just pulled out only white, silver and a few jewel tones. I didn't take nearly as long to decorate, I didn't work nearly as hard...and it is still pretty.

    As for the pup. Oh is different here. She has found that she likes to chew on everything. Our older dog has a real love/hate thing going on. She won't leave her alone, but she snaps, snarls and barks when Zoe gets near her and that pup is fearless. So, we can't have them both running through the house at the same time. Nothing is safe, we are exhausted and I have not one regret at all that we got her. When she snuggles in and looks at me with those big brown eyes...I'm a goner!


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