So now that Christmas is over and all the packages are in the mail, I can safely tell you about my special Christmas project.
This summer we had our first trip "home" to Ontario in 5 years and saw many of our friends and family. In 5 years there have been births, marriages, new homes, new styles, etc., etc. Being the scrapbooker that I am, I had the camera at nearly constant readiness, capturing the beautiful faces of our loved ones.
...HAHAHAHA. Wow. Almost said that with a straight face.
Ok, the camera was close by. I took a lot of pictures. Sometimes I even got lucky and they turned out well.
On the other hand, we tried all year to get a good family photo for our photo wall (which hasn't been updated since 2004) and to use as the Christmas photo. We did not succeed (again). But the bloopers are kind of funny when viewed all together.
So I had this bright idea that instead of cards, this year we'd send Christmas CD's. I thought I would put all of our best--and worst--photos from the year into a nice litttle slideshow presentation and send it in the mail along with our Merry Christmas wishes. Hold that thought.
I started with the jewel cases. I got some really, really pretty Patterned Paper from Imaginisce called Hello Holly and some matching cardstock. I measured my jewel cases...
...then cut my paper to fit. Then I started mixing it up. I had the double sided PP, red cardstock and green cardstock. That gave me 4 different "backgrounds". From there I played with stripes, circles, even stickers...
(like my messy desk? I'll give you a full tour soon but for now you can just wonder how I work amongst the clutter).
Here are some of the "finished" products (with our names all whited out--I really need to learn how to blur objects):
They all turned out really cute and each one was just slightly unique. I wrote personalized Christmas greetings inside them all and included the Princess' school photo and they were ready to go! Yay!
Well, except the photo cd.
We have this nice CD maker software that is supposed to create video photo cds. You should be able to pop it into any computer and watch the show. Having never used this feature, I read the help instructions. I realized that if I wanted any text I would have to pre-edit the photos (don't really have the software for that, as you can see above) or create .gif or .jpg files for the "show". I started creating files in PowerPoint, which I also had never used before. It was so easy! I was really zipping along. Then dh, my computer expert, came along and pointed out that Powerpoint was saving the files as Powerpoint slides, not images. So we played around a bit and I finally ended up creating the slides in Powerpoint, copying the image, pasting it in Paint, then saving the image. It was time consuming, but it was the best I could do. We barely computer literate people just make it up as we go along.
After an entire morning of this (about 5-6 hours), I was ready to start creating my "video". I had to import the files one by one. You would think that would be a piece of cake, but the program insisted on rewriting everything every time you inserted a file, and as the show got larger and larger, it took longer and longer to do each file. With over 300 files to insert, it ended up taking me the rest of the day, until after 8 PM. Thank goodness for dh and his willingness to feed and entertain the children that day!
At this point I had been on the computer for 14 hours with only a couple of quick restroom breaks and hardly anything to eat. I asked dh to finish up the program and start burning the cds while I took a much needed supper break.
The program wouldn't work.
Yes, internets, you read correctly.
THE. PROGRAM. WOULD. NOT. WORK.
All those hours, all that work, and NO pretty christmas cds.
At that point I gave up for the night and went to bed. In fact, I gave up for the week. I did not want to think about all those empty (but pretty) jewel cases mocking me from my desk. DH offered to search the internets for another program we could download, but how many hours would that take on our sad, sad little dial-up connection?
I eventually decided to just go with a Powerpoint slideshow. I started all over again and eventually started having fun with it. Dh worried that not everyone would be able to view the show (hello to his LINUX using family!) so he included a PowerPoint reader on the cds. He's such a nice guy. I was past caring. Family, I love you, but even braving the malls would have been easier than this.
If it's the thought that counts, I was thinking of all these people and how fun this little Christmas treat would be for everyone. I still think it would have been awesome, if only it worked.
And if no one minds, I THINK I'll come up with something simpler next year. Like....I don't know...maybe a card.