Custom Holiday Card Ideas!


*Post sponsored by Minted

Every year, I send A Bubbly Life clients cards to thank them for working with me, supporting my dream, being awesome and to wish them a very Merry Christmas.  I typically do this over email with a simple graphic design card and this year I upped the ante!  Thanks to Minted I created one custom card and one pre-designed holiday card!



The custom card design's photo is one of my DIYs- a confetti ornament I shared last year on a Pottery Barn Teen.  Minted has a ton of gold foil designs and I wanted a look to match the overall aesthetic of A Bubbly Life- so gold was perfect!  I chose the Merry card design to go along with the confetti ornament.  I loved that I could send a photo of my work along as a Christmas card to clients!



Minted also has cards designed and ready to go with some quick personalization from you- makes it so simple!  I picked up a batch of these as well.  I like to get two sets of cards for the holidays- A Christmas specific one and a holiday type one for friends that may not observe Christmas.  The Cheers in pink and gold foil is ideal with A Bubbly Life's colors and of course, I like the bubbly- so Cheers is perfect!





I would not mind receiving one of these cards with confetti, disco balls and a noise blower... perfect New Year's in a Box gift surprise!

Post sponsored by Minted.  All opinions are my own and thank you SO much for supporting sponsors who keep A Bubbly Life going!

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Happy Friday! Happy Holiday! And Happy Giveaways!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I have an awesome announcement that will hopefully make your Christmas shopping a lot easier- The Holiday Collective Giveaways!  The Holiday Collective is a pop up holiday blog and 18 of us are throwing a giveaway!  So, for the next 18 days, starting today, a new giveaway will begin! Cross your fingers and good luck to everyone!





Big Ole Giveaway List:

Nov. 27 - Design Improvised $400 box of Martha Stewart Crafts supplies
Nov. 28 - Pars Caeli $100 Seedling gift card
Nov. 29 - Fall for DIY  Silhouette Cameo ($300 value)
Nov. 30 - Squirrelly Minds $200 gift card to SnapBox
Dec. 1 - This Little Street  $200 Anthropologie gift card & beauty assortment
Dec. 2 -  Idle Hands Awake  $150 to Artfully Walls
Dec. 3 - A Bubbly Life (whew hoo that's me!) $250 Pottery Barn Teen gift card
Dec. 4 - Alice & Lois $200 Banana Republic gift card
Dec. 5 - This Heart of Mine 4 Pairs of Livie & Luca shoes
Dec. 6 - The Merrythought   1 adult bicycle & 1 kid's bicycle from Brilliant Bicycle Co. ($588 value)
Dec. 7 - Shrimp Salad Circus $200 Michaels gift card
Dec. 8 - Lovely Indeed $150 to Social Print Studio
Dec. 9 - A Girl Named PJ $250 to BRIKA
Dec. 10 - Brepurposed Welcome Package & $100 gift card to Spoonflower
Dec. 11 - Damask Love Cricut Prize Bundle
Dec. 12 - Hey There Home $200 Pottery Barn gift card
Dec. 14 - Hello Lidy Lotta at Stockholm Clogs  ($150-$200 value)
Dec 15th- $200 credit to Design Life Kids from Lulu the Baker 

Special thank you to all the amazing sponsors providing the goods for the giveaways!!

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How to Make A Collage Using Photoshop Elements 14


A common question I receive as a blogger is how to create roundup collages!  Today, using Adobe Photoshop Elements 14, I will give you the steps to make your collages awesome.  If you are not a blogger, these tips are still useful and great to create family collage photos.  Photoshop Elements does have a very easy to use collage setting, but if you want more control over placement of  your photos & some editing details- then these tips are for you!


The examples above are a  DIY Planter Roundup from my favorite bloggers & a Gift guide product collage.


First, pick all your products or projects and save an image of each one to a folder on your computer.


Once you pick them all, open them in Photoshop Elements 14 and


Create a New Blank File-  Select File- New- Choose Preset Custom- And Pick your Size. I usually create a large one so I can resize down, I pick 1000 X 2000 here and I may resize as necessary later.  (Blogger tip: Pinterest prefers longer images versus wider, make your product collages longer as a general rule of thumb)


Crop, Remove Background, Refine Edges for each product/roundup item.

Remove Background:
As a general rule I do not change other blogger’s photos except to resize to fit the collage.  However, I do remove backgrounds for products when necessary and I typically use the magic eraser or background eraser for this.  (there are multiple ways to remove backgrounds in Photoshop Elements)

Choose from tools and click on the background you want removed.


Refine Selection Brush: is a new tool for Photoshop Elements 14 and is very useful when needing to select fine edges like fur and hair.  My example here is a furry stool.  For family use, this comes in handy when you are combining images of people- you will get all their hair instead of it looking like they just got a bad haircut.

When I make my selection as normal, the selection tool will not get the fine edges of hair and the product copy to the collage will look funny.  
Select Refine Edge, and simply brush it over the fur and your selection keeps those fine edges!  

stoolrefineedgetool.jpg
Repeat the steps above as necessary for each product you want included in the collage.  

For more on refine edge, read here!
Copy and paste each image into the new blank file.
Using the arrows, move the products around to get your desired placement.
Change size: You may need to change the size of your photos while in collage.  Use the move tool to select the product and reduce and enlarge as needed using the mouse.  Click the green check mark when you reach your desired size.
changesizes.jpg
Add text/numbers.   Pick your collage name and add text.  You can also add numbers to each photo.  
howtodoacollage.jpg
Crop the collage as needed.
howtodoacollagefinal_edited-1.jpgSave your file as a PSD (I like to save all layers in case I change my mind and want to move stuff around) .  To upload to your blog or to print, merge layers and save as a JPG.
And there you have it, your own collage!  If you are a blogger, this is useful for gift guides and roundups.  As a Mom of two, I love them to make fun collages of my two girls!
Please comment or email if you have any questions!
Also, Adobe Photoshop Elements is on sale right now until December 1st for only $59.99, a savings of $40!  Or do the bundle and get Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements (video editing) for $89.99, a savings of $60!

* I am an ambassador for Photoshop Elements 14 and have been compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and thank you for supporting brands that support A Bubbly Life!


Recipe Warm Cranberry Brie Cheese Appetizer


Thanksgiving is this week and this easy appetizer- a cranberry brie topping for crackers will keep the guests happy while you work on the turkey gravy! Make a big batch of the cranberries and serve it alongside dinner.  The bright red colors and green rosemary also make it a keeper for Christmas and all the entertaining with the holidays!



Ingredients:
1 cup Cranberries
Juice of 2 Oranges
1/2 cup of Water
1 teaspoon of Brown Sugar (and then enough brown sugar to pat over brie wheel)
Dash of vanilla extract
1 Brie cheese wheel (I used a small wheel, for the holidays I would go larger and double recipe!) 
Fresh Roughly Chopped Rosemary- teaspoon then some for garnish
Zested Orange Peel for garnish



Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring orange juice and water to a boil.  Add cranberries and once it boils again, add brown sugar and vanilla extract.  Stir.  Set to medium to low heat and allow flavors to simmer while brie bakes.
Shave rind off brie and pat brie with brown sugar.
Bake brie for 7 minutes.
Top the baked brie with cranberry mixture.  Add orange zest and rosemary to top.
Serve with crackers or bread.




Are you hosting or a guest this Thanksgiving?  We are hosting and I am so excited!  I love hosting Thanksgiving but I could use a 12 hour nap when it is all over!



Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving or just a wonderful Thursday if you are not in the US!





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Gift Guide: Personalized Gifts For Men


Sponsored by Shutterfly, all opinions are my own.

Ok, admittedly this gift guide can be for anyone in your life, not just the men.  But, I have the worst time finding things to buy my husband and these are all for him, so it makes a perfect guy gift guide, as opposed to my girl gift guide last week. My husband does not want Kate Spade's latest book, so, this is a gift guide for the special guy in your life!

I decided to try the personalized gift route this year! And, he saw 2 of the gifts (I could not resist showing him the ones with photos of our girls) and he loves them and asked what else I can have made with the girl's photos on them, haha- so I would say it was a success.

I am telling him not to read this blog post so the rest can be a surprise, but I needed it here early, so that you can order your personalized Christmas gifts in time!



iPhone case- Filled with photos of our girls!


iPad case- Again, I filled it with photos of our girls!  I also have to wrap this one as it did not quite fit in the stocking (the first photo in the blog post).  I made my own wrapping paper on Shutterfly- a black & white tree pattern to go along with our black and white theme for Nick's gifts.  You can do a pattern or fill wrapping paper with photos of your family!



A candle.  Yes, Nick loves the smell of candles and candle ambiance. Would he go to the store and buy an awesome smelling candle on his own? No.  So, he will get them in his stocking, make a joke about it then ask me to light the candle so the house smells like Christmas.

The stocking I designed on Shutterfly as well.  You can do photo ones, Art Library or your own design for a stocking.  I am considering doing photos of each of us for our own stockings? Yes?  no? Thoughts? (How cute would that be?)



Portable charger.  Although this is a gift for him, it is also for me.  His phone is always dead and he complains so much about it.  Portable charge- ends complaining.  Win-Win.  (I love you, honey.) I used Shutterfly's new Art Library for the design.  You can pick from a variety of designs, patterns, and quotes. Again, I went with the black and white theme for his charger, but I really had a hard time choosing because there were so many fun options.


Ornaments- Again, with the girls.  I will give these every year so we can capture every year with the girls.  Imagine what our tree will look like when they are 18?  So cute.  You can also use use ornaments as gift toppers, hang from a stocking or a place card!

So, I am feeling pretty great that I got most of my husband's Christmas gifts done!! What ones would you go for??  I think Nick's favorite is the iPhone case, but he did only see 2 of the gifts.  He is just gonna love the rest of them!!! Shhhhhh....

Post Sponsored by Shutterfly.  Thank you for supporting sponsors that keep A Bubbly Life going! 

DIY Copper Lighted Wreaths


I love copper! Surprise!  (not-so-much if you are a regular A Bubbly Life reader ;)  I had to make a copper project work for the holidays and so I created some copper wreaths for the occasion.  I've said this before, my house is not some pink castle, lol, (my office is though) and I keep my house decor fairly minimal in design (you will be seeing a lot more after the New Year of that!) So, these copper wreaths are perfect for our home.



Materials:
Copper Soft Refrigeration Coil (Get thee to a home improvements store for this one ;)  (I used the size linked & it is a middle size length, the smallest size available is about $9)  
Copper Pipe Strap Fittings
Copper String Firefly Lights
Tube Cutter
Pliers
Scissors
Tape (I used metallic washi, but you can use duct tape, the copper pipe strap will cover it)

Quantity- I made 3 wreaths with the size I have linked, I had a tiny bit left over, so I could have made any of the wreaths larger.

(The materials shot shows the wreath already cut because I am a terrible blogger who forgot to take a proper before shot but it looks just like link above when you buy!) 



Choose wreath size and cut with your tube cutter!



Tape the wreath together where the cut was made.



Bend and clamp the pipe fitting over the wreath on top of where the tape is.



Hang from wall with a nail or you can use a strap like I did with my copper mirror.



We have a brick fireplace and a brick accent wall in our house.  Our brick accent wall is where I will hang them in real life, but it has super bad lighting for "blog life"  ;)  So, the photos on the blog are of it in my office and on top of our fireplace.


I picked up this copper basket at Target for $3, I put all the battery boxes in it to hide them and I filled it with lights.


I pulled out my Anthropologie bottle brush trees for the shoot and they are staying out now!!  Bonus tip- I scored these on Black Friday for a huge discount (huge for Anthro) I may pick up their new ombre metallic ones this Black Friday...


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DIY Marbled Feathers


In my quest to marble all the things with nail polish (like makeup brushes & pumpkins) - we have now reached Thanksgiving.  I love to decorate around Thanksgiving with natural elements often dipped in unnatural elements- like glitter, spray paint and now nail polish.


Materials:
Feathers
Nail Polish
Bowl of warm water
Skewer/Toothpick
Cardboard/or some surface for drying



Add your nail polish colors to the water.  Stir with skewer to combine.



Dip feather in and turn.





Allow feather to dry.  The feather will take a bit of time to dry, dip them all and go about your day for a bit before using them for any project.

Now what can you do with marbleized feathers?

You can use it as a gift topper:


Use it in your table setting.



Make a wall hanging.



Tape to wall with glitter tape.



Instead of my glitter dipped feathers, add the colorful feathers to a gilded branch.  Fill a vase with them for a centerpiece.

Whatever your awesome heart desires.


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Gift Guide: For The Girls

Is it too early to start Christmas shopping? Never!  I have some insane friends that have been done since September.  I say insane with love slash maybe they are a bit insane slash I am jealous of their organizing abilities.  In an attempt to stay ahead of the shopping game this year, I am starting early (early for me).

Have someone who loves gold and metallics in your life? A fan of pink? Loves Jewelry? And maybe some alcohol?

Ok, you got me,  this is pretty much MY dream gift board.  So if you are shopping for me, I am ok with everything on this list.  And by OK, I mean would love it all.  I also love hugs, champagne and laughter, so I am a very easy person to shop for despite my big dream board wishes. (but, don't forget the champagne ;) 



Gorgeous ring.  On a side note, I just love Elizabeth & James, they have a simplicity, elegant and perfect look on nearly everything they do.

I am primarily a wine and champagne drinker, but I do love a damn good drink once in awhile. And, I will always have another ;)

Kate Spade.  Pink book.  Red wine glass ring on cover.  It is like they know me?  I think I might receive 5 copies for Christmas from friends cuz one glance and I think they would all pick it for me.

Suite One Studio. I have 4 of her plates (seen on my blog here & here) and one of her juicers. Everything she does is so beautiful.  She is so hard to get these days though, I am so happy for her success!  She sells out within minutes and stocks once a week, so you have to join her mailing list to get in fast.  Also, I am NOT affiliated with them in any way, I am just a super fan girl.

Pink gold foil flamingo matches.   I do not smoke, but I love me some candles.  And how cute would these be for a photo prop?

Can you hug a chair?  I would hug this one.

Hustle. In pink, cuz why not?

Do Your Best.  I love inspirational quotes in my office.  I already own one of Pars Ceali's gold foil prints and it may just be time for another?

Happy weekend and happy early Christmas shopping!
xoxo!

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DIY Simple Lighted Grapevine Wreath


Sometimes the simplest DIY ideas are my favorite.  I love my DIY lighted string wreath from Christmas last year so much that we have had it hanging year round.  When I saw $3 grapevine wreaths at my local Trader Joe's, I wanted to do the same, but on a smaller scale.  I love the simplicity of it.



Not much of a DIY, grab a grapevine wreath and some string lights and wrap around your wreath.  I used LED battery lights from Target so that it would not have a long plug.  I hid the battery pack behind the wreath and a strategically placed pumpkin.


I love Christmas.  I LOVE Christmas decorating.  But, I do love Thanksgiving, so I do not want to skip over it with decorating.  It is the one time of year I allow myself to eat mashed potatoes (I eat low carb) which in itself is a reason for a holiday in my book! This grapevine wreath can take you from Fall to Thanksgiving to Christmas easily, you can keep it up from September to January!







Floral pumpkins & rest of Fall scenery from my Fall tablescape post on Monday!






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