Monday, December 23, 2013


Hey's time to reveal the new Christmas Card Design for 2013.  The cards have all been sent out and hopefully opened by now, so I can show you what I have been up to!

This design was inspired by a expression that my Gram who passed away last year,  would often say when she was confused or trying to focus on something.  She would get mildly frustrated and say, "Wait, wait. I'm all balled up!" I always thought it was so funny when she would say it.   I never knew exactly what she meant when I was growing up, but now I surely do and so does this 'funny snowman'.

The card design was created by hand with black ink.  It was then scanned into the computer and the colors were added to it. I really struggled to get all of the elements to look right and also fit into an envelope at the same time.  I shuffled some things around, cut and paste and found a good place for everything. This 'funny guy' was then cleaned up some and printed out onto card stock to check it out. When all was good, I took them to my printer guy 'Joe' who had me email a copy of the file to him. He printed them out, all on one side on white card stock. They were waiting for me when I picked them up and they looked so cute all in one stack. Now I knew I had to get a move on. 

I knew I had to get down to work because I did not have much time to get them completed and mailed out, too.  I began by cutting them out all the way around the image with scissors leaving a small white border. Little papers were everywhere.  Next I scored and folded them into 3 panels.  The first panel reads, 'I've been a snowman all my life...' The second reads 'but this Christmas has me...' The third reads, 'all balled up! and 'Happy Holidays to you!'  It's kind of confusing to write it out this way, so looking at the photos will surely help.  The card was finally adorned with some colored glitter then left to dry.  When they were done, I started to address them and put them in the envelopes.

Everything about this 'funny snowman' but his hat and one boot is dishelved and out of place.  I thought that this truly reflects what my Gram was saying when she felt overwhelmed.  I know my family and friends and those who knew Gram will surely know what this card is about.  So the next time you get confused or frustrated, just say out loud or to yourself, "I'm all balled up!"  Maybe you will remember this card?

Below are some more photos...

Well, I hope you like this year's design and find that it ranks somewhere up at the top?  Feel free to leave a comment.  I'd love to read what you think.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Hi guys... here is a play by play update for the Loren's Annual Friends and Family Greeting Card Design 2013. Well, the new design was completed on paper and then scanned into the computer to be tweaked some, a couple days ago. I had to make changes from my original idea because it would not fit in the envelope! ARRGGHH!!  I had to spend quite a bit of time making prototypes and moving things around.  Finally, I was satisfied that it was done and I took the new card design to the printer yesterday. Joe, my printer guy, printed them up really nice for me.  They came out
Holy cow...I spent all afternoon and evening yesterday cutting the printed design out of card stock.  After I finished the cutting my hands were killing me.  (I think I have arthritis) The living room was filled with tiny papers and card stock everywhere. UGGHH!! Nevertheless, I managed to get them all done before getting blisters.  After cutting them, I had to put 3 colors of glitter glue on each one.  This took a couple of hours, as well. So, at the end of the evening, I had greeting cards laid out flat and drying everywhere I could find in the living room.  I realized that I still had two more steps to go before I could start writing them out!
Today I spent 2 hours cutting shapes out of the design with an exacto knife.  I now unfortunately, have a blister on my finger!  I thought I was going to stress out over the cutting with the knife because it just seemed like it would never end.  Ultimately, I got the cutting completed and now knew I still had to score the design in two places to fold them.  More hand work.  And I need to write each one out and write out the envelopes.
I thought about abandoning the card altogether, however I had done so much work already, I couldn't give up now. So I stuck with it and now I am almost done and coming down the home stretch.  I anticipate getting them completed over the weekend and mailed out by Monday.  Wheeww... I hope I have enough time to mail them so they will arrive by Christmas Day?
So, this is the update for the new design and I am including a peek-a-boo photo, so you can just get a glimpse of the design.
Stay tuned for the design to be revealed next week. I hope you will think it is something special?  My fingers are crossed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


(c) Loren Fidalgo 2011

Hey guys...Well it is that time of year again and you might know what that means?  If you follow my other blog MIND GIGGLES, you will have the scoop on the Annual Friends and Family Christmas Card Design?  If you do not know, click here and  here and here to get the skinny on how I create these cards and how I come up with the ideas.  In previous years, I have made pop-ups, Christmas tree ornaments out of aluminum, mobiles, swinging trees, snowflakes and rubberstamped designs just to name a few. 
'POP-OUT" FRIENDLY SNOWMAN      Blank inside    2005
(c) Loren Fidalgo 2005

Every year, I try to create this handmade 'gem' of a Christmas card that goes out to my all my friends and family.  I have been doing this since around 1987-88.  I have to check on that to be sure.  The design is always a challenge to create because I have to create something better than I did the previous years.  I put a lot of pressure on the concept and idea of the card design.  The bar is always set high by everyone and myself, so they will be thrilled and excited when they open the envelope. They have to experience the 'MIND GIGGLE".  Receivers of these cards say that they know that it is indeed 'The Holiday Season' and Christmas is on it's way when they get the card in the mail.  As my brother Ken puts it." It is like the very well known window designs at Macy's in New York City, at Christmas time.  When they go up, you know Christmas is near."
'SNOWMEN ARE REAL COOL DUDES'               (inside) 'so you be a cool dude, too!'       2006
(c) Loren Fidalgo 2006

As I have mentioned, each year the designs have been such a stressor a lot of pressure and they wear me out!  I 'hunker down' for 3-5 days and just go to town, cutting, gluing, folding, scoring, paper punching and coloring,  There are usually little papers all over the floor that I track around the house, but I don't care at the moment. I am in the 'zone' and a woman on a mission.  As I say each year, "I am not going to do one this year, I ultimately feel compelled like something greater than me, has to get them done and sent out on time no matter how I feel.  Some times I don't feel in the Christmas spirit. I'm feeling tired, low energy and just have some seasonal 'mood problems'.  But each year as the date for completion comes closer, I ramp up my creative drive , and I put it in 'high gear' because it has become such a family tradition.  I ask myself, "Would snoopy not decorate his dog house, if he was in a 'low mood'?"  No way!  " Would Santa not deliver the presents on Christmas Eve because he is 'too tired?  Absolutely, not. They journey and carry on." So I have to say, "Let the game begin!"
THIS SEASON LET'S CELEBRATE...   ( inside) World Peace!  1998
(c) Loren Fidalgo 1998

So, you might be wondering, "do I have an idea for this year yet?"  Well, I am happy to report, that "I am almost there."  I am so excited about it and I hope the final design looks as good as I have created in my mind. You can read here to see how I came up with an idea for past card design. I will be posting glimpses of sketches, mock-ups and prototypes that I use to help generate the final design, however I don't want to give away the idea, until the card is in the mail.  Timing is everything.  This year's design will be something inspired from my much missed Gram who passed away last year.  In this card design, her memory will live on especially, at Christmas time.
(c) Loren Fidalgo 2012                    

Keep following along on this blog and my MING GIGGLES blog to see the evolution of the Annual Friends and Family Christmas Card Design take shape.