Friday, September 10, 2010

Adventures in Novice Graphics Design

T minus 3 days until my baby boy turns 3.  And T minus one week until his big Lightning McQueen Birthday Bash.  Just like Grace, I look at him and wonder how he grew up so fast!  My baby is no longer a baby and is such a little man. 

For the kids' birthdays, I usually order my invites from places like Paper Style or any other online invitation place where I can find them at a good price.  I order them blank and print them myself - so much cheaper!  Unfortunately, every invite I found for a Cars/Lightning McQueen birthday party was so commercial and in my very humble (and I mean VERY humble) opinion, cheesy.  So, I decided I'd try to make my own.

I don't have any fancy graphic design software.  But I do have a digital scrapbooking package from Creative Memories.  In my pre-children days I was quite the scrapbooker.  Now it just seems like too much effort for me to get ALL that stuff out after the kids go to bed, set it up and then get one or two pages done.  So my last scrapbook page that is currently left in an unfinished state is of me when I was 7 months pregnant with Grace.  I have ideas of grandeur that I'll finish it, but Grace turned 6 this year and it still is as undone as it was 6 and 1/2 years ago!

So for me, the digital software is so much better.  It's all in one place, only takes the time to turn on your computer to get it "set up" and you can use the same "paper", "stickers" and "embellishments" over, and over and over again!  I actually have not used it to scrapbook at all.  I've used it to make photo cards of the kids.  It's super easy.  After you "scrapbook" your card, you can save it as a JPG file, and then upload it to something like Walgreens and print it as a picture.  I've printed mine as 4x6's or 5x7's.  Here are an example of some that I've done.

Halloween Card from 2009

Christmas Thank You from 2009

Valentine Card from 2010

Not that I want to sound like a sales person for Creative Memories, because believe me I'm not getting any royalties for this post :), but one of the great things is that they have all these mini themed packages you can purchase for around $4.95.  And luckily for me, they had a Cars package.  The one I purchased has been revamped to include the new "Toon Town" cars, and frankly I like my older version better, but here is a link to the package.

Here is my version of a Cars invite for Ethan's 3rd Birthday.

To plan for this party, I literally searched all the party blog sites and found some truly inspirational ideas and "met" (online version) some really great people.  Here are some of the ones I found:
I'm not going to lie, using (or stealing) these ultra-talented people's ideas I created some signs for the party using the software as well. 

(I'm going to use this by the gift table.)

(If it wasn't obvious, I'm going to put this by the drinks.)

(I'm going to put this by the Cars Tattoos I have for the kids.)

(I'm going to put this sign by the favors table.)

I still have a TON to do for this party, but I'm very excited, as is Ethan!  I will be busy this weekend.  Wishing you and your family a splendid and safe weekend!  And happy party planning!


  1. so glad you were able to get some ideas! i'm excited to see party pics :)

  2. I'm so glad you liked my party so much and thank you for the kind words on my blog!

  3. Very cute signs! Thanks for visiting my blog adn I hope you guys have a fabulous party!

  4. Nice work! I'm following you, friend!

    {Clickable Party}

  5. Well, just came across your blog tonight for the 1st time and I have to say "GREAT minds think alike!!!" TOO FUNNY!
    I am an event designer and I just did a "Cars" party a few mths ago. I also am a Creative Memories consultant(10 yrs last mth) & design the invites, some labels etc for my customers parties with the Storybook Creator.
    I also did the bean bag toss with a tire. I actually thought of that one all on my own LOL
    So as I said... great minds think alike. :)
    I also saw Anders Ruff for the 1st time tonight on your blog. GREAT JOBS!!!