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We have started a little yearly tradition here. When Ada drew her first family portrait last year it made me cry (in a proud and bittersweet she’s-so-grown-up sort of way). We liked the drawing so much we decided to have it made into a made into a ceramic ornament for our Christmas tree. (Which have cost about $15 each including shipping). It occurred to me that we should have the kids draw a family portrait for an ornament every year, then give them as gifts and save one for our tree. Josie is still too little to draw anything that resembles us, but when she’s old enough both girls can make a yearly ornament. I love how Ada’s drawing style has evolved in a year and I look forward to a tree full of these as the girls grow up. To have your own Family Portrait Ornament made you will need:

*White Paper Cut to Desired Ornament Shape (circle, oval, etc.)

*Markers, Crayons, Paint, Colored Pencils, etc. (Ada used marker last year and crayon this year)

*Camera or Scanner

*Ribbon for Hanging

*Internet Access to Transmit Image

*Photoshop or Other Photo Program (To perfect image)

1. Have the artist make the portrait. We found that bright contrasting colors worked best. Encourage child to use up the whole paper space and you will have to do less cropping.

2. Photograph or scan portrait. Be sure to photograph image straight on to avoid distortion. If you are scanning, use a high resolution. We used Photoshop to clean up, size and save our image as a jpeg.

3. Select your favorite custom photo site, choose a ceramic ornament style and follow their directions to crop and upload image. Be especially aware of crop areas so you don’t lose part of your image. If you use the same shape paper and finished ornament design you should be able to easily adjust the image to the template. We used Personalization Mall for this year’s ornament.

4. Wait for the mail to arrive. (The artist will be excited by the results!)

5. Change the ribbon and add text to the back of your ornament as desired. (We used a sticker on the back last year. Some ornament sites will let you order with text printed on the back).

6. Trim the tree!

We also used the drawings for our holiday cards. This year we worked with MOO and like the results. Happy Holiday planning!

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