Holiday Cards Extravaganza from Artifact Uprising and CZ Design

Cathy ZielskeProducts & Classes29 Comments
I know. Halloween hasn’t even happened yet, but I’m here to tell you: it’s never too early to start planning your holiday cards. Today I’ve got a few ideas to get you thinking and first up are the new holiday card lines from Artifact Uprising. They have created a streamlined, beautiful collection of minimally designed cards but  my favorite of them all is their 3-in-one card designs.
The 3-in-1 Card is designed to be repurposed. This 100% recycled card is a greeting card, photo print and gift tag all in one. With its perforated seams, the 3-in-1 Card can be repurposed by recipients. Family and friends can tear away the photo print for year-round display and use the gift tag for holiday gift-giving. The cards include 100% recycled kraft envelopes. You can even add a message to the back of the photo portion. I love this creative thinking by a company who cares about the environment and creates products that reflect their commitment. Plus, just great, clean design.
So that’s one cool offering in the holiday card market for 2014. To explore and shop, click here.

Here’s cool idea another: Say hello to my very first set of card templates, Holiday Cards + News No. 01.
These fully customizable  layered templates (you don’t have to use green!) come in three sizes, featuring four minimal designs for flat holiday cards.

The sizes are fairly common and I’m planning to have a set of flat 5 x 7 postcards printed at, who I learned about from Elise Blaha Cripe. I’ll order some kraft envelopes from Etsy and be good to go!

But who doesn’t like the idea of having a holiday newsletter that matches their card? I decided to include four matching 8.5 x 11 newsletter templates, again fully customizable, to match each design in the set.
And while I was at it, I figured it’d be fun to have some stamps that would tie in as well.
Oh, hello Cool Yule stamp set! You are going to fit very nicely into my holiday card (and holiday memory-keeping) plans for 2014. This set is based on my Cool Yule digital collection. I really wanted to be able to combine a minimal card design with some adorable stamping (envelope decor, anyone?) so that’s what I did.
Oh for cute. (If you are also in the market for adorable return address stamps, I highly recommend checking out Paperwink. I ordered this one two years ago and I love it. Wonderful quality in a wood handled rubber stamp.)
This 4 x 6 set is available now at Studio Calico.

All of my layered templates come with PDF instructions, covering the basics of working with templates using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. But if you want to see the templates in action, watch this short video overview.

CZ Design Digitals: How to use my Holiday Cards + News Templates from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

To purchase my holiday card set, click here.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Aidan C., boyfriend of Aidan Z., who kindly depressed the shutter on our official holiday photo. We took a TON of shots that I set up and framed using my Canon 5D and my tripod, but the one you see here? It was a very quick, one-off shot we decided to try and who knew it was going to be the keeper? I also Photoshopped the heck out of it to make for a better image. Here is the unretouched original.
Sometimes I amaze even myself.

Thanks to Totally Rad Actions and Rad Lab for helping me make Photoshop magic. Oh, and Photoshop’s Healing Brush and Clone Stamp Tool made mincemeat of those errant leaves.

And here’s a final gratuitous cute shot of the rather tall star photographer himself and his lovely also rather tall side kick, taken just moments after our lucky holiday shot.
Talk about merry. Indeed.


Cathy ZielskeHoliday Cards Extravaganza from Artifact Uprising and CZ Design

29 Comments on “Holiday Cards Extravaganza from Artifact Uprising and CZ Design”

  1. #1

    Awesome cards Cathy. I was going to ask how you managed to get that original photo but you answered my question already. I might ask a photographer to come over.
    It’s just the 2 of us and the 2 dogs. I’m trying to include the dogs in the holiday shots for years now but no dice. I even took a pet photography class. PhotographIng dogs is so not an easy task. 🙂 Especially not if there are squirrels in the yard making fun of said dog.

    Love the Artifact cards great idea really neat and might even do that
    I supported a kickstarter project from Holstee, you know from the Holstee Manifesto? They do all kinds of prints. This were cards that came with a industrial wooden frame in which you slit your card. Each month you received a new artsy card with an envelop and the idea was/is to send the previous card to a friend to pass it on and than that friend passes on her card. This way you have each month a new artwork on your desk or on the wall. That was fun, it’s still going but my year of receding cards was up.

    Thanks so much for the stamp suggestion. Exactly what I was looking for as a gift for his hubness! He hates those address stickers, so this will be great.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      They are wonderful stamps! I love mine. (Hey, are you Tink on FB? I’m reinstalling PSE per reading your suggestions. Wish me luck!)

      1. #1.1.1

        Hi Cathy, yeszzzz it is I, she said with a heavily French accent.

        Tink is a nickname I got when IRC was in fashion. Do you remember those days? 1994/95? Chat channels galore? I was a single mom and needed a nick name. Always wanted to be a fairy when I was a girl, but my mother said plump and fat girls couldn’t be fairies.
        So IRC comes along and you could be anyone you wanted to be and I saw my chance and ran with it. Long story short, met this cute guy in one of the channels I hung out and a whole bunch of other fun people. We had a ‘real-life’ meeting and we have been together since. The nickname stuck. Most my old Dutch friends from IRC call me Tink and so does his hubness. 😉

        Do tell, did the PSE trick did the job? I hope so!

        Christine aka Tink aka pnwdutchgrl(instagram) aka xtine(BPC) hmm.. I think I have a multiple nick personality syndrome. Maybe I should consolidate them.

        1. #
          Cathy Zielske

          Christine, the PSE prob? No, not resolved. I ordered v13. My friend at Adobe said they are aware of the issue I talked about. He sent my little video clip to the proper development team. He said they will totally be fixing the bug. But I didn’t feel like waiting, plus, it’s on me to keep up with latest versions so I bit the bullet and bought it. 🙂

  2. #2

    So much awesomeness here. And the final shot: a 10, an absolute TEN.

    And the stamps! Cannot believe HOW cute Cool Yule looks in stamp form. So cute, I almost typed kewt. But, I’m about 20 years too old to get away with that.

  3. #5
    Lynn L.

    Thanks so much for the video on how to use your holiday templates. I appreciate your directions. I love your designs! Great picture! 🙂

  4. #6

    Love that you are getting into stamps. I really like using them and can be so versatile because of infinite possibilities of ink pad around! I know you mentioned that you were a bit scared about using them, but go all in–they are awesome.

    I like the Cool Yule and plan to use them for a project for this holiday season. . .unless you are doing something new for this Holiday?!

    1. #6.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Helen, as far as physical stamps, this will probably be the main holiday release. : ) I’m just getting into stamp designs, so… there’s that.

      I haven’t started to design for Cool Yule 2014. Not sure if there’s anything in my brain yet, but I know I’ll be using these physical stamps for my holiday card sending plus probably using them in my December Daily album if I do one this year!

  5. #7

    Great family Christmas card! thanks for the honesty in using photoshop to getting that perfect look with lighting and color.

  6. #11

    super duper love to the stamp set…. and awesome christmas card design… I might just have to buy me some of them 😀

    Question – you say the small card is A2 in size…. being a metric girl in non-imperial-measurements-land, I am wondering how that can be…? Mainly because this is the second post that I have seen in as many days that refer to a small size referred to as A2. And I’ve always known the smaller the size, the bigger the A-number. Like this site demonstrates:

    signed: confused-by-these-technical-deets 😀

    1. #11.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Kelly, true story: I saw that chart too, and then was all, What? Im basically just going by the print world in the US that I worked in for a number of years and based on my handy chart I used as a print graphics designer.

      I think it may also be a US card dimension standard. You can see it at places like Paper Source.

      1. #11.1.1

        What?….. A2 isn’t A2? How confusing! 😉 I was already thinking; man that is a big card! I have an A3 printer and that’s a big ass printer, A2 must be superduper big. But I know these size cards exist, my daughter sent me an enormous card for my birthday so I didn’t think it was strange.

        Thank you for the warning, as a metric girl I also did not know the US A2 was a different size. Why did they give it the same name? Confusing! 😉

        1. #
          Cathy Zielske

          It’s just like how we spell “honor” and how we drive in Miles per hour. Yankees have to do it all differently. 🙂

      2. #11.1.2

        Well, *that’s* an interesting fact! Thanks for explaining. And I have now got that gem filed to be pulled out again at the work quiz! 😀

    1. #13.1
      Cathy Zielske

      In the newsletter? Sure! You can add photos. I didn’t set it up with photo masks but you could sure add some in!

        1. #

          One last question. Call me dense, but do you fold the newsletter in four, so it will fit in the envelope or do you send it separately?

          1. #…
            Cathy Zielske

            It depends on the envelope, but yes… last year I did a matching newsletter and just folded it to fit into my A7 envelope.

  7. #14
    Lauren Hershey

    Just curious-exactly how tall are the two tall Aidans? Super cute pic of them, and about dang time you produced some stamps! I bee-lieve I will bee purchasing them!

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