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It's that time of year again! Amidst the shopping and the baking and the tree decorating, it's also time to let loved ones know they're in your thoughts. What better way to do this than with a card you made yourself?

But I don't have much time, you say. Well, as it happens, technology allows us to make some nifty stuff without a big fuss. (I kinda rhyme now?) It doesn't have to be a large time commitment. It's easy to throw something together—which doesn't look thrown together—and then just email it out. No trees need to be cut in the making of this card.

Here, let me show you what I did:

I opened the image in Edit mode. (I would say open the base image, but it doesn't really matter since you can rearrange my layers later anyways.)

Open Base Image

I dragged my second image from the Filmstrip into the Layered Editor.

Drag Second Image

After making sure the images are in the order I want in the Layered Editor, I selected the top image. I used the Move tool to center the top image.

Move Top Image

I chose the Selection Brush from the Toolbar. In the Context bar, I set the Smart Brushing drop-down to Magic. This targets a pixels based on how similar they are to the combination of color and brightness values in the center of the brush nib. This follows the same basic principles as the Smart Brush.

Select Magic

I brushed on the selection, making sure that the color and brightness value I was targeting was always in the middle of the nib. In other words, I kept the white in the middle of the brush, even when overlapping other colors.

Brush on Selection

Selected

After I targeted all of the pixels I wanted to remove, I chose Select | Delete Selected Pixels.

Delete Selection

Remove Pixels

Then, to move to the next phase, I went to Select | Deselect.

Deselect

Then, to add my message, I entered the Text tool where I configured a font, size, style, and color for the text, as well as a location. To choose a color from the image, I double-clicked the color box/swatch thingy. Then in the color dialog, I could press the Select button and use the Dropper tool by clicking a color on the image. I also enabled the Add test as new layer checkbox, just in case I want to play with the text individually later.

Add Text

I wanted to add text in more than one place on the image, so I pressed Apply to finish with the first. Then repeated the same steps for the second bit of text and pressed Done.

Next, I wanted to create a border. I entered the Border tool and chose whether I wanted a color or a texture, and whether I wanted a regular straight edge, or something more crazy. To choose a color from the image, I used the Dropper on the image.

Border Color

I pressed Done. I decided I was happy with where it was at. Look at that cute dog. If the family dog isn't going to pull his weight by getting a job, the least he can do is be the family spokesperson/rep/mascot on your Christmas card.

I pressed Done again. Then I saved a copy as an .acdc file so that I can change it later, if needed. Then I saved another as a .png for distribution. I did this by pressing Save As and then choosing the file type from the Save as type drop-down menu.

Holiday Card

Next, distribution. What an industrial way to say "sending to friends and family". Back in Manage mode, I selected my card. Then, I chose an option from the Send menu. For assistance, press the Help button in the Send Email Wizard. That's all there is to it.

Send Card

Have a great holiday with tasty food, time with loved ones, and lots and lots of photos!

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