Something happened when I had my youngest daughter… I suddenly had the urge to make cards, something I never even thought of doing when I had my first and never imagined I would do as a mother. In the past when I saw cheesy posed holiday cards, matching sweaters and all, I would cringe, almost as if the awkwardness of those photos had somehow seeped its way into my home. But then I made my first card, and I became addicted to card-making, or more so I became addicted to photography and design, a way for the artist in me to exercise my creativity when all my time and patience was being devoted to the two newest additions to our family.My addiction began when I purchased my Macbook Pro three years ago and like any new toy, I wanted to test out its features, which include the ability to create cards, calendars and photo-books using iPhoto (now known as Photos). I made my first card, a holiday card, using one of Apple’s templates when Marlowe was about four months old and Mila was two and half. I chose to crop the girls faces in half, which might be an unusual choice for a holiday card, but I knew it would result in an interesting composition.My next adventures in card-making were for the girls joint first and third birthdays (Celebrating Mila and Marlowe). Again, I used iPhoto to create this card. I scoped out the templates first and chose one that matched the colours I had chosen for the girls’ birthdays. For the next holiday season, I chose a standard template from Apple and was lucky enough to capture a beautiful shot of the girls both smiling and “smizing” at the same time. Inside the card, I used some of the photos that I had taken throughout the year as a way to show how much the girls had grown over the last year. That year I may have also bullied a couple of my mom friends to let me take photos of their kids and help them make their own holiday cards. That’s the thing about an addiction, you become a bad influence on everyone around you. For the girls second joint birthday party (if you didn’t get the memo, this mom thinks if your birthdays are ten days apart you will share ONE party for life), I decided to try printing through Staples, because I wanted to be able to print some sample copies and choose my favourite one. Yes, I had become a little picky about layout design. The printing quality of Staples vs Apple is slightly lower, but the price is better, since you don’t have to pay for shipping if you pick up at your local store. Staying true to my colour scheme of black, white and gold, I printed my first flat card through Staples.This past holiday season, I staged a rather elaborate photoshoot of the girls. I dressed them up in coordinating outfits and I took photos of them in every room in the house, alongside every holiday themed prop I could find. After enduring over a year of these photoshoots (see A Year of Mila and Marlowe), the girls were not necessary the most cooperative models. So, I was surprised that out of all the photos we took that day, the one I liked the most was strikingly familiar.Yes, it looks exactly like last year’s cover photo, and again, they are both smiling and “smizing” at the same time, and that is very much a rare occurrence. So, I decided to roll with it and I think I will try to recreate this photo experience every year from here on out. FYI, the secret to getting these smiles out of them is having them lie on the bed, while I jump over them, yelling “earth-quake!” The look on their faces is the pure joy of the anticipation of their mother about to act super silly. Inside the card I may have gone a little overboard with photos of the girls, but since I took so many special shots of them this last year for my photo project, A Year of Mila and Marlowe, I decided to include as many as I could fit in the card. Again I printed through Staples, because I was able to experiment with different layout and design options by ordering single cards first, then choosing my favourite to order in a larger quantity. This time I chose not to use any of the site’s templates, and instead designed my own.And now confession time: I am addicted to card-making. Actually, I’m addicted to photo porn as my hubby calls it, so card-making is a symptom of my addiction. I realized it when I had an uncontrollable urge to make Valentine’s Day cards this year. Yes, a holiday so cheesy that in the past I lost respect for anyone who validated it with any kind of seriousness. But that’s the thing about an addiction, you seek out excuses to indulge in it, even if you know it’s wrong.So, it started with my monthly photoshoot of the girls, who were again, not in the most cooperative mood, but somehow I managed to capture a few very magical shots of them in February. I also had a chance to use my new portrait lens for these photos, which produced some cool effects, but is definitely not a necessity when shooting portraits. I decided that these photos really captured the feeling of love between sisters and I wanted to share them with people that might not see them on social media, like the girls’ grandparents and teachers.I printed these cards myself, since even I could not justify spending money to print them professionally. I also had some fun with these cards, using some heart-shaped stickers to decorate them, after all I didn’t want anyone to think I was taking Valentine’s Day seriously. *Cough, cough* so not cool.It’s not really a surprise that I fell in love with card-making, it combines some of my favourite past times, photographing, creating and sharing pictures of my cuties. But, please…do me a favour and take my computer away if you receive a St. Patrick’s Day card from me.