The pictures are done!

I wanted to put a family picture in with this year’s Christmas cards.  Getting all six of us together in one place (that looks Christmas-y) at the same time can be difficult, but when we went to Silver Dollar City a few weeks ago, I had my trusty camera in hand.

First thing upon arrival, we arranged ourselves in front of something appropriate, and sure enough, someone volunteered to take our picture.  Now, you can’t be too demanding or discriminating when someone you’ve never met and who has never used your camera offers to take your picture, so we sai, “thank you very much,” reviewed the picture strolled a little further and did it again.  On the third try, we ended up with something we can use.  Thank you to the unknown grandmotherly lady who did us this service!

Needing a LOT of copies of this picture, I decided to use that self-service photo-printing machine at Wal-Mart.  I cropped the photo nicely and asked Jessica to put it on a CD.  Then, on our next Springfield run, we stopped at Wal-Mart in Ozark and I addressed the machine.  This should have been easy but was not, because the machine will only make prints that are 5×7, 4×6, or “wallet” size.

There are actually two machines.  One is the spiffy Kodak machine, and the other is the less spiffy Wal-Mart machine.   The spiffy Kodak machine costs $0.28 each, but it allows you to crop the picture and move this nifty little 4×6 box around to print just the part of the picture you want.  I don’t think the  less spiffy $0.16 Wal-Mart machine has that nifty little box, and I was pretty sure I needed that box. . . because. . . my cards are going to already-purchased invitation envelopes, which are exactly 4.375 inches by 5.75 inches.  It’s the 5.75 that’s the kicker.

So I played around with the spiffy Kodak machine, trying to pick out the right part of my already-cropped picture to go into the nifty box, but no matter what I did, in order to get the width under 5.5 inches, some, most or all of Josiah’s and Scott’s faces were excised.  This would not do, and I was frustrated.  I could not ask for help, because this happened to be after church on a Sunday, which is the ONE time in the week that any person with even half a brain knows s/he should avoid Wal-Mart like the plague.  The lines at the photo center were long and the rest of the family was waiting for me.

I went home, ready to cry.  Then I began playing around more with the original picture, and I figured out that what I needed to do (but did not know how to do) was to crop the picture to about 4 inches by 5 inches and then go print it at Wal-Mart in the 4×6 size (which would show more of the picture than I wanted).  I would then come home and cut off an inch of the picture – leaving the men’s ears intact – and all would be well.

After about 45 minutes of failure and frustration at the computer, Scott suggested I ask Katie – the Queen of Crop and Print – to attack the problem.  I did, and in less than five minutes, she brought me a CD with the properly sized picture on it.  It had a white stripe down the right side, and she said all I’d have to do after receiving the 4×6 prints would be to use the paper slicer and whack off the white stripes.

So, to day on the way to church, I returned to the less spiffy Wal-Mart machine and quickly and easily ordered a huge quantity of these pictures.  After church I went back and picked them up.  They are all 4×5, the look great, and here’s the bonus:  they have no white stripes!  When I asked the lady if she cut them off, she said, “well, we looked at them and we said, ‘surely she doesn’t want that white stripe on there,’ so we have this neat machine that does that and we just cut all the white stripes off.”

I am so happy!  Now the cards are ready, the pictures are ready, and the newsletter only needs a few minor corrections before I can print it.  Yee hah!

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