Sunday, November 13, 2005

Photographic Gifts

I started and finished the Christmas shopping very early this year. I will not have to worry about crowded stores and malls after Thanksgiving and "black Friday" are past. I did a lot of Christmas shopping online last year and although that was totally wonderful, I waited a bit too long for comfort. Due to that, I was still watching for a UPS delivery the day before Christmas Eve and that was cutting it much too close!

This year I found a fabulous new idea for gifts and it surprised me that I had never thought of it before. There are more than a few places that will personalize gifts with photographs for you. I was very surprised at the number of gift ideas that were available and the creativity of some of them.

The first item I found was a portrait that you can choose to have painted or put into any number of settings. My favorite was to have your loved one's face put into a Mona Lisa setting. You simply send in a photograph and their artists take it from there.

There are many options from which to choose whether you are having the Mona Lisa done or ordering one of their other products. You will be choosing size and art medium as well as the kind of frame you want.

There are places that will use a photograph of your pet and paint the head into a fancy "little girl" or "little boy" set of clothing and it's adorable. You can also have favorite family photographs made into an original oil painting of various sizes. Be mindful of the costs that will be involved for this kind of very unique and lovely gift, of course.

Other places will print your photograph onto the usual things such as coffee cups, calendars, mouse pads, and tee shirts, but there are some unusual items as well. When I was looking around, I saw that you can now have your favorite photograph put onto things like afghans and pillows, tote bags and apparel.

One thing that you will want to check for if you find this type of online business is their policy on getting your photographs to them. I left a website or two because they stated that the photos had to be sent by snail mail and I felt that would just slow things down. I was sitting here with the photo I would have used in the computer and could have uploaded it to them in a matter of seconds. Taking the time to put the photo file onto a CD or floppy or have it printed just to mail to them was not something that I thought I needed to do. Perseverance paid off because I found that other places do indeed allow the photographs to be transferred via the net.

It goes without saying that gifts such as these will not be as fast in arriving as other things that you order online, so be sure to shop early enough and check on delivery times. They will need extra time to put your photograph onto whatever item you decide to give as a gift. In the case of a painting or transferring your husband's face (yes, I saw samples of men, too, it's hilarious and fun!) onto Mona Lisa's body, be aware that artists need a certain length of time to complete such gifts.

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