Happy New Year!
Do you send out holiday cards? After two years of being a freelance business owner, I sent out my first set mailing to my clients and friends to say thank you for their support over the last year and wish them the best in the year ahead. I absolutely love snail mail, and I hope the recipients appreciate it too. This year I traded Christmas cards with other bloggers and creative business owners from my area and it was so fun to send and receive paper stationary instead of e-mails!
I love photographing flat lays (as evidenced by my Instagram), so I just had to design my own card, from the photo to writing the messaging and arranging the fonts. The florals were re-purposed as well from previous events, and I had the ribbon and pine cones left over from an assignment I’d done for Midwest Living. After all, there’s no rule that as a creative every idea you have has to stand alone as unique. Let one creative endeavor inspire the next. Here’s a photo from that shoot below, so you can see how similar they are to each other.
I debated a while about the message (Merry & Bright was a strong contender), but I wrote this one to be inspiring and non holiday specific. A local printing shop, Visions, did my printing and I was so pleased with the end result.
For addressing the cards, I used a brush pen to make pretty lettering. Also, you’ve got to check out the National Parks US postage stamps! Looking at the stamp sheet is like taking a mini tour of some of the major National Parks.
Happy New Year! I hope you’re super excited for what lies ahead in 2017.
Easy ways to remember birthdays
Facebook really eliminated the need to remember birthdays and send personal snail mail cards. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still something fun to do! I was thinking the other day about the amount of cards I send (few) and the number of birthday calls I make (fewer still). Some people are really good at remembering birthdays and doing something about it. I’m not one of those people, but I think it’s a skill that can be learned and it’s one of my goals for this year. Here are some easy ways to remember birthdays and send original, heartfelt cards.
Record Birthdays in a Calendar
When I find out someone’s birthday, I make a note in my phone’s calendar and set it to repeat every year. That way, I have a record stored for the future. If you use a paper calendar like I do, I find it’s helpful to record it there too.
Keep Cards on Hand
Ideally, of course, you picture yourself standing in the card aisle and browsing until you can pick out the perfect card with the message that really sums up your relationship with the recipient, but busy lives don’t always allow that luxury. I’m starting a collection of beautiful multipurpose cards and birthday cards that I can turn to when time is tight. My favorite place for cards is actually Trader Joe’s. All the cards are .99 cents, and the selection is refreshed every couple weeks so you can always find something new. The designs are creative too. I’ve gotten several gems here, including the birthday card I sent to my brother and sister-in-law (their birthdays are super close together so I get away with sending one card). The only thing missing from the picture was my niece, so I printed out a photo of her in the pool and pasted her in. For more ideas on how to make creative collage cards, check out my DIY post.
Whether it’s an old fashioned paper address book or on your phone, keep a record of people’s addresses so when a birthday comes up, you’ll be prepared to address that note and send it off!
Keep Stationary Accessories on Hand
You don’t need address labels, but they’re fun (and sometimes free, if you’re on a lot of mailing lists). I like to keep these by my desk for quick letter writing. And stamps are a must–you don’t want to be searching for a stamp at the last minute, then have someone’s birthday card bumping around in your purse for days getting bent until you get a chance to buy stamps (known from experience).
A former co-worker once had a sign on his computer that said “Do stuff. Then it’s done.” That mantra totally applies to birthday card writing. Don’t let excuses stand in your way of honoring the special people in your life!
Are these tips helpful to you? If you have any more card writing advice, be sure to let me know in the comments.