Grace E. Hester, just-turned-30, corporate-working mom of 2 young daughters who sold out her creative soul when she moved from Singapore to Cleveland, Ohio when she finally found a man who was worthy. Join her on her journey from concrete jungle to mid-west surburbia of Westerville, Ohio, from college grad to mother of two, from mtv to numbers-crunching . . . all while trying to balance the pretty with practical in her life.
As someone who designs and makes cards, I rarely have a need to purchase cards especially during the holiday season. But with holiday sales coming up, a desire to really spend this holiday season lazing around (it's been a "heavy" year), and alot of preparation work in anticipation of hosting family for the holidays, I am actually looking to use an online service to create our holiday cards this year while hand-making a handful for my family in Singapore and our close family friends.
I have used Shutterfly for photo-printing and photo books before with satisfactory results. I browsed through their holiday designs for Christmas cards and holiday photo cards and was so glad that they had (more than) enough options that had the right touch of modern and fresh for me. For example, I knew I would like some without photos so I found these two lovely illustrated cards, And of the many Christmas photo cards options I have seen so far, I think I am gravitating towards these,
On the inside of the second option (Have a Holly Joll Christmas), there is room for more photos for each member of the family and space for a personal update - I really like that idea because individually, we have had such an interesting year. An extra bonus is that I do not have to pick one design from all of these options that I liked are be limited to pre-set quantity sets. I can order any many quantities and combinations of different cards and use different photos - that is just custom holiday cards done right!
Note: I was provided 50 card credits as compensation for writing this blog post but I have and do use Shutterfly personally. If you have a blog and would like to get 50 fresh and fabulous cards for yourself, visit this link and submit your blog for consideration! (Under referral, you can select "Others" and then indicate "Grace Hester Blog")
There's just no easy way to say it: please don't bake for my peanut-allergic child--or any child with a food allergy, for that matter. Please, please don't do it.
You may be the mom who "loves to bake the treats" and I don't doubt that your intentions are good. But the risks are just way too high. Please ask the parents of the allergic kids, either directly, or through the teacher, to contribute a safe item. So many allergic reactions occur because someone ate a cookie or a cupcake they "thought" was safe. I cite the story by Dr. Robert Wood in his book "Food Allergies for Dummies." A fellow allergist baked him cookies, assured him they were "safe" and because of cross-contact of which the baker was unaware, Dr. Wood (himself allergic to peanuts) needed 5 doses of Epinephrine to recover--his reaction was that severe.
I am volunteering at my older child's class on Friday's Hallelujah Bash (the Christian-alternative to Halloween Party *grin*) and was slightly tickled to receive an email from the party organizer providing details of the party, mentioning the treats and a peppy quip after that, "No Peanuts of course!". For some context, I was not consulted on the topic and I know the other mom in the class who also has a peanut- and tree-nut-allergic child as well and I do not think that she was consulted on the treats either. This is the first year that teachers have been trained on having kids in their class with life-threatening allergies and although I think they are doing an excellent job so far (one emailed me to ask if an acorn would be ok for my daughter to touch - I was very appreciative of the gesture), they have not had the need to provide or prepare food for the class so this is really, the first class party of the year for them, with kids who have food allergies.
So did she mean, no visible peanuts? Or "I don't think it has peanuts."? Did everyone get a memo as well about tree nuts? Did they know that essence of almond anywhere would also cause an anaphylactic reaction? Or with the example cited in this article, a knife that touched peanut butter that touched a stick a butter, which is then used in a cookie recipe, could also cause a child to have a reaction?
So er . . . I am with Jenny from Nut-Free Mom on this - please do not get offended or annoyed if I tell my child not to touch your home-baked goods and whip out a packaged cookie of my own to give to her. It's nothing personal. However, since you certainly did not think it personal enough to make the food allergy notification more of an ALERT than a footnote, I am sure you won't take our stand personally.
My favourite is the green (Summer) and yellow (Autumn) ginko leaves. I can totally see these being used in a canvas collage or in one of my keepsake minibooks peeking off the edge. OR you could use it the traditional way - as a post-id. :o)
The great news - they ship internationally for free AND you can enter BRAVO at checkout for a 10% launch discount.
Note: I was not compensated by Bravo Company or Leaf-It for this blog post.
Renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut claims that he's not creative. Instead, he likens his job to that of a doctor who tends to patients – "the sicker, the better." Digging into the 86 notebooks he's kept over the course of his career, Bierut walks us through 5 projects – from original conception to final execution – extracting a handful of simple lessons (e.g. the problem contains the solution; don't avoid the obvious) at the foundation of brilliant design solutions.
Thanks CreativeMama for sharing this video on her blog. I related to Michael (from Cleveland, Ohio!) when he described himself as a problem-solving designer and that he is not a traditional-creative. I was just commenting to Michelle from BabyGees when she was over at my place teaching me how to sew a floor cushion, that I like designing solutions to solve problems or a gap - that it is what I feel sets me apart from any artisan or designer who have a stronger aesthetic inclination but which is not rooted in practicality. (It's not always a plus, most of the time, it's a challenge if you have a solution in mind but cannot deliver the outcome aesthetically.) When I look at my self-perceived "best work" so far, they have come from me wanting to resolve a problem/gap expressed by myself or a friend.
He summarized 5 simple lessons that he has gathered across his career and they are,
Listen first, then design
Don’t avoid the obvious
The problem contains the solution
Indulge your obsessions
Love is the answer
Not for everyone but if you have 20 minutes, take the time to view this video.
As with last year's calendar, I wanted to use eco-friendly materials and extend the life of the calendar and case beyond 2011 so the following features still stand,
Paper used is acid- and lignin-free and made with wind energy
The 4” x 6” calendar display case (fairly rare, most others offer 4.5" x 5.25") can be reused to display standard-sized photos
When you no longer have a use for the calendar, you can cut each month’s card into half to create a tag for one side, and retain the calendar half as a date embellishment on a scrapbook project or page
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