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How to Write: Postcards

I love giving and receiving postcards. There’s something about getting a small note from a friend or family member who is traveling in a different location that is so thoughtful! I love seeing a beautiful image on the front of the postcard so I can feel like I’m on vacation too. Thanks to the Love Letter Squad, I recently discovered that there’s an actual art to postcard writing (see their full tips here). Within such a confined space and having so much to say, it can be very difficult to get the proper message across. They suggest focusing on the recipient in small ways by saying what you miss about them, why and for what part you wish they were traveling with you, and what has reminded you of the person and prompted the postcard writing. By doing this, the recipient gets the feeling that the card is really dedicated to them, while still getting a glimpse of your travels. This makes a postcard that will be tucked away and treasured forever. Everyone wants to read about how loved they are, so why not add a little love in the next postcard you write?

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Image found via Flickr photographer Shook

Cardstore offers photo postcards now that you can personalize with your own picture. Upload a favorite photo from your travels for an even more personal touch. Then, write your thoughts on the back using our postcard tips for a great way to share your adventure with family and friends!

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Cardstyle Find #4: Lucky Diary

cardstore find 4; Cardstyle Find #4: Lucky Diary

There’s something about having a diary that takes me right back to my childhood. I used to relish writing down all my deepest, darkest secrets (which, as a 7 year old, probably entailed taking an extra piece of candy), and hiding the diary under my bed. I’ve recently considered taking up my diary-writing habits again, and I think this leather version is perfectly grownup, while still retaining a bit of childhood fantasy with the floral details. It’s handbound by Etsy designer Baghy, and I know I’d absolutely adore it. Do you still keep a diary?

Hit a Home Run

We’re entering the second half of the baseball season, and if you’re anything like my family, this is your favorite time of the season. The races to win the division are getting tighter or one team is starting to run away with the title. Young baseball fans are reveling in the joy of an afternoon baseball game, hoping to catch a foul ball, getting the coveted autograph, and completing the day with a messy hot dog and ice cream. The summer baseball season is the best in my opinion, and when your team is winning, it can’t get any better. For all of you with baseball fans in your life, here’s an inspiration board complete with a baseball greeting card that turns your little home run hitter into a major leaguer.

baseball final; Hit a Home Run

Playing Baseball Card from Cardstore.com

Pigs in a Blanket from Martha Stewart

Cracker Jack Evening from Flickr

Boy’s Baseball Tee from Zazzle

Baseball Tablescape from Style me Pretty

What We’re Reading: July 15 – 21

A compilation of the best articles from around the web this past week

Vanessa:

Take a Look Inside My Dream – To me, dreams are one of the most fascinating things about us. I love waking up and remembering a particularly intriguing dream, and will sometimes spend days wracking my brain, trying to remember the crazy dream I had! When I came across this article from the New York Times, I just had to share it. It’s about dream discussion groups, where people come together to talk about their dreams and the meanings behind them. How cool is that? And with the new movie Inception out (which I’m soooo excited to see), I thought dreams were especially important now. Have you ever had any incredible dreams? And what have been your thoughts about the movie?

Allison:

The Creativity Crisis – A great article from Newsweek exploring the decline in creativity in the US since the 1990’s.  It details how standardized testing and other priorities have curtailed Americans’ interest in creativity, while other countries have just begun to realize its importance to the individual and to society. The perfect motivator to introduce some extra creativity into your own life and the life of your children!

All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting – Okay, so maybe this article sounds like a downer, but I promise it’s at the very least an interesting downer. This is a compelling, liberating feature story from New York Magazine which confronts a question that few dare to talk about: does parenting bring you not fulfillment, but happiness? Read it, highly recommended.

Whatever Happened to Mystery? - A call for a little mysterious glamour in our age of information, this New York Times piece serves as inspiration for even those of us aren’t who aren’t celebrities to step back from the blog, twitter, facebook, and retain a “seductive remove.” Aside from inspiring content, it’s also beautifully written: “The world, you see, no longer has any tolerance for — let alone fascination with — people who aren’t willing to publicize themselves. Figures swathed in shadows are démodé in a culture in which the watchword is transparency.”

Cardstyle Find #3: Pair of Dietz Lanterns

cardstore find 31; Cardstyle Find #3: Pair of Dietz Lanterns

I came across this pretty pair of vintage Dietz lanterns on etsy site Ethanollie the other day, and I can’t stop thinking about what a perfect July centerpiece they would make! They’re weathered just the right amount, and I love the cheerful red. Would they be ideal for an early dinner of lobster salad at the beach house? I wish!

Subtle Sage

Growing up, my mother meticulously tended to a tiny herb garden in our front yard. I loved jumping along the stepping stones and grabbing some fresh herbs for her to use while making dinner. Aside from having sweet memories of herbs though, I also love how herbs function as design elements. There’s nothing prettier than incorporating some pretty, delicate greenery into home decor.

herb board; Subtle Sage

Cardstore.com Wreath Green Reply Wedding Response Card by Delphine

Heart Shaped Lavender Sachet from Etsy shop BailiwickDesigns

Tasty Rosemary Loaf from Flickr user The Nostalgia Fairy

Dried Flower and Herb Swag from Etsy shop NHWoodCreations

Light Green Flowered Dress from Anthropologie

Blueberry and Herb Boutonnieres from frolic! (also posted at OnceWed)

Herb Silverware from Etsy shop BeachHouseLiving

Take 2 Tuesday: Fly Away With Me

Something about butterflies has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s because my name means “butterfly”, but I have always found them to be whimsical and stunningly colorful creatures. When I came across this Butterfly Green and Sky Blue Stationery for Kids, as designed by Cardstore.com artist delphine, I realized what a pretty note it would be for any little girl to write in. I know as I child I would have been more than proud to send this stationery out! Matched with this black and white photo of a vibrant blue butterfly done by Flickr photographer Eddy.H, it makes for a picture-perfect pair.

butterfly take 21; Take 2 Tuesday: Fly Away With Me

The Art of Letter Writing: The Elegant Envelope

art of letter writing2; The Art of Letter Writing: The Elegant Envelope

What’s more romantic than receiving a handwritten, proper letter in the mail?  Here to encourage charming old world letter etiquette, every Tuesday Vanessa or I will be highlighting a specific aspect of crafting letters.  With any luck, we’ll inspire you to prepare yourself a steaming mug of Earl Grey tea, grab your favorite pen, and sit down to a quiet evening of letter writing. It’s not a lost art yet, and we want to keep it that way! You’ll thank us twenty years from now when you have a box full of letters, instead of forgotten emails, to look back on.

This week, I’m starting from the outside–how to craft the perfect envelope!

A dear friend of mine, a fellow English major, recently celebrated a birthday and I knew that he would appreciate an envelope formally crafted.  I took my inspiration from Emily Post–lining the envelope with paper chosen specifically for him and addressing the letter properly (and neatly).

Here’s some tips I gleaned from Emily herself that helped me through the process.

On addressing the envelope:

  • Married Women: Emily asserts that a widowed or married woman “should always continue to use her husband’s Christian name, or his name and another initial, engraved on her cards. She is Mrs. John Hunter Titherington Smith, or, to compromise, Mrs. J. H. Titherington Smith, but she is never Mrs. Sarah Smith; at least not anywhere in good society.” I’m not quite sure how I feel about this one. I’m all for preserving that old world charm, but perhaps this rule needs a little bit of a feminist updating, if only for the fact that many women (women who I’m sure meet Emily’s standards of “good society”) keep their last names nowadays.
  • Miss: Miss is only appropriate for girls 16 or younger.
  • Jr: Jr should never take the place of Mr. Instead, it should be addressed: Mr John Smith, Jr.
  • Take care to use Dr., Judge, and The Rev. as appropriate
  • While I’m not sure how well divorcees would take to this tip, Emily suggests that, “A woman who has divorced her husband retains the legal as well as the social right to use her husband’s full name, in New York State at least. Usually she prefers, if her name was Alice Green, to call herself Mrs. Green Smith; not Mrs. Alice Smith, and on no account Mrs. Alice Green—unless she wishes to give the impression that she was the guilty one in the divorce.” Use this tip with caution!

On lining the envelope:

Choosing which type of paper to line my envelope with proved to be a breeze! I was encouraged by Emily’s note that “colored linings to envelopes are at present in fashion,” but bored by her suggestion of  that “thin white paper, with monogram or address stamped in gray to match gray tissue lining of the envelope is for instance, in very best taste.” I wasn’t going to all of this trouble just to line the envelope in boring gray! In the end I settled on a print I found at a local paper goods store that would probably be much too eccentric for Emily’s taste, but that I thought was pretty. Next time I line an envelope, I think I will make a point to use a pointed envelope, as I think they’re a bit more visually appealing.

lined letter1; The Art of Letter Writing: The Elegant Envelope

My Lined Envelope

  • Newspaper
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Old Sheet Music
  • Collaged Food Labels
  • Magazine Advertisements
  • Old or Recent Photographs
  • Pages from Illustrated Children Books
  • Or, my personal favorite, an outdated map like these envelopes featured at Penned and Pretty!

map; The Art of Letter Writing: The Elegant Envelope

Look forward to more letter writing tips (and Emily Post wisdom) next Tuesday!

Need help lining an envelope by hand? Read this from Wedding Crafter.

Emily Post quotes from her book Etiquette, published in 1922.


Cardstyle Find #2: Rosebud Earrings

cardstyle find 2; Cardstyle Find #2: Rosebud Earrings

These gorgeous vintage-inspired rosebud earrings found via Etsy designer LarqueByjason blew me away when I first saw them. They’re so romantic and yet so simple, I’d love to wear them with a white dress to really show them off. I may even have to get some as gifts for friends, they’d look great on anyone! Needless to say, I’m absolutely in love with these delicate earrings.

Our Favorite Blog Posts of the Week: July 11-17

We read so many inspiring, beautiful blog entries each week, and we can’t help but want to share them. Check out our favorite posts from last week!

Allison’s Picks:

1. Reclaiming Wife – Claiming my 30’s from A Practical Wedding: Great, inspiring post in which Meg, the author, takes a look back over her 20’s, and uses it as a starting point to understand her 30’s and the decade that lies ahead. Perfect for anyone who needs some encouragement to look back, stop planning, and stop stressing.

2. Ask Design Mom: Growth Chart from Design Mom: The cutest growth chart I’ve ever seen! I had to give a shout-out to Design Mom for this adorable find.

3. Engagement Session with Vintage Glamour from StyleMePretty: This is by far my favorite engagement session that I’ve seen lately. It’s at once chic and timeless and serves as great inspiration for a classic engagement shoot. I love how it strays from the cutesy, self-same details that most of the engagement shoots being featured lately include. I love vintage cameras and tiny cupcakes as much as the next girl, but really, I’ve seen enough of them in engagement photos to last me a lifetime!

Vanessa’s Picks:

This week, I was loving the images in blogs more than anything else. So if you’re wanting to look at some pretty pictures, be sure to check out numbers 1 and 2, and if you want some fantastic DIY ideas see number 3!

1. Dresses of Color from Black Eiffel: This image makes me swoon… it’s like a Skittles taste the rainbow picture but sooo much yummier to me! What I would give for just one of those dresses.

2. Paper Artist Wednesday from Paper Schmaper: The fact that anyone could create these absolutely blows me away. Have you ever made anything this intricate? And I have a special place in my heart for the paper birds because they remind me of the birds seen throughout Assisi. See what I’m talking about here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38464132@N00/390011680/

3. 8 Summery DIY Ideas from Decor8: So many ideas, such a short summer! I’ve dyed canvas shoes before just as described and they worked perfectly, so I’m excited to try her other ideas. Any suggestions about what to start with? I may go with the cherry crumble cake… looks delicious!

Have any blog posts that you really enjoyed lately? Send them our way, and we might include them in next week’s edition of our favorite blog posts!