peach and lace birthday cards

When I opened my greeting card shop I made a point to let everybody from work know that this was happening. I sent out a huge email to everybody that I’ve worked with saying look at what I’m doing over here. Sign up for my newsletter if you want to hear more about it. And while it might night sound like a consulting firm would care about some greeting cards, I’ve got to tell you – they were some of the most excited people for me, and they’ve accounted for most of my sales to date. They’re pretty wonderful.

Two weeks ago one of my coworkers mentioned that his wife’s birthday was coming up. He asked if I had any birthday cards in the shop. (This is one of the most common questions I’ve been asked since opening up a shop, it’s made me rethink the cards I’ve been making for the shop. Definitely a good learning experience.) I told him that I had one card available and a celebrate postcard right now, but I could make him a custom card. I asked him what colors and patterns his wife liked – I found out she likes the color peach and she’s into lacey feminine patterns.

So I got to work.  I made four cards using what I knew. Now, while I understand this is probably not the way to do business, I’ve absolutely loved the creative challenges that opening this shop has provided. Usually I’m just designing things out of my own brain with no limitations, but it’s true what they say about giving you limitations can make you more creative. Also, you would be shocked by how little peach paper I actually own. Every shade of pink – sure. Peach, that was hard to come by. Here are the four designs I came up with. Which one would you have chosen?

Card for Brian's Wife1 Card for Brian's Wife2 Card for Brian's Wife3 Card for Brian's Wife4

My favorite was the first. The co-worker who sat next to me chose the second, and the co-worker with the wife chose the third one. These cards will all be available in the shop on November 1.

This card design thing has been an interesting experience so far because it’s made me think about the fact that I’m designing for someone else and need to take their styles into consideration as well. Yet again, definitely enjoying the adventure over here. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

WITCH HatToday’s WITCH number is 64.
is anybody close to having 5 in a row?

when not to send a card

As you probably know, I’ve been looking for reasons to send people cards throughout the month of October. I’ve made cards for welcome back to blogging and for enjoy A Book A Blanket A Day Without Work day (an awesome new holiday celebrated this past weekend) and for wooo! you bought a new car. Any occassion I’ve been hearing about I’ve been making cards for.

I tend to celebrate the happy things, but every so often something not as happy happens. I have a friend who has a family member who had surgery a few weeks ago. I found out about it by being in the right place at the right time (wrong place at the wrong time?).  So I decided to make a card.

I worked really hard to try to find a way to say “get well soon” without being too invasive, and here’s the card that I settled on:

Get well soon card

It was a little bit funny, a bright color, had a holographic sticker on it, I was pretty proud about how it turned out. I put it in an envelope, wrote the address on it, and put a stamp on it. Something in me told me to text my friend to make sure this was okay (after I had finished, clearly this is not something I would have thought of earlier) – and the conclusion that was come to was that I should not send the card because most people didn’t know that the surgery was happening.

Which makes sense, but it didn’t even cross my mind. I knew about something was happening, I wanted to try to help to make the day better, and so I went to my default response – let’s make a card. But I guess that’s not always okay.

As somebody who tells everybody pretty much everything (I did this long before I was a blogger too) I forget that there are people who like to keep things more private.

There’s no conclusive statement to this post, it’s merely a random collection of thoughts that I need to figure out how to navigate in the future and be more aware of how other people think before I jump right into a project.

I think.

I respect the answer I was given, but part of me still thinks I should have sent the card.

Does anybody else have any insight on this?

WITCH HatToday’s WITCH number is 14.

christmas in… october?

Ugly Sweater Christmas Cards

Guys.  If anybody had told me exactly how immersed in Christmas I would have to be in October this year, I wouldn’t have believed them.  It occurred to me about two weeks ago that I need Christmas cards in the shop on November 1 so that people can buy them for December so that they can send them out for Christmas.  Since then, I’ve been making bunches of Christmas cards, just for you, like this ugly sweater card that you see featured above.

Not only that, but I’ve decided that I want to get all of my cards out by December 1 this year.  That’s right.  All however many dozen of my Christmas cards (I’m being optimistic by not using the word hundreds.  Has it ever bothered anybody else that there is no unit between dozens and hundreds?  Except maybe baker’s dozens?  But I don’t think that really gets you all that much closer.) will be sent out by December 1.  The reason I can be this optimistic is because I have taken 9 days of vacation in November.  9 days of vacation resulting in 17 days without work.  I’ve got to be able to accomplish something in that time, right?

Also.  I have a Christmas project that I’m working on, and I’ve started working on finding songs for my Christmas Mix CD early this year.  So, here I am, in the middle of October completely immersed in Christmas, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s kind of driving me bonkers.  Maybe if I bake cookies that will take some of the sting out of it.  In the meantime, Happy Merry Halloween.

WITCH HatToday’s WITCH number is 16.

turkey, brie, fig, & arugula sandwich

turkey, brie, fig, & arugula

Today I want to share with you the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.  I really mean that.  The weirdest part?  I don’t even like sandwiches.  Ask my mother, she always had to be creative with my school lunches – I did a year of yogurt, a year of graham crackers and peanut butter – oh, there was that year I did peanut butter and fluff, but let’s be honest, it was mostly about the fluff.

Anyway, sandwich bread isn’t my thing.  So I avoided sandwiches.

THEN.  I went to the Whole Foods in Baton Rouge, LA.  Now, I’ve been to plenty of Whole Foods stores, and I don’t know what makes the Baton Rouge store more special than all the others, but the prepared food section is incredible.  And the sandwiches they made were delicious.  I admit, that I was first drawn to this sandwich because of the brie in it.  Then I realized that I really liked the fig as well.  The turkey and the argulua I just tollerate.  I would eat this sandwich 1-2 times a week.

Then I left Louisiana.  I was devastated.

Yes, I realize that I could just buy this to make on my own at home, but honestly, do you know how long it would take me to go through the quantities of stuff I would need to buy.  Cooking for one, man, it’s difficult.

Lucky for me, a few weeks ago my friends Brian, Steve, Tara and I started cooking dinner for each other.  This was my opportunity.  I was going to get to make my sandwiches.  I felt bad because Brian cooked a really nice meal that had 3 courses, Steve cooked a delicious shepherd’s pie, and I was going to make sandwiches.  (Tara is cooking next.)  And lucky for me, my new roommate happens to have a panini maker.  And you know what, they were delicious.

turkey, brie, fig, & arugula 2

Here’s how you do it.  Recipes written by Chrystina.  This is why I’m not a food blogger.

Ciabatta roll
Turkey slices
Fig spread

1. Cut ciabatta roll in half.
2. Spread the fig spread on one half, about 1/8 inch thick.
3. Put three slices of turkey.
4. Slice the brie into 1/4 inch thick pieces and cover all of the turkey.
5. Put a handful of arugula on top.
6.  Put the other half of the bread on top and smoosh.
7.  Put it in the panini maker until you see brie start to melt.

That’s how you do it.  And if I can do it, you can do it too.  Also, I’ve decided it doesn’t matter what brands or kinds or varieties of anything you buy because it’s all delicious.  Make sure you don’t skip out on the ciabatta roll.  And if you’re feeling extra fiesty, double the brie.

WITCH HatToday’s WITCH number is 35.