Hello from the lovely homestead of the parents of The Thirty-Something Bride! Before I get into the meat of today's post, I have to say that getting to my parents house hasn't been this easy since I actually lived with them, which was waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1988. I've always lived far away from my parents. When I was in college at Indiana University, they lived in DC. When I moved to California, they lived (ironically) in Charlotte, North Carolina. When I moved to Chicago, they moved to Aiken, South Carolina as retirees. Now that I'm in Charlotte (and they've stayed put), it's a paltry 3 hour drive from Charlotte to their house! Historically, it's taken me endless days of travel and expense to get to and fro. I have to say, this is nice.
I knew after we moved that I'd get to do a quickie DIY project...change of address cards! Now, I suppose I could have simply sent an email to my friends and family updating them with the new addy, phone, etc. But what fun is that? And to be honest, I HATE getting info that way. I lose emails. I delete them accidentally. I forget to write the stuff down and it all gets lost in the depths of my in-box. Besides, it's fun to get unexpected stuff in the mail. The art of the letter is quickly dissipating into the bullshit digital world and I refuse to go there without a fight. True, true...there's the whole "going green" thing in regards to printing and sending the real deal. You know what? I cannot live in a paper-less world. There, I said it. Screw Kindle, I wanna touch my books. I want to flip the pages. I can't read anything of substantial length or importance on the computer. My eyes just go crazy. I have to print it out. Yes, that means I use paper. *GASP*
I'm sure my "footprint" is larger than some would prefer it to be. Sue me. Deal with it. I like paper.
So, knowing that I wanted to get some cool change of address cards, I started looking at images and graphics and just didn't really know what I wanted to do or how much effort I wanted to put into the project. So I enlisted the help of a Nashville Bridal Blogger, Natosha from Big Spoon + Little Spoon. She's a graphic designer and is hoping to start her own invitation business thing so I couldn't have a better chick to help me out. Not only is she talented, she's super sweet.
So Natosha hooked me up with a bunch of designs to choose from - all while she was finishing up a giant project at work and getting ready to leave on her honeymoon. Thanks girl! Much appreciated.
Here's the design we ended up choosing:
Why the crown? Charlotte, North Carolina, is also known as The Queen's City. Charlotte and the county containing it are named in honor of the German Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who had become queen consort of British King George III the year before the city's founding. [Source] All the street signs have little crowns on them. I just love that! I believe that Natosha snatched the crown image from The Graphics Fairy, but I'm not 100% on that. You know I loves me some Graphics Fairy.
I purchased craft paper note cards and envelopes from Hobby Lobby for $6.99 for 50.
In a Word document, I formatted the paper to the size of the note cards and simply dropped the image on the bottom half of the note card so that it would print to fold over as shown above. Easy peasy.
Using the same template as the outside, I entered all of our change of address info on the inside and added a little note inviting all our friends and family to come visit anytime. Just as long as they call first.
Then just fold and stuff. Y'all know how to do that, right? Just like your wedding invites. A mindless activity that numbs your tongue from all the licking. Ew.
I already had clear address labels so just printed all my address stuff in a matching font and slapped them on all the envelopes. No hand-written personal note. No signature. I followed the marketing rules of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). And my dearest friends and family who read this blog? If you don't get one of these in the next couple of days? It means I don't have your address. Send it to me and I promise I'll try not to lose it in my in-box.
I did the same printing theme with the return address labels and just used some Forever stamps. I'm sure I could have made these super cool looking with vintage stamps or personalized stamps, but I needed to get these suckers OUT.
I felt like this little project was the precursor to my upcoming Christmas card project. Every year I write one of those "Dear Friends and Family" letters with pictures and funny snippets of the year in review. A few years ago I opted out of the letter. Never have I had such an uprising of complaints from my friends and family. I got a plethora of emails with the following:
"WTF? Where's my letter?"
"Did you forget to stuff my card with your annual letter? Can you please send me one?"
"You didn't do a letter this year? It's the one card I look forward to during Christmas."
"You need to keep doing those. My husband likes to read your letter."
"Dude? No letter this year? Dude."
So after that, I went back to the annual letter. There are two kinds of cards that I'm drawn too - Christmas tree cards and Peace cards. I always struggle between the two because I have friends who aren't Christians who I send cards to. "Seasons Greetings" seems like the most user-friendly approach, but when I think about it harder, I think, "These are my cards I'm sending out. I celebrate Christmas. So why shouldn't I send out what I like?" That's generally where I end up in the end. Who knows? I might be offending the hell out of my non-Christian friends with all my in-your-face Christmas-love.
What are your holiday card plans? Do you send them? Do you over-think your card's theme based on who you'll be sending them to? I've never received a Happy Hanukkah card from any of my Jewish friends, but I wouldn't mind if I did. Anyone want to weigh in on how politically correct holiday cards need to be?