Light up your life! (Friday, 6.29.12)

june 29, 2012

Light up your life!

Your spark can become a flame and change everything

Stay connected throughout the summer! (Wednesday 6.27.12)

june 27, 2012

Stay connected throughout the summer!

You're Awesome!

Quick—think of someone special in your life. It could be anyone—a friend, a family member, or that neighbor who’s always there when you need them. Or maybe it’s someone you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. Well, want to know how to make their day? It’s easy–send a “just because” card! You don’t need a special occasion to spread a little summer sunshine, and saying “hi” has never been easier. There are so many great ecards and paper cards to choose from, so you can find ones that are just right for everyone—from your old college roommate to your great aunt! So pull out your address book, sift through your email contacts, check in on Facebook and get ready to share some cheer. Not only will you brighten someone’s day, but we’ll bet you end up feeling a whole lot happier, too. After all, staying connected is what life’s all about!

In the mood board: You’re the Best ecard from American Greetings

Celebrating Summer! (Monday, 6.25.12)

june 25, 2012

Celebrating Summer!

Refreshing iced tea on a hot summer's day... delicious!

Long sunny days, warm starry nights…Who doesn’t love summer? Summertime = fun time—and one of the best ways to have fun is with a party – so get those summer party invitations ready!

There are so many choices when it comes to summer parties and they’re such a breeze to plan. All you need is the right setting and the perfect summer recipes.  A beach or pool party is a great way to cool off on a hot day, especially when you serve tall glasses of gourmet iced teas. Thinking of having a relaxing get-together? A woodsy site is another wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors. Bring along a portable grill, throw on some perfectly seasoned burgers, and you’re off to a great time!

If you’d like to keep the festivities at home, why not throw a tropical soiree and light up the night with strings of colored lights and tiki torches. For athletic sorts, a backyard sports extravaganza is a winner when you set up games like horseshoes, badminton, and croquet. And whether you’re cooling off those competitive spirits, or just looking for a refreshing treat for any summertime party, serve quick and easy desserts like frozen fruit slush. If you’re concerned about decorations, the best idea is to take a hint from Mother Nature and use bright, floral colors and lush, vibrant greens. Those summer-inspired hues will work great no matter what type of get-together you’re having.

Even though the air is causal, be sure to remember your manners! Thank you notes are always in season, so if you’re a guest, send a personalized thank you card saying “thanks for inviting me!” Your host will be thrilled—and you’ll be guaranteed a future invite. Likewise, if you are the one throwing the party and receive any gifts or treats, be sure to send out your thank-yous, too. It’s the perfect way to wrap up every wonderful, fun-filled celebration of summer!

When you Care…(Friday, 6.22.12)

june 22, 2012

When you care…

When you care, people notice

Meet the Artist! (Monday, June 18, 2012)

june 20, 2012

Meet the Artist!

Today, we’re getting to know Denise Ackerman a little bit better. Denise is a Photo Designer for the Creative Photo Studio at American Greetings. In addition to being an artist, Denise is a wife and mother, and proud member of the Chardon, OH community.

When did you first realize you are an artist?
I have been fascinated with the arts my entire life. Painting, drawing, photography… I always knew I would be an artist. Everyone around me knew I would be successful with a creative career and encouraged me to do so.

What is your position at American Greetings and what is your background as an artist?
I’m part of the Creative Photo Studio and work as a Photo Designer. I studied graphic design and photography at Bowling Green State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995. Since then, I have worked in many places from a tiny design studio in Portland, Oregon to much larger organizations like the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball team. I was lucky enough to start out as a designer at American Greetings last summer. It was my first full-time position after starting a family six years ago. During those six years I freelanced as a designer and photographer, plus took care of three small kids…not an easy feat!

Could you tell us some more about your work?
I am a photoshop artist. I do a lot of compositing, combining several photos, adding or deleting backgrounds and painting. I play with different filters, add sparkle and bokeh. I can make the ordinary extraordinary. I also do some photography for the blog, which is really fun.

What inspires you to create your designs and how do you stay motivated?
My kids are a constant source of inspiration. They’re at an age where they’re figuring out what they are good at, what they like to do – that’s so cool to see. It sounds cliché but they see the beauty in everything, and they’re a nice reminder that I need to slow down and appreciate the little things.

I also find inspiration in my community. Earlier this year there was a tragic school shooting at Chardon High School that affected everyone who lives there. The worst of one brought out the best in others. Our little town handled the tragedy with dignity and class right from the very start. And I couldn’t believe how strong the students were under the worst of circumstances. They had to grow-up quickly; no one should have to go through what they experienced, and that is hugely inspirational for me. I attended an open house at the school a few months ago, and as soon as I walked through the doors I saw thousands of cards, letters, drawings and banners. Notes of hope and encouragement literally covered every inch of the school. It was inspiring and it gave me chills. It allowed me to see that something as simple as a card or drawing really has an impact on the well-being of someone, and you can turn tragedy into something beautiful.

Chardon

Chardon

Denise took these photos at an open house that Chardon High School held a few months ago. The halls were lined with hand-made cards from students with inspiring and encouraging words.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I honestly see myself here; this is a great place for a creative person to work. I love my job. A place like this is hard to find.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
My only advice is to do what you love.

What do you do for fun?
I love to hang out with my family. I think we may try camping in a tent this summer, wish me luck!

What to write in a sympathy card (Wednesday, 6.20.12)

june 18, 2012

What to write in a sympathy card

A sympathy card is a wonderful expression of support for a person who is grieving. Yet, at a time when we want to be the most comforting and caring, and say just the right thing, we are also often the most unsure of what to write.

While sometimes it’s fine to keep our words simple, such as “So sorry for your loss,” there are also times when we’d really like to say much more. Here are some thoughts on this sensitive subject, and some ideas on what is helpful to say.

Before you write your message in a card, think about the person you are sending it to, and how personal you’d like it to be. Equally important is considering the loved one who has died. Did you know the person, too? If so, it’s nice to include a fond memory of them in your message. Or perhaps they had an endearing quality, such as a wonderful laugh. For example, you might include, “I’ll always remember the time we…” or, “Her laughter always made me feel…” Also, even if you didn’t know the deceased, use their name in your message no matter whether you’re sending a sympathy greeting card or a sympathy ecard.

Extra touches in the card are also very thoughtful. Do you have a photo of the deceased that might make the recipient smile? Or, if you feel it’s appropriate, include a Bible verse or inspirational quote.

Remember, whether you knew the deceased or not, the most important thing is to let the bereaved know you care. A personal message—sincere and from the heart—is the perfect way to do just that.

Printable Father’s Day Card! (Friday 6.15.12)

june 15, 2012

Printable Father’s Day Card!

Want to wow Dad this weekend with a Father’s Day card customized just for him? No problem. Printable Father’s Day cards make it easy to create one-of-a-kind greetings that you can put your own spin on through your own special words. You can even add a great photo of you and your dad for an extra personal touch. With a few simple steps you’ll be ready in no time, with Father’s Day card in hand!

Featured Father’s Day Card: Celebrate in Style printable Father’s Day card from American Greetings

Father’s Day Symphony (Wednesday 6.13.12)

june 13, 2012

Father’s Day Symphony

Father's Day Symphony, send this funny ecard for Father's Day!

Father’s Day is this weekend and it’s not too late to send Dad a little love – or laugh! Let’s face it, Dads are funny…even when they don’t mean to be. From their words and advice, to their mannerisms and style, they can always make us smile. This Father’s Day, spend a little time reminiscing some of the funniest stories you can remember with your dad, because like Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

In the mood board: Father’s Day Symphony ecard from American Greetings,

Photo by: Elephantine

Photo by: Zoobeephotography

A Father’s Success (Monday, 6.11.12)

june 11, 2012

A Father’s Success

A father's Success

It’s almost Father’s Day, and we want to send our best wishes to all dads on their special day!  Even though the first Father’s Day was celebrated   in 1910, it didn’t become a national holiday until 1972. Seems unbelievable that it took so long, doesn’t it? After all, dads do so much for their families, it’s only fitting they should have a day just for them. We’d also like to offer some inspirational thoughts about dads, and after reading the poem “Success” by Robert William Service, we  just had to share. Enjoy!

You ask me what I call Success -
It is, I wonder, Happiness?

It is not wealth, it is not fame,
Nor rank, nor power nor honoured name.
It is not triumph in the Arts -
Best-selling books or leading parts.
It is not plaudits of the crowd,
The flame of flags, processions proud.
The panegyrics of the Press
are but the mirage of Success.
You may have all of them, my friend,
Yet be a failure in the end.

I’ve known proud Presidents of banks
Who’ve fought their way up from the ranks,
And party leaders of renown
Who played as boys in Shantytown.
Strong, self-made men, yet seek to trace
Benignity in any face;
Grim purpose, mastery maybe,
Yet never sweet serenity;
Never contentment, thoughts that bless -
That mellow joy I deem Success.

The haply seek some humble hearth,
Quite poor in goods yet rich in mirth,
And see a man of common clay
Watching his little ones at play;
A laughing fellow full of cheer,
Health, strength and faith that mocks at fear;
Who for his happiness relies
On joys he lights in other eyes;
He loves his home and envies none. . . .
Who happier beneath the sun?

Aye, though he walk in lowly ways,
Shining Success has crowned his days.

A Father’s Love (Friday, 6.8.12)

june 8, 2012

A Father’s Love

A father carries pictures where his money used to be

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