Birthday Party Ideas for Kids (7.30.12)

july 30, 2012

Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

Kids birthday party theme ideas

Make your child or grandchild feel super-special when you throw a birthday party based on their favorite theme. From princesses and gymnastics, to Star Wars and soccer, your child’s interests make party planning easy. Begin by sending out invitations to let their friends know what the excitement is all about. Then start planning!

Games

  • Games are an important part of kids’ parties, and with a little creativity, you can turn a traditional game into something exciting. For example, Musical Chairs can easily become Musical Thrones for a Princess Party, and Who Am I? is great for themes with a lot of characters, such as Star Wars or Thomas the Train.

Decor

  • Create your own decorations to make the party unique. Check out sites like Pinterest for one-of-a-kind ideas, or visit character websites, where many offer printables that can be used for decorations or as an activity.

Sweets

  • There’s no need to go to a bakery when you can make a cool theme cake yourself—you’ll be amazed at what you can create! Or try something different – cake balls and cupcakes are super trendy right now. Give it your best shot and see what fun desserts you can come up with.

Don’t forget a card! Personalized birthday cards for kids are a great idea, and if you’re running a little late and don’t have time to get to the store there’s always great printable birthday cards your kids can create right from home. Most importantly, include your child in the party planning. It will make the day even more special for the birthday guest of honor!

Be Yourself (7.27.12)

july 27, 2012

Be Yourself…

Here Kitty Kitty! (Wednesday, 7.25.12)

july 25, 2012

Here Kitty Kitty!

The purrfect birthday ecard for pet lovers

You know you’re a cat lover when…

  • You have conversations with your cat and you really do understand what he/she is saying
  • Your cat has more say in household matters than your spouse
  • You’ve given up on caring about cat hair-free clothing
  • Your cat’s name is part of all your online passwords
  • You never mention the V-E-T by name for fear of upsetting you-know-who
  • You think birthday cards that feature singing cats are the most purr-fect cards ever!

In the mood board: Furball Surprise! birthday ecard From American Greetings

Meet the Artist (Monday, 7.23.12)

july 23, 2012

Meet the Artist!

Kathi Fay, a designer/animator for American Greetings

It’s time to meet another amazingly talented artist that we are lucky enough to work with every day. Today, we’re chatting with Kathi Fay, a designer/animator for American Greetings.

When did you first realize you are an artist?

I should have realized when I was in elementary school while I was spending all my time creating comic strips and embellished name tags, but I didn’t realize that it was an actual option for me until well into adulthood.

What is your position at American Greetings and what is your background as an artist?

I’m a designer/animator for AmericanGreetings.com creating digital content. My first degree is in mathematics and statistics and after spending several years as an escrow officer I decided to go back to school and get my studio arts degree. As soon as I finished school I got a freelance job at American Greetings that was supposed to last for three weeks; it’s been nine years now.

Could you tell us some more about your work?

I create digital cards. I take a concept and make it pretty and make it move. I work in all sorts of media including sewing, resin, sculpting, and photography but mostly my work is digital. I work on quite a range of stuff from brainstorming, storyboarding, illustrating, hand lettering, a little coding, photo manipulation and animating.

What is it that inspires you when creating a particular design or graphic piece?

Everything inspires me, but the desire to make each piece something I can be proud of and people will like is what really drives me. I create a lot in my free time as well, and the joy of gifting something handmade really makes me happy.

What’s your favorite piece/ecard ever created and why?

My favorite eCard created would have to be the Christmas stop-motion card from a few years ago. I created and sewed all the characters and trees and clouds for the entire card from patterns that I made myself. It’s a lot of fun to see a stuffed character you made come to life and walk across the screen.

felted Christmas characters

What famous artists or graphic designers have influenced you?

I follow a lot of artist blogs, so on a daily level it’s those people who influence me to keep striving. Other big influences for me have been Paul Rand, Mary Blair, and Tim Burton.

What inspires you to create your designs and how do you stay motivated?

My daughter is such a little cheerleader for me. She helps me ideate and gives me suggestions on what she thinks would make something better. She tells me how great I am and loves every single thing I create. She keeps me motivated and inspires me to keep creating.

Atomic Alex!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Well, I assume within the next 10 years Tim Burton will have called me to work on one of his major stop-motion pieces! And clearly I will become his go-to character developer from then on.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

Have confidence in your work and stand up for it. Make what you like and the work will follow.

What do you do for fun?

Too much! Spend time with my husband and daughter, sew, draw, craft, origami, fabric design, create, archery, eat, paint my nails, read, bead, knit, crochet, screen print, make soap, party plan and relax in the sun. I could keep going, my brain does not stop thinking of new things to fill my time. Oh, and I blog – http://boogiebeans.blogspot.com/ -  go check out my randomness.

Origami balls

Man’s BFF (7.20.12)

july 20, 2012

Man’s BFF!

Pet Quote: Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

Birthday Nut! (Wednesday, 7.18.12)

july 18, 2012

Birthday Nut!

Say Happy Birthday with a talking ecard!

Don’t you just love birthdays! They’re the best excuses ever for celebrating and having fun! And if you’re one of those people who just naturally see the lighter side of things—always up for a smile or a good laugh—you’ll be happy to know we have a whole selection of some pretty hilarious birthday cards and birthday ecards that are perfect for that super-fun friend who’s about to step into the birthday spotlight.    

In the mood board: Birthday Nut ecard from American Greetings

Let’s Celebrate Our Pets! (Monday, 7.16.12)

july 16, 2012

Let’s Celebrate our Pets!

Bring your pet to work day at American Greetings!

Earlier this summer, American Greetings celebrated  “take your dog to work day.” It’s always an interesting and fun day!

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” –Collete

This popular pet quote says it all! Pets are such an important part of our lives, and for some very good reasons.

Did you know that having a pet makes you healthier and happier? For example, petting your cat can lower your blood pressure, and taking your dog for a run or brisk walk is a great way to get exercise. Dog parks are not only fun for canines, but they’re a terrific place for humans to meet new people, too. And, while fish don’t have four feet, they are very soothing to watch, especially after a stressful day.

Bring your pet to work day at American Greetings!

Let your favorite animal companion know how much they mean by throwing a pet party to celebrate their birthday or adoption day. Dogs will especially love the chance to socialize, but be sure to invite their owners also, to keep things from getting too “ruff.” Serve homemade pet treats to your furry friends, and have each pet make a paw print keepsake to take home— something your human friends will really treasure. While cats and other creatures may not be as sociable, you can still have a private party with all the same fixings and just as much fun.

Another great way to celebrate our pets and spread those paws-itive vibes is by sending all your pet-loving friends an animal ecard from our new Pets Collection. Say Happy Birthday, Thank You, In Sympathy and more. You’re sure to get some tails wagging!

If you don’t have a pet of your own, you can still find the purr-fect pastime. Consider volunteering at an animal shelter, playing with critters at a pet store, or feeding the squirrels and birds in your own backyard. You’ll get a taste of the benefits of pet ownership, and make some deserving animals very happy, too!

Life is Full of Surprises (Friday, 7.13.12)

july 13, 2012

Life is Full of Surprises…

Inspirational Quote: Life is full of surprises. Open them slowly.

Happy Anniversary! (7.11.12)

july 11, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary mood board

Memories, laughter, tears, joy and happiness…there are so many emotions shared in a marriage, whether a couple is just starting out or have been traveling together on life’s journey for many years. Do you know a couple celebrating an anniversary soon? Maybe you and your hunny’s own special day is coming up. Don’t let the occasion pass you by without letting them know how you feel and maybe take some time to reminisce about all the memories you’ve made together. Happy Anniversary!

In the mood board: Wishing you More of Everything ecard from American Greetings

Keeping Busy in the Summer (Monday, 7.9.12)

july 9, 2012

Keeping Busy in the Summer

It’s summertime, and the living is easy! Fortunately, there are also lots of easy ways to have summer fun.

Stuck at work all day and feel like you’re missing out? No problem! Since it stays light later, make it a point to enjoy summer activities in the evening. Go swimming, take a hike, or ride your bike. If you don’t have the time to take a long destination vacation, try a “staycation” this year.

It doesn’t have to be a challenge to keep kids occupied during summer vacation. Most libraries offer programs that are both interesting and keep kids reading during their break. Give your kids something fun and tasty to do at lunch when they make their own crazy and creative sandwiches, then have them spend the hot afternoon enjoying crafts. Don’t forget to check out your local recreation department for day camps and sports clinics, or arrange your own group activities—such as trips to the zoo or amusement parks—with other parents.

“Free” is a great word, and it’s easy to find no-cost things to do in your city when you simply search on that phrase and add your location. You’ll be amazed at what’s offered for both kids and adults. These warm, sunny days won’t last forever, though, so get out there and take advantage of all the great things summer has to offer. And don’t forget to take as many photos as possible to document your summer fun – you can use them in scrapbooks or personalized cards!

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