Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not so wild cards

Readers, my hackles were raised yesterday.  

But first a confession, to provide context:

My parents may not buy it based on how I spent my life in middle school, but I've completely lost the gift of gab via telephone.  It may have something to do with my scratchy Blackberry and lackluster reception in my apartment, not to mention the lack of non-verbal cues from a conversation partner, but conversations are just infinitely better in person. This is challenging, though, when one wants to connect with friends and family who do not live in one's residence.

So besides the obvious texts, emails, and facebook messages, I've turned gradually to rely on greeting cards as part of my communications arsenal.  I love opening my mailbox and finding a handwritten note.  (Wait, does anyone in the world not love that?)  It's even more fun when there's no occasion and the cards are of the just-because-thinking-of-you variety.  When I take a minute to scrawl a message and drop a card in the mailbox, it makes me feel like I've been at least a little bit intentional about showing a loved one I care about my connection with him or her.

Today I went to a store featuring a generous greeting card selection to buy good luck cards for a few people I wanted to nudge with luck.  The store has six long rows of cards for every occasion: birthday, sympathy, congratulations, wedding, engagement, and baby.  But I circled the rows, getting confused.  Somehow, in this selection, there was just one sad, flimsy, neutral bland good luck card.

Reader, at risk of overreacting, what does this say about our world?  We know to send cards when things go wrong. We drop cards in the mail when a birthday passes or a major, obvious life event like a wedding, graduation, or baby's birth occurs. But why don't we want a stock of cards for before something happens, to watch out for someone and give him or her an extra little spark of knowing that someone cares and is rooting for him or her? Why shouldn't there be a section full of bright, punchy, cheerful "go get 'em" cards?  Nothing momentous, nothing over-the-top: just encouraging, happy thoughts.

I dealt with my frustration by figuring that everyone who wants to wish someone good luck must be having heartfelt phone conversations with their loved ones to tell them so, making me the odd one out.  More than ever before, though, it also spurred me on to finally figure out how to make my own stash of greeting cards.  This isn't a new idea by any stretch: If Josh reads this post, he is undoubtedly rolling his eyes because he's the one who has had to endure more than one conversation about sympathy and wedding card fonts.  

I'd really like to try my hand at designing my own cards, if only to eliminate the weird cranky feelings I experience whenever I go card-shopping!  It's high time that I stop grouching and start identifying a solution to this group of problems.

Crafty readers, do you know how to make cards? is opening up this whole world for me, but should I have other websites or avenues on my radar?  I want to design them on the computer and then have them printed and shipped to me--not unlike designing a holiday photo card, I guess, but with more autonomy and control regarding font, images, color, and layout than the traditional routes.  

What do you think?


  1. Have you seen MY stash of cards under the bed??? Is this a genetic trait?? Shall we begin yesterday?? Agree, agree, agree...although. Target has quite a selection INCLUDING "awkward family photo" occasion cards! :)

  2. Hi Rebecca! If you want to upload your own design, I would try UPrinting or Vista Print! Both have lots of good options, and are reasonably priced. If you need to buy envelopes, check out Paper Presentation -- awesome colors, and cheap prices. Good luck!

  3. Thanks, Emily! Can't wait to check out your recommendations!

  4. I absolutely love buying cards and all types of stationery for that matter. There are a few choice stores that have a beautiful selection of the non-Hallmark/mass-produced variety. There is one on Selby (can't think of the name right now) and another in Stillwater that I especially adore! But I am always on the lookout and admittedly have a banker's box stuffed to the brim filled with cards waiting to be sent! :)