Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Few Facts About Greeting Cards — From All Of Us At NPR With Father's Day this weekend, many Americans are bound to make last-minute trips to find that perfect humorous card for good ol' Dad. Not my roommate. She has a stockpile of greeting cards that she buys not for a specific occasion, not to send to a particular person. She purchases cards just because. Or maybe you buy cards like my mother. "Remind me to get a card for Aunt Tracy," she'd say as we strolled into the mall when I was a kid. Then she would spend what felt like hours perusing the shelves, looking for a card with the perfect touch of corny. But whatever your card-choosing strategy, here are five things you may not have known about greeting cards. 1. Americans buy a ton of greeting cards While greeting card sales have gradually declined since the advent of e-cards and other digital modes of communication, Americans still buy about 6.5 billion cards each year. The most popular card-giving occasions are for birthdays and Christmas, according to the Greeting Card Association. Women buy 80 percent of all greeting cards. 2. Pets' names often appear on cards You've probably received many cards with messages like this: Happy birthday! Love, Mark, Joan, Bobby, Susie and Taffy. Many people view their pets as if they were part of the family, so it makes sense they would include pet names on cards. An American Animal Hospital Association survey found that 70 percent of people include their pet's name on greeting cards. 3. The name "Hallmark" was inspired by goldsmiths The ancient Chinese would send cards to celebrate the New Year, as did the Egyptians, who would mark papyrus scrolls with messages. In Europe, people began giving handmade paper cards for Valentine's Day around the early 1400s. But cards really took off in the 1850s as the printing press made card production quicker and cheaper. And that little company called Hallmark? The Hall Brothers card company was founded in 1910 by Joyce Clyde Hall and his brother in Kansas City, Mo. They crafted picture postcards for about five years until sales declined, and they began making greeting cards in response to people's desire for more private communication. The word "hallmark" was used by goldsmiths to describe a "mark of quality." It fit perfectly, and the company name was changed in 1928. Hallmark was also the first to display cards on shelves standing up. Before that they were placed in drawers. 4. The Louie Awards recognize the best cards annually The International Greeting Cards Award Competition, or the Louies, have recognized the best cards each year since 1988. The Louies are named after Louis Prang, a German immigrant who is credited with producing one of the first lines of Christmas cards in the U.S., in 1875. Submissions to the Louies are blind-judged on originality, impact, design excellence, sendability and value, and winners are announced in May during the National Stationery Show (yes, that's a thing) in New York City. The Card of the Year in 2014 featured a picture of a dog with a red velvet cupcake wrapper in its mouth. 5. Millennials reject greeting card technology Millennials are also eschewing e-cards and seeking a feeling of nostalgia in card-giving. As a result, fancy, often pricey cards from sites such as Etsy are gaining popularity, perhaps in response to digital communication exhaustion. Older generations, however, seem content to send e-cards. Or if you're like my roommate, you love a spontaneous trip to Papyrus. http://www.npr.org/2015/06/19/415801900/a-few-facts-about-greeting-cards-from-all-of-us-at-npr Samantha Raphelson

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mille Baiseurs xoxoxo - postcards from the 1920's

I'm currently cleaning up an "antique" image for a birthday card I'm going to make for my Etsy Shop "The Reimagined Past."

It's a wonderful old french Birthday card.

 While looking on the internet to make sure "bonne fete" also means Happy Birthday in french, I sidetracked and found an interesting website, called "Mille Baiseurs" - referencing the note written on the Birthday card.

It literally translates as "a thousand kisses", but is a traditional way to sign a letter "Lots of love" or "XOXO" in French.

It also refers to a particular genre of postcard - French (usually) postcards from the 1920's, usually of a romantic nature, but they can also be found for a  variety of other occasions - New Year's, Christmas, Easter and "come hither" looks! Today they look (in my opinion) pretty kitschy, but they are fun!!

bleuet 827 (188x300) A Noyer 3953 pc paris 3286 (188x300)

 - first three photos were found on the Mille Baiseurs webpage -