The Thank You Note

March 20, 2017

Hardly anyone knows it but a gentleman's stationary is different from a lady's and from businesses stationary.

These days just sending a note is impressive enough but if you really want to do it up right, get some good stuff.

A woman is a person too, not merely a wife and mother, and the outside of the envelope should be addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Novak", "James and Mary Novak", "Mrs. Mary and Mr. James Novak" or "The Novaks".

And only that if you know she prefers "Mrs".

Her social title is her name, not "James' wife".

If you were to address an invitation just to Jane, it would be to "Mrs. Novak", or "Mrs. Jane Novak", which is her name.

The fact that her husband John is also a Novak is irrelevant if she has chosen to be one. It would not be appropriate to address her personally as "Mrs. James Novak", any more than it would be appropriate to introduce her as "this is Jameswife".

If you did address something to "Mrs. John Smith", you're clearly addressing "that woman John married", not Jane herself.

Formality does not require erasure.

And to do it differently would be to address only one person, the husband, and treat their counterpart only as an add-on. That's not an interpretation, that's what is literally involved. "The mrs of john smith" applies to whomever he marries. It's not an invitation to Jane Smith nee Jones as her actual own person. If you respect Jane, you can respect her as her husband's equal, and equally deserving of being addressed by her first name. If you address her merely as John's wife, she's right to assume that's all you see her as. It wouldn't be appropriate to introduce a couple as "this is John Smith and his wife", and it's not appropriate to address them that way.

If you respect two people as each persons, you address something to both of them, not merely to the man plus his appendage.

That was only appropriate in a world in which only men were persons, and wives were just possessions brought along with them. Most of us don't live in that world anymore, and etiquette specific to that world is void.

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Craft Supplies

March 2, 2017

I'd recommend indigoblu.com for stamps, they have really high quality and beautiful stamps.

They have a very vintage/english feel to them. They have especially wonderful Christmas stamps. I'd also recommend scrapbook.com com. I know it's generic, but they have a lot of great stuff.

I really like the brand DCWV (Die Cuts With a View) for scrapbooking paper because they have such comprehensive sets.A lot of Jim Holtz' stuff is good too! Scrapbook.com has all of those things. I feel that Stamping' up is over priced...Lawnfawn.com has some really cool and fun alphabet stamps too.

For me the problem isn't getting more, it is using what I have without forgetting that I have it.

Inspriation is more important in this case.

For inspiration websites like craft tree have an ubundance of ideas for various projects that can give you the personal touch that is worth more than money.

Everything else craft related I have used Amazon. Sometimes Etsy has cool supply stuff too. I needed turquoise skull beads once and Etsy had them!

Now the only thing is that I need to make space for the stuff that I actually use.

I'm also way into crafting (sewing, quilting, jewelry-making, and many miscellaneous other things), and konmari'd my craft stuff last month.

  1. got rid of anything too old to be useful (adhesives/paints/etc that were dried out, etc)
  2. let go of anything specific to a craft that I don't realistically see myself doing within a year. If it turns out I do need it, I'll buy it again.
  3. kept everything sewing-related (my #1 craft), except fabrics I don't like
  4. kept paints, pastels, pencils, drawing paper, because I do use them occasionally and they're nice quality
  5. kept tools (like my leather punches), because they're expensive to replace
  6. let go of things that were purchased because I wanted them and not because I planned to use them (I had so much ribbon, and I don't even use ribbon)
  7. let go of what felt like 2 or 3 pounds of those glass craft marbles

And I did all the decision-making at once, and then when I put everything away, I made sure to keep similar items together.

I've found that my taste changes and if I hold onto fabric (or beads or art paper) for very long, it no longer does anything for me. You'll never not be able to find fabrics, yarn, and stuff that excite you. If you looked online right now, you'd probably be able to find lots of stuff you like way more than stuff you've had on hand for ages.

Once I used vertical storage and got everything put away, it took up way less space and I now know where everything is. I also put label stickers on all the tubs/containers/drawers, listing the contents.

Also, I'd check all non-refillable markers to see if any have dried out and I'd photograph sketches in half-empty sketchbooks before tossing them.

I don't even want to talk about Konmari-ing yarn and fiber.

I just can't part with yarn.

Oh, and I'm going to a yarn convention in a few weeks.

What could go wrong?

I find it helpful to do hard categories like craft stuff only after you've built up momentum from easier stuff.

How To Print Envelopes

February 10, 2017

Addressing a large number of envelopes can be a real hassel. So why not just print them?

This can also be more work than you might expect. But I have some things that can make it easy and cheap,

You can do all of this on you home printer. I did this for our save the dates and it looked way nicer than handwriting them since my penmanship is not the best. To start select a few fonts, one should be a standard font, the other a script.

You shouldn't have any issues printing directly onto the envelopes at home.

Steps:

  • Create a blank Word document
  • Change the paper size to 5x7 (File --> Page Set Up -->Paper Size)
  • Change the orientation to landscape
  • Type the address on the Word doc (play around with font, font size and placement)
  • Feed a single envelop (flap down) into the printer
  • Repeat this process for each envelop

I had to play with the envelop orientation when feeding it into the printer so make sure you have some extra envelops to work with. For my printer, I needed to rotate the envelop 90 degrees to the left.

Just remember that as long as the postman can read it, I don't care. It's just going to be thrown away and the guests likely don't care.

When we sent out our birth announcements I bought a pre-inked customized stamp, to put our address in everything.

Tags  |  Announcing  |   |  Genesis

How To Address A Couples Baby Shower

February 2, 2017

Writing the names of both people on the invitation should be fine.

I'm not sure if this is an Midwest thing or not but we would say something along the lines of "cake and coffee will be provided" every invitation for birthday parties, engagements and work get togethers has just had that written on it but then there is also always cake and coffee.

But I don't think you ned to mention food.

I think most people will assume there will be food at the shower and even if they do eat beforehand, they'll eat again. Ever been to a Costco on a Saturday? People don't say "no" to free food. I think the mention of men and women does need to be explicit, since most people won't even really notice how the invite is addressed.

And I'd still expect a few wrapped gifts: it's a concept most people won't be familiar with.

As for the presents you could say something along the lines of: "in an effort to be more ecofriendly we ask gifts be left unwrapped. We will be accepting gifts at the door to leave more time to party!"

Naming both people should suffice, but you could also ask people to rsvp with the number of guests who will be attending to drive the point home.

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Plus One

December 18, 2016

THe question of how to invite a guest with a partner is often asked. But is it really that hard?

Say you have a friend who has been a in relationship, she has a boyfriend and now you want to invite her to celebration.

Since she is in a relationship, this is not considered a "plus one". They are a social unit! Definitely invite him by name.

You can do it two ways. You can put their names on different lines (a little older school and makes it clear that they are not married) or put their names on the same line (used to ONLY be used for married couples who had different last names but people sometimes use it for cohabiting couples now).

So it would be:

Ms. Sally Smith Mr. John Doe 123 Main Street Anytown, USA

Or

Ms. Sally Smith and Mr. Richard Brown 123 Main Street Anytown, USA

I put "Sally Smith and John Doe" on all our invitations where the people are dating someone but not married.

If someone is completely single, you would just say "Sarah Smith and guest" or just "Sarah Smith" if you don't want her to bring a 1. But if she's in a relationship, invite the boyfriend by name.

Tags  |  Announcing  |   |  Genesis