Spring Wedding Trends (4.29.13)

April 29, 2013

Spring Wedding Trends

Spring Wedding Trends from StayInspired365.com

Ah…the merry month of May!  With its pastel palette, natural beauty and warmer temperatures, there’s no wonder why May is one of the most popular months for weddings.  And every couple captures its essence in their own romantic way.  From camping themes to floral garland, some spring choices are more unique than others.  But it’s always interesting to track the popular trends.

Elaborate Invitations from StayInspired365.com

Elaborate Invitations

With 3D creations and intricate laser cuts, the tone for the wedding is now being set from the minute the guests open the envelope.  And that tone, according to Bridal Guide, is “a move toward sophisticated.”  Think glamour, gardens…and Gatsby!
 
 
Lush Flowers from StayInspired365.com

Lush Flowers

For the second year running, the soft, romantic, peony is the most requested wedding flower.  With the bloom available for only two months, May is the perfect time to pick a peony bouquet.
 
 
Wedding Dresses from StayInspired365.comA Different Dress

Traditional all-white gowns will always be in style, but many are now being splashed with color.  Blue lining underneath, pink lace across the back, or a vibrant shoe are just a few of the latest runway looks—along with pastel dresses.  Don’t be surprised if you see the bride “all dressed in mint” since that seems to be this year’s go-to hue.

Creative CakesCreative Cakes from StayInspired365.com

Color is popping up on cakes as well.  Bright bows, bold monograms and hand-painted designs are making edible works-of-art worthy of their own photo shoot.  On the other end of the sweet spectrum, Fake Cakes have become a popular budget choice for photos.  The couple still gets their cake-side shot, while a sheet cake is waiting to be served.  Not a bad way to save money for a tropical island trip…which is still the top honeymoon destination, no matter what time of year.

Love and Happiness Quote (4.26.13)

April 26, 2013

Love & Happiness

Love & Happiness Quote from StayInspired365.com

Silly Face Fun! (4.25.13)

April 25, 2013

Silly Face Fun!

Silly Face Fun Mood Board from StayInspired365.com

Remember those magnet shavings games of our childhood? Well, they’re back and better than ever! Check out one of our latest kids’ birthday card inventions, Silly Face Fun™!

Both a card and game, Silly Face Fun appeals not only to our own childhood nostalgia, but kids’ imaginations. Each card has a magnetic wand that moves around magnet shavings, allowing the lucky birthday boy or girl to draw silly hair, hats, glasses and more! The options are as endless as their creativity. And when they just can’t get enough, they can download the mobile version of Silly Face Fun™! – our FREE app for the iPhone and iPad.

In the mood board: Silly Face Fun Paper Cards and Silly Face Fun App from American Greetings.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day (4.24.13)

April 24, 2013

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

Administrative Professionals Day Mood Board from StayInspired365.com

They handle details.  Arrange schedules.  Take calls.  Send emails.  Juggle projects.  Answer questions.  Solve problems.  Make changes.  Meet deadlines.  Organize everything.  And master the art of multi-tasking…usually before their first cup of coffee!

And today’s the day to recognize Administrative Professionals for doing it all.  Since 1952, Administrative Professionals Day (or Secretaries Day—originally celebrated for a week) has become one of the largest workplace celebrations.  Hopefully you have a little something planned for the person who does so much.  But it’s not too late to make them feel appreciated.  Plants, flowers and gift cards are popular favorites that you still have time to get.  Or simply treating them to lunch will make them feel special.

And don’t forget the card!  You can instantly deliver an ecard (or several throughout the day) to make your Administrative Professional smile in a way that’s just their style!

In the mood board: Singing Your Praises (Fun Song) ecard from American Greetings.

Happy Earth Day (4.22.13)

April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day to You!

Happy Earth Day from StayInspired365.com

On April 22, 1970, when 20 million Americans celebrated the first Earth Day, it was clear that this holiday could have a bright future ahead.  Forty three years later…192 countries, over a billion people, and an official “Earth Day Network” now commemorate the day in eco-friendly ways that continue to make a world of difference.

So how exactly do people celebrate Earth Day?  From activist marches to benefit concerts, there are environmental awareness events all over the world, and probably many in your own community.  At earthday.org, you can find everything from educational programs to e-waste pledges to help you protect the planet.

Some of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day might be simpler than you think:

  1. Choose tap water over bottled. It’s less expensive, more convenient and leaves no waste.
  2. Take a recyclable shopping bag to the store.  Better yet, take a few.
  3. Switch your paper billing statements to online billing.
  4. Turn down the brightness level on your computer to reduce power usage.
  5. Wash your clothes in cold water. Most of the energy used by washing machines is the result of heating the water.
  6. Plant a tree or a garden to make the world a greener place.
  7. Recycle an old electronic device. Stores like Staples now take nearly all electronics off your hands including laptops, e-readers, mp3 players and more, even if you didn’t buy them there.
  8. Pick up litter. And don’t leave any behind.
  9. Turn off the TV…and take a walk.  Those are two ideas with three benefits:  Save electricity.  Get healthy.  And enjoy the great outdoors.
  10. Share the celebration!  Send an Earth Day eCard – sharing a smile is always a way to make the world a more beautiful place.

Love Quote (Friday, 4.19.13)

April 19, 2013

What is Love?

Love Quote from StayInspired365.com

Mother’s Day Mood Board (Wednesday, 4.17.13)

April 17, 2013

How to Make Moms Feel Special…

Happy Mother's Day from StayInspired365.com

With Mother’s Day just a few weeks away, you may have started thinking about what you can do to make her feel special. In an effort to give you the best gift ideas, it’s impossible to narrow down all the great suggestions from the many mothers surveyed.  But what came up over and over again as an all-time favorite “gift” was simply a card with a personal touch.

Flowers, jewelry and chocolate also topped the list of traditional gifts.  Creative ways to display favorite photos tend to become the best keepsakes of the bunch.  And a gift card to a restaurant or spa or, better yet, taking her yourself is most often appreciated by hard-working moms who definitely deserve a break.

But, more than anything, most moms simply want to feel appreciated…which is why saying “I love you” with a card that’s just her style will always make her smile.  It’s never too early to start thinking about what you want to say and do to give your mom a beautiful day.

In the mood board: Artistic Flower for Mom paper card from American Greetings

Tax Day (Monday, 4.15.13)

April 15, 2013

Tax Day is Here!

Happy Tax Day from StayInspired365.com

“I love deadlines.  I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” ~ Douglas Adams, Humorist/Novelist

Did you meet the Tax Day deadline…or will you be hearing a whooshing sound?  Hopefully your forms are signed, sealed and stamped, and you’ve got some spare time for some fun tax day trivia:

So, why is the deadline today? When the 16th amendment of 1913 started taxing anyone earning $3,000 or more, the filing deadline was actually March 1.  Rumor has it, the date was changed to April 15 in 1955 because the IRS wanted more time to do the work.  And to the IRS’s defense, processing returns really is a daunting task. If each form was processed in one minute, which would be warp-speed, it would take one person about 445 years to get the job done.

But just doing one tax return can be a challenge for even the smartest citizen.  Albert Einstein once said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax.”  And that’s when tax forms were only three pages long.  Now the easiest tax form  has 33 pages of instruction!  So it’s probably no surprise that some people simply skip filing.  But it is a shock to find out who breaks the law.  In 1952, Joseph Nunan was imprisoned for five years for tax evasion…and to think that he was once the Commissioner of the IRS!

On the other end of the spectrum, the IRS’s favorite taxpayers are married, childless people who rent their homes and earn a decent salary—because they get the fewest breaks. And speaking of breaks, did you know car accidents tend to go up 6% on April 15? It’s probably due to people racing to the post office — so slow down and try to have a stress-free day!

Friendship Quote (Friday, 4.12.13)

April 10, 2013

You Can Count on Your Friends!

Friends Forever Quote from StayInspired365.com

Meet the Artist (4.8.13)

April 8, 2013

Meet the Artist…

04082013_Mary-Engelbreit-headshot-american-greetings

Our featured artist this month is Mary Engelbreit! Mary is both an artist and a writer whose cards are adored all over the world. She takes care to combine a perfect blend of sweet sayings and whimsically fun illustrations to create cards for every occasion. Keep reading to find out a little more about Mary…

When did you first realize you were so creative?

I have felt the need to draw and make things for as long as I can remember! Luckily, my parents were very supportive of this, and filled the house with art supplies and gave me plenty of time and freedom to do it.

 What is your background as a creative talent?

My only background is making art every day. I wasn’t crazy about school and when high scho

ol ended, I just wanted to get to work. My first job was at an art supply store, where I met lots of working artists and realized a career in art was possible. Plus, I learned how to use a variety of materials. That’s also where I had my first art show, and realized people really liked my work! Then I got a job at a very small ad agency. That’s where I learned the business side of art. All in all, it was a perfect education for what I do now!

What is your current position/relationship with American Greetings?

I create greeting cards for American Greetings. As both an artist and a writer, what would you say comes first when creating a greeting card?  Since I use lots of quotes in my work, I would say the words come first— they inspire the drawing.

What is it that inspires you when creating a greeting card?

I want to put something on a greeting card that really speaks to the buyer and the recipient. I don’t want to draw a flower on the front and say “Happy Birthday to my mother”. To me, that doesn’t convey a story. I like to try to draw a situation that both people will recognize and, hopefully, say what they really want to say to each other.

 Do you have a favorite card that you’ve created, and why?

I tend to like the cards I’m currently working on, just because I have fun working on them! One of my recent favorites is “Hello You,” because it’s a good one to send to a friend anytime. Plus, I really like her dress!

04082013_Mary-Engelbreit-american-greetings

 What famous artists/writers have influenced you?

I loved all the old books my mother read to me when I was little, and a lot of those were hers or her mother’s books from when they were young. So I grew up very familiar with the work of Arthur Rackham, Beatrix Potter and the like. I also loved Garth Williams and Joan Walsh Anglund.  Now I’m in love with so many wonderful illustrators, lilies William Joyce and Lizbeth Zwerger. The list is endless!

 In general, what inspires you, and how do you stay motivated?

Everyday life inspires me, thank goodness! The things everybody goes through on a daily basis are remarkably similar, and those are the things I try to illustrate. And I love to draw, so it’s no problem for me to stay motivated!

 Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I assume, if I’m lucky, I’ll still be illustrating books, cards and calendars!

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

I tell artists just starting out that they better really love it! Licensing is much different now than when I started out, and with all the new technology things are just very different. There are certainly many jobs to be had in the art field—–jobs I don’t even understand!!——- so you just need to hang in there and never give up!

 What do you do for fun?

For fun, I paint old furniture, boxes, frames— you name it, I will paint it!  I’m also a rabid reader. Mysteries and fiction are my favorites.

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