April 17, 2009

Greeting Cards by Me

I know most people don't do this.

First off, Hallmark, Dayspring, and the other card companies just aren't that funny, and they definitely are not personal. So I make my own cards, which I remember first doing when I was about eight. It's way more fun. And it's also conveniently free, except for the 42 cents to mail a letter; 27 for postcards.

I make my own not so much to save money (like $3.50 per), but because I think mine are waaay better and sweetly personal. Gives a much warmer fuzzy than a Hallmark with little more than a butterfly, a bad poem, and Aunt Betunia's signature; no note attached.

Tonight I was sorting through the many stacks on my desk (paperwork, the bane...!) when I came across an old parking ticket notice. I tossed it, because I had attended to the 3rd or 4th notice after this one. (Innocent, for the record.) 
Actual Greeting Card: I think you are...FINE" and "U R TOTAL-LY Cool."
But then I thought twice and retrieved the scary orange Department of Revenue Determination of Liability from my wastebasket: This would make the perfect greeting card for my friend, a Chicago police officer to whom I am always regaling tales of my latest run-ins with friendly officers of the law! (And I do have them.)

I folded the 8.5" x 11" sheet into quarters with the upper right quartile being the face of the card. It will go in tomorrow's mail to Officer A and his wife, both dear friends, who have been under a tiny bit of stress of late and could use a little greet in the mail. I think the inside really tops it off, but I can't show you everything!

Yes, it's terribly corny, but so!?

I sent a novelette (a concept I invented) to my sister for her birthday. It consisted of a series of six postcards pulled from my vast collection, which depicted my recent visit to her Oregon home. I mailed one each day so as to have her lurking near the postman awaiting the next installment.

I thought they were good, but she said she LOVED them (the anticipation effect really helps), and that they were the best birthday present she ever had. She claimed to show them to anyone who would pay her mind and a few who wouldn't. I can't post them but I can show you this postcard I'm mailing to Bob tomorrow, who once took me to a Jackson Browne concert. Yeah, it's an inside joke. You won't laugh, but he will love it, since we often reference that concert.

It is a postcard from the 1960s (thus the yellowing). The other side is an urban scene in Brazil. I collect scores of them so as to find a good scene to accompany my story lines. The best cards are older, though. Hard to find non-touristy ones with good people scenes anymore. I often cut and paste pictures and add balloon dialogues.

People LOVE a custom card. No time? Take a folder of blank cards and envelopes with you to the dentist, on your commute, wherever. I learned this from my brilliant and frequent-writer mother who, at 81, perhaps singlehandedly keeps her local post office afloat.

Pssst. I keep a stash of blank card stock that I buy at art and hobby stores. Strathmore is a great brand for that. The larger the card, the better (5" x 6 7/8"). But of course this Broke Girl recently picked up several dozen heavy card stock that appeared to be handmade paper from her local Salvation Army for a couple bucks. Yeah, I'm cheaper going on cheapest. A friend asked if I had made it myself. It's quite beautiful, all the better to write inspired words by.


  1. One of Lisa's colleagues at Lake Forest College used to create postcards and send under pseudonyms to people, getting friends from around the country to send them out. I got one and it was brilliant; I pondered over who this person might have been for a long time. It's still one of my favorite cards.

  2. You are awesome! It makes me realize that I need to send more postcards and it's so cheap and easy to do (and, potentially, hilarious). Also, I picked up a "cardstock" idea somewhere, which is to cut up cereal boxes and the like, and glue something - photo, drawing, collage - to the printed side and use the other side for message and mailing. Now, that is cheapest.

  3. We have more in common than I thought. I also make cards when time permits (I'm focused on writing right now). They are not only personal; they are also stress relievers for me.

  4. You win the aware for most brilliant use of a parking ticket.