Archives for the month of: October, 2012

Sometimes it feels like the only ones up in the wee dark hours of morning are me and Iris. As I walk the dog at 6am before heading off to my early morning networking meetings I think of my teenaged cousin Oliver who delivers newspapers in his small English town. Yes, kids still deliver newspapers in some places. Not in Vancouver. In Vancouver grown ups drive the newspapers around. When did that start happening? If that’s not a kid’s job anymore, what do the city kids here do for their first job?

Today’s letter is for Oliver and his sister. And below is a bonus shot of Iris in the dark.

I loved this post on Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note site and had to share it. A little boy writes to Frank Lloyd Wright asking him to design a house for his dog Eddie.

Figuring out the best way to turn creativity into a business is challenging. Working pretty much in isolation adds to the challenge, so I’m grateful whenever I’m able to gain insight from someone in my field or a related one. Today I connected with Carina Murray, the founder of Crow and Canary, a company that brokers sales between the designers of stationery and gift items, and retailers.

She’s got a great eye. I love so many of the lines she reps. She is, sadly though, not taking on any more greeting card lines at the moment but was willing to take time out of her day to chat with me about my options this morning. Those sorts of exchanges are like gold to me.

So, today’s letter is a letter of thanks.

After that comment my friend made yesterday about sending postcards to herself I was reminded about all the mail I’ve sent to myself over the years. It isn’t as exciting as you might think.

Anytime I design a card I post one of them to myself. I make sure the date on the postmark is legible. I also sign my name across the sealed flap. I learned many years ago that this is one way to prove ownership of an idea if you are ever challenged by someone who claims that the idea was theirs first. With a firm date to associate with the work (legible postmark on the envelope) and no evidence of tampering (signature across the sealed edge) you can at least prove the idea was yours on that day in time. I haven’t had to crack one of them open yet and I hope I never have reason to.

A friend of mine wrote the following in response to a recent Facebook post I made about the tradition of mailing postcards:

“When I go travelling, I buy postcards and mail them to myself. This is so I can receive a note like “Wish you were here” and the stamp/postmark from visited country :)”

I love it. Afterall, if you’re the kind of person who likes to send postcards, you’re also probably the sort who like to receive them too so why not send them to yourself from places you’ve visited. I’m totally doing this.

It’s a grey and wet October day. Store owners are sweeping fallen leaves into the gutter, completely clueless that their actions will soon lead to giant pools of water collecting at the city’s street corners. There will be a great many pedestrian soakings when the cars and buses drive through intersections at full speed. Welcome to a typical Vancouver autumn!

I haven’t photographed my workspace in a while. Here’s how it looks this morning after attending a networking event where there was a great deal of talk about social media as a vehicle to drive traffic and generate business (there is more blog post after the jump):

So, this networking meeting I just got back from… the group is called HOBN (High Output Business Network) and they meet all over Metro Vancouver at various locations and at various times. You could go to an HOBN event every day and sometimes a couple times a day if you really wanted to. It’s extensive. This is the third breakfast meeting I’ve been to and I’m suitably convinced that this group of small business owners and self-motivated professionals is worth allying myself with. The connections these people have are vast. If you want to know who is doing an unorthodox job of philanthropy, just ask. If you want to know if someone has an old cell phone they are no longer using, just ask. If you are looking for leads for your own business, just ask. The give & take and show & tell has been varied and interesting.

One of the founders is a man by the name of George Moen. Some may know him as the past President of Blenz Coffee shops. He’s a networking superstar. I met him this week for the first time and he is all about the social media and online communication which is why I’m fairly certain my quaint paper offerings were of little interest to him.

Within an hour of our meeting he had requested a connection with me through Linked In. I accepted. But I also wanted to follow up in classic Christina fashion by sending him a card. That is part and parcel of my brand, afterall.

At the very bottom of his website, which is a loooong list of links to different social media sites and other ways of contacting him electronically, was a mailing address. A PO Box. I admit I was a little surprised to find it. Today I sent the eagle card to him.

BTW, those “peace” cards you see in the foreground are the ten samples that TPH sent me. No one took up my challenge of identifying the alphabets depicted on the front of that card so I’m going to send those cards to my own contacts.

Here’s another elaborate laser cut card that I picked up that day a couple of weeks ago at the Vancouver Public Library giftshop. This one is heading over to Hodgey, my friend in Machias, Maine who appreciates great art and great design. The second shot below shows some of the tell tale signs of laser cutting on the right side of the paper. The designers were smart to have flooded the inside with a vibrant pink in order to mask the sooty marks but sometimes the medium reveals itself no matter how hard you try to mask it.

My favorite thing in the world is to receive a postcard from friends. And I travel a lot, so I send them back. It may be old-fashioned, but when I see someone’s handwriting, it’s like a little piece of them.  And I always love it. • Ethan Hawke

 

I found out last weekend that Mrs T an old family friend and neighbour passed away. Cancer took another wonderful human being from us.

Every time that disease claims or preys on someone I know, I am further galvanized to continue keeping my healthy cancer-fighting habits – a whole food diet, meditation and walks in the fresh air with the dog, positive thoughts, laughter. There’s always more time we can spend exercising, less sugar we can eat, more negative thoughts we can banish, more moments we can spend on the yoga mat, but we should all start with one thing and just add to that one thing day by day or week by week. One step at a time.

Today’s letter is one of condolence to Mr T. I hope that after 51 years of marriage, his memories of this amazing lady will help to ease his sorrow if only a little.

I thought of Lizzy as I braved the torrential downpour at this year’s UBC Apple Festival. She would have loved it. The Apple Festival, not the rain, so I wrote about it and other things in my recent letter to her.

My friend Jason and I went to the fest together. I picked up a couple bags of Bramley’s Seedling, one for me and one for mum. They remind mum of the tree that used to stand in her Grandmother’s garden. As I write this I have butter softening to make a pie with my bag of Bramley’s. I’m sure mum will be making her pie later this weekend.

Apple chips are next on the agenda. Must dust off the dehydrator.