Archives for the month of: November, 2012

Today’s post is all business.

This great article a friend sent me reminds printers – and I would extend that reminder to paper mills, designers and other who work directly or indirectly in marketing and promotions – to send well-printed and well-designed holiday cards in order to make the right impression.

Giving badly-produced or generic cards when you offer products and services that claim to help people market their *own* products and services … big no-no. Read on to learn the seven rules to giving great Christmas cards. This is a great little article and I’m not just saying that because I sell Christmas card (although that does factor in somewhat. I’ll admit I am biased).

Kassidy’s illustrated letter arrived!

Mail from children is the best. Iris agrees even if she does look decidedly unimpressed in this photo. (It’s not her best side).

And on the other side Kassidy wrote:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
There’s nothing like a good big thank you.
Thank you!

This is postcard No. 10 from my friend A–  as she was flying back home to California after visiting her parents and a sick dogger in Florida. I’m getting old and a little grumpy when it comes to travelling. I have a stronger desire to go on road trips than to go on flights, but I admit this does make me think about a couple of trips my brother and I are considering taking together. Someplace warm might be nice.

Mum sent me a postcard from Los Cabos Mexico. Well, to be exact she sent it from the Holland America ship she was on. They don’t sell you stamps on the ship. You pay for postage and they collect the mail and drop it off at one of their partners’ offices on land where it is then stamped and mailed. As you can see, it was written and “posted” by mum on the 8th of October. It was finally processed at the post office 14 days later and it arrived…on November 21st a full month later. Insane. That’s what $1 worth of postage on a Holland America cruise will buy you. Lame.

Post card #9 from A– arrived today and it brought sad news. Her greyhound is not taking to chemo treatments which is heartbreaking for her and her family. As she says, “Being a grown up is highly overrated.” I agree. At times it really is. So, today I’m thinking of the sleek and lovely needle-nosed Zoe. And, of course, think of A–.

Hommage to Shepard Fairey of Obey Giant fame.

I mailed out a LOT of cards to prospective corporate greeting card clients in September. Some came back undeliverable a few weeks later but it’s late November now and I was stunned to find an envelope in my PO Box returned to sender. But get this. instead of being delivered as it should have been, to a law firm in downtown Vancouver, literally a stone’s throw from where I posted it, it went all the way to Wisconsin. Here’s what I think happened.

The envelope is addressed to the law firm – the same side as the stamp. Logical? Yes.

My return address is on the back of the envelope on the flap, up high. There is no stamp on this side of the letter. The PO Box number in my return address is 53563. The zip code for Milton, Wisconsin is 53563.

My best guess is that this piece of mail was bound for the law firm but I had an old address for the firm written on the envelope. When the envelope went back into the post box to be returned to sender, it probably went through the sorter with the back side  – the side containing my return address – facing up. And for some bizarre reason, instead of sending it back to my PO Box in Vancouver (clearly marked on the flap as PO Box 53563), it was sent to the US. To Milton, Wisconsin.

My question is this. How is it that no set of human eyes saw this error earlier?

It’s a bit of a fluke that I happen to have a map sticker of BC(where this letter is coming from) and Chicago (where this letter is going to). Sticker Collection Divestiture Project® is well underway.

Does anyone remember Day 111 when I featured Mary Robinette Kowal and her month of letter writing. James put me on to her after hearing an interview on CBC’s show, Spark, hosted by Nora Young.

I wrote to Mary after finding a mailing address on her website and she wrote back. It took a few months but she wrote back! I was so excited to receive the letter that I tore into it while standing in the rain and you can see the telltale signs of my haste in the photo above. She’s planning on undertaking her challenge again. This time in February 2013.

Some years back I gave my childhood scratch ‘n’ sniff collection to a friend of mine who has kids. I thought they would derive hours of enjoyment from peeling back the clear magnetic pages of the old 80s photo album to delicately scratch and then sniff the many stickers that were so lovingly categorized and arranged on the album’s pages. I was an organizer then and continue to be an organizer to this day.

What I didn’t predict was that within a few weeks the book’s pages would be torn, the heavy duty spiral binding bent and the collection tossed aside like last year’s boring old Christmas present. I was pretty choked. But then I reminded myself that once you give something away, it’s no longer yours. You have to set your expectations aside and just let it go.

Maybe it was a yearning to rebuild that collection or start a new one, but I seem to have amassed a great many stickers in that stationery drawer of mine over the years and it’s high time I used them or gave them away or something. I have an idea about what I’d like to do with them and that may play out in the form of a Christmas gift to my four cousins in England but for now I’m finding other ways to share them with people I think might like them. Ladyhawk is a cat lover and is someone who hearkens back to a bygone era so I thought she’d appreciate these charming and ever so slightly creepy Victoria mausers.

Do scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers even exist anymore? I remember being pretty excited when I got my hands on one that smelled like skunk. Needless to say after having experienced the real thing, I won’t be looking to add that one to any new collection I might be tempted to start.

So many kids have put a message in a bottle and chucked it into the ocean but how many have had their message found after eight years! From Montreal to Ireland. How cool is this story.