Wednesday, November 12, 2014


   For all of my adult life I lived away from my grandmother, but she never, EVER forgot my birthday or Christmas. I could count her like clockwork to be the first birthday card I received in the mail every year. Hers would be followed by my favorite beloved aunties and far away friends. I've saved many of them and I have the boxes to prove it! She's been gone for several years now and I sure miss getting her card with loving sentiments written as only she could. It gives me peace to know I've got them stashed away for the future. As I've watched my mother in law age I've been witness to how important old letters and cards become. When my father in law passed a few years ago, she spent much of her first two years sitting on their sun porch reading and RE reading the letters he wrote her while he went a way to war the first two years of their young married life. He wrote every week for two years. That's A LOT of letters!!! They are treasures for all of us now and I'll never forget how comforting they were to her in those first days and months of being without him. 

It's not easy to get our technology crazed teens to pen a note or card now that they are older, but we always encouraged ( okay, insisted ) that they make birthday and Christmas cards for friends and family when they were growing up. I don't think there's anything more precious than a card made by a child's hand. Do you? Except maybe love letters from your spouse. In the spirit of hand -made and hand -written correspondence today I'm sharing how we create our homemade photo note-cards in hopes you'll be inspired to make some of your own. For those of you who take lots and lots of photos of your farm and garden this is a great way to get those FARM FRESH images off of your computer and out into the world where they can be enjoyed! 

 This is our handy-dandy Epson Picture Mate personal photo lab that we use to print our 4x6 photos. The photo above shows with the lid and carry handle closed. Below it is open, turned on and ready for printing.  Once you find your images you simply load some photo paper into the printer and select how many you would like to print. You can also select to have a border or no border on your images.  I personally like a border. I think it frames up the images nicely and makes them look better once they are mounted to card stock.

We've had or PictureMate for about 5 years now and I'm sure there are newer models that are Smart Phone compatible, but this little machine works great for all of the images we take with our Nikon D70 Digital SLR. We love the flexibility we have of printing what we want, when we want and the images come out bright and crisp with brilliant color saturation. Nothing is more disappointing than a photo that has great composition or styling but is dull to look at. 

This unit excepts Memory Sticks and Memory Cards, but no direct downloading. It has no hard-drive for photo storage. The ink cartridge goes in the  back just below the battery. We are always able to find the correct ink cartridge and photo paper combo at Staples. It usually runs between $41.00 and $45.00.

Now for the pretty part of this post! Today I filled an order for three sets on my sunflower note-cards. Once I printed them, I adhered the images to plain 5x7 card stock. Most office supply stores sell card stock but I usually get mine at Michael's Craft Store. I've used colored paper, ivory, brown and even black. For this order I chose plain white. I just liked the way the colors popped off of the bright white background!

My note-cards come in sets of 8 and 10 with envelopes. ( which I almost forgot to include in my package today ) YIKES! 

 I like to tie them up with different ribbons ( think gingham, velvet, and lace) and sometimes when  I just want to keep it simple I use garden twine which is what I did today. I get Luster Leave Natural Twine from my local independent farm and garden center. For $5.99 I get 325' feet which is plenty for my garden tasks and crafting!

 I want the nice people who get my cards to know the back-story to the images so I always include my blog address on the back of each card. We use Avery Labels and print them out on our home HP Laser Jet Printer.

Here's two of the three bundles tied and ready for shipping. I also included complimentary brown paper gift tags.

 Tucked into the back of each package of note cards I include my business card!

 And, I always include a handwritten thank you card as well. I just love Liza Jane's pose in the pic below! I sure miss her! 

 I doubt we'll start a revival for the hand-written word, but I do hope you'll be inspired to put the pen to paper a little more often. I've got to pen a couple of my own then it's off to the post office for me!
Tell me, do you still send cards and letters? The hand-written kind?

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