Quirky Correspondence

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I despise the overly ornate embossed fonts and sickly pastels of Hallmarkesque cards almost as much as the saccharin sentiments they express. Alternately, I love the look and feel of the $5+ cards I find in architectural bookstores and boutique card/paper stores. But, even if you don't blink at shelling out $5 for the perfect card, it can still be quite the search to find the appropriate tone—particularly if you have eclectic and fascinating friends and family members. Fortunately, you can make a better card and save money with a typical computer, a functioning printer and "the google." Just beware, everyone will want to know where you bought the card but don't go into business just yet. While for personal, not-for profit use you can quotations and images, if you're going to sell you're going to need to stick to older quotations and images that are 70+ years old and now in the public domain unless you want to get permission or risk a copyright suit.

Happy card-creating and don't forget that there are roughly 3 weeks left to make sarcastic Valentine's day cards!

A Brief How-To:

1. Buy a set of blank cards and envelopes of your preferred size and color. My go-to place is Staples, but you can buy affordable packs of blank cards and envelopes at any office supply store.

2. When you are reading, keep your eyes out for funny or perfect quotations, or do a google search for your favorite author/ public figure and "quotes" or (more properly) "quotations."

3. Go to Google Images and type in the name of the person or thing you want to put on your card. Drag and drop the image onto your desktop.

4. You can do this all in MSWord. Under the "File" Menu choose "Page set-up." Enter the dimensions of the card you wish to print (Open and lying flat).

5. I generally use page 1 for the outside of the card and use the ruler guidelines to work on the bottom half of the card which will become the front cover (card will be folded in half).

6. I use page 2 for the inside of the card once again using the ruler guidelines to work on the bottom half of the page which will become the inside portion.

7. To wrap text around picture, click on picture. Go to "Format" Menu, scroll down to "picture" then click on the "layout" tab. Here there are a number of different options for how your font and picture can interact.

8. The trickiest part is printing and will depend upon how your printer feeds paper. You definitely want to print only page 1 first, then re-feed the paper according to your printer so that you can print page 2 on the inside.

The quotable Coco (my favorite entrepreneur)

For your stylish friend or your over-the-top gay male friend who always insists that he is "a girl that must strut his stuff."

Darling Davis . . .

For your grandmother, the woman in her book club that is always smiling, or your 75 year old block captain who knows everyone and everything that's happening on your street and is a better crime deterrent than any security system.

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