October 01, 2010

A note of support during Breast Cancer Awareness month


We all know someone affected by breast cancer, a cancer survivor or someone who has lost a family member to this terrible disease. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we are inspired by the many organizations that raise awareness and money to support cancer research. We do our best to support these organizations, but we wanted to do something else to show our support—something on a more personal level.
So this October we encourage you to take up your pens and write a note to the people in your life affected by cancer. Let them know how much they mean to you, how they inspire you, how grateful you are for their presence in your life. A little card that says, “I love you,” sends encouragement and hope right where it’s needed most.

September 30, 2010

Kids Halloween Party Ideas: Address labels…or Halloween treat tags?

halloween personalized stickers

One of our favorite ways to use our Halloween address labels is on our kids’ Halloween treats. If you’re looking for kids Halloween party ideas at school, Pear Tree address labels or personalized stickers are a great way to customize your treats. If you are hosting a Halloween party, you can also use them to seal your treat bags, adorn your Halloween invitations, or simply to decorate them. Keep it simple and use small lunch bags. The kids can color them, decorate them with stickers and add a spooktacular Halloween message.

September 14, 2010

Pen to Paper Challenge: Week Four Winner


We have selected our fourth and final winner, congrats to Jamie from Cake Mom

Here is an excerpt from Jamie's post.

I had a very hard time deciding who to send a note to this week. I work in the mental health field, and last week I was going through some cards and letters written to me by past and current patients and I suddenly knew who I should write to. When my father died  unexpectedly 4 years ago, I went through a very dark and difficult time. It was my first major loss in my life, and my whole world turned upside down in a matter of hours. I felt completely lost, depressed, and at times, hopeless. My great aunt recommended that I see a social worker that she knew. So that I would not have to miss work, my therapist came into her office early to provide me with grief counseling. It was so difficult being in the "patient" chair, but also extremely helpful. She helped me accept what I did not want to, that my father was dead. She was with me through the anger, the guilt, the depression, and finally the acceptance and spiritual growth that I ultimately received. She gave me a great gift, one that made me a better daughter to my mother, a better mother to my children, and a better therapist to my patients. She taught me what it truly means to accept life, as it is. So, with tears in my eyes, I wrote her a thank you note and let her know that I continue to do well today..thanks to her. Although writing the note did remind me of the pain that I had endured, it also reminded me how far I have come. My therapy may have ended, but writing this note reminded me that little doses of therapy in the form of the written word does the mind and the soul good! 

See the rest of Jamie's post here.

Congrats, Jamie, and thank you for accepting this challenge!

September 07, 2010

Pen to Paper Challenge: Week Three


We have selected our third winner, congrats to Elsie from Little Sprout Growing.

Here is an excerpt from Elsie's post.

When I started this challenge, I didn't realize all the different ways I would use these cards. A thank you, a miss you and now a sympathy. Not quite what I expected to write this week.

How often do we see a hard situation that happens in another person's life, be it a friend or loved one, on a social networking site like Facebook, or read about it on a blog or in an email. It is just so easy to shoot something back with a quick "I'm sorry!" or "Thinking about you today!" or even the ever popular and sympathetic "Praying for you!". I know that when I write those things, I try to actually mean them, but it is just so easy. It really takes little or no effort on my part to leave a quick comment or even shoot off a simple email to that person.

This week my cousin announced that she was pregnant with her second baby. She had just found out and was so excited that she posted it right away on Facebook for the world to see. We all delighted in her news with her. The next day, we waited as she posted that she was heading to the hospital because something was wrong and then later mourned as she let us know - no more baby.

She got married this past year and moved half-way across the country from Washington State to Kentucky. I can't give her a hug at church or meet her for coffee. And as I was posting my comment to her on Facebook, I felt like part of a group. I was just one of many people posting an "I'm sorry" on her page - how impersonal. And suddenly I knew who I was writing my card to this week. Realizing that I didn't even have her new address, instead of leaving her an impersonal comment, I sent her a message asking for it and sat down to write her a nice and simple handwritten card.

See the rest of Elsie's post here.

Congrats, Elsie, and thank you for accepting this challenge and sharing this story with us!

August 30, 2010

Pen to Paper Challenge: Week 2


We have selected our second winner of our Pen to Paper Challenge, congrats to Emmi from Mommy's Free Time.

Emmi's husband is currently deployed and she chose to send him a note for the second week of the challenge.

My second note card is going to my husband, Tony, a member of the US Army who is currently deployed. I honestly get to talk to my husband every day a luxury that most don't get, but it doesn't make things any easier. This is the first time that he is deployed away from the kids. Our daughter is only 2 and our son is only 1. He is actually going to miss both of their birthdays and I know that's not going to be easy for us or for him. I have the great pleasure of telling him every day how much I love him and how proud I am of him for all the wonderful things he is doing for our country. But it's not that easy for the kids to express themselves. So I wanted to do something a little different with this challenge. I decided to write a short note to my husband on the note card and then allow my kids to add their personal messages. Sure it's a bunch of scribbles and circles but when you ask them what it says they love to point and tell you DADA...mama...dog. I just know that this is going to mean the world to him when he receives it even though it will be a month after we mail it.

See the rest of Emmi's post here.

Congratulations, Emmi, and thank you for accepting the challenge!

August 24, 2010

Pen to Paper Challenge

At Pear Tree Greetings, we understand that a few, personal words to a family member or friend can go a long way. Whether it’s through a hand-written letter, a Christmas card or even a birth announcement, there’s an exciting feeling when a note is received in the mail. In an effort to show the meaning of a personalized card in a digital world, we recently announced our 'Pen to Paper' challenge for our Pearista bloggers.


Our Pearistas are a group of bloggers that are passionate about stylish stationery and communicating with loved ones. These Pearistas not only keep in touch through their blogs, but also through mailing cards and letters. Though blogs, emails and text messages are second nature in today’s generation, our Pearistas value the power of sending a personalized note, too. It was time to encourage our Pearistas and inspire others to value the hand-written word, by sending a handwritten note once a week for four weeks and then blogging about their experiences. Once per week a blogger will be selected as a winner based on their blog post.

Our first winner is Law Momma from Spilled Milk. We absolutely loved how she explained what a handwritten note meant to her, I'll let her words speak for themselves.

To me, there is no means of corresponding that is more intimate than pen on paper.

Think about it. You get hundreds of emails in a week, maybe more. You get tons of text messages. Sure, they make you smile. They say "Hey, I'm thinking about you right this second." And that's great. But think about the last time you got a letter.

A real letter.

Not a typed out "here's how the family is doing" at Christmas, but a real, honest to goodness letter. Handwritten. With ink smears. And maybe even with crossed out words or that tell-tale blend of letters that says "I don't know how to spell this and oops that's wrong so I'll just muddle them up really close and maybe they won't notice."

Handwritten letters say "I am thinking about you right now. And you are important to me. So important that I'm going to get a wrist cramp and probably look like a loony toon with my tongue sticking out as I try to fit. one. more. word. at the bottom of the page." Handwritten letters actually MEAN something. They're the little notes you folded into stars and triangles in high school and then stuck in your back pocket, wondering if you would ever get the guts to give it to him. They're the lists you wrote to Santa as you poured through the Sears Toy Catalog for just the exact gift you never knew you totally wanted.  They're the keepsakes, bound together with ribbon, that spell out a time lost... a loved one gone... a life remembered.

Handwritten letters are art.

And that is why, when Pearista announced their August challenge, I accepted with a click of my heels. I worship the written word. I kneel at the alter of libraries and bookstores and snub my nose at Nook and Kindle and all the other crazy ways of trying to say that pen to paper is a thing of the past. The Pearista challenge was to write one handwritten card a week for four weeks. And as a bonus, they sent me the cards to write them on, along with 4 additional cards to send to the person you chose to write. And you could write anything. Anything at all. To anyone at all. Four little drops of sunshine to send out into the world.

My first letter went out this week and she should have received it by now. It wasn't much but it was something I really wanted to write. Because sometimes? Email doesn't cut it.

See the rest of Law Momma's post here.

Congratulations, Law Momma, thank you for accepting the challenge!

August 11, 2010

Photography tips for taking great baby photos

We’ve all received them--baby announcements that look like something out of a magazine. Some of us are fortunate to have the help of a talented photographer, but what if you don’t? Here are infant photography tips for the non-professionals who want that gorgeous photo:
A close up is best. Remember your baby is the hero! Your loved ones will want to see your baby’s features, and share it with others. A close-up will show just how special your little one is, and how daddy’s nose has been passed on to another generation.

Use a nursing pillow if you have one. It is a great way to prop your baby up for the perfect shot. Cover the nursing pillow with a blanket and place your baby in it for the photo. This makes it much easier to get a good angle for your shot.

Let sleeping babies lie. Don’t feel the need to wait until the baby is wide awake and smiling. Some of our favorite photos are of slumbering babies! They can be artful, simple and elegant.  Not to mention that the subject of your photo will be a lot more cooperative, allowing you to get that perfect shot, even if it is 50 clicks later.

Use minimal, simple, or no props. Baptism invitations and Christmas birth announcements would seem to naturally lend themselves to adorable props. It's tempting to go all out and surround the baby with toys and flair, but remember, your baby is the star. Anything else is a distraction. Nothing is cuter than a baby with a single prop or no prop at all.

Natural light is best. Take your photo outdoors or near a window for the best light, but avoid direct sunlight. Too much light can wash out the details, like those perfect dimples. That's an infant photography tip from the pros.

Automatic camera setting. Many digital cameras have settings for portraits or close-ups that can help you take the perfect photo without having to adjust lighting, focus, etc. With a little experimentation, finding the right setting can make things easier.
Take the photo when you are not rushed. The last of the infant photogrpahy tips would be to make sure the Baby should be fed and changed or sleeping. Have fun and try not to stress about it. The worst that can happen is that you have a hundred new photos of your baby to look at!

August 04, 2010

On a more personal note - note card ideas

One of the things we love about our personal stationery is that you can, well, personalize it, whether simply with your name or initials, or something as creative as a favorite verse, lyric, original writing or photo. Once the note card is printed, however, what’s inside is all up to you. There are a myriad of reasons to send a personal note, and lots of creative ways to make them even more personal. Not feeling very creative? Here are some of the more delightful note card ideas we’ve heard from our customers that we’re happy to pass along to you.

Include a gift card for your favorite coffee place with a note saying “Let’s have coffee!”

Include a photo you’ve taken that is special to you…a place you visited, your family, the flowers you grew, or a picture of you and your friend from way back when.

Include something your child just drew that day – kid art, especially for her.

Send her some tea bags, because you know she became addicted to Earl Grey when she was in London.

Enclose an article that made you laugh because you used to pour over People Magazine together.

Send a poem that reminds you of a time you spent together.

A quote from the past is always good for a laugh…the best jokes are the old ones.

Send the lyrics to a song that reminds you of a wonderful time.

Enclose a recipe you’ve been meaning to share with her–maybe she’ll send her secret recipe back.

A fortune from a fortune cookie that made you think, “This is you!”

Instead of moving announcements, stick matching address labels on the inside of your personal note cards.

We hope you enjoyed our note card ideas. Now, go, send someone a smile.

May 17, 2010

Graduation Gift Ideas

As Graduation Invitations are trickling in, I find myself trying to think of meaningful gifts (along with the requisite check donation) for the graduates closest to our family. Gifts from the heart often means homemade, time-consuming and in some cases, expensive offerings, and with my own child’s graduation looming, I don’t have too much of either.


But thinking creatively (and shamelessly stealing other mom’s ideas), I have a few graduation gift ideas for some special graduates:


-          Personalized stationery and personalized note cards

-          School supplies (binders, lined paper, pens/pencils)

-          Personalized leather portfolio/binder

-          Monogrammed anything (Class of 2010 paperweights, photo frames, pencil and pen gift set, etc)

-          Lounge wear (you know they’ll use it)

-          Gift cards to national chain restaurants or clothing stores

-          College Survival Guides for Freshman (at your local bookstore) or other books that provide life lessons

-          Laptop bag

-          Care package (array of candy, comfy blanket, lounge wear)

-          Poetry or words of inspiration

-          Gift certificate to dinner and a movie

-          Laundry bag

-          Alarm clock

-          Charging station for ipod and phone

-          USB port

-          Duffel bag or weekend get-away bag

-          Personalized mouse pad

-          Spa and shower set

-Laura, longtime fan of Pear Tree Greetings, shares her experiences with us as she prepares for her oldest child to graduate from high school.

May 13, 2010

High School Graduation - License to remodel?

As I look out my kitchen window at the pile of stones, dirt, wheel barrels and workers in my backyard I can’t help but think that high school graduations prompt more than the “pomp and circumstance” found in the graduation ceremony! Looking around my neighborhood where there are a fair share of upcoming graduation parties, I see that the occasion also brings about home remodeling projects ranging from additions to furniture purchases to backyard updates.


“High school graduation parties were invented by women who finally have a reasonable excuse to implement home projects,” is my husband’s favorite joke these days. Could there possibly be a grain of truth to my husband’s callousness? I know that my daughter’s impending graduation gave me the opportunity to rip out our old and outdated deck and replace it with a stone patio (and since we’re already doing the work I reasoned, we might as well put in a fire pit, hot tub and basketball court…).


What is it about high school graduations that prompt this type of response in otherwise responsible and practical people? And this at a time when impending college bills come due? All I know is that I want to give my daughter a memorable bon voyage party that reminds her that home is where the heart is and that she has a large group of loved ones in her life who wish her the best in her new adventures.


And there is all the more reason to celebrate her graduation under a backdrop of new furniture, fresh-laid sod, and a stone patio: after all, I’m practical - and killing two birds with one stone is merely what an efficient mother does!


-Laura, longtime fan of Pear Tree Greetings, shares her experiences with us as she prepares for her oldest child to graduate from high school.