Free Printable Card: Fall, Pumpkins & Pinterest

The weather has cooled off in Seattle and I’m pulling out the sweaters and dusting off my boots. Not to mention drinking chai tea lattes like nobody’s business.

Now that it’s fall, if you’ve been on Pinterest at all in the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen pumpkin everything. Pumpkin decorations. Pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin parties. Pumpkin carving. Et cetera.

Which is why I created this free printable card for you. All I ask in return is that you — what else — pin it on Pinterest. (Just hover over the image and a pin-it button will appear.)

Free printable card - I love you more than Pinterest loves pumpkins - by Red Letter Paper Co. Click to download printable PDF with instructions

And while you’re there, you should follow me on Pinterest. I pin pretty things.

So, who are you gonna send your printable card to? Tell me in the comments! Enjoy!

Five quick tips for an error-free card

You guys know I’m a stickler for grammar and editing, so today Shayla of Curiouser Editing is stopping by with a few tips to self-edit your writing and your writing process.

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If you’re looking for a quick way to ruin a beautiful, handmade card, look no further than poor grammar, forgotten apostrophes, and awkwardly slanted words.

It’s easy to get in a rush when letter-writing, only to scribble out the improper use of they’re and hope it doesn’t ruin the look of the card. (It does.)

While there’s no backspace button for letter-writing, there are two things that might help: patience and preparation.

Instead of a card full of errors and scribbles, try these five tips for writing a memorable, clean letter every time:

5 quick tips for an error-free card

1. Sit down at a desk instead of using your car’s steering wheel. The pen won’t press down correctly, and you’re usually at a weird slant, thereby creating a head-tilting, awkward read. And let’s not forget that embarrassing hole you poked through the card when you pressed down too hard.

2. Think through your message and jot it down on a separate sheet of paper instead of using the pristine card as your guinea pig.

3. Edit your test letter. Did you place a comma after “Dear Jane”? Did you capitalize proper names and places? Don’t forget that ‘s after James. (“James’s cat is doing just fine, just fine.”) What about your spelling? Donut furgit to cheek ur spealing.

4. Use your good pen — not a pencil, crayon, or stolen bank pen that runs out of ink in the middle of your writing. Two almost-the-same-but-not-quite ink colors in the body of your letter aren’t pretty, plus a “Sorry, my pen ran out!” note is unpleasant, takes up space, and is avoidable.

5. Once you’re sure your words are near perfect, slowly, thoughtfully write them down. For real this time!

Now you’re ready to write a clean, grammatically correct, and visually appealing note in your Red Letter Paper Company card!

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Shayla is a writer and editor for Curiouser Editing. Her services cover web content, books, blogs, short stories, lyrics, résumés, menus, and anything with words. Keep up with her on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Need more grammar tips? Check out this post on stationery vs. stationary and how to remember which is which.

Big news!

Some exciting stuff has been going on behind the scenes for RLPCo and today I’m excited to share a secret I’ve been keeping… Ready?

We’re partnering with Papyrus.

I know, right?! If there isn’t one in your town and you’re not familiar with it, Papyrus is a high-end card and stationery store with hundreds of stores worldwide. And soon, those stores will include us.

They’ll be offering boxed sets of our “One card isn’t enough to say everything” cards. They’ll look a little different than they do in our shop, but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get the original from us.

One card isn't enough to say everything

Before (and even after) I started making cards, I gave a lot of Papyrus cards to others because they seem to fit with my sensibilities, so I’m thrilled to be teaming up with them on this project.

The plan is that the cards will come out in Papyrus stores in the fall. If you can’t wait that long, head over here and pick yours up now.

Thanks for all your support along the way — cool stuff like this is even better because we get to share it with you!

10 years and he’s still the one

Today, it’s been 10 years since I married this guy.

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He’s the one who inspires my romantic cards.

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He’s the one who supports my crazy dreams.

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He’s the one who makes me better.

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He’s the one who has answered the question “what do you think of this?”
about a bajillion times.

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He’s the one who loves me in spite of all my flaws.

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He’s the one who taught me marriage is harder than it looks.

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And he’s the one who taught me it’s all worth it.

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Here’s to the next 10 years in his arms.

in your arms card

 

Instilling handwritten traditions

My friend Melinda is stopping by today to tell you about how writing cards with her mom became a meaningful tradition she now shares with her own daughters. I hope you enjoy her guest post, and stick around for next week when I’ve got a big announcement…

 

Memories of my childhood are highlighted with scenes of constructing the infamous thank-you note. My mother would set me and my sisters up at the kitchen table to write out our appreciation for gifts received or experiences shared. Prompted by gratitude, my mother led the tradition that intentionally communicated thankfulness.

We always had several different styles of note cards or simple pieces of construction paper to choose from. Whether stately monograms, delicate floral, or a beachside scene; kittens with yarn or majestic calligraphy; we listened to our hearts and chose accordingly. This was the practice of the art of expressing our personal style through thoughtful, crafted messages.

Cards Melinda received from her mom and friends so far this year

Cards Melinda received from her mom and friends so far this year

When we got older my mother would have to remind us to write them, but now as an adult, I thoroughly enjoy reserving the moments spent pouring out love in the notes I send. And equally as much, I experience heartfelt appreciation, from the efforts of another, when receiving one myself.

Yes, we are all busy these days; we are mothers and friends, coming and going. It’s become easy and effortless to shoot a text, tap out an email or post a note on someone’s Facebook page to let them know you are thinking of them. But the warmth of a conversation, a personal touch from a simple observation, delivered by way of paper, is truly matchless.

I have a process when planning to send a note. I think about the person I am reaching out to; considering their personality and acknowledging their circumstance or situation. Then, I pull out the drawer in the sacred space for the sacred tools, and carefully choose the right paper and the right pen; completely intentional and deliberately honoring.  Each aspect, from start to finish, holds hands with one another; cheering on this labor of love.

thinking of you card

Certain cards and notes I receive – I keep. Meaningful messages stand on display around my home; a lingering presence of harmony and solidarity. And as much as the external adornments become treasures to me, it’s the written words within them that fill my home with the lovely aroma of friendship and love.

Today, my mother still remains sharp as a tack with her thank you notes; her matriarchal mannerisms fully on display. Shortly after a holiday spent together, a united celebration, or thoughts of me that pass through her mind, a card is sure to follow.

I anticipate her notes; they dazzle with a glowing impression of her. The color schemes she chooses reflect her heart song and the scene depicted is never short of magnificent. But more than that, they bring her presence with them and our presence is truly the most powerful expression of love we can give to one another.

Today, I set up my daughters around the kitchen table; laying out markers, glitter, and paper cards. I remind them who we are writing to and what message we are communicating. Each daughter, as individual as she is, appoints a palette and chooses her words.

These are the traditions of intentional love; where we sacrifice our time and the cost of a stamp to reach near or far to communicate messages of love and hope; where we set present tasks aside and shine a light on a friend, telling her that she is seen.

This is how we communicate our faith one to another. This is how God’s glory reaches and rescues. And even today, paper remains the most valiant of messengers.

XOXOXO

Melinda

melindaMelinda Cadwallader is a wife, mother, glamour enthusiast and Wonder Woman’s biggest fan.  After her daughter’s diagnosis of Leukemia, she set aside her stylish career of leadership within the beauty industry and took up the most fulfilling, yet challenging, role of her life: matriarch. Melinda now uses her speaking and teaching experience to help build a culture of virtuous and capable, kingdom-minded women. Melinda is currently writing her first book, The New Matriarch, which speaks of how we become influential women, leading our friends, family, and community with a confident faith. You can connect with Melinda at www.equippedwoman.com.

How to write a thank you note for money

how to write a thank you note for money

Writing thank you notes for cash can be tricky, so today we’re gonna look at how to write a thank you note for money and gift cards.

You should always send a thank you note when people give you gifts, so here’s how to write a thank you note for money and gift cards in 7 easy steps.

1. Use their name. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Including the gifter’s name in your note makes it personal, and that’s what you want.

2. Call it a “generous gift.” Don’t say, “Thanks for the money!” It sounds much better to say, “Thank you so much for your generous gift!” If it’s a gift card, you can say generous gift, or call it a gift card.

Thank you card

3. Tell them what you used/plan to use it for … Did you buy new fuzzy slippers with your gift? Or the last gravy bowl on your wedding registry? Tell them.

4. … And why you love it. Explain that your tile floors can get cold and you’ve been wanting fuzzy slippers to keep your feet warm. Explain that the gravy boat will help you make your house a home and will get great use when you entertain friends — and the person who gave you the money!

You're sweet thank you card

5. Wrap it up by saying you appreciate them or can’t wait to see them again. Tell them you’re thankful they celebrate with you every year on your birthday, or that they were able to be with you on your wedding day.

6. Thanks again! Never hurts.

7. Sign it. Use “love” or “sincerely” or whatever you’re most comfortable with, or you could even combine 6 and 7 and use “thanks again” as your signoff.

I hope this helps you note writers with your thank-yous. If you need to pick up a couple thank you notes to have on hand, head on over here, and if you’re looking for how to write a thank you note for things that aren’t money, check out this post.

So many of my favorite memories…

Last year, my grandpa turned 80 and I made him a special card. This year, I’m releasing it as part of  Mother’s Day/Father’s Day series, because once I got to thinking about it, I figured there were probably a lot of other people who share this same sort of sentiment.

Father's Day card - So many of my favorite memories are on the lake with you

When I was young, I used to love going fishing with Grandpa. Sometimes it was just us two, sitting on the lake in a small boat, and sometimes my younger sister would tag along too and it’d be the three of us putting worms on hooks and waiting for the fish to bite.

Those are some of my favorite childhood memories, and so that was what inspired the card.

And even though I moved away from home 10 years ago, my mom still teaches me how to cook things whenever we’re together. (The kitchen is not my strong suit.) So then that turned into this next card.

Mother's Day card - So many of my favorite memories are in the kitchen with you

And then those turned into these.

Father's day card - So many of my favorite memories are in the garage with youMother's day card - So many of my favorite memories are in the garden with you

You know what else I like about these? Maybe your dad taught you to cook or your mom was the one tinkering with tools in the garage. Not a problem. These are perfect for anyone who is part of your favorite memories.

Have a special memory you’d like to see on a card? I’ll be accepting a limited number of custom orders, so get in touch now to reserve your spot!

10 fun fonts to use instead of Comic Sans

It’s only fair that if I tell you all the reasons why Comic Sans is a terrible font that I should tell you some fonts to use instead right? Here are 10 free fun fonts to use instead of Comic Sans, but keep in mind, a little goes a long way. Overuse is how Comic Sans got on the naughty list.

fun fonts to use instead of comic sans

comic zine // prism // little bird // impact label // spilt ink
red moon rising // fish fingers // crushed // inspira // pocket

*All fonts free for personal use; please check commercial licensing.

And just for giggles, there’s this font. Not even kidding. It’s called…

i hate comic sans font

I hate comic sans.

But you already knew that. ;)

Comic Sans hate: A designer explains why it’s a terrible font

comic sans hate

If you want to make a designer cringe, there are a few fonts you can ask for in your project that will likely make them look at you cross-eyed. But by far the most egregious font, the one that designers wish never existed, is Comic Sans.

If you follow a designer on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen them pin jokes about just how awful Comic Sans is. Here are a few I’ve pinned in the past:

every time you use this font a designer loses their wings

via 9gag // pinned here

comic sans walks into a bar

via BuzzFeed // pinned here

 

The other day, a friend sent me this video. (Fellow designers, fair warning — you may feel violent after watching this.)

After I told him that this induced extreme anxiety and made me want to wash my eyeballs, he asked me what exactly is so awful about Comic Sans. I just told him it’s terrible and to leave it at that, but it got me thinking — what IS so awful about Comic Sans?

And here’s the surprising answer very few designers will admit …

The truth is, nothing is inherently wrong with Comic Sans. Just like you can go to the museum and like a piece of art that your friend totally hates, Comic Sans is the same way. It’s art (cripes, that’s hard for me to say), and whether you love it or hate it is up to you.

But here’s why DESIGNERS hate Comic Sans (and Papyrus and Zapfino and Curlz MT): overuse.

See, back when your computer came with only a handful of fonts, Comic Sans was the only “fun” one. And so with limited options, it became overused. And then people didn’t know when to stop. It is used A LOT in MANY different places, most of which are nowhere near appropriate. There is not much worse in design world than something that’s supposed to be serious that uses Comic Sans. It just doesn’t compute. It’s inappropriate. As a journalist, I equate it to writing punny (yes, punny) headlines on stories about death and destruction. You just shouldn’t do it.

And so we’ve come to hate it. Because there are very few uses — although they do exist — in which Comic Sans is actually appropriate. If you’re not sure, better to just steer clear and use something more … normal.

Personally, I subscribe to this theory:

image by Anneke Short

by Anneke Short // click image for more of her work

So that’s why designers hate Comic Sans. What do you think? Terrible font? Not so bad? Shocked that a designer has said it’s actually a legitimate font, albeit with few uses? ;)

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If you feel like you’re not sure what font to use now, here are 10 fun (and free) fonts to use instead of Comic Sans. Just remember, a little goes a long way!

New cards: I can’t imagine my wedding without you in it

When my husband and I got married nearly 10 years ago now, we had a relatively small bridal party. (And it was before Pinterest, which sometimes I wish I had, and other times I’m glad I didn’t feel the pressure to put on a Pinterest-perfect wedding.) But our bridal party had four attendants on each side, so for me, it was two friends and two sisters.

wedding

I guess you could say this card was really concepted back then, although I didn’t start making cards till much later. But I remember thinking back then that they were the people I needed up there with me, and I couldn’t imagine doing it without them.

So this card is for them, even though my wedding is long past. But I hope you future brides — and grooms! — who feel the same way about your bridesmaids and groomsmen can make good use of it now.

will you be my bridesmaid maid of honor will you be my briesmaid / maid of honor

Also available with maid/matron of honor. Plus you can pick your color, juuuust in case you ARE planning a Pinterest-perfect wedding :)

custom color bridesmaid card

Guys, I went with a classic black/white/gray look for you, but if you’re gonna sport a powder blue tux and want cards to match, just lemme know. (I can also customize to say best man.)

will you be my groomsman card

will you be my groomsman best man card

Happy wedding planning!