Personal stationery and the job hunt

As a job seeker, you want every last thing you do to be well planned out and help give you an edge against the competition. Of course, your skills will speak for themselves, so getting that competitive edge can oftentimes mean having an attractive, well put together resume and cover letter to ensure that the employer actually gets to the point of reading all about your skills.

with your name and contact information at the top to look like a headline is a great way to create a brand for yourself. You can use the same stationery for your resume and cover letter to ensure that your whole application is cohesive.

Websites like offer a variety of stationery options so you can find the one that will give off the vibe you are looking to create. You can have the same emblem printed on cards as what you have at the top of your resume and cover letter.  To bring your branding full circle. These cards can be used to send a follow up thank you card after an interview. The interviewer will see your emblem on the card and be reminded of your resume and cover letter.

It is little finishing touches like this that set you apart from the rest of the crowd of applicants and interviewees. They also reiterate how serious you are about the opportunity at each company for which you apply.

If you don’t feel like you have the money to put towards specialize stationery, try to turn it into a DIY project using the same themes. Pick a professional looking brand for your name. You can print this directly onto your resume and just use heavier paper. Incorporating a color into the branding will also help make this stand out.

To save a bit of money on the thank you cards, purchase generic cards that are blank and print your branding on the cover of the card, large and centered. The result will still be consistent and you will be able to achieve that personalized, professional look you desire without going further into debt as you are trying to land the job of your dreams! The effort you put in here will show and will speak to your drive and ambition in a more subtle manner than simply stating that you are a driven person. This will actually prove it to your future employer and could be the difference between you and another highly qualified candidate.

Think YOUR Applications Are Tough?

Who loves applying for jobs! Anyone? Anyone at all? Nope. No one. Applying for jobs takes time, energy, and consistently results in disappointment and diminishing self esteem—which can be extra hard when your interview requires a broad smile and easy-going manner. But before you get that far you need to publish yourself, and this can require business cards, a website, cover letters, samples… These are hard enough for someone applying to be a receptionist, but for these careers, some steps can be EXTRA difficult.

1. A graphic designer and business cards.

Graphic designers design graphics, obviously. Their whole career and profession requires them to have a GREAT eye for design, color, composition, and balance. So when they get a few square centimeters on which to sell themselves, in a business card, it’s a bit like asking a novelist to give a one-line pitch for their new book. It is hard. They need to make it look good, but not overdone, and often have to pay bigger bucks to get better printing and more colors.

2. Writers and cover letters

Writers are off to a rough start already in a field that has almost universally NEVER been profitable since scribes went out of business. When a writer does a cover letter they need to make things flow along with all the hard hitting sentence structure of a great news article, avoid the poeticism, but make themselves shine as capable individuals. And if they use a word wrong, or have a dangling modifier—they get chucked out ON THE SPOT. It’s writing, on hard mode.

3. Editors and proofreaders vs. resumes/cover letters

Like the writers, but almost worse. They don’t have to write with the same pressure, but miss a comma and it can all be over. When your job is to make text perfect, putting a resume together is a bit like a surgery with a patient ready to go a-fib any second.

4. Handycrafters and portfolios.

Etsy and eBay are a great opportunity for so many people, but it does put the pressure on in terms of photography and portfolio. Even the best designer can come off as a silly kid if they don’t get a good picture of their stuff or have a bad design. Best bet, link to a blog and keep it updated. If you are doing photobooks, try to have your designs featured online somewhere—a vendor that features top user designs if possible. The same with Christmas or scrapbooking cards, and just about everything else.

6 Photobook Deal Breakers—and Where to Avoid Them


Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them. –Bob Dylan

Photo books, digital scrapbooking, digital photo albums… whatever you call them, this modern method of putting memories to ink and paper has completely changed the way that people interact with their memories in the digital age. Pictures, in super high quality, printed and set down in professional looking photo albums, on archival grade paper that will last longer than any of our lives. It’s a really cool process.  But for every really great, quality site for publishing photo books, there is one that puts together cheap, thin, inferior photobooks. Avoid these and go with a quality photo book publishing source like MiDesign@Michaels(TM), and you can be sure that you’ll never have to worry about these seven photobook deal breakers.

1. While photobooks should cost what they are worth, you should NEVER have to pay just to sign up on the service online. Avoid subscription sites so that you can feel free to play around on the interface and take a look at what the service offers before you put money on the table.

2. And for that matter, the site should ALWAYS have a creator portion. This means an interface that lets you start with blank pages or template pages and plug in your photos and captions. Avoid sites that force you to upload your entire finished photobook document. These are basically just printing presses, and they will make your process much more difficult.

3. Make sure that whatever site you use has a TON of embellishments. Even if you don’t use them for one project, you want to make sure that they will always have images, pictures, captions, borders, and effects that match whatever theme you want in the future. This means going with a site that includes THOUSANDS of available embellishments. The good news? MiDesign@Michaels(TM) has over 12,000 embellishments and counting!

4. Good photo uploading options. A good photobook printer should let you upload not just from your computer or other devices connected to your computer, but also through mobile or through online photo albums like Facebook or Flickr. Not having to re-download every picture you want can save a LOT of time.

5. Good paper is hard to find, and it is unbelievable expensive. By good, of course, I mean ‘archival grade’. Archival grade paper is noticeably thicker and sturdier, but still very smooth and almost like silk. It has none of the harsh acids used to produce regular paper, which in turn allows archival grade paper to sit for years at a time without fading, yellowing, or growing brittle.

6. Fair prices. Digital photobooks are a great time to make and they are worth an investment (especially for special occasions) but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t search for the best prices you can find for the quality you should expect.



6 Reasons to invest in family stationery

Personalized family stationery can be used for a variety of purposes – more than you might think. You could have cards printed with cartoon images of your family and your last name. Or have a more elegant type of stationery printed with simply your family’s last name made to look like a family crest or emblem.

  1. Use your printed cards for thank you cards after any of your kids birthdays, after any parties you host, or just to send out notes to loved ones, perhaps with photos of the kids included
  2. Use children’s stationery or printed note pads for notes that you put in your kids lunch, notes you write to your children’s teachers, or holiday notes that you include with a card at Christmastime to update your loved ones on goings on in your children’s’ lives. You can write out notes on these or type up notes and print them on this special paper.  
  3. One page printed notecards can be mailed like postcards (put into envelopes) for a quick note that you’d like to include with a check you owe someone, or a quick thank you too.
  4. Printed notecards can also be used for quick notes amongst your family to tell one another little messages like the new garage code, or the email password. These are things you don’t want to lose and having them on special paper will be a red flag that they are important to keep.
  5. You can also give some cards or stationery to your children to encourage them to work on their manners by showing their appreciation through thank you cards. This will also urge them to focus on their printing and writing skills.
  6. Another great reason to purchase some family stationery is to exert your family pride! You can include the names of all your kids and even your dog at the top of your stationery. Anyone who receives the stationery will surely smile at the unified family you have.

The options are limitless so the next time you need to write any type of note or card, pull out your family stationery and get going! Your whole family can share the stationery to use for anything they deem appropriate as well. From letters your son writes to your daughter to thank you cards your daughter writes to her grandma for her birthday gifts, this will definitely not go to waste!

A Couple of Details to Keep in Mind when Planning Edible Wedding Favors


Planning your wedding takes a lot of attention to detail and coordination of lots of people. It can be a little overwhelming to plan by yourself and a lot of things can fall through the cracks. One of the small details that people often look over is your party favors. Party favors are a really nice way to tell your guests how much you appreciate their attendance and support and they are important to have at your reception. Here are a few tips and favor ideas to help you plan the perfect favors for your special day.


First of all decide on your budget. If your wedding is going to be small it might be nice to purchase something a little nicer that your loved ones can keep as a memento. For example, if you are having a beach wedding you could get your guests some flip flops with your wedding date printed on them. For a casino themed wedding, give out personalized poker chips that your guests can use at home.


If you are a budget minded bride spend some time perusing some of the creative DIY and crafting blogs on the internet. You will find so many ideas and some of them are sure to suit your taste. A lot of them will have free tutorials that you and your bridal party can easily follow. Invite them over for a crafting party and you will knock out your decorations in a few hours while having fun.


Another great favor idea is to provide edible favors. Make large cookies in the shape of wedding dresses and tuxedos and decorate them with a frosting that dries hard. You can wrap them in individual cellophane baggies tied up with a pretty ribbon. You will probably want to go with a basic vanilla flavor as it doesn’t contain any common allergens such as peanuts and the texture will be smooth and flat so they will be easy to decorate.


An edible favor idea that doesn’t take quite as much work is to buy some of you and your fiancé’s favorite candies and put them in cute boxes or baggies. Mix them together and include a note printed on attractive paper that tells your guests whose favorites they are. You may just want to buy some candy that is on sale when you get married and not worry about it having any significance.


What are some possible religious and nonreligious wordings for Easter Cards?

Easter is largely a Christian religious holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As you consider wordings for your cards you could allude to this celebration with encouraging words such as, “He is Risen!” or “Wishing You A Blessed Easter.” Any spiritual or uplifting verse from the Bible or from a popular hymn would be appropriate for a religious Easter greeting card.


Common designs on religious Easter cards would be images of crosses or lambs. Feel free to use images of a non-religious nature even if the wording on your cards has references to religion or scripture verses. Beautiful landscapes and images of nature blooming and changing from winter to spring would be attractive and perfectly acceptable. 


For the non religious person, you may want to skip the word Easter all together as it marks a religious event, unless you are using it talk about the Easter bunny or Easter eggs. Consider sending cards with spring greetings or quotes concerning the beauty and joy of the blooming season such as “Spring is in the Air!” or “May Your Spring be Filled with Joy!”


For the décor on these cards concentrate on the season more than the religious celebration. Cute pictures of bunnies and chicks or pretty eggs are always charming. Make it even simpler by using pastel or bright colored papers to make the cards out of. These won’t require much additional decoration.


If you don’t want to come up with your own wordings or sayings for your spring or Easter cards, you can find tons of pre-made greeting cards for the season. Go online or to stores that sell greeting cards and you will definitely be able to find something appropriate. If you need several your best bet is to go online and purchase them in bulk. They are much less expensive this way also.


 If you would still like to try and make them yourself but are stuck on the wording or design, go to your local craft store and look for stamps or stickers appropriate for your cards. You may be able to find stamps with a cute spring or Easter quote on them. This may be a good investment because you will be able to use the stamp year after year.


For more ideas on wording, peruse the internet for sayings, hymn lyrics, quotes, and verses that you would like for your greeting cards. You can even go look at pre-made seasonal cards for ideas to jump start your creative process

Why do we send holiday cards anyway?

Christmas card, ca. 1880 Featured on the Minne...

Christmas card, ca. 1880 Featured on the Minnesota Historical Society’s Collections Up Close blog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone knows that as soon as the calendar gets flipped to the month of November, and even more so to December, life becomes just a little bit busier. People get caught up in the flurry of excitement that the holidays bring, and that includes extra baking, parties, a lot more shopping, decorating everything in sight and then crashing as soon as it’s all over, ready to go again the following year. In the midst of all of this happy chaos, there is also one more task that must be completed, and that is writing your family holiday cards to be sent to all of your relations and friends. Have you ever wondered though why we take the time to write up these cheerful greetings? Here are a few good reasons to keep you motivated, just in case this year you were considering letting this tradition go.

-The holidays happen at the end of the year, so it’s a wonderful time to wrap everything up by looking at your families accomplishments and putting them down to paper. You might consider it almost like a yearly diary entry – which everybody reads. So be a little selfish and do it for you just as much as for those who will receive it.

-Purchasing a gift for every member of your immediate family can be challenging enough without adding to that list every single person you have a relationship with (from your mailman to your best friend since elementary school). Sending out a holiday card is like sending a small gift to everyone. It’s a way to pass along merry greetings and let people know that you care about them and are thinking of them.

– Have you ever thought about all of the people you come in contact with each day? Of course many of them only touch our lives for a brief moment, but there are those who will stick with us for many years to come. With so many people in our lives it can be tough to keep in touch with everybody. Use a holiday card as a way to reconnect with old friends and keep them informed on the big news in your life.

-Many of us take Christmas cards for granted because of all of the various forms of social media we use. We don’t really value a friend’s family photo quite as much because we’ve been watching their kids grow through shutterfly and facebook. However, one simple reason to send a card is because it’s a tradition and traditions make us feel like some things will never change. In a world that is constantly reshaping itself around us, having something solid to hold on to gives a sense of peace.

Scrapbooking With Old Christmas Cards 2

Do you ever feel reluctant to throw out all of those touching photo holiday cards and Christmas cards that your friends and family send each year?  Some Christmas greeting cards can be really personal and beautiful, and it seems like such a shame to send them to the waste bin after your loved one put so much effort into designing and making it.  At the same time, all of those holiday cards quickly build up into an unmanageable pile if something is not done with them.  They go to waste just sitting in a box, and the refrigerator only has so much space to pin new cards on.  This is why many people have turned to scrabooking their old Christmas cards as a way to preserve these cherished memories in a way they can be enjoyed rather than just stored.

There are many different ways that people like to scrapbook their old Christmas and photo holiday cards to preserve them after the seasons is over.  Some of these ideas are functional, such as putting them in a 3 ring binder, and others are highly artistic and take a great deal of effort, like laminating them into a coffee table.  However there are two great ideas that you can use to store your old Christmas cards.  They are practical, affordable and easy to do, making them wise options for anyone looking to save the most precious cards they receive each year.

First, the most common tactic is to take the best Christmas cards from each year and preserve them in a handmade scrapbook.  Photo holiday cards, touching messages written in a store bought card, and very personal handmade creations make great entries into the holiday card scrapbook.  Start off with a well made book filled with blank pages and a bottle of good glue.  Take your favorite cards and then decide how you want to arrange them in the book.  Some people like to cut out selections from each card, others are more fond of collecting the entire front covers of the cards to get a sense of the whole design.  The cards can be stored any way you choose.  Then simply glue the card to the pages of the scrapbook and add some notes or a title to complete the picture.  Remember that holiday cards are printed on sturdy card stock, so putting too many cards on one page may make it hard to turn the pages of the book.

That thick card stock is enough of an issue that some people have actually gone in an entirely different direction and decided to make digital scrapbooks with their favorite holiday cards.  These scrapbooks are made by scanning the holiday card into a computer or flash drive.  The digital image of the card is then uploaded to scrapbooking software or the design tool of a website like, where the images are arranged and the scrapbook designed.  Digital scrapbooks allow the original card to be preserved, and also provide greater creative flexibility to the designer.  The card can be digitally cut up to use only certain sections in the scrapbook without damaging the original, and even resized to be smaller or larger to emphasize some cards and fit more into the overall book.  Once the book is complete it can be printed out to be kept on a shelf along with other family memories.

Scrapbooking with old Christmas cards

Scrapbooking can be an expensive hobby, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to go all out; purchasing all of the new gadgets and having a collection of ink pens with every color in the rainbow, as well as all of the ones in between. However, while it’s nice to be up on all of the most recent scrapbooking trends, there are many ways to indulge in your hobby while still saving money for more important things – like bills. One way to do so is to use old photo holiday cards for scrapbooking paper, rather than purchasing a book of paper. Here are a few clever ways to put some old cards to good use.

-Many colorful holiday cards have decorative covers that contain a variety of objects and picturesque scenes. Get out a pair of scissors and start cutting these out. It’s best to clip out only those items that are shown in their entirety and that aren’t altered to appear faded or fuzzy. Once you have a collection, use them in place of stickers, attaching them to your pages with flat tape, or raised adhesive pieces.

-Use many of your larger cards as frames to put around pictures or add some decoration to the corners of your sheets. You can disguise many Christmas cards this way, as only a fraction of the actual picture is being used.

-Use stencils to cut out letters from old cards and keep them for later uses. This is also another good way to disguise Christmas cards and use them for your scrapbooking all year round.

-Save your favorite handwritten letters by including them in your scrapbook albums. Attach the top corners of the letter on your page and spread the paper out so it can be read in its entirety. Remember not to paste the entire sheet down in case there is additional writing on the other side of the letter. If you still have the envelope, consider leaving the letter inside and pasting the envelope to your page.

-Many of the holiday cards you have received over the year

Scrapbooking Projects to Work On Drawer

Scrapbooking Projects to Work On Drawer (Photo credit: Shopping Diva)

s have a holiday quote or greeting inside them. While this page is often discarded, a great way to use it is to cut out the printed text with styled scissors and arrange it on your scrapbook page.

-Find instructions for how to make paper flowers and, using pieces from many different cards, make a few small bouquets to use for homemade cards and albums.

Craft ideas for weddings: the DIY revolution

DIY is so popular these days. You can hardly go to a wedding without finding some type of DIY element. If you’re a bride-to-be looking for ways to maximize your budget, DIY might be for you. Here are some DIY ideas to craft your way to the perfect dream wedding.

Decide early on where you can give in your budget. If flowers aren’t as important to you as food, consider scaling back. Coffee filter flowers may sound like an art class project you were assigned in third grade, but lately there have been stunning projects showing up online. Look to Pinterest for tutorials that turn coffee filters into gorgeous ethereal paper flowers.

Sometimes it’s just easier to buy the bones of a project and then embellish your way to the perfect final product. This is true for favors most of the time. Buy wedding favor boxes in bulk in a color that works with your palette. Use craft paper to cover the lids of the boxes and create a fun and eclectic look. This way you can control the color and the patterns on the wedding favor boxes without doing too much of the work (i.e. creating mini boxes from scratch). This is a DIY shortcut without biting off more than you can chew.

If you’re doing your flowers yourself, you might consider making the centerpieces. This is easily done with mason jars or empty wine bottles that can be covered in yarn, paper or paint. Again, look to the wedding blogs online to see all the things you can do with an empty wine bottle. The best part? You’re responsible for drinking all that wine before your wedding day!

Finally, consider adding some of your own art to the space for a personal touch. Whether that’s a painted canvas in your wedding colors or you use some of your personal photography to decorate, it will really personalize the space. Artwork also has a tendency of warming up the place, so that’s another bonus!

DIY doesn’t mean you have to do everything and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to do any of the main items. No one expects you to make your own wedding cake! But it does mean being resourceful and paying attention to the details. This is easy enough with all the ideas out there on the Internet—just be sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew!