Category Archives: Thank You Cards

My Favorite Things – New Stampin’ Up! Catalog

The new 2016-2017 Stampin’ Up! catalog has been out for about a month now and I’ve been through it a few times, turning down corners and circling my favorite items.  My wish list has a couple dozen items on it at the moment — it’s actually shorter than normal, but I’m trying to be good.  I keep a running list in an Excel spreadsheet so whenever I’m ready to place a new order I know right away what I’d like as well as what supplies I’m running low on.  It also helps me keep track of how much any given order might cost so I can optimize any Stampin’ Rewards I might be able to earn (they begin when you spend over $150 on any given order), as well as my overall spending on my crafting.  Good for budgeting purposes and at tax time.

Some of my favorites from the current catalog include:

Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper

Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper (image c. Stampin' Up!)

Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper (image c. Stampin’ Up!)

Floral Boutique Washi Tape

Floral Boutique Washi Tape (image c. Stampin' Up!)

Floral Boutique Washi Tape (image c. Stampin’ Up!)

I absolutely LOVE Stampin’ Up!’s color Night of Navy and the Floral Boutique product suite highlights this beautiful color so this was an immediate choice for my wish list.  Needless to say, I’ll also be buying more Night of Navy cardstock as well to accompany my new creations.

Serene Scenery Designer Series Paper

Stampin’ Up! has done it once again with creating a Designer Series Paper stack with photographic quality images that are incredibly realistic — so realistic in fact that I hate to cover them up with anything else, including a sentiment!  Images this time include sun-sparkled wheat fields, seashores, and leaves.  The reverse faces of the pages are complementary contemporary designs – equally versatile for all sort of paper crafting.

New 2016-2017 In-Color – Dapper Denim

Dapper Denim Card Stock (image c. Stampin' Up!)

Dapper Denim Card Stock (image c. Stampin’ Up!)

In keeping with my love of blue, one of Stampin’ Up!’s new “In Colors” for 2016-2017 has really caught my eye – Dapper Denim.  It usually takes me a little bit of time to warm up to the new In Colors when they first come out.  I don’t even have any of the 2015-2016 In Colors.  But this blue will definitely be making it’s way into my collection soon.

Vertical Greetings Stamp Set

Vertical Greeting Stamp Set (image c. Stampin' Up!)

Vertical Greeting Stamp Set (image c. Stampin’ Up!)

I love things that are different and this stamp set (available both in wood and clear mount) fits the bill.   It’s also great for when you have a tight space and a traditional horizontal greeting just won’t fit.  The font caught my eye as well – clean and crisp and easy to read.  This stamp set is definitely going to be on my next order.

Joyful Nativity Photopolymer Stamp Set

Joyful Nativity Photopolymer Stamp Set (image c. Stampin' Up!)

Joyful Nativity Photopolymer Stamp Set (image c. Stampin’ Up!)

Sometimes a stamp set has just one stamp that speaks volumes to you — for me and Joyful Nativity it’s the giant “JOY”.  I like the other silhouettes in the set and the longer sentiment as something to stamp inside Christmas cards, but that “JOY” could be used for so many things – a new baby card, a celebration card of any kind, or a pick-me-up card of some sort.  Yup, this set is definitely on the “to order” list as well.

Me = Grateful

Me = Grateful Stamp Set (image c. Stampin' Up!)

Me = Grateful Stamp Set (image c. Stampin’ Up!)

Similarly, there are a couple sentiments in the Me = Grateful stamp set that aren’t seen in a typical “thank you” collection.   This set is appropriate for creating cards that you can send for more serious thank yous (“thank you for seeing me through some dark days”) as well as on a more lighthearted note (You = Awesome; Me = Grateful).  But it lets you get more of a message across in what’s stamped.  Sometimes people have trouble writing thank you notes because they don’t know what to day – this set gives you a little help with that.


To view the entire Stampin’ Up! product line, you can visit my demonstrator website.

I’d love to hear what some of your favorite new Stampin’ Up! products are.

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Filed under Card Making, Christmas Cards, Stampin' Up!, Thank You Cards

When to Send a Thank You Card

Following up on my last post (What to Say in a Thank You Card), I thought today I would address the companion issue of when to send a thank you note. There are all sorts of lists out on the Internet that answer this question, from that expert of all things etiquette, Emily Post, to one written by a high end stationary engraver (makes sense, you need to write your thank you notes on something after all). Even Oprah has had some experts weigh in on the subject in a Q&A format.

According to Emily Post, when it comes to thank you notes:

 The rule of thumb is that you should send a written note any time you receive a gift (even a ‘thank you’ gift) and the giver wasn’t there to be thanked in person. But notes are not always necessary. If, for example, the gift is from a close friend or relative (and it’s not a wedding gift) you can email or call instead if you prefer.

However, as with any rule, there are exceptions, and certain occasions demand written thank yous, even if you thanked the giver in person, for example for baby and wedding shower gifts.

If you are a daily Dear Abby reader, as I am, you’ll know that some people are sticklers for receiving thank yous for wedding gifts – as they should be. If I remember Dear Abby from years past, brides used to be given up to a year to get those notes off, but not any more. Current trends say thank you notes for wedding gifts should be sent within two weeks for gifts received before the wedding and within a month or two for those received after the wedding. That’s best for all concerned anyway – gets it off the newlywed bride’s “to do” list and is before the giver forgets what they gave! Oh, and don’t forget that the husband is just as capable of writing thank you notes as the new wife!

Other occasions where help may appropriately be sought in writing thank yous include for gifts and notes sent during an illness or for letters, gifts, and donations sent for condolence. At those times, the actual recipient might not be up to preparing the thank you cards, due to recovery or bereavement, so a close friend can provide some assistance.  (And so you don’t feel unduly burdened, note the distinction here: when ill or mourning, it’s not necessary to acknowledge every card received such as those where the sender simply signed their name.  It’s those with a personal message, and the letters, that need to be responded to).

Thank you cards are appropriate to send for gifts, hospitality or other kindnesses given on any of the following occasions:

  • Baby showers
  • Bridal showers
  • Weddings
  • Birthdays / Anniversaries
  • Other special age marking celebrations (Confirmation, First Communion, Bat / Bar Mitzvah, Quinceañera, Graduation, etc.)
  • Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines Day, etc.)
  • Thank you gift for hosting dinner
  • For hospitality for dinner / longer visit
  •  Housewarming gift
  • Retirement gift
  • Job interview*

[*An aside: My boyfriend and I have an ongoing debate about the proper format for a thank you note for a job interview – paper or electronic.) The last time I sent a handwritten thank you note for a job interview, I was called and told someone else had been selected for the position before the interviewer had even received the paper thank you – darn snail mail – I ended up feeling pretty foolish. So for a more recent job interview, I sent electronic thank yous to both interviewers. They felt “cheaper” but I felt safer with those since I knew the interviewers were making a decision about the second round of interviews within a tight time frame, and I wanted to make sure the “thank yous” got there more speedily. I think this is a case where that ever helpful rule “it depends” has to come into play. Use your gut instinct. What is important, however, is that a thank you is sent. If the interviewer is that offended by the format it which it was sent, and holds it against you, you probably didn’t want to be working for that organization anyway!]

Now, despite the extensive list above, I think the best reason for writing a thank you card is because you feel in your heart or your head that one is needed or appropriate. In the last few weeks alone I’ve sent a few of those “just because” sort of thank you notes.

One was to the veterinarian who had provided such good care to my cat Virginia during the last few months of her life. I wanted to let him know how much I had appreciated his assistance in determining what ailed her, and then, even though it turned out there wasn’t anything that could be done to change the outcome of things, how much I valued how well treated Virginia and I were every time we visited the practice, from everyone in the office. As I wrote in my card, I was made to feel like Virginia was the most important cat in the world (and well she was, to me).

The second such thank you card was to a departmental colleague who works in another building so the majority of our contact is by phone and e-mail. It always seems like I’m coming up with ways to confound the content management system he is in charge of and we regularly kid that I am ultimately going to be the reason he will some day put in his retirement papers. Kidding aside, he’s always willing to help me out with my conundrums on this particular software and I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated that and the fact that he is always good-spirited about it, no matter what the challenge is. After he received the card, he wrote that it was unnecessary, and that I was the least challenging of all those he had to work with. “Yes,” I wanted to write back, “but I figured none of the others take the time to say thank you, so I wanted to let you know that all your hard work is appreciated.”

Finally, over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be saying good-bye to our summer interns at work. Each of them will receive a handmade thank you card with personal messages inside from me and my coworker who has also spent the summer supervising them. It’s our way of letting them know how their summer with us has made a difference to our organization.

So think about it.  Who do you want to thank today?

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Filed under Card Etiquette, ECards, Paper Cards, Thank You Cards

What to Say in a Thank You Card

I am beginning to wonder if sending thank you cards is becoming a lost art. It seems these days, at least for me, when I send a gift it’s hit or miss whether or not I receive a thank you note for it. This can be particularly frustrating if the gift is sent in the mail – you are left wondering if it was ever received. Yes, I know, I can pay for tracking through the postal service, but knowing it was delivered is not quite the same thing as knowing the intended recipient got it, opened it, and had some sort of reaction to what was inside.

OK, maybe I don’t want to know if they hated it, but I would still like it to be acknowledged; for the time and effort I took to find something I thought they’d enjoy to be recognized. Is that selfish on my part? To want a simple note of appreciation? Am I being too demanding on the part of etiquette standards? I don’t think so.

So in order to help my own cause, I am offering here my guide for how to write a thank you note. It’s really simple. And I wonder if some times thank you cards don’t get written because “I just don’t know what to say”. Well, so much for that excuse! It’s easy. Pick up pen and paper and follow the rule of threes (basically things are always better in threes).

Well, OK, there are actually 6 lines to a basic thank you note, but three substantive lines. Here goes:

  1. Salutation
  2. Thank you for the [specific item]
  3. Provide one or two reasons why you specifically like the item. If you didn’t like the item, be kind, be vague, refer to the effort the giver put into choosing the item for you
  4. Add a sentence about how you will use the item / have used the item and enjoyed it. If it doesn’t seem likely that you will you may need to skip this line, or include a line about the sender’s thoughtfulness in thinking of you.
  5. Repeat your thanks.
  6. Sign your name

Oh, did I mention that thank you notes are most effective if sent in paper form?

There are some occasions I’ve sent electronic thank yous, but I’ve then followed up with paper versions. For example, when I got out of the hospital earlier this year after unexpected surgery, I sent a quick electronic thank you to a coworker who, out of the blue, had sent me flowers. She had sent me an e-mail to check in on me so I was replying and mentioned my thanks for the flowers. But her gesture was so kind (she had missed the opportunity to contribute to the office flowers and felt she needed to do something on her own) that it deserved a special written thank you as well.

My mom and I still exchange handwritten thank you cards for birthdays and Christmas gifts and even for “listening to me on the phone last night when I needed to talk”. It gets a bit ridiculous at times, since we usually see each other, particularly for Christmas and those notes sometimes end up looking like laundry lists, but still, it’s the sentiment behind them that counts.

If you’re still not sure what to say, here are some sample thank you’s following the layout given above:

To a relative:
Dear Aunt Mary, Thank you so much for the set of hand towels you sent us as a house warming gift. The colors match our new guest bathroom so perfectly, and you know how much Steven is a fan of penguins. We can’t wait until you can come visit us to give them a work out yourself. Thanks again for the best wishes on our new home. Sincerely, Jane

To a boss:
Dear Marilyn: I just want to say thank you for allowing my husband and me to use the company’s tickets to the city’s orchestra last night. Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons has always been one of my favorite pieces and I so enjoyed hearing a live performance of it. It was a wonderful evening out. Thanks again. Eleanor

To a friend:
Dear Rachel, Where do I begin to say thank you for the salon day for my birthday? As you know things have been rough for me these last few months, and a day of pampering was just what I needed. Not to mention spending the day with my best friend to gossip and vent! We have to do that again sometime SOON! Thank you thank you thank you. Kim

For the unwanted / unliked item:
Dear Emily, Thank you for the cat and dog salt and pepper shakers / figurines that arrived the other day. They were such a surprise to find in the mail. As you know I am quite an animal lover and I am always amazed at what you are always finding and sending my way. I know these will find a special place. Thanks again. Sarah

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I hope these samples and the 6 simple steps outlines above will help you out the next time you face any thank you note angst.  Remember, as with the gift itself, it’s not so much what you write, but that you do write — it’s the thought that counts.

Thank you for reading!



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Filed under Paper Cards, Thank You Cards