New Year Cards for 2009

For me New Year is really about renewal, renewal that is part of a cycle of the year and of life. Without this hope, the long dark winters would have seemed almost unsurvivable to my ancestors in Denmark, who would worship in various ways to hope that the sun would once again return. And so despite much disheartening news affecting all of us around the world, New Year's is a time to celebrate hope above all I believe. With this in mind, I was inspired to create a card that sends this message, both through visual beauty and a message to cast your gaze up at the stars to see Sirius, brightest star, in its culmination on New Year's Eve.

Celestial


Here are some other New Year cards.

Black Tie


Cocktail Dress


JULETIDE


You can see more New Year cards here.

New Year Invitation eCards

We have added a new card in two versions called "Black Tie" and "Cocktail Dress" to our site for the upcoming New Year's celebration as well as any festive occasion. The card has a real vintage feel to it including a nice big band music piece. We made two versions of the card so that it would be suitable for both women and men to send. If you are planning an upcoming bash for the holidays or New Year, this card would make a nice way to send the invitation.

Black Tie


Cocktail Dress


We are still working on one more New Year card and will let you know as soon as we add it to the site.

New Christmas eCard - Jingle Bells

We have added another new card called "Jingle Bells" featuring a horse drawn sled dashing through a winter wonderland - all handpainted in watercolor in great detail - a classical card centered around the joy of preparing for the holidays with your loved ones.

Jingle Bells


But before Tim and I can get around to the family preparations with the boys, we still have a bit of work to do to bring you several more cards for your New Year celebrations.

Merry Christmas!

Holiday greeting card cutbacks

Have you received any holiday greeting cards yet?

Because of the current economic downturn, people are cutting back the greeting cards they send.

Are you cutting back the number of cards you are sending this year?

We have added a new card called "Hellebore" for the upcoming holidays featuring elements hand painted in watercolor in great detail and a charming ensemble of little guests that inhabit our garden even in the depth of winter. Perfect for almost any occasion during the winter months or send it simply to spread a little color and joy.

Hellebore


In addition we have several other cards suitable for sending your Thanksgiving greetings, including the recently added "Turkey Day" card.

Turkey Day


Culinary Masterpiece


Inventive Squirrels

Practice safe ecard sending


With the holiday season upon us, people will be sending their greetings via paper and electronic greeting cards. While paper cards will consist majority of this tradition, ecards have their places. Sending ecards are much more environment friendly. It is also economical, particularly during our current financial downturn.

However, there are a few precaution that one needs to be aware of when one receives ecards.


  • Make sure you recognize the sender's name. The sender's FULL name should ALWAYS be included in the subject line (and sometimes in the "from" field) of the email.

  • The web site should be easily identified in one or more of the following places: the "from" field, the subject line, or in the email itself.

  • Do NOT click any links with simple IP address. In a fake ecard email, the IP address may be hidden and can only be seen by hovering your cursor over the link or right clicking on the link to view properties. The link should not be a series of number (e.g. 169.180.1.15, commonly referred to as an IP address).

  • An ecard email should NOT have any attachment of any kind. The recipient will go to the web site to "pick up" (i.e. view) the ecard.

  • Legitimate ecard emails will always include an option to pick up the ecard by typing the web site address and enter a code.

  • Use a webmail or email application that has good spam filter. My experience with Gmail has been very good. It filters out almost all spam mail.



Let me know if you have any other tips that I am missing here.

How ecards can help the environment


With the coming of the holiday season, people will be sending a lot of greeting cards. Most of us know that paper cards are not a good idea for the environment. But how bad can sending 50 paper cards hurt the environment? They are just 50 cards!

Well, according to Creative Citizen, the cost of sending 50 regular cards is 5 pounds of waste, 1,000 pounds of emissions, 1,000 kilowatt hours, and $30!

But what is the impact of sending 50 ecards instead? One calculation estimates the impact to be 3-4 lbs of CO2, i.e. 2-3 hours of electricity used for sending the 50 ecards on a computer. So this year, you may want to consider sending ecards as an alternative.

Tomorrow is the US presidential election. Democracy works best when we all participate. I hope if you are able to vote in the upcoming US election you will take the time to exercise that right. Remind your friends and family to do the same by sending one of our ecards. Let's hope on Election Day there will be a great turnout.

Here are some suggestions for suitable cards:

Stars and Stripes Forever


Hope


Origami Cranes


Pigeongram

Vintage Halloween Animated eCard

With just a few days to go before Halloween we have added a new card to the site called "Halloween Frolics".

I love vintage greetings cards and Halloween cards are perhaps my favorite of all because unlike the gory cards that are more common now, vintage Halloween cards have a certain innocence to them. Despite this, lots of people used to send them to ward of any bad luck and wish for a bright future for the person on the receiving end. After all, you never know, maybe there is such a thing as ghosts ...

Thus inspired, the little witch in my newest card is meant to bring some of the nostalgia and magic of Halloween alive again ... so better make sure you send your wishes for a bright future to all of your friends and loved ones of all ages.

Halloween Frolics


Wishing you are safe and fun Halloween!

Thanksgiving eCard

We have added a new card inspired by the colors and bounty of the season featuring a little dachshund and his family, perfect as a general greeting for the fall season or for sending best wishes on Thanksgiving.

Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner this Monday, October 13, so please remember to send Your Thanksgiving Greetings as soon as possible to alll your Canadian friends and/or family.

Turkey Day

Baby Birthday eCard

We have added a new birthday card to our collection titled "Babycakes". It celebrates the birthday "child" in all of us who delight at some cake, a sprinkle of nature's magic and a party in our honor! Also great for birth announcements and congratulating new parents on the birth of their baby.

Babycakes

New Ojolie August eCard - Sweet Peas

We have added a new card to our collection titled "Sweet Peas" which is suitable for a wide range of occasions.

The card was conceived during a lazy afternoon on my vacation in Denmark this summer. The abundant and colorful display of sweet peas in my grandmother's garden provided endless subjects for my watercolor practice using a new technique.

Even though the sweet pea season is ending, early autumn is in fact the best time to prepare your seeds for next summer's blooms. So send this card to extend the days of summer a little bit more or as a little reminder to all your friends who love flowers to plant their sweet pea seeds now.

The card includes instructions for planting your own seeds and a little bit of information about the painting technique I used to paint the flowers. Both can be viewed at the end of the card by clicking on the buttons called "Plant Sweet Peas" and "About the Art Work".

Sweet Peas

New July 4th eCard

In celebration of US Independence Day we have added a new card set to Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" and inspired by the wonders of flight. This festive card is also well suited for other US national holidays, such as Veterans and Memorial Day.

We are currently hard at work on several other cards for general occasions, as well as a birthday card adaptation to this card featuring the biplanes in action.

Stars and Stripes Forever



Happy Independence Day!

New Father's Day 2008 eCard

This coming Sunday, June 15th is celebrated as Father's Day across more than fifty countries worldwide, and this year it has been 100 years since Father's Day was first celebrated in the US.

We have of course been hard at work on the latest addition to the site for this occasion, featuring once again "Woody" - you may remember him from the card titled "Best Friends". I wanted to capture the contributions Father's make in our lives while keeping the card lighthearted, a little bit clever and most importantly something sons, daughters and just about anyone would want to send to their own father - and all the other great fathers they know.

Good Time


Happy Father's Day!

10 Ways to Reduce Waste

divine.ca lists 10 Ways to Reduce Waste. Most people should be able to do some of them, if not all.

  1. No more paper towels
  2. Take reusable bags to the store
  3. Buy in bulk
  4. Pack a smart lunch
  5. Get reusable coffee filters
  6. Make your own notepads
  7. Start sending eCards
  8. Buy a travel mug
  9. Switch to rechargeable batteries
  10. Purchase durable products

New eCard for Mother's Day

Just in time for Mother's Day, we have added another card to our selection called "Under the Moon".

The card features moon bear cubs "Bingo" & "Happy", born in captivity at Taiwan's Low Altitude Research Station where their mother was brought after being found injured in the wild. My friends at the Station asked if I could animate the cubs based on the footage they had made since the birth of the cubs; this card is the result of this collaboration.

It is difficult to convey the breathtaking beauty of the forest and mountains where these bears live, so I had to challenge myself artistically to create an inspired backdrop. Let me know what you think!

Under the Moon


In addition to this card, we have other cards that are suited for Mother's Day.




You can also go to http://www.ojolie.com/ecards_mother_day.php to see the complete list.

Happy Mother's Day!

Helpful tips to ensure the safe receipt of ecards


American Greetings Offers Simple Reminders on How to Stay Protected This Mother's Day

CLEVELAND, May 5 -- American Greetings Corporation, in response to potential email scams that typically occur during major holidays, is providing the public with some helpful tips to ensure the safe receipt of their Mother's Day online greetings.

Celebrating Mom through online greetings is a popular trend. In fact, Mother's Day ranks among the top five holidays in terms of e-cards sent from the American Greetings family of Web sites. To be sure that you avoid any potentially harmful e-mails, Dan Miller, vice president of Product Management at AG Interactive, a division of American Greetings Corporation, offers the following suggestions:


  • Be cautious: If you have any suspicion that the e-card you have received is fraudulent, do not open the e-mail, and do not click on any links within the body of the message if you do. Legitimate e-mails will always give you the option to pick up the e-card by typing in the address of the Web site, rather than clicking on the link.

  • Make sure you recognize the sender's name: The name of the sender should always be visible in the subject line of the e-mail, or within the e-mail itself. If you do not recognize the sender's name or the sender's name is not visible, proceed with caution.

  • Be sure to look for the Web site: The Web site should be identifiable in one or more of the following areas: the "from" field, the subject line or the body of the e-mail itself. If no site is listed, or you do not recognize the site, proceed with caution.

  • Do not follow any links with a simple IP address: Sometimes the IP address is hidden beneath the link and can only be seen by positioning your cursor over the link or right clicking on the link to view properties. The link should start with the domain of the Web site (i.e.http://www.americangreetings.com ) and not a series of numbers commonly referred to as an IP address.

2 New Cards for April

We have added two more cards to our site.

"Pigeongram" is a general card suitable for almost any occasion when sending a message via virtual carrier pigeon will add a special touch. I have rendered much of the card by hand in watercolor to add to the vintage feel that I tried to capture.

Pigeongram


The second card, "Roof of the World" is somewhat unusual in that it was inspired by the events taking place around the world and in Tibet. I was honored when prominent Tibetan singer songwriter Techung agreed to provide the music used in the card, a very beautiful piece of his song to the Mountains, Kham Lu. You can find more information about Techung by clicking on the included links in the card.

The card is a celebration of diversity and peace for all of our global family. This card is free and is available for non-members to send. Thus, you will not be prompted to log in before sending the card. For our existing members, we recommend that you log in first to send this card if you want it to appear in your card history.

Unlike our other cards, this card will be the only card made available to a number of organizations for free distribution for the cause of peace. If you know of any organization that would like to use the card for this purpose, please let us know.

Roof of the World

Easter is on Sunday March 23rd, 2008

Just a gentle reminder that Easter is this Sunday March 23rd. I am sure quite a few of us are trying to remember when Easter last was this early, but unless you are 95 years or older you would not have be en born yet - I will save you the math, that makes it 1913 when it last happened. And it won't happen again until 2160!

In addition to the most recently added card "Gifts of Spring", we have many other cards suited for Easter and
spring greetings:





You'll find all the cards mentioned above here, http://www.ojolie.com/ecards_easter.php.

For anyone interested in the mysteries of how the date of Easter is calculated, the brief explanation is that it moves around on the calendar in order to preserve the season and phase of the moon at the time of the resurrection. Easter Sunday is the first full moon of the spring or vernal equinox, but since astronomical observations vary by the location of the observer on the planet, tables are a more practical way of calculating the date of Easter. And if you really, really want to know how that works, you can read more here (http://www.assa.org.au/edm.html#Calculator).

2 New Cards for March

This month we have added two more cards to our selection.

"Gifts of Spring" is just in time for Easter and it can also be used to send a spring greeting. Easter and Spring are of course both essentially about rebirth; the gifts that nature bestows upon us are captured in this card featuring plenty of flowers, a fawn and a pheasant chick.

Gifts of Spring


The second card, "Surprise" features an American Staffy who definitely manages to have his cake and eat it too! Set to a piece of Bossa Nova, a Brazilian style that blends samba and jazz, which seems quite appropriate as "bossa" means doing something with particular charm and natural flair.

Surprise

A Joke For the Valentine's Day


A guy walks into a post office one day to see a middle-aged, balding man standing at the counter methodically placing "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them.

He then takes out a perfume bottle and starts spraying scent all over them.

His curiosity getting the better of him, he goes up to the balding man and asks him what he is doing. The man says "I'm sending out 1,000 Valentine cards signed, 'Guess who?'"

"But why?" asks the man.

"I'm a divorce lawyer," the man replies.

New Valentine's Day eCards

Valentine's Day is just a short week away. I confess, making cards for this occasion can be challenging - capturing just the right sentiment, whether you plan to send a card to only one special person or all those near and dear to you, is a bit of a balancing act. But I hope that among our growing selection of cards you will find the right one.

Two new cards have been recently added. The first card, Sloppy Kiss, is inspired by early Valentine's cards that frequently featured flowers such as Lily of the Valley and pansies for symbolic reasons. The pups, Spriggs and Chica, take center stage in this production again after rave reviews for their performance in other cards.


Sloppy Kiss




Sometimes the simplest things in life really are the best ... especially if you share them with someone dear to you. The card "Life in Pink" includes a lovely tune called "Londonderry Air" which has been used with a variety of different song lyrics, such as Katherine Tynan Hinkson's "Irish Love Song".

Life in Pink

Politically correct Valentine card

Created by Jon Gledstone, 26, of Hertford, Herts, here is a PC version of a Valentine card message that should not offend anyone, except those without a sense of humor:-)
"Please accept with no obligation my nonsexually harassing, potentially platonic Valentine’s regards as a token of my/our love, lust or friendship within a relationship that we may or may not choose to be monogamous, whilst understanding that the romantic sentiment that it signifies does in no way guarantee the success or progression of the said relationship over any length of time. The sender reserves the right to remain anonymous."

A Box To Hold Valentines

With the Valentine's Day coming up, Kathy Antoniotti from Beacon Journal wrote an article on how to create a container to hold valentines from your well-wishers in Sweetheart of a box for cards.

Creating a box to hold your valentines can be as easy or difficult as you choose. To make one like this, cover a cardboard box with scrapbook paper and decorate it with stickers. My decorations might not appeal to all children, but the instructions can be used with any design you prefer...

Texting or Cards for Valentine's Day?

Will you text your Valentine's well-wishing to your love ones or will you continue to use cards? The Salford University engineering Professor Nigel Linge is running a online Valentine’s card survey to find out just that. Click here to read the article.

Cast your vote at valentinesdaysurvey.co.uk.