Global Celebration New Yew eCard

We have added a new card called "Global Celebration" in time for sending your New Year's greetings. New Year's is one of my favorite holidays for several reasons, not least the parties and looking forward to another year with my family. Since we have members from all over the world and enjoy hearing from many of you how you celebrate your holidays, I wanted to create a card that celebrated our global family. It is illustrated in watercolor combined with really festive colors and music to make a nice big splash for all your celebrations.

Global Celebration



If you are working on getting your last cards out, there is still time.

Here are some other New Year cards.



Christmas Choir eCard

We have added one more card to the site called "Choir". This is a Christmas rendition of the very popular card I created a few months ago called "Ave Maria". It still features the very detailed stained glass window I painted using watercolor for the original card, but is made more festive for Christmas with a boys choir singing "O Come All Ye Faithful".

Choir

Two $15 Amazon Gift Certificate Giveaway

If you haven't gotten around to send your holiday cards (paper or electronic) or need a few last minute cards, then you can check out Ojolie's artistic animated ecards. We have a wonderful selection of Christmas and New Year ecards. You can personalize the cards by writing your own greetings and messages. You can even add a photo to go along with your message in most of the cards.



We want to help spread a little holiday cheer with a giveaway! Win a $15 Amazon Gift Certificates!

How To Enter:

Each item below counts a separate entry. Leave a separate comment for each item you have done.

  1. Head over to our collection of Christmas eCards and tell us your favorite Christmas ecard. Make sure to leave me the NAME and the LINK to your favorite.
  2. Blog about the giveaway and link to "http://www.ojolie.com/ecards_christmas.php" with "Christmas eCards" as the link text and leave the link to your post in the comment.
  3. Send the free Christmas ecard "Winter Wonderland" to minimum 3 people.
  4. Subscribe to Ojolie's newsletter mailing list.
  5. One Extra Entry Per Day: Follow Ojolie on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway. Make sure to leave your Tweet url in your comment.
  6. Add a Ojolie button to your sidebar.
  7. Stumble the main Ojolie site.
  8. Join our Ojolie's Facebook Page.

This giveaway will end on December 25th, 2009 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn via random.org and announced on this post.
US/Canada entries only, please.




Here are the winners for the $15 Amazon Gift Certificate:

doot65[at]comcast[dot]net
theluckyladybug[at]gmail[dot]com

Here are the winners for a 1 year free membership to Ojolie eCards:

pinkrose6785[at]hotmail[dot]com
raeleidesigns[at]gmail[dot]com

Congratulations to the Winners!



New Ojolie Holiday eCards

This year we have gone to extra lengths to provide you with more cards for the holidays than any year before. I sincerely hope you will find several cards that are just right for penning your holiday greetings and so I am happy to announce two more cards.

"Santa's Special Night" is perhaps one of the most complex animations I have created to date, although there are a few other cards that can compete. This card was inspired by the spirit of going out of our way to delight and surprise those around us that are dear to us. After Santa leaves the workshop the little elves get mighty busy preparing for his return.

Santa's Special Night



"Jazzy Christmas" is very different from the above mentioned card, setting the mood for relaxing and getting all cozy and snuggled up to something - or someone - warm! Over hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream. And of course cats are just about as laid back as it gets, so naturally take center stage in this card. Set to a great piece of jazz on piano and sax and I think you get the picture.

Jazzy Christmas



For a limited time we are also offering a free gift membership when you sign up or renew for a 2 year membership. This way you save both on the lower membership cost of just $15 for two years and have a wonderful gift you can share with someone who might also like to use the cards. Since we have never had a promotion like this before, we are only trying it for a limited time, so take advantage of it while it lasts. See the detail of the promotion.

You may also have noticed that we have launched the site in French, Spanish and Dutch in order to reach more than just the English speaking world. So if you have friends and family who prefer to receive cards in one of these languages, you can now select the appropriate language when you send your cards. The recipient will receive their email notification in the language you selected for the ecard. If you have been using English all along and prefer that, just ignore any of this as English is the default language.

eCards for Sunny Christmas and Hanukkah

As promised we have added two more cards to our site for the holidays and three more will follow in the coming days. These cards really are the result of months of hard work and I am thrilled to finally be sharing them with you.

"Bright & Merry" was created for anyone spending the holidays in warmer climates or the southern hemisphere - or perhaps just wishes they would! It is set to a great bossa nova version of "Jingle Bells" on a beach and ... well, have a look for yourself to see the rest.



"Hanukkah" is our first card for the festival of lights. I am fond of the music I chose for it, which moved me. I think it perfectly sets the tone for a joyous celebration.



Let me know what you think!

Free Post Card Free Postage

Google is offering to send a free post card for you anywhere in US.



Spread some holiday cheer, one card at a time.
Holiday cards

Sure, email is great, but there's something uniquely heartwarming about the kind of card that comes in the actual mail — especially for folks who don't hear from us as often as they should, simply because they aren't online.

So we've made it as easy to send snail-mail holiday cards as it is to send email. Simply fill out the form below and we'll send one free holiday postcard on your behalf. Yes, through the mail and everything.

Gingerbread House Christmas Card

In the coming weeks we will be rolling out the new cards for the holidays and without revealing too much, I can say that they are the result of months of hard work and planning. With a variety of cards we hope you will find a few that are just perfect for sending your holiday cheer. The next card to be released will be for Hanukkah, a last minute inspiration after many requests by members.

In addition we are happy to announce that another holiday card has been added to the site called "Gingerbread House" - a sweet tale of how Mr. & Mrs. Gingerbread first met.

Gingerbread House



Last week we also announced that we had added a card for Saint Nicholas Day on December 6th. You can send or schedule any of these cards right now so you don't forget. The Saint Nicholas card is also well suited as a general Season's Greeting with a little bit of interesting trivia at the end about how Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus are related.

Saint Nicholas



Have a Great Week!

Happy Thanksgiving and Saint Nicholas Card

As many of our members in the US prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we have been hard at work on many more cards for other holidays which will be released in the coming weeks. If you have not yet sent your thanksgiving greetings, here is just one last reminder while there is still time. We have included links to a few suggested cards here for your convenience.

Indian Summer


Turkey Day


Culinary Masterpiece


Inventive Squirrels


We have also added a new card titled "Sinterklaas" to our site, which is the Dutch name for Saint Nick who inspired the modern day character of Santa Claus. In many parts of the world his name day on December 6th is an important celebration. I have fond memories of the festival from my childhood when I lived in the Netherlands. Because of this connection with Santa Claus, the card would also make a nice alternative season's greeting even if you don't celebrate St. Nick's Day, especially for children who might be old enough to know the "secret" about Santa but might not be aware where the character originated from.

Saint Nicholas


The card is illustrated with the stories and practices of the celebration of Saint Nicholas Day as paper cutouts in a book. I have included a little bit of information about Sinterklaas at the end of the card. My favorite practice of the celebration is the creatively disguised and wrapped small presents that people go to great lengths to prepare as well as the poems poking some good natured fun at each other. It never seemed like an overly commercial holiday this way because the effort of penning the poems make the presents very personal and heartfelt.

Here is a picture of me playing the lead role of Sinterklaas in a play when I was just a young 12 years old a long, long time ago :)

Indian Summer Thanskgiving eCard

We have added a new card called "Indian Summer" to our growing selection just in time for the harvest celebrations, Thanksgiving and other general fall greetings.

Indian Summer


In the many years we lived in New England, this was our favorite time - the leaves become a feast for the eyes, the apples are ripe for picking and Indian summer is the icing on the cake. This card celebrates all this as one family comes together for their fall harvest.

Remember you can schedule your cards now so you won't forget and have one less thing to remember closer to Thanksgiving. In addition to this new card, we have several other cards that are well suited for Thanksgiving, including:

Turkey Day


Culinary Masterpiece


Inventive Squirrels


Warmest wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday & fall!

Veterans Day is Tomorrow

Veterans Day in the US is tomorrow, Wednesday 11/11/09.

Here are the cards that are suitable for the occasion.



















America The BeautifulLiberty
Stars and Stripes ForeverHope

The Greening of Australia with the help of our eCards

I was thrilled to see that we have been included in the list of sites for e-cards on a very eco website: mygreenaustralia.com.



We all know that paper cards are still very much in vogue and many people still love to receive a card in the mail, but the gang at mygreenaustralia.com are trying to help people see the brilliance in e-cards, both environmentally and also artistically.

You can read all about us here in this article!

Acceptance of Electornic Greeting Cards



According to the recent "Intel Holiday Mobile Etiquette" study conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Intel Corporation, 62% of online adults would send an electronic greeting card or e-mail in lieu of a traditional card, and 88% of them would not be offended if they received an e-mail or electronic thank you card in lieu of handwritten notes of gratitude.

How about you?

The Year of eCards in UK?

Is this the year of eCards in UK?

According to The Time, "Royal Mail’s chief executive has painted a bleak picture of the industry’s future — and warned that the current strife could result in people deciding that this was the year they would stop sending Christmas cards."

I don't think people in UK will stop sending paper Christmas cards. The strike will definitely have some effect, but there are still many weeks away from Christmas. There are enough people who believe that paper cards are a special part of their holiday. For many people, paper Christmas cards are often set out on the mantel or some other conspicuous place. Try to do that with eCards.

Maybe we should add the functionality for the recipients to print out their ecards so they can put the "cards" on the mantel-:)

Wish you a frightfully wonderful Halloween

Our newest card for Halloween is titled "Ghostly Friends". It is great for sending spooky wishes to friends and family of all ages.

Ghostly Friends

A frightfully cute little ghost shares his treats with his friends in this card that is sure to delight old and young alike.



Here is our other Halloween card.

Halloween Frolics

With a dash of magic, a sprinkling of make believe and some ominous music this production will put you right in the mood for some frolics of your own on Halloween. Made to look vintage - but see for yourself!



Tip: When you create a card, you can check off the option boxes to be notified when the card is sent or when the recipient views this card.

Happy Halloween!

P.S. Do you have a website or blog? Link to us! Visit our link to us page for links, banners or card of the month. Thank you for your support.

Baptism Christening eCard

We have added a new card titled "Ave Maria" to our growing selection of ecards. For some time now we have wanted to set a card to the goose-bump inducing vocal rendition of Schubert's piece by the same title.

So we set out to design a card that would do the music justice; we settled on painting a reproduction of Lewis C. Tiffany's glass stained windows, which took several weeks to complete in watercolor and ink.

Tiffany's windows are renowned for their vibrant color, beautifully detailed art nouveau designs and innovative glass making techniques. The card includes a short section about the art work in the card (link found at the end of the card).

Although the card is mainly intended for announcing the birth of a new baby, congratulating new parents, baptisms and christenings, it is also suitable for other spiritual occasions. We plan to release an alternate version of the card for Christmas later in the year as well.

Ave Maria


Let us know how you like this card!

Yeah ... the Painting is Finished

Last night I put the finishing touches on what is probably the most complicated, painstaking and detailed watercolor I have done for any of the cards to date. I am working on a card that is inspired by the amazing art nouveau stained glass windows by Louis C. Tiffany.


Transparent watercolors are perfect for capturing the vibrancy and luminosity of light filtering through a stained glass window.


The first stage, painting the frames of each individual glass pane in black ink took about a week of full time work. The ink is water soluble but waterproof once dry, so can be applied before the watercolors. Although this makes painting in watercolor a bit easier, it still took another week and a half of days, evenings and pretty much all my free time to complete the painting.


But now that it is complete I am rather thrilled with the result. I hope you will be to when you see the final card which will be set to Ave Maria, one of my favorite music pieces.

Free Watercolor Demo


In my previous post Striking a Balance I introduced some of my favorite watercolor books, including "Vibrant Flowers in Watercolor" by Soon Y. Warren as well as a free online demo from the book made available by the publisher. Here is another free online demo from the book that shows you how to use complimentary colors when painting objects from nature arranged against a background with a complimentary color.


Free Download: Soon Y. Warren on Using Complementary Colors

Simple Stunning Flowers

photo by yellowgoatdesign on flickr - creative commons license

If you have a little extra money to splurge, my favorite choice is peonies. A few blooms will making an amazing display. But if you are on a tighter budget you can still making some very tasteful arrangements using everyday flowers from the grocery store.

photo by tanakawho on flickr - creative commons license

A simple bouquet of yellow solidagos and blue statice can make a stunning, but inexpensive and very full display. And the best part is that they dry really beautifully - in fact the blue statice will not fade and looks stunning against the mellow dried solidagos.

The solidagos and blue statice are set in a inexpensive rustic vase I found at a local rummage store

The same concept can be applied to other inexpensive flowers. As long as you avoid the mixed bouquets which are often rather tacky and opt for one big splash of color by using only one or two types of flower, even those who claim they don't know how to arrange flowers can make a fancy looking arrangement.

Use unconventional containers as vases, such as small colorful glass bottles for a simple arrangement in the bathroom or even canning jars for - GASP - baby's breath :) Baby's breath will actually look charming as long as you don't use it with a mixed bouquet or roses.

Sometimes flower arranging is about thinking outside of the box and stretching the budget to go a little further.

Contentment

I take a deep breath and dive, always amused at how different things look underwater. It is a Wednesday afternoon and we almost have the local pool to ourselves. We used to work conventional 9-5 jobs. It seem a lifetime ago, and it wasn't always 9-5, especially for Tim.

The boys attended school like most other kids up until 5 months ago. So I can confidently say that we get to spend a lot more time together now than we used to. I think more than most families who balance work and family life outside the home. It is just another of the many benefits of home schooling and working from home.

Emil took this picture of Esben and me

But I guess as is so often the case with people, before we try it and see the benefits we tend to weigh all the cons. Before I had children the responsibility and hassle of raising kids seemed like a much bigger deal than they turned out to be once I actually became a mother. Likewise, the most common reaction when people find out that we home school is "WOW, I could NEVER do that!"

Emil making muffins with Tim

I used to think that way to. Well, I didn't really realize that it would benefit me too, not just the kids. I mainly thought of all the work, wondered whether I would be qualified and consistent enough. In fairness, I will say, I am fortunate to share the work with Tim. And the joys. Homeschooling is not just sitting at home doing work sheets or giving lessons. There are activities with other families that home school, a few classes they attend in subjects we don't feel we can teach and lots of sports. This means everyday they get to socialize with kids in addition to playing with the neighborhood kids. Much of my work with the boys right now involves reading together, discussion things we read, researching, experimenting, going on field trips, going swimming, baking, watching a movie about something we are studying and so on. And questions, lots of questions. Sometimes questions that totally stump me. Once in a while we do play hooky. We just take a day off. Which we can afford to do because we carried on learning throughout the summer.


Over the summer the boys have practiced their freestyle and can give us a run for our money. I take another deep breath and let myself sink under water. For a moment I feel myself melt into the blue as I am filled with contentment. A second later I am tackled by Esben, who has figured out that bouncing up and down underwater is a lot of fun. Emil is focused on doing his laps, determined to swim more than Tim once again.

Maybe in a later post I will reveal a few of the pitfalls of home schooling and working from home ... although I confess one of them is still being on the computer at 2 am, when I should be snuggled up in bed.