Thoughts and Things

This is a blog about us, about our business, and about things that we enjoy. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A unique way to apologize for your child

We just came across this collection of humorous cards that are laughingly intended for new parents to hand out in those all-too-common awkward parent moments. Yes, you know the ones we mean -- when your little one's piercing screams echo off the bulkhead in the coach cabin or when the swath of destruction left at the restaurant you're leaving rivals that of Godzilla or when the minivan's path is a bit wobbly because you've momentarily got your eye on the backseat instead of the road... Anyway, feel bad no longer -- just hand the affected party the appropriate card and carry on. And maybe someone will create a set for parents of slightly older children -- we could likely use some of those!

Friday, June 23, 2006

How to tame those tantrums

Don't let the title fool you: this isn't a "how to" article, no answers -- just a plea for help on how to tame those tantrums.

It all started when we spotted a sign for a garage sale down the street, and the kids agreed that they wanted to go take a look. On the way there, the anticipation was enough to help the kids ignore the heat, but after we confirmed that there were no interesting new toys to be had, the hot walk home was too much.

I initially tried to focus them on popsicle flavors we could try once we got home, and encouraged them to dash towards the patches of shade. My oldest said, "I'm ignoring the heat, Mom," but my middle one completely lost it.

She commenced whining, then escalated rapidly to crying, screaming, and stamping, all the while refusing offers to hold her hand or piggyback her or anything I could think of. We finally got home as I half dragged, half carried her, still kicking, shrieking, and screaming (I was also
holding her little sibling, who remained remarkably calm in the face of all this commotion). I imagined passers-by wondering whether I was either kidnapping or simply abusing this poor girl.

After we finally got inside our own home, changed, and had some of those aforementioned popsicles, I did sit down with my daughter to explain that we need to save our screaming and shrieking for true emergencies.

And it's quiet for now . . . at least until the next meltdown. Lord, please give us the wisdom to know how to love and teach our children! (And any of you moms out there with advice on how to handle those moments, please do tell -- I sure could use the help!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How Wonderful That the Times, They Are A Changing..

As we celebrate Father's Day, I have to say that I am incredibly thankful for my husband, and what a wonderful hands-on, involved dad he is -- thank you, hon! And I am also thankful that these days, that is more the norm, and that it's expected that he'd be this way. I know that some families face circumstances which prevent their fathers from participating as much as they might like, but on the whole, it seems that more and more families are enjoying the blessing of two actively involved parents.

Happy Father's Day to all of us, and a heartfelt thank you to all of you stand-up dads!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It’s Almost June, So We Have Weddings on the Brain

Speaking of weddings and of melding multiple themes, we thought you might enjoy seeing one of our other custom wedding invitations. As invitations go, this one is rather elaborate -- the bride and groom are of Chinese and Indian descent, and understandably wanted to incorporate elements of those cultures in their celebration. They planned not one, but two ceremonies (Christian and Hindu), and their families arranged not a single reception, but three dinners in honor of their cross-cultural marriage.

Ultimately we incorporated some classic symbols, such as the Chinese "double-happiness" character and the Hindu "aum" (also spelled "om" or "ohm"), with contemporary colors, photos, and designs to create one wedding invitation, three reception invitations and reply cards, and one twelve-page booklet that details the wedding day events.

What a celebration! We’re pleased to have been even a small part of such a joyful occasion!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Just another greeting to join the greeting-card inspired chorus, but here's an amusing tidbit to round out the day's celebrating. As part of his sermon this morning, our pastor mentioned the mom's salary calculator at www.salary.com.

You can customize for location and the breakdown of your daily schedule (well, as close to a daily schedule you may come :)) So the next time you're diaper-changing, making dinner, driving, cleaning, paying bills, or hot-gluing cotton balls to a sheep costume, just remember the big bucks you're not being paid and know that you and your family are worth more than every penny.

Take care, moms!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Custom Designs Are Like a Marriage

Or something like that. Though we've mostly focused on creating unique baby announcements in these first couple years of our business, we have also sometimes taken on custom projects for our customers. As our tagline says, we do create custom designs for your every occasion, not just the baby-related ones!

One of our most recent projects was a custom designed graphic wedding invitation.

Now creating a custom design can be a tricky thing -- a designer translates a client's ideas, hopes, and expectations into a visual reality. It can be difficult enough articulating one's own ideas, whether verbally or graphically; giving voice -- or maybe more accurately, vision -- to someone else's can be quite a feat. It's just a little bit like playing super-duper Pictionary, where what you're drawing isn't all that clearly spelled out.

For this client, we wove together three themes into one card -- a Christian, Asian-floral inspired invitation including a Chinese character. We were pleased to present the happy couple with a one-of-a-kind invitation that incorporated all three themes for their once-in-a-lifetime day.

And just as it can be an incredible gift for two uniquely different people to come to the point where they decide to share the rest of their lives together, it's almost as special a joy to be able to create something that helps a client celebrate these precious life moments.

Happy wedding, you two!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fund Raising Is Serious Business

We're learning a lot as first-time-parents- with-kids-in-school. One thing we’re realizing is that fund raising is a serious business—at least it is with our school's PTA. Last weekend, the PTA hosted a dinner/auction fund raiser at a nearby hotel. Nearly 200 parents and guests attended the Monopoly-themed gala (many in suits, and the principal came in tails!).

All Things Creative donated a set of 100 holiday cards and a set of three custom 12-month calendar. And as parents, we also did our part for the PTA. We bid on a bunch of items, including a Chinese language summer workshop, a certificate for gymnastics classes, and a collection of kids outings at various local zoos and amusement parks for everyone. We are still awaiting the final tally, but based on all the activity that night, we think the school did fairly well.