Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kentucky 4-H note card contest !

As reported by News-Democrat & Leader Online, the Kentucky 4-H organization is running a notecard contest with the winning cards available for purchase in April 2008. There are a number of different age categories and it will be interesting to see who wins...

... but I'm wondering why they don't have different art categories?

By having different art categories, they would have more entries to choose from and more ways for the kids to experience winning (which, I assume, is a big part of the motivation for the contest). If it is simply a way to raise funds... well, I'm very disappointed.

If anyone in Kentucky is reading this and would like to publicize their notecard, please email a digital photo of your submission to theshot [at] gmail [dot] com. (The email address is in a funny form so that computerized spammers will be less likely to find it.)

Best of luck to all the 4-H artists !

Dave Wheeler

P.S. Press release writing suggestion for Gary Michael Templeman, 4-H/Youth Development Extension Agent for Logan County... a web address or telephone number would be helpful as part of the press release. Saying "contact Logan County Cooperative Extension Service" does not give the general public enough information and you are losing out on a large chunk of your potential audience.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sympathy during tough times...

Over the past years, we have blogged about how to handle sympathy cards and helped people come up with the appropriate words to write on them. [How-to Sympathy cards here.]

Recently there was a short (but effective) article on about how to handle the "face-t0-face" part of offering sympathy.

When attending the funeral of someone we know, the thought of going up to express our condolences to the friends and relatives of the deceased can often fill us with apprehension - it’s not exactly the kind of experience we go through every day. However, with the right approach it can actually be a very
inwardly rewarding experience.

In [condensed] summary, this is what they had to say...
  • Say it with feeling.

  • Empathise.

  • Show up.

  • Talk about fond memories and good qualities .

  • Write a sympathy notecard.

  • Act from the heart.
Click here to read the full article !

Friday, November 30, 2007

Do you LOVE notecards?

We are looking for two or three people who would be willing to review notecards or up-and-coming artists (mostly from pictures online) and write about them on this blog.

If you are interested, please send us an email at theshot92 at (The email address left off the @ symbol so the address doesn't get picked up by automatic "spammers".)

We hope to hear from you soon !

Dave Wheeler

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Church of the Customer tackles Thank You notes

One of my favorite blogs is "Church of the Customer" because they often have articles with ideas to improve your business and Jackie Huba just posted a great article titled, "Five must-haves for thank-you notes".

In short, this is what she had to say...

... there are five must-haves for an effective, buzzworthy thank-you note:

1) Spell the recipient's name correctly (doh!).

2) Thank the person for choosing your business. If they shared a specific reason why they choose your business of why they like it, reaffirm it. For heaven's sake, though, don't turn it into a sales pitch.

3) Include a personal detail about the recipient that you picked up on. Prove that you were listening. Humanity is a good thing in the antiseptic world of business.

4) Open the door to feedback. Whether the recipient provides it isn't the point; it's the idea that you're passionate about creating a recommendable experience.

5) Be authentic: Include your full name and contact info -- email and/or phone. Or a business card.

These 5 keys are important... and they begin to give you a feeling for what a Thank You note, especially one from a business to their customer, should include. The last one, "Be authentic" is especially important and is one of the reasons that most businesses fail to use thank you notes... they see business as impersonal or "just a job".

When you care enough to make your business GREAT, the idea of sending handwritten thank you notes is a simple step in that direction. It shows how much you care to do a good job (very unusual nowadays) as well as how much you care about your customers... and people will always do business with people who care about them over the standard [i.e. rude, impersonal, rule-following] businesses.

Click here to read the full article including an example of a thank you card that Jackie received.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dalmation Note Cards !

We found these dalmation (doggy) note cards at Texas Sauce Art Life blog.

They are donating 10% of each sale of these cards to Save the Dalmations charity. Sounds like Cruela Deville will be out of business soon !

One more example of how note cards can be both creative and a benefit to society!

Woof ! Woof!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Notewordy October Card-er of the Month !

First, we liked the name of this site...

Plus, there is (or was?) a sale going on ... "For today only (Thursday, October 25th) all sets of cards are only $4.95!" How cool is that? (Maybe you can still get the discount since the message is still on the homepage?)

And... with design names like "Springtime Splash", "Pastel Fireworks" and "Martini" we just had to make Just Being Notesy our NoteWordy Card-er of the Month!

One suggestion to improve their website ...
Who is the artist? If there was a link on the home page with the artist's story it would give the cards even more "personality" !

Who is

The card buying public wants to know !!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Unconventional Thinking... Write a Note!

Mark Stevens, author of "Your Marketing Sucks" and other books, writes an interesting article on his blog called "Unconventional Thinking".

Here is how it starts...
No one writes letters any more. Considering the options, they are cumbersome and reach the other party with glacial speed. So why bother. Zip off an email and move on to your iPod. Next.

Well, not so fast. And not so simple. We don’t write letters, in part, because they impart a sense of permanence, of legitimacy, of the genuine article, of here today and here tomorrow. Of the

Sounds like a great idea! Read the whole article by clicking here.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Understanding Art...opening the door to a new world

I came across this post called "How to Read a Painting" on and had to pass it along. The author not only gives us a reason to learn how to appreciate art, "even a passing acquaintance with art can enrich and deepen our understanding of the world around us" as well as the tools or ways of looking at art to gain a greater appreciation.

The tools are "subject, symbolism, style, and self-examination" and I highly recommend reading this article, especially if you are going to be taking a trip to a museum any time soon.

In fact, you should read the article and make your plans to visit an art museum right away!

You deserve it !

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Beware the Garbage Trucks!!!

I just came across an article by David J. Pollay that I really enjoyed reading and I hope you do too.

His story reminded me of a saying that my Dad used to tell me when I was playing basketball and would get upset by a bad call by a referee. He would say, "If someone offers you a big, smelly bag of hot, steaming, disgusting [you get the picture] ... it is up to you whether you accept it or not."

David Pollay's article takes that same line of thinking and adds his own New York story. I think you will find that his story will help you get through your day with less stress and allow you to focus more on the important things in life without being distracted by the "Garbage Trucks".

Check it out...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Notecard Envelopes... Job Hunter's weapon!

Who would have thought that the simple act of "envelope size" could help someone get a job?

Well, the Job Hunters over at Guerilla Marketing certainly did!
Everyone’s face lights up when they see one of those little envelopes that are peculiar to “thank you” note cards – those tiny little 4 x 4 white envelopes with barely enough room to write a name and address on the front and a return address on the back. Fold your resume and cover letter together carefully until they fit inside and then mail.
What they forgot to mention is that you should also be using real notecards for follow-up after an interview.

Can you think of any other imaginative ways to use notecards in the Job Hunting process?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Notecards make you smarter!

Here is an interesting article about how the practice of handwriting notecards can actually make you smarter !
Today the idea of a handwritten composition is nothing more than a fable told to disbelieving students- "You wrote the words? With a pen?" However, according to a article, the loss of handwriting also
may be a cognitive opportunity missed. The article explains, "Studies show that the neurological process that directs thought, through fingers, into written symbols is a highly sophisticated one. Several academic studies have found that good handwriting skills at a young age can help children express their thoughts better - a lifelong benefit."

The article goes on to say how we can make it a habit...

How do we encourage our children to write more? And ourselves!

Give them personalized stationery that reflects their interests. Children love to be told they are special and a personalized gift is a sincere way to express that sentiment. It also encourages children of all ages to practice writing. They do not have to write a long letter; just a personal quick note is better
than a note never written.

Write On !

Friday, August 17, 2007

Changing the world thank-you note at a time

This post on pointed me to a great article by Tom Chiarella called "A Little Gratitude... How to change the way the world sees you, one thank-you note at a time". Here is an excerpt...
Being grateful matters. A good thank-you -- a real thank-you -- means something. It is notable, memorable, important. A meaningful thank-you reveals the evolution of a friendship; it declares what we value, making one party certain that the other party notices and cares about the quality of human
transactions in the world around them. But every verbal thank-you, even a sincere one, risks being forgettable. No, there is only one way to really thank someone: You have to write it down. You gotta write a thank-you note.

Tom goes on to explain a experiment where he wrote at least 3 Thank You notes per day for a month ...

I've never been very good at this whole daily-reflection thing, but if I ever gave it a real shot, it was while I was scratching out these notes. Time passed differently. I began to look at the day as a series of opportunities for thankfulness rather than obligations to a calendar. The discipline of the writing gave me a morning ritual beyond a cup of coffee and the blathering of
SportsCenter. I started, for the first time in years, to work on my handwriting. The morning didn't tear by the way it usually does. I found that I could sit there and reconstruct the prior day by thinking of the faces of the people I met, the tenor of the things they did, and the places in which I met them. With
each day, I could remember more about each day that passed.

Kind of makes you wonder who you should send a thank-you note... it doesn't just make them feel good... it helps you as well.

Think about it !

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Punctum Day ... Aug.19th !

I learned about Punctum Day via Here is their explanation...

We're all quite literally looking at pictures all day long. Of
course, some of us are more involved than others with this world of pictures. ... not every image just goes past us. Sometimes, the picture makes us stop, the photograph arrests us, the drawing makes us forget what we were just doing. We've all had this struck-by-lightning moment with an image.

Roland Barthes calls this arresting potential in imagery the Punctum.

It's the sensation that floods over us, stops us in our tracks and, if only for a second, blots out everything else. We feel something new and indescribable, suddenly alone with the image. Punctum is not the sudden understanding of what the image 'means'. It's our sudden availability, for whatever reason, for the image to create a new meaning in us, just for us. A one-time flash of something we hadn't felt or understood before. For that moment of interaction we are free and flying and somewhere altogether new.

As visual people, we crave this experience. As artists, we long to create it.

And today, we have a worldwide movement for our shared love of that struck-by-lightning moment. Join us in creating and celebrating this worldwide day honoring imagery and visual creativity. ... for creative people everywhere,

Punctum is who we are and what we do.

You don't have a Personality ...

... and neither do I (so don't feel bad).

Huh? Read on.

I read the paragraph below in an article titled "10-simple-ways-to-save-yourself-from-messing-up-your-life" at ....

Don’t worry about about your personality. You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t
worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so. What fixes someone’s personality in one place is a determined effort on their part—usually through continually telling themselves they’re this or that kind of person and acting on what they say. If you don’t like the way you are, make
yourself different. You’re the only person who’s standing in your way.

So, if you don't like the way things are going.... change the way you are acting. Change your "personality".

Learn from people who are getting the results you want and use their techniques. They won't come easily at first... that's why it is called "Learning" and not "Borg Assimilation*"

[* For non-trekkie saavy readers this is a Star Trek reference.]

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Cards from Etsy

Check out these "Groovy Inclinations" note cards...

(from the "Groovy Inclinations Ultimate Plaid and Tropics Stationery pack", for sale here)

Very colorful!
Very neat !

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

These cards make me SICK !!!!

I had to wonder if the inventors of the "Red E bag" were making a comment about the cards that they sell when they came up with it?

The Red E bag is a "barf bag" or, more politically correct... a "nausea bag"... that is cleverly designed to look like a simple, stylish purse or handbag. It looks much better than those paper bags that they give you on airplanes!

It was invented by Jodi and Jim Carr, of As We Grow LLC and it was conceived when Jodi was getting sick from morning sickness (not from the cards they sell). Their patented solution to public nausea is a discreet durable bag with plastic disposable liners, an extra large opening and a zippered pocket for clean up supplies. Jodi comments, "I discovered it effectively reduces anxiety. I was relaxed, confident and mess free."

Here is an article about it and here is the website for the Red E bag.

As We Grow LLC owns the trademark and patent for the Red E Bag. They are certified as a woman-owned business through Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

So, what cards do they sell??? (And do they make you sick??)
As We Grow LLC sells copyrighted Robert Coval Note Cards and use the proceeds to contribute to American Cancer Society. Robert Coval was the photographer for the note cards and Jodi's father who had cancer.

Their nausea bag is available in black and pink and retails for $15.95 at and at select e-commerce and retail stores.

For more information, contact Jodi Carr, (239) 822-2956 or and be sure to tell her that we were just kidding about the cards making us sick!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

More on Journaling...How-to, History and more!

Here are a few books on the subject of Journaling.... (in case you want to read instead of write).

The Many Faces of Journaling : Topics & Techniques for Personal Journal Writing
by Linda C. Senn

This book starts out with some historical perspective on Journaling and then looks at different types of Journaling with all the reasons for each.

Notes from Myself: A Guide to Creative Journal Writing
by Anne Hazard Aldrich

This book is more about the mechanics of Journaling... what you need to do... and then has some background later.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In praise of Journaling...

One of my favorite bloggers, Scott Ginsberg, wrote an interesting post about Journaling... click here to check it out.

Scott gives 9 different examples of journals you could start. (Some of which could also be considered types of entries in your all-purpose journal)...

  1. Morning Writings
  2. WOM Journal
  3. Thanks Log
  4. HVA Journal
  5. Victory Log
  6. Learning Log
  7. 'No" Journal
  8. Dream Log
  9. Luck Journal
All of these ideas certainly have value... it just depends on you actually sitting down and journaling.

I have found that just sitting down in a quiet place and thinking on a regular basis helps me maintain my "balance" ... especially when circumstances beyond my control are wreaking havoc on my life. (I'm sure we've all been there!)

I also find that the act of writing things down helps me get a better perspective on the subject and, as Scott mentions in his post, it helps me deal with reality more effectively!

What have you written lately?

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I just got a email flyer (see below) from my good friends at CostCo and, while I'm guessing that this was not intentional (?), it appears that they are making a comment on the quality of or, at the very least, the long term viability of HP and AMD.

[The ad shown above (full size) as well as toward the bottom of the flyer excerpt.]

Or maybe this is just CostCo's version of KMart's old "Blue Light Special" where they are just trying to get rid of something really quick !

After clicking on the link that CostCo provided (click here) it appears that this was more likely the work of the geniuses (?) at AMD and DreamWorks Entertainment (makers of the movie, "Flushed Away"). It is not clear how HP got roped into it ... perhaps that is the product that CostCo sells with an AMD processor so they felt they had to "throw it in" so they would have something (besides the movie) to sell.

In any case, my thanks go out to Costco for sending out this entertaining (although un-intended?) joke !

I can hardly wait to see what you come up with for April 1st (April Fool's Day)!

Dave Wheeler

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Words of Praise for "Snail Mail" !

This article by Cathy Free of the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, UT tells a nice story about Miriam Footer and her affection for the handwritten note.

The best line in the article was ...
If people don't pass the tradition of letter-writing down to their children and grandchildren, she wonders, what will future generations have to show the uniqueness of their loved ones' lives? Photocopies and printouts of e-mails hold about as much appeal as old tax records. "Where is the romance?" Miriam asks.

The tactile sensation of a handwritten note... the anticipation of opening the envelope... all with the added benefit of a physical item that can be a cherished keepsake for the rest of your life!

Miriam Footer's stationery shop, The Write Image, is also online... check it out (click here).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Geek Dinner at Two Boots NYC !

BL Ochman organized a fabulous evening and, of course, our honored guest, Hugh MacLeod, for including us on his trip back to the city ! It was great to meet such interesting people and I hope there is another Geek Dinner / NYC very soon !

Others at the event (along with links to their websites) included...
Mitch Axelrod, Rick Bruner, Patrice Evans, Senia Maymin, Roger from melatonemusic, Alice Garik, Thomas Maloney, Marshall Sponder of,, and, Kelsey Kaufman, Josh Kaufman, and, of course, yours truly... Dave Wheeler.

It was a casual, but great evening (if that makes sense) ! I'm glad I went and, if the opportunity comes around again, I would highly encourage others to join in !

Dave Wheeler

Friday, March 09, 2007

"Geek Dinner" at Grand Central !!!!

One of the top bloggers in the world, Hugh McLeod, is coming to NYC ! And on Saturday, March 10th, there will be a "Geek Dinner" at a restaurant in Grand Central Station in New York City!

Where: Two Boots Pizza, in Grand Central Station (lower level).

When: 7.30pm.

It sounds like it will be an interesting time (and a chance to put some faces to the names we've seen online for many years). Click here to learn more or send an email to BL Ochman if you would like to attend!

Dave Wheeler
Toastmasters blog:

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cards for Cancer ...?

I came across this blog post and wondered if there should be a NoteWordy card for Cancer? It is an emotionally draining experience and a well chosen card could really boost the spirits of someone with the disease.

What if there was a card that was sort of like Lance Armstrong's book, "Its not about the bike"Lance "Its not about the bike" but in a notecard format? What should the art depict?

Of course, the profits would need to go towards cancer research.

It seems that HallMark is already going down this road (presumably without the charity donation) ... check out this web article.

What do you think? Leave us a comment !

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

An Interesting Artist / Note Card maker...

This post about "A bad case of Stripes" caught my eye and I followed it to the web site for

Check it out... lots of visually interesting cards and other products !

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Art Therapy for Kids turns into cards...

This just in from Texas....

The Galveston County Daily News:
“Our child life director, Janis Matthews, and her team do a great job of providing daily art therapy for the kids,” Huang said. “I and many of my colleagues strongly believe in it as an important part of the healing process. One day, it occurred to me that we should get the word out about our art therapy program by producing cards with the children’s designs on them that the public could buy.”

Art Stars note cards can be purchased at the UTMB gift shop on the first floor of John Sealy Hospital, the UTMB Bookstore on the first floor of the Moody Medical Library and Children’s Hospital. A set of eight cards featuring four designs costs $10. All proceeds benefit the patients and programs of Children’s Hospital.For information, call 409-772-1596.

If you talk to anyone associated with this program, please have them send us a picture of the cards !
We would love to feature the pictures on this blog !

The Little Author, Inc. Creates Heirloom Treasures That Will Steal Your Heart

The Little Author, Inc. Creates Heirloom Treasures That Will Steal Your Heart

This company, based in California, creates books, notecards and more from your child's art. Check out their website at

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hallmark is "reaching" for new card opportunities...

This post at BrandSizzle blog starts off talking about the challenge of e-cards to traditional (paper) cards and it ends up showing how far Hallmark is willing to go ....

What's next? A card for when you get a blister? Or one for a stubbed toe? I don't think they have taken into account the fact that 1) people do not have time to run out and get a card for every single event in their life and 2) by the time they got a card, the moment has passed.

I can imagine their response might be ... "Well, if people would just buy the cards ahead of time, they would be prepared."

At $2-4 per card (or more), I don't think they are going to be doubling their business with these cards... but hopefully someone will send me one of their "too bad you were wrong in your blog post" cards.

I will hold my breath.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What's the Web up to???

Would you like a visual rush that shows what is happening (and has already happened) on the web?

Check out this video !

Very cool !