Archive for October, 2009

Autumn Holiday Card Tips

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

fhp_sagewreath_textlph_sagewreathJust as April showers bring May flowers, autumn leaves falling bring… snowflakes, holidays, and the fun of holiday cards.

I bet when you read the words fun and holiday cards, you let out a little bit of a sigh.

Admit it, it’s a project. It’s not easy to keep up on the list and addresses, let alone the card and don’t even mention the photo.

Come on, I know what happens when you get the family together for the (dreaded) holiday photo session.

It’s something like this… you say at breakfast, “Honey, the sun is shining, we should really get the kids out and try to get a photo for our holiday card.” Then he grunts, almost like you did a few sentences ago when I first brought it up. The kids come in the room and your husband says, “Mom wants to take the holiday photo card today.” Immediately the kids are on the floor, withering around like earthworms freshly pulled from the earth.spv_sagewreath

So, before I take this too far and you just click away from my blog entirely, let me tell you how we can help at Letters from Lilly.

First, I should tell you, I am NOT available for the family session that needs to happen to get the photo, but I can help with the card.

We have made some exciting changes with our card selection since last season.

As you may know, our folded photo cards come in horizontal and vertical. But, did you know that we now offer photo cards with the photo printed directly on the card?gf_sagewreath1 We have the flat photo card shown on the upper left of this post. It’s flat, white and it comes with all the designs we offer.

We also have the popular cards we have offered for years, which are also available on a white stock that has the photo printed right on the card.

A very unique way to send a photo of your family is to use our gatefold, shown to the right, with your photo affixed in the center of the card.

1. Order early- There are LOTS of options for you to select from this season. I know, it’s still October, but if you get it going now, you can get them ordered and stop the children from groaning, the husband from huffing, and yes, you from sighing. We all love getting them, order early so that you can actually enjoy the process of sending a note with them.

2. Keep it simple – Whatever you choose, you can upload your photo right on our site. We’ll print it and stick it on the card, we’ll print it right on the paper…whatever makes the process easier for you. See all the options by clicking here.

3. Check it off as completed – OK, if you’ve thrown in the towel on the photo, just choose our fold over note shown below with a nice holiday greeting and skip the photo for a year.

No, don’t really do that…everyone likes the photos. Even you do, admit it.


The Circle Project

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Two friends from high school and I planned a fall trip; just the three of us. We were leaving our kids behind with our husbands so we could laugh and remember the days of boarding school when we lived together as seventeen year olds. We couldn’t wait!

Jeanne called to tell me that she couldn’t go. In that second, I thought, what could possibly keep her from going on this trip?

 ”I’ll be getting chemotherapy. I have breast cancer.”

Jeanne was only 37.note_pinkribbon_text

37 means that you don’t get an annual mammogram yet. 37 means you have small kids still at home. 37 means you are healthy and shouldn’t even be thinking of these things.

But as we all know, things can change in a blink. Our trip changed as Jeanne’s life changed. Rather than meeting at the beach, the three of us met in New York City.

Together we went to Jeanne’s doctor and learned about her treatment. This breast cancer worry had spread from her… to her husband… to her little girls… to us… to more family… and to more friends and so on… the unknown, the sadness, and the fear encircled us all.

The next year continued with her getting her chemotherapy and radiation. She began gaining strength and is now a healthy 43 year old. She has a new vigor about her and a determination to use the experience as a positive one. She gathered her talents and created The Circle Project.

The idea behind The Circle Project is that there is a whole circle of people affected by breast cancer. The diagnosis doesn’t just change the patient, but also everyone close to the woman diagnosed.  A professional photographer, Jeanne took her talents and brought this concept to life.  She took emotionally moving portraits of those affected by the breast cancer patient’s diagnosis; babies, young children, husbands, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends and more. The expressions of disbelief, fear, shock, loneliness and grief Jeanne captures in these people’s eyes and facial expressions.

The Circle Project has been on display in the following cities: Portland, OR, Astoria, OR, Tillamook, OR, Austin, TX, Arlington, VA, Los Angeles, CA, San Antonio, TX, Palm Springs, CA, Troy, NY.

I asked Jeanne for three things that she would like me to share in this posting and here’s what she said;

1. If you find a breast lump, do not ignore it, no matter your age.


2. The only way to find a cure is to fund research.


3. Breast cancer does not discrimate but many women of color receive inferior healthcare and as a result have higher mortality rates than Causasians. We must have health care that covers all women regardless of color or income.


In an effort to do my part, we created a Pink Ribbon design at Letters from Lilly. The artist generously donated her time to paint it and all monies collected from sales, including our costs of the Pink Ribbon products, go to the Susan G. Koman Foundation by way of supporting Jeanne’s team in the annual Race for the Cure in Portland, Oregon. For more information about our community involvement at Letters from Lilly, see our website.

Jeanne and her project travel all over the county to promote awareness of breast cancer and the effects it has on all of us.  If you would like The Circle Project to be a part of your conference, program or event, please get more information at The Circle Project.

To make a direct donation, go to Susan G. Komen, or choose the Pink Ribbon design at Letters from Lilly. We send them every penny you send to us when you purchase any product with the Pink Ribbon design.

It’s all in a Name

Monday, October 5th, 2009


 According to the official authorities,

the top 10 boy names right now are as follows:


1. Jacob
2. Michael
3. Joshua
4. Matthew
5. Ethan
6. Andrew
7. Daniel
8. Anthony
9. Christopher
10. Joseph

Michael was the most popular boy name for years, now Jacob has taken the lead. So do you want to have your little cherub’s name on this list or do you avoid these names just because they are on the list? I guess it’s a matter of opinion.

Personally, I took the family name route. I chose the family name of Lillian because it was my maternal grandfather’s mother’s name. My husband’s great aunt was also named Lillian so it seemed like a good fit for our little girl. In 1997, I didn’t know any little girls named Lillian so I thought I was being quite unique in our selection.

Then it happened, slowly at first. I saw Lilly being ordered on birth announcements I was printing. I thought it was nice that someone had chosen the same name I had for my daughter. Then people started telling me about sisters and friends who had just had their own special Lilly. I specifically remember flipping through a catalogue and seeing a backpack with LILLY cleary printed across the back. Ugh. Now I seemed to be seeing Lilly all over the place.

Whatever name you choose, it could end up on “the list” in the next few years. If you are lucky enough to end up with a creative name, you can always order Letters from Lilly products and we’ll print whatever you choose.  So will companies who make cute little pencil cases with printed pencils, like the one below, printed with none other than JACOB.

pencils Shown above is our Blue Bow design on an announcement, printed with the name Nicholas… number 15 on the baby name list.