Introducing: Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle paper co.

When I recently went into town to buy a birthday card for a friend I have to say I was shocked (SHOCKED!) by the price of a single card. After spending some time browsing I eventually found a nice card for $5.99, but that was after I had put back quite a few in the $7-9 range. Considering the time it had taken me, plus parking costs, the whole exercise was pretty expensive for just one card. And worse still, the next birthday that rolls around I’ll have to do it all over again!

That’s one of the reasons why we’re so pleased to be able to stock these boxed assorted card sets from the Rifle Paper Co. At $35.99 for a set of 8 they are great value as well as gorgeous, and having a box of these on hand will mean that you’re never at a loss for a top quality card to send.

Botanical card set from Rifle Paper Co.

Botanical Cards – Boxed Set of 8

Rifle Paper Co. is a boutique stationery brand and design studio based in Winter Park, Florida. Created by Anna Bond and her husband Nathan, the company’s products feature Anna’s whimsical designs in a lovely nostalgic and timeless style.

Dog Boxed Set of Cards from Rifle Paper Co.

Assorted Dog Cards – Boxed Set

Rifle Paper Co. takes great care in choosing all of their stock and printing methods so that their designs come to life in an elegant, beautiful and durable way.  All the cards are printed in the U.S. using environmentally friendly printing methods and papers, and are then assembled by hand. Apart from the vibrant pretty colours and cheerful compositions, it’s the quality of these products that makes them so special to both give and receive.

French cards Boxed Set from Rifle Paper Co

Assorted French Card Set

Wouldn’t you just love to open the mail and find one of these… from a friend saying hello, or maybe wishing you bon voyage, or congratulating you on another year passing by?  That’s why these types of products make such great gifts.. you get to give something beautiful and original, the recipient gets to receive something beautiful and original, and then they get to send someone else something beautiful and original. It’s a lovely win-win-win all round!

Folk Art Card Set Rifle Paper Co

Folk Art – Boxed Set of 8 Assorted Cards

For a further look at the card sets we have in stock you can visit our website here, or to find out more about Rifle Paper Co. itself you could visit their blog here.

And finally, we wanted to show you these fantastic “Twas the Night Before Xmas” postcard sets. At $29.95 for a set of 10, these postcards will absolutely charm the socks off your friends or family, and make a great change from all those other run-of-the-mill Christmas cards.

Christmas Postcards - Rifle Paper Co

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” Postcard Set

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Father’s Day Gift Idea: A Journal (+ some tips & prompts)

Fathers Day Gifts

Jim interrupts his journal writing for a little boxing

Father’s Day is coming up in 5 weeks or so, so we’ve been busy trying to think up some new gift box/gift basket ideas to help celebrate the day. This will be our first Father’s Day in business – and we’re not really sure how things will go or what will prove to be popular. But one idea we have been thinking about is giving Dad (or husband, partner or grandfather) the gift of a journal.

Now I guess most NZ men in our culture do not spend a lot of time introspecting and examining their life through journal writing (or not any of the ones I know anyway!). So you might be thinking … “hang on, my Dad would hate that.”  But there is one really good reason why it’s worth encouraging any man to record things about his life – and that is because in the future his family, especially his children and grandchildren, will be really interested in reading it!

One particular reason why a lot of people dismiss the idea of journal writing is that they don’t feel the need to do it for themselves – and they can’t imagine anybody else ever wanting to read about them. But in terms of real people and real families there’s no need for your dad or partner to be a Bear Grylls – in fact often the most interesting stuff to read about can be the little, seemingly mundane, details of their day to day lives. For instance wouldn’t you love to know stuff about your grandfather, like…

  • what schools he attended
  • whether he had any nicknames at school or home
  • who his best mates and first girlfriends were
  • what subjects did he like or hate
  • what sports he played and how well he did at them
  • what family meal was his favourite, or what did he spend all his pocket money on
  • etc. etc…

It’s interesting because it’s personal and it’s YOUR family history being written.

So that's where he developed his wicked backyard batting technique!

But even with encouragement,a lack of time and inspiration are still barriers to many people who would otherwise keep a journal. So here are a few quick prompts and tips that you could give him to help keep the inspiration level high and the time requirement low:

General Journal Prompts

Answering questions like the following can be a good prompt for journal writing…

About your work:

  • How do you get to work each morning?
  • What tasks take up most of your day?
  • What do you do at morning tea or lunchtime?
  • What are the best and worst things about your job

About your interests, hobbies, sports:

  • The results of your games, competitions,  etc – who did you play, where, and what
  • Top 5 things you enjoy doing at the moment
  • Top 5 things you want to try in the future
  • What is your best ever competitive moment – or best performance

About your family/home life:

  • What did you do with your family last weekend?
  • Favourite family holiday – where, when and who was there
  • How and where do you family eat their evening meal – and what is your favourite family dinner menu
  • Funniest family moment

About your childhood:

  • Any nicknames you had, or funny nicknames you made for others
  • Schools you attended in chronological order
  • Best mates and girlfriends
  • Subjects you liked, disliked
  • Names and short descriptions of teachers you paticularly remember
Journal tips & prompts
After a little encouragement Paul took to journaling like a seasoned pro

Keeping a Journal of Lists

Lists are also a good way to journal, stuff like…

  • Things that always make you laugh out loud
  • Things you should change about yourself but have decided not to
  • Places you’d like to visit
  • Things you can cook (well?)
  • Jobs you’ve had –  in chronological order
  • Top 10 things that annoy you
  • Things you hate to spend money on
  • Things you like now but didn’t used to
  • Things that you really shouldn’t have done
  • 10 things you couldn’t live without

One line a day journaling

One line a day journaling is an excellent way to build up an interesting record of your life. Just one sentence every day, every other day or even every week. Lots of commitment required… but little effort really for a great result.

Journal Tips & prompts

It was a hard sell getting Dave off the beach and into journal keeping!

So, what do you think? Could you use this Father’s Day to convince a man in your life to start some form of journal? Or is this one of those ideas that’s more wishful thinking then realistic? We’d love to know your opinion or comments…

Thank You Note Samples & Examples

Continuing our series on all the do’s and don’ts of writing thank you notes, today’s post is all about practical examples of wording that would do well for a thank you note in most situations.

The 6 steps below show the general format you should follow for a thank you note:

1. Salutation

  • for formal letters (say for the Boss, or older family friend)

 Dear [name of person]

  • for informal (friends, younger co-workers etc.)

Hi [name of person]!

2. Opening line of thanks, making specific mention of the gift

Thank you for the [description of gift] [name of gift] or event or favour

Example: Thank you so much for the lovely yellow towels you sent us.

3. More than one sentence about the item (or event or favour) including a positive comment on what you are thanking them for.

– using more than one sentence (or breaking one sentence into 2 parts) makes this part of the thank you note feel more sincere

It is always so nice to have new fluffy towels to use in the bathroom. And the beautiful colour you have chosen is so fresh and spring-like it will cheer me up every morning just to see them.

4. Another sentence telling the giver you appreciate the thought or time they put into it (a postive comment on the giver), and mentioning the occasion it was given for

It was really thoughtful of you to send us a gift for our new home, and we look forward to showing you around the next time you are able to visit.

5. A second thanks

Thank you again,

6. Sign Off

  • formal – Yours sincerely, Kind regards, Warm regards
  • informal – Love

+ your name – signed (if your signature is readable) otherwise hand written.

So, the full note would read like this:

Dear Aunty Margaret

Thank you so much for the lovely yellow towels you sent us.

It is always so nice to have new fluffy towels to use in the bathroom. And the beautiful colour you chose is so fresh and spring-like it cheers me up every morning just to see them.

It was really thoughtful of you to send us a gift for our new home, and we look forward to showing you around the next time you are able to visit.

Thank you again,

Love from, Jessica & Pete

There, that’s not so hard is it! And following this easy example should work well for most occasions.

However, it you would like to add a bit more oomph & personality to your notes, here are some other great examples from http://www.thank-you-note-samples.com

Dear Stacy,

How in the world did you know I liked chocolate? Ok I guess it’s not a big secret, but you managed to get me my absolute favorite kind, and wrapped in a bow so pretty I hated to untie it (but I did). I’m trying to pace myself but it’s going quickly!

Thank you for thinking of me! You could not have picked out anything more perfect!

Much love,

Dear Bill,

The flowers are gorgeous! I’ve never gotten flowers at the office before and it was quite a treat! I felt like a queen. Thank you so much for sending them, and for choosing such a beautiful bouquet. You really made my day!

Love,

Dear Friends,

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the gift basket you sent to the hospital. It was such a nice surprise, and how did you know all my favorite treats? You are so thoughtful to have sent it; it really lifted my spirits. Thank you all very much!

Sincerely,

Dear Mindy,

Oh my gosh, just when I thought baby clothes couldn’t get any cuter, you find these adorable little overalls! And as if they weren’t sweet enough, the matching hat and socks put them over the top. I cannot wait to put them on the little one. Thank you so much!

It was such fun to have you at the shower. Thanks for making the drive over!

And of course, if you’re Marilyn Monroe, you can show loads of personality in 3 short sentences:

Thank you note - Marilyn Monroe

And, if none of this advice works for you, there’s always the Molesworth self-adjusting letter system to try:

thank you letter - Moleworth self-adjusting

Photos 1 & 2 via Pinterest

How to Write the Perfect Thank You Note

You must have heard the news story last Friday about the “insane email from the world’s worst mother-in-law”  that was doing the rounds on the internet.

Well, in the email, one of the many complaints made to future daughter-in-law Heidi by her future mum-in-law (that’s her in the picture) was that,

You should have hand-written a card to me. You have never written to thank me when you have stayed”

Poor Heidi – if only she’d been following our series of posts on all the in’s and out’s, do’s and don’ts of thank you letters, cards & notes!!

Anyway, for the benefit of all of you who may have to deal with snooty mothers-in-law or others like them in the future, we will now continue on with our thank-you note series. Today…

HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT THANK YOU NOTE

The first important thing to note is that your “thank you” should be TIMELY

Thank you notes, or cards, should be written and sent as quickly as possible. The recommendation is that you write them immediately because, as we all know, it is all too easy to put tasks like this off and before you know it so much time has passed that you tell yourself there’s no point sending it now. So, tip #1 is to do it straight away.

However, not all of us are that well organised, and if you have been slack it’s good to know that it is still better manners to send a note late, than not at all. Perhaps you could apologise in the note for your tardiness, but don’t try making excuses. As primly noted by Miss Manners in her online etiquette column “the declaration of being busy just irritates those who took the time to be kind”.

The second point is that written thank you notes and cards should be SPECIFIC

The best thank you notes always make specific reference to the gift you’ve been given, or the experience or help you are thankful for. Think about how you felt at the time, and how you feel when you think about it now. Kelly Browne, author of “101 Ways to Say Thank You: Notes of Gratitude for all Occasions” also advises to use adjectives in your writing as they help convey emotion. For example, instead of just writing:

Thanks for the glasses.

Try adding a bit more detail like:

Thank you for the sparkling crystal glasses!”

It adds a lot more oomph and personality to the note.

And speaking of personality, this is the third golden rule of thank you cards, to be PERSONAL and SINCERE

Address the person(s) you are thanking directly, don’t use pre-printed thank you letters, don’t be half-hearted and don’t lie.

In all cases a thank you note should stress the generosity of the giver, remembering that it is the thought that counts. But even when that thought just doesn’t seem right, you should still be gracious in your appreciation and be really careful not to hurt someone’s feelings. Be wary of using phrases like “The ornament is so unique” or “Your taste in clothing is so original” – people can usually pick these for what they are, and will justifiably question the sincerity of your appreciation.

The final thing you might want to consider is the STATIONERY you will use for the thank you letter, card or note.

It is generally accepted that there is no need for the stationery to be too formal – but on the other hand it shouldn’t be too messy either (as Miss Manners also notes, you don’t want your thank you letter to look like a ransom note!)

It is very easy to pick up sets of thank you cards or blank notecards, and notecards are a great size because you don’t have to fill a whole page, but there is enough room to craft a lovely 3 or 4 lines – which is probably a good length to aim for.

In practical terms, the Emily Post Institute (emilypost.com) advises that a thank you note for a gift should contain:

  • an opening line of thanks and specific mention of the gift
  • 3-5 sentences (use the tips above for ideas)
  • another thanks
  • sign off

Next week we will post a few sample thank you letters or notes to use in different situations so that we can see examples of this advice in practice…

references:

http://lifestyle.msn.com/relationships/article.aspx?cp-documentid=8318975

http://jezebel.com/5796639/how-to-say-thank-you-when-you-really-really-mean-it

http://www.emilypost.com/

Thank You Letter, Thank You Notes, Thank You Cards… & When You Need to Send Them

Probably one of the first things to know about the “proper” way of sending thank you letters, notes or cards is knowing when you need to send them.

So, although it is apparently never wrong to send a written thank you letter or note, there are some occasions when it is compulsory:

  • For engagement and wedding gifts
  • For sympathy or bereavement cards, gifts, flowers & assistance
  • For hostesses
  • For bridal/baby shower gifts
  • After being entertained by your boss
  • For hospitality
  • For congratulatory letters or gifts
  • For gifts of particular value

Engagement and Wedding Gifts

Thank you notes or cards should be sent out within 3 months of the engagement or wedding day. For wedding gifts in particular, a written thank you should be sent to everybody, including close friends and family.

Sympathy/bereavement letters, flowers, gifts, cards and assistance

Even though it will be a difficult time, and the niceties of etiquette may not be high up the priority list, it is still important that the thoughtfulness, care and acts of kindness people have shown during a bereavement period is acknowledged. If it is too difficult for the closest family members to carry out the job of writing the thank you notes, it may be delegated to others (although  often the actual act of reading through sympathy cards and recalling other peoples kindness and how much they care can be positive & healing experience).

Hostess duties

Anybody who has hosted, or helped host, an occasion for you (such as a baby shower) should be sent a written thank you letter and perhaps even a thank you gift.

Bridal shower and baby shower gifts

It is a good idea to send written thank you’s for these gifts as soon as possible. They will be the easiest things in the world to put off once you become busy with a newborn baby or are involved in the last minute wedding preparation fuss.

Being entertained by your boss

For obvious reasons it is important to show your boss that you understand essential good etiquette and have good manners, so send a written thank you note after being entertained by your boss or other work superiors.

Hospitality

Thank you notes should be sent after staying overnight at someone’s home (unless they are a a close friend or family member).

Congratulation gifts or notes

Written thank you notes are appropriate after receiving graduation gifts, or cards congratulating you on a new job etc.

Valuable or expensive gifts

It is important to send written thank you notes after receiving gifts of particular value, even if these have been received, opened and appreciated in person.

In the following instances, written thank you’s would be thought nice, but not compulsory:

  • When you have been a guest at a dinner party
  • After a job interview
  • For birthday or Christmas gifts received and opened in person
  • For personal favours (such a meals cooked or children picked up from kindy – in these cases a reciprocal helpful act of favour can be more appropriate)

Well that’s good then…  we’re all clear on when to send thank you letters, thank you notes and thank you cards, now we just need to know how to write them! Stay tuned for another fascinating post for tips on this:)

Thank You Letters, Notes and Cards – Your Essential Guide

Thank You Cards

Rifle Paper Co. French Boxed Set Of Cards

Although fashions and trends may come and go there is always one thing that will not go out of style and that is good manners.

But do we all know what good manners requires in different situations?

I absolutely do not claim to be an expert, but I have tried to research some of the social conventions that involve gift giving situations. And up first, here are some of the in’s and out’s, and do’s and dont’s I have discovered about Thank You Letters

The proper way to display good manners and courtesy after being the recipient of a gift, an act of generosity or a little kindness is to write a thank you letter, note or card.

Nothing else shows your appreciation and gratitude with as much sincerity, warmth or charm. It is also very courteous to let a gift giver know that their present was received safely

This series of posts will provide a short, but essential,  guide to thank you letters, thank you notes & thank you cards.

With this information at your fingertips you will be able to glide through this particular social minefield with your head held high!

Part One : When do I need to send a written thank you?

Part two: How do I craft the perfect thank you letter?

Part three: Thank you letter samples + samples for thank you notes and cards