observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

creating for giving as hostess gifts

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou

It feels so good to create something you plan to give as a gift. In recent days I spent some time creating a bookmark and some new, higher end Thank You notes. These are all meant to give as gifts, except I do plan to hold back a few of the Thank You cards so I can give a few of these out myself. These were sent off to the printer I use down in the USA and is the same one I used when I had clients photos, cards, canvases, etc. produced. I see I should have put a thin border around the card for display purposes before posting it here so you could see the shape and size of the card but you get the idea anyway. 🙂

The bookmarks also have an image (different one) on the reverse and a little note from me. With these I’ll use them to slip inside a book when I buy gift books for people, and also to slip in along with hostess gifts for those who I know enjoy reading. I’ll also hang on to some to give to members of my book club (likely at Christmas). No doubt the bookmarks will disappear quickly.

The cards are done on a lovely textured watercolour paper so they’re easy to write on and feel good to touch. There is also a ‘ghosted’ image on the inside of the card and the back of the card also has that criss-cross pattern (that you see on the top portion of the front) on the back to give it a nice pro feel.

I have an idea for some more bookmarks that I’m going to order through Moo but I’ll wait until I actually create them to demonstrate what I have in mind. Hint: a map is my main inspiration. (If you’ve never tried Moo before, click on that link in the previous sentence to get a 10 percent discount on your first order — I love Moo products!).

The reason for ordering these custom items that I’ve made is primarily to give as hostess or thank you gifts. I like to keep a small stash of items on hand, particularly for those times when we receive a last minute invitation to someone’s home. I don’t believe in buying expensive gifts but I do feel it’s important that the gift demonstrates how much we appreciate all the time and effort (and money) the host / hostess have put into the dinner, BBQ, party, or whatever the reason for the get together. I also like to give items that I know they will appreciate and, as much as possible, to have a more personal touch. I think about whether they might appreciate something homemade, or perhaps something they’d love but may not buy for themselves, or I think about what their interests are and try to match something up with that in mind.

You know what some of the more interesting hostess gifts are that I have received? Here are ones I recall right off:  a humorous book of dog jokes and cartoons (we have dogs, yes and who doesn’t like their funny bone tickled once in a while?); homemade anything I always love receiving; home grown garlic (love that!); cook book; top drawer vodka (sure beats home made wine); a gift certificate; a bag of the guests favourite imported coffee beans; bar towel.  So those are some of the more memorable ones I’ve received. Since I’m on the topic again, I thought I’d share a few links at the end for anyone who wishes to gather more ideas or find out what others think of hostess gifts.

The books I created and ordered from Apple have arrived and they turned out fantastic! I’m so pleased with them.

I’ve started piano lessons again with a different teacher (first piano teacher and I weren’t a good match) and am really overwhelmed! I don’t even know the notes and I’m supposed to be playing tunes. Daily practice is SO difficult and frustrating. Somehow I have to learn how to do this; if I could figure out how to read the notes, I’d be doing okay.

I hope you enjoyed the images in my last photo essay — talk about a bright subject!

“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.” ~ Edith Sodergran


Should I Bring a Hostess Gift? (Emily Post says …)

Problem Solved: Hostess Gift Ideas

The Art of Giving the Perfect Hostess Gift

What are some of your favourite hostess gifts that you have received? Or, what are some of the ones you like to give when invited for dinner, BBQ, or a party?


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lisa - July 31, 2013 - 5:41 pm

Your card and bookmark is beautiful, Diane, and those who receive them will be very fortunate indeed.

Good for you with the piano lessons! You hang in there with it!
I absolutely love music, but reading music was right up there with drawing and painting for me. One of life’s great mysteries that I’m not sure I will ever figure out! 🙂

Gabrielek - August 1, 2013 - 5:21 am

I want to look into Moo. By the way, I have a sight reading app for iPad that works well for my students. It hears your piano and allows you to play a short line of music starting with only one note. It rewards you when you play the notes correctly and on the correct beat. The tempo is adjustable. It is pricey for an app, but it costs less that a book at a music store. It believe it is called Sightreading Plus. And costs about $6,95. I will check on the name again if you are interested.

sherri - August 1, 2013 - 7:54 am

very elegant, diane. much nicer than many i’ve seen anywhere.

Kelly @ JAX does design - August 1, 2013 - 11:49 am

If I lived closer, I’d invite you over for dinner every week 🙂 These are really lovely and thoughtful thank-yous – I’m sure your friends appreciate the time and thought you put into them very much 🙂

Carola Bartz - August 6, 2013 - 4:11 pm

I like your card and bookmark. Moo is my provider for my business cards and mini cards, but I had never had bookmarks from them. I didn’t even know they offer those – and I couldn’t find them on their website either. How do you do them?

Melissa - October 6, 2013 - 7:31 am

Gabrielek, The app is called SightReadPlus! It’s perfect for adults who are guiding themselves.

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