Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

Every year for every major holiday, Blue Mountain unveils several brand new, exciting, never-before-seen eCards. Which means we naturally now have some wonderful new Easter eCards waiting just for you! In fact, there are three special Easter eCards in particular that we’d love to share with you…along with some thoughts from the artists who designed them.

The cards are truly fun, fresh, and beautiful—which is no wonder, considering all the work that goes into them, from concept and composition, to design and production. In fact, it takes nothing less than a small village of creatively talented people coming all together to produce each and every eCard just for you on BlueMountain.com

So without further ado, here are three of our newest Easter eCards —along with interesting comments from the very artists who designed or directed each of them! Happy Easter, everyone!

His Shining Love
Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

“As I thought of the people who would be sending and receiving this design, I asked myself, ‘What will inspire them? And what is the best way to visually help them to communicate their feelings?’

“This particular card has a religious tone that is meant to inspire, so using that and the beautiful sentiment of the verse to guide me, I really just tried to complement that feeling through the visual design.

“The imagery represents the beauty of God’s creations in the landscape and animals, while the glowing rays of sunlight help to emphasize this feeling of warmth, peace, beauty, and love. Trying to give the environment a sense of atmosphere, I also added a subtle fog effect and floating particles in the air.

“The brief appearance of a simple cross over the sun at the end (as suggested by Assistant Art Director, Alison Osborn) reminds the viewer of the purpose for the celebration of Easter: Jesus Christ has risen!”

David Sommers, Sr. Creative Developer
Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

Bunny Fun
Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

“We actually adapted this eCard from a very high-rated paper card. I worked with one of my editors and animators to adapt it for animation.

“We loved the idea of showing the bunnies slowly multiply until they were all smashed up against the screen with very surprised looks on their faces. We went with characters that had very large eyes so we could show their expressions at the end.

“This design, as simple as it is, went through many changes to get it just right. We originally had a ‘Hugh Hefner-like’ character with a smoking jacket pop up at the end with a pipe, but we decided to take it out.

“I hope our audience gets a good laugh and then shares it with others so they, too, can have the same fun experience!”

 – Tom Page, Art Director
Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

Easter Garden
Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

“Knowing how much our Blue Mountain friends love flowers and gardening, we wanted to make a special card that celebrated Easter and spring.

“We contacted a Russian artist known for her beautiful renderings, and asked her to create a special garden where the receiver could mouse over each flower to discover their meanings. I really hope everyone will love this card as much as I do!”

– Alison Osborn, Assistant Art Director
Our New Easter eCards (And the Artists Who Designed Them)

 

 

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Celebrating National Garden Month!

Celebrating National Garden Month!

“April showers bring May flowers…,” and oh, aren’t we all so glad that spring is finally here and the buds and blooms are finally waking up from their wintry naps!  So, how appropriate that April is also National Garden Month, where communities and organizations nationwide celebrate the goodness of gardening and all the healthy benefits that nurturing plants gives us.

Though we don’t claim to be gardening experts with green thumbs, we do have quite a few eCards that are blooming with beautiful floral designs that you might like to send and share with a friend for National Garden Month, as a springtime hello, or to celebrate an April birthday. Our “Blooming Wishes Interactive” eCard (pictured above) makes for a lovely springtime birthday treat that you can personalize with someone’s name. Your friend or loved one will be amazed as they interact with the gorgeous scene that comes to life before their eyes. As the grey skies of a soft April rain waft away, the birds begin singing, and nature’s palette of floral hues open up in all their glory to reveal a beautiful garden. But that’s not all–the garden magically reveals the meanings of the different flowers shown when the receiver hovers over each one.  Delight someone with it during this glorious month!

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International Children’s Book Day

International Childrens Book Day

It’s a fact: Reading is important to children. Very, very important! Statistics after statistics prove it. But facts aside, the real beauty is seeing the pure, unadulterated joy in a child’s face after having read a good book — or having been read to. Which is exactly why we at Blue Mountain are so thrilled to promote International Children’s Book Day, being celebrated on April 2 this year.

Created nearly 50 years ago as a means to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books, this holiday also pays tribute to all the great authors of those books. Included in this elite group are two of American Greetings’ very own in-house senior editors: Brian P. Cleary and Caroline Leech!

Besides writing for American Greetings and Blue Mountain (which happens to feature lots of really cute Kids eCards), Brian and Caroline are also the award-winning authors of numerous highly successful children’s books. We’d love for you to get to know them a little better. Let’s get started!

Brian P. Cleary
International Childrens Book Day
Brian is shown here (center, in bow tie) with a group of
enthusiastic readers at an elementary school in Germany.

What are the titles of your books? And what age group are they for?
I have more than 50. They are for kids ages 4-10. (Click here for all the titles.)

What are your books about? And do you have a favorite?
My books usually rhyme, and often teach something to the reader. My favorites are Rainbow Soup: Adventures in Poetry and Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book.

How long does it take for you to write a book? And what’s the process?
It totally depends on the book. For example, a picture book with 13 stanzas (sort of like paragraphs for poetry), might take only 2 hours a day for 6-7 days.  Rainbow Soup had almost 5,000 words, and so it took a couple hours a day for a whole summer. As for the process, I can get inspiration from anything from song lyrics to signs to conversations, and I always write notes that I might find useful next time I write. For me, the key is to capture that inspiration immediately.

What do you think makes for a really great story that resonates with kids?
My books usually don’t tell stories per se, but kids usually like stories that either have a central character who is a lot like them, or is a child who has more control of his or her life than the reader does. Harry Potter did a great job of that, and its themes of friendship and loyalty and bravery and overcoming challenge really captivated kids as well as adults.

Will you have a new book coming out anytime soon? If so, can you share a few details?
A book of concrete poems (these take on the shape of the subject of the poem) will be out by summer, published by Lerner Publishing Group. It’s called Ode to a Commode and Other Concrete Poems.

What’s the best part of being a children’s book author? The worst?
It’s great that your work can reach people all over the world. I’ve had books translated into Mandarin and sold in China; I’ve spent time with students and faculty in Germany; and I’ve gotten to visit more than 500 elementary schools in 40 states in the past two decades. In 1996, when a list of the top books of the year (as chosen by 10,000 school children) was published, I made the list alongside Shel Silverstein.  The worst part?  So far, there isn’t one.

Tell us a cute/zany/touching story about a child and one of your books.
One of the many cool things about being a children’s author is the fan mail. This one says: “Dear Brian P. Cleary, I love your books. My name is (child’s name). I go to Jackson Elementary in Morgan Hill, CA. I absolutely love your creativity. I visit your website when I’m done with my homework, or have nothing to do. Your books cheer me up when I’m sad. Your books make me laugh when I’m glad. My favorite book of yours is Hairy, Scary, Ordinary; What is an Adjective? I think your books are very clever. Do I think they’re boring? Never! Even though I’m only in 5th grade, I’m thinking about writing books. Do you have any advice for me? Your friend, (child’s name).”

When you were a kid, what was your most favorite story in the whole wide world, and why?
It wasn’t really a story book, it was called Your Own Joke Book, and it was packed with puns and riddles and song parodies and funny poems that I can still recite to this day.

 

Caroline Leech
International Childrens Book Day
Caroline holding her son when he was four. He’s now 21.

What was your inspiration for writing children’s books?
My wonderful son, David.  I’ve always written poetry, so when I was expecting, writing a poem about what I was feeling for my baby-to-be came naturally.

How did you get from poem to published book?
On a whim, I sent out 10 copies of it to the top publishers. I promptly received nine rejections. Then four months later, I got a phone call from Golden Books, wondering if it was still available. They wanted to turn it into a book. I nearly went into labor on the spot!

What was the book about?
Wonderful You is the story of a mama bear telling her cub all the fun and lovely things they were going to do together. My son is 21 now, and we still look back on it and smile because we did do all those things. (Except inviting a fox for tea, which seemed a little risky.)

You’ve written other books?
Yes, four Winnie-the-Pooh books, a couple of Mickey and Minnie Mouse stories, and some Kate Gleason books — 10 in all.

How did you find time to write while taking care of a young child?
I came up with a very low-tech solution. With Barney on the TV, I used to sit on the couch holding my son in one arm while writing on a clipboard with the other.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
Yes—manuscripts left in drawers never get published. Get your work out there. You may be very happily surprised. Fortune favors the bold!

 

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Forever Young…

Forever Young...

Whether you’re 35 or 105, the single most important thing to remember is that your chronological age is only a number, plain and simple. In fact, the widespread belief that there’s a peak or prime of life is, in our humble opinion, utterly archaic. Instead, embrace the idea that you can be full of vitality, passion, and adventure at any age!

All of us here at Blue Mountain fully believe this, which is why we were so thrilled to recently celebrate “As Young as You Feel Day.” This fun holiday made us realize that we should all focus on enjoying our lives to the fullest each and every day. And suddenly, our curiosity was piqued. “What specifically makes people feel young?”

So we asked our own Blue Mountain team, and here are some of their answers:

  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Buying a pair of funky-colored, high top sneakers
  • Putting temporary streaks of color in my hair
  • Dipping chocolate cookies into milk
  • Riding a Ferris Wheel
  • Joining the neighborhood kids for a game of hopscotch
  • Doing a cartwheel
  • Singing in the shower at the top of my lungs
  • Dancing the night away
  • Giggling (which can be easily achieved by sending one of our eCards to someone. Send one from our Talking Collection or our Funny Collection today!)

Our conclusion? Never stop enjoying yourself! In fact, treat each single day as the prime of your life. Keep active. Stay positive. And have fun. Lots of it. After all, no matter our age, we should all feel young at heart, shouldn’t we?

And now, dear reader, we’d love to know…“What makes you feel young?” Please leave your answer as a comment below. Don’t be shy now!

 

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What to Write…in an Easter card

What to Write...in an Easter card

The sun is starting to peek out a bit more these days and Spring is showing her beautiful colors more and more. With the entrance of Spring, also comes the celebration of Easter. Easter is such a special holiday because it can be celebrated in so many ways. It’s a time of renewal, and hope for the future, and also a time of joy and happiness for both young and old.

Whether you’re sending an Easter card in the mail, or an Easter eCard, adding a few of your own words, or even a special quote or saying is a great way to let those you love know you’re thinking about them. We have put together a quick list of some of our favorite words to add to any of the Easter greetings you plan on sending this year. As always, you can hop over to BlueMountain.com any time to read more  and find the perfect Easter ecards for this special season.

Easter Sayings:

  • Hop over here for Easter
  • You put the hip in my hop
  • You are some bunny special
  • A basketful of blessings
  • My Easter basket is filled with thoughts of you

 Easter Quotes:

  • Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in term of ideals. _ Charles M. Crowe
  • Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. _ S.D. Gordon
  • Let the resurrection joy life us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. _ Floyd W. Tomkins
  •  I lied on my Weight Watchers list. I put down that I had 3 eggs…but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs. _ Caroline Rhea 
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day (FREE downloadable recipe!)

Happy St. Patricks Day (FREE downloadable recipe!)

It’s the day to don green clothing, get ye’ eyes smilin’, and put a bit of a jig in your step!

It doesn’t matter if you’re Irish for the day or Irish all the way—Saint Patrick’s Day
is the day for song, lilting laughter, and spending time with family and friends.
For a wee bit o’ fun, we thought you might enjoy discovering how our Blue Mountain family likes to celebrate this festive day. From favorite foods to timeless traditions,
here’s how our “resident leprechauns” celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green!

“I’ll get together with a group of friends and cook some traditional St. Pat food               like corned beef and cabbage, or colcannon sometimes. The best part is we’ll make     black and tans and use the spoon to actually separate the 2 ingredients, preferably    Harp and Murphy’s.” –Tom Page; Art Director

I always spend St. Patrick’s Day with my family and friends.  All the men wear kilts,    we drink green beer, and we all go watch the parade.” –Jess Buse; Designer

I don’t make food, but I do eat it. The green I wear is the green frosting on my lips     from eating green cookies. I’ll listen to lots of Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, and I always like to see the parade.” –Matt Friske; Designer

“We always go to my brother-in-law’s house and then walk over to the Irish bars, enjoy some Guinness and some Irish music, and then walk back for a corned beef and cabbage dinner made in the crock pot. What I’ve loved about St. Pat’s in recent years is that the weather has been so nice. It’s like the first taste of spring; something to look forward to.” –Kristin Thorne; Manager

“Even though we’re Italian, we like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day each year in the same manner we would any special holiday: with food, of course! In honor of the Irish, we always make the same special annual dinner: corned beef, potatoes, and cabbage. And then for dessert, we have home-baked Irish soda bread that I think is the best I’ve tasted anywhere!” –Maria Isabella; Editor

“I’ll definitely play some Irish music, including Tommy Sands, and also The McNulty Family’s ‘O’Hara from Tara, McNamara from Mayo,’ which my father would play every St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll also be on the phone a good bit with calls to my family. Wherever we are, we always raise a pint to my father, who has been gone from us now much too long. (Just like the Irish to end with a twinkle and tear in ye’ eye!)”                                           –Liza McNamara; Sr. Editor

B’gosh ‘n Begorrah!  As the luck of the Irish would have it, Maria agreed to share her     Irish Soda Bread recipe with us!
Happy St. Patricks Day (FREE downloadable recipe!)

Warm up the oven and join us in baking this tasty treat for St. Paddy’s Day.  Either click the image above to download your very own recipe card or CLICK HERE!

Sláinte!

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Words Really Do Matter!

Words Really Do Matter!

When you want to convey your feelings precisely, words matter. When you want to express your thoughts clearly, words matter. And when you want to say exactly what’s in the deepest part of your heart, words really, truly, absolutely do matter…to you and to everyone you’re expressing them to.

Which is why we at Blue Mountain recently celebrated Words Matter Week. You see, our editors take a lot of time and painstaking care in crafting that singular perfect message that goes with each and every one of our eCards. As wordsmith experts, they know just how important it is to choose the right words…the right sentiments…and the right message— so you don’t have to (unless, of course, you want to).

For those special times when only you can say it best, we have Printable Cards and Stationery that you can personalize any way you’d like. Then again, if you’d still like a little help along the way, we invite you to read any of our what-to-write blog posts where we offer suggestions, special words, and messaging options for both holidays and those “just because” occasions. We are always here to add that personal touch and make our greetings your own. Happy writing!

 

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Irish Blessings

Irish Blessings

Whether you were born Irish or not, everyone turns a wee bit Irish
on St. Patrick’s Day.  This day of fun and frolic is perfect for sharing
heartfelt wishes with family and friends, and what better way
to get all those eyes smilin’, than by adding a fun or heartfelt
Irish blessing to your St. Patrick’s Day greeting.

We’ve collected some favorites that are perfect for adding to your
eCard wishes.  And some of us here at BlueMountain.com are going
to literally put these Irish words in the mouths of our St. Patrick’s Day Talking eCards
for a wonderfully-fun surprise for our friends and family —you should too!

Plus – discover the meaning behind some favorite Irish sayings here!

Classic Blessings:

  • May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your fields
    and until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

  • May you always have…
    Walls for the wind
    A roof for the rain
    Tea beside the fire,
    Laughter to cheer you
    T
    hose you love near you
    And all your heart
    might desire

Heartfelt Blessings:

  • May you always walk in sunshine.
    May you never want for more.
    May Irish angels rest their wings
    right beside your door.

 

  • May you have warm words on a cold evening,
    a full moon on a dark night,
    and the road downhill all the way to your door.

Cute Blessings:

  • May God grant you always…
    A sunbeam to warm you,
    A moonbeam to charm you,
    A sheltering angel,
    so nothing can harm you.

 

  • May you have all the happiness
    and luck that life can hold,
    And at the end of all your rainbows
    may you find a pot of gold.

Friendship Blessings:

  • A special Irish blessing
    From the heart of a friend—
    “May good fortune be yours,
    May your joys never end.”

 

  • May the hinges of our friendship
    never grow rusty.

 

 

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How Sweethearts Find Their Love Song [Infographic]

Did you ever wonder how couples find their song, or how many couples have had a song right from the very start? Did you ever stop to think about what the most popular love songs throughout history are, or what genre they come from? Scroll through our very special infographic, based on results from our Valentine’s Day survey, to find out some sweet tidbits about love songs, and even sweeter commentary from BlueMountain fans about their very own songs. And don’t forget, it’s the perfect time to pick out your Valentine’s Day eCards from BlueMountain.com

How Sweethearts Find Their Love Song [Infographic]

 

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How to Sign Your Valentine’s Day Greeting

 

How to Sign Your Valentines Day Greeting

Trying to select the absolute most perfect Valentine’s Day card for a loved one is only half the challenge. Once you’ve chosen just the right image and just the right message, then you’ve got to personalize it with just the right wording and closing salutation. If that seems a bit daunting, we can help!

For suggestions on how to write a really meaningful Valentine’s Day message, click here. And for 25 really sweet ideas of how to close out your message, consider these absolutely lovely options:

• Sealed with a kiss
• Your admirer
• Fondly
• Be mine
• Your sweetheart
• Hugs and kisses
• Yours always
• With all my love
• Affectionately
• Lovingly yours
• Forever and a day
• xoxo
• Luck, laughter, and love
• Truly yours
• Missing you
• Now and always
• Sweetly
• With all my heart
• Ever yours
• Adoringly
• Hopelessly in love
• Your #1 fan
• Devotedly
• Yours faithfully
• Always by your side

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