Right at home as the center of attention, those born during the month of July have a noticeable “stage presence.” Not only are they comfortable being in the spotlight, but they can help others feel at ease, too. As much as they may crave attention, they’re also intensely private, so picture them at a masquerade ball where they’d dazzle others with their costume while hiding behind their party mask.
If born a Cancer, you’re an emotional creature of habit whose moods can shift, but with a predictability and consistency. A deep, sensitive soul who adores the comforts of home, you value not only your privacy, but recognize others’ need for privacy as well. A nurturing spirit and defender of the family, you seek peace and tranquility in a domestic setting, but at the same time, go to bat in a heartbeat for those you care about. Memories are of the utmost importance to you, so you enjoy hobbies like scrap-booking and anything else that preserves those precious moments.
What can we say, Leo? You lead, take center stage, and are the king of your castle! Generous and open-hearted, you love and are affectionate with those you care about. Taking great pride in whatever you do, you operate with a certainty that others can envy, but being as generous as you are, you willing helps others achieve their dreams. For if others admire your creations and try to mimic them, you can’t help but smile with pride and feel flattered.
July’s birth flower, the Larkspur, get its scientific name, delphinium, from the Greek word, delphis, meaning “dolphin,” although its use in birthday celebrations dates back to the Roman Empire. Its more colloquial meaning is that of an open heart and great passion. The spur part of the flower is shaped like the hind toe of the lark, hence its more common name. Used medicinally in ancient times to heal wounds, its nectar is popular among butterflies and bumblebees. Nowadays, it is used decoratively in bouquets and other flower arrangements, for it stands out due to its considerable height.
Your birthstone, the ruby, comes from the Latin, rubens, meaning “red.” Originally mined in the country of Burma in 2500 B.C., it has a history of being used by shaman for its healing and protective qualities, especially when worn next to an affected area. It’s also considered helpful in boosting energy and bringing about much prosperity. This precious red gemstone can also be made into jewelry, and has been a favorite among the rich and famous, most notably Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Celebrate your birthday this month with these notable names:
P.T. Barnum, Sandra Bullock, George W. Bush, Princess Diana, Harrison Ford,
John Glenn, Tom Hanks, Dean Koontz, Ann Landers, Nelson Mandela, Beatrix Potter,
Ringo Starr, Henry David Thoreau, Kristi Yamaguchi,
Independence Day 7/4
Ramadan (begins evening of 7/8)
Bastille Day 7/14
National Hammock Day 7/22
National Hot Dog Day 7/23
To see a large selection of birthday ecards that range from funny to sweet, just visit bluemountain.com. We’ve got cards for everyone on your list, including talking cards that are perfect for those in the birthday spotlight this month!
Canada Day, once called Dominion Day, is celebrated with the same intent and fervor as Independence Day in the USA. Canada Day marks the event in 1867 when Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada began the process of becoming an independent and united nation. It wasn’t until 1982, however, that it became fully independent from the United Kingdom. Though Canada Day has only been celebrated since the ’50s with fireworks and barbeques, it’s now a notable day for relaxing and appreciating family and freedom.
Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario, and many other cities and provinces host holiday activities with games, cookouts, parades, carnivals, concerts, and air and maritime shows. There are countless events and festivals to be found throughout each city’s streets, parks, and museums. Fireworks are launched everywhere from Nova Scotia to Vancouver to conclude a day of patriotic festivities.
So how can you celebrate your neighbors to the North or honor Canada Day at home? Try decorating with some maple leaves and add splashes of red and white everywhere.
Another way to have fun is to create some crafts. You can make delightful Canada Day Birds of red and white paper or a simple red and white pinwheel to play in the breeze at the local parade. Today, craftsmen and hobbyists find lots of ways to celebrate the rich heritage of beautiful Canada.
You can find links for some great recipes and craft ideas for Canada Day below.
It’s always fun to join in a celebration, so come on and honor your Canadian friends and neighbors by recognizing one of their greatest days in history. It all happens on July 1!http://www.canadianliving.com/food/canada_day_picnic_sandwich.php http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/canada_day_cake.php http://www.canadianliving.com/food/beaver_cupcakes.php http://www.rightathome.com/Food/Recipes/Pages/EggsinMapleHamCups.aspx http://pinterest.com/twintrospective/canada-day/
This month, we’re more than happy to introduce you to Tom Page, a very creative designer in his own right and an art director who’s an inspiration to his staff of talented designers and animators here at bluemountain.com.
Hi Tom, when did you first realize you had design abilities or know that you wanted to be an artist?
I think I have been drawing pictures for as long as I can remember and it has really been the only thing that I have really ever wanted to do. My mom and dad are very artistic so at a young age they were very supportive.
What is your current position at bluemountain.com and can you tell us a little about your background as a designer?
I am an Art Director with Blue Mountain and have been in the greeting card business for almost 19 years. I started out as an illustrator and over the years worked my way to Art Director.
Could you tell us a little more about your work?
As an Art Director I’m lucky to work with a very talented staff of designers and animators developing concepts and stories that can be turned into digital greetings which people can share with each other for any occasion. So, it’s really not “my” work but more of a collaborative effort with the team. We are all working toward a common goal and push each other to create amazing that we believe our customers will love.
Which is your favorite ecard you’ve created and what makes it special to you?
Wow, this is a tough decision because I have worked on A LOT of cards, a few of which are featured here. I have another favorite I worked on that was a Claymation piece we did for Christmas about 5 years ago. We wanted to create a piece that reminded us of all the Rankin–Bass television shows that we were fans of as kids. This was such a group effort. It was also something that we had never done before, at least a clay piece of this scale. I enjoyed every part of it from planning to the finished piece. Everyone that worked on it did an amazing job. I really grew as a storyteller and leader from that experience.
Who is the artist that has most influenced you? How do you use that influence in your work?
It’s so hard to pin-point just one person but if I had to pick one I love the emotion you feel from an Otto Dix piece, especially the series from the First World War. I try to put some of that emotion in my personal work. At my current job, I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many talented people. I have really pulled so much from many of them.
What types of things do you do to keep yourself motivated?
The way people communicate is rapidly changing which of course is so important to our business. Following that and how it effects what I do is very motivating and exciting at the same time.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d like to teach someday. I have learned so much here I would like to think I can help some students out there be better professionals.
What advice would you give an aspiring artist who’s interested in the same career field you’re in?
This is one of the reasons why I’d like to teach. Be willing to take on any task then over deliver on it. Build as many positive relationships as you can. Don’t be late with your work, that kills careers. Learn how to take and give feedback. As a creative person feedback is a part of everyday life, if you don’t take it well then this isn’t the career for you. Also learn how to communicate well and speak in front of people. Communicating your vision is important and being able to do it well will give you more opportunities to move up in an organization.
On a final note, Tom, what are some things you like to do when you’re away from work?
I do art when I can but when you’re doing that in some capacity all day it can be challenging to continue at home. So I enjoy playing golf, watching movies, hitting the gym and most of all just being Dad. I’m lucky to have a very supportive family. I have been married to my wife Tina for 20 years this June and have two great kids Dylan and Claudia.
Thanks, Tom, for sharing your background, interests and creative passion with us!
Today Is Forgiveness Day
We’ve all been there. Life is good. Our relationships with our family, our friends, our co-workers, seem to be going along fine. And then, out of the blue, it happens. Something comes up. We have a “not-our-best” moment. And now we’ve got…well…a situation.
Let’s face it…in spite of our best intentions, sometimes we human beings hurt each other. Whether it’s through misunderstanding, an oversight, being insensitive, or a moment of frustration or anger, we don’t always see eye to eye. We say things. We do things. We hurt each other. And often, we carry that hurt around far too long.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that nothing good comes from holding on to our hurt or withholding forgiveness. Aside from being the right and mature thing to do, it’s a proven fact that it’s just better for us—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—to mend fences. Because we all need each other more than we need to “win” or take a chance on losing the very people we love the most.
To say those 3 little words, whether they’re “I’m really sorry” or “I forgive you,”and mean them, is to open the door to a fresh start. And it’s a gift—to ourselves, and to everyone around us.
The First Steps…
Even when we or someone else is sorry, it’s not always easy to know the best way to make things better. But here are some suggestions that may help:
Let Us Help You Find the Words…
Here at bluemountain.com, you and your relationships are important to us. We love helping people say the things that are deepest in their hearts—especially when finding the right words can be difficult. So here are some perfect ways to say “I’m sorry” that we hope will help you reconnect with someone special today.
Adding Your Personal Touch…
I know saying sorry can’t change what’s happened, but…
Sorry isn’t just a word…sometimes it’s a hope for a new beginning.
How can I make things better?
Didn’t mean to let you down.
I miss the good times with you…
I never meant to hurt you, but I know I did.
I realize I’ve hurt you and I’m so sorry.
So I really messed up, didn’t I?
Wanting things to be right between us again.
I value your friendship so very much.
I want to say I’m sorry, I’m just not sure how.
I’m not proud of the way I’ve acted.
I’m really sorry and I hope that you’ll forgive me.
So sorry for __________ (be specific).
I’m struggling to find the right words, but I want you to know…
If I could take it all back, I would.
Our (friendship, relationship) is more important to me than anything.
Sometimes I lose sight of what’s most important…
You’re one of the most important people in my life
You’re really special to me, probably more than you know right now.
On a Lighter Note:
Me and my big mouth…
I don’t know what I was thinking…big shocker, huh?
Sorry. I pretty much suck.
You’re kind, smart and wonderful…not to mention forgiving?
Sorry…I’ll definitely keep trying harder.
We all make mistakes…guess I just make more than my share of them.
So exactly how mad are you right now?
I had a very good reason for doing what I did…I was being stupid and inconsiderate!
Perhaps no one ever promised you a rose garden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own. Or you may already be a rose-growing enthusiast. Either way, June is rose month—a time to enjoy and celebrate these natural beauties in your yard.
Roses are the romantic darlings of any garden and exude their love on all who pass by. There may be a few fussy varieties, but whether you do some container gardening or create magical borders, you can make sure
roses will bloom for you. One place to look for amazing rose planting ideas is on www.houzz.com/rose-garden. The site is loaded with pictures that give guidance for placing roses anywhere you might like and tips for creating borders and quiet spaces for two in the midst of your fragrant blooms.
Varieties of roses are nearly
endless, along with colors and potential opportunities to design a garden that suits your taste perfectly. Whether you let them climb the walls, protect the walkways, or flourish around backyard fountains, you can let your heart out to play.
Here are a few tips for your rose garden:
It’s June, the month when eternal optimists see beautiful roses all aroundand never even glimpse the thorns. As Richard Sheridan said, “Won’t you come into the garden?
I would like my roses to see you.”
Break out the lemonade because summer is here! The summer solstice marks the moment when the sun is directly overhead at its most northern point. When it reaches “high-noon,” it creates more sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere than at any other time of the year. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and just a few days shy of the year’s half-way point on July 1.
As you breathe in the fragrant summer air and lavish the sunshine, it may be a good time to think back on what summer meant to you as a kid. A walk down memory lane may just spark some moments you can create again. Did you love going on picnics in the park or canoeing down a river and enjoying the beautiful landscape? Did you love hiking wooded trails and camping? Maybe you simply loved your mom’s potato salad and music from bands like The Beach Boys. Think back and drink it all in.
Then look at today and think of ways to start enjoying this summer. Set aside some time just for you to escape your to-do list and create some summer fun. Now is the time to catch some fireflies, grill some burgers or head out on your bike. Go to an amusement park and ride the roller coaster, or take your sweetheart to the drive-in. Summertime is playtime and you have every right to play. Think sandcastles, hammocks gently swaying in the breeze, and starry, starry nights. You might even want to wish on a star or two.
Give yourself a mini-vacation, even if it’s just a day trip. Catch the farmer’s markets that contain an array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Visit the local arboretum or the butterfly farm. Use your imagination and dream a little dream because the best parts of life are filled with summer dreams.
Celebrate the solstice, catch a few sunbeams, and give yourself permission to slip away and enjoy it all. Swap barbecue recipes with your neighbor and carve a smile in the watermelon. It’s time for you to simply relax and enjoy yourself! Don’t forget to send some cheerful “thinking of you” notes to your friends as well. Maybe you can get them to go along for the ride when you go out to play!
For more information on the summer solstice, please click on the following links:http://www.bluemountain.com/blog/2011/06/celebrate-the-summer-solstice/ http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/summersolstice.htm