Friday, February 7, 2014

making thank-you notes

Do you write thank-you notes? I have a few people in my life who are absolutely wonderful thank-you note writers: prompt, thorough and specific, very thoughtful.  I remember the first time, as an adult, that I received a thank-you note for dinner from a peer - another just-barely-adult - and I was flabbergasted that they were so thoughtful in the midst of our self-centered twenties.  It obviously made an impression on me, and though I have not always been the best or most prompt of thank-you-note writers, I always think that if I just had a stack of cards already made, it would be easier to send them out the door.  

Ah, maybe that's the problem - I feel like an important part of it for me is that I get to make them.  Hmm. 

So when we returned from Christmas visiting this year, we set aside an afternoon to make cards.  

Ani's wearing her new "hat" - a casserole warmer
that used to be my gramma's.

We decided to make prints out of foam sheets and carved rubber blocks.  The foam sheets are so easy for Ani to use and make such a satisfying print; I would highly recommend this as a first forray into block-printing. However, she is also capable of doing the carving, especially when we use the rubber blocks instead of the harder linoleum.

the fuzzy mess of it

I don't get the tools out often enough, and I encouraged the girls to try the different tips and see what kind of cuts they made before jumping into it, but you know how that goes - they wanted to Get To It! It worked out just fine.

Ani carving a Totoro, who looks a lot like an owl...
Eliza's beautiful leaf
One of Ani's owls

Ani's foam owl

We talked about our trip and the time we spent with each member of the family. We talked about some of our favorite gifts, and pretty much every time it was a memory of what we did that trumped the present.  Lunch with Papa Marzo, sledding with the cousins, the sleepover with Mormor and Lucy.  The girls decided to make a list of people to send thank-you's to (So sorry if you weren't on the list!! This wasn't a "mandatory activity" and I'm certain people slipped through the cracks!) and got started. Now, Emily Post would have a lot to say about our certain brand of thank-you's, because they aren't very specific (it was actually hard for the girls to always remember the who that went with the what, there was so much gift-opening in large groups of people, but we usually remembered something), and ended up mostly being love notes, but to my thinking, getting a note in the mail that says I am so glad we had that time together is the most important part of it anyway.

The clementine box of materials - the cards, envelopes, postage stamps, pens, ink pads and stamps and  the address book - sat out for a week or so, so that just a couple of cards could get written in a sitting, and eventually the lists were crossed off and all cards were sent!  And we have a few left over for the next time we need to send a note, which is maybe the best part.


merry said...

I love my thank you notes from your family!! And, as you may remember, the inside of the downstairs bathroom door is my favorite display area! I have thank yous from many Christmases past taped to that door!! Now, I need to get some cards out and write my own thank you notes! I taught you well, and you passed that along to your girls, but I've gotten delinquent!

alissa said...

I hope I'm getting an ani owl....

merry said...

Gosh darn, I love those blue eyes peeking over the outhouse door!!

merry said...

I got one of Eliza's beautiful leaves, Ani's blue owl pictured above and a lovely red cup of hot, spicy-smelling tea!