artsy fartsy,  Bug,  Life Lessons,  painting

Thank You Note Resolutions


Now that I feel like life is going to slow down a little bit, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe I’ll call them February Resolutions. I’m not setting my goals too high. It’s just some thoughts I’ve had.

My first resolution is to make thank you notes. Just like they say about the cobbler’s children having no shoes the same is true for me. I can make cards so I don’t buy cards. So does that mean I have lots and lots of cards at my disposal to send out thoughtfully for every occasion? NO! I have a box full of envelopes! Seriously. Come over to my house. I’ll show you. I’ve got envelopes in every color and size.

I don’t know how many times people have emailed me to ask if a gift arrived and I’ve had to hang my head in shame and email back that yes, we got the gift, loved it and I’ve been meaning to write a note but somehow got steamrolled by five or six months of doing something else. It’s sad. Pathetic really.

I could just go out and buy some cards. There are thousands and thousands of designs I love and drool over but I can’t! I just can’t make myself buy something that I know I could make myself. It’s madness.

So I’ve resolved to kick myself in the butt and just make some. This will be the year of making cards I declare! I’d love to make some print-ables that you guys can download and play along. Help me stay on task and turn into that girl who sends cards. Really, if anyone should send kind thoughtful things in the mail, that should be me! The one who loves to design things on paper. Sheesh.

As you’ve probably heard, we’ve been hit by some kind of epic storm. Tornado warnings and everything. We’re totally fine of course. I think the only people who have been in danger are people that live in lowlands that tend to flood. One of our neighbors had a tree blow down on their house but here in our second story apartment we’ve kept nice and dry.

Being true Californians, we did not go out of the house. Ack! We might melt if we get wet! And forget about driving. Nobody drives around here if there is even the slightest threat of oil-slick roads. We stayed in the house and made thank you notes ALL DAY LONG. It was awesome.

we work together

I was supposed to design something with rainbows and seeds to go along with Bug’s birthday party since these notes were for gifts she received for her birthday…but I just wasn’t feeling it. I really wanted to draw and paint with water color. I knew if I waited until the rainbow and seed inspiration hit me again it could be months. Maybe even never! If I’ve learned anything about myself in these many years of pretending to be an artist, it is to go along with the flow of creativity. Don’t block it. Make it work.

us us

I’ve also learned that when you’re doing something crafty with a kid around you have to just let them go with the flow too. You can’t sit your kid down and say: Paint this. Use that color…etc etc. You’re better off just doing the craft by yourself and letting them flit in and out like a pretty butterfly. Sometimes they’ll knock over your water and smudge your ink but that’s life with kids. A good mother will (mutter a few choice words inside her head and then) mop up the water and look at the smudge as a way to commemorate that one day that you guys sat down and did something together. Maybe it’s not the masterpiece you set out to do but it’s a better one because now it’s a memory preserved forever in a piece of art. A messy piece of art. The best kind, right?

new laptop and balloon Olivia

I’m just glad that we made some thank you notes. And in a timely manner at that! Go us! Now if I can just keep this motivation going throughout the rest of the year.

thank you notes

You’ll help me right?


  • Annika

    I made a thank you note resolution too, though not exactly on purpose. Also I made it in December. And instead of making my own cards, I am using the cards I bought when I had Sam and never sent. But otherwise, it is exactly the same! OK, not really. But I have sent a card for every single gift we’ve gotten for Grace, within a week or so of receiving it. Which is an absolute miracle, given my track record with these things.

  • The Bug

    I used to send homemade cards out for every birthday in my family (both sides) & my husband’s family (both sides). That was a LOT of cards, but I was new to the cult of stamping & I really enjoyed it. At some point it became a burden & then I hurt my shoulder & then we moved – so I just started buying cards for immediate family. But I have all this money invested in cool stuff! I should have a cardmaking Saturday once per month. I’ll put it on my calendar! Yeah!

  • corinneyb

    What thoughtful thank you cards! I always mean to make thank-yous with a photo of the boy playing with or wearing the gift, but it just ends up being another roadblock that prevents me from sending them. Of course, I’m using my time right now to delurk a little here instead of catching up on notes from Christmas and the girl’s birth back in Nov. I make the card resolution every year, and every year I fail. If you happen upon the secret of making it work, I’d love to know!

  • Calee

    Ours arrived yesterday. Seriously, that’s a world record or something of promptness AND Audrey loves her little peas so much. Crazy thoughtful.

  • Kuky

    This post made me laugh out loud. That’s exactly, EXACTLY, what I think: I’m not buying cards when I can make them and they are so much more personal that way. But then like you it takes me forever or never to send a thank you card.

    I did the head hanging down in shame thing with Bethany. She crocheted for us when Nathan was born and I didn’t want to send an email because I wanted to send a thank you card. I specifically wanted to make one. And then weeks went by. Maybe even a couple of months before I sent a thank you card.

    So, I love your resolution. I never do new year resolutions but maybe this is one I should do to.

  • Aurora

    Good job! After a number of years of having my daughter do thank you notes, and finding as many examples as possible of times SHE receives thank you notes and how good that makes her feel, I felt totally vindicated this past week when she wrote her dad and I a thank you note for her Christmas presents…. just because she wanted to, not because anyone made her do it. AWESOME!
    And your cards are super cool!

  • Stacy

    You can do it! Just take 5 minutes a day and write a few sentences in each card. They don’t have to be the most original cards ever because it’s the effort that counts. My grandparents get so excited whenever we send them thank you’s from the great-granddaughter…they read and re-read them so often that they memorize them.

  • Clover

    Love these cards, would also love having those designs. I have been using Wal-Mart buy-’em-in-bulk thank-you cards for years because I know if I don’t send a note out immediately it will never happen, but I would love to make some of these cards to have on hand!

  • lynne

    I think these thank you notes look awesome (and this is not a word I use lightly as its unusual for my vocabulary :). Watercolour and ink are the best.

    P.s. I am working as a creative in a “corp ” like agency for a few months so I have not been commenting as much cos I feel kind of guilty surfing when I should be working (Hmm but stopping by here is part of my creative process). I still adore your blog and illos tho. Keep safe from the storm. Here’s me thinking of you guys under a blue, blue sky as I walked to work this morning under a grey one. Take care. xxx

  • Jummy

    I intended to send out thank you cards for the lovely housewarming gifts I received last May but sadly it didn’t happen for the same reason as you. I’m not an artist but I have moments of creativity (few and far between of late!).

    I’ll definitely do my part to help with the motivation!

  • Brenda

    My thankyou cards have usually been a photo glued to card stock. I took one recently of the grandbaby on a blanket that had been given to her and had her mom write the thank you, so the giver could see that the blanket was loved. And recently with my head, I can’t find any of my prints to put on card stock, so I had to put some on a disk and have someone drive me to Kinko’s so I could get them printed out… Then couldn’t find the card stock so had to be driven to th paper store. Getting organized is first on my list. Your cards are fantastic. Expecially since Bug helped. Makes them so much more personable.

  • Melissa

    I love the cards you made – so very personal. I suffer from the same madness – absolutely refuse to buy something I can make. Cards are at the top of my list!

  • Becca @ Just a little R&R

    As a fellow never seem to find time to write thank you card person I can completely relate with you, except I don’t have tons of envelopes…

    I’m personally working on sending out birthday cards (ON TIME) and have had some success in remembering all three of my brothers, but some failures in not sending out grandparents cards… I do phone calls…

    I love those personalized thank you cards you made – and I think the ‘messy’ watercolors make them more special and look like it was done on purpose.

  • Madge

    We received our thank you and I hung it in the kitchen because I thought it was so very cute. IDEAS!! still cracks me up, hahaha

    My resolution is to write to friends regularly and send simple gifts to friends throughout the year.

  • Leta

    You are not pretending to be an artist! You’re the real deal, Lucille. And I totally and completely get the “I can’t buy cards because I make cards.” I am exactly the same way. I love love love cards, but cannot bring myself to pay $4 for something I know I can make at home. But do I actually sit down and make some? Rarely. Best of luck with your February resolution!

  • BeachMama

    I hear you. I used to send Thank You notes all the time, then the rules changed. If you are in the same room when you open a gift, no need, send an email it is the same… I don’t know there is something about getting a nice card that says Thank You. Your cards are fabulous and I think it’s great to have a year of the card. I will try to participate, although mine won’t be drawn by hand.

    And thank you for your words of encouragement about crafting with kids. I think I gave up because I couldn’t handle when they went awry and didn’t work out properly. I need to let go of the perfectionist side and just do it.

  • Ninabi

    I’ve been feeling horribly guilty. My thank you notes have not gone out as they should have.
    Your latest post is a kind reminder, a nudge to Get Cracking!

    Your cards are darling!

  • Estrella

    Lovely cards! I have MANY thank you notes to write from my wedding last month. For the shower gifts and other gifts received in advance, my turnaround time was fairly decent … but I’ve now been married for nearly a month and haven’t sent out a single note!

    A thank you note, whenever sent, is still meaningful. There may be society-imposed deadlines on them, but I know that when I’ve sent/received belated ones, they’re always appreciated … even though they’re nowhere near as cute as yours. :)

  • Azul

    Well, I, for one, am appalled at your lack of discipline. Why, I had Thank You’s written, addressed, and stamped a week after Christmas. What’s that you say? When did I mail them? Oh… I haven’t exactly mailed them yet. They’re in my bag, getting crushed and probably covered in pretzel crumbs.

    Your cards are so cute, and I’m really enjoying your illustrated ‘day in the life’ series.

  • Mary

    I’m still all “meh” about the cat? But I’ll get over it.

    Those are really creative and cool,you have a great talent for illustration and crafts.

    SAJ says: I know. So are we. It’s a decision that is probably going to haunt us forever. I wish I could blog about it more and share some of the background and details but it’s too sensitive a subject for this website. It’s something that we are keeping private. I deeply regret that I wrote about it so callously earlier.

  • WarsawMommy

    I think these are FABULOUS and if you set up some kind of online thing where we can print them off, I will totally use them…. they are cute and creative and so original. Love ’em. And I really like your illustrated ‘this was today’ stuff; I admire anyone who can draw, as even my stick-people-drawing skills are questionable.

  • OMSH

    Bug is so stinkin’ lucky – creativity all the live long day (between naps, meals, a few tv shows, trips to the beach, post office, etc…). :)