Saturday, March 29, 2008

People Who Need People

Hello People!
I had a teacher in grade school who used to loudly blurt, "Attention PEOPLE!" I thought her use of people was a bit odd back then, but now I believe it was a forward thinking term... a unisex term to use for her entire class. It worked! We listened. I use it today whenever I need the attention of a group! Who knew?

OK, PEOPLE! Back to business.

I had a conversation with an old college friend today on my way to the home improvement nursery. I hope I didn't come across to her as too crass, but I just don't seem to fully grasp why many people I consider my friends and even members of my own family are too busy to pick up a phone, to pick up a pen and a piece of paper (or SooBoo note card for that matter!) or to just peck away an e-mail to keep in touch with each other (She always keeps in touch). Although, I am just as guilty in getting this done instantly with e-mails rather than a hand written note, I still try to maintain friendships and even good acquaintances during some slower times in my week. I have times where I am busy rushing kids around to soccer, dogs to the vet, grocery shopping, washing, ironing (when I do my deepest thinking), vacuuming, dusting, making beds, baking, cooking and feeding everyone, calling parents, teachers and even a principal now and then, straightening my hair (anyone who knows me knows this takes a while!) and of course, sitting at this computer pounding out ideas to add to, creating them in my studio, scanning them, editing them, putting them together with my graphic software and then entering all the data that I need to sell it on my site. All of this eats up time. Yet, why do I seem to be one of the only ones who makes the effort to keep the friendships alive? I wonder when an e-mail will get answered. I wonder when a phone call will be returned. How do I have time to spend with my family and sit in front of the television at night and relax with my latest favorite prime time shows and still think of those I care about? And to think, if I was truly organized, I would write a note in long hand because I KNOW what a delight it is to get a letter in the mail. If we enjoy simple pleasures so much, why don't we make it so? Maybe this is why I love to make note cards, notepads and flat note cards. Paper and pen. Thoughts. I love to connect with people and I like to believe people like to connect with me. We are too busy. We are causing our own A.D.D.!!! When I see a blue tooth contraptions stuck on people's ears on a Saturday or Sunday, I just about want to yank it off their heads and say, "What are you thinking?" I do NOT have a traditional full time job, but I have a way of life which fulfills me and affords me time to do what is important at the time. I am one of the lucky ones. I know a lot of the lucky ones, but yet, I guess, these old college friends have found friendship beyond what I can offer them. I believe that everyone has time at some point in the week... if not to just say "hi...thinking of you." Sadly, people don't even write in their holiday cards anymore. A picture suffices. When a friend remembers a birthday these days, it's a form of a miracle. Anyway, let's think about incorporating keeping connections in our lives. Doing so creates fun, new ideas, new ways of thinking.

When my old college friend wrote me and said she had a great idea for graduation gifts using SooBoo note cards, I was so happy! My email to her must have inspired this idea. Good for both of us~ So, I started thinking that her handsome, talented son who's starting in the fall at Rice on a baseball scholarship might enjoy a quick flat note card instead. I made some of these and let her know that I offer this now, too, at SooBoo. Keeping in touch, as I said, gets you thinking, and gives you new ideas! I also recently realized that a lot of people for graduation receive gift cards. There are an abundance of these on the market these days. You can get them everywhere! So why not wrap your gift card in a SooBoo Designs gift card holder? Try Graduate, Thank You or coming up, Happy Mother's Day gift card holders. You can even order a personalized gift card holder by entering your name, style and colors you wish for me to use. OR, you pick a SooBoo gift tag from the gift tag category on the website and I can place that on the card holder! There are so many from which to choose. Holiday card holders are a great idea. You can never get those too early. Supplied with the fold over gift card/certificate holder is a piece of "snot glue" like what you see when you tear a free sample out of a magazine and there is this crazy sticky stuff which holds the product well, yet rolls off the product rather easily AND a round clear adhesive dot to place on the bottom of the holder to keep it closed. I chose to use these dots because it saves paper and is more cost effective for the customer and for me. We like that.
Well, I have to get ready for the Elite Eight NCAA Basketball Championship game - UNC vs. Louisville. It really is exciting to see these 18-21 yr olds in action. If we could just obtain an ounce of the energy they possess and use it toward communicating with old friends and relatives in any way that pleases you, surely, it would please that old friend in return!

By the way, one fascinating childhood friend of mine, Marianne McGovern Priest is one of the most creative, self taught, insightful, intelligent, giving, caring, loving and sweet women I know. I have added her website of her gorgeous, quiet, soft, warm. cold and intriguing photography, one of which I am proud to say I own, to my favorite links. Please take time to check out her talent from wintry Elk Rapids, Michigan! . I love her dearly and wish great things for the rest of her life.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Thanks for reading~

Monday, March 17, 2008

Patience is a Virtue!

Hi Creative Ones!
My weekend was gladly filled with work for notepads and a cute design for a do not disturb door hanger. Everything turned out as expected...colorful and fun!
I am trying to decide on some new animals and different items I can place along with children's thank you notes, notepads and note cards. I have been trying to think of a great design and wording for a clam bake invitation. I would love to get orders from the New England area since this is where all the clam bakes usually are! This might lure them in. Also, I need to come up with some more designs for baby, wedding, showers, things like that. So keep looking at for new things. I know how important it is to keep t
hings fresh, but still keep the same design elements with the new items.
I have been having some hardships with my web designer/host. I will forego, naming names because that might just upset me again. I needed some page titles changed so my search engine organizer (SEO) can get my site seen by the major search engines, i.e. google, yahoo, aol, much easier. This is NOT an easy task.
My Web Host/Designer doesn't seem to take kindly to phone calls. Everything is done through e-mail. This infuriates me at times when I truly need to hear a person's voice to figure out what in the world they are talking about. So, I have gone through some 8 frustrating e-mails instead of one phone call. I begged, but to no avail. What is that? Patience is a virtue.. I mostly understand now what the e-mailer is talking about (I say e-mailer
because I do NOT know if this is a man or a woman!). My SEO (3rd one now) is really great. He ( I can talk to him over the phone if I wish) is my third seo and seems to really be genuinely interested in getting my site more viewed. After all, it's all about being seen! He has given me instructions as to what I needed to do to enhance my visibility and now, I wait. wait wait wait! BE PATIENT! I keep telling myself.. Something good must come of it after the length of frustrating e-mails.
What I need to forewarn people out there is this: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! I thought I did. I really liked this group of individual in Florida. They offered everything
I thought I needed. I loved their design of my website and thought it was an easy process. I learned a lot in the few months I had to enter all my data into the site. Again, patience paid off. I adore the ambiance of my website. It incorporates the colors of my business cards and also has a background I have used in the Early American Designs Note Cards. So, this was all great. But the longer I get into this process, the more I wonder if made the right decision. Hindsight. I have an e-commerce site which entails a very important shopping cart. It took a while to straighten out the flush right copy in this area. I didn't think that should have been an issue in the first place. Some of the copy was yellow and I e-mailed repeatedly to change this, and finally they did. I even had to purchase a wholesale "module" where I could enter wholesale pricing. I have just started this process and surely there will be issues with this area as well. What I did find out was that I even need a more detailed module for what I really want this aspect of wholesale to do. Gosh, I wish I had the patience!
Well, just beware. Even my SEO company has not
lived up to the great service they claimed on having. I also researched this and made 4 phone calls to would be happy customers. They were, they all had a huge increase in business, but I, not yet. They coupled me with seo's who were either going to be fired or who just decided that they weren't going to do their job by not calling customers back. BUT, I feel that my new seo is the answer. All this time since August 2007 has been wasted. I don't get much empathy from the seo manager, either. I feel jipped for sure, and it's not over with yet. Hang tight, Susie, you must be patient!
Another story of patience paying off is this: for two days I
have been playing around with a bandana design for a BBQ Invitation since summer is approaching quickly. Well, I did my little drawing then painting thing like I do. I scanned it into my Photoshop, of which going forward will be my enemy for the duration of this paragraph! Now, Photoshop is not an easy piece of software if you don't have a CLUE what you're doing. I fortunately know just enough to get me by for what I need. Well, I knew there was a way to erase the white background of this design so when I go to rotate the item to make my card design, I won't have overlapping white squares! Get it??? Well, for those two days, I must have scanned, erased and saved a zillion times, only to put it into Illustrator and see that the white squares are still there. ARGH! So, I thought, "What in the WORLD am I doing wrong?" I decided to save the image in a PSD (Photoshop document). HELLOOOOO! It worked. Later that day, I saw a gentleman who knows his Photoshop and I told him the story with my head hanging low... and this is what he said to me, "Well, DUHHH!" So patience paid off for that and here is the outcome.
Enjoy the rain!


Friday, March 14, 2008

New Items!

Hi Everyone!
I am excited to let you know that I have been working on getting some summery invitations on the website. Also, there are plenty of new Thank you notes, Flat Note Cards, and a few Greeting Cards. Pair up any of the SooBoo Personalized Paper Products and your gifts will scream that you care and you are creative!
I am also preparing to be seen on in the next month or so. I am truly excited about this retail expansion to my site.

Well, yesterday I had another "what the?" days with my computer. All the connections seemingly were working, yet, I could NOT connect to the internet. After time with my ISP and the Geek Squad Rep, I lugged the hard drive to the Best Buy where the thing was purchased a few years ago. They said it was working. I brought it home and it worked again. I have no idea what happened. It was a frustrating day, yet it all worked out. If I could just grin through the aggravating times, I know it will all come out good. Think POSITIVELY!

Ok, added to the SooBoo Designs website are:
BBQ invitations,
Cook Out Invitations,
Congratulations Graduate Greeting Card,
Over the Hill Greeting Card,
Keep on Smiling Greeting Card,
Children's Thank You Notes,
Flat Note Cards,
some new Personalized Note Cards and
some new backsides to Personalized Bag Tags.

We all know seniors who are graduating from either High School or College, so gathering up your grad gifts ought to be on all of our busy minds. When paired or grouped, SooBoo's Personalized Notepads, Personalized Note Cards, Bag Tags and Personalized Calling Cards make great give aways. I'm telling you, the impact of pairing some SooBoo items is so dynamic and different from other computerized only websites.

Also, Mother's Day is coming up fast and I don't know about you, but Mom has everything and never wants anything... so I think an elegant gift is a set of your choice of 12 SooBoo Freehand Note Cards. There are so many from which to choose. You can choose all the same design, or any quantity combination of Freehand Note Cards. They come in a clear box. They are a lot of fun to send out because they are all hand done, then reproduced on very lovely 80lb smooth white cover stock.

For any of you out there with military Dad's, Mom's or siblings, SooBoo has the perfect camo style for them. Don't forget Father's Day ... maybe Camouflage Style in their 'name art'!

I had a request by Marnie, my business minded partner, to create some fill in the blank children's thank you notes. I have been meaning to give this a stab, but then I was forced to and the result is adorable. Girl's styles will be coming shortly. Check out the Flat Note Cards that are new, though, too. Lots of design choices there.

Looking forward to the warmer weather and a pretty summer. Many of my friends and relatives have been couped up in their homes due to one of the snowiest winters ever that I can recall! You're all troopers in my book!

Also, take a look at They are looking for donations to this very unexpected cause. I have sent a dozen greeting cards to them so they can send them out to the brothers and sisters of children with cancer. A great cause. I plan on sending more out very soon.. like the keep in smiling greeting card! You go Beth!

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 10, 2008

First Day of Play

Hi Everyone!
Welcome to my new blog.
I always wondered where the word blog came from. I am not a big fan of the word, although, it's a way to get my website name out there in the world and hopefully increase business for SooBoo Designs! This is my first day of trying this out. It was recommended by my SEO (search engine optimizer) for whom I am grateful! Thanks, Tim~ I am feeling a little intimidated by it all, so I'll do my best.
Last week I played with a few new styles. I am aware that lots of spring and summer events are upcoming, so I need to add new designs for these events on my e-commerce site. I am trying out a bit more computer generated designs for party invitations. For instance, I entered a few BBQ invitations for summer parties. I like all of them since they are so different from each other in terms of color, placement and font style. I wonder though, if I should offer these invites in a larger format. The size as they are now is a standard A2 size of 4.25" x 5.5". I know a lot of personalized invitations are at least 5"x7". People like to find the biggest and fanciest, but my feeling is, as times get tougher, it makes better sense to go a bit smaller and save a bit of money. After all, one of my favorite quotes is, "If you show it, you owe it!" So, if anyone has feedback on this size thing (does size really matter?), please respond!

I have a wonderful and insightful friend who is trying to help promote my SooBoo personalized note cards and small personalized notepads as a package. Grouped together, these items create a very impressive and personal touch to give to new homeowners given by either their builder or their realtor! She came up with this great idea and I just love it. Like she says, builders and realtors are trying anything to keep business moving. A little personal touch added for new owners will help when a reference is given. "Oh, you should see what our builder left for us! I never thought they would have thought of something like that!" It certainly is WAY better than a pen with the builder's/realtors name on it, instead of the new homeowner's names! That is thinking out of the box! Thanks, Marnie! You are always challenging me and adding your two cents in, both literally and metaphorically! You rock!

I also want to let you guys out there know that I have done some business card and letterhead design. They turn out lovely. If you know anyone who needs a service like this, please pass on my name and or website; and we can go from there.

On a personal note, my talented clarinet playing son was accepted to play in the North Carolina All State Honors Band this April in Winston-Salem, NC! We got the amazing news last night and are so so so proud of him and his new accomplishment. His nerves are getting steelier daily when it comes to playing for auditions. I surely could not have done it at his age of 13. We love you, Dean!

Ok...I have to go and visit with his band director at school to make plans for WS. Thanks for reading and talk soon~ Susie