Category Archives: Stationery

Art of Fun Communication

There is no doubt that we live in an age of rapidly growing technology. It’s grabbing hold of us all – especially young people. Even though our ability to communicate may be provided by more expedient means there is something disappearing; the art of letter writing with personalized stationery.

Letter writing may seem ancient, but in fact, it is a rather intimate way to exchange more than information. The speed of delivery earned it the name “snail mail,” but what if there is a way to make letter writing like a game or a gift?

Make it Personal

Making a letter personal starts with what you write on. Using plain loose-leaf paper means you lose a chance for expressing the real you. Try sitting down with your child and letting them pick personalized stationery they find pretty or exciting. Every child enjoys feeling special. Why can’t writing be the same way?

If your child is too young to write, do not be discouraged. They can still pick out their favorite writing tools. In fact, the time they spend helping you write a letter to someone they love will be a special time for you to build your relationship with them as well as teach them the variety of ways to express themselves.

Letters are Gifts

With the cost of stamps now it is not hard to imagine a letter being like a gift, which is all the more reason to send them. The receiver will know you and your child took the time to get the stamp and go to the post office for them. Add a layer of fun by letting your child pick out the stamp as well.

Letting your child pick the recipient can be fun. If they find themselves unsure of whom to write, help stimulate ideas by suggesting family and friends. Take them on a walk around the house to look at their favorite pictures. Let them point out someone they may want to write.

In Closing

When it comes time to close out your letter make sure to suggest your child ask for a letter in return. Knowing there is something coming in the mail will give your child something to look forward to when they run to the mail every day. It will also be nice for you to open the mailbox and find something other than a bill. A nice final touch to any letter is the chance to seal it with a personal mark. Attaching a label with your home address is always nice. Also, consider letting your child place a sticker to close the letter similar to the idea of an old wax seal.

Writing can be the new art of fun communication. Don’t miss out on the chance to teach your child to reach out to family and peers. Grandma and Grandpa will definitely thank you!

Encouraging writing skills: Boys edition

It’s a common misconception that boys are better at math and girls are better at writing and language arts. This popular belief, according to developmental psychologists actually has no basis in reality, but is more of a reflection of the beliefs and teaching of society.

These days, teachers and parents of girls are often encouraged to allow their girls the same math and science play opportunities boys have, because there’s no genetic predisposition to disliking bugs or engineering.

But what can parents of boys do to ensure that they are encouraging writing skills for their son in language arts and communication?

One increasingly popular category of children’s literature has emerged for “reluctant readers” and it’s often called “The gross-out book.”  By appealing to a boy’s enthusiasm for passing gas and other bodily functions, these books appeal to a child’s sense of the taboo.  Luckily, most boys have other interests that parents can appeal to, in case they’re more interested in helping their sons develop a social awareness that extends beyond the idea that “Everybody Poops.”

Homeschoolers and other educators remind us that children’s interests can often be used as a gateway for other learning. Put another way, it isn’t necessary to “make learning fun” because learning is already fun. For boys who enjoy playing video games, there are gamer magazines and websites with plenty of cheats and playing advice to help turn a reluctant reader into an eager reader.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that “Hop on Pop” is far less interesting to an 8 yr old boy than “Six tricks for Minecraft world domination.” The lesson here is for parents to find written materials that support the child’s interests instead of boring him to tears.

Another tool for helping boys harness their literary skills is a nice set of boys stationery.  Parents can use stationary as a learning tool by packing notes in lunch boxes and leaving notes throughout the house.  Making a habit of leaving scavenger-hunt-like clues can be fun for kids to decode especially when there’s a prize at the end.  Parents who are in the habit of leaving notes are illustrating the practical aspects of written communication and giving their son reasons to write.  Finding pleasure in written communication can be the difference between “I don’t want to do my writing homework” and “Hey Mom, did I spell Disneyland correctly?”

Some educational reform advocates are concerned that kids are being taught the mechanics of reading and writing at the expense of their enthusiasm. When a child is interested in something and excited about it, it’s difficult to keep them from learning more. One of the best things a parent can do to help their children succeed in reading and writing is to model the importance of communication and provide the child with the tools to use it in his or her life.

Check out our selection of boys stationery to help your little guy embrace his passion for the written word.

The Joy of Receiving a Letter

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When I was a kid, I used to check the mail box every day after school. My cousins and I were pen pals and I would wait excitedly to receive their letters. Sometimes, the letters would contain a new sticker or a pressed flower from their yard. Once I received one, I would quickly write a letter back and return a gift of stickers or flowers. Then, I would place the letters in my top dresser drawer where I knew I could find them to read whenever I wanted.

In my twenties, I came to realize the mailbox had lost a lot of its magic. The long walk up the driveway was dreaded. There was nothing in the mailbox that I wanted. Phone bills. Power bills. Water bills. Insurance. Bank Statements. Student loans statements. Give me a break!!

My boyfriend expressed the same sentiment and that gave me an idea. What if I sent him a letter? Even better… what if I sent him a letter with our New Year’s Eve picture? The message was a simple one:

I sent this so you would get something other than bills in the mail. I love you.

Two years later, that picture and message are still on the refrigerator.

Now, I am addicted to bringing the magic of the mailbox back for my friends and family, as well as for myself. Friends call me to tell me my letters arrived and that I should expect to receive one from them soon. I catch myself walking a little faster to the mailbox searching for them.

A New York Times article was published on December 13, 1886 titled The Joy of Receiving a Letter. It is the view of a mail carrier about people waiting for the mail. It may seem a bit outdated but it has reminded me of that joy and excitement that I had been missing.

“There are some people on my beat who, I really think, don’t do anything else but sit down and wait for me to come. They stand at the window or front gate and wait for me, they tremble with anxiety as I approach, they groan and cower if I say ‘nothing to-day; and if I hand them a letter they fly with it into the house as if they had picked a pocketbook and were going off to a secret place to inspect its contents.”

With the internet and everything being done at the speed of light, it is easy to forget the difference a hand-written letter can make, but there is a reason that we still send Birthday Cards and Holiday Cards in the mail. We don’t need to wait for the holidays to make someone’s day.

For me, the magic of the mailbox has returned. I wonder if kids today still experience that feeling of joy when receiving something. Maybe it’s time to bring the joy back.

Artist Spotlight: Amy Adele

We want to give you an inside look at the people behind the designs of Amy Adele. Of course our original artist and namesake, Amy, was our first choice. I, Caroline Kennedy, normally am the happy voice at the other end of your customer emails and the poster of all things social media, but for this blog I strapped on my reporter shoes and took a trip to see Amy in person where she works… at home!

I joined Amy at her home to talk about her journey as an artist. It’s a welcoming brick house tucked back in an adorable subdivision. The driveways are lined with blooming flowers and manicured shrubs. Amy welcomes me with an open door and a big smile :). Corban, her 5 year old son,  is lunching quietly at the kitchen table. The whole house has a cozy, comforting effect. The kitchen sports handmade cabinetry, courtesy of Amy’s husband, Joe. He would never brag about it, but it truly looks amazing.  We join Corban at the table with our lunches, and he tells me about his new bike and tries his best to say my name correctly. Ca-ro-line is a lot of new syllables for him, but he does better than most, which makes me smile. As we eat Amy begins to tell me a little about her journey.

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Amy was born in Northern Virginia, just a few states away. She has one older sister and grew up in a little cape cod styled home just inside the Beltway. One of her most ordered designs is a drawing of her childhood home. She was raised in a Christian home, and has carried that faith in Jesus Christ with her into adulthood. Amy married young, she and her husband (affectionately “Joey” to her) wed in 1994. They both attended a small liberal arts Christian college, Toccoa Falls College, in the North Georgia mountains.

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Four years after they married Amy and Joe welcomed their first daughter Emily to the world. Then six years later, they welcomed their second daughter Grace. Thinking they were done building their family, they settled in quickly to being parents of two sweet little girls. Newborn Grace wasn’t the only thing in the works that year. A short while after Grace was born Amy and Joe celebrated the launch of Amy Adele. Contrary to what Amy and Joe believed, their family was not quite done growing! Their son, Corban, was born in 2009, and has been a tremendous blessing to them in spite of his surprise arrival. You can read about him on anther blog post by clicking here.

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Amy has a knack for doodling, which family had insisted for years could be utilized. She had created small batches of hand made thank you notes for things like her wedding gifts and other special gifts. In December 2003, she created a design for their family Christmas card and had a few printed at a local print shop nearby. She got a lot of positive feedback from those cards. So after much prayer and thought and over many months, Amy began sketching and Joe began looking into how they could make a business out of it. Joe insisted they call their business Amy Adele despite Amy’s resistance and desire enjoy the shadows. Yes, that is her real name too! They decided to create a website so friends and family or perhaps even some people they didn’t know, could purchase Amy’s cards without any sales pitch pressure. Joe had a lot of experience in publishing so he too was in his element.  When they launched Amy Adele, it was intended to be somewhat of a hobby. They were expecting small and few orders and had decided not to be upset if they never had the first one. Within just a few days, they found that operating out of their home, hand scoring and folding each card, and their bleary eyes was not going to work! It was so exciting  but they were shocked by the sudden success of Amy Adele. They quickly moved into a one room business office and hired a part time girl to keep the production going while Amy continued to add new cards and Joe kept working his normal job. The ebb and flow and been quite dramatic at times and Joe is now working full time running and managing Amy Adele. Amy works from home and comes in the office once in a while to help with planning. They have had some amazing people work for them over the years and are amazed at all God has done through Amy Adele!

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As I spoke with her more that day, she let me flip through her sketch book and as I looked she would add in little statements like “that house is so lopsided!” or “those people’s heads are too big!”. This was not what I saw at all. I saw hours of perfectly doodled houses, tea cups, flowers, firetrucks, and a lot of adorable people with perfectly sized heads.  Amy shocks me when she says, “I’m almost embarrassed to be called an artist”. She goes on to say that in her mind “artists” paint things that end up in museums, they create murals, and beautiful portraits. The truth is art, just like music, comes in a million different styles. Each artist has a different calling, and be it doodles or the Mona Lisa, it is art none the less.

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I wrapped up our conversation by asking Amy what her main goal or desire for Amy Adele was. In her sweet way she explains that the goal has been the same all along. Amy Adele was created so that everyone who is a part of it has the opportunity to help people make happy memories. From birthday invitations to baby shower thank you notes, Amy Adele gets to witness a new happy memory in the making with every order that is placed. Amy loves knowing that her little doodles are ending up preserved in scrapbooks and memory boxes as a reminder of the happy occasions our customers share. Happy memories are our everyday joy, but what really keeps Amy creating is the idea of promoting thankfulness in children. Promoting thankfulness in children is a goal that has a lasting reward. In Amy’s eyes, if she creates notes that show joy, and those notes help children understand how to show thankfulness, that is her opportunity to encourage to others.

 

Teacher Appreciation Day Contest

May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and it’s just around the corner! We are so thankful for all the teachers who have helped us grow and who have supported us every day, that we are channeling our excitement into a contest!

Teacher appreciation day contest

Tell us something fun or encouraging your child’s teacher did this year! We’d love to hear from kids, too! Up for grabs is a coupon code for 30% off on your next order at AmyAdele.com AND a set of personalized stationery and address labels for your favorite teacher!

Here’s how it will work: Today through Sunday, post a comment to this blog entry with your favorite teacher story. The story must be about a current teacher. You can share your story in the Leave a Reply field found at the bottom of this particular post.

One story per visitor, please. Multiple entries will disqualify your entry into the contest. Contest is not valid in certain states, so please check state contest laws before entering. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the entrants. Once the winner is chosen they will be contacted via email. Be sure to include a valid e-mail address in the email field, so we can get back in touch with you. How easy is that?

We are waiting with great anticipation to hear your stories…so share away!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

There are many simple things you can do to protect our planet, each of which might not seem terribly consequential, but put together, they all add up. A beach is made of millions of grains of sand deposited over time – not all earth-friendly gestures have to be as big as planting a forest. To that end, we want to share the importance of recycling and using post consumer products. It’s a simple change you can make to reduce your footprint. Here are a few quick facts about recycling:

  • Only 30% of waste is recycled, but we have the potential to recycle 75%.
  • Also, if every American recycled their newspapers, it would save 250 million trees each year. That’s a lot of trees – and that’s just with recycling one paper item, by one country. Think if the whole world recycled all the paper we generate – phone books, school papers, junk mail…
  • In 2010, Americans threw away $2.8 billion worth of paper.
  • And 37% of paper for American mills is recycled.
  • Recycling paper doesn’t just save trees – it also takes 40% less energy.
  • And just to make you appreciate paper a little more…before toilet paper, you might have had to use corn cobs or leaves. (Toilet paper is also available in post-consumer form.)

At Amy Adele, every single product is made with 100% post consumer paper, and by asking friends and family to recycle our stationery, you can extend the life of a sheet of paper over time – who knows where it might end up? Also, our packing peanuts are 100% biodegradable. They are made from starch, so they dissolve in water, and you could even eat them! That is if you were REALLY hungry. 🙂

For a fun project with your kids this Earth Day, make up a story about a recycled piece of paper. Where has it been? How many people has it seen? What was it used for? Feel free to share your kids’ best and most creative ideas in the comments – we’d love to hear them. If you just received your order  show the kids how you can make packing peanuts disappear. Feel free to post reaction videos or pictures to our Facebook, Google+, or tag us on Instagram.

Writing: Why children’s stationery is important

One reason for giving personalized children’s stationery is to help motivate children to do their best possible writing. The ability to write well, especially in social settings, is one that is seldom gets enough time to develop fully in schools because of the sheer volume of other information and skills to be mastered. That is a shame because the ability to communicate graciously on paper enriches life greatly over the years.

However, it is not hard to teach the basics of social writing with just a little know-how. Believe it or not, some of the best advice for teaching the basics of writing comes from Benjamin Franklin, in his Autobiography. His method boils down to imitation – not surprisingly, as this is one of the ways children learn naturally. In his own case, he took an “odd volume of the Spectator” and found he “thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it.”

Franklin records that he read some of the papers and made short notes of the main idea in each sentence. He then set the original book aside and “try’d to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.”

After doing this he compared his own work with the original, “discovered many faults and amended them” and often “had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer.”

You can modify Franklin’s method to suit your child’s ability. Simply write a sample note using the form you’d like your child to use, a kind of template to be followed. Then have your child write the same number of sentences with each sentence modeled on the one in your example, making changes to personalize the note. When the note is complete look back and read both notes aloud, compare the changes made to the original, and point out improvements. This method of using a template works particularly well with thank you notes, children’s stationery,  or greeting cards sent out on vacation.

As your child gains experience it is natural to make each note a bit more advanced, until your child easily writes notes independently. The process of checking the new work against the original allows the child to see exactly where improvement is happening and builds confidence and enjoyment of the process. You can be assured that every step along the way helps your child prepare for a lifetime of enjoyable communication.