Living in a log cabin with no running water and electricity, artist and illustrator Rebecca Stouffer of Wild Green Onion relates well to the notion of a simple life. This theme is woven into her whimsical illustrations, where she gathers inspiration from farm life and the sweet nuances of nature. We recently interviewed Rebecca on the stories and inspiration behind her work, and were equally inspired by her simplicity and ease. Welcome, Rebecca!  


Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in illustration and water color?

I'm primarily a self-taught artist. Growing up, I was continually drawing or making something. I lived in the country, picked berries, explored the woods, played house, made mud pies. I loved the outdoors and all the critters who made it their home.

My sketches evolved from cartoon faces into more detailed studies of what I found during my adventures. I started experimenting with pen and ink, dipping the ink nib into the bottle of ink and using the stippling technique. Right before college, I received a watercolor pencil set of 24 colors. That was the turning point for me, when I got hooked on layering colors and watching the mystery that happened when water was added. I still have that set today, but now use 72 colors.


Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?

My inspiration still comes mostly from nature. I go for long walks. There will be a tree with twisted roots that form a burrow; a shrew running every which way across the snow; a mama snowshoe hare sitting on the well platform where we go to fetch water; the humungous toad that appears from under the woodpile. Things of my daily life give the first inspiration, and then I like to add a bit of whimsy. Like a bee having a conversation with a goat. Or a rabbit sitting next to the farmer's lettuce—and the farmer. Little things like that. There is always a story within my illustrations.


Do you have a favorite artist?  If so, what draws you to that person’s work?

I have two watercolor artists whom I admire, both for their talent and lifestyles: Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor, and the way they created their own artistic worlds with animals talking, wearing clothes, living in the past. I love how they were able to captivate the viewer and draw you in to those times of long ago, both real and imaginary.

Tasha Tudor lived her life as though it was the 19th century or earlier, which I can relate to because I'm now living in a log cabin with no running water or electricity and I use a wood-burning cookstove for heat and baking/cooking.

Both of these women were gardeners, which I can also relate to. I enjoy how gardens, animals, antiques, and lifestyle are featured in their illustrations. That’s the fun part of being an artist, I think—adding those details from your daily life into your paintings. Both of these women were independent, determined, loved life and never gave up on doing what they wanted. Very inspiring!


Your work reflects a true love for farm life. How did that come about?

The great thing about being an artist is even if you don't have the whole farm in real life, you can paint as though you do! Right now, I have a small flock of chickens, several gardens, a recycled greenhouse and five fruit trees planted for the orchard. I am trying to live a simpler life, which is not for everybody. I enjoy planting a garden, harvesting the vegetables, and preserving them for winter. For years, I have been planting only heirloom, open-pollinated seeds for my flower and vegetable gardens, so I can then save the seed for using the next season. No GMO's here (but that's another story).

I would like to have a couple of Nubian goats for milking, a heritage breed pig and sheep, a guard donkey, perhaps bees? One step at a time. All that to say, I hope that my artwork inspires people to grow a garden and see beauty in the simple, basic things of living. And, farm animals are just too cute and hilarious; I have to paint them!


What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

Perhaps the hardest part in creating a card or any painting is not to overthink things. I find that my best designs are when I work quickly and just have fun in the process; otherwise, the end result will look stiff. If I allow the inner child to be free, then things go pretty well. After all, sending a card to someone is like sending a gift. You're trying to express or share a certain sentiment, and that has a lot to do with the illustration, which is why I like to mostly paint in bright colors. If someone picks up my card and smiles, then I know the final product was a success.

During the holiday season, it’s tradition for many families to send out a greeting card, often with a family photo and an update on the latest family news.

But when tradition grows stale or the year’s news isn’t terribly newsworthy, some families look to other ways to send a holiday—ahem—greeting. Ironic or sincere, these ten families have bucked tradition to create holiday cards that will stand out from the crowd, to say the least.

Looking for creative holiday cards of your own? We’ve got you covered. Browse our Christmas Cards now.


10. Santa and his…um, reindeer. We hope.


9. The recent divorcee (or guy who just can’t keep a girlfriend). To laugh or cry? We’re just not sure.


8. Brothers in bacon suits. Is this a sick joke at the expense of the Three Little Pigs? #badform


7. Little Mary just learned a new way to send a greeting. Her twin sister is amused. Santa? Not so much.


6. Well, that’s one way to announce your pregnancy. C’mon, guys: Ever heard of oversharing?


5. Either this family likes to hunt, or it’s a zoo visit gone horribly wrong. Guess we know what’s in their deep-freeze now.


4. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like posing for a photo. Don’t force it, guys. You’re making it awkward for everyone else.


3. This tech-addicted family will wish you a happy holiday. Just one sec.


2. A Christmas greeting from heaven! Now there’s a first. 


1. This family has staked their claim on “The Worst Christmas Card Ever.” Sadly, we’d have to agree.

When coloring books and picture books caught the eye of young Jacqueline Adelmeyer, she knew art and illustration would be at the forefront of her future. As the founder of her own illustration business, Playful Galavant, Jacqueline takes inspiration from a host of acclaimed animators and illustrators. We’re excited to feature Jacqueline as November’s artist of the month. Welcome, Jacqueline!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in illustration and CG art?

I’ve always loved storytelling, character development, and art since I was a kid. I was always coloring in coloring books and looking at picture books. After studying illustration and getting a solid foundation on traditional art, I went on to study digital media and fell into the career path of being a digital artist for film and game companies. In my free time, when I’m not working on a company project, I usually develop my own stories and card illustrations. I love animals, which is evident in most of my art. 


Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?

Yes, I have multiple sources where you can view my art. I have a Facebook art page, which I use as a blog, and I update it frequently with new art. I also have a 2D website,, which doesn’t get updated as much as it should. And my 3D/CG art can can be viewed at

I also have a children's book, Mila and the Magic Unicorn, in the Apple store. You can download a free sample for a peek! 


Do you have a favorite artist? If so, what draws you to that person’s work?

I have a lot of favorite artists! I really enjoy the art of Eyvind Earle and the work he created for Disney. I also like Aaron Blaise's art. He designs really terrific characters and was also an animator at Disney. Pascal Campion creates beautiful illustrations, I love his sense of color and lighting, and the stories that his illustrations tell at first glance.


Where do you gather inspiration for your art?

I gather inspiration from other art, especially for color palette and lighting. I really like making animals into characters. When I get an idea for a painting, it’s usually pretty random. For example, I’ll be out on a hike and see a cute critter and want to make it into a character. I put all my ideas on a list of paintings to do, and then when I have time, I pick one. I make it a goal to create a card for every holiday.


What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

The hardest thing about creating cards is finding the time. Sometimes it’s hard to get started, but once I get into the groove it’s hard to get out and I don't want to stop!

We all know it: Thanksgiving Day can be a long one. While you wait for the turkey to roast or during your recovery between turkey and pie, you may want to fill the time with something besides lying on the couch and moaning loudly. We’ve collected five family-friendly, smile-worthy games from around the web that are great for your Thanksgiving crowds, family or friends, big or small.


5 fun Thanksgiving Day games

Thanksgiving Bingo (Flavor Wire): This version of bingo will appeal most to the snarky cynics in your crew. Flavor Wire has created four (hi-larious!) bingo cards, which participants cover as the day progresses. When you observe things like a fight over political views, a whining child, or even a drunk uncle, you’ll place a chip over that square. Best of all? The “Free Tryptophan Space” in the center.


The Best (The Idea Room): Who’s got the smallest shoe size? Who can eat the most marshmallows in a minute? Find the answers to these questions—and much more—when you play a raucous round of The Best. Divide your group into two teams and compete in contests that are so arbitrary and ridiculous, you can’t help but play. Now, whose thumb is the shortest?


Blind Turkey Artist (Creative Youth Ideas): Fluffed feathers, spindly legs, bewildered eyes: These are just a few of the things your own hand-drawn turkey may have. Gather your crew and see who can draw the best turkey—without looking! This version suggests placing a book on your head and using that as a drawing surface, but it’s just as fun to simply close your eyes. Aunt Edna, you put the beak where?


Parlor Games (One Kings Lane): The folks at One Kings Lane have provided this list of clever and modern twists on classic parlor games, like charades, proverbs, and the tray game, and divided them up by which room of the house your group is in. Ready to throw your smile, channel your inner diva, or exercise your memory muscle? This list is for you. 


Conversation Starters: Less of a game and more of an engaging way to spark (sometimes unusual!) chitchat, conversation starters are great for when you’re sitting around the table. Have your guests write a few of their own questions and draw them from a bowl, going around the table to take turns answering them. Questions can be anything you like, such as “What would you do with an extra hour in the day?”, “What are you most proud of?”, “What’s the oddest food you’ve ever eaten?”, or “What’s the most valuable thing you’ve found by accident?”

What do you get when you combine a lifelong love of art with three daughters, two dogs, and a packed mom-centric schedule? An illustration business that’s founded on passion and intuition! We’re excited to feature Kamie Rudisill as October’s artist of the month. Kamie is the owner of Dizzy Daisy Designs, where she offers original illustrations, watercolors, and hand-written lettering services. Welcome, Kamie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in illustration?

I have been drawing and designing for as long as I can remember. I am mostly self-taught, with a few art classes thrown in here and there. I started my first stationery business when I was 11-years-old, Rainbow Incorporated. I would take office supplies from my dad's desk—plain paper, envelopes and Avery labels—and draw on them to make stationery, which I sold to the neighborhood kids. (Things haven't changed all that much.)

Throughout high school and college, art took the backseat, but I was always drawing and doodling, designing t-shirts, logos, posters, etc. for the various organizations in which I was involved. After college, I worked for several not-for-profit art museums, where I was the jack-of-all-trades (invitations, newsletters, logos, and the like). It was here where I started to learn the computer skills needed for designing.

Dizzy Daisy started not long after the birth of my third child (all girls), when the search for a "bouncing fairy" party invitation turned up dry. My 6-year-old suggested that I make the invitation myself.

I feel so blessed to be able to spend my days doing something that I truly love, and that I have been able to stay home with my girls. Balancing work and family is not always easy or pretty—in fact, it is often crazy and messy!—but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?

I would like to say that most of my inspiration comes from my daily crazy life with three kids, two dogs and my occasional wanderlust for travel. But the truth is, the Internet is often the first place I go; Google and Pinterest are bottomless pits of inspiration for any project.

Do you have a favorite artist? If so, what draws you to that person’s work?

My design crush is Suejean Rim. I love Sujean’s illustrations because of what I like to call her "whimsical realism” style. She draws from reality, people, places and things, and infuses a sense of fun and whimsy—not in a cutesy way, but with a hint of sophistication.

You also offer hand-written lettering. Is that a natural-born skill, or did you study hand-lettering?

I have been obsessed with handwriting since I was a little girl. I love to play with the shapes of words and letters and it just comes naturally.

What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

The words! Pictures come easy for me, but words are my nemesis! That is why nearly all my cards are blank on the inside. :)

10 Halloween Fast Facts

Golden leaves are falling, pumpkin spice lattes are back, there’s a chill in the air. Fall has arrived, and so has many people’s favorite holiday of the year: Halloween!

This year, million Americans are expected to celebrate the spooky holiday, whether it’s at a costume party, trick-or-treating with friends, or sending friends and family a ghoulish greeting card!

As The Boston Globe reported last month, Halloween is indeed a card-sending holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 36 percent of Americans planned to send a Halloween card in 2014 — and that number is expected to rise significantly this year. Sending your Halloween couldn’t be easier: simply browse our Halloween cards here.

Want some more hair-raising facts? Check out these 10 fast facts for Halloween 2015:

  • Halloween comes from an ancient pagan festival, Samhain, celebrated by Celtic people over 2,000 years ago
  • Immigrants from Ireland and Scotland brought Halloween to the United States in the 1800s
  • Irish legend claims that jack-o’-lanterns are named for a man named Jack who couldn’t go to heaven or hell, and was forced to walk the earth forever with only coal to light his lantern
  • 157 million Americans are expected to celebrate Halloween in 2015
  • Total spending on Halloween will top $6.9 billion 
  • Eight in 10 millennials say they are planning to celebrate the holiday 
  • The average American will spend $74.34 on decorations, candy, costumes, and more
  • The top adult costume for 2015 is a witch, topping out at over 4 million costumes
  • The top children’s costume for 2015 is a princess, with just over 3 million costumes
  • The top pet costume for 2015 is a pumpkin

It’s September, which means it’s time for another featured artist! Each month on the Card Gnome blog, we’re featuring a Card Gnome artist to share a little history, a little background, and a lot of inspiration!

This month, we’re pleased to introduce Charrow, the artist and gouache extraordinaire (we’ll explain) behind Parade of Squirrels. Charrow is a Brooklyn-based artist who spends her time gathering inspiration from nature, fellow creatives, and of course, squirrels. Welcome, Charrow!


Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in illustration and water color?

I had always loved to draw and used to make stationary out of lined paper using colored pencils when I was younger. I made different themed borders and pretended it was my stationary line.

As I got older, I mostly focused on drawing in pencil and had a hard time figuring out how to use color well. I took some classes in oil and acrylic, but never really loved either medium. After college, where I studied art history, I decided I wanted to go to graduate school for illustration and design. While in grad school I had a wonderful teacher that introduced me to gouache.

Gouache is an old school illustration material and was used often in illustration for advertising because it reproduces really well. I fell in love with how easy it was use and unlike a lot of artists that use it thickly, I found I enjoyed making it super watery, which is why everyone mistakes it for watercolor.

The main difference between the two mediums is watercolor is translucent and gouache is opaque because it has white in it. It scans a lot better too, which is perfect for greeting cards. I hate color correction and usually just bump up the contrast. I really love to make things, so the less grunt work I have to do, the happier I am.

I love puns and visual jokes, and illustration allows me to make art that is both amusing and endearing. I love fine art, but I’m not a very serious person and fine art often feels very buttoned up; I enjoy being much more low-brow. I also really like function, and illustration is a great way to produce something beautiful that can also be used for patterns, cards, textiles, and merchandise.


Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?

A lot of inspiration comes from puns or idioms. I come from a family of language nerds and punsters, so it has always been in my blood. I love silly and weird humor. I really love children being goofy and weird, so sometimes I will just play with my friends’ kids and watch what they are thinking about or imagining.

I love nature and spend a lot of time in Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden for inspiration. We live in a city so often I will find some funny juxtaposition between the urban landscape and nature.

It’s so hard to not take inspiration from everything. There is always something on a given day that can be inspiring, from dogs, to squirrels, to whatever podcast I am listening to. Basically, I spend a lot of time looking at things. I also am inspired by things that drive me crazy. I like to make fun of people on cell phones, loud talkers, and of course people that dress their animals in clothing. (FYI: I do dress my pitt bull up as a cheerleader on Halloween.)


Do you have a favorite artist?  If so, what draws you to that person’s work?

OH, I love a bunch of people. It’s so hard with Instagram because I find new artists every day who inspire me like crazy. I love Oliver Jeffers because he is the jack-of-all-trades. He makes amazing and strange children's books, which I love; if I could write a book, it would be of the same ilk. He also is a masterful fine artist. He seems to have a lot of freedom and fearless artistic style. I am sure there is a lot of control, but he makes everything look so easy and fun. His type is also extremely expressive.

And then there are is Jay Ryan who makes great band posters with squirrels... and really I love squirrels.

There are also a bunch of artists who I love to follow on Instagram and whose art has a lot of patterns and great texture: Genine, Lisa Congdon, Julia Rothman, Claudia Pearson and Faye Moor. Basically, it’s impossible to not be inspired these days. I have to close all my programs to get work done because I become so overwhelmed.


Your work reflects a true love for squirrels. How'd that come about?

Well, they are like hidden little gems you have no idea how much you miss them until they are gone. In high school we went to Israel and they do not have squirrels was very sad for me. But seriously, have you every seen them walk? They hop a lot, but sometimes they will walk, like they are on a coffee break from being a squirrel and its so funny to me. It’s unclear where this strange love came from, but they are the perfect balance of cute and maniacal. I love that balance between adorable and dangerous.


What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

I find the making of cards really easy. Sometimes I have to make cards to fill up certain categories that are light, and that’s really hard. Some categories like sympathy and new babies are hard to do. I am not a sappy person and really, if you need sappy there are a lot of cards out there for you. The hard thing is making something endearing. Sympathy is impossible because you never know what to say to someone who is suffering and really there are only a handful of ways of saying "I'm here for you" or "I'm sorry for your loss."

The other pressing issue is choosing what to print for shops that only want a small batch of cards. I have over 250 styles and I think 200 of them are no occasion cards. It’s so nice to get a weird card that the sender writes what it’s for on the inside. I think I appeal to the crowd that has a lot of inside jokes. A lot of people connect with the cards that have goats. I cannot tell you why, but seriously, slap a goat on it and you have solid gold.

Let’s start with some eye-opening statistics: Ninety percent of hiring managers say that being thanked for a job interview positively affected a job candidate’s chances. Twenty-two percent of hiring managers admit they’d be less likely to hire a candidate who didn’t send a thank you note. And only thirteen percent of these hiring managers reported receiving a thank you note. 


5 tips for landing a job with a thank you card


What do these numbers tell us? If you’re a candidate in today’s job market, you better start sending some thank you notes!

When interviewing in person, it’s considered the norm for candidates to send at least a thank-you email the same day, post-interview. But those who follow up with a snail-mail note the next day become the real standouts!

It’s clear that prospective employers appreciate receiving thank-you notes after a job interview. More importantly, they seem to notice when you don’t send one. Writing a thoughtful thank you is a key way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

Here are five tips for writing a sincere thank you note to a prospective employer: 

Be enthusiastic. Let the hiring manager know that you’re eager for the job, but don’t confuse enthusiasm with desperation. Keep the positivity but curb an over-eager tone. A great example of open-ended enthusiasm: “I enjoyed our discussion of the XYZ project and I’ve been thinking about how I can help move the project forward by doing A, B and C.”

Be specific. Explain what the hiring manager did to benefit you while in the interview. For example, ”Thanks so much for investing your time in our meeting. I appreciate you taking the time to explain the position in greater detail, and for being honest with my questions.” 

Sound human. Look beyond stuffy language to express yourself. Talk about why you’re appreciative and what the hiring manager’s actions mean for you, without being dramatic or long-winded.

Provide clarity. If you felt you gave a weak answer to an interview question, use the thank-you note to revisit the issue. Ever thought to yourself, ‘I should’ve said X, Y and Z!”? Now’s your chance.

Provide follow-up information. Interviews often end with a “we’ll be in touch.” Provide additional information, or inquire about information you didn’t receive. This shows you were paying attention and that you’ve got initiative. 

It is important that you remain in close contact with well-connected hiring managers, and an appropriate "thank you" is well worth the small effort it takes. Find the perfect thank-you card now.

It’s that time again! Each month on the Card Gnome blog, we’re featuring a Card Gnome artist to share a little history, a little background, and a lot of inspiration!

This month, we’re pleased to introduce Brittany Groener, the calligraphist and artist behind Creative Collection. Brittany is a lifelong artist who recently turned her creative energies toward card-making, and enjoys weaving wit and sass into her work. Welcome, Brittany!


Brittany Groener


Brittany, tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in card-making? 

I've always loved cards. It takes me forever to choose cards in stores because I have to look at all my options before picking. I'm also an artist and love creating, so it only made sense for me to try out making my own cards. I created my first card about six months ago, and felt inspired to make an entire line soon after.


Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?

I do have a blog, but I don't keep up with it as often as I should. 


Do you have a favorite artist? What draws you to that person’s work?

My favorite artist is Andy Goldsworthy. His combination of sculpture and photography is simply breathtaking. The amount of effort and time he puts into his pieces—a lot of which end up getting ruined mid-process—is remarkable. I'm intrigued by his transformation of nature into something even more beautiful than it already is.


Where do you gather inspiration for your work?

For my cards, I like to get inspiration from witty sayings. I try to make them simple and sassy, while still creating something cute and original.


What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

For me, the hardest step in my card creating process is not adding too much. Sometimes, it's hard not to go overboard with designs, but in the end, I want to be sure to stick with my style.

Birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries are just the tip of the card-giving iceberg! Here, we’ve gathered an alphabetical list of 26 reasons to send a card.


ABCs of card giving



Let’s face it. Sometimes, we just need to tell that special someone how awesome they are. A card is a great way to do it! 



Whether it’s on-time or belated, a real, paper birthday card is a wonderful way to wish friends and family a happy birthday! 


Co-worker’s new promotion 

Congratulate your hardworking co-worker on their new promotion. 



It takes a special person to watch your beloved Wilber. Thank your dog-sitter for taking such good care of your pooch with a sweet thank you card. 



Bunnies! Chicks! Easter eggs! We’ve got them all with our wide selection of Easter cards. 


Father’s day

Dad, you’ve been there through it all. (And you still love me!) Each June, send Dad a card for Father’s Day. 


Grandma loves cards

Grandma always loves to hear from you, and a card is a wonderful way to send your love through the mail. 



Exploring the world is great, but there’s no place like home! Send your homesick loved one a reminder of their favorite place on earth.  


I love you

Everyone likes to be reminded that they’re loved. Like Lionel Ritchie crooned, “I just sent a card, to say, I love you!” Isn’t that how it goes? 


Just because

Which day is best for sending someone a card? Any day! Make your friend, family member, or special someone feel the love with a card just ‘cause.


Kids love to feel special 

First day at a new school, a major milestone, or a job well done: no matter the occasion, kiddos love to feel like they’re doing a great job. 


Last day of school 

School’s out for summer! Let the fun begin and congratulate your kiddo on another school year under her belt. Now, which way to the pool?


Mother’s Day

Mom’s been there from the beginning — quite literally. Remind Mom that there’s no one else on earth more special! 


New baby

Oh, baby! When friends or family welcome a bundle of joy into this world, a card is a wonderful way to send warm wishes and heartfelt congratulations! 


Offering an apology 

Oops. My bad. Really sorry. Sincerest apologies. However you want to say it, saying you’re sorry with a card can mean a lot. 


President’s Day 

Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers thought it was a really great idea to send a President’s Day card!


Quitting your job!

How do you spell FREEDOM? I-Q-U-I-T! Celebrate your friend’s next career adventure with a celebratory card!


Rough times 

When the going gets rough, the rough need a card. Send your wishes for happier days and better times ahead with a heartfelt card. 


Sisters are the best

Sisters can be some of the best friends you’ll have, ever. Let your sister know how much she means to you with a sweet (or sassy!) card.


Thank you 

Danke. Grazie. Merci. However you want to say it, saying thank you can take your expression of gratitude to the next level. 


Unexpected mail - people love it!  

You know the feeling: opening the mailbox to see a real card with a real stamp. Send that feeling of joy to someone you know today! 


Valentine’s Day 

Honeybun, I love you to the moon and back, especially if it’s February 14. Show your sweetie you care (and you remembered!) with a Valentine’s Day card.


Wedding anniversary 

A wedding is one day, but wedding vows last a lifetime. Send your husband or wife a card to celebrate the day you pledged your love for each other. 


Xmas time

Hey, if Santa can visit every house in the world, it shouldn’t be any trouble for you to send a few cards to your best friends and family.


Your teacher rules!

Teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Give your teacher a pat on the back with a meaningful card!  


Zany Aunt Martha beat breast cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Celebrate your family member or friend’s recovery with a card!


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