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How to Send a Fruitcake in an Email:
Holiday Connections in the Digital Age
We live in a strange, wonderful era that has changed, among other things, the face of the holidays. Let's face it: these days many of us have just as many friends on the Internet as we do in person, and what's more, some of these friendships are deep and delicious, though we've never even met one another in person.
These relationships bring up some odd questions during the holidays. How can you celebrate and honor friendships when you can't just drop by with a tray of cookies? Last week, I realized that the answer is to USE technology instead of fight it. For example, I really wanted to throw a holiday party for Artella Members. I envisioned a traditional holiday party with caroling around a piano, gift exchange around a Christmas tree, games around the punch bowl.
Well...with Members all 50 states and in at least 14 different countries around the globe, THAT'S not going to happen (at least not this year…wink!) So we've scheduled an "old-time party with modern technology" to take place by conference call, adapting all of the original activities, games, and prizes I envisioned so that they work by phone! And like our other fun "high-tech" parties, I think it will end up being even MORE magical, this way!
(Side Note to Artella Members: this amazing party, chock full of gifts and surprises, is the evening of December 15! Get full details in the Special Events Room in the Members' Magic Mansion, or in your Member mailings on Mondays and Friday.) If you'd like to become a member you can get details at http://www.artellawordsandart.com/members.html.
Here are some ideas of ways to celebrate the holidays with Internet friends:
-Create a "virtual gift basket" via a PDF file. If you can put together a Word document, you can make a virtual gift basket! Collect meaningful items and type/paste them into a Word document, such as: quotes from emails between you and your friend, inspiring quotes, links to inspirational sites, neat graphics, etc. Put it all together in a Word file, adding headings and sub-headings to personalize it for the recipient. Then go to http://www.pdf995.com/ to download a free utility that will allow you to create a PDF file from the Word document by installing a "printer" to your machine called PDF995. You can create a PDF file by simply selecting PDF995 when you print a document. Once you make a PDF, you can save it, and then you can email it to your friend as an attachment. A perfectly personalized passionate gift!
-Go on a virtual window shopping trip. Make a "shopping date" that you can do from your own computers, in your own corners of the world. Hook up to an Instant Message program (both MSN and AOL have ones that are free to anyone) and sign on so that you can "chat" back and forth in real time. Go to Artella's Smart Shopper and each of you answer the questions for the other person. Then share which gift choices you came up with by sending the links of the gifts you are "giving" the person "in thought". Giving gifts on an energetic level puts into action the idea that "it's the thought that counts". Knowing what someone would give you, if resources were not an issue, is a fabulous thing to take in and accept.
-Send eCards to make a difference! We are graced daily by the small, seemingly insignificant actions of other people, and too many people are walking around not realizing that they made a difference. Send an eCard (take a look at Artella's free eCards at http://www.artellawordsandart.com/free-ecards.html) to thank someone for something they have done in 2005 that made a difference to you. For an alternative to the traditional eCard format, take a look at Artella's own Zura Ledbetter's new eMail Greeting Cards!
-Gifts Artella Friends Are Sure to Love! If your friend is someone you know from Artella's virtual playground, a small gift from Artella is not only something you know that he or she will love, but it also has special symbolic meaning as well. Any item you give as a gift, whether delivered by snail mail (i.e., a collage kit or subscription to Artella), or email (i.e., an e-course or eBook), is delivered in a grand manner, with a gorgeous Artella-style gift announcement. And our famous Artella Gold (used like cash anywhere on the Artella site) can be purchased for any amount; email Zura at Zura@ArtellaLand.com if you'd like to give Artella Gold to an Internet friend and we'll take care of it!
ART TIP OF THE WEEK!
One way to celebrate friendships and other relationships in your art is to use photographs of people you love and create artwork using those photographs. The ever-growing list of techniques for image transfers allow you to not only play with a variety of art supplies and products, but to put your photos in a variety of contexts and media. A favorite of mine is Inkjet Lasertran, a transfer product that allows you to print photos from your inkjet printer that can be applied to just about any surface using only water, from glass to candles to metal to wood. Photographs can be transferred to fabric via iron-on products and methods that allow you to put fabric directly through your home computer. And that's just the beginning of image transfers! See the Artful Links section for a good link to several different image transfer projects.
WRITING TIP OF THE WEEK!
We all know that we SHOULD write Thank You notes, but somehow it never makes it to the top of the to-do list. Besides, how can you make a Thank You note interesting and meaningful. Once you've said Thank You, what else can you say? Here are three elements that a perfect Thank You note will have – use these and it will be easier to express your gratitude:
(1) A specific, creative mention of the reason for the Thank You note. (i.e. "How sweet of you to remember that I love Pink Passion tea, and to send me a box of 120 tea bags.")
(2) A personal comment about the person to whom the note is written. (i.e. "I never think of you without remembering your warm smile.")
(3) A bit of news about yourself, especially if it relates to something that is special to the person you are writing. (i.e. "I finally conquered that difficult run in Mozart's 3rd – you told me I could.")
Personal Holiday writing challenge– write a Thank You note (eMail or snail mail) to at least one person every day from now until New Year's Day. Use the three elements above, and share gratitude and love.
Creative Writing Challenge #1 – write Thank You notes from the voice of characters from stories and poems you have written or are writing. Have them write Thank You notes to each other, and even to YOU. As stated above, writing Thank You notes with the above three elements can uncover a lot about a character. What does this doing this exercise uncover about your characters?
Creative Writing Challenge #2 – write fictional Thank You notes, quickly, spontaneously, just off the top of your head. Don't think, just see what comes when you write quickly and include all 3 elements listed above. Challenge yourself to write at least 10 different notes (to and from different people) in a row. It's a great writing exercise, and wonderful material can come from it!
Now it's easier than ever to get Artella news several times a week in the Artella News Blog. And what's more…with almost every post, there's a BlogJog "sneaky" Special hidden in the post, which is a sale or freebie that's listed exclusively in the blog, and only for a few days. So check the Artella blog for full, hot-off-the-creative-presses Artella News! Go see what’s 50% off right now!
Quick Links to our current hot items:
- Buy-1, Get-1-Free on Holiday Cards Kits Expires! That's right – the Buy-One, Get-1-Free sale for our joyously popular Holiday Card Kits expires this Wednesday, December 7, at midnight. AND just this weekend, we added TWO brand new card kits, just in time for you to grab before the 2-for-1 sale ends: "O Holy Night" and "Angels We Have Heard on High". Give all twelve kits one last look to pick out your favorites for this special sale: http://www.artellawordsandart.com/discount-art-supplies.html#holiday
- Create-Your-Own Holiday Shopping Spree Continues ALL SEASON LONG! Our most festive and FUN sale ever, the Create-Your-Own Holiday Shopping Spree, will continue all season long, so even if you haven't started your holiday shopping yet, never fear, over 1,000 products on the Artella Web site are here! Go to http://www.artellawordsandart.com/holiday-sale.html to learn how you can literally create your own shopping spree by getting rewarded with more and more free gifts, the more you shop!
- Let Us Entertain You -- and get free prizes! By now, you've probably seen some of the "Holiday Entertainment Rest Stops" on the Artella site. But did you know that there are FORTY of them in all? That's right, there are 40 recordings to get you in the holiday mood: everything from traditional holiday music to Winter Solstice meditations to children's holiday stories to all kinds of other inspiring offers. We've created a fun little scavenger hunt through the Artella Holiday Entertainment Rest Stops with great holiday prizes for the winners, including, including Artella Gold to spend anywhere on our Web site! It's called ARTELLA'S SNOWY SCAVENGER HUNT and you can get all the details at http://www.artellawordsandart.com/snowy-scavenger-hunt.html.
- Shoppes of Artella overflowing with treats! The Shoppes of Artella is full of news. Our Holiday Shop is full of holiday cards, tags, ornaments, and gifts! We have more and more talented individuals being added to our roster of artists and sellers every day! As always, keep your eye on the Artella News blog for the latest announcements, additions, and sales from The Shoppes! And be sure to look at our current and most recent featured artists:
- Tina Ramsby, who, among other things, creates wonderful necklaces from pictures of shoes!
- Megan Hull, whose flowery purses are to die for!
- Kim Barr, who "paints" with yarn, with a bold and sometimes humorous stroke!
- Lotus Wilkerson, whose gorgeous paintings of angels makes them come alive!
- Have you browsed through Artella’s new eBooks? All four of Artella’s new eBooks have sample pages for you to browse through! So take a look at 10 Christmas Crafts in 10 Minutes, Writing the Carousel, Scribbles,and our brand new hit Booklarks: 200 Themes and Dreams for Art Journals, about which Gail Edlund said "BookLarks deservessome kind of award - it is delightful. I am a fledgling artist but (it) gives me the courage and inspiration to have fun and appreciate my own art." OR better yet, pick these eBooks as your FREE gifts when you shop in our Create-Your-Own Holiday Shopping Spree!
- NEWSFLASH: Artella 9 goes to press next week! A great big thank you to everyone who participated in our survey about Artella magazine! Your responses have helped create the greatest Artella issue ever in Artella 9, The Journey: destination & imagination, which we expect to be mailed out the first week in January! Thank you for your input and wonderful feedback! And remember, with this new issue coming out, it’s the perfect time to subscribe or give a gift subscription.
ARTFUL, HEART-FULL LINKS!
One of the features of Artella Membership is LinkLatte, a daily Web site recommendation that serves as your daily dose of creativity to go along with your morning beverage! December's LinkLattes have and will be full of Web sites that inspire fun, inspiring, creative, and meaningful ways to spend the holidays, so be sure that you're getting your daily LinkLatte!
Here are a couple of links to pass along this week:
1. The Image Transfer page at art-e-zine links to several great image transfer project pages for great ideas for taking your photographs of loved ones and turning them into special holiday gifts.
2. Artella's dear "sister on the Web", Benevolent Planet is offeringa beautiful book designed to bring meaning back to the holiday season, called Humane Holidays, which Benevolent Planet is generously making available to us for a donation of whatever amount you wish. Go ahead and download it now at http://members.aol.com/benevolentplanet/HumaneHolidays.pdf, and you can make a donation later, if you wish. Also, be sure to read about their Warm Wishes Service - a unique way to make charitable giving easier than ever.
~sent with visions of sugar plums,
p.s. Don't forget, your last chance of the year to get Artella's Holiday Card Kits in the Buy-One Get-One-Free sale expires this Wednesday, December 7, 2005. So if there are still some special people to whom you'd like to send some unique handmade cards of your own, come pick yours at http://www.ArtellaWordsandArt.com/discount-art-supplies.html#holiday
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