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From the Desk of Dixie

Dixie's Guide to Calling Cards

Did you know that in addition to our notecards, invitations, holiday cards, and wedding suites, we also offer beautiful semi-custom calling cards? Similar in size to a business card, these personalized miniature cards can be quite handy to include either on top or inside a wrapped gift, or paired with a homemade item baked for someone special. Dixie’s Creative Consultant Holly Hollon loves the idea of laminating a calling card to transform it into a chic luggage tag!

While calling cards are used today in many social settings, they are most certainly not a by-product of the millennial age. Their rich history dates back to the 19th century in Victorian-Era Europe where wealthy society had stringent rules dictating how and when social visits could ensue. We have had a ball learning about how these once simple engraved cards were used in a time before you could reach someone via a telephone or even now through a few smartphone keystrokes. We have included below three of our favorite facts about the original uses of calling cards. You just may be inspired to tuck a few of your own calling cards away for your next networking gathering or party.

  1. Calling cards, often called visiting cards, began as a simple way to request a future visit of the recipient's home. If the recipient was not home, a servant would accept the calling card and leave it in a silver tray in an entrance hall. Often, the cards of the wealthy members of society would be intentionally displayed on the top of a stack of calling cards to impress future house visitors.
  2. Turning a corner down on your calling card upon delivery could indicate several different reasons or expectations for the visit, all depending upon which corner was bent. Various messages such as a visit in person (as opposed to a servant delivering the card), a congratulatory visit, a condolence visit, or an announcement that you were about to leave town could be communicated merely by turning down a certain corner of your calling card. Sometimes short notes were written on the card to specify the meaning of the visit.
  3. The first calling card visit or “call” did not usually result in a face-to-face meeting. If you wanted to kindle a friendship with a particular person, you would drop off a card and return home to wait to see if the receiver would reply with their own card a few days later to initiate an in-person visit. If no return card was received or if the response card was sealed in an envelope upon return, it meant a visit would not be accepted.

We hope you enjoyed our brief history lesson. Be sure to check out our complete line of calling cards on our website. With numerous style and artwork choices, you’ll surely find the perfect calling card to make a lasting impression!

Sources we used in our research can be found here and here.

Dressing your Little Ones for Holiday Card Portraits

Tis the season for checking those Christmas family portraits off your holiday to-do list! While it may take dozens of frames and multiple forms of bribery to get that perfect snapshot of your little ones, we know the real work begins even before the photography session commences! Choosing your children's outfits for their photography session is an important part of the process, whether you aim for all their clothes to effortlessly coordinate or you would rather have them simply dress in a seasonally fashionable manner.

Little English children's clothing is one of our favorites when it comes to shopping for our little ones' outfits! They have adorable holiday clothing options that you can shop on their website and in over 300 boutiques across the United States. Little English founder and designer, Shannon Latham, has kindly shared her advice for dressing your children for your holiday card photo: 

  • As the founder and designer, I believe children should be well dressed as children in styles that are sweet and celebrate childhood.
  • It’s not all about red and green! Don’t be afraid of a softer color palette for these photos. We have a lovely Pleats Collection this season that is made on light blue corduroy that can be worn all season long.
  • Remember to ask your photographer to be continuously shooting. Some of the sweetest moments happen between the poses and capture your children in a more natural way.
  • Mom to mom -- check kiddos for marker stains and remove nail polish a few days in advance!

We've included below some of our favorite Little English outfits paired with a few of our holiday cards. The options are endless but we hope this helps and inspires you to create a holiday card you love!

Green Greek Key Card | Candy Cane Ruffle Dress.

Citrus Clementine Card | Audrey Dress.

English Ivy Card | Feather Stitch Banded Shorts Set.

Green Paper Whites Card | Holly Peter Pan Bubble.

Holiday Pears Border Card | Audrey Dress.

Pomegranate Blue Holiday Card | Light Blue Peter Pan Bubble.

Twelve Days of Christmas Card | Holly Feather Stitch Short SetHolly Peter Pan Bubble.

Angel Garland Pink Card | Audrey Dress.

Candy Canes Card | Candy Cane Crochet T-ShirtJam Panty.

Tulip Berry Card | Feather Stitch Banded Shorts Set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Assemble Envelope Liners

We are so excited for the addition of our envelope liners to the Holiday Collection this year! We think our clients will have a ball adding an extra dose of flair to their holiday envelopes. Below we have included step-by-step instructions, as well as a video tutorial, for how to adhere these beautiful liners to your Dixie holiday cards as well as some of our favorite options to shop below. 

1: Insert your envelope liner into the envelope.

2: Fold Down the flap using the crease of the envelope to guide the fold.

3: Apply glue to the point of the envelope liner. DO NOT glue in the crease area as this will make it difficult for the envelope to fold back correctly.

4:  Fold down the flap onto the liner to attach the liner to the envelope and rub your hand across the flap of the envelope to bind.

5: Open you envelope and TA-DA! Your envelope liner is in.

TIP: Make sure to enjoy Christmas Movie on Netflix while assembling your envelopes or get a group of friends together and it goes twice as fast!

 

Dixie's Guide for Your Handwritten Thank You Notes

With the holiday season now behind us, thank you note obligations can seem daunting. But our Southern mothers raised us to know that this form of etiquette was never to be overlooked. We were taught to always acknowledge our thanks in a written form.

Our mothers’ opinion on this matter was not unfounded. The queen of etiquette herself also mandates the handwritten note: According to The Emily Post Institute, the “the handwritten thank-you note speaks volumes simply as a medium and sends the message that you care enough to invest yourself personally in acknowledging another.”

So if thank you notes are still lingering on your January to-do list, please allow us to share a few of our guaranteed-to-make-them-smile thank you note tips... 

  • Designate a Special Spot - Create a cozy nook in your home specifically devoted to your note writing. Our Creative Director, Holly Hollon’s beautiful secretary desk (pictured above) has inspired us to do this very thing:

Last Christmas my mother gave me a secretary. I have an office in my home, but it is full to the brim with art supplies and my work, my address list and stationery would easily get lost in there and delay in me writing thank you notes. I filled the secretary in my living room with my stationery and all the things needed to write a note. This helped me in having a designated spot to pen notes promptly, consider a special place in your home to store your stationery, a nice pen and stamps.

  • Thoughtfully Choose Your Stationery - While we certainly have a plethora of lovely personalized options available here, the possibilities are endless! Have fun with your notes, so that they reflect your personality in the design. Also, we have learned so much from Holly Holden’s take on the traditional approach to thank you notes from her tutorial here. Fun fact... Holly designates the fold-over stationery card, rather than the the flat note card, as the most formal note.
  • Date It - Etiquette Expert Lee Cordone, of DoSayGive, says to always include this when you are writing notes you think someone may keep. 
  • Greeting - This may seem completely obvious, but check and re-check the spelling of your recipient’s name. You do not want a misspelling to be their first impression of your note!
  • A First Line Challenge - Holly Holden, in the same video mentioned above, challenges thank you note writers to never begin the first sentence with the word “I.” She says it presumes you are more important than the person to whom you are writing. So we encourage you go beyond the formulaic “thank you so much for xyz” to creatively express how much the gift meant to you and why. We always love to read how our gift is being used in thank you notes we receive.
  • Make Your Recipient Smile - We borrowed this advice from the talented Kalee Baker of Kalee Baker Events. She is a firm believer in the power of a well-written thank you note: "Each day is a gift, so always include a memory or leave them with a kind, positive thought."
  • In Closing - Depending on the depth of your relationship with your recipient, “Sincerely” is always a safe option, but we also love to use “Best” or “With Love.”
  • Late? - Don’t Fret! - We are of the mindset that a late thank you note is always much better than no note at all! 

Still overwhelmed by the long list of thank you notes that may even include note writing for your children and your husband? We love this idea mentioned on The Emily Post Institute of getting your entire family involved in the thank you note process:

The smallest (ages 4-6) drew pictures of their gifts, and Mom and Dad added dictated captions and thank you’s. The 7-8 year-olds wrote one or two sentences, practicing new writing skills. The 9-and-olders were able to work more or less independently. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad helped with spelling words and addressing, and, in the quiet moments, wrote a few notes themselves. When everyone was finished, there was hot cider and banana bread. The kids were involved, the notes were done and the family had time to be together and talk about their holiday, friends and relatives.

Happy note writing!

Fondly,
The Dixie Team

    Dixie's Guide to Spectacular Holiday Cards & Invitations

    The Dixie team has pulled together a list of answers to frequently asked questions and some advice from our card designers as a guide for our customers to reference when they create their Holiday cards.  Here are our suggestions for addressing and creating holiday cards...
    • Proper Plural - Use the plural form of your last name and not the possessive form (Correct:  The Collier Family or The Colliers; Incorrect:  The Colliers’ or Collier’s).  The only proper use of the possessive form is when the invitation reads:  "Please join us at The Colliers’ Home.” We see this mistake a lot and we don’t want it to happen to you!
    • Proper Way to List Names - We prefer to list the husband first, then the wife, followed by children oldest to youngest.
    • That Pesky Comma - The Oxford comma is common practice for every day use, but it can sometimes be unnecessary and even distracting on a holiday card. We like the way this name list looks without the Oxford comma on a holiday card:
    Merry Christmas!
    The Holland Family
    Henry, Anna Beth and George
    • Monograms - We recommend using a single letter monogram of the family last name. If you are a newly married couple, you might want to use your married three letter monogram. If you’re an engaged couple sending a holiday card or a party invitation that includes a monogram, the bride’s initials should be used or the couples first name initials and not the married monogram.
    • Addressing Families on the Envelope - We think either "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" or "The Smith Family" could work! Using "The Smith Family" includes everyone if the couple has children. 
    • The Best Photo - Make sure your photo is high resolution and good quality so it will print well.  Remember the photo you see on your computer screen or on your phone is backlit and will appear brighter than it will print.  So please ensure you do not use a dark photo when customizing your card.
    • Photo Logistics - Fill the entire photo box with your photo and zoom in or out to get it placed exactly where you want it. If you zoom too much though, it could reduce the sharpness of your photo. You may click on the photo and move it around or use the buttons on the personalization screen. You may also click the CORNERS of your photo and resize but never click on the SIDES of the photo to move it around as it will distort the photo. If you accidentally do that, re-upload your photo and start again.
    • Don't forget to order some extra cards! We think it is nice to have some extras to send out to someone who sent you a card and you did not have them on your original list.

    For Holiday Invitations

    • No Zip Needed - No need to include the zip code on an invitation, only include on the envelope return address.
    • RSVP - When requesting a reply on an invitation, include "Please Reply" or “RSVP" and not "Please RSVP” as that is asking the recipient to Please Respond Please!

     Photo: Mandy Busby Creative

    The Etiquette Expert's Advice on how to be a Gracious Guest this Holiday Season


    Myka Meier and her husband, Marco, putting into practice all of her tips for being a gracious guest while attending a recent wedding.

    We hope you saw our post yesterday on Myka Meier's tips on being a gracious host. We simply could not leave out her advice for all of you who need to be gracious guests this holiday season! Please do not miss Myka's recommendation for what time a gracious guest should arrive to a party...we think it is spectacular advice! And for her thank you note reminder, we have some beautiful stationery options for all of your note writing.

    According to Myka...

    • The perfect time to arrive is from the invitation time to 10 minutes after. Never arrive early…as the host or hostess is probably preparing last minute touches and will be caught off guard. When you arrive, offer to help in any way you can.

    Some of Myka's other hosting tips follow...

    The Etiquette Expert's Advice on how to be a Gracious Host this Holiday Season

    We are thrilled to re-introduce you to on one of our 2017 Holiday Tastemakers, Beaumont Etiquette Founder, Myka Meier. You'll remember her as the guest speaker at our Paper Petals Plates events in August.  We loved working with Myka then and it was a true pleasure working with her to design her stunning Park Avenue card collection with the our talented Creative Director and designer, Holly Hollon.  The artwork was inspired by the architecture in Myka's in New York City neighborhood and her love of French crests, garland and candy canes.  Shop Myka's cards here.

    With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought you might like some advice from the Etiquette Guru herself on how to be a gracious hostess. Whether you are a first time host or you have done it for more years than you can count, we believe everyone can glean a few useful insights from this thorough list of tips Myka has passed on to us. 

    We love her advice on how to graciously dispel any heated political discussions that could crop up at the dinner table! According to Myka... 

    • If you are the host, then it's your job to be the conversation moderator at the table. If Uncle Harry starts a political debate at the table, you can try one of two approaches to end the politi-chat:
      • First - Try the "Honest Abe" approach: Be direct, straightforward and honest from the start. From the very beginning of the conversation, it’s okay to simply say, "Uncle Harry, I respect you are passionate about your beliefs, however, as we share different ones, I think it’s best you and I don’t talk about politics and just enjoy family time.”
      • Second - Agree to Disagree - Change the subject to something everyone agrees on. Simply saying, "I understand you have a perspective on this and thanks for wanting to share, however I think we’ll need to agree to disagree on this one. Now, I know we can agree on XX... how about we chat about that." Remember, you can’t help what other people think or say, but you are in charge of your response and reaction. Avoid raising your voice. It’s easy to do, but also one sure way to escalate any situation. 

    Some of Myka's other hosting tips follow...

    Make sure you do not to miss Part Two of this series, Myka's Advice on How to be a Gracious Guest this Holiday Season.

    Myka Meier's Takeaways from Dixie's Etiquette & Entrepreneurship Luncheon

    Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon and Dixie Founder Jennifer Hunt with Etiquette Expert Myka Meier

    The Dixie Design team is still on cloud nine from the fabulous two-day event series we hosted featuring modern-day etiquette expert Myka Meier. Be sure to scroll through our latest blog post and our Instagram page to experience the amazing Paper Petals Plates evening event. The next day we hosted an Etiquette & Entrepreneurship luncheon focused on the creative career woman.  We enjoyed the gorgeous space at the John Hand Club and delicious food by Kathy G & Co. on stunning Tea and Old Roses china while Myka led us in a fun and interactive discussion about etiquette in the modern day workplace. 

    Just in case you were unable to make our etiquette luncheon, we wanted to share with you some of our most memorable takeaways from Myka.

    To all of the entrepreneurs at the luncheon, Myka firmly insisted on the necessity of making a lasting first impression. Someone’s first impression of you is formed in the first seven seconds of your time together…that’s it!

    So, whether you are facing a job interview or you have a career-launching presentation to make, you will want to make those seven seconds really count! Here is what Myka recommends:

    • Know the room before you walk in!  Be sure to thoroughly research your audience, so you can easily maneuver conversations towards individuals’ interests and skills, as well as avoid any potentially uncomfortable topics.
    • Small details count!  Be sure to make sure that all of your accessories (i.e. notepad, pen, cell phone case) portray a professional appearance.
    • Social media sweep!  Myka gave the statistic that 65 percent of people google you the minute you call them or email them! Be sure that your online presence is something that you would be comfortable with a potential boss or potential client seeing.
    • Check your voice!  Myka taught us that everyone needs to work on either their pitch, their pace, or their pauses when engaged in verbal communication.
    • Shoulders back!  Does anybody else hear their mother’s insistent voice in their head when “posture” is mentioned? Myka taught us that people who stand up straight exude more confidence than their slouching neighbors. She also taught us to look at people in the left eye if you want to show them compassion or in the right eye if you want to appear authoritative.

    If you were able to join us for our Paper Petals Plates evening event or for this luncheon, we want to sincerely say THANK YOU for making the both events so successful and delightful! We hope to see you again really soon.

    Also, a huge thank you to our luncheon event sponsors, Regions HerVision HerLegacy and Birmingham MagazineAnd to Alisha Crossley for these beautiful images!

    Myka Meier's Guide to the Perfect Post-Interview Thank You Note

    We are thrilled that we are just days away from our Paper Petals Plates and Etiquette and Entrepreneurship Luncheon events that will feature the fabulous etiquette expert, Myka Meier! We wrote another blog post about Myka here if you would like to read more about her. But in the meantime, she has allowed us to share her expertise on how job candidates can pen the perfect post-interview thank you note. Her advice follows…

    • In the age of technology when it's most common to email or text, it's more impactful than ever to send a handwritten thank you note after an interview. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure your thank you note stands out!
    • Timing - I recommend dropping your thank you letter in the post the same day of the interview (or as soon as possible). As it could take a couple of days to reach the recipient, it will arrive perfectly timed 
    • Opening- Starting your letter with "Dear XX" is still best for formal business; signing off with "Best regards" is recommended as the formal sign off for corporate protocol
    • First line - Jackie Kennedy taught us that the most impactful letters to show gratitude never have the first line start off with "Thank you for..." and instead a line that creates emotion and sets you apart such as: "I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to come in to interview for a director position at the firm and meet with you. I left feeling enthusiastic about both the role and how my experience could truly make a valuable contribution to the XYZ team. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me...etc.  
    • Call to action - Always include something specific that you spoke about that shows you really enjoyed both the interview, opportunity and conversation. End the thank you note by saying if the opportunity presented itself, you would be available to meet with the rest of the team or answer any questions. 
    • Equally important - Your stationery is a tangible takeaway of yourself - so make sure it represents your style yet remains professional

    We, of course, love that Myka recognizes the importance of stylish stationery! We think our Diamond Pineapple notecards or our Watercolor notecards would make a very impressionable, yet still professional, statement for your thank you notes!

    And if you simply cannot get enough of Myka (We understand! She’s fabulous!), you must enter to win the one-on-one session with her that Regions HerVision HerLegacy has so generously sponsored. To learn more about this giveaway and to enter to win, please visit our Instagram page.

    The Etiquette Expert on Harmonizing Modern-Day Wedding Planning with Age-Old Traditions

    Wedding traditions and etiquette span hundreds of years. How does a 2017 bride meet modern day social requirements while still honoring the beautiful wedding traditions of the past? What would Emily Post have to say upon receiving an emailed Save the Date?

    If this is something you have been pondering, breathe a sigh of relief because Modern Day Etiquette Guru, Myka Meier, has put her stamp of approval on emailed save the dates! Myka gave her two cents in an online interview with Harper’s Bazaar,

    As long as it includes the important details, these can be sent by mail or email. However, paper invitations are still more sophisticated. You can (…) have a graphic designer create something that you can mail from your email account, or opt for an email service like Mailchimp. Also, your save the date does not have to match the design of your wedding invitation. A save the date should always include the date of the wedding and the city, state (or country if it's a destination wedding). You can also include a link to your wedding website. For destination weddings, you may want to include additional travel details, such as the name to use on the room block at the resort. NEVER include the gift registry on the wedding save the date or invitation. The only appropriate place to include the gift registry details is on the wedding website.

    Even though Myka gives the go-ahead to not match your save the date to your wedding invitation, we do love it when the two items coordinate! Dixie’s designers are happy to accommodate brides who wish to use emailed save the dates with digital versions of our cards available for purchase.

    Myka’s expertise extends beyond the wedding world and works to infuse modern-day manners into all aspects of social and business realms. She is the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, which partners with The Plaza Hotel’s finishing school programs. She will be the evening’s guest speaker for our Paper Petals Plates event on Thursday, Aug. 10 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. We will attempt to dazzle her with all of our Southern manners, but we are sure she will have plenty of material to teach us!

    In the meantime, you simply must watch this video of Myka below to see her graceful advice on some everday etiquette scenarios. Also be sure to follow her Instagram page to keep up with her everyday lessons on all things manners, style, and grace.


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