Summer – time for friends!

 KDS Summer Blog Summer – time for friends!

One of the things I love most about summer is that it gives us time to spend with friends, whether it’s a day at the beach, evenings on the deck or just dinner and a movie. There’s something about the laid-back pace and the longer days that gives us permission to linger and just be together, appreciating each other’s company.

The relaxed pace of summer also gives us the gift of time to reach out to friends and loved ones with greeting cards – for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries…or for no reason at all. In fact, our new summer collection of greeting cards is based on art from our “Friendship Garden” collection, which is inspired by my garden at home. Watching the butterflies, birds, bees and dragonflies dance among the flowers gives me great inspiration, and it makes me think about staying connected with the special people who mean so much to me.

So why not take a moment to celebrate summer by reaching out to a friend or loved one with a greeting card? You’ll make their day – and you’ll feel good, too!

KD signature Summer – time for friends!

Find out more about our friend and content partner, Kathy Davis, here!

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Happy Mother’s Day from Kathy Davis

KDS Mothers Day Happy Mothers Day from Kathy Davis

If you are a mom, Happy Mother’s Day to you! As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself thinking about my own mother, who will forever be in my heart. Mom always went out of her way to try to brighten someone’s day. Her example was so constant that I am certain she is the source of my own desire to write messages from my heart to people I care about.

In fact, it seems to me that mothers are often the ones who model thoughtfulness for the family, the ones who never forget a birthday or anniversary, who often surprise friends and loved ones with little gifts or messages, who always have their “radar” on to recognize when someone’s spirits might need a little boost.

So as Mother’s Day approaches, I like to think about all the moms in my life who are so thoughtful and kind, who extend themselves even before they are asked and who never expect anything in return. Some are friends, and others are family. Some are new moms, others empty-nesters. Some are grandmothers, and others are aunts. I like to show my appreciation to these wonderful women who make a difference in my life by sending a special greeting card, and sometimes I include a token gift or book.

This Mother’s Day, I’d love to hear how you plan to honor the special moms in your life!
KD signature 300x189 Happy Mothers Day from Kathy Davis

P.S. – Speaking of books, this Mother’s Day, I’m really excited about my new book, Love Blooms in a Mother’s Heart: A Celebration of Motherhood. Inside the pages of this book you will find my favorite quotations and sayings about mothers, surrounded by my garden-inspired watercolor art. For me, creating this collection was a heartfelt way to honor the memory of my wonderful mother. At the same time, it speaks to all moms of every generation. (You’ll find it at our website kathydavis.com.)

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Happy Easter from Kathy Davis!

KDS Easter Happy Easter from Kathy Davis!

I just love the month of April, with its promising signs of renewal. And this year, both Easter and Earth Day happen in April, so there’s plenty to celebrate. After the bitterly cold and grey winter we’re emerging from here in Pennsylvania, it’s fun to see all the wonderful sights that accompany springtime, Easter and Earth Day. Bunnies and chicks. Pastel Easter eggs. Graceful tulips and fragrant hyacinths. In fact, just the sight of new leaves on trees and grass turning green again is enough to lift my spirits!

Easter is also a time to renew our connections – with family and friends we care about. To help you do just that, our collection of Easter cards features uplifting messages and art. Our Easter palette is especially joyful and expressive – from the soft lavender, aqua, pink and green of decorated Easter eggs to the exuberance of sunny orange and yellow daffodils and daisies, from the delicate beauty of whisper pale butterfly wings to pristine pink and white apple blossoms. You’ll find our cards in any store that carries American Greetings cards.

Why not pick up a few greeting cards to let those special people know you’re thinking about them? Sharing the joys of the springtime season is a wonderful way to brighten someone’s day!

KD signature Happy Easter from Kathy Davis!

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Sharing Holiday Traditions with Kathy Davis

Even though we like to think about giving all year long, it’s especially fun to be immersed in the season of giving! Because I like to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy everything that’s magical about the holidays, I need to have my holiday cards ready to start right after Thanksgiving. I do have to plan ahead and be very disciplined about my process, especially since I write a short letter to include…and I LOVE to decorate and hand-letter each envelope. But it really feels good after I’ve finished and the cards are ready to be mailed!

kdschristmasblog Sharing Holiday Traditions with Kathy Davis

You can find the Kathy Davis line of Christmas cards in a store near you!

Having finished my cards, it’s then time to start decorating our home for the holidays.  And because in early December here in the Pennsylvania, the landscape wasn’t yet covered with snow, we could get outside for our annual family “gathering of the greens.” When I was a little girl, my dad and I used to go outside before Christmas every year to search for evergreen boughs. We’d bundle up and clip greens and sprigs of holly berries and bring them inside. Then we’d display them all over the house, from the mantel to the dining room table, to the banister – any place at all that called for a touch of green. The best part was the fragrance. It was so wonderful to come home to that spicy-sweet aroma of pine.  We continue our “gathering of the greens” to this day, and it always takes me back to those great holiday memories of time spent with my dad.

What’s your approach to sending holiday cards? And how about your favorite holiday tradition? Every family seems to have a unique way of celebrating that passes through the generations making this time of year so special!

All of us at Kathy Davis Studios wish you and yours a beautiful holiday season and many opportunities to experience the joy and wonder it brings!

KD signature Sharing Holiday Traditions with Kathy Davis

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A letter from Kathy Davis: Thanksgiving every day

kdsthanksgiving A letter from Kathy Davis: Thanksgiving every day

As I prepare to send my Thanksgiving greeting cards, I’m thinking about how much I love this special time of year! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not just because of all the great food, but because it’s about gratitude.  Lately, I’ve been trying to be a little more mindful about the idea of gratitude, and I’m trying to be thankful every day.

Some of the things I’m thankful for right now? The blaze of mums blossoming and brightening the landscape. The amazing late afternoon sunsets and the harvest moon. Fresh picked apples and spiced wafers. Lighting candles and sitting by the fire on a chilly evening. And the anticipation of sharing the all-American holiday of Thanksgiving with our family.

One of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching the parade. Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest one in America! Our parade dates back to 1920, and it’s a great event – a visual feast filled with imaginative floats, giant balloons, marching bands and of course, celebrities.

And every year when our family gathers for Thanksgiving dinner — before we carve the turkey and dip into the cranberry sauce — each person at the table says a few words about what he or she is thankful for. It’s a great tradition, because for me, it always provides inspiration to think about the blessings I may have forgotten to appreciate.

Wishing each one of you an abundance of Thanksgiving blessings!

What are your favorite family traditions at Thanksgiving?

- Kathy Davis

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Life is Beautiful…

08092013 kathydavis american greetings Life is Beautiful...

Life is filled with so many beautiful moments, big and small… don’t you agree? Sometimes all it takes is a moment to stop, look around, and breathe it all in.

One of our favorite things about cards by Kathy Davis (like the one shown above!) is the fresh, expressive watercolors paired with inspirational messages. It’s the perfect “breathing room” to pause and reflect on all of the gifts we’ve been given.

You can find these designs (and many more!) in a store near you.

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Meet the Artist – Kathy Davis

kathy davis Meet the Artist   Kathy Davis

We are excited to introduce you to bestselling artist, designer and writer, Kathy Davis. Kathy has partnered with American Greetings for the last five years to produce her own brand of beautifully-crafted greeting cards. Here she shares a little bit of how her mission to “Scatter Joy” pervades all aspects of her art and life…

When did you first realize you were so creative?

Even in my earliest memories I am making things…all sorts of things…from paper dolls to perfume… from Christmas decorations to illustrated stories and even a neighborhood newspaper!

What is your background as a creative talent?

I always loved art, but decided to major in Elementary education in college, with a minor in art.  After teaching sixth grade for six years, I returned to graduate school, where I earned a Master’s degree in Art Education. That led me to teach high school art, which I really enjoyed. I left teaching to start a family…and then in 1990, I started my freelance design business from a drawing board in the corner of my bedroom. Today, I am proud to say that my business has grown to a team of 23 employees (we are no longer working from my bedroom!).  We design a variety of licensed products, including, of course, greeting cards!

What is your current position/relationship with American Greetings? 

I formerly designed cards for Recycled Paper Greetings before joining American Greetings as an independent content partner in 2008. I feel so fortunate to have found such a supportive partnership in American Greetings.

As both an artist and a writer, what would you say comes first when creating a greeting card?

Sometimes I begin by immersing myself in the sentiment or message I want to deliver…and other times my painting inspires my direction. This “dance” helps to keep my work fresh.

What is it that inspires you when creating a greeting card?

The relationship between sender and recipient is always the foundation of my cards. Visually, I like to keep my artwork simple and symbolic, which helps to allow for a broad audience. I love the clean look of a white background with some expressively painted artwork, combined with a hand-lettered message.

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Do you have a favorite card that you’ve created, and why?

kathydavis lovebirdsing 3 Meet the Artist   Kathy Davis

One card that stands out in my mind is this romantic card design with a simple brushwork heart, informal calligraphy and hand-lettered copy that is fun while still being heartfelt.

What famous artists/writers have influenced you?

I love Matisse, Monet and a lot of the expressionist painters. Writers like Emerson influence my work (I borrowed my Brand Promise “Scatter Joy” from him!)…as do the quotes from Helen Keller, Anne Frank and Mother Teresa – three very different, yet inspiring women.

In general, what inspires you, and how do you stay motivated?

I love the beauty of nature, the warmth of the sun and flowers in bloom. Travel, museums and the life stories of people and their relationships all inspire my work. I need solitude to create fresh content, so it is a balancing act between interacting with my business and creative teams and getting the quiet time to do my best work.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Wow. Well, I hope to continue creating content that feels rewarding to me while helping to nurture other talent and giving back. One of my dreams is to create a Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, where I can help mentor others – and through our efforts in the arts, help make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

What advice would you give to an artist or writer just starting out?

 Believe in yourself and stay true to what makes you unique.

What do you do for fun?

I love the beach, watching movies, going for walks and exploring new places. Oh, and I have a couple of guilty pleasures…shopping (of course) and watching mind-numbing TV, like Real Housewives. (Don’t tell anybody!)

Thanks for the chance to “meet” all of you!

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Kathy Davis Celebrates Mothers & Daughters

kathy davis mb Kathy Davis Celebrates Mothers & Daughters

We are super excited to share a look at one of our favorite artists, Kathy Davis, as she introduces a great new series on her blog.

Kathy is a great friend of American Greetings, where it’s not hard to find her work – through both eCards and Greeting Cards.  An avid lover of nature, and color enthusiast, Kathy’s belief in giving back and “scattering” joy pervades all aspects of her life and art. And, as a creative woman entrepreneur, she understands the journey and process of turning a passion into a business, a dream for so many people.

Now through Mother’s Day, Kathy is featuring creative Mother/Daughter duos on her blog, where she shows the bond a Mother and Daughter can share, both through life and art. It is such an inspirational idea that we had to share. Learn more about the series in Kathy’s own words…

Mothers and daughters share a lot of things in common – from how they look – to the things they cook – to what inspires them to follow their passions and dreams. In my own case, I chose to alter my path as a teacher to pursue my passion for a career in the arts. That choice to follow my creative instincts has proven to be very rewarding for me in many ways.

However, little did I know that my own daughter, Katie, who grew up playing sports, watching TV and hanging out with friends, would choose to pursue her passions in the arts. As a young child, she watched me paint and did some dabbling herself, but she soon followed her peers into the world of whatever seemed “cool” for the moment. Just before her senior year in high school she decided that art might not be such a bad way to make a living, after all. Today, at age 26, she has a degree in Photography, works as a designer at Kathy Davis Studios and has started a photography business on the side with her soon-to-be husband.

My own experience is one I heard echoed in some of my artist friends, whose daughters, or mothers, are also involved in the arts. It gave me the idea for an interview series that would be timely for Mother’s Day.

Is creativity genetic? Is it a natural instinct or instead is it inspired or acquired by osmosis? Whether hereditary or acquired, the love of art often passes from one generation to the next. While daughters may be inspired to follow in the footsteps of their mothers before them, each of them are creating a path that’s all their own.

In this blog series, you’ll meet 6 different mother-daughter duos – each with their own unique story of how art has played a role in their lives – and how that passion for art creates a shared bond between them.

_ Kathy Davis

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