More Please: Thanksgiving Hostess Gift Ideas

While a bottle of her favorite Champagne is never inappropriate, we like to think it’s not the only gift your Thanksgiving Day host will adore. Here are a few we like to think will get you the last slice of pumpkin pie. A la mode, of course.

For the Entertainer who loves…

  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

    reed and barton silver bell ornament

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The Making Of: Our 2012 Holiday Photo Cards

When we decided to design our first digital holiday photo card collection last season, the idea was to offer options that kept to our high craftsmanship standards. Even though digitally printed, we wanted our Enthusiasts to feel confident that they were still sending Crane & Co. A pleasing-to-the-touch card stock and classic design accomplished that task quite nicely, we thought.

plaid red and green photo card inspiration

This year, we’re holding true to those standards while upping our design game, offering five new collections, each inspired by our classic aesthetic yet possessing its own distinct palette.

“As we sat down to design the 2013 Digital Holiday Collection,” recalls VP of Creative and Product Development Rachel V. Ivey, “we wanted to capture the many ways to express your personality, knowing that the photograph should really steal the show.”

silver holiday photo cards

With that said, our hope is that we’ve created designs that delight as well as compliment every picture worth gracing a photo card.

  • Tartan Tidings

red plaid holiday photo card

Red, green, gold and cranberry, along with a touch of the deep blues and greens of a Black Watch pattern, make this collection a classic holiday.

  • Vintage Cheer

Classic holiday imagery is combined with pinks and bright greens inspired by old time confectionary icons to give an added pop of color to traditional reds and greens.

  • Silver Linings

The primary color is silver with accents of red and green throughout. The silver is reminiscent of the glistening snow and makes a great accent for that great winter photograph.

  • Yule Jewel

Inspired by rich jewel tones, Yule Jewel pulls together a collection of these vibrant gems — emeralds, rubies, sapphires and garnets — to create dazzling holiday designs.

  • New Year’s

new year's eve holiday photo cardWe intended to capture the design elements in silver and gold to mimic the sparkle of a New Year’s Eve celebration. The designs in this grouping echo this glimmering color palette.

But wait, there’s more! Our entire digital photo card collection is available online and through your local retailer.

Need more holiday photo card suggestions or etiquette tips? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

The Making Of: Our Holiday Coastal Collection

engraved coastal adirondack chairs holiday greeting cardA White Christmas is a magical thing. Sleds, snowmen, bunny slopes. However, our friends who enjoy ocean breezes and tennis in December have a quite a magical thing going, too.

To celebrate twinkling lights strung around palm trees and Christmas dinner on the dock, we offer our Coastal holiday card series. This year, four new hand-engraved designs were added to create a more well-rounded collection.

New hues, new imagery, new inspiration: Here’s a peek inside The Making Of our new Coastal designs.

  • Colors

coastal holiday card color inspiration“The colors chosen reflect our traditional red and gold, which you will see throughout the designs,” said VP of Creative & Product Development Rachel V. Ivey, “but we’ve added brighter greens as well as a pop color, pink and a metallic blue to add visual interest to the designs.”

We punched up the green on our Adirondack Chairs to liven up the greenery…

engraved adirondack chairs holiday greeting card

On the Coastal Doorway, we pulled in a bluish green hue that is more representative of coastal greenery…

engraved coastal doorway holiday greeting card

The Flamingos are a pop of pink that is very close to our Hibiscus stock

engraved coastal flamingos holiday greeting card

For the Glass Buoy, we used an amazing metallic blue that is a custom mix that gives this design some extra glitz…

engraved coastal buoy holiday greeting card

  • Imagery & Inspiration

engraved coastal holiday cards imagery inspirationShells, greenery and, of course, the beach were all images used to inspire the artist, who ultimately created a collection of designs that will appeal to our customers in the coastal regions of the country — as well as anyone who simply years for a season with sand in her toes.

Need help selecting your holiday cards? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

The Making Of: Our 2012 Personalized Holiday Card Collection

It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. So when our design team finally unveils the new collection of personalized holiday cards, it feels like, well, Christmas.

We must say they’ve quite outdone themselves this year, keeping with a classic, traditional look and color palette that showcases our elegant design and craftsmanship so well.

“This year we dipped into our archives to celebrate our heritage,” said VP of Creative and Product Development Rachel V. Ivey. “It has been great to look back at traditional American Christmas of the past.”

Here’s how our 2012 Personalized Holiday Collection came to be…

  • Colors

personalized holiday card colors

Our design team achieved the classic, traditional look of our distinguished holiday cards by using a core palette of Hunter green, medium gold and red. A hint of shimmering platinum adds an additional metallic to the mix.

  • Inspiration

personalized holiday card inspiration

Home decor and botanicals have provided inspiration for many of our cards throughout the years. It reminds us of our own homes during the holidays. For example, the Holiday Door design — new for this year — was inspired by the home of an employee.

engraved holiday door card

The wreath below is an example of taking vintage art and altering it for a whole new look. For 2012, we enlarged the design and printed in three-color letterpress with foil accents on our Lettra® paper.

engraved wreath holiday card

Many of the designs this year were enhanced by using multi-level model dies. The use of these dies in the engraving process gives added dimension to the card. The Classic Wreath is an excellent example of how a model die can make a beautiful design look even more dramatic.

“Christmas is a great season for Crane to showcase all of our incredible processes,” said Ivey. “We love our classic designs for which consumers come back year after year.”

Life’s richer with friends, so let’s stay in touch! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Christmas in July: Gift Ideas for (Almost) Everyone on Your List

Dear Christmas,

Though we are thoroughly enjoying the beach and afternoon treats of the frozen variety, we simply can’t wait for snowmen and partridges in pear trees. In the meantime, we’ll start preparing for your arrival.

Love & Letters,

Crane & Co.

It goes without saying, but the holidays and gifts are two of our favorite things here at Crane & Co. Luckily, the time to enjoy both will be here before we know it. In celebration of Christmas in July, and because getting an early start on one’s holiday shopping is always a good thing, here are our picks for everyone on your list.

Stocking Stuffers for the Staff
It is said that the best gift is an item one would never buy for his/herself. Personalized stationery is (all too) often one of those items. For the boss, a set of personalized note cards for her dedicated employees is certainly the perfect way to express genuine gratitude.

personalized correspondence cards

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Mother’s Day Missives: Advice from Our Own Moms

Without the help of many outstanding women, Crane & Co. wouldn’t be the esteemed company it is today. She hand-borders personalized notes and cards with meticulous care. She speaks with customers to make sure each and every order is exactly what they’d hoped for and more. They letterpress. They design. They crunch numbers.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked our female staffers to recall their favorite quotes from their own mothers, grandmothers & even great-grandmothers. What transpired were missives on everything from fellows and fashion to dreams and decorum.

Enjoy, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Peggy Driggers, Merle Bottoms & Willie Chalker
mother, grandmother & great-grandmother of Gayle Driggers, Product Development
crane & co. mother's day

 

  •  “When you educate a mother, you educate a family.”
  • “Attitudes are more important than facts.”
  • “On a galloping horse, who’s going to notice?”
  • “If two people agree on everything, then one of them’s not necessary.”

From Gayle: “In all my years, I never got a card or letter from my grandmother (Merle Bottoms) on behalf of herself and daddy Jim (my grandfather) that didn’t end with the phrase ‘We love you and are so proud of you.’

This has sustained me and many members of my family during times good and bad. A few years ago, after she died at the age of 97, I scanned an old letter and printed the phrase (on Crane paper, of course) and framed it for my siblings and cousins so we can be reminded of their love for us.”

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Smooth Sale-ing: Our 5 Favorite Clearance Items

Every year, after the gifts have been wrapped and the mulled wine poured, we’re tasked with making way for delightfully new items in our digital showroom. Which means taking a look into Crane & Co. past to curate a selection of stationery, cards and other notions for our Clearance Sale. To whet your shopping appetite, here are our favorite five items on sale at the moment. But you should certainly peruse the entire collection, as we’re sure you’ll find something you just can’t live without.

Kate Spade Lincoln Road Peacock Wallet

We love this crinkled patent leather wallet ($50) by kate spade nyc because it's inspired by on of our favorite thoroughfares: South Beach's Lincoln Road. The only thing missing is Don Johnson & a speedboat.

Letterpress Cheers and Clink Coasters

It's never too early to start planning your spring & summer soirees (we can feel the sunshine just thinking about it). We think your mojitos will look lovely on these orange, pink, aqua & green letterpress coasters ($4.75) from our Studio collection.

Foil Stamp Spectacles Note Cards

Jackie O. Buddy Holly. I.M. Pei. They say the spectacles make the man (or woman), and we couldn't agree more. Which is why we love this collection of notecards featuring fanciful specs.

Gold Bordered Place Cards

Table that seats 20? Check. Signature cocktail? Check. Vintage Halston dress? Check. Like Jay Gatsby, you adore a fanciful dinner party. The perfect touch for which is a gold-bordered place card ($12 per package) at each seat.

Letterpress 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Cards

Understated elegance never goes out of style. Trust these letterpress '12 Days of Christmas' Holiday Cards will be every bit as charming come December 2012.

Thank You Note Etiquette: How to be Wonderfully Gracious on Paper

Thank You NoteMy, what lovely loot. Now that the wrapping paper has been cleared, it’s time to thank everyone who wrote your name on a gift tag.

Here are our etiquette tips on how to craft the perfect Thank You Note.

Say it with style. Your Thank You Notes should reflect your aesthetic, whether it’s classic, romantic, minimalist or modern. The recipient of said note should know who it’s from even before he/she reads a word.

Be gracious in a timely manner. Thank You Notes should be sent out as soon as possible after you receive the gift. One to two weeks is the sweet spot, as your note should be a thoughtful gesture, not a reminder for what was given.

Give credit where credit is due. Make sure to address your Thank You Note to the person or persons who gave you the gift. If the gift was signed from your friend and her husband, your note should address both individuals (even if you know she “did all the work”). Everyone likes to feel appreciated, after all.

Name drop. Mention the gift you received by name. It may seem like a small detail, but in an era of generic, automated emails, it’s nice to receive something that is personalized just for you.

Go the extra descriptive mile. Everyone hopes that the gift they give isn’t going to collect dust, destined for the Goodwill bag when Spring Cleaning comes around. Prevent such worry with a sentence or two about how/when/where you might use the gift and how excited you are to do so.

Let’s practice, shall we?

Dear Lindsay, Jeff and Gabriel,

Thank you so much for the gorgeous silk Hermes scarf. You know my taste so well! I can’t wait to wear it out to dinner with Barrett, it really is the perfect accessory for a lovely night out in the city. I hope all is well, much love to you all.

Truly,
Olivia

Our Staff’s Favorite Things: Holiday Gifts, Part Two

In Part Two of our “Staff’s Favorite Things” roundup, thick, rich stock and simple luxury are the names of the gift giving game.

letterpress calling cardPeter, Crane & Co. Guru: “A social card letter pressed on extra heavyweight Crane’s Lettra. It starts a conversation every time, and they’ll never lose your number.”
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Our Staff’s Favorite Things: Holiday Gifts, Part One

Here at Crane & Co., it isn’t unusual to find a staff member taking great pleasure — the kind usually reserved for dark chocolate and Swedish massages — in running their fingers over a newly printed piece of stationery. The thick, 100% cotton stock. The rich ink. The intricately engraved and letter pressed designs. It never gets old.

That said, what one of our Customer Service representatives adores and what a member of our Product Development team loves are as different as ecruwhite and hibiscus. Just in time for the holidays, here are our staff picks:

Pearl White Multi-Lingual Globe Thank You NotesLinda, Life Organizer Extraordinaire: “I love sending and receiving Thank You cards. Even though this card communicates the message in many diverse languages,  the meaning is universally the same.”
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