Archive for January, 2014

Age is Just a Number

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

When birthdays are just around the corner, kids love telling anyone who’ll listen how old they are.

And although this changes ever so slightly as we get older, we want to share in the excitement of your little one’s milestone birthday with the introduction of our age-specific range of ecards for children.

If you’ve been following our blog, you might recall when announced the introduction of this new selection and the sneak previews and sketches we uploaded during the design process.

Well, we’re very pleased to announce that this range is now up and running in the birthday ecard category and available for members to preview and send.

Take look at the third in our range of age specific ecards which uses simple shapes and block colours for the greeting, as well as a catchy soundtrack:

The ‘3rd Birthday Fish’ ecard features a school of brightly coloured fish as they swim into frame, letting out air bubbles as they go. One of the bubbles contains the number three, which grows in size to create part of the ‘Happy Birthday’ message.

Since added, the age-specific range for children is already proving popular and we’re now looking to extend this range to cover ‘special age’ ecards for both teenagers and adults in the very near future…

…Meaning, soon there will be no escape from those annual reminders of just how old we’re all getting!

Until then, we hope you enjoy taking a look at the new designs.

Happy New New Year

Friday, January 24th, 2014

If you’re a regular visitor to Katie’s Cards you might have noticed by looking at our homepage that we’ve added a couple more designs to the Chinese New Year category, ready for the celebrations which take place from January 31st.

KCchinese-scrolls

New Chinese Scrolls ecard from Katie’s Cards

Why the Long Face?

You might have also seen that the horse features quite heavily in a few of our designs… No we’ve not all turned into hippomaniacs (people obsessed with horses, apparently) but we did think it would be quite fitting as 2014 marks The Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac.

And while we’re here bragging about all our new designs, we might as well tell you that we’re currently in the process of designing a rather special Valentine’s Day card too – so look out for further blog posts on the design process as well as a couple of sneak previews.

Happy Chinese New Year from Katie’s Cards

If you happen to be in London during the most celebrated Chinese festival, take a look at Time Out’s Guide to Chinese New Year 2014.

But wherever you are in the world, we hope you have a very Happy Chinese New Year.

The Monday of Months

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

There are a couple of reasons why it’s really tough staying on the straight and narrow after all the excess of Christmas. Let us explain our experience of the reasons why we think dieting in January is ludicrous:

1)      January is depressing. There’s no getting around it. It’s the Monday of months, the elastic-less pair of underpants in your suitcase and the carrot sticks in your lunch box (sans hummus). Wouldn’t it just make sense to postpone all this healthy stuff? At least until the sun decides to stick around past 4pm?

2)      No-one knew quite what to get us for Christmas despite the numerous and very explicit wish list emails you provided in November. So guess what? They all plumped for chocolate, or booze. Or boozy chocolate. And we all know that leftover chocolate is the worst kind of temptation. Well, you wouldn’t want any hanging around at Easter now, would you?

3)      Everybody knows that in winter time you really need that extra layer to help keep you cosy during those long frosty nights. Take a look at bears. Before they hibernate, they store up as much fat to sustain it through the harsh climate. And as we tend to be battered with bad weather in the winter months after Christmas, it just doesn’t make sense to use up all that energy trying to get rid of a valuable layer of insulation – particularly, with the rise in heating prices.

4)      It’s tough adjusting from a diet of pigs in blankets and mince pies to one of spinach and quinoa. For a greater chance of success, we’d advise weaning yourself off rich foods, perhaps removing the blanket and leaving the pig, then eventually replacing the pig with a parsnip … over a period of several weeks, of course.

Ok, we might be exaggerating for comic effect – but, we do honestly think that it’s probably not the best time to go cold turkey… especially because that’s all we’ve been eating for the last three weeks.

We did however find a couple of recipes that we tried, tested, tasted and liked because they’re simple, tasty and don’t even make you feel like your cutting back.

Choc Truffle Cake

Our attempt at the Chocolate Orange Truffle Cake (we left out the alcohol element to keep it kid friendly). It was a bit on the wonky side but we had to do something with all that surplus Grand Marnier…

And, if like us you agree that now’s really not the time to be thinking about your waistline, try this recipe which might help you at least incorporate some of your leftover chocolate and booze into a really decadent and delicious dessert to share (or not).

The De-baubling Blues

Monday, January 6th, 2014

I’m probably not the only one who hates this time of year. Christmas is well and truly behind us, and the rest of winter we’ve yet to endure. But it isn’t the flood warnings, the cold weather, the early morning get-ups or the lack of holiday days left in the calendar, no. Of course, all those things don’t help – but the thing I like least of all is taking down the Christmas decorations.

Today is Epiphany or the twelfth day which well and truly marks the end of Christmas. If you’re the superstitious type, it’s widely accepted that taking them down any time after today is a recipe for bad luck. And if you’re really superstitious and not very organised you might be forced to leave them up all year. Either way, it probably won’t be the best start to 2014.

But I do detest all this de-baubling. It’s a terribly depressing thing to do – carefully packing away the Christmas tree lights and knowing that, inexplicably, you’ll return to them in a year’s time and they’ll be a bundled up mess of wires. Stuffing tinsel and decorations into boxes and suffering the scratched skin rashes symptomatic of folding down the branches of an artificial tree that surely never really fitted into that box??

And then there’s the Christmas cards. I’ve never really gotten over the pang of guilt as I remove each and every last Christmas card hung on strings or slumped by the mantelpiece. After all, someone took the time and effort to choose their cards, hand-write them and pop it in my letterbox or in the post. And here I am, hovering a glittery cartoon robin over the recycling bin, its eyes all of sudden filling with sorrow. And I would keep it if I could. I’d keep them all. Honest. But I can’t. Besides all the superfluous smellies and socks, there’s simply no room.

If only there was a way to send Christmas cards that didn’t use paper…