Archive for June, 2011
Even more important, July 4th is America’s birthday – an opportunity to celebrate our country and the freedom we enjoy. So, why not turn your Independence Day celebration into a birthday party for America?
1. All birthday parties have cakes. Why not indulge in some of these patriotic 4th of July cake ideas?
2. We also found some elegant, easy and fun July 4th decorations and crafts for the kids AND the kids at heart.
At VoiceQuilt, we’re big believers in the power of expressing thanks – especially around the holidays. Why not use America’s birthday as a way of expressing thanks to veterans and military personnel? With that in mind, here are two more ideas.
- If you plan on making July 4th decorations, why not make a few extra? You can drop them off at a veteran’s hospital or any of these amazing military non-profits.
- If a neighbor or loved one is stationed overseas, we’d be delighted and honored if you sent messages of love and support to them using VoiceQuilt – FREE. It can be as simple as uploading a favorite patriotic song, recording a voice message dedication and then emailing a link to your favorite soldier. Or, you could collect “We miss you!” or “Stay safe!” messages from family and friends.
We wish you a magical holiday weekend. Happy birthday, America!
We at VoiceQuilt have always felt that the most compelling aspect of our product – more than the physical gift itself – is the rich collection of messages inside and the emotions those messages evoke. But until you’ve actually had the experience of either creating or receiving a VoiceQuilt, it can be difficult to fully appreciate its impact. Which is why we are always on the lookout for interesting and attractive keepsake items in which to embody a VoiceQuilt’s soul.
Rhonda, a VoiceQuilt gift giver, sent me the photo shown above. It was part of a presentation she created for a graduate degree in communications: “2010 Deployments to Afghanistan”. In it, she shares some techniques military families use to stay connected while a loved one is overseas.
The ideas were wonderful – and applicable to any prolonged absence. So, I thought I’d share just a few.
1.) Skype Video Calls
Rhonda spoke daily with her deployed spouse, Jeff, using free skype video calls. When possible, she’d include other family members. She would even schedule family celebrations so that Jeff could be included over skype.
Amanda, another military spouse, had a young son. While her husband was deployed, Dad and son would share a bowl of cereal over skype. Regardless of the time of day, Father and son would share “breakfast”. It was a small but significant ritual that kept the family feeling connected. (more…)
June has always been a popular month for weddings. Why? According to Roman mythology, the month’s name refers to Juno, the Goddess of Love. The myth is that “She would bring prosperity and happiness to all who wed in her month.”
Although wedding planning has become big business (even with its own TV reality shows), I’m a hopeless romantic. For many of us, the wedding is just the beginning of marriage. I admire couples that look for ways to keep their relationship special – even if it’s just a quick “I love you” post-it note on the steering wheel – or a mushy text message. Too often, a spouse falls to the bottom of the responsibilities we juggle: kids, work, parents, chores and errands.
Actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward shared a 50 year marriage until his death in 2008. (This in Hollywood, where many weddings don’t last through the week.) Here are some quotes from Joanne and Paul on their marriage: (more…)
Earlier this week,VoiceQuilt graduated from the Startup Chicks Accelerator Program! It was great fun, reviewing 2011 VoiceQuilt highlights with investors and other female-founded companies. As always, I am humbled and delighted by the creativity of VoiceQuilt gift givers.
Here are just a few examples.
Earlier this winter, a high school senior named Chloe was in a terrible car accident. A family friend named Beverly organized an “EnCOURAGEment for CHLOE” VoiceQuilt to provide a cheering squad during Chloe’s rehabilitation.
• Over 100 friends called in and recorded “thinking of you” and “You can do it” voice messages.
• When the Green Bay Packers learned that Chloe was an avid fan, Mark Murphy, President of the Packers, called in some encouraging words. (The first voice message sample here.) (more…)
If you’re like me, you end up of with lots of beautiful programs, cards and photos as mementos. Why not use take a few moments and create special gifts for those who celebrated with you?
Albums are an easy and practical keepsake gift. Shop Exposures Online for a wide array of traditional display albums by Shelbourne, Charter and Bedford. You’ll also find some miniature albums that can be used as “brag books” for Grandma. Kolo also has some very elegant options. (more…)
Many VoiceQuilt callers begin a voice message toast to Dad with a quote or favorite saying. With Father’s Day roughly a week away, we thought we’d share some of our favorite quotes about Dads.
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”~ Jim Valvano
“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” ~Author Unknown
“One father is more than a hundred Schoolmasters.” ~ George Herbert
Here are some funny quotes, too:
“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain
”If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.” ~Bill Cosby
“… kids, this is the holiest night of the year, tomorrow is Father’s Day, and that makes tonight, Father’s Day Eve …” – Homer Simpson (more…)
A few weeks ago, I spoke with an amazing gift giver named Tina. She created a VoiceQuilt Keepsake for her father in-law, Rick, for his 66th birthday. The challenging twist was this: Rick was dying of cancer. Doctors had ceased treatment a few months before and only Rick’s closest circle knew of his prognosis.
Tina’s husband asked her to create the VoiceQuilt because she’s the “go to” person for organizing family events. Tina did a fantastic job, collecting toasts and tributes from long-time friends, family and fellow antique car buffs. Many thanked Rick for being a good role model – as a Dad and friend.
Coincidentally, Tina is a professional hospice worker. As she listened to the VoiceQuilt messages, she realized how difficult it was for people closest to Rick – those that knew his prognosis – to record meaningful toasts. Many found it challenging to complete their messages without crying.
At VoiceQuilt, we see gift givers personalizing their gifts in multiple ways. Obviously, they assemble voice message toasts. However, many also add a photo to the lid of a VoiceQuilt Keepsake box – and an engraved plaque as well. That trend spurred us to investigate other types of engraved or monogrammed gifts.
Why not check out some of these ideas for Father’s Day?
- Car Mats
- A BBQ Tool For Branding Steaks
- A Personalized Apron Set For The Grill Master
- Feeling Crafty? Check out the instructions for a monogrammed beverage tub!
Of course, we’re big fans of asking children and grandchildren to call in and record voice message toasts and tributes for Dad. It’s particularly meaningful when kids share favorite memories. Check out some of our Father’s Day favorites here.