Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Since you’re in the greeting card business, learn how to:

1. Put the stupid card stock in your printer so you don’t have cards that consist of just two pieces of paper folded together.

2. Learn how to resize images without totally disfiguring the person.

3. Learn how to use Photoshop instead of a greeting card program with a little dog who wags his tail when you get things right. (Just kidding…this is the program my partner uses and I’m actually one step above her in terms of graphic design.) :)

4. Quit being stubborn and get a “real” website instead of the dorky one you designed.

5. You’re smart! You know you need a business plan instead of just plodding along doing whatever you feel like doing that day. Develop one!!!!

6. Quit Tweeting. You are the most boring Tweeter around even though you have over 500 followers. They’re just too lazy to “unfollow” you.

7. Keep blogging. Even though you have only 12 followers (and probably half of these are family members and don’t read it anyway), it’s kind of fun.

8. Most people would come up with 10 resolutions, but then again, you're not most people so you should stop right here :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


1. My 84-year-old mother just informed me that she’s sending me an e-card for my birthday. I replied “Mom! I’m in the greeting card business and you need to support us!” Then, when I asked her if she wanted to see my greeting card online (the only one that actually matters lately-the Hallmark winner with a picture of her on the front), she asked “What card?” (Note to Self: Cut her some slack because you are 29 years younger than she is and you thought today was Wednesday instead of Friday.)

2. Since Bro #1 doesn’t (and never will) own a computer and I have to email him via his boss, he told me not to send him any more cards because every time I send him a card, his boss calls him off a job to come look at it. (I think his boss is a better cheerleader than he is!)

3. Whenever I send a card to Only Sis, she just says the same thing each time... “very cute!” It’s like when I get “forwards,” I always respond “very cute!” which means I haven’t actually looked at it. Shhh…don't tell anyone :) I think I’ll test her next time and send something really awful and then I’ll know if she even looks!

4. Bro #2 doesn’t respond. If there isn’t a question involved (and sometimes even if there is), he doesn’t see a need. It’s kind of like talking to him on the phone…one time I told him that I wasn’t paying long distance just to hear him breathe :)
I think I'm just having a "bad hair day" because, in all honesty, my family has been extremely supportive of me in this endeavor...thanks Mom, Bro #1, Only Sis and Bro #2!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Yep…after debating for days whether to enter the contest, 30 minutes before the deadline I decided to submit a card. I promptly forgot about it until a couple days later when, lo and behold, the phone rang and it was the Hallmark Creative Team notifying me that I was a winner! How cool is that for someone who always got a “C” in art no matter how hard I tried? (O.K., even though it’s one of my dad’s photographs and all I had to do was write the verse, it is considered artistic and, as anyone who knows me knows, I am NOT known for my artistic ability.) With all those “knows” and “knowns,” you might think I’m not known for my writing ability either, but that’s actually my forte :)

Thanks, Hallmark!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Dear Dad,

Since today is your birthday, I thought I’d write you a letter to let you know that I’m thinking of you. I wanted to tell you how much I’ve loved working with all of our family images over the past year and have really realized what a truly talented and creative man you were. I find it kind of ironic that I am trying to break into the greeting card business because, unlike you, I am not artistic at all…remember, I’m the kid that no matter how hard she tried she always got a “C” in art? Well, I’m no better (and possibly, worse) now at the age of 55 than I was back then!

I was laughing with my friend, J, who is my “partner in crime” in this business, because we are so technically challenged with the greeting card design programs. I had to email some cards today to someone and for the life of me I couldn’t remember how to convert a PDF file into a jpeg…the end result being that the card has to be read upside down, which is easy to do if you’re about 5 years old (remember how great little kids can do this-like reading skywriting?) but not when you’re an adult and have a hard enough time reading right side up :) J had a card perfectly designed on her computer but couldn’t figure out how to email it, print it, publish it to the web or do anything with it…and she was using a kid’s program that has a little dog who wags his tail when you get it right :) Anyway, I was thinking about you and how you would have mastered Photoshop!

By the way, Bro #2 found an additional 2,000 slides in an old suitcase that he had forgotten he had! After an entire year of working on these I was talking to him a few weeks ago and, all of a sudden, he remembered that he had them. I shouldn’t have been surprised because, well, after all, he is Bro #2 :)

Anyway, Dad, I wanted to thank you for preserving all of our family memories. This project has allowed me to reconnect with my aunts, uncles, and cousins in ways that are immeasurable. Your images have brought a lot of joy to them as well as to total strangers who have contacted me telling me how much they can relate to your pictures and how they brought back some of their own childhood memories.

So, thanks again, Dad…I wish you were here.

Love always,


Sunday, September 19, 2010


I've sent out a lot of proposals lately and really had to "put myself out there" in terms of possibly making a fool of myself. So, to all those people who might think to themselves "Well, that's great, but what does it have to do with ME?," I wanted to repost an excerpt from an earlier post this year. Here goes:

In 1977 when I moved out to California and didn’t have a car, I hopped on a bus to go to a job interview at that huge corporation. After quite awhile of riding around, I realized that I had inadvertently hopped on a “fun bus,” one of those busses that only takes you to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, etc., instead of a public transportation bus. After realizing this, I got off the bus and walked, and walked, and walked and ended up at a large corporation but not the one I was supposed to interview with. By that time I was so tired of walking that I just asked them if there were any openings…and here I am 33 years later still doing some work for the people that I met there at that large corporation.So, to answer any questions about why I might have sent you a proposal, it goes way back to “fun busses”—you never know where something might lead you :)

Monday, August 16, 2010


As I was leaving the grocery store today a woman in her 50’s or 60’s gave me a really nice, but definitely untrue, compliment. She mentioned that I had the “perfect figure” and when I laughed and said that I had gained 10 pounds over the past couple of years due to my daily Starbucks fix of a mocha frappuccino (venti size, no less), she said she was just telling it like it was.

Well, the more I thought about it, I decided that she was probably just a very nice person who looked at me and thought “Mmm…that woman could use a compliment.” And since I was wearing my “grubs” as I call them (you know…those clothes you wear when you’re cleaning or gardening--shorts, T-shirt, tennis shoes) and my long hair was up in a ponytail, there wasn’t really anything left for her to compliment except my body. But here’s the thing…it really doesn’t matter what she complimented, it’s the fact that she went out of her way and made the effort to say something nice to someone. So I say thank you to that nice woman in Laguna Niguel, whoever you may be.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


O.K…it’s been a year since the launch date of PrittieHartPress (July 4, 2009). There have been so many ups and downs throughout the year (hence, the title). Here are my achievements thus far:

A) I put over 2,000 hours into this endeavor.

B) I invested over $3,000.

C) I licensed one image and received my first royalty check of $62.

D) According to my calculations, B – C = I lost $2,938. (If you know another way of computing this into what I call “positive math,” let me know.)

E) The Alternative Humor department at American Greetings expressed interest in some of my images but, due to the fact that I want to keep the humor "clean," I scrapped that plan.

But, get this, I’M NOT QUITTING! I read the funniest blog post recently that said that some of the most successful entrepreneurs were people who kept plugging away long past the point where a sane person would call it quits. Guess you know which category I fall into :) (Refer to "E" above-who in their right mind turns down American Greetings?)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hi Dad,

I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you today. I’ve decided not to make this a sappy letter and, instead, focus on the “happy”…hey, notice that rhymes? Well, what did you expect from a daughter who always sees the glass as not just full, but overflowing? Remember that I’m the kid who used to wear a hat that said “Life is a Bowlful of Cherries.” Well, even though I’m older, I’m still that kid :)

So, here goes:

I remember riding high on your shoulders at Christmastime when you would take us to Cobo Hall so that I could see everything over the crowds. It was such a magical time for me with all the lights. Do you remember when you took me to the TV station so I could meet Bozo the Clown and how I was so excited until, that is, I realized that he was, alas, just a regular man?

Do you remember the time that my friend Tracy and I tried to see how much toilet paper we could stuff down the toilet and we ended up flooding the basement? You were so cool not to lose your cool! (And, by the way, how did you end up calling me “Tracy Boo” to distinguish between us? I realize that for some reason, out of four kids, I was the only one not given a middle name, but “Boo?”) And I always thought I was lucky that I had a Dad who let me and my friends paint part of the basement underneath the stairs to use as a clubhouse. (Come to think of it, it was probably kind of sacrilegious collecting club dues in the envelopes provided by the church for donations :) ) And by the way, I don’t know how you did it but thanks again for getting me and my friend, Mar, front row (or was it third row?) seats to see the Monkees! I actually went to another one of their concerts as an adult and Davy is still my favorite!

We didn’t have the “over the top” birthday parties that seem so commonplace nowadays. Each of us four kids had to take turns each year having a party…so, if my memory serves me correctly, I think each of us got to have a birthday party once every 4 years? But every year on our birthday, you and Mom would take just the birthday kid out to a fancy restaurant. Once at the Golden Lion restaurant I was trying to break apart my roll that was so tough; I remember holding it under the table and pulling and pulling and then, unbelievably, watching it as it shot across the floor. I remember being mortified so this must have been when I was a teenager because if I was younger, I would have thought it was funny, and if I was older…well, I would have still thought it was funny :)

Edit: Only Sis just called and said that I was wrong about the birthday parties. She said that we had a choice of either a party or a present but she was too lazy to log in and make a comment...some things just never change! (Don't worry, she won't read this...she only reads cookbooks.)

Do you remember all those notes we used to leave for each other because you worked so many nights? One of my most vivid memories is having cherry cheesecake with you in the middle of the night. It was like having a party but with just the two of us…a secret from Mom and Bro #1, Only Sis, and Bro #2. It was a chance for me to be an “only child” and have all of your attention. You made such a special effort to give me that special time…to have you all to myself without clamoring for attention with my siblings.

And what I remember best about you from when I was an adult is how, despite the 3,000 miles that separated us physically, we actually became closer when I became a parent. I remember how you would call when Kristy was about 2 or 3 years old and I wouldn’t hear the phone for some reason and she would tell you that her Mommy and Daddy weren’t home and you would just have to talk to her. Do you remember how she called you “Grandpa Stickers” because you used to mail her stickers all the time? I remember you bought her so many Christmas presents when she was 3 and all she cared about was the popcorn packaging you used…you could have saved yourself a ton of money, Dad! You made such a special and huge effort to be a part of her life and I will never forget it.

I remember driving to Florida before you died (and, yes, you read that right…I am terrified of flying!) and someone at the hospital telling me that I shouldn’t bring a 6-year-old in there because of airborne germs and thinking, how could I not let my dad see his granddaughter who he had taken such pains to get to know via phone and mail? (Dad, you would have loved the internet.) And, guess what? She’s alive and well 17 years later!

Anyway, I said I wouldn’t make this a sappy letter and I’m kind of getting a little sad right now so I’m going to end it on this note:

Dad, always remember “ships on the seashore.” Note to readers, if there are any: it’s a private joke but, let’s put it this way, his producers didn’t find it too funny when they had to do “Take 50.” :)

Monday, May 17, 2010


I just realized that in one month it will be 1st anniversary of PrittieHartPress and 17 years since my dad died. It’s been both a great year and a bad year and, being the “glass is overflowing” type of person I am, I’ll focus on the good stuff first. The best part of working with all of my dad’s pictures (which all of us kids truly hated having taken the older we became) is that now, at the age of 55, I am so grateful that he did take them. He preserved our family memories in a way that not many people have the capability of doing. I am just now realizing what a talented man he was and I so wish he was alive so that I could tell him.

I think he would be so pleased that his photo collection from the set of the 1957 movie "Band of Angels" with Clark Gable and Yvonne DeCarlo was just sold to the Warner Bros. Museum in Burbank, CA. It’s a huge 7000 square foot museum built in 1996 and they wanted the collection for posterity’s sake.

I also think my dad would be happy that one of his photos that he took of me when I was four years old is now on a greeting card that is presently being sold. I mean, how cool is that? A picture of me on the front and dad receives photographic credit on the back of the card. As a matter of fact, I just received my first royalty check today from Design Design, Inc. and it was “Prittie” (get it?) exciting.

O.K…now for the bad part of the last year. I put a ton of effort and time into marketing and, like I mentioned above, just received my first check. I feel like I have been a floundering fish because I just delved right into this without really knowing what I was doing. As a matter of fact, when the creative director at Design Design, Inc. called to say she was interested in licensing the image, I didn’t even know what she was talking about. She then said “Well, isn’t that why you were sending the images?” Duh…

Working with a small family-owned company for 33 years has not prepared me for dealing with huge corporations and the glacier-like pace in which they move. It reminds me of exactly why I went to work for a small company because I remember having to fill out a requisition form for pens at a huge corporation…and all I wanted to do was say “Give me a darn pen so I can do my work!” I have learned that you really have to “put yourself out there” and sometimes make yourself look like a fool. I am sure that some people I have sent proposals to wonder why in the heck I sent them a proposal. And I’ll tell you…it’s because of this:

Fun Busses

In 1977 when I moved out to California and didn’t have a car, I hopped on a bus to go to a job interview at that huge corporation. After quite awhile of riding around, I realized that I had inadvertently hopped on a “fun bus,” one of those busses that only takes you to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, etc., instead of a public transportation bus. After realizing this, I got off the bus and walked, and walked, and walked and ended up at a large corporation but not the one I was supposed to interview with. By that time I was so tired of walking that I just asked them if there were any openings…and here I am 33 years later still doing some work for the people that I met there at that large corporation.

So, to answer any questions about why I might have sent you a proposal, it goes way back to “fun busses”—you never know where something might lead you :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This proves it…I am officially a product of the 1950’s. My almost 84-year-old mother recently corrected me on the pronunciation of Beyonce’s name. What’s really sad is that I’m not even really sure who she is …and what’s worse than that? I don’t even care :)

The same goes for the recent launch of the Ipad. I don’t have a clue as to what it is, what it does, how it works, or what it is and, once again, I really don’t care! It’s not that I am a total recluse by any means. I’m aware of the technology that is at our disposal and I think it’s great in so many ways but I also think we, as people, have lost a lot due to technology. I think we have lost the ability to truly communicate in a meaningful way. I see parents with their children and they’re on their cell phones and, therefore, they’re not really with their children. And what’s worse is when you see little kids on cell phones texting away. I think the parents are missing out on the opportunity to ask their kids what they’re thinking and never knowing what will come out of their mouths. (I used to do that with my daughter just for fun when she was around 4 or 5 and it was great listening to her.) Or driving the kids in the car and, instead of talking about random things happening in their lives, instead parents are talking on their cell phones and the kids are in the back seat on their cell phones. Heck, I’ve seen entire families walking along all on their cell phones.

The internet is truly fantastic and a great tool for research. However, aren’t we missing the actual feel of a book in our hands? I might have mentioned this in a previous post but I remember one summer when I was in 5th or 6th grade checking out every single biography out of our library (they were orange) and then pretending I was that person. I think that the internet can actually detract from our ability to be creative…especially for young children.

O.K., now with all that said…my daughter has a really neat cell phone that she can hold up to a radio and it will tell you the name of the song and the artist. Now that is cool :)

Are you wondering what this post has to do with my greeting cards? It doesn’t (except for in terms of communication). I should have probably titled this post “Apropos absolutely nothing.”

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Well, that’s me. I’ve come to a crossroads in my life and I’m ready for a change. Actually, that’s not quite true. I lost my job two years ago and it kind of forced me to change…which is both good and bad. The good part is that it forced me to think about what I’m going to next and the bad part is that all the jobs I apply to think that because I’m 55 (and despite the fact that I have been working full-time since I was 19 and spent 32 years at the same company) I am over-the-hill, I have nothing to contribute, and I’m not up-to-date on social marketing skills. I admit it…the latter part is true about social networking, even though I thought of a fantastic name for a Facebook fan page called “The Castaways” which would encompass all the people in my position :)

Due to the aforementioned facts, I have decided that I must (along with many other people my age) “reinvent” myself. In order to do this, I started with determining what I don’t want to do and here’s what I determined:


Buzz (I don’t even want to read about it to find out what it is.)
Twitter (I'm not creative enough and can barely follow telephone conversations let alone RT’s and comments with total strangers.)
Facebook (Did you ever hear of a telephone or writing a letter?)
LinkedIn (I have to admit that this is the “best” of the “worst” and I can actually see where it might lead somewhere.)
Blogging (I'll do it if I have to even though cyberspace is not my idea of communicating.)
Design a website.
Be stuck behind a computer all day long.


Have a lemonade stand and sell my vintage greeting cards (Translation: NO social networking).
Develop a strategic partnership with another company that will allow me to achieve this goal.

In a Nutshell

My dad was a newscaster for WWJ TV and Radio when I was growing up in the Midwest during the 1950’s and 1960’s and photography was his hobby. A few months ago I was looking at our family photos, which consist of approximately 1,200 slides, and decided to start designing vintage photo greeting cards. My dad’s photos truly depict a pictorial essay of a typical 1950’s/1960’s childhood that captures an era in time. I am convinced that these photos should remain together as a collection. My father was a great photographer and the pictures tell the story and convey the essence of a typical midwest childhood during the 50's and 60's.
If you're interested in developing a strategic partnership, you can view our social networking "lemonade stands" here:
and here:
and here:
And then, if you want to develop a strategic business partnership, contact me at or, better yet, (949) 310-0135 and we can actually in the Good Old Days :)

Monday, March 29, 2010


that wholesome, clean, and All American is not considered "in" nowadays...and therein lies my problem. After viewing the semi-finalists of the Trendys Awards, where 30% of the winners consist of cards designed with humor that I find objectionable and in poor taste, I've decided that I truly am a dinosaur from another era. I find it hard and sad to believe that this is what America has become. When my daughter was little and my mother came to visit, I'm the mom who refused to let her mom watch anything on TV besides Sesame Street and the Shopping Channel because that's all I thought was appropriate:) I'm the mom who stood up with her reluctant (to say the least) 7 year old daughter and walked out of the Richie Rich movie because of the violence. And when I happened to meet the REAL Richie Rich (a super nice man) who came to my house in November to film a commercial, I told him that his name sounded familiar...and then remembered why and proceeded to tell him--probably not too cool :) I'm the mom who embarrassed her preteen daughter by asking the manager of our local grocery store to please remove a magazine with an objectionable cover to a different place on the rack where it wouldn't be visible to children. I'm the mom who wrote to a bathing suit manufacturer to complain about the provocative swimwear they were designing for preteens. When my barely teenage daughter wanted to watch Pretty Woman, I'm the mom who fast-forwarded through that movie (only showing the appropriate parts) so quickly it was the shortest movie my daughter had ever seen :) Yes, I was and am that mom. And now, my daughter tells me how sad it is that these young kids nowadays dress the way they do and how the movie ratings have changed to allow more sex and violence into PG 13 movies.

So, if you're wondering what that long diatribe means, it's just a reinforcement of the description of myself at the beginning of this blog...I am a nerd and a dinosaur :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010


To Bro #2 for leaving such a nice post on my blog:

Tracey: follow your passion. The only career advice Dad gave me was "find something you enjoy doing and the money will follow". Unfortunately, I never took the advice. I will be 50 this year and you continue to inspire me to search out my passion. Bro #2

and to a new friend I made this past year who posted this on my Facebook wall:

"Dearest Tracey ~ YOU are a phenomenal Lady, a beautiful person, doing an extraordinary job, making things happen for those you love, and although you might not always feel it, you are loved and appreciated."

These two comments came at a time in my life when I really, really needed to hear something positive. They made me remember how sometimes just simple acts of kindness can go a long way toward helping someone feel to all those people who make the world just a little bit better and brighter, thank you.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


to Buzz! I like blogging; I see the point of LinkedIn; I tolerate Facebook; I tweet like a bird on Twitter and flutter around because I still don't know what I'm doing; but I categorically 100% refuse, refuse, REFUSE (and all related synonyms) to Buzz like a bee! There, is that clear enough? :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My dad was a newscaster for WWJ TV and Radio when I was growing up in the Midwest during the 1950’s and 1960’s and photography was his hobby. A few months ago I was looking at our family photos, which consist of approximately 1,200 slides, and decided to start designing vintage photo greeting cards. In these slides, there are photos of my dad on the set with Clark Gable and Yvonne Dicarlo filming Band of Angels in 1957 (which are really interesting because of the old cameras they used), but most of them are of my family. My first idea was to design, print, and sell the cards myself which proved to be too expensive. Therefore, the plan transitioned into attempting to license the photos individually to greeting card companies. I was successful in licensing one image to Design Design, Inc. (I wrote the verse and they designed the card, which is a picture of me when I was four.)

During the past week I have realized, however, that my dad’s photos truly depict a pictorial essay of a typical 1950’s/1960’s childhood that captures an era in time. I am convinced that these photos should remain together. My father was a great photographer and the pictures tell the story and convey the essence of the era. Therefore, I've decided that I will try to manufacture the cards myself and license the images to other, if anyone out there is interested, email me at .

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


it's the "little people" that really make a difference in our lives. It's the stranger off the internet that gave me just enough encouragement to just keep plodding along when I was feeling discouraged. It's the grandfather who gave my daughter a Red Robin gift card last week for being nice to his grandson where she works. It's my family who gives me constant encouragement even though some of them don't quite have a clue what I'm doing. It's the woman who gave my daughter a Starbucks gift card just because she let her copy pages from her textbook because she hadn't received hers yet. It's my friend who spent three days at my house providing honest input on my photos/greeting cards. It's the woman who owns the consignment shop who actually let me put up signs in her window advertising my greeting cards even though she's probably going to go out of business in two months. Come to think of it, maybe that's why she let me put up the signs :)

Anyway, I want to thank all the "little people" who are really the "big people" in my life and who understand my vision and support me.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Actually, there's nothing wrong with stock photo agencies...I just have a problem with having no control over what the images are used for. This is my family and they mean a lot to me and, as I said before, my morals will probably be the death of my company.

Anyway, here are the family votes:

1. MOM - Didn't ask her - When I mentioned that the one image that I had licensed to Design Design Inc., which is a picture of me when I was 4 and was designed into a Happy Birthday Mom card and the verse says "I'm still trying to be just like you," was going on sale this month and would be on the store shelves, she said "Which one is that?" Now, in all fairness to Mom, I have been giving her a lot of info over the past several months and it's hard to keep track of, even for me :)

2. BRO #1: Didn't ask him either - He doesn't own (and never will) a computer and has no clue what I am doing.

3. SELF: : No because you lose control over the images.

4. ONLY SIS: Sure, why not? No one will know it's us anyway!

5. BRO #2: Didn't ask him either - He's a great cheerleader for PrittieHartPress but I think he'd vote like Only Sis.

So...the votes are in and I've decided not to go with a stock photo agency at this time. Did you happen to notice that this really isn't a democracy considering I actually only asked one person in my family besides myself what they thought and then when Only Sis disagreed, my vote overruled hers? Kind of reminds me of when we were kids :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


all the Creative Directors/Art Directors at every single greeting card company I have approached. O.K., maybe not every one, but at least three that I can think of right off the bat. I think it's due to the fact that from working in the housing industry for 32 years as well as sales and marketing, I am used to deadlines, following up on leads, etc. in a timely manner. I have discovered, albeit maybe a little slowly, that greeting card companies have an entirely different concept of time than I do. Whereas I consider following up on art submissions as part of the entire marketing process, I think the Creative Directors think I am harrassing them. It's not like I email them all the time (not even once a month), it's just that I think they want to be left alone until they make their decisions...which can take three months or longer. Sometimes I think this greeting card endeavor is a left brain/right brain train wreck :)

Friday, January 15, 2010


Yesssss!!!!!!!! However, I don't know what they are following me for exactly because I still don't understand Twitter and the purpose of it. I think I'm supposed to be talking to people and not just posting random links to my Youtube video, blog, website, etc. Does anyone understand Twitter? Don't be shy...comment!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Why can't we just do things the old-fashioned way? I think I was born in the wrong century or that I'm just not creative enough to blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc., etc.!! Maybe I'm just too old but wouldn't it be a lot simpler to just say here's my product, either buy it or don't!!!!!!!!!!!! (There, that's my rant of the day...I feel better now.)