Pars Caeli takes on AltNYC - the cards

For me the people of AltNYC were the toppers. BUT a very close second were the business cards. I knew before I ever stepped foot in Omnimedia's offices on Thursday that I wanted to get them all. Business cards, the good old-fashioned way to exchange messaging and contact information, are a highlight of Alt conferences. These mini masterpieces are all shapes, sizes, textures, and even scents. With each and every card exchange, I felt like I gained another lovely bit of inspiration, and I got to tell my story to another eager listener (thank you attendees for that).

And after much labor and DIY-ing, I'm delighted to present to you the inaugural Pars Caeli business cards.

Highlights of their creation include printing on watercolor paper and adhering two layers to create the ultimate thickness and applying four layers of silver scratch-off paint. Hand painting each one of these was a commitment and a total joy. The process reminded me of the joy of freehanding. Granted, the glimmer of bliss began to wear off somewhere around coat two of silver paint, but I pushed on through that.

I went with a round design to reference the Alt logo and Martha Stewart logo (grabbing onto the coat tails of greatness). Pars Caeli is all about joy and celebration so I wanted every participant to WIN something. The thought: offer a scratch-off treat that reveals a very special website for attendees to grab a VIPrize.

I was so over the moon about these, and I eagerly handed my very first card to Paige in our Hotel Americano suite just before we were about to leave for our sponsored dinners on Wednesday evening. Paige, the ever-supportive enthusiast, quickly began to scratch at the silver paint.

Scratch.

Etch.

Scratch, scritch.

My stomach sank. As Paige scraped off the silver paint, off came the watercolor paper and the ink that posted the website that made the whole concept click. 

Seriously? What. am. I. going. to do. Time? 5:30 with dinner to begin at 6:30 where cards will be exchanged.

I could have bawled right there. I know it sounds ridiculous but part of me wanted to pull an all out fit, think 4-year old tantrum, and pout.

BUT, I had Paige. See angelic human below.

And one really great friend is worth more than a Times Square ad space.

Instead of pulling a childish fit, I laughed. Heartily and almost hysterically. And Paige laughed, too. And in 2 minutes we were brainstorming ridiculous solutions. And laughing at every turn.

I texted my husband on the issue. He urged me to rally. To pretty please rally. He offered the story that the lottery would not release the real solution/ingredients for the official scratch-off formula so this was a bit of a gag. Eh, I give him credit for storytelling in a second's notice.

Paige stopped her preparations for dinner.

Sat down with me and a great big pile of business cards and...

We began to handwrite the messages around the circle of the cards. "Head on over to parscaeli.com/win to grab your treat. xo" was written again and again. And you better believe that Paige will forever know how to spell her Latin terms.

We'd finished about 15 when we realized we had to get in a cab and get to dinner. I needed more than 15 for dinner.

Again, Super Paige to the rescue. In the backseat of the most tumultuous cab ride, Paige and I attempted to handwrite messages on every single card. With grace and wit, she set me at ease, got right to the task, and had me planning for when I might finish off the once overwhelming task.

And you know what, friends? I owned it. Every person who received a Pars Caeli card got a quick, funny recap of the escapade. Maybe the humanity of it or maybe the wit or even the sweetness of friendship will resonate with folks... and make my cards that much more memorable.

I know it's a story I'll be telling my grandkids. Friendship sticks...even when the silver lining gets scratched off.

And now to the rest of the amazingness, the cards of Alt NYC. First up amazing objects. Really ladies? You rock.

Catch that swimming minnow from Ellen? And that circle lovely from Amy?

I just can't help it - the charm of Paper Mama's wooden dog pin had me. Handmade. No, really.

And onto the color and photography cards. I received so many letterpress and fabulously thick cards (my fave).

Haeley over at Design Improvised even gave us the ingredients for an Alt business card garland. Genius!!

Alexandra's letterpress vintage charm was just gorgeous and right on message.

And the black and white set. Such great classic and crisp cards here. Theresa's washi tape envelope had me at wow.

Shall I offer a favorite? Or shall I pull a mom answer out and say I love them all, just differently.

Nope. Leslie Fandrich, your cards are even more beautiful in person than in stunning photography. Your hand-drawn illustrations brought to letterpress are gorgeous and my very favorite.

Who topped your list? I'd love to hear.

And before I forget, let me share with you another installment in the fun Endless Summer Projects series. This week Melissa of Lulu the Baker is creating mini masterpieces in an easy how-to that we can all handle with our kiddos. My older children are beginning to notice art more and more, and thanks to an art memory game we have, they've each established their own lists of favorite painters and illustrators. I know they'll enjoy creating some appreciated masterpieces to life for our home!

Thanks, Melissa!! Alexandra has a great project headed our way next week, and she's taking us right out to the backyard. Join in.

xoxo, MJ

PS. AltNYC friends, the site is open. Please go to parscaeli.com/win and enter your info so I can send along your prize!!
PPS. Take a look at Obsession Session's quick take on the cards via Vine.

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