Sandra Miller-Louden's

Greeting Card Writing Dot Com





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Before you peek-a-boo at the inside below, stop!  What rhymes with “order?”  Pick a few good words, read on and then (and only then!) check out the inside verse



This 5x6” card is an early example of a die-cut; primitive by today’s more intricate standards, but still charming in its own way.  The gabled roof slants upward on the upper right hand margin and there’s a slight indentation for the chimney, upper left.  The Tag Line outside—Best Wishes To The Happy Family—plus the bird’s eye view (If the bird is sitting on the windowsill) of Mom, Dad and Baby tells us right away that indeed, “Congratulations are in order.”


Figured out yet what the inside line will be?  Scroll down, if you haven’t already—“Just heard of the arrival of a brand new Boarder!”  We love the fact that the verse is just as fresh and timely today as it was 50+ years ago.  Once again, the scan doesn’t do the inside justice.  Here we’re treated to not only a die-cut stork holding a baby in a blanket that actually swings as if it’s airborne, but the stork pops up  in our face as it prepares to drop baby down the chimney into the waiting arms of mom and dad.


Opening the inside doubles the closed outside width – 10”.  But our friendly stork’s wing span adds an additional 2.5” to the length—this is one major stork.  The wings fold down and check out the inside card—you can see the perforation down the center of the bird’s head and beak.  All this makes for a perfect inside fold that never gives itself away simply by looking at the outside.


Finally, notice the gender of the baby isn’t noted.  The clever artwork outside gives us an equal mix of blue and pink (although we admit we’ve never seen a pink roof before) and inside, although the baby’s blanket is pink, our “Brand new Boarder’s” eyes are blue and the haircut is a distinctively male style.


So, although we’re not sure if Loretta (her name’s on the envelope) had a girl or a boy way back when, we do know card companies, even today, prefer some verses to be as generic—therefore as wide-reaching—as possible.


Someone’s definitely under the weather here and it appears to be a sad-eyed hound dog with a thermometer reading off the scale.  The outside line just screams rhymed, metered poetry and we’re taking an educated guess here when we deduce the inside will end with “Get Well” to rhyme with “For A Spell.”  The drawing is so big and in your face that it catches one’s eye immediately; the only quarrel we have with the outside verse is if you start off with one conversational contraction “Don’t,” you really should follow through with the less stilted “you’re” rather than “you are.”  (I know, I know—the writing instructor inside me is showing!)


The scan doesn’t do the card justice inside because the scan is flat, whereas the card is very much 3-D.  The ears fly upward when you open the card, just like our new American Fox Hound, Sally, whose ears fly up when she runs in the wind.  The “Perk Up” is perfect verse/visual interaction with the perky ears.  Although you can feel the extra weight inside before opening the card, the ears still come as a gleeful surprise.  This card is very unique in that even though it is a single fold, there are TWO single folds glued together on both vertical sides.  The inside fold has an extra 2.5” of paper that hooves up in the center with a rigid crease.  In these folds are where the ears lie, tucked in neatly until the recipient opens the card and is told to “Listen!  Perk Up..and then GET WELL! 


This card is timeless and as enjoyable in 2007 as it would have been decades ago.  It’s a Buzza-Cardozo whose only location is billed as “Hollywood USA.”  It cost 50 cents and measures 5x8-1/8.”  The signature is “To Loretta From Linda” and if Linda hadn’t signed it in ink, we’d be sorely tempted to erase the signature line and resend it to the first sick person we knew.  If you don’t smile upon opening this card, you must indeed be one sick puppy.

We will edit submissions for clarity, appropriateness and space.  We reserve the right to use submitted cards for "Under The White Hot Spot" at any future date and as often as we choose.  The guidelines stated above must be followed for consideration on the site.  There is no fee to submit your work, however it is understood there is no compensation or payment due to the author for submission or use of the card.


Our sexy spouse is wishing her hubby a Happy Birthday in true Betty Grable pin-up style.  The hot pink bow—remarkably intact—is to remind her husband he’ll always be her favorite Beau.  This is an interesting play on words that involves an outside visual attachment. When we open the card, we have a very straightforward message or as The Ohio Express would say it 20 years later in true bubble gum style...”Yummy, yummy, yummy, she’s got love in her tummy.”  The high heels combined with the swimsuit?  I don’t know any women who actually went to the seashore in that get-up, but they sure liked to pose in it.



The card itself measures 4.75x6” and has a French Fold (folded once, then folded again).  A very old piece of tape hidden inside this fold holds the knot of the outside bow in place, which is the reason for the folded treatment—we don’t want the mechanics of the card showing on the back!  The paper is regular paper stock and we’re surprised it’s held up so well.  It’s a Norcross Card from New York and part of a then-trademarked line entitled “Fluorescent Flo.”



There’s no issue date on the card itself.  However, it came with an envelope sent to a Private First Class at “Camp Joseph H. Pendleton” (now known simply as Camp Pendleton) in “Oceanside, Calif.”  The postmark is April 22, 1952 at 6 PM from Flat River, Missouri and the envelope carries a 6 cents air mail stamp.  The card was signed “With Love Always, Loretta” and we’re sure Billy was as touched by this sentiment as we were.   We feel a little as if we’re spying on a love story here, but from a greeting card standpoint, we thank Loretta and her Marine for sharing with us so many years later.

Inside...and all you can think is, "He could get a hernia doing stuff like that! Happy Birthday!

©Renaissance Greeting Cards, Inc. (Lighthearted Greetings™)

©Amanda Haley (Artist)

Verse written by: Sandra  Miller-Louden (1995)

Reprinted with permission from ©Renaissance Greeting Cards, Inc.

"I love old films and of course the ultimate film experience is 1939's 'Gone With The Wind.' However, when I watched the famous scene where Rhett vows to wipe Ashley Wilkes' memory from Scarlett's mind for one night as he (literally) sweeps her off her feet and carries her up the stairs, I actually thought: "If he isn't careful, he could get a hernia!" Yikes! Where had my romanticism gone? While I couldn't answer that question, at least I knew that I'd mentally composed a solid birthday verse."

Inside...after all, you've lived through the last third of their history book. Happy Birthday!

©Oatmeal Studios

©Helene Lehrer (Artist)

Verse written by: Sandra Miller-Louden (1990)

Reprinted with permission from ©Oatmeal Studios

"This is a perfect example of how a real-life experience can turn into a greeting card verse. I was sitting outside my son's classroom waiting for my turn on Parent-Teacher Conference Day. Next to me was a history book and I flipped to the end, fully expecting to see Dwight Eisenhower's picture, which was always the last photo in 1950's history books. Imagine my surprise (not to mention, dismay) when President Eisenhower showed up 2/3 of the way into the text and everything after that were events that I'd personally lived through and remembered! After I regained my composure, I knew I had a new twist on the "old" theme of aging. When life hands you history books..."

Boo! Halloween Card


Skeletons, goblins,
witches and bats,
monsters and pumpkins
and scary black cats,
Big hairy spiders,
eyes that are green...

Guess what...
it's Halloween!


©  Renaissance Greeting Cards Inc.
©  Tim Coffey (Artist)
Verse Written By Sandra Miller-Louden (2000)

"Fall is my favorite season and Halloween, my favorite occasion.  So, it should come as no great surprise that I've sold more seasonals in the Halloween category than in any other.  The card itself is three-paneled, carrying the verse in the inside panel.  I find the artwork totally enchanting due to the rich purples and shiny, raised greens that invite you to touch the surface.  Witches, bats, skeletons and spiders are just some of the critters who inhabit the card, making it a totally integrated text/artwork package."



Ribbons and bows...

Surprises and treasures...

May you have a lifetime

of sweet pleasures.

©  Renaissance Greeting Cards Inc.
©  Teresa Kogut (Artist)
Verse Written By Carolyn Miller (1999)
Reprinted with permission from ©Renaissance Greeting Cards Inc.

"One of the more memorable times of my life contributed to this verse.  Surrounded and feted by relatives and friends, my own bridal showers were festive, fun occasions.  The laughter, games, and excellent food were a prelude to a shower of gifts.  It was the happy anticipation of beautiful times to come.  As the years rolled by, 55 of them to be exact, I came to know, in addition to family and friends, ribbons and bows, the bridal showers provided me with a truly sweet pleasure-- my memories."

Inside: Happy Anniversary to the one I up after!

©  Northern Exposure
©  Corbis Stock Market (Photograph)
Verse Written By Robin Prevade (2002)
Reprinted with permission from © Northern Exposure

Please Note: Northern Exposure currently has no openings for freelance writers.  Please check Sandra's Tipsheet to see which companies are accepting freelance work.

"This image was included in an assignment I was given to write some "everyday verse."  The boy and girl together immediately made me think that a wedding or an anniversary greeting would be most appropriate.  My first thoughts were the usual, "We've shared a lot" or some reference to "my cupcake;" however, both seemed trite and obvious.

After putting the assignment aside for a day or two, I went back and a new angle up after!  It seemed to capture both the essence of the photograph and the sentimentality of the occasion, that you love someone so much you would finds pleasure in doing even the most mundane task for them.  Also, because I didn't go after the obvious "sharing" or "cupcake" reference, the angle took on  an added element of surprise.  The reader is assuming that "love" is being used to describe the feeling their spouse has for them, but the added twist instead causes the word to reference the act of cleaning!  The combination of the adorable image and the universal message makes the card a great pick for almost any spouse looking to buy the perfect anniversary card.



 No longer heard but still sung from above.  Sorry for your loss

©  Scarlet's Feathers
Verse Written By Pat Ferdinandi "Flock Leader"(2002)

"There's a term used in the parrot community when parrots die--they go over "Rainbow Ridge" to sing. I wanted to carry the theme through in reinforcing that a parrot's most common time for singing and screeching is to greet the morning sun or to say goodbye at sunset.

My first outside design included a parrot (actually Scarlet herself) with a single flower and a rainbow in the background. After using Sandra's critiquing service, her recommendation was to utilize an empty cage or something similar. I decided to use lilies, which of course, are a common flower for funerals and a perch due to its size, rather than a cage. I opted for an outside scene because I considered it more peaceful."




©  Scarlet's Feathers
Verse Written By Pat Ferdinandi (2002)

"Starting any new business takes much time and effort. Since the mortgage still has to be paid, however, I've held onto my day job and work on my fledgling (!) greeting card business any spare moment I have. I started a saying at work and now the entire department repeats it whenever our job gets too crazy--and our bosses still think we're talking about one of our clients.

Since I was able to get so much mileage out of the saying in my work environment, I decided I had to turn it into a verse. I was certain many in Corporate America would feel the same. Since I had reservations using the three letters due to trademark considerations, I decided to put one of Sandra's tricks to good use--namely her "three little words."


 Hey, that's next year's problem!  Enjoy the treats of the season.

©  Scarlet's Feathers
Verse Written By Pat Ferdinandi (2002)

"I'm known for my Christmas cookies, which I begin baking on the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the Sunday before Christmas! Scarlet's favorite hangout in the kitchen is perched on our kitchen faucet. During one of my baking sessions, I totally forgot that I left half a cookie on the window sill.

Well! Scarlet, who NEVER eats with her feet, grabbed the cookie and would NOT let it go! It was so memorable (and yes, cute!) that I simply had to make it into a card. Since people forget about their diets during this time of year anyway, I played on that theme."

     Our happy Dachshund has eyelashes that Maybelline would envy, eyelashes that set off a pair of glued-on, Barney Google eyes.  His body is really a die-cut and above that are the words Happy Birthday!  Inside?  The perfect Wienerschnitzel...tied on both ends with the rest of the verse:  “And all that BALONEY!”  (And thank goodness, it wasn’t spelled Bologna, which, as far as we’re concerned is a town in Italy—and ranks right up there with spelling “ketchup” as “catsup.”) 


    The card itself measures 3.5x8” and is of heavy card stock, the kind you don’t see too much of today.  The front panel is doubled to support the extras (glued eyes and die-cut treatment).  It is from Hallmark and part of their Slim Jims line.  Cost?  25 cents.  Circa 1958—almost half a century ago.


    Most important, it was signed by “Jimmy.”  Actually, we suspect Jimmy’s mom signed it because it’s a very even script for someone who was probably only seven or eight at the time.  We like this card because it isn’t deep and the eyes still jiggle when we move the card.  Jimmy—or Jimmy’s mom—had great taste.

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