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giving back


Secret Messages [Wenatchee design + photography]

Have you heard of the Secret Message Society? Maybe you should! I've been a secret message maker, leaver, finder and lover for probably my whole life. I just never had a name to call it. But after watching my friend, Mandy Steward, thrash about and grow her art message, I found a group of like-minded people who see the hidden magic in finding the silver lining and secret messages in life's moments. As much as I love finding them, I love leaving them even more. Thinking someone could find just the right message at just the time they are needing/wanting to receive it gives me the greatest thrill. So keep your eyes open, Wenatchee, you never know what you may find.



Free Valentine cards [Wenatchee graphic design]

Thought I'd share. I needed a set of Valentines cards for my kids to give out that weren't, you know, stupid. Or didn't imply anything that they didn't want to imply (Indy: "MOM, gross, I can't say 'be my valentine' to everyone in class! There are boys too, ugh!") These are not-too-frilly, not-too-lovey so I think they'll work.

Sized 11"x8.5" they should print in most standard color printers. They're 4-up, so print on something a bit heavier than plain paper, cut in half horizontally and half again vertically and you have 4 less valentines to buy. Works as is or will fit perfectly in your standard No. 5-1/2 invitation envelope. The original can be downloaded from my Flickr site, HERE. I also have a some other designs from past years over there: here (girls) and here (boys).




A Wenatchee photographer's old-fashioned, lazy, do-it yourself holiday greeting

Below is the holiday "card" I sent out this season. I think it might be my favorite one so far.

Also, in case you're wondering why I haven't announced a winner in the 2009 "Giving is Awesome" giveaway, it's because I didn't get a single nomination. Maybe you're thinking "I won't win so why bother?" Well, so far, you would have had a 100% chance of winning. I'm extending the deadline to Dec. 31, so please, if you know a family (or person) who really deserves the gift of custom photography, do not be shy about letting me know!



Wenatchee Photography: Giving is Awesome

It's that time of year again! My very favorite time. When I get to give back to the community and town that so generously accepted and made room for me and my family almost 13 years ago. This is my second year (and the second year of the program) called "Giving is Awesome" that encourages photographers to donate to deserving people the gift of professional photography.

You know someone. You know someone who's experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who can't afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of their family's spirit, love, and beauty.

You know someone. I guarantee it.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography. It's in your power to give them the artwork they deserve this holiday season.

Oh, and the best part? The person who nominates the winner also receives a free mini-session. What better reason to show some love could there possibly be, people?

The rules:

* You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments for a vacation home does not qualify as sincere financial need.)

* The nominee must reside in or around North Central Washington. Lets say within 60 miles of Wenatchee, WA. Tell me who you know, what they're experiencing, and why they deserve my artwork. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.

* If you're not comfortable posting the story in comments, then please e-mail me the full story: tonya [at] gauchogirl [dot] com.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 7 - my youngest daughter's 11th birthday. Get nominating! I can't wait to read your entries!

Open your heart to someone this holiday season -- and thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.

If you aren't in the Wenatchee area, you can still enter! Please check the Giving is Awesome MAP and find a participating photographer near you or your intended recipient!

(Below is last year's winner. A much deserving young couple in Oroville, WA. --  Hi Willis family! I got your holiday card the other day, thank you! Hoping you have a wonderful year!)