I love Cafe Press. I love living in an age when you can take any image and slap it onto practically any product you want, have it in your hands in less than a week, and not have to talk to a single person in the process.

A few years ago, I wanted to write some notes of encouragement and praise to my dancers who had been pulling extra hours away from their families and day jobs to put together a full-length theatrical showcase of bellydance.   Some were first-time performers, some were experienced yet attempting the impossible by memorizing 10 choreographies in less than 6 months and dealing with the costume changes backstage that come along with that kind of committment.   In both cases, there were a lot of nerves leading up to this show, and we pulled it off beautifully. I was proud of ourselves.  And so I went looking for the perfect way to tell them just that.

That’s when I spotted a card I had received years before from my first bellydance teacher.   It was such a beautiful print of an antique painting of a pair of North African dancers on the front that I had framed it to live on my desk.  Every so often I could pop the card out and re-read her sweet message.   So I decided to do the same, and now I’m passing the idea on…

So back to Cafe Press – here is a collection of notecards that already exist on Cafe Press that feature vintage images of bellydancers, actresses portraying dancers, and women in the Middle East/North Africa.   But, if you’re feeling particularly crafty and clever, the beauty of Cafe Press is that you can upload your own artwork and customize your cards.

 

 

 

And don’t forget the duality of the gift – the recipients are getting not just beautiful messages from a friend but also a beautiful image worth framing or hanging on their inspiration board in their dance practice space!

Some other ideas to create a personalized notecard might be:

  • Use the poster or adwork for your company’s recent showcase
  • Use a photo from your troupe’s pro photo shoot
  • Layer one of your or your teacher’s catchphrases over a patterned background

 

Here are the links to the ones I mentioned.  Most of them can be purchased in a package of 20 or individually.  I like the idea of mixing them up and buying a few of each!

Egyptian Dancer

The Harem Dance

Almeh Performing Sword Dance

Mata Hari

Cabaret Bellydancer

Mata Hari in Yellow

Idle Afternoon

 

BONUS Tidbit – About the card designer

If you love the style of the vintage bellydancer cards, check out the website of Luna Girl Images, one of the creators behind some of the aforementioned cards.  (The other is Helaine Dawson but I did not find any extra info about her )

At Luna Girl, they have carefully restored and “artfully embellished” hundreds of vintage images into digital downloads, including these:

dancinggirls

Dancing Girls Set

burlesqueposters

Burlesque and Comedy Posters

forutneset

Fortune Teller Set

 

 

*This is not a paid or sponsored blog