One time, and one time only, I forgot to sign one of my kids' cards before I gave it to them. Shouldn't have been a big deal, but somehow they became convinced (probably with prodding from my jokester of a husband) that I didn't sign it because I intended to re-use it by taking it to the church. I'd never have done that. Really and truly. The cards that I make for friends and family are labors of love. Now, every darn time my family opens a card from me, the story gets retold. So to avoid the sarcasm, I make a very conscious effort to personalize their cards in some way - the most obvious way by adding their name.
I love this alphabet for my teenage sons. It's not frilly and it's totally fun. I made this card for my youngest a couple of days ago. He started at a new school this year and it's not going as well as he had hoped. First, I pulled out the owl set, then it occurred to me to sit the owl on his name. (Also notice the little logs in the above picture. My son happened to be with me when I wandered into Hobby Lobby last weekend to get a few props for my photos. He found these logs - so I had to include them with this card!)
To add interest, I cut his name out of the main panel, then I sponged inks on a small scrap of paper to set behind the letters. That prompted me to bring those colors into the owl's wings. I'm sure my son will inform me that owls don't have colorful wings!
I know a card isn't going to solve any of his problems, but if makes him smile for a minute - or even sigh - maybe it will give him a bit more strength to face each day. And that is the joy of this hobby we all love!