Category Archives: Bookmarks

Spend your time creating—we’ll do the print work

greeting card assortment

Let us print your art on greeting cards of any size. All our prices include scoring, folding and envelopes. Colors are water-, scratch- and fade-resistent, unlike non-archival inkjet prints.

We also print bookmarks and print reproductions to 12 inches x 18 inches. Our high quality, low cost laser prints make a stunning presentation when matted and packaged as a print combo.

Westlake Village Art Guild  newsletters

We’ve been printing the Westlake Village Art Guild newsletter since 2005.

Does your art club print a newsletter? We can help. We specialize in printing everything for artists and crafters from newsletters and booklets to business cards, postcards and product tags.

Don’t see the print product you’re looking for on our website? Give us a call at 805-522-5475. We quote custom orders.

Broaden your vision with panoramas and apps

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah takes on an other-worldly landscape, captured here in 11 different photos. I walked away from the computer for a couple of hours while Photoshop’s Photomerge toiled away. The composite yielded a file nearly a gigabyte in size with a remarkable amount of detail. The sweeping landscape’s curved edges may bother some, but, in my opinion they add to the drama.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah takes on an other-worldly landscape, captured here in 11 different photos. I walked away from the computer for a couple of hours while Photoshop’s Photomerge toiled away. The composite yielded a file nearly a gigabyte in size with a remarkable amount of detail. The sweeping landscape’s curved edges may bother some, but, in my opinion they add to the drama.

Looking to make your images unique? Want to see things from a new perspective? Try experimenting with Photoshop’s Photomerge feature or AutoStitch app to combine numerous images into a single wide angle view. It’s all automated. Just select the images you want to merge, sit back, and let Photoshop do the rest.

buckwheat and beePerhaps you’re looking for something a little more retro. Thanks to the new digital cameras and Smartphones, we’re able to capture well-lit, sharp focus images, so what’s the big deal? Anyone can take “nice” pictures these days. So, let’s look at images differently and carefully mess them up like we used to do by accident.

After reviewing my photos of the busy bees, I realized that the plants they were all attracted to were buckwheat plants. So, I decided to grunge up the photo with an app and create the masking tape label with “B is for…”, surprise, not bee. Two apps were used in the creation of the photo—Pic Grunger and Labelbox.

Want to learn more about the phone apps? Check out former OCPW featured artist, Holly Higbee-Jansen’s Photographic Explorations. Here you’ll learn about Holly’s favorite phone apps, as well as online and in-person workshops and photography coaching.

Annual Christmas Card Challenge

Victorian era Christmas cardEvery year when it comes time to make the holiday card, whether for business or personal, I struggle to come up with fresh ideas that top previous years’ efforts. Invariably it’s the shoemaker’s kid who goes without shoes…that was me growing up as the shoemaker’s kid, and it’s still me as a designer, generating fresh ideas for clients year after year. No matter how much design and printing styles have morphed over the 17 decades since Christmas cards were first exchanged in London in 1843, much about the sentiments and adornments remain virtually unchanged.

Christmas cards came to Americans in 1874 thanks to Louis Prang, a Boston printer, illustrator, “father of American greeting cards” and namesake of the Louie Awards. Prang first offered Christmas cards as a commercial product in England in 1873. His exquisite chromolithography full color illustrations and printing set the industry standard for mass produced color prints displaying small animals, butterflies and flora among the popular subjects. By the next decade Prang produced designs for greeting cards representing all the major holidays.

Victorian era Christmas cardMany of the holiday cards from the Victorian era were derived from nature. In addition to a folding greeting card, postcards and bookmarks were popular holiday greeting sizes.

This year’s inspiration for my greetings comes, not just in the form a greeting card, but in a practical keepsake that is multi-functional. My obsession with bookmarks stems from the fact that I haven’t give up on the printed word yet. I got the Kindle as a gift, and it was a handy gadget to carry around while traveling, provided it had no technical issues. There were issues, and I spent needless vacation hours resolving them, finally exchanging my Kindle for a new one. Since then, we’ve opted for an iPad, but I don’t use either the Kindle or the iPad as a replacement for books or magazine. No thank you, I’ll keep my print editions. Magazines just aren’t the same on a Kindle.

Nearly every print edition of a book requires a bookmark as a placeholder, and I may be reading or perusing a dozen books at once. Since I know there are many others like myself who find their electronic gadgets otherwise indispensable, but aren’t crazy about curling up with their iPad, I figure everyone needs a bookmark. So instead of gift tags, which are typically too small for the names that need to fit onto it, I’m using bookmarks, and I’ll be sending them or something akin to them this year.

Oak Creek Printworks can print bookmarks to double-duty as cards or gift tags. Click here to link to Custom Printing. We print in the following formats. Measurements indicate trim size: Gift cards – 3.25 x 2.25 inches, A2 note cards – 4.25 x 5.5 inches, A6 greeting cards – 4.625 x 6.25 inches, A7 greeting cards – 5 x 7 inches.

specs for printing bookmarks


Living My Life with New Eyes

Angela Sharkey was an Oak Creek Printworks featured artist in the winter of 2009/2010.

This colorful image of Roman pines was printed and used as a bookmark.


I have been a professional artist for more than 20 years now and I have worked in both graphic design and the art industry and have found my true love in painting some 12 years ago. As an independent artist, I am constantly evolving with every changing landscape, pushing my boundaries whenever I can. My family and I move around the world quite often so I am constantly trying to find my place along the way in new and often unfamiliar cultures.

My home these days is sunny, ancient, noisy, and beautiful Rome, Italy. I visited this great city some 22 years ago as an artist living on a shoe string budget, and as many before me I was captivated by “la dolce vita.” Coming back to Italy to live has been a dream for me and I am determined to live life to the fullest. The French novelist Marcel Proust sums up my attitude in life quite well in his beautiful and poignant quote:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

With all the difficulties of moving so often and adjusting to a new life I find it fascinating how altering my vision or having new eyes can affect what I see and how I feel. This way of seeing, in turn, ultimately affects those around me—hopefully in a positive way. As I look around I see so many lives moving in different directions; everyone’s eyes are capturing a different view, giving us all our own unique perception.

Roman-pine-over-bridgeAs an artist I like to approach my work when my vision is overloaded with colors and scenes and I need to translate everything onto the canvas. I am always looking deeper, certain there is more below the surface, hoping for more clarity. In my work as an artist and in everyday life I am very drawn to color, and my art is a great way for me to express this.

Whether I am in the Tuscan countryside counting the endless cypress trees that line the country roads, or studying the rolling hills dotted with Roman pines, I envision the colors I want to capture as I sketch and study nature. Gazing upon the magnificent architecture all around me I break the images down into simple forms and shapes putting color where it once was and bringing texture into the piece. Everywhere I look I am inspired by the beautiful Italian landscapes and architecture, which I then transpose to the canvas through my own vision.

Tuscany-landscape-2011Alongside my work as an artist I am currently working as an art curator for the Mel Sembler Gallery at the US Embassy in Rome. My job allows me to show my art once a year at the gallery while the remainder of the year I scout American or international artists, along with the curating team, for those interested in showing at the gallery. Every month we show a new artist’s work which includes sculpture, painting, photography, textile art, and mixed media. I have had the privilege to meet many talented individuals and enjoy sharing in their excitement as a distinguished artist showing at the US Embassy Mel Sembler Gallery. For some artists it is their first solo show and I am honored to help them show their work in the best light possible, giving them the exposure they deserve.

In the month of March we have a special show dedicated to children’s art. The children of embassy employees submit their work which is then displayed in the gallery much to the pride of the young artists and the admiration of the adults. It allows the children a sense of confidence and accomplishment that they are able to publicly display their works. I have always enjoyed children’s art as it is uninhibited and free. This March 2012 we will be happy to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Girl Scouts of America as the Scouts submit their artwork to our gallery for the children’s art show.

I have seen firsthand the Mel Sembler gallery is more than just a venue for showing art, but a real-world setting for joining Americans and the international community. Through our art we are bringing people together to share ideas and connect our lives and families. I believe we all have the possibility to see with new eyes, regardless of the landscapes we are navigating, and bring forth positive new visions for our world.

roman-pines-bookmarkAngela Sharkey
Roma 2011

Fall Fashion Tassel Set for Bookmarks and Sleeves

4-inch chainette tassels, fall colorsThese 4-inch chainette tassels will dress up your bookmarks in the latest in fall colors. The Pantone fashion color report for Fall 2011 highlights top fashion designers’ color picks and is a great resource for anyone who wants to keep up with current color trends.

Here’s how our bookmark tassel color selections compare with the Pantone picks. Bamboo-Antique Gold, Emberglow-Orange, Honeysuckle-Rose Blossom, Phlox-Very Violet, Cedar-Moss Green, Deep Teal-Deep Turquoise, Coffee Liqueur-Chocolate, Nougat-Cookie Dough, Orchid Hush-Lilac, Quarry-Silver Blue. Pantone’s fall 2011 designer colors are just a few of the over 40 tassle colors available in the Oak Creek Printworks store.

You may discover other uses for these multi-colored tassels. Glue them to greeting cards to add dimension to your designs using tassels to represent a myriad of items, from inanimate objects like trees and broomsticks to creatures large and small. Combine with pen and ink of other media to create unique composition. Attach tassels to small baronial cards, gift cards or gift packages to give them an added touch of elegance.

Click here to add a Fall 2011 tassel set to your shopping cart.

Loretta Needs a Bookmark Sleeve

Loretta needs a bookmark sleeveWhat Loretta needs is a bookmark to save her spot. But Loretta’s kind of messy, so Oswald thinks she should protect it with a crystal clear vinyl bookmark sleeves.  Otis figures that Loretta would want to dress up her bookmark by adding a decorative 4-inch chainette tassel, which is available in over 40 different colors.

Save by combining the bookmark sleeve with a tassel by buying the sleeve and tassel combo set.

bookmark sleeve and tassel combo


Panorama phone apps stimulate imagination

moorpark college

This past weekend I was immersed in the unpleasant chore of paying bills, when I reached for a pen and instead, my clumsy grasp sent a cup full of pens spilling over the edge of my desk and into a box full of old cards. Reluctantly, I got up out of my chair and fumbled through the box, my eyes landing on some old photos stored in a clear plastic box.

Upon seeing the fading image my grandfather as head pressman of the print shop where he worked, I realized I had not scanned the photo, which I thought might make a good retouching project for my Photoshop students.

And then, much as I hated to, I had to stop myself from wandering off track, but when I saw this new 180-degree panorama image juxtaposed with the circa 1920 image of my grandfather,  I couldn’t help but marvel at the technology built into our mobile devices.

As I mentioned in my article on “grunge” apps, now that we’ve mastered the doctored image to near perfection, we’ve gone on to mimic effects like the vignette, the scratches, and the light leaks in this aged image. And now we can create 180-degree, 360-degree, and even cave-like images projections that totally surround.

As a kid growing up in the 50s, the Dick Tracy watch was science fiction. Who’d thunk that as an adult, I’d have my very own communication device far superior to anything Dick ever imagined? This week I’m into panorama apps, but note that this is not intended as a review or comparison of specific applications, but instead, a reflection of my limited experiences with panorama apps in general.

cartagena, colombiaTypically, if you’re shooting with a normal lens, you can achieve a panorama effect by cropping and zooming into a very narrow area of an image. That’s essentially what you get when you order a panorama from the drug store, or your local film processor.

Among its many automation features, Photoshop has a fairly sophisticated blending function called “photomerge.” These days, however, I’m into “quick and dirty,” but I don’t really see the “dirty” in an app like AutoStitch from Cloudburst Research. It’s incredibly simple to use and has impressive blending and exposure algorithms.

cartagena, colombia-panoramaI’ve been making images around the college campus where I teach, and one of the effects when shooting these panoramas that has intrigued me ever since I studied photography is that of the disappearing people. I’ll never forget the sense of awe I experienced when seeing the photographs of Ralph Eugene Meatyard. The children in the images had disappearing faces, an effect all photographers have experienced when using slow shutter speeds while the subject moves.

It’s one of those things that started me  thinking about how untrustworthy human vision is, and the fact that we don’t see something doesn’t necessarily mean it is not there. It just means that our senses are not acute enough…and you can extrapolate whatever you want from that. My next project is to turn some of these panoramas into bookmarks that I can include with the gifts I give during the coming year.