Category Archives: Gifts

Giving Holiday Greeting Cards Still a Cherished Tradition

Dayton Daily News
The holiday greeting card is just as important in 2011 as it has been in more financially robust times, according to area designers and retailers. After all, as Joe Bohardt of the Mulberry Tree in Oakwood points out, a beautiful holiday card is a gift … MORE

Customer gets free packaging


“I actually did not know that this contest was going on but I am thrilled that I won!  That is huge!” said Christina Groat, owner and operator of Jillian by Design.

hanging notecard bag

A2 Hanging Note card bag.

note card boxes

A2-1 note card boxes.

Jillian by Design, baby and toddler boutique, features handcrafted baby items and is named for Christina’s daughter, Jillian.

Christina was Oak Creek Printworks’ 10,000th online customer, and, in order to recognize this achievement, we announced we would give the 10,000th customer their order for free, up to $100, including shipping.

Christina’s order totaled $67.43. She used  the A2 Hanging note card bag to package her hand made “onsie stickers.Thank you cards were packaged in A2-1 note card boxes.

A2 is standard industry-speak for an “announcement” style (square flap) envelope and note card. The A2 card measures 4.25 inches by 5.5 inches when folded. The A2 announcement envelope is slightly larger, measuring 4.375 inches by 5.75 inches, with the A2 card box topping out at 4.5 inches by 5.785 inches.

A2 boxes come in a range of depths from .25 inches, holding two to five cards and envelopes, up to two inches, holding anywhere from 18 to 30 card and envelopes, depending on their thickness.

Christina recently displayed her handcrafted baby-themed products at craft fair near her home in South Lyon, Michigan. You can see all of Christina’s handiwork which is available for purchase at her website, Jillian by Design.

Michelle Luft

Michelle Luft
Jillian by Design

craft fair booth

Christina Groat

Christina Groat Jillian by Design

Free Decorative Elastic Stretch Loop with A2-1/2 Box Purchase


Photography and note card design by Jon Seyster, Just Heavenly

Purchase any quantity A2-1/2 note card sized box and get a 10-inch elastic stretch loop absolutely free. For example: if you were to purchase 100 boxes, you would get 100 stretch loops in any of eleven different colors absolutely free, a $21 value. For the widest choice of 10-inch elastic stretch loop colors anywhere, choose from a metallic finish in Gold, Silver, Copper, Red, Green, Blue, and Purple. Elastic stretch loops also come in matte colors, Pink, Blue, Black and White.

A2-1/2 boxes are designed for note cards measuring 4.25 inches by 5.5 inches when folded and hold four to 10 note cards and matching A2 envelopes, which measure 4.375 inches by 5.75 inches.

Elastic stretch loops add a decorative element to dress up the greeting card box, and turn an ordinary box into a beautiful gift package. Stretch loops are an attractive marketing device that adds perceived value to the box of cards.

free-elastic-streetch-loop-popupTo get A2-1/2 boxes with free stretch loops, add the number of boxes you want to your shopping cart. Using the pop-up menu next to “Free Stretch Loops:”, choose any one of our eleven colors of the 10-inch loops. If you want multiple colors, say 50 silver and 50 gold, add 50 boxes choosing silver, continue shopping and choose another 50 boxes with gold stretch loops. Continue shopping to add any other products you want, and proceed to check out.

This valuable offer is good for a limited time only, while supplies last.

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.

5 Gifts Under $10 Artists Can Give for the Holidays

by Nancy Haberman

Once the excitement and frenzy of the new school season has calmed, artists know that it’s time to get going on holiday gift and card making. Regardless of the medium in which you work, you’ll get more satisfaction throughout the season if you begin early and put your energy into what you love to do, and that is to make art.

You probably can’t give everyone an original, especially if you’re in the business of selling your art, but whether you sell your art, give it away, or fill every nook and cranny of your home with it, you can still share your art. These are gifts you can make at home with your computer, printer, and professional packaging. Our resource guide may also be helpful. Create a high resolution digital image of your art and then try any of the following five ideas for artists who want to give gifts under $10.

1.Greeting card – a2, a6, a7

Note Card

For resource information on card sizes, image sizing, envelope sizes and protective bag sizes click here.

2. Enlarge, crop and and print your art on bookmarks in two different sizes. Enclose in bookmark sleeve and add a tassel.

note card image  cropped

3. Mat cut to order with 1/8″ foam core back and crystal clear bag, ready display or frame

4. 28-page Journal with your art on the cover

5. CD Calendar

Resource Guide to Greeting Card Sizing

Preparing handmade greeting cards or note cards can be tricky, especially if you want them to fit in standard sized envelopes. Here is a chart that will help you as you prepare your card stock and artwork. Protective sleeves are also a nice packaging touch, and can be purchased to fit only one card and envelope, or up to 8 cards and envelopes. Note that the A6-8 sleeve only holds about four A6 greeting cards and envelopes.

Use the charts below indicated standard U.S. sizes to assist in sizing when creating your own greeting cards.

The sample below shows how to position your artwork on 8 1/2″ x 11″ cardstock. If you are using electronic files, and you want the image to print right to the edge of the card (called a “bleed”), the image needs to be larger than the size of the card. The red lines below indicate the bleed position on an A7 vertical card. The bleed must hang over on three sides by a minimum of .125″.  Then, after you print your card you can trim it to the right size.

Bookmark Genius: Recipes for Success

by Georgia Lange

Two of my favorite things to do this summer have been reading and cooking, which I rarely have time for during the rest of the year. Something about feeding both my body and my brain makes me feel at ease with everything, as though I am on vacation from life even when I am home. As I was sitting around the other day, munching on a delicious Moroccan salad that I had prepared and reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (a fabulous book that everyone in America seems to be reading this summer), my mind started to wander a bit. I remembered that I needed to write down the recipe of the savory dish Continue reading