Delicate Balance

This image was cropped to a square to ready it for a square greeting card design.

This image was cropped to a square to ready it to print a square greeting card.

A tiny flying insect that I called a “fairy-fly” landing on the flowering Nandina, aka Heavenly Bamboo, inspired me to do a quick photo shoot on my lunch hour last week.

“No matter the time you live, no matter who, or what you are, every one and every thing is in delicate balance.” Should I add typography to this image? What words? Different words? The jury is out. What do you think?

 

Our Etsy store is growing—new products are up!

blog-post-image-with-new-etsy-products

Now available from our Etsy store are our greeting card boxes, elastic stretch loops, gold seals, adhesive foam pieces and glue tape—all great tools for making and packaging handmade note cards!

Several weeks ago we announced our Etsy store was live, and that we were selling a new kraft note card set; now we have five more products available, and we’re excited about reaching out to more DIY aficionados!

We’ve listed more tools for cardmakers, scrapbookers and other crafters alike: soft fold clear plastic boxes (in standard A2, A6 and A7 sizes), 10″ elastic stretch loops (in 18 metallic and matte colors), gold seals (in 1″ and 1-1/4″ sizes), adhesive foam pieces (squares, strips and circles), and the glue tape pen. Although our regular readers might already recognize these products from Oak Creek Printworks, we hope you’ll share the news with those you know who already use Etsy and might be interested in shopping from us.

Check out our Etsy store, and stay tuned for more updates as we continue to grow our Etsy product offerings!

Oak Creek Printworks is on Etsy

24 packaged note cards and envelopes

Our blank kraft paper note cards and black envelopes, sold in a set of 24, is sure to help inspire your creativity and showcase your own unique artwork. This product is only available through our new Etsy store!

4 sample cards

To help display the blank cards, we created some of our own sample designs using products that are already available from Oak Creek Printworks.

Design and create personalized greeting cards using products at our new Etsy store, where shoppers will find select items that aren’t available on the Oak Creek Printworks website.

A set of 24 blank kraft paper note cards and black envelopes is our first item in the new Etsy store. The black, square-flap, announcement style envelopes are uniquely paired with 80 lb. kraft paper cards for an acid-free, environmentally friendly card with a more formal look.

We’ve used some of the products already available on Oak Creek Printworks to create the examples shown here: gold seals, adhesive foam squares, black elastic stretch loops.

We hope these cards will inspire our readers to bring their own creations to life! To learn more about the blank kraft paper cards with envelopes visit Our Etsy Store.

We pride ourselves in helping artists market their cards and prints. Send us your creations by snail mail, or 300dpi .jpg,  and if we publish your art on our blog, we’ll link back to your website.

Rosie’s Original Cards, Prints and Collages

RRinslertriptyk

Musical instruments, along with fish, hearts, candles and sunshine grace greetings by Rosie Rinsler of Forest Hills, New York. View more of Rosie’s original cards, prints and collages, visit her website.

Try a #10 Greeting Card for Panorama Images

Angela Sharkey

Wondering what to do with your auto-stitched and panorama photos? Bookmarks aren’t the only game in town. Long rectangles, either vertical or horizontal, transform into attractive greeting cards when presented on a #10 business sized greeting card. That’s what Angela Sharkey, former Featured Artist, did recently with some of her latest paintings. Rather than try to make the oblong shapes work on an A7, A6, or A2, more traditional greeting card shapes, Sharkey opted for the less commonly used #10 size.

 Photoshop

To set up your card in a Photoshop or other raster-oriented software, create a new document that is 10 inches wide by 8.75 inches in height. A document this size will accommodate the trim marks needed to accurately cut the card to size. If you want your image to bleed; that is, print all the way to the trimmed edge, it is important to extend your image beyond the trim marks by .125-inch. The bleed setting is represented here by the red line. The actual card trims to 9.25-inches wide by 8-inches in height. The trim is represented by the black line. A #10 card folds at the halfway, or 4-inch mark, represented here by the cyan (blue) line. All of these lines (including the black trim marks that fall at the four corners of the black trim line) are non-printing and part of the template. Simply redraw onto a printing layer the eight trim marks shown at the four corners.

 InDesign or Illustrator

If you use Adobe’s InDesign or Illustrator, set up a new document that is 9.25 inches wides and 8 inches in height. If your image will bleed, in the document setup options, create a bleed of .125 inch. Once the page is set up, drag a guide from the ruler to the 4-inch mark on the vertical ruler to indicate where the card will fold. To print, export your file to a print resolution .pdf with crop marks and you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

Angela Sharkey is the curator of the Mel Sembler Gallery in the U.S. Embassy, Rome, Italy. View more of Angela’s art here.

New Pastel Stretch Loops Complete Spring Note Card Sets

stretch-loop-yellow

Matte Yellow Elastic Stretch Loop shown around a clear plastic A2-1/2BOX. The single box of 8 cards and envelopes is displayed on a Clear Acrylic Small Card/Print Stand, CASPS.

Springtime is just around the corner, and Oak Creek Printworks wants to help you with your holiday packaging by introducing the 10-inch elastic stretch loop in two new spring colors. We’ve added a matte yellow and a matte lavender to the choices for dressing the A2 size note card box.

stretch-loop-lavenderLast year, we wanted to encourage our customers to try the metallic blue, purple, and copper, and the matte pink, baby blue, black and white stretch loops, so we gave away one free stretch loop, priced at $.21, with each A2-1/2BOX.

When customers realized there was no cost for the loop if they purchased a box, they began to broaden their choices beyond the typical gold and silver, by far the more popular selling colors.

So this year, when the latest colors, matte lavender and matte yellow, arrived in time for Easter and other spring holidays, we decided to extend the offer of one free stretch loop with any A2 size box, ranging in depth from 1/4-inch up to 2-inches. Just make a separate item purchase for each color stretch loop desired. For example, if you want 100 A2 boxes with four different color loops, place an order for four individual items, 25 boxes for each color desired.

To order these ten-inch stretch loops without the A2 box, (though we don’t know why you’d want to) we’ve provided links below to each of the product pages.

stretch-loops-13-colors

Matte colors line the top row of 10-inch stretch loops, while metallic colors are shown in the bottom row. Matte yellow and mat lavender are the newest colors in the 10-inch line of elastic stretch loops.

Choose from a wide selection of colors

Matte:

Metallic:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Green
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Purple

The single box of 8 cards and envelopes shown in the above images is displayed on a Clear Acrylic Small Card/Print Stand, CASPS.

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

 

1,300 Elementary School Kids Lending a Helping Hand Through Art

Local Ventura County, CA charity, inspired by elementary student, is raising money for charities and schools by selling greeting cards adorned with kid’s artwork… MORE

Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color

Three spreads from Communicating with ColorJust a few years ago, Leatrice Eiseman’s classic Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color, published in 2000, was out of print. In 2006 Eiseman came out with a second book continuing her color explorations, Color: Messages and Meanings. By that time, used copies of the first color book were going for nearly $200, way too steep for all but the collector.

I recently saw Eiseman’s 2000 book pop up again on Print and How magazines’ mydesignshop.com website in their “Deal of the Century” category. While it’s a bit too soon to make a hundred-year claim, I have to admit, Print and How magazines are offering those interested in the study of color a truly smoking deal.

Treat yourself and your designer buddies to a priceless holiday gift that you can be sure will be a handy resource for years to come. I’m delighted that I’m able to replace my tattered copy held together by rubber bands with a brand spanking new book for just $4.99. That’s really has got to be the “deal of the century!”

Consider Envelopes and Packaging Before Determining Card Size

We understand that when inspiration strikes, you want to start work immediately on creating your greeting cards. However, it is important to consider the size and style of the envelope and packaging before choosing the size for your card. Once the envelope size and style are chosen, create  the greeting card slightly smaller so that it will slide easily into your envelope.

It’s best to begin with the envelope style and size. Envelope styles are generally defined by their use; for example, commercial, booklet, ticket envelopes and so on. For artists and crafters creating greeting cards, one of two envelope styles are typically used—baronial and announcement envelopes, which differ in their size and the shape of the envelope flaps.

baronial style envelope

Baronial Style Envelope

Baronial envelopes are considered the most formal of envelope styles and have a deep, pointed flap. While they can be used for greeting cards, they are most widely used for formal invitations and announcements.

announcement style envelope

Announcement Style Envelope

Announcement envelopes are made to be used with a much wider range of text weight and cover papers than baronials and are distinguished by their shorter, squared flap, which can be plain or deckle-edged.

At Oak Creek Printworks, we carry mainly the announcement style envelopes because they are available in a wide range of paper colors and weights; whereas, with baronials, there is typically less choice.

Recently we were able to create a unique blank note card set with with matching baronial envelopes and we wanted to let you know about this new product.  We have created a limited quantity of matching cards and envelopes in bright yellow, hot pink, purple, lime green, and bright orange. A6 size bright note cards and matching baronial envelopes are an Oak Creek Printworks original!

envelope size chart

A6-bright-set

A6 size note cards with baronial style envelope