Tag Archives: Artists

Envelope Sizes and Styles for Note Cards and Greeting Cards

announcement envelopesWith a dozen different envelope styles and hundreds of sizes in existence, how do you choose the right one for your note cards and greeting cards?

For artists who are creating greeting cards we like to simplify the process by following standard envelope styles, sizes and general availability in the United States.

Oak Creek Printworks includes announcement style envelopes with all custom printed greeting cards, and we sell announcement style envelopes in four sizes. Announcement envelopes have a square flap, while Baronial envelopes have a deep, pointed flap. Announcement envelopes are readily available in all the standard greeting card sizes. Baronial envelopes are manufactured in a variety of sizes, but available here by special order only.

The smallest announcement style envelope is an A2. If your card folds to one-quarter of a letter sized page, it’s an A2. The matching A2 envelope is slightly larger than the 4.25”x5.5” folded card, and measures 4.375”x5.625”. Envelopes and packaging for A2 note cards are available in the Oak Creek Printworks store.

The A6 card is slightly larger, measuring 4.625”x6.25” when folded. Its matching envelope is 4.75”x6.5”.

The A7 card folds to 5”X7”, and the corresponding announcement envelope is 5.25”x7.25”.

The A8 card folds to 5.25”x7.875”. The companion envelope is 5.5”x8.125”.

The A9 card is an 8.5”x11” letter sheet folded in half to 5.5”x8.5”. The companion envelope is 8.75”x5.75”.

Square cards fold to 5.25” square. The companion envelope is 5.5”x5.5”.

Panorama cards fold to 9.25?x4? with a #10 companion envelope measuring 9.5?x4.125?.

Other envelope sizes, and colors other than white are available by special order.

An amended version of an article originally published August 12, 2008.

Print bins display prints in a variety of sizes

clear acrylic

Clear acrylic print bin lets browsers focus on prints, not container. The smaller prints shown here are 8x10", doubled matted with foam core back, the medium prints are 11x14", and the large are 16x20".

This clear acrylic print bin is a handy solution for storing, carrying and displaying matted prints. Molded from a single sheet of eighth-inch acrylic with two handles, the 12-inch wide display stands 9.25 inches high on a counter top or table.

The angled arms of this elegant display make it easy for visitors to flip through a dozen or more images without disrupting the viewing area.

The print bin is a no-brainer solution for artists and photographers who want to make a variety of images available for viewing in limited space. When off duty, this multi-purpose container can moonlight in the bathroom or den as a magazine or newspaper rack.


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!”

Photographers—Kayak Tanzania in 14 Days

Tanzania, wildebeest migrationSet for Feb 17th – Mar 2nd, 2012, Jansen Photographic Expeditions teams up with Infinite Kayak Adventures in an upcoming trip, specially designed to present the best photographic opportunities available. Two spirited and adventurous leaders, Mark and Holly Jansen, former Oak Creek Printworks Featured Artists, head the expedition.

The journey is timed to present locations affording a chance to witness not only the great wildebeest migration, but also their calving and the attendant opportunities this attracts. You’ll witness and record nature in the raw.

As well as wildlife, the vistas presented in this ancient and diverse terrain hold fantastic landscape photography potential. Capture the mystery and romance of Zanzibar, from the highly sculpted Zanzibar doors to the modern fish market. The colorful Maasai are also very photogenic.

Masai campfireHolly Higbee-Jansen, Jansen Photographic ExpeditionsOptional activities include guided kayaking in the sheltered mangrove inlets of historic Manza Bay near the Kenyan border. This is a rare photographic opportunity offering some of the closest bird encounters possible at water level. Here you’ll have access to places usually inaccessible. You’ll also have the chance to study traditional wooden sailing dhows, fishing villages and sunsets.

Mark and Holly Jansen, Jansen Photographic ExpeditionsYou’ll stay at high quality, reputable lodges throughout, chosen for their excellent locations and varied photographic possibilities. The Jansens’ photographic travel experience, coupled with their technical and artistic expertise, means you’ll be traveling and shooting with seasoned professional assistants. In addition, a knowledgeable American guide, Alan Feldstein, will accompany the group for the entire trip.

Find a detailed itinerary and pricing information at  Jansen Photographic Expeditions.

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.

Featured Artist Pays for Mission Trip by Making and Selling Greeting Cards

Graydon McKoy holds "t-rex"Graydon McKoy is a nine-year-old boy finishing third grade, and is in his first year of home schooling. He lives with his parents on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina, a very rural ­island with a farm rich history located in ­Charleston County. Graydon’s father, one of the few farmers left on the island, grew up ­farming with his father. Graydon’s mother has an advanced degree in biology but is now using her knowledge to home school the ­budding artist. With the background both of his parents have to offer, it is no surprise that Graydon loves the outdoors and every creature that inhabits it.

Since he was very little Graydon has loved books about nature and enjoyed taking walks to observe God’s creatures, no matter where, or how slimy they were.

In addition to searching for wildlife, ­Graydon cares for three horses, one German ­Shepherd and a cat, but what he really wants is a snake. His mother has not yet consented to that request, but they have spent the last three summers documenting the snakes they find on their farm. To date they have spotted over 13 species of snakes and look forward to ­participating in the annual springtime snake round-up that the local serpentarium conducts.


Graydon’s art began at the young age of four, and highlighted the favorites of all little boys: sharks, alligators, dinosaurs and snakes. Thanks to a great art teacher from first grade, his talent was cultivated and his horizons expanded with the love for animals remaining as the main theme in all of his work.

In a span of just three years, ­Graydon has developed quite a portfolio, which his mother has saved, and scanned onto computer discs. His talent was put to use this year when Graydon’s family decided to go on a mission trip with their church to Costa Rica. They did not have all of the ­funding needed to pay their way, so his mother had an idea to use Graydon’s art work as a fund raiser.

She took some of his pieces that had been scanned and then put them on her computer and converted them into note cards. The cards sold really well, and not only raised enough money to pay for all of them to go to Costa Rica, but, also raised enough to pay for a home school trip afterwards.

As a result of this success, ­Graydon now has his very own business and calls it “Graydon’s Critters”. He is working on two new series; one focusing on Charleston and one highlighting the fish served at a local seafood restaurant. He ­continues to practice with mediums such as chalk, watercolors and oil pastels, but is expanding to acrylics and looks forward to learning how to mat his own work.

To see Graydon’s portfolio, visit his website – www.graydonscritters.com. You’ll also find Graydon’s Critters on Facebook.

marsh flounder

Pantone’s spring fashion colors fill out new tassel set

pms spring 2011 fashion color tasselsBookmark enthusiasts will find 10 each of 10 new spring fashion colors in this brand new tassel set. Save 20% by buying tassels in sets and be prepared to display your artwork or photos on bookmarks complemented by trendy colors.

In addition to artists, photographers and printers, bookmarks are an inexpensive and useful marketing tool for all sorts of businesses.

The designer has complete control over what’s printed or crafted on the fronts and back of the bookmarks. Customize or decorate the bookmark to make a great gift, a gift adornment, or a stocking stuffer.

Both the small and large vinyl bookmark sleeves are sold in the Oak Creek Printworks store, and have a hole punched at the end to string an adornment of beads, charms, or, to keep the price down, a 4-in chainette bookmark tassel.

Research Studio: Art as experience / experience as Art

by Georgia Lange

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, all students in the first year program are required to take a research studio class. These days, it has developed into multiple research studio classes. As a first year student, I chose the research studio entitled “Art as experience / experience as Art.” I will say now that it was a wise choice, as it turned out to be one of the most interesting classes I ever took.

The idea itself is almost philosophical. Art is an experience in itself. To look at a work of art is to take your mind places where you would never have thought to go, and the journey Continue reading

Spring Art Fairs

by Nancy Haberman

It’s officially springtime, the start of a season of art fairs, craft shows and holiday boutiques…in other words, a prime time for artists to earn extra money selling matted prints, greeting cards, bookmarks and other printed products.

If you can reproduce your artwork, whether it’s photography, painting or another artistic medium, then you can create a marketable product at an affordable price.

Make an attractive presentation with a ready-to-frame, professionally cut, 4-ply acid-free, archival mat, back and bag combo. The mat protects the print from contact with the glass and serves to focus the viewer’s attention on the artwork, and away from the frame. The foam core backing is extremely lightweight, yet sturdy enough to provide protection for artwork. The crystal clear bag with peel ’n’ strip adhesive closure protects artwork from dust and fingerprints.

A big part of an art show is the experience of browsing through a variety of art from multiple artists. Artists have used everything from plate racks to orange crates to present their prints. To create a professional appearance and easy accessibility to your artwork, consider easy to transport canvas or acrylic print displays and greeting card spinners.


It is always interesting to see how certain historical art movements come back into fashion decades or even centuries after they have reached their zenith. Take for example the style of Art Nouveau, meaning “new art”. This was the name given to an artistic movement in european art in the late nineteenth century. Much of its inspiration came from natural formations and asian art and design. Some of the most popular artists from this era include Toulouse-Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley, and Alphonse Mucha. Recently, many of the stylistic trends originally set forth by these masters have been resurfacing in many of the current art movements. “Art Nouveau” has found a new home within the pop-surrealist community, particularly among the ladies. Some of these artists include Audrey Kawasaki, Stella Im Hultberg, and Sylvia Ji.

Continue reading