Tag Archives: gift

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

Order Number 10,000 – Compliments of the House

up to $100 FreeAs we at Oak Creek Printworks celebrate our eighth year in business, we are quickly approaching order number 10,000!† It’s truly an exciting milestone for us, and we want to thank each and every one of our customers for your support in our efforts to supply printing, packaging, presentation and display products for artists selling prints and greeting cards.

*Because we want to include our customers in our celebration of this achievement, we’re awarding the lucky customer who “scores” sales order #10,000 with a refund of $100 on orders over $100. If sales order #10,000 is under $100, it will be refunded in full. We’re not too fond of rules, so we only have this one: orders placed by the same customer within 48 hrs. of another order are ineligible for this offer, and the next eligible order will qualify for the award. Customer’s name, image and website link will be published in our blog only if requested.

As our gift to the recipient of order number 10,000, we can hardly wait to give $100 back to you!

†NOTE: Order #10,000 was placed on July 4th and Oak Creek Printworks awarded the customer a total of $67.43, officially ending the promotion.

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.

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.

The Art of Giving Art

by Georgia Lange

The holiday season is here, and many of us are struggling to find gifts for our loved ones. The solution to this problem is an easy one; the gift of art is priceless. In the past, I have often found myself hesitant to give my art as a holiday gift to a loved one. I was concerned that I was not valuing my own work, or that I was imposing my own sense of taste on someone else. I have come to the conclusion that this is nonsense. The truth is that people love collecting art, and when the art comes directly from you (it is your creation), it is truly special, unique, and personal. What could possibly be more valuable?

Prints make great gifts for anyone who is special to you. You can dress up your prints by matting them and placing each print in a protective plastic sleeve. Trust me; this is a classy gift and can be very cost-effective. Here at Oak Creek Printworks, we offer a package deal that includes the mat, back, and plastic sleeve. Depending on the size of the print, you can keep your costs under $20 per person (which is not easy to do! I usually can’t find great gifts for less than $30 per person, and even then it is difficult!). Ease your holiday headache; give art! You won’t regret it, and it will be a welcome gift to whoever receives it!



Over Thanksgiving, I was surprised not only by the abundance of savory dishes that were prepared by friends and family but by the onslaught of inquiries as to how to purchase prints of my work for the sake of holiday gift giving. Remember: you have friends, and your friends have friends. Those friends give and receive gifts too. Since we tend to establish friendships with like-minded individuals, it is not surprising that our friends’ friends often have tastes similar to our own. Your art not only makes a precious gift for you to give, but for others to give too. This is a great opportunity for you to earn the money to spend on your gifts this season, and then some.

Establishing an online presence where people can view and purchase your work is extremely beneficial. Etsy, a site geared towards all things handmade, is a great way to set up your work for sales. Another great site geared towards artists selling their work online is Big Cartel. Check these sites out as soon as possible, and figure out what will work best for you. Then make the necessary phone calls and emails to your friends and acquaintances and let them know what a wonderful gift your art would make for someone they know, and where they can purchase it easily online.

Be kind this holiday season, and let the season be kind to you.


Bookmarks Can Be Inexpensive, Personal Gift

Turn your artwork into custom-made gifts that fit your budget

by Stephanie Ferguson

In these tough economic times holiday giving can be a challenge. Many people are turning to homemade gifts, and in my opinion a homemade gift is the best kind. Looking for a great, personalized gift that says “I made this just for you”? Looking for something your children can give? Look no further.

bookmarks1 bookmark fan2

In addition to being something everyone needs and uses, bookmarks can be a great way to show off artwork. Besides having your artwork printed, you can use your children’s original art, or they can prepare art on the computer. Another idea is putting together a collage using mixed media. And you can personalize the gift for someone special. Only your creativity limits the final product. Slip the art into a vinyl bookmark sleeve, add a tassel and your task is complete. If you want to protect the bookmark and dress it up as well, save money by purchasing the bookmark sleeve and tassel together as a “bundle.” The more sleeve and tassel bundles you buy, the more you save.

Gift ideas include:

• Stocking Stuffers
• Enclose with gift books
• Children’s gifts to grandparents
• Child’s gift to teacher. Decorate the front and write a poem or message on the back.
• Showcase your own artwork on the front and put your contact information on the back so the bookmark can do double duty as a business card.

When it comes to tassels, Oak Creek Printworks carries more colors than anyone.  Holiday favorites include Tinsel Twist (red and green with gold tinsel), Christmas (combination red and green), Candy Cane (combination red and white), Royal Blue, Red, Green, The Precious Metals set includes Antique Gold, Silver, and Copper.

Our bookmark sets include the plastic sleeve, and a tassel. You can buy the card blanks separately. If you are interested in custom printed bookmarks, we can do that for you too!

We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment on this article by clicking on “Add Comment” below, or send us photos of your creations (jpeg format, 72 dpi). Perhaps your work will be posted on our blog!