One might say printing, design, typography; all are in my blood. My grandfather in the rear left is the pit boss in this 1930s era print shop. My mother was a proofreader, and my uncle, rear right also worked in the shop and later became a Linotype operator at the Chicago Sun Times. He retired in the 1960s after the paper adopted cold type.
Computers were not for my Uncle Lou. But they were, and are for me, which is why we do all our greeting card printing on short run digital “presses.” Nonetheless, the art and craft of letterpress is not dead, as we learn in Print Magazine’s recent feature, “The Letterpress Journals: Guardians of the Craft.”
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!
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.
In today’s economy, every penny counts. Making classy, creative, expensive-looking greeting cards, invitations, place cards, bookmarks, and envelopes to match, will fit into any budget. All you really need are 3 things to get started, and chances are good that you already have them: paper, glue and scissors.
You can actually create your own cards and envelopes with any type of paper you choose, but if you just want to dive right into decoration, you may want to start out with ready made blank cards and envelopes. Blank cards are a perfect way to get started making professional looking cards even if you are just beginning. They truly leave you little room for error!
So, once you’ve either purchased or made your blank cards, it’s time for the really fun part. Continue reading →
My fascination with paper cutting and paper crafting began in the 70s at an exhibition of Jewish folkart at the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles. To be honest it probably began in kindergarten when I was given a pair of scissors and colored construction paper, but then that would be a different post.
I suppose an attraction to the graphic nature of paper cuts is not uncommon given that many religious and cultural traditions have used paper cutting in their folk art and marriage documents for centuries. I saw a lot of this kind of art on the walls of friends and family – they are part of my earliest memories.
A single piece of paper can create several pieces of beautiful, hand-made jewelry. The paper you use should be relatively thin and pliable; other than that, the possibilities are endless. Use anything from decorative hand-made paper to old magazines and scraps you’d normally throw away!
Artist medium or white glue
Strong jewelry cord or dental floss
Large needle or toothpick
Paper cutter or scissors
A mat makes any image look more professional. Even without a frame, simply matting your photographs or artwork will do wonders for the presentation, and sales potential, of the work.
Although mats come in many standard sizes, if you are working with custom size images, or anything that is done on a paper that is a creative size, your mat will need to be custom cut. Oak Creek Printworks offers custom cut mats, at a cost relative to a standard size mat, with no extra charges.
How to give the correct measurements for a custom mat is one thing that many artists find confusing. Since custom cut mats are cut to order, it is important to have your borders and window measurements accurate. While you can always call David, our custom picture framer, at (805) 390-4955, with any questions on sizing of borders and windows, the following is a guide that will give you reliable results:
Measure the outside edges of your image. Do not assume your image is a certain size. You may have ordered an 8″ x 10″ photograph, but the image actually measures 7-7/8″ x 9-7/8″. If you are matting artwork on paper with an uneven edge, such as a deckle edge, measure the narrowest part of the horizontal and vertical sides, as shown in this photo.
* Add photo of deckle edge watercolor paper, showing w/ ruler how to measure*
Decide if you want even borders for your mat, or a weighted edge. Some people feel that having the bottom border of the mat slightly wider makes the image seem more centered when viewed from a distance. This is called an “optically centered” window.
How wide do you want your mat? A narrow mat allows the image to stand out more and can fit a tight frame. A wide border gives the work dramatic presence and can transform a small image into a large piece. Whichever you decide is up to you, it is just a matter of personal taste. Here are examples of both styles:
When you have this information, perform these two simple calculations, and you are ready to go: To get the outside dimension of the mat, add the horizontal dimension, the width of the mat and the width of the mat again. For example, if your image is 8″ x 10″, and you want a 4″ wide border, add 8 + 4 + 4 = 16″. Do the same with your vertical dimension, in this example – 10″ + 4 + 4 = 18″. So your outer mat dimension is 16″ x 18″.
The second calculation is your window size. That is simply your image size, minus a slight amount for overlap. Since the window will cover the edges of the image, it needs to be slightly smaller than the artwork. We recommend a 1/4″ overlap, which will allow enough room for overlap and attachment to the back of the mat. In our example, with an 8″ x 10″ image, your window size would then be 7-3/4″ x 9-3/4″.
With practice, this process becomes second nature, and can be quickly transformed into a host of eye-catching sizes for all of your pieces. Taking a little time to measure your own custom mats can save you much time when preparing your shows and matted prints. Which will then give you more time to do what you do best – creating!