Saturday, October 20, 2007

Note Cards

I've been working on a new project the last week or so. I'd like to produce a line of note cards using my Catitude series. Note cards seem to sell well at the gallery and many of the artists are taking advantage of this fact. I've never produced a card of any kind before and mentioned this to my good friend and fellow artist, Robin Neudorfer. She suggested I contact Diane Wright, a wonderful graphite artist and a very gracious woman who recently started a printing service on her website. Diane was an enormous help and gave me very useful guidence.

Diane made me realize I could probably print my own note cards at home for very little expense so I started to scan my photo editors for features that would be useful. Lo and behold my Kodak Easyshare program has a note card feature with many templates to choose from! Taking Diane's advice I purchased some nice 90# card stock and invitation envelopes at Office Max. I also splurged on a Fiskars 12" rotary cutter to make card cutting a breeze.

My next challenge was to create templates for the back of the cards. I wanted to show the name/number of the series, the title and of course my name/copyright mark. This I did using Irfanview, a free online photo editor I normally use for resizing my images. If anyone who reads this post would like to know more about Irfanview please let me know and I'll be glad to advise you. It has many useful features.

Now this all sounds easy...right? Not entirely. The card face has to be printed first, the card folded and then trimmed. Next the back must be printed. This can get tricky, especially with my printer. Running a folded card through a printer can cause paper jams(which it has)and the card can get hooked on something and the print can turn out cockeyed, etc. If I knew a better way I'd surely use it. I did perservere and got a few examples to show for it which I've posted above.

Now I'm considering text for the card face. I plan to leave some plain but would like to add text to others. Did I call myself clever? Well, apparently I'm not as clever as I thought. The text is still eluding me. I'll come up with something but I'm always open to suggestions. *hint hint*


Tracey said...

The cards look really nice Billie. I have been printing cards as well lately but have been using Photoshop for the text and borders. I don't think they have any templates like you have but you can create any background and images that you like and then add the text all in one file and save as a jpg to print. I will try to get around to scanning a few cards to show you an example as I did a couple with text on the front and back.

I have been purchasing pre-perforatted cards as bending the cardstock never seems to look professional. Maybe I am using the wrong cardstock though, I will try the one you recommended and see if it works better!

Billie Crain said...

i look forward to seeing your cards, Tracey. i don't have Photoshop although i'd love to. it's just so darn expensive! the card stock i'm using is Wausau Premium cardstock and it makes a nice fold.

Stacy said...

Billie, I've been making cards from my watercolors for a few years. I lay them out in Microsoft Publisher which came in the Microsoft Office group we got with one of our computers. If you like Photoshop, look into Photoshop Elements which I think costs less than $100 and should be able to do most or all of what you are looking for. I don't use any borders on my cards, just take up the whole front of the card with the image. I make two 4.25" x 5.5" cards per page of cardstock.

For my own personal Christmas cards I also print words on the inside. I do a double sided print then trim everything at the end. I find the cards aren't difficult to make once you get the first few laid out, but take a fair bit of labor time for the printing and trimming.

If you'd like to see one of my cards, send me an email with your mailing address and I'll mail one off to you.

The sample cards you showed look great!

Billie Crain said...

Photoshop Elements? thanks Stacy! I just looked it up online and you're right! $99! i was looking at the Pro version which was over $500. way too much money for me.

my concern is dealing with a square format. i do use square formats once in awhile and i'm worried they won't fit/work on an A2 size card. have you run into that problem? if so how did your resolve it?

Anita said...

Billie - great looking cards. Sure you will be getting these sorted out soon. I shall have to put in an order for some!

By the way - you have been tagged - see my blog!

vivien said...

Hi Billie - that second one is utterly gorgeous!

I have a cat just the same - except that she also has an embarassingly terrible line in bad language when she feels cornered or simply doesn't want to be stroked/picked up! She was feral and her low born origins show!

Do you have Publisher? that is really easy to use for this sort of work and you can do everything at once, no reprinting needed. Oh someone mentioned it already.

If you run something blunt like a thin knitting needle down the card where the fold is to be, then it folds neatly - and it's cheaper :)

I've been teaching Photoshop elements and it isn't bad - Corel Paint Shop Pro is better though if you could run to just a bit more - it has some nice blurred edge effects and stuff which make cards look good :) You can email me via my blog if you want to know more


Mary said...

Billie I know that with your creativity you are going to come up with something fabulous and I can hardly wait to see it.

Billie Crain said...

thanks Anita.:) once i get this collection of cards sorted out you're more than welcome to put in your order.

i've decide to participate in the tag. i still have to come with my 'tag-ies'. who'll be my victims. haha

Billie Crain said...

Hi Vivien! nope...i don't have Publisher either.:( thanks for the tip on the Corel program. i will check it out. if the price is good i'll be getting in touch with you. thank you! also the knitting needle is a novel idea.

were you referring to Gingerbruiser? the cat on the stone wall? what attitude...huh?! thank you for your comment!

as for your kitty, we had the same problem with one of our's. he wasn't born feral but wound up living with barn cats who mistreated him. we rescued him from that life and it took quite awhile to domesticate him again. now he's a real lover-dover. it took many years, tho.

Billie Crain said...

Mary, you have such faith in me. thank you!

Anonymous said...

These are looking great Billie. How fun to take your beautiful art and share it with many. I know you are having a blast with this latest project. I too will place an order, just let us know when you have them ready to go. Catch you online later.

Lisa0223 said...

Hi! I have been trying to figure out the best way for me to print my own notecards when I came across your blog! I have Kodak easyshare, but i haven't been able to find any notecard templates on you know what version you have? Also, is there any way you can give me an item # or brand for the #90 stock/invitations you got from office max? I have been trying to do this forever and I have been hitting brick walls!


Billie Crain said...

Hi Lisa.:) i gave up on the Kodak templates. i decided I wasn't happy with the results. i didn't like the templates because they competed with my artwork. i wish i could tell you how to find the Kodak templates but i picked up a virus and had to dump my entire system including my Kodak Program, which i never reinstalled. i DO remember updating the Kodak program online prior to the virus and the templates came with the update. i bought Adobe Elements(cost-about $75) and use that for creating my notecards now. i bought my 90# card stock and invitation size envelopes at Office Max. very inexpensive. i hope that helps. if you have anymore questions feel free to email me and i'll do what i can for you. you can email me from my main page.