Monday, July 11, 2011

Michael5000, Card Sharp (I)

For whatever reason -- probably because I didn't go to kindergarten and so never had the chance to get paste-and-paper projects out of my system -- I like to go on occasional binges of making greeting cards.  The ingredients for this are:

  1. a stockpile of interesting images.  You generally build this by locating books that are, due to damage or the march of time, unlikely to find anyone to love them in their intact forms, and then cutting them to ribbons.  Glossy magazines work well too.
  2. a stockpile of bad greeting cards.  These are available for a song or less at estate sales and the like; you just have to know that you are looking for them.  It is important to keep the envelope ratio in balance.
  3. Glue.  Because Mrs.5000 is Queen of the Bookarts (as, of course, are fingerstothebone and margaret), I happen to know of the "Yes! Paste" product and couldn't recommend it highly enough.  It requires a brush.
  4. Your basic cutting tools: Exacto, rotary cutter, cutting mat, transparent cutting rulers (hey! this isn't quite as simple as I thought!)

Anyway, the idea is just to cover up whatever lame image is on the front of the original card with something more interesting.

In both of these first two examples, the images are from art auction catalogs -- terrific, guilt-free sources of excellent glossy images if you can find them.  The cards were surplus Portland State University stationary that I picked up in quantity at SCRAP for a couple pennies per card.

Along with art books, any illustrated reference or technical material has potential, as do calendars and upscale magazines on interesting topics and, of course, atlases.

Now some greeting cards, of course, often come pre-printed with some sort of message or "sentiment."

...but might not have a cover that matches the personality of the sender.

The trick is to find a better image that matches both sentiment and sender.

Then too, there are a lot of cards (often ones that were made to be sold for charitable causes) that have surprisingly specific messages, and these tend to show up disproportionately as surplus.  Take this one:

I picked up ten of these somewhere, and while I suppose I'm all in favor of the preservation of Native Hawaiian folkways, it isn't really a fight that I have a dog in.  So to speak.  On the other hand, the general notion of young people maintaining the knowledge of their ancestors is kind of fun to mess with:

But aren't you more of a postcard guy than a greeting card guy?

Yes.  Watch for the sequel.


mrs.5000 said...

Just to be clear: Yes! paste is nice and easy to use, good about not wrinkling the paper. Not archival, so I don't use it myself anymore. But it's fine for young people unconcerned about future discoloring of the knowledge of our ancestors.

gl. said...

3 queens of the bookarts? is that legal?

Michael5000 said...

It's 60% of a bookarts full house.

Aviatrix said...

I don't know which I like best, the Tintin or the Picasso, but I know I like them.

(If it's not a Picasso, reflect on the kind of answers I give on the Wednesday Quiz, then remap to the next nearest).

Elaine said...

Well, now I am really, really inspired. Future generations may curse your name!!! Infinity And Beyond!!!!!!!!!


Michael5000 said...

It's a Picasso!

Elaine, I'm... um... glad you're inspired! I think!

UnwiseOwl said...

Fwahaha...oh man, you never fail to crack me up. May Tin-Tin in America never pass from the knowledge of the youth of the world.
You have taken a significant step up in the funny of late.

Chance said...

I picked up ten of these somewhere, and while I suppose I'm all in favor of the preservation of Native Hawaiian folkways, it isn't really a fight that I have a dog in.

Comment number two, this post.

Bridget said...


Michael5000 said...

Chance: On average, I've stayed more or less on schedule.