I just love this time of year, when I can pull out all of my greeting card supplies and get creative! There is just something super special about giving a handmade card at Christmas. Everyone seems to just love the extra attention given to such a personalized greeting and I love giving them as well!
Every holiday, I purchase the Goof Proof Greeting Cards Sets. This has to be one of my most favorite products from Cheap Joe’s because everything you need to create a complete pack of home made cards is included, everything! The set includes 5×7 quality card stock blank greeting cards, matching envelopes, Stick It To Em’ pre-cut adhesive strips, instructions, and 4×6 professional 140lb. watercolor paper to create your art on. They are available with a decorative deckled or plain cut edge to give you options on presentation. The cards, also, come in packs of 10, 25, and 50 pieces (the 50 pack gives you the most product for your money). And at this time of the year they are always on sale, so it’s the best time to stock up right when you need them the most! It seems Joe has thought of everything!
For years, I have created hand painted art for everyone on my list using the Goof Proof sets. But, as my card list grew each year, it became more and more difficult to get them out in time for Christmas. So, to make it a little more joyful and more productive to send cards to everyone, I recently began painting one large piece of artwork. I have it printed as a photo in quantity, then mount the artwork onto the Goof Proof cards. Everyone still gets a new piece of artwork each year and now the greetings are usually received and enjoyed before the holidays!
This year, I chose to paint a local bull named Koda, who just happens to be a Registered Red Limousin breed! The ancestors of the present day Limousins , which can be red, like Koda, or black in color, are believed to be depicted on the cave walls in Lascaux, France and left behind by cave men thousands of years ago. So, it seems these handsome and massive beasts have been an art muse for quite some time now!
Well, then, it would be only natural for Santa Clause to want only the best transportation when delivering his presents this year! So, Santa’s reindeer got a break when he ordered a “Limousin” to pull his sleigh!
Below are the painting steps I took to create my special Christmas card this year and the following are the materials that I used.
Starving Artist Tracing Paper-
Cheap Joe’s has a new and improved tracing paper that is heavy duty and available in all of the right sizes! This transparent paper is perfect for transferring a design, trying out certain ideas before committing to them in a painting, scrapbooking, card making, cutting into shapes, tinting, collage, or almost any art project! Available in many new sizes and with 50 sheets per pad!
Carpenter’s pencil- 2B lead-
My dad was a carpenter, so I have been familiar with carpenter’s pencils all of my life! But it wasn’t until recently that I got the idea of using the industrial sized pencil to transfer my patterns by creating my own transfer paper on the back! The wide lead is perfect for marking the back of a pattern with graphite. Then place on your paper and draw over the design with a dried ink pen! To pick up the excess graphite, roll a log shaped kneaded eraser over the pattern and all you have left is just what you need!
Dried Ink Pen- to use as a stylus-
An old trick I have been using for a long time. So I never throw away an ink pen when it runs out. I just mark with with colored tape so I can identify it easily!
300 lb Kilimanjaro watercolor paper- 1/2 sheet block-
This block is the perfect size for my design. I love using the 300 lb. paper so I don’t have to worry about buckling when using a lot of water.
Cheap Joe’s Legend Natural Kolinsky Brushes-
My favorite natural hair brushes! I love the capacity and ability to deliver the paint to the paper, just where I want it!
Masters Watercolor Tray-
I found this as the perfect palette tray to use with the Hydrus liquid watercolors! I dropped in all of the colors I was using into the nine small wells at the top, and then created any mixes in the eight square wells in the middle, and still had four large round wells at the bottom for spontaneous mixing! I only used a small amount of the paint and allowed them to dry in between painting sessions. Then, sprayed them will water to reactivate when needed.
Hydrus Liquid Watercolors Set #1-
I really love using the Hydrus Liquid Watercolors from Dr. PH Martin. They are very fluid and ready to use. The pigments are very rich and concentrated so you only have to use a tiny bit! The twelve most popular colors are included in Set one, which are Hansa Yellow Light, Gamboge, Brilliant Cadmium Red, Deep Red Rose, Quinacridone Magenta, Phthalo Green, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet, Venetian Brown, Carbon Black and Titanium White. I was easily able to mix every color I needed from this set with very little effort.
NEWS FLASH!!!!! FREE JANET NUNN DVD! (while supplies last!)
Another fan of Hydrus watercolors is Janet Nunn, a very talented artist who represents and uses various Dr. PH Martin’s products. In fact, Cheap Joe’s is currently offering a limited time special for the holidays featuring the Hydrus Watercolor Set # 1 which includes a FREE bottle of Frisket Masking fluid & a FREE full length Janet Nunn Instructional DVD. Janet is also currently scheduled to appear on a live stream broadcast via Dr. Martin’s online Ustream Channel on Friday, January 24th at 10am (Mountain Time). She will demonstrate how easy it is to use this wonderful product during by painting a project entitled, “Old Wooten, New Mexico”. This hour long broadcast is free and viewers will even have an opportunity to ask questions and win product while watching! This production is sponsored by Dr. PH Martin, and is part of an ongoing series on Hydrus watercolors. Janet also has many previous demos that are available for viewing at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/dr-ph-martin-s and you can view her work at janetnunnwatercolors.com . Janet Nunn will also be a guest of Cheap Joe’s as she is scheduled to teach at our workshop studio in Boone, NC, in the fall of 2014. Don’t miss any opportunity to sign up for her workshop and explore the exciting World of Dr. PH Martin’s Hydrus Watercolors.
NOW, BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED BLOG…
FROM ART TO CARD-
To get started I had to create my pattern-
The first wash is applied wet on dry paper-
After I completed the painting, I took several pictures of it and chose one to upload into Photoshop. I, then, added the caption and it was ready to send to Walgreen’s for printing. (Walgreen’s usually has a really great 4×6 print offer during this time of year, so the investment for printing was small.) I picked up my photos which had a beautiful wintery border I added for free!
Then, I mounted them onto the Goof Proof greeting cards with the Stick It To Em’ adhesive strips that are provided in the set. (I usually cut the strips in half to make them go further.) The cards were at last ready to send out and give away to all of my friends and family! I hope when they are received they will bring a smile to everyone who gets them!
Now, I could purchase all of the components of the Goof Proof sets separately, however, I like the convenience of having everything included in the sets. So, I continue to use them, although now, because I don’t hand paint each one, I have lots of the 4×6 blanks left over. And, the more packs I purchase each year, the more surplus I have!
So, I thought about what I could create with the 4×6 140lb watercolor paper blanks and decided to design some extra special “gifts” that can be included in the greeting card. Below is the list of ideas that I came up with to make use of the extra material. Any of these ideas will enhance your greeting card and extend its enjoyment beyond the holidays!
10 Great Goof Proof Gift Ideas-
1. BOOKMARK- Splash on some color and cut the paper in half lengthwise to make two bookmarks punched holes at the top, add a ribbon and invite the recipient to use them throughout the year.
2. RECIPE CARD- Decorate the 4×6 blank with seasonal colors, hand-copy and share a special Christmas recipe with a friend.
3. PHOTO MAT- Decorate a one inch border around the blank, cut out middle and use as a custom photo mat for a special snapshot!
4. PUZZLE- Paint a picture or message and create puzzle lines on the back to be cut apart and reassembled!
5. ORNAMENT- Design ornaments that can be cut out, a ribbon added, and placed on a Christmas tree.
6. MESSAGE- Hand print inspirational messages that can be cut apart, folded up, and placed in a jar for encouragement and blessings throughout the year.
7. MAGNET- Hand print special quotes and decorate so they can be cut out and a magnet added to place on the fridge.
8. COLOR PAGE- Draw outlines of holiday motifs and leave blank to be colored in by the recipient and made into ornaments!
9. TAGS- Draw and paint shapes of Christmas tags for the recipient to cut out and use on a gift!
10. PAINTING- Paint a mini piece of artwork. (As was the purpose of the product from the start!) that can be framed and enjoyed all year ’round!
Now, any of these projects are perfect to recruit the help of the kids! It is after all, their favorite time of year, as well! And if you happen to need more of the 4×6 blanks or the Stick It To Em’ strips, they are conveniently sold separately.
So, with all of these great new ideas, these greeting cards will keep on giving throughout the New Year and will be highly anticipated for years to come. And the task of sending out holiday greeting cards has become so much easier and more productive thanks to Cheap Joe’s, which frees up a lot more time for shopping or maybe even painting!
Have great greeting card ideas you’d like to share? I would love to hear more about them! Feel free to leave a comment!
Have a Happy Christmas Card Day!
And keep the ideas flowing and your Goof Proofs by your side!