If you didn't know, today is World Card Making Day, sponsored first by Paper Crafts in 2006. It's a day where artists, hobbyists and retailers can get together, learn new techniques and sample new products. I "celebrated" by going to my favorite Milwaukee-area art supply store, Artist and Display. This store, located in the suburb of Wauwatosa, has the largest selection of art supplies, stamps, gift ideas, and specialty paper in the area, and has hosted the Milwaukee Artist Trading Card group (which I used to be a part of) many times.
Artist and Display had five tables of card-making demonstrations and you got to make your own cards to take home with you. The only table where the cards stayed at the store was sponsored by From Our Hearts, a non-profit group that sends blank homemade cards to servicepeople stationed overseas. The servicepeople add their own personal messages to these cards and send them back home, postage included. The top photo of the holiday card was the one that I made. If you would like more information on From Our Hearts, just click here.
The other tables all had unique ways you could make your own card, including a 5-paneled card that you can tie to keep closed (above) and a tri-folded card with a very cute cutout of a squirrel (below). We were even taught how to make the corresponding envelope using a scoring board for sale at the store.
The last table I participated in had a new product which was a marker that was more of a crayon consistency, and I decided to just go abstract with this one. The leader of the demonstration used the marker on embossed images with great effect.
It was a fun day making cards at Artist and Display. Before I went, I killed some time at Barnes & Noble, and bought a great book that any aspiring photographer should have in their collection. It is The Great LIFE Photographers by Little, Brown, and takes you, alphabetically, through all of the great photographers that LIFE magazine had on its staff. I say it's great for aspiring photographers, because I found out in the photography class I took last summer, that Associated Press and other editorial photographers are not allowed to alter photographs besides basic cropping (and maybe enhancing the exposure), so they have to get their photos right the first time. So this book is a great way to study master photojournalists' compositions. I even found the book in the bargain area for less than $10.00.