Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Envelope Stuffers

Yesterday was cat and doctor day and I am pleased to say that both the cat and the long suffering spouse survived it. But it was a close thing with many exciting adventures and I will get around to telling the rest of the story once the Christmas holidays are over.

But time is too precious this time of the year to spend aimlessly wandering around telling takes of lost cats and medical miracles so I will get back to the issue at hand, gifts.

Have you been to see any of your support folks this holiday season, if you have I'll just bet you came away with a handful of little mementos of their undying affection like pens, with their name and phone number on it or magnets made from their business cards or envelope stuffers.

What the heck is an envelope stuffer? I'm glad you asked cause I had to look it up and the darned thing took a lot more time than you might imagine, so I am happy to share with you the results of my hours of backbreaking research. Okay, it was mostly eye straining research, but that doesn’t sound at all labor ntensive and how can I manage to wring out a bit of sympathy if I say I spent the afternoon at the keyboard looking up envelope stuffers when you don't even know what they are and could care less, because you didn't have to search through every site on the whole Internet to get a straight answer.

The answer, oh yeah, I guess you would like to know, they're calendars. Yeah, those long, skinny calendars which you can't stuff in a pocket, which is probably why they are made the way they are, that every business seems to hand out by the hundred weight at the happiest time of the year. No it is not the time when you take the kids to Disneyland. Just think about what it would cost and how tired you'd be and how completely out of control the kids get after a day of junk food and sun and you'll see that while Disneyland may just be the happiest place on earth that is certainly not true for parents and grandparents, no, the happiest time of the year is Christmas. Right now, get it?

I mentioned I went to the doctor and while I was there I came away with two of the envelope stuffers. In fairness to the AMA it was actually the dentist, but I can't say anything nasty about my dentist who should be canonized immediately and I have a letter steaming its way to the Vatican with just that suggestion because instead of just going in with the blasting caps and the C4 he did some magic, arcane thingy that only dentists do and managed to not only save a tooth, but he did it without a root canal which is why I will have a happy Christmas and not be in line at the Salvation Army.

And a coupla calendars which are too big for a pocket, but too small to be read by anyone in my age bracket is not much of a price to pay for a guy who can save teeth and avoid root canals.

Now you know why I am talking about envelope stuffers, if serious, medical professionals can use them to plug their business and by the way do it so sneakily that they get to remind you all year long why can't artists?

It ain't all that difficult to do and if you are as I am mostly broke and do not want to spend anything except the untold thousands you will have to spend to feed and guest the family, then boy do I have an idea for you. Why not make them?

Make an envelope stuffer, you ask? But I don't want to and it's cheap and tawdry and it would look like cock-a-doodle-dodoo if I do it and is that any attitude for an artist to have?

No of course not, so class pay attention while I take you on a trip into the wonderful world of envelope stuffers.

First you have to have a 2012 calendar, even better it should be one that is long and thin so that you can make it into one of those envelope stuffing pocket calendars for people who have pockets like Captain Kangaroo.

It so happens I found one for you. Yes, my little guardian of Truth,. Justice and the American Way it is a Free, Public Domain calendar, so you can feel guiltless using it and Santa won't leave lumps of coal in your stockings and is it unfair that women do actually wear stockings which hold a lot more stuff that my old socks and why is it that stockings are the required thing to hang by the chimney with care when a backpack would be so much easier on the loot collecting?

Anyway take a look at what I have done for you, I found the calendar and printed two on one page which I have thoughtfully loaded on my Blog so if you want to try this when you have finished reading you can just right click the image and download the two one one page calendar set without having to look all over the Internet.

 Now once you've done that you need to think about what sort of image you want to print on the back. Yes, that's right we're printing on both sides of the paper which is why6 I think you should go to Staples, (We'll come back to Staples later), and buy their Card Stock 65lb paper. It is touch enough to take ink on both sides and still allow you to cut it with out a hammer and chisel. Select your image for a landscape print option. Well the envelope stuffers are long and narrow so you can do portrait setting but it will cut off most of the Star Ship Enterprise of the Grand Canyon or that picture you've been hiding from your spouse of the Pussycat Dolls and it just won't look right if you have Nicole Kea and half each of two of the other four Pussycat Dolls, so print it in landscape orientation.

It might take a try or two to get the pictures on the back coordinated with the calendars on the front, but you can do it cause you have mad skills. Got it? Good you're done unless you want to laminate it, which I did cause I want it to last all year and I suspect but cannot prove that most people wind up using the envelope stuffers as book marks instead of calendars and if it keeps going in and out of books it is bound to get bent, folded, spindled and mutilated and it is much better if it is wrapped in plastic when that sort of thing gets done with it. But you don't have to.

So now you've had a look at how I did the deed and to tell the truth I am pretty satisfied not being a serious, exacting, discriminating artist. But if you are one, and there are those out there who are even if you won't admit it even to yourself and you just can't bring yourself to use a cheap, flimsy homemade envelope stuffer no matter how good it might be of your fiscal outlook, Staples.

You can go to Staples or use their online site and follow their instructions which are oddly enough actually written in English for people who read and think normal thoughts and not the strange, hieroglyphic script which most technical writers use when they are constructing instruction sheets, and that means you will be able to put together your images and your message and get it right without having to sacrifice anything living although the first born male was a good idea and I personally don't know why it has fallen out of favor, but it has so maybe a goat will do in a pinch.

And the coast to you? In most case it was $8.99 for 10. That's not bad at all. Most of the artists I know can get by with less than two dozen and that comes to about twenty-five bucks which is not all that devastating even at Christmas time and if you don't do it this year maybe you should think about if for next year so that when you go to your Podiatrist and he hands you the envelope stuffers you can hand your right back at him.

There you are my loyal readers, mak'em or buy'em the envelope stuffer is a tool that should be getting wider use in the art community. We have after all the one thing most professionals don't have, arresting, brilliant, beautiful images. And that is so much better than one more photo of a dog wearing antlers..

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