Monday, July 21, 2014

How to turn $20 in cards into a priceless 1 of 1

A few weeks back, my wife and I were watching some television, and we heard a knock on the door.  If you want to scare my wife, that is the way to do it.  Her mind quickly gravitates to home invasions ... especially since we have a NO SOLICITING sign on the front door (too many issues w/Kirby sales people).

She told ... errrr ... asked me to look out the blinds instead of open the door, to which I obliged.  There stood a man in the dark, who was asking for me by name - first and last.  He was trying to ... you guessed it ... sell me something.  I loathe when these unfortunate door to door people cannot read.

It prompted me to make an addendum to our No Soliciting sign:

This was a big hit with my son.  I hope that the door to door folks will get the message loud and clear.  Hopefully, the chuckle they can partake in will make them forget about their desire to slash our tires on the way out.

Obviously, that isn't the only thing I created this past week.  This is, after all, me.  I write about baseball and baseball cards.

I've been wanting to do something a little different for my personal collection of Jose Canseco.  Something that hasn't been done before, to my knowledge.  So what I did was, I posted a message on several online forums asking for some beat up 1986 Jose Canseco rookie cards.  Don't get me wrong, I already had most of these cards, but there is just something about including contributions from other fellow collectors that helps me to feel like my hobby is not just "me" ... it is also others.  It is also great to see the generosity of people come out and send things along.  I am very much so appreciative of it whenever I receive things either for my Jose Canseco collection, or as material to make customs.

Before I get into the meat of the main card that this article is about, I thought I would show off a new addition to my custom collection.  It is based off of 2007 Exquisite Football, I believe.  I had this idea because Billy (a member on the forums - I cannot recall is screen name because we converse via email) had me do a few customs based off the Exquisite design, which he had the artwork for already.  The cards turned out fantastically, so I just had to tweak the design, add my touch to it and try for a Jose card for my personal collection, using some Canseco material I got from AJ.


I hope to have Jose sign where it says "Legendary" in the bottom left.

Here is the back - what fun is making a custom if you can't goof off a little with the text?

The only way I could love it more is when the autograph is obtained!  Thanks for allowing me to use the artwork, Billy!  I have a few other different designs that I have done as well, which I am waiting for Jose to sign.  I have been in contact with his manager for some more of my "creative" projects.  We had some good back and forth, but unfortunately, the communication has stopped.  I hope he has just been busy, and will reach out to me again.

The title of this is "How to turn $20 in cards into a priceless 1 of 1"  - I think it could just as easily be read as "How to turn $20 in cards into something worthless" since I am in fact destroying cards, and turning them into something with no book value!

A while back, I had an idea about incorporating existing rookie cards into a custom.  The major card companies have used jerseys, bats, balls, bases, tickets and more ... while I don't have access to a whole lot of that sort of stuff, I thought ... what about pieces of cards?  Heck, why not ask the online baseball card community for help?  Well, you all came through in a BIG way.

I posted the message, and over the course of a few weeks, I was able to get them in, as well as a bunch of other Cansecos as well - my collection and I thank you! This picture is one I sent to a friend via text after receiving my first 2014 Canseco card that he gave me as a gift. Yeah, I get a little too giddy over stuff like this.

As for the card I tried creating using existing cards ... like I said, I have been thinking about it for a while.  Here is what I mocked up before even asking people for the cards.  The card pieces below are just replica pieces I produced to see how it would look.

I think I liked the concept more than the design, initially, so I kept working it.  Firstly ... why have 5?  Why not all 6 of his rookies from the major companies?

Each and every one of these were given to me.  I mentioned this before, but I also got a BGS 9.5 '86 Topps Traded Canseco from an online member here named Parker.  I didn't have the heart to hack that one up.

Which leads me to the fate of the above 6 .... (kids, don't try this at home.)

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  This was somewhat traumatizing for me, but I knew it had to be done for the greater good.

As I kept going, I had more ideas for this card.

Why have this just as a card?  Why not a <gulp> BOOKLET??

After spending countless hours staring at my screen and obsessing over colors, textures, blending, etc. I had some ideas worthy of producing, so I went to work on it some more ...

Cutting these was crazy nerve-wracking, and getting the pieces to FIT was even more so.  It was not fun at all, and everything took so long.

I wasn't too terribly happy with the finish of these, but after sleeping on it, I figured out a better way to display these, which I'll show in a bit here.

A booklet can't just have card pieces though.  It must have some other type of material.  How about some jersey and bat material?

Yes, the card has game used jersey and bat material!  I confess though, to add a little more variety, I did add a little non game used fabric to brighten it up as well.  This really made me wonder - what is keeping the card companies from doing the same?  You could have a large white chunk of game used material, and overlay with some gold or green, or whatever, and still say the card is game used!  Things that make you go hmmmm...

Here is the bat piece I used:

The jersey and bat pieces lined up to be used ...

On the inside cover of the actual card, I just had to give thanks to those who gave me cards to work this project!

After sweating it out, and SEVERAL failed attempts, I was able to wrap it up ...

The 2014 Jose Canseco Rookie Recollection Booklet!

The front of the card:

The back of the card:
Note that I did the back with reverse images of Jose, the A's logo and 1986.  As always, I added some goof ball text on the back, and instead of "CONGRATULATIONS" like all the cards have, I put "HOLY TOLEDO!"  If you grew up in California in the 80's and 90's, this should mean a lot to you.  Whenever the A's hit a home run, this is what you would hear from Bill King on the radio during the A's game.  Ahhh, memories.

The book opened:

Here is the inside right of the card:
My first thought was to do a square for a jersey piece and a square for a bat piece, but this was much more creative / difficult lol!  The bottom area is for Jose's signature, which I may get him to do an inscription of something about him being the Rookie of the Year.

Last but not least, the inside left:
I LOVE how the rookie card windows came out.  It went from being rough squares to much a much more polished looking 6 piece window area with shapes that match.  I initially used a different shape, and it was way, way, way too girly, so this one below was the winner.

Both insides!
You will note that the inner binding is black.  I was going to leave it white, but my thank you message to the donators would have shown through, so I ended up doing it black, which I'm glad I did!

So, there you have it.  The 2014 Jose Canseco Rookie Recollection booklet.  When Jose signs it, it'll be nice to have one booklet with pieces of all his rookie cards, game used jersey, game used bat and autograph!

I've been so busy making these, I've had a hard time looking for new cards to collect.  I have spent time putting my entire Jose Canseco collection online in a list format so I can show what my needs are.  I have a super collection by NO MEANS.  There is nothing really to marvel at.  99% are of the dime to dollar variety, so if you are interested in helping me to knock off some from my want list, I'd be happy as a clam.

Here is the most up to date list of what I have.  If anyone does decide to send me some cards as a gift, I'll be listing them off on this list as who sent them to me.  It should be fun!   Click here for the link.

Thanks as always for reading!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Crusade Throughout the Week of Customs, TTM, Chic Fil A and more!

This past week has been busy.  Not work busy, but life busy.  It has been good!  We have discovered the wonderfulness of a kids bowl free program during the summers, so the wife and I bought shoes for ourselves and now we are able to bowl 2 games a day for free basically.  Can't beat that!

I'll get to the custom work in a bit, but before I do, there are some things I'd like to document here on my blog (or wherever you are reading this from) so I can look back on it.  After I got my tail whooped by my wife and 11 year old in bowling (I normally beat them ... promise!) my wife wanted to go to Chic Fil A and have a victory ice cream cone.  Not to be one to turn down ice cream, I obliged.

Then, while in the drive thru, I read this:


As it turns out, if you dress up like a cow, that day, you get free chicken!  I personally take this as a challenge.  Armed with an oil change receipt and a pencil, I cow'ed up just in time for the teller to see me, and scored a free sammich.  #winning.


Nothing like free food to make me forget my bowling blunders!  I posted this on facebook just after my cousin posted pictures of her family  playing with a jaguar.  Whatever.  My mom emailed me and laughed about it asking how we could all be in the same family - I pull up wearing a cow mask, and my cousin is playing with jaguars.

I told her I was trying to teach the world that you don't need to live life to the fullest by playing with exotic animals.  All you need is a pencil, paper and a willingness to make a fool out of yourself in front of a 16 year old cash teller.

I know what you are thinking - bowling AND free chicken?  My week can only go downhill from here!  Not so fast ...

The mail has been particularly fantastic this week!

As you may or may not know, one of my latest customs is in the works, and it involves using existing Jose Canseco 6 main rookies ... by the way .... if you have a 1986 Fleer regular Canseco rookie (the one with Eric Plunk) you want to float my way, I'd be happy as a clam.  It can be beat up, or whatever.

A kind soul (nadeauman33) took care of 4 of these cards for me, along with a plethora of other Canseco...for free!  Take a look at this.  It was like Christmas!

I'll be having fun with some of those soon enough!

As if that wasn't enough, p.thomaston asked for my address, because he said he picked up a Canseco for me a while back.  Here is what he sent this week to me:

Can you believe that?  This is my first 9.5 Canseco anything.  I was quite happy with that as well.  It is much too nice to use for my next project, so I think I'll leave it be :)

Driving back on our way back from vacation from Sea World, my brain was stirring quite a bit over customs (like it always does).  One thing I thought would be cool is if they made a Canseco rookie Superfractor.  Well, they didn't, so I did:

I'm quite happy with how it came out - the back looks like a regular Topps card, but instead of saying Topps, it says 1/1.  This puppy is displayed on my desk at the moment.

Next up in the mail is a personalized autograph from HELEN CHAPPEL! Well, okay ... her real name is Crystal Bernard, but to me, it will always be Helen from Wings. Gahhhhh, I love me some Wings.


My original plan was to make a custom out of what I got back from her, but I don't have the heart to do it with a personalized auto.  Plus, the auto may just be too big for it.  I received one from one ROY BIGGINS (David Schramm) as well.

Next up, is Good ole' dubya's dad:

I just got the one on the left earlier this week.  I got the one on the right a few weeks ago.  They are both auto-penned, but still cool with the personalizations.  I may try to get a few more and make a dual autopen cut booklet with them playing baseball.

This one, however, might just be my favorite of the week:

It fits in nicely with my rainbow explosion Rated Rookies that never were custom autograph collection:

I have one or two more to add later, but will not show them until they are autographed ... can't wait!

Now, as far as the other customs go, I've gotta say ... the past few days have been ... well...uhmmm...FRUSTRATING.  I've been trying to tweak my methods of producing them.  Each take several steps, and they are always difficult to do.  After hours and hours of time/effort, I was able to produce a 1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter tribute card:

It was born probably at about 1-1:30 am last night, directly after the A's game.  Man alive, was it a bear.  But it is done!

Now, for the last reveal.  Have you ever played this before?

Who am I kidding?  Of course you have.  And if not this, you have probably played / been obsessed with some sort of video game at some point of your life.

If this is truly you, then you understand what I went through for this next card to an extent.  Let me explain:

When you play a video game, with the intent to beat it, you enter a world of pure enjoyment.  Once you hit an obstacle that is seemingly impossible to overcome, that pure enjoyment becomes a massive burden where bliss meets a horrifying nightmare of obligation.  You have to try the same difficult item over and over and over again, no matter the cost.  It isn't fun anymore.  It is your duty to show Bowser who is boss.

Kind of like a steakhouse challenge.  You eat 3lbs of meat, and the meal is free ... otherwise it is $100.  You love steak ... probably more than you love many family members, but when you have to eat a LOT, it becomes something that you don't want to be a part of anymore.  you just want to run away screaming.

Such is with the latest Canseco creation.

After 15+ maddening tries, I finally got it to how I wanted it to look.  I wanted to do an amped up 90's Crusade card.  What is the point of doing a copy though?  That is no fun!  So instead, let's do a Tanner Crusade, shall we?

Tanner Crusade PLUS, folks!  This has got to be worth a million dollars, easy!

I toyed with the idea of making it a bat / jersey / auto card .... This is a "Donor" card AJ sent me a while back:


Surgery performed ....


Gosh, I think I'm gonna be sick.  How dare I do that to a Canseco BAT card!!!

I added a piece of his game used jersey as well, and did this:

I was not happy with it though, as I felt like it was just much too busy.  The bottom part of course, will be autographed in the near future.

I worked the design a bit more, and in my desperation between screw-ups, I got rid of the bat and jersey to save for another card, but changed some colors:

This was fun trying different versions, but in the end, the Blue/Purple Crusade Plus won out for me:

Much more simple, and it lets the refraction of light come through the card so much better without being hidden by a bat and jersey piece.  Don't get me wrong ... if I had my choice of pulling one or the other from a pack, I would, of COURSE had picked the jersey/bat/auto card, but I'm looking at these more like art pieces and am concerned more with how they look to my eyes...with the understanding that the jersey and bat piece can be used later, for something else!

As I said, the card was maddening to put together ... much more so than my wife taking us to a toy store to look for OVER AN HOUR today.  We all did get some rockin' sun glasses for a total of $1.69 though, so I guess I can't complain.  I also got to wear them in the mall and draw some nervous stares.

After we bought them, I informed the cashier to not bag them, as I would be wearing them out.  She laughed and said ok.  As we walked out, a lady coming in started laughing and offered to take a picture of all of us together.  It was great fun!

AHHHH ... so sorry to get side tracked.  Back to the card!

Yes, I did call it a Tanner Crusade Plus card.  I made it in the design of a '98, but also wanted to have a spot for it to be autographed.  Not only that, but I wanted to do soemthing else.  Here is the back:

Did you catch that?  Did you notice the cameo I made?  Here, let me make it a little more noticeable for you:

Yup, that's right - yours truly.  Just your favorite custom card creator chilling in the background, waiting for Canseco to get on deck.

This is the unfortunate picture I used for the back.  I was hoping I could use it for something useful in the future.  It is of me posing with my wife's ponytail that she just cut off.  This was posted on facebook, and I got some ... not too favorable comments about it.

That is it for today, folks.  I certainly cannot end this posting with this terrifying picture, for I fear that it will give you nightmares (or freak!)  so I'll post another pic of the Crusade card again:

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Flip Quest Update

Just a quick update!  We didn't do any garage saling this past weekend, because I did a little of this ...

Imagine this - At Sea World:  A row of snot nosed brats from ages 3 to 10 lined up, waiting to be embraced by a stranger dressed up in a shamu outfit. 

Then imagine me hurling aside all of these children and doing this ...

Note the mustache shirt and semi-stache on my lip.  Yes folks, I'm going for it ... I'm growing a Rollie Fingers style mustache ... wish me luck!  Not even sure if it is possible. 

I also did some of this ...

Feeding and petting over 150 sting rays...terrifying, yet a blast!

I did, however, sell the vanity, a book, mega blok barn set and camera lens for $183.

Plus ... PLUS ... I have a hugely awesome end for my flip quest if it works out. I'm beyond excited about it, if it all works out. We will see! I'll keep you posted if it comes to fruition.

Here is where we are at now:

1989 Fleer Bill Ripken "Rick Face" BGS 9.5 Gem Mint
1989 Fleer Bill Ripken Black Box SGC 98 10 Gem Mint

55 Serving Platters
Panthers Jersey
Paula Deen autographed menu
Scrapbooking Machine
box of educational books
Geotrax Set
step 2 storage bin
step 2 other thingy
wii fit pad
game cube
sesame street cubby system
regular cubby system
air jordans
circular chinese dragon wall art
cubby system
4 ps2 games
oriental vase
taiwanese chest
2 drop-leaf desks

$2,712.50 total

Keepers (for now)
Fabric of the Game Canseco Jersey
Absolute Heroes Canseco Jersey / Cap
2 Security Cameras
6 plates (wife let me know that we will be keeping 6 of the plates!)
black ottoman
2 comic display pieces
wii & wii fit
MP640 printer
glass top wicker basket

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Custom cards for a father

Greetings from on the road, fellow cardboard addicts!

As I type this, I'm in a hotel about 200+ miles away from home, and ready to ride shamu.  I just had to post some fun things here while my family is still in bed.  

I was recently contacted by someone who wanted to do some baseball cards of himself for his kids, but with a twist.  He played baseball in high school and college (great stats too - batted over 300 and swiped plenty of bags!).  I suggested we do something similar to a Five Star theme.  He loved the idea, so we went forward.

His father took some pictures of him playing (back in the late 80's and early 90's, if I recall correctly.

 Here are the pics:


The coolest thing about it is that he sent me some pieces of his jersey and letter jacket from back in high school and college.  Here is a pic of one of the pieces he sent me:

He has now been forever immortalized with his own custom memorabilia cards, and has something fantastic for his kids!  I love how they turned out - can't believe I didn't take pics of the backs of them.  They turned out great too!

I think they look even better in person.  The pictures weren't as high quality or good of color as I'm used to working with, so I'm always extra happy when they turn out so good even though the pics aren't the best.

Okay, folks - off I go to the wonderful land of the free continental breakfast to stuff myself with bacon and egg goodness!

Oh, before i forget ... a sneak peek at what is to come.  I got this in the mail yesterday just before I left ....


He is somewhat of a television hero to me - Nick Offerman.  You may know him better as this fella ...

Ron Swanson, in all of his mustachioed goodness. I actually received two autographs from Nick himself!  I sense a new project in the works soon enough.

If I don't write until then - Happy 4th of July everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Custom Canseco Patch Card Created

I have been chomping at the bit to start producing some more Canseco PC items for my collection, and I have finally had some time to sit down and work on some of them!

 For now, I will just be showing off one, as it is the only one I have finished right now. You may or may not recall, but a few months ago, AJ, the owner of the Canseco PERFECTION COLLECTION (dramatic echoing ... then pause for respect...and...done) sent over a nice little care package for me of game used and autographed Canseco items. Here is a pic of the Canseco swag ...


 I feared for a while that I would not use it for a long, long time. Why? Because I simply didn't think I would be able to come up with something that would be worthy of the game used gold that I now have in my possession.

 I now have something that I am very proud to call my creation, and have in my collection. But brace yourself ... it isn't of Canseco on the A's. It is of Canseco on the Rangers!

 Canseco playing for the Rangers has some fairly major significance for me. For starters, him playing on the A's accounted for a good portion of stability for me in my childhood. That all came crashing down on me when I heard he got traded to the Rangers. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. How could I have a favorite player NOT be on my favorite team? Should I hate the A's? Love the Rangers? Hating Canseco is simply out of the question! Aha! Sandy Alderson traded him. I'll hate him! You have got to love a 13 year old's logic!

 In any event, it happened, and I was actually able to briefly meet him when I was 13 at a card show. I probably said this story before, but being in line for his autograph was like meeting a super hero. He signed for me, I said "THANKS MR. CANSECO!" And he said to me ...


 Yes, my friends - Jose Canseco spoke to me ... kinda. It was so great, that I completely lost track of time while riding in the car on the way home, as my mom got lost for about 2 hours. (Downtown Houston driving sucks!)

 So, fast forward to this week. I started out to do an auto patch card. Something with a super nice patch, and a place for Jose to sign. That didn't work out so well, as it overcrowded the design by .... a LOT. That is okay though ... I was able to make two cards with the design - one for the A's for him to autograph (which I'll show later when it actually IS autographed) and the Rangers patch card which I'm about to show.

 I wanted it to have a high end look, and finally just some of the game used gold. It also had to have the famous 1/1 marking, some holographic gold, and ... me.


 I couldn't help myself - I had to make a cameo on the card! This pic was taken early 2013 - I bought a 1989 World Series baseball, and had Jose sign "To my Bash Brother Tanner". My most prized posession ... so heck, why not have it in the pic? Here is a close up of the ball ...


So, without further adieu - here it is! 2014 Creative Collection Jose Canseco 1/1 Patch Card

If you look closely, you will see an inverted blurred pic of Canseco and I over his shoulder on the left. Here is another pic to show off more of the gold reflective qualities of it:


I'm through the roof with how it turned out! I think it all came along perfectly. Well, scratch that ... it most certainly did NOT come along perfectly. It was nightmarish to put together. Heck, I was at the final stages of putting it together last night ... TWICE ... and failed miserably. This morning, I was able to get it all together. Here is a pic of the back. I figured since I'm the creator, why not sign it?


Okay, I confess ... I did not sign it. I just signed the sleeve.


Maybe at some point I will sign, but I just don't have the guts to yet. As always, thank you for reading and your comments!