Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Create Your Own

Create your own, make your own, design your own, these are all search words I used on the Internet just before I began investing in my own print production business. It was amazing that only one or two places popped up but the minimum orders were outrageous. I mean what am I going to do with 1,000 business cards, 500 greeting cards (all the same), etc. The required quantity made the deal null and void unless you had a mega company.

I quickly learned that there were many other small businesses around town that had the same problems. They were willing to pay a bit more for less. So I invested in a Martin Yale 10 up Business Card Slitter and found a paper outlet store that had white linen paper. Yep, that slitter has paid for itself ten times over. I still have small businesses call me for cards and customers for gift tags, student reward cards and various other things that could be made from that size card. I thought outside the box and won!

Didn't win for long though. The cost of travel to buy the paper, price of ink, time to design, print, cut, shipping and handling became too much. In reality I was losing money but creating a great customer base. My printing expanded to calendars, greeting cards, note cards, postcards, stickers, bumper stickers, etc. I couldn't keep up.

Finally I found a print on demand site that had some really cool gifts, cards, and t-shirts. I wasn't too good with design at the time nor was I able to make my store front look inviting. It was just a basic template. I've come a long way since cutting my teeth on that site. I now have my Firecrackinmama.com and my Firecrackinmama's Zazzle galleries where I offer the ability to Create Your Own Gifts.

With the holidays coming up quickly and the money tight what better way to go shopping then online. Personalized and customized gifts have more meaning and your money is spent on something that won't be regifted. Here is a sample of what you can find at Firecrackinmama's Create Your Own Gifts.
Design your own business card and order as few as 100. Buy in bulk and save!
Select from multiple types of paper and select your own size of card.
Create Your Own Card profilecard
Create Your Own Card

I selected a smaller size card and created a Christmas package tag card. With this size you can create just about anything. Simply click on the above card and in the card size tab pick the smallest size.
I've made calendars for years but these professional looking calendars are great for gifts, businesses promotion and of course fund raisers.

If you have a skate boarder in your household or know someone who is, this is perfect:

Is that not cool?

I love my travel mug! You can choose from so many styles, colors and sizes, including a stein.

I don't have them pictured here but you can now custom design your own Keds. They come in children and toddlers' sizes as well as women's pumps, slip-ons and lace-ups. I have had a ball designing. Check them out at FirecrackinFootWear!

Now if you are really into tees, you can of course design your own. Again choose from multiple styles, colors and sizes for men, women, children, toddlers and babies!

I'm not good with tees so usually I'll recommend another gallery that has everything you can imagine. Check it out!

I won't bore you any longer with this. I think you've gotten the message. Take time and check it out yourself at Firecrackinmama's Create Your Own Gifts!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Firecrackinmama's Presidential Poll!

Yesterday I wrote about who I'm supporting for our next president of the United States and even started a poll. I've been listening to all the TV networks posting the results of their polls and have often wondered just how many people really participated.

As of yesterday Obama had received 75% while McCain received 25%. Ok, so you could have figured out McCain's percentage. I had close to 40 visitors however only 8 out of the 40 voted. Hmmm...are there that many undecided voters or were many of them not from the U.S.

Well maybe today more people will take the time to participate in the poll. After all it's just there for some Firecrackin Fun!

One person did leave a comment. Thank you rdwnggrl's Gallery at Zazzle .

Just Because... shirt

Just Because...


Design a personalized shirt online at zazzle

Read My Lipstick Vote Obama Biden 08 T-Shirt shirt

Read My Lipstick Vote Obama Biden 08 T-Shirt


Create a personalized t shirt Using Zazzle

Add your comment and link for your candidate! I'll publish it!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Voting For

Obama and Biden. Yep, I decided that a long time ago before Biden was even on the ticket. Now that McCain has selected Palin it's a definite. Obama.

I don't like politics in general. I've participated on a very small scale. I'd consider myself a Maverick and on that small scale with my fellow Mavericks we made significant differences and changes that helped many people. I guess I'm a Maverick in the classroom too as I never taught in a traditional manner. I wear lipstick only when I'm going to work or special occasions. I've coached a minor league baseball team but only for one season. I have three kids, one with a disability. Hmmm...maybe I was qualified to be a Vice Presidential candidate and didn't even know it.

Yep, I can see it now especially during the campaign. Fireworks at every stop, rally, backyard barbecue. Boom! Boom! Boom!

Ah, but if McCain had asked me to run, I would have had to declined. I'm just too busy working as a breadwinner, taking care of my 88 year old mother, cleaning, washing, and being around for my husband and kids. Retirement is a figment of my imagination.

I don't like labels either, such as "Maverick". Firecrackinmama is more my speed, more fun than aggressive, and whatever you do don't ever compare me to a dog. People aren't likely to think of the breed but they will think of the sex and the word "bitch". I don't like that type of association. Most of the time I'm a happy Firecrackinmama.

I take the Presidential election seriously and the person in the White House is representing me not only locally but worldwide. I want a President that doesn't insult my intelligence, that makes choices that are good for all, and presents himself with noble stature. I want the elegance and grace that office represents to be respected by Americans and foreigners. I don't want my President and Vice President to have a nickname that suggests aggression, rebellion, and nonconformity. I think we have had enough of that for the past 8 years.

I wasn't for Hilary either. When she exclaimed, "Shame on you Obama!" for something now I don't even recall, all I could see was my mother standing up there on the podium yelling at me. Nope that didn't sit well with me. I have the same feeling about Palin. You know mothers tend to be overbearing, bossy, and are natural born dictators. Men always think women are high maintenance, unreasonable and belong at home. Women however know for a fact that we rule the world. Just which woman is ruling is the issue. As you can see, I'm not for the aggressive type. It makes me think of recklessness.

Since Obama started his campaign, he presented himself as a man who was about issues. I like that. He hasn't insulted my intelligence. The only scare tactics I've seen in his ads, are the facts that if we elect McCain we will have a continuation of what we've had for the past 8 years. And to me that's really scary.

McCain on the other hand has employed the same campaign tactics as Bush did. Suggestive ads that Obama is not ready to lead. Hello, McCain, Palin is ready to lead? Don't insult me! You're ready to lead? Yep, into more war which costs money doesn't it? And as a "Maverick" I'm not sure what else you're going to lead us into. I don't like surprises. Our present President has done enough of that.

With Obama I see a man who has had to work the system in every way to get to where he is today and that to me is impressive. He obviously has the ability to negotiate, the charisma to make people listen, and the intellect to make sound decisions. Can he predict what he is going to do when he gets into office? Of course not, neither of them can. However, once again because of his abilities to get to where he is today, I feel more comfortable that he is the person who can really create the change needed within our country.

What more can I say? See for yourself:

Patriotic Obama 2008 Keychain keychain

Patriotic Obama 2008 Keychain


For more supportive items come on over to Firecrackinmama's

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Living Photos

I've been with Firecrackinmama's Zazzle for a little over a year now. It's been a great creative outlet for me as I hate to see photographs shoved into albums, boxes or computer files only to be viewed when a nostalgic moment moves you to do so.

Photography must be a genetic thing as my mother has over 12 albums spanning the lifetimes of my great-grandparents through the lifetimes of her grandchildren, all are still growing. She's 88 now and not so interested in taking pictures. I bought her a little Canon Power Shot but she can't remember how to snap the shot. What is truly funny is that she still looks for the pin hole viewer instead of using the screen. At any rate I've been taking pictures since I was a little girl - another lifetime now- moving from film to digital.

I've converted all her albums to DVDs and am now in the process of playing with some of the pictures. This one of my father was taken on the corner of Red Bank Ave. and Broad St. in Woodbury, NJ back in 1940. It was one of my mother's favorites. It seemed appropriate for these times.

I'll be doing some more nostalgic cards, magnets, and what not throughout this next year.

My greatest enjoyment however is photo manipulation. I know I've written about my Ghosts of the Revolution before but I have to tell you it came out better then I expected. I finally decided that was to be my mouse pad for the year at work. It turned out better then it looks on screen.

The amazing thing is that the colors came out so well that the mouse pad glows where it shows here and it looks 3 dimensional. Ok, I'm really patting myself on the back but this time I really feel that I deserve it.

Our family trip this year was to Williamsburg, VA. We used to go yearly but over the past several years just didn't make it. As we were returning to our rooms one evening I was able to quickly snap the background. The ghosts were extracted from several other pictures and placed atop the background.

Another favorite thing to do with photographs is make poster calendars. I've got to make my decision soon as to which one I want on my wall at work. So far this one seems to catch my fancy.

One final thing for today that I've truly enjoyed doing is making greeting cards out of my photos. I opened Firecrackinmama's Card Store almost a year ago. I have had so much fun over there that I've sometimes neglected my Firecrackinmama.com and Firecrackinmama's Zazzle.

I don't think people realize that card giving has taken on a totally new meaning. My mother has every card that was ever given to her by my father and us (my brother and I). I wish I could say the same thing but as most people I file them in the circular file after a short time.

At Firecrackinmama's Card Store I found that giving a card nowadays is giving a gift IF you use a photo. I took even that to the next level - I made card photo calendars.

Customers can personalize the message inside and the recipient can easily separate the front from the rest of the card and place it in a 5"x7" frame. So I guess the person giving the gift might even want to give the frame with the card. I have several of these so I guess you know what one of my holiday gifts is going to be.

I guess you can get an idea now of the multiple use of your pictures. Naturally I don't expect that you would want mine, although many have, so I created a Create Your Own section in my Firecrackinmama's Gallery. Check it out. You can make your own tees, skate boards, mouse pads, calendars, design your own keds and more!