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GCU Community Newsletter #17 – September 22, 2011

September 22, 2011

The days are getting cooler, the nights longer (thank goodness – being able to read a newspaper outside at 10 p.m. is always disconcerting).  The sole surviving blackberry bush not only remained alive, it put out a bumper crop and my freezer is bursting.  Time for blackberry cobbler, don’t you think?

We’ve got quite a round-up, so let’s get going!

Doreen Erhardt’s Dash of Inspiration – Cup of Creativity columns have brought us Tools and Resources for Grammar, and Better Designs for More Sales. We had Artist Interviews with Denise Beverly and Molly Harrison. In Nuts & Bolts, we showed you How to Improve Your Photo Cards with before and after pics, and how you can get picked to win the Design of the Day.  Our Design Spotlight was on Rosie Scanlon.

In Rainbow Connection, we gave you a lovely Hanukkah palette of colors.

Finally, our Blog Carnival III: HIGH SPIRITED brought you some frighteningly good entries.

Until next time, don’t forget to pass the love around!



When Doreen Erhardt of Salon of Art won 1st place in a recent design contest, she decided to contribute her prize to the GCU Community.

“The prize is a Lifetime Commercial Use License for all Diana’s Creations design elements,” Doreen says. “Diana has generously allowed me to donate it to one of our GCU Community Blog Contests.  It’s value is $30.”

This Lifetime Commercial Use license is applicable to Diana’s Creations and Diana’s Creations Exclusive. That means, yes, you can use these design elements on your greeting cards. Yay!

So according to Doreen’s very helpful suggestion, here’s my Challenge to the Artists –  if  you want to win this fabulous prize, here’s what you need to do:

  • Show us your best greeting card design. Ideally, a card that meets the design qualities mentioned by Doreen in her Dash of Inspiration – Cup of Creativity post on September 19, 2011. We want to see your best – not necessarily your best selling, but the design you think ticks all the right boxes.
  • Tell us a little about why this design is your best. One or two sentences will do.
  • Post your card’s link in the Comment Section of this newsletter post. The greeting card must be available for sale at Greeting Card Universe.
  • One card ONLY per artist.
  • All conditions must be met for your card to be eligible to win the prize.

The contest deadline is September 28, 2011. On September 29th, I’ll put up a master post with all the entries and announce the winner of the prize.

“I’d like to see what artists consider to be a 10 out of 10 in their store,” says Doreen.

I’m sure we’re all interested to see the results, too. So get cracking and post your link! You’ve got a week to show us what you’ve got.


The Critique Clinic is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday to all GCU artists seeking peer review, advice and tips. Any artist may submit or leave a critique. All artists are encouraged to check the comment threads – you’ll learn something that may help you with your own marketability.

Cindy Johns at I Love Cuttables has a blog dedicated to daily posting the Design of the Day. Check it out – you may be featured!

There is a GCU artists’ group on FacebookWe encourage you to join, post cards for your fellow artists to admire, share news, and have fun!

Greeting Card Universe continues it’s marketing campaign. Here’s the latest from September 21, 2011.

There’s an on-going Facebook Round Robin happening on the GCU Forum. Check it out!

The Salon of Art Facebook fan page (by Doreen Erhardt) is a great place to go to find links to all kinds of helpful resources like tutorials, brushes, news about competitions and contests, marketing tips and a lot more. Check it out!

DID YOU KNOW you can “like” this newsletter or any post on the GCU Community blog, or include them in your social bookmarks? Or Google +1 them! Just click the title of the post, which takes you to the permanent link page. At the bottom of the page you’ll see buttons for social sites like Facebook, Reddit, Google +1, StumbleUpon, etc.


26 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2011 9:01 am

    I’ve decided to participate in the card contest. (Hey, I’ve got nothing to lose!)

    The card I chose is my “Happy 18th Birthday Card” featuring Fluffy’s sister Molly out on a shopping trip. I love this card for it’s soft pastel colouring, it’s fun polkadot theme, and it’s delicate appearance. I also love how I was able to utilize three different fonts without upsetting the overall harmony of the drawing. (I actually think the variety of fonts makes the card appear rather chic and modern!)

  2. Cisillia Tay permalink
    September 22, 2011 10:22 am

    My entry can be found at

    Everybody loves receiving cards on their birthday because it shows that someone near or far is thinking of you. Some of us are fortunate to have many birthdays, and some have only known a few, so every birthday is a special one. And everyone loves presents! And … what better way to reciprocate than to send an appropriate thank you card!
    I had fun designing this card using various shapes and colors.

  3. September 22, 2011 5:18 pm

    Hi there!

    the card I decided on is a fairly old one (4 years) I created it during the first Christmas Season, after I moved way to far away from home to the US. Very, very homesick back then but I still love this card. I never sold on GCU, yet – so maybe my perspective is not quite neutral enough! 😉

    Hope someone else enjoys it, too!

  4. September 22, 2011 5:22 pm

    I have entered my design “Love”. The design has many different aspects to it but the more you look at it the more embraced you become inside.

  5. September 22, 2011 5:24 pm

    The card I picked is close to my heart. I made it for a dear friend.
    The design is attractive because of its simplicity. Grey background with just enough pattern to be interesting and not distracting. The paws hint at the animal that passed away and the card can be used for both a dog or a cat. The colours are muted which makes the red heart stand out as a symbol for love between the pet and its owner.

  6. Gail Pepin permalink
    September 22, 2011 8:35 pm

    I’d like my card 461574 to be considered for the contest. It shows a happy tooth fairy, simple in design, with easy-to-read text. I had so much fun creating it, experimenting with brushes in Illustrator on my laptop, and I feel that it follows all of the rules. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

  7. September 22, 2011 10:18 pm

    Here’s my entry:

    It’s my current favorite for two reasons. I’m desperate to break into cartoon-type cards, and this was the first one that *I* think turned out really well; plus, I created it with no help from the Critique Clinic support – lol. The drawing, the PEE humor (note that it’s for passing the *P*rofessional *E*ngineering *E*xam), and the rhyming verse all worked together to make this a card that I’m very proud of. 🙂


    P.S. Thanks, Corrie, for including my new Design of the Day blog in your newsletter! 🙂 Anyone who hasn’t clicked the “follow” button should go over there and do that right now, because I need more followers. 😉 (Thanks!)

  8. September 23, 2011 1:51 pm

    I posted my Deck the Halls with … Christmas card. Even though I have over 70 dog breeds available in this design, I love the captured face expression on this Border Collie. This design is one of my favorites, as it allows dog lover to celebrate the holiday season with their favorite dog breed. I also open this to the customer to send me a head shot of their dog that I can then fuse into this design.

  9. A. Ley permalink
    September 23, 2011 3:53 pm

    I think part of the reason this is one of my favorites is because of how difficult it was to incorporate so much text with the image and still have it look clean. I also ❤ the humor of it, because world population joke + romance = lulz : )


  10. SunAtNight permalink
    September 24, 2011 2:25 pm

    The objective was to design an elegant card for asking someone to do a not-so-pleasant task for a wedding. I decided to illustrate the card instead of creating a photo to give it uniqueness as the ceremonial golden metal utensils lay against a background of tablecloth lace. Face it, we’ve all seen enough stock photos of that! The design motif in the cutting utensils was inspired by 17century German weaponry. The challenge was keeping the theme of the card formal, honest with a hint integrity. This is one of my most unprofitable cards to date and one of my largest files.

  11. September 24, 2011 5:10 pm

    Well, I decided to join the fun!

    This is recent card of mine and a favorite because I was pleasantly surprised with the way it turned out. When I started on GCU my cards were primarily photography themed cards and my photoshop skills primitive. I am still no PS expert, but I have had a lot of fun recently with creating simple graphics for my cards. I morphed the two mediums on this card, using different photo elements, photoshop effects and my graphic mice. It was so much fun to create these little guys I definitely will be making more cards featuring them, and creating some new friends for them too!

  12. September 24, 2011 6:03 pm

    This is my entry because it shows off some of my artistic range. I’m still developing my skills as an artist and I created this particular card, when I though I already “knew it all.” However, I just realized that I’m still learning and that I will never stop learning to draw better, simply because there is always room for improvement!

    Thank you Corrie for sponsoring this contest and thank you Doreen for donating the wonderful prize package!

  13. September 24, 2011 6:47 pm

    Thanks Doreen for the heads up on this as I nearly missed it! I hurriedly picked this Halloween card as I’m leaving soon on a trip, and don’t have time to really peruse…but I think this is one of my better ones! I like the overall “spooky” quality of it and the colors, and I’m in the mood for Halloween when I look at it!

  14. September 24, 2011 7:16 pm

    I’ve decided to enter this card, this is one of my favorite designs.

    As an amateur photographer with no expensive lighting/flash set up, I was very pleased with the way this image came out. Using only window light, and a heavy dark velvet curtain for the backdrop I was able to get the effect I was looking for. Learning I have the ability to create an environment and get the results I’m looking for is what makes this my favorite design.

  15. September 24, 2011 8:38 pm

    I’m entering my Little Chick Easter Card.

    This is one of my best designs I feel because it fits any age for an Easter Greeting Card … It’s clean, fresh, the colors are bright and cheery, but not too bright that an elderly person would not enjoy it. The text is legible, placed correctly, the border is even.
    It’s just cute and easy on the eyes, and I’ve always been proud of this one.

    Beautiful Cards Everyone…Thanks for the contest, they’re so fun, and a nice way to view everyone’s cards!
    Janet Lee

  16. Ramelle Richardson permalink
    September 24, 2011 10:46 pm

    When I was a child, we lived in California where missles from an Air Force base would paint the sky with plumes of rocket trails. Remembering this spectacular sight, I created a painting with a sunset ablaze with the colors of the United States’ flag. The red, white and blue sky is the perfect backdrop for an American eagle flying home.
    This design, welcoming a soldier home from battle, is my favorite card. Please consider it as an entry in your contest. Thanks!
    Ramelle “Eloquence”

  17. September 25, 2011 1:40 am

    Hope I am doing thisthe right way!
    Here is my entry for the card contest.
    I think it is great fun and the cats are cute. I have always enjoyed drawing them.
    A bit of humour on Father’s Day never goes astray.I think I have most of the elements right , and have sold a few.

  18. Christi Madden permalink
    September 25, 2011 7:36 am

    “Happy Halloween black cat & jack o’lantern in meadow with harvest moon” is my choice to enter in the Best of the Best contest; my private name for it is “Poussifri’s Mini-Me Pumpkin” (for obvious reasons).

    I incorporated four basic elements (black cat, pumpkins, harvest moon, and the background meadow scene) using a black cat and his mesmerizing eyes as the slightly off-center focal point; then I made use of complementary colors (blue and orange) to make the main elements pop. While arranging the parts of my design puzzle, I placed the orange pumpkins, moon, and text in a rough circle to pull your eyes around the card and lead them right back to the cat and his eyes.

    Thank you for the opportunity to enter the contest!

    -Christi =^^=

  19. September 27, 2011 5:53 am

    Here’s my entry:

    I have use number to play with some line art.


    annie lim

  20. September 27, 2011 10:40 am

    Here is my entry. It was approved in time to make this contest. I really wanted to put this card in because the flowers were done in Inkscape which I am trying to learn and I am very happy with the result.

  21. September 27, 2011 8:30 pm

    In looking for that 10 out of 10, I’m finding cards of mine that don’t tick all the design quality boxes mentioned by Doreen in her September 19, 2011 Dash of Inspiration – Cup of Creativity post. Tsk Tsk to me – and thanks for the insights to better creativity that Doreen shares. The card I’ve picked for this challenge’s entry is without text on the cover. I’ve sold hundreds of this painting on GCU cards but without a white border but I feel the composition is better suited with a simple clean white border as shown here. Thanks Corrie, Doreen and Diana. The prize will inspire anyone who wins it (myself included!)! Cheers, Lisa Charlton

  22. Diana Liu permalink
    September 28, 2011 2:49 am

    Here is my entry:
    This is very different from the rest of my cards but it’s one of my favorites because it is colorful, appealing and has a sense of humor. I feel the font works well with the image.

    I don’t usually participate in the newsletter, blog…. conversation so I don’t get the chance to thank Corrie, & Doreen for all you do for the GCU community.


  23. September 28, 2011 9:27 pm

    I selected this card as an example based on the balance of overall image (font offsetting the foreground image), the simple but varied font type and basic black color which stands out, but doesn’t overwhelm the photograph, and the understated thin border and low shading which allows the foreground image to float over the softened background image.

    Thank you for hosting this great opportunity.


    • September 29, 2011 6:56 am

      It’s okay – I stuck your name in the hat anyway. 🙂


  24. September 28, 2011 9:32 pm

    My apologies – disregard my post above. I tried to post this am during the “open” time but had difficulties with the Guest and FB Logins, so I sent the info to Corrie via email. I tried re-posting based on her Corrie’s suggestion and then after realized the challenge ended. Good luck to everyone!

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