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I’m thinking of changing the name of this blog to “Bad Blogger” because of how remiss my posting is. Anyway; here with another installation of the latest news from bluedragon greeting cards is your intrepid reporter. When last we saw our hero, he was pining for an application to put on his netbook that would allow him to add type to his greeting cards. The website that publishes the cards provides a format for an inner message; but the image on the front of the card must be uploaded as it will appear on the card. Every computer has a word processor of some kind, but the website requires that images be uploaded as jpegs.
Well, “Mission accomplished” as one of our former presidents was wont to say. I purchased PRINT ARTIST SILVER. It is perfect for my purposes. My netbook doesn’t have a CD ROM drive however, and as you may be aware, most programs come on CDs to be loaded onto computers. So, I put it on my PC, and split it into two “thumb drives” leaving off a ton of clip art that I don’t need and don’t have room for.
I immediately set to putting type on lots of images. It takes longer than I thought, and I had to overcome a couple of hurdles along the way, but the end result is exactly what I needed.
I also started a fan page on face book. Become a fan today! Actually, first I started a whole new account just to promote my greeting cards! I went to the greeting card universe page on facebook and friended about 200 people on the fan list. this is a slow process as it takes me back to the first person on the list after each request which of course has two windows to approve before proceeding.

I’ve been spending a lot of time working on these two pages, so I haven’t done much else. My next move is to start those Halloween cards and more fairy cards. I’m gathering images and ideas to work from right now!
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High Time!

Well, It’s high time I wrote another post! My girlfriend writes way more than I do. I am such a slacker. Much has happened since my last post: the most exciting of which is that I made my first sale! Somebody bought 2 of my cards! That’s a big $1.12 for me! Well, you have to start somewhere, I guess. To date I have 63 aproved cards in my store that I have created since I set it up back in March. The past 2 months has seen 250 store visits, and 298 card clicks. Whatever that means. I have 14 cards pending, most of them father’s day cards. Father’s day is in 2 weeks and it takes a week for delivery; so I kind of missed the boat on father’s day. A forum inquiry informed me that in order to really capitalize on a holiday card, I should submit them 3 or 4 months in advance to get them into the engine searches. Once again: whatever that means. I mean I know what an engine search is, I just don’t know why it takes so long for it to get in there. Anyway, I had one idea for the fourth of July, but it involved calligraphy which I need practice at and a copy of the “Declaration of Independence” which I obtained from Knotts Berry Farm. It’s too late for the 4th I guess. I need to work on Halloween.
I’m also trying to do more fairy stuff since that is what sold. I really enjoy that kind of stuff, and will have a blast doing Halloween cards too!
I also have been taking advantage of Spring and taking a lot of flower pictures I’m not sure what to do with. They could make good anniversary cards, birthday cards, sympathy cards. What I really want to do is get some kind of lightweight graphic design program that I can put on this little notebook computer so I can add text to my images from it. I have photoshop and Illustrator on my desktop computer at home but I don’t like to work at home.
Now I need to learn how to promote my store. I stumbleupon, share on facebook, twitter, and connect my blog but it’s not enough.
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St Anthony

Today I finished my portrait of St. Anthony, and submitted it for approval. (I also had to resubmit my recovery cards because I had put “A.A.” & “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS” in the keywords and they are copyrighted. They also asked my to be more specific about recovery in the text of the cards but I didn’t know what they meant on most of them so I left them all but one.)

To paint the card for St. Anthony, I googled images of him. It became immediately clear that he is always pictured with baby Jesus, so I also googled “father & son” images. The key in finding images to use as reference is that I don’t want to copy another painting or photo; I want to create an original image of my own. To that end, I studied one painting, on stained glass window and one photo of a father and a new born. I melded them into a single image that became my painting.
I painted the monk’s garment first and started with a blue that I wanted to be the shadow color. I had way too much color on my brush and ended up painting the entire robe blue. Then I painted over it with orange which is the color opposite of blue. In theory this will turn the blue into a neutral grayish color, but I knew it would more likely turn it brown because in order for it to be actually neutralized, the exact color opposite would have to be added; not just any blue plus any orange. My orange was too yellow and turned the robe a funky green. Now at any point, I could have panicked and given up, but I just added a red (the opposite of green). I added burnt sienna because that is close to the actual color of the Franciscan robe color of Anthony’s garment. (grey would have made him look benedictine) This worked pretty well. This technique; by the way, is similar to the way the old masters handled color and this lends an old world feeling to the painting.
Next I painted the faces. (actually, I painted the faces in between painting various layers of the garment, as I waited for that layer to dry.) Finally I painted the halos. I knew that I would have to give baby Jesus the halo of superiority, so I made his gold and St. Anthony’s silver. I tried a variety of methods to simulate gold leaf. I ended up using sumi silver watercolor for St. Anthony, and cadmium yellow mixed with iridescent medium for baby Jesus. I knew that actual gold color doesn’t scan very well, and metallic surfaces also don’t always come across in a photo reproduction.
I added a prayer I found for St. Anthony:
O gentle and loving St. Anthony,
whose heart was ever full of human sympathy,
whisper my petition into the ears of
the Sweet Infant Jesus,
who loved to be folded in your arms, and
the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.

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I Only Have to Change 1 Thing: Everything!

This is something I frequently heard when I first got sober. However, One of the things I have to be careful about is my desire to change everything all the time. (just look at how many irons I have in the fire on my links!) So, it should come as no surprise that no sooner had I decided to concentrate on recovery greeting cards, then I decided I also wanted to concentrate on Catholic Saints greeting cards.
It’s simple: Every day is a feast day for some saint or another; why not do one for each? I can provide recovery greeting cards and Catholic ones, right? Right. except, now there’s a new problem: I have a book of Saint’s days and it doesn’t correspond to the Saint’s days online.
I’m excited about this project because it meets the suggestion that I find something that no one else is doing, and I haven’t had the opportunity to do a lot of portraits in a while. Plus concentrating my efforts on promoting saints and creating replicas of their images has got to be good karma (or whatever the Catholic word for karma is.)
It seemed like a good idea to give myself a month’s leeway to submit and post cards of the saints. Since it was May 1st, I was all set to do a portrait of St. Angela Merici whose feast day in the book is June 1st, when I decided to double check the online date; which turned out to be in January! At this point, I should try to clarify how I came to suspect the book of… well being suspect. To be honest, this is actually the second book of saints I purchased. The first one has St. Rose of Lima as having her feast day on August 30th. This offended my girlfriend, Rose; who is name for Ms. Of Lima because her birthday (my girlfriend’s) is August 23rd; the day of the feast of St. Rose. Well, I got a different book of saint’s days, but it turns out the problem is that these books (which I got used) are outdated. So, no portrait of St. Angela.
Now it’s the 2nd of May, and one month from today will be St. Peter’s feast. Of course, it will take more than a day to paint and I don’t want to rush the paintings, so maybe I should plan on doing one a week instead of one a day. That’s 365 weeks people! Plus, most days have more than one saint. This should keep me busy for a while.

Meanwhile, I posted a new illustration for approval. (I’m still waiting for the recovery cards to be approved too!) It’s a sea serpent. I think it would be good for a little boy’s birthday.

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Another Blue Blog?

This then is the premier posting of my newest blog. Unlike my blue heaven ,which is a mix of art, and fiction writing or my blue heaven at open salon, which is primarily political cartoons; this one will be dedicated to the creation of greeting cards at blue dragon. Since the focus on these greeting cards is turning toward recovery (12 step programs) I will also be talking about that. The purpose is to appeal to people interested in recovery as well as the thought that goes into making my greeting cards. I’m going to be honest; it is recommended that to be successful in online businesses, blogging about your business and things related to it can boost your business. So that’s what I’m after. I will try to make sure that there are easy links to my other blogs here and elsewhere so that everything is connected. I’m trying for connectivity plus segregation. I don’t want to insult people interested in recovery with my political cartoons, and I want people who want to read my writing to be able to do so without wading through a lot of others stuff. (By the way, I’m also posting my writing at: WEbook, where I hope to submit it for publication.
The above picture was painted a few years back, before I got sober actually. It was created on the balcony of the apartment where I was living with my girlfriend. We moved the TV out there so we could smoke cigarettes and whatever else while watching movies we rented. We basically lived on the balcony rain or shine; warm weather or cold. It was actually pretty cool, because she had a lot of plants out there and it was beautiful most of the time. Now that image is available as a mother’s day card as well as in my general collection. It will also be available as a recovery card. At first, I wanted to have each card have a unique image and greeting, but they actually recommend using the same image multiple times… again; more exposure.
I’m nervous about talking about recovery in an open forum, and I realize that I haven’t really talked about it yet. There is the added possibility that something I say might help someone else who is struggling. That would make it worth it to me. It’s funny, I wasn’t embarrassed when I was “out there” using, why am I wary of talking about being sober? I’ve been sober for 5 years now and it’s possible that I have something useful to share. I hope you get something out of it.