I’m alive!…and a black box!

Tap…

Tap…

Tap…

Is this thing on?  Hello…earth to bloggers…oh hey!  How’s it going! 

Long time, no write. 

I know, I’ve been lazy and negligent in writing and I hate myself for it.  Well, not hate…that’s harsh.  I’m saddened and disappointed in myself that I’ve abandoned something I really enjoyed doing.  Writing about cards and the Redsk…Washington Football Team!  The first place Washington Football Team!  At least at the time I’m writing this post.

Anyways.

Blogging.

Man, I’ve been busy.  Really busy.  Busy with work.  Busy with family.  Busy with home projects.  Busy with organizing my collection and creating a bit of a “brand” for myself.  I know, kinda douchey, right?  Maybe not social media influencer douchey, but hey…it was a fun process to come up with an identity for my hobby.  Do you like the new logo?  I think it’s pretty cool and am really proud of it.  Earlier this year I did a couple of sketches and attempted to work on something in inDesign and realized I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted to see, so I reached out to a freelancer graphic designer for help and he pulled together a great image.  I’m really happy with the overall look, so happy in fact I’ve proposed it to the WFT as their new logo and name for the team.  It’s a crazy longshot, I know, but you know…

“you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Michael Jordan via Wayne Gretzky via Michael Scott.

Organizing, yes.  I’ve done lots of that and am super excited to share what I’ve done with our basement…I love it deeply, my beautiful wife though…she has some different thoughts.  The common phrase is “when do you stop”, my common response is, “whatta you mean? They make new ones each day of every year, pfffffttttt.”  She’s a patient woman and I’m incredibly lucky to have her in my life, but yeah, she could do without the small rectangular photos of men everywhere. 

More on the organizing another day. Today, I’m excited to share a quick post of how I have taken photos of my cards that I’m happy with.  I’m picky.  Very picky.  Don’t like most things and tend to be reticent to try new things, I like steady and familiar but more importantly, quality.  I just wasn’t happy with the card scans I was getting each time I sat down to document my collection.  They were pixely or too dark or not shiny enough or something, it was always something.  So I did some digging around on the ‘gram and noticed a few folks had some really nice photos and well thought out layouts for their cards…which I loved.   I reached out to a couple of them to find out their secrets and they came back with the same results…a photo box!  That was it!  I needed a photo box!  I dug around amazon and on my google machine for some options to buy and then realized…I should just make it. 

It’s crazy simple. 

It’s a box…

…that you take photos in…

IT’S A PHOTO BOX!

I did some sketching as I’m tend to do, made a gotta gettit list for Blick Art Supplies and got to makin’!  Now, before I get to any process here…I want to temper expectations.  This isn’t anything glamorous or spectacular, but it works exceptionally well for me I think the photos capture what I’d hope them to.

Here we go!

The shopping list:

  • Foamcore – 1/2″ Black.  I went with black over white mostly due to my preference to lean towards darker colors over brighter ones…plus (see next item)
  • Hardboard – 12” x 16” Dark Gray.  This was the real reason I went with black foamcore.  I couldn’t find a durable white surface with this kind of rigidity and durability.
  • LED Lights – one 6’ strip of LED lights.  I wanted the brightness of the LED’s and felt like it would be a great way to pop the colors on the cards.  Also, it allowed for a greater balance of light around the box.
  • Black Tape – 1” thick black tape.  Mostly for the corners, but also for packaging and other items you’ll see in future posts.
  • Foam Core Cutter – Fancy handle shaped cutter.  This is a must if your going to cut a lot of foam cure, which I have and which you will see in future posts.  I spent many nights in architecture studio cutting foam core and not getting a nice consistent straight line…so this is a must for me.  I’d use an x-acto knife, but they blades flex a bit and it’s a challenge to get them square…I’m picky remember?
  • Straight edge – well actually it’s a big ass ruler from home depot.  Helpful in cutting large sheets of foam core, plus it has a nice weight to it.
  • Pencil – for making marks…duh.
  • iPhone – this was really just to document the process for now, I didn’t buy one just to make a box.

Next the crafting:

  • My ultimate goal was to make the box large enough so I could capture one card or ten, or maybe a poster or maybe something else that’s oddly sized…I don’t know…I’m attempting to plan for the future.  How does one plan for the unknown!?
  • Here are the sizes and quantities:
    • 2 – 8”x16” for the long sides
    • 2 – 8”x13” for the short sides
    • 1 – 13”x17” for the top
    • 5 – 8”x10” shims (this was a minor change that I do not regret)
  • Now that the pieces are all cut, time to put this bad boy together.  The hardboard size was the driving factor for the shape, as that needed to fit snug with the inside of the box…not too snug so it’s a struggle to move in and out as wanted…but you know, snug.
  • I was going to tape the sides and leave it, but felt that I should tape and glue them to help keep it in tact a little better, so the four corners are glued and the tape is pressed pretty tightly to the edges and corners.
  • Next, the lights.  This was a little trickier than I thought…I wanted a 90degree corner for the lights, but they apparently don’t bend that way.  I ended up with a 2” or so radius which I’m happy with.  The LED lights had tape on the back, so just peel and apply.
  • Now the peep hole.  Gotta have a peep hole!  This could have been planned a little better as well, but it works.  It really depends on your phone camera.  I have an iPhone and wanted the items to be centered as much as possible in the hardboard.  I mad the cuts prior to really figuring out where the lenses were on the phone…so the hole is larger than I had hoped.  There is some light leak, but nothing significant.  I guess I can address this in the near future.
  • Lastly, put it all together and drop a card in.  I have a few older/used mag holders that I use a dummy holders for the cards.  They tend to get a little scratched over time so those get changed when needed.  I’ve made a couple tick marks with that fancy little pencil of mine so I can quickly swap cards in and out for photographing.

So yeah, that’s it!

I’ve got a great system set up and have been taking tons of photos over the past few months.  In my opinion, this process is faster (for me, at least) than scanning.  There is some time management with uploading the files and getting them where I want them, but I know a card is (mostly) square when I’ve taken a photo and I can see the output immediately.  I like it and it works well for me. 

I’m certain I will still use my scanner for some things and I’ve definitely taken and used photos without the box that I’m really happy with as well, but for the most part, this will be my path to documenting my cards.

Let me know what you think and what you do to document your cards?  I’m always super excited to hear how people maintain their collections.  Love to hear what is important to other hobbyists and collectors.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!

-Cardboard Hogs

1 of 1 Moss

It’s been way too long, I know.

Blogging has become hard for me, almost a chore that needs to get done, but i don’t wanna do it!

It’s not that it’s difficult, it’s just hard to find the time or energy to scan, write and post something on a regular basis.  Something that I would be happy to put out there and hopefully entertain the readers.  It was too much, so I took a little break.  Hopefully the break ends here and I can keep up with my postings and get back some readership that I may have lost.  I know there are so many great blogs in the collecting community and i’m just trying to be a part of the gang and continue to be an active participant in our hobby.

Along with my lack of blogging, i’ve cut down quite a bit on my purchasing of cards as i’m REALLY trying to get organized.  I’ve said that many times, but this time it’s for real!  I hope.  I have a couple of boxes filled with R******s that need to be collated and organized.  We all know how fun that can be, right!

Part of the problem with my organizing conundrum is that i’ve been focusing on commons, which means I come home from a show with 75 ten cent cards…and put them in a white box next to the computer…only to sit there for months on end…BUT, i’ve also managed to pick up some nice autographs and jersey cards of my favorite players on the Washington Football team.

08 TF Santana Moss Cyan 1of1 Printing Plate

Here’s one.  A one of one, Mr. Santana Moss.  I believe this is a genuine 1 of 1 cyan printing plate.  Although it seems  a little fishy to me?  There is nothing on the back of the card that says it’s a 1 of 1 and the printing plate is encased in cardboard.  I own a couple of other plates and never seen them packaged this way.  If i got duped, then i am out $8.  If it didn’t than i’m pretty happy with my first printing plate from the DC football team. -HTTR!

08 TF Santana Moss Cyan PP 1of1 back

 

anyone else overreacting to this Kendrick Lamar verse on the Big Sean track?

The boxes of neglect…

This new blog was an attempt at therapy for me and a way to connect better with my favorite hobby.  Unfortunately, life always seems to get in the way…as it does and doing one post a week has become difficult.  This is by no means me waving the surrender flag, but more of an apology to the blog itself for my neglect.  With that in mind i am going to attempt to up the ante and do two blog posts a week, one on Wednesday and one on Sunday…we will see how that all works out.

Ebay cardsAnother task that i have thoroughly neglected with my collection is the purging i promised myself and my wife.  I’ve gotten to the point of putting the cards to be sold into a nice empty white box, which is now a grey dusty filled box.  The biggest problem is the time involved with this task along as well as the difficulty in dealing with the fine folks on ebay.  The scanning and describing and mailing aspect seems insurmountable at times, especially with a 4 month old.  A new short term goal is to get a few dozen posts before February…it would be nice to have some loot back in my paypal account as well…to buy more cardboard.

The last item of note to get off my chest is this Washington Redskins shoebox that needs some serious sorting and organizing.  I would say that i’ve done a wonderful job at purchasing cards through checkoutmycards.com, the two card shows in town and my favorite local card shop, The Sports Room.  But i’ve done a terrible job at organizing them.  I know for a FACT that i purchased two Ryan Kerrigan autographs from COMC at about $8 each.  Not the worst thing in the world, but that money could have gone to another card i don’t already have.  I could also use this time to figure out what RGIII cards I have and which ones i can afford to purchase.  So, i’m hoping to get this going on the next few weeknights around the Riddle house here…work be damned!

Redskins Box 1PC Box 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look for more info on these short term goals…and don’t be afraid to keep me on my toes. -HTTR!