Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Custom Creations: What's been keeping me busy

In addition to the last-minute Christmas shopping, hanging out with my niece and nephew, checking out the new James Cameron movie Avatar (twice so far - it's an amazing flick) and the odd boxing day shopping trip, I have been hard at work doing something that I have a strong passion for - creating custom hockey cards.

I have dabbled in custom cards for over 4 years now and really enjoy the creativity of developing my own "one-of-a-kind" creation.

I have so many ideas for cards that there aren't enough hours in the day to build them all.

A little over a year ago, someone asked me to create some unique cards to show off some old autographs he found - and some nice ones too. Having never tried anything like it before, I took on the challenge.

Well, it's been a struggle finding the time to build them (again - priorities) but I have been making a point to spend some good quality time working on them during my Christmas break.

I have finished and assembled two which I am very proud of. The learning curve has been immense and there has been a ton of trial and error, but I am getting more confident each time I sit in front of the computer to continue working on them.

I still have a number of cards to go, but I am looking forward to the remaining challenges. As much as I am looking forward to completing this job, I am cherishing the process.

Thanks for taking a look.

Happy Holidays everyone

Well, the holiday season has given me some time away from work. It has also given me some time away from this blog.

The "R&R" has been a welcomed addition to my routine for the past week or so. Spending time with family and friends has also been something I've been very much looking forward to for a while.

The last month has been a quiet one on this blog. I look to get back into more of a routine come the new year when I return to work and the "daily grind".

The time away has also given me time to think about what it is I enjoy about this blog and what I look to alter over the next year.

So to everyone who has passed by this blog over the past few months - thank you. I am looking forward to what this blog will bring in 2010.

And most importantly - Happy holidays to everyone and all the best to you in the new year.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Well, work has finally calmed down. I am now officially off until Jan. 6 - AND I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER!

I can finally get caught up on some things - including this blog - that I have all but abandoned over the past 3 weeks. It'll probably take me until the new year to get fully up to par, but I'm in no rush now.

So without further ado - let's get caught up.

Year In Cards - nov30a

Year In Cards - nov30b

Year In Cards - dec1a

Year In Cards - dec1b

Year In Cards - dec2a

Year In Cards - dec2b

Year In Cards - dec3a

Year In Cards - dec3b

Year In Cards - dec4a

Year In Cards - dec4b

Year In Cards - dec5a

Year In Cards - dec5b

Year In Cards - dec6a

Year In Cards - dec6b

Monday, December 14, 2009


It's been a while since I've updated you all on my hockey pool. There have been many ups and downs. Mostly ups for me and downs for everyone else.

They say that good goaltending is critical in order to be successful. No question - my goalies have gone above and beyond so far this season.

Martin Brodeur, who at the the start of the season was a question to even make the Olympic team, has played himself right into the starting role. Now if he could just break the shutout record we could all get back to normal. He is on fire this year.

Ryan Miller, who probably played himself into the starting role for the US, is quietly having one of - if not his best year overall. They are one, two in my standings.

Varlamov, who has only one loss this season, is still not being given the reigns as starter in Washington. How Theodore is still playing at all is beyond me. Here's hoping Simeon gets some more starts in the future.

As for my defencemen, Mike Green has really turned it up a notch lately. He has more points than any of my forwards. Yikes.

I've got to say, I'm getting good solid, consistent production from a lot of my forwards. Zetterberg, Nash, Malkin, Stamkos, Alfredsson, Eriksson, Lecavalier, Sharp, Whitney, and the list goes on.

The injury bug isn't too much of a factor, but I can't afford another long term loss.

After all, I'm only 64 points ahead.

1 vs. 100 - I'm back!

Well, it's been one of the longest month-and-a-half stretches at work I've ever experienced. almost 4 weeks straight without a day off and often pulling 10-12 hour days.

I'm happy to say that those days are now a thing of the past. I can finally get back to some semblance of normalcy. It may take a week or two (with Christmas and all), but it will all come back to me.

Getting back into the blogging, I've decided to do a small update on my 1 vs. 100 project.

I'm still working on a trade that will bring in a considerable amount of cards (at least 10) and am hoping that will happen within the next month or two.

I started perusing ebay for some deals and came across a seller that had a pair of cards that met the requirements.

A nice Pacific parallel from 2002 will work nicely. I'd like to try and get some variety in the type of cards that will make up this set.

As opposed to this next offering...

Hey, it's a numbered card /61, cheap and it came from the same seller so no additional shipping charges. How could I say no.

Side note - for a guy with a really long last name, he certainly has a lazy autograph. Matches his playing style I guess.

That boosts the collection over the 20 card mark. While checking ebay, I found a ton of cards that will fit the bill. I have no doubt this project is possible. The only question now is - how much will this cost.

Things are looking really good.

21 out of 100 (21%)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Still Here


Just letting you all know that I am still here.

With work being as busy as it has been, I have had no chance to do any blogging (just the odd response to a comment - that's about it).

I'm hoping that after this week, things will get back to normal.

I've got more custom cards, an update on my 1vs100 and more.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The work week that I was expecting to be busy has been just that so far - and I don't expect it to let up.

With that, there will be a delay - or possible cancellation - in this week's One Sheet, One Set feature. I realize I am letting countless of loyal readers down with this one. Please, find it in your heart to understand (note the over-dramatization).

Instead, I will give you a quick opinion piece. This one has been on my mind today as I stumbled upon a hockey card board topic on 'ebay gauging'.

First the set-up, then my thoughts.

An ebay seller sets up an auction item and indicates a certain dollar amount for shipping. Pretty simple. The seller lists a number of items (hundreds of individual auction items).

A buyer comes along and is interested in 5 of the seller's auctions. He bids on them and wins them all.

The buyer receives a grand total and is shocked to find that there has been no shipping discount given for winning multiple items. The end result, he is paying 5 times the amount to ship 5 cards than he 'probably should have'. Looking back to the auction details, it does not indicate anywhere that there would be a discount on shipping if one wins multiple items. By the way, the buyer made no attempt to ask the seller ahead of time.

Still with me?

I can see both sides of this one. On the one hand, the buyer assumed that the seller would just put the 5 cards together in one envelope and cut the buyer a deal on shipping. I think in most cases, sellers are aware of this and practice it regularly. On the other hand, it's called 'buyer beware'. The seller has no obligation to do this. For the record, I think sellers who don't give some sort of discount are horrible people and should be destined to a life licking 'old-school stamps' for huge corporations who need to send out a billion Christmas cards in less than 2 days....moving on. Believe it or not though, there are people out there who don't give a crap.

Ultimately, I would have to side with the seller. I think the onus is totally on the buyer to communicate his intentions ahead of time and ask - rather than assume - if a discount would be possible. If the buyer gets no reply, then move along or accept that you might get dinged a ridiculous amount for shipping.

The fact that the buyer is now quite upset and looking at reporting him only adds fuel to the fire. I think the fact he assumed - and assumed wrong - makes the bitterness in his mouth quite potent.

One thing I learned years ago when I first started working as a video news editor - NEVER ASSUME! ASK!

In the end it can save so much time, energy and potential heartache.

Who knows, maybe the seller is 'teaching the buyer a lesson' for assuming. I think the buyer 'got it' in spades.

My only thought now is will the seller combine the items into one envelope (and thus take advantage of the assumption) or deliver out 5 cards in 5 seperate envelopes?

Monday, November 30, 2009


It was a tough week getting these done. Work's been busy. Next week could be a toughie too. But here they are.


Year In Cards - nov23b

Year In Cards - nov23a

Year In Cards - nov24b

Year In Cards - nov24a

Year In Cards - nov25b

Year In Cards - nov25a

Year In Cards - nov26b

Year In Cards - nov26a

Year In Cards - nov27b

Year In Cards - nov27a

Year In Cards - nov28b

Year In Cards - nov28a

Year In Cards - nov29a

Year In Cards - nov29a

Thursday, November 26, 2009

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 1998/99 Topps Gold Label Class 2 1/1

This is it, the pinnacle, my number one.

This is the card that put my Linden collection into the status of 'elite' (in my eyes anyways).

1998/99 Topps Gold Label Class 2 #42 One of One

That's right - it's a coveted 1/1 card. My first one.

I purchased it about 8-9 years ago from a place called Dave & Adam's Card World. They had an ad in a trade magazine listing cards for sale. I couldn't believe when I saw the listing for this Linden. I had never even seen a Linden 1/1 before.

The price at the time made me squirm as well. $100 us. I had never paid more than $50 for a card and couldn't fathom paying over $100 for a card - even a Trevor Linden card.

After a short debate with my bank account (which I won), I decided to snag the card. Years later, I consider it one of the best purchases for my collection.

High end Linden cards frequently go for 2-3 times what I paid for my 1/1, and I know without a doubt I could get my money back and more should I decide to sell - which will be never!

Here's the back of the card should any of you doubt my actually having the card (the front looks identical to the regular card).

I remember when this set came out. Beforehand, I had the goal of getting one of every card Trevor had - which I considered a possibility. The Topps Gold Label set has 3 'classes' of cards (you'll note the class on the back above the team logo. Within each class is 3 versions (regular, black and red), each with tougher odds in getting the card.

So that's 9 cards in the Topps Gold Label set right - wrong! Each of the 9 versions has a corresponding 1/1.

Immediate death to my Trevor Linden collecting goal.

I soon realized I would never have one of each card. But I decided that as long as I have one of his 1/1 cards, that would put me in "the club".

I have since acquired another 1/1 card and I'm thrilled to have both. I know a couple other linden collectors with more 1/1's, but I feel I can hang out with them.

I know I have at least one card that they don't have.

Monday, November 23, 2009

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 2008/09 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

One more new set for me this week (I promise to change things up soon, maybe a vintage set or something).

This week I go with a 'low end' set, one that is on the more inexpensive side.

2008/09 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

This set is a simple 200 cards that Upper Deck puts out mainly to attract the kids, new collectors and collector's wanting to not break the bank. These types of sets take me back to the 80's when collecting cards were all about fun, trading and the quest to complete the set.

The front of the card is a super simple design. Not always a bad thing, but I think UD could have spiced things up a little bit more. The Collector's Choice logo in the upper left corner is a staple for this set through the years and makes the card instantly recognizable.

The card front is taken up mostly by a photo of the player - nothing fancy, nothing special. That said, it's a great opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the palyer on a traditional trading card.

The subtle shape of the player box (rounded upper right corner and an angled left side) are about as "fancy as UD get with this one. A little dropshadow along the shape adds a nice touch. It works for me.

The one down side is that a number of the player photos look a little washed out. The photos are not as crisp as I'd like to see. Some are quite nice (like the Kariya) while some are not (like the Bouchard). It bugs me because I know these things can be improved on. A couple minutes to tweak the photo and it's done.

The name, team and position are along the bottom of the card and again is a simple text font. Nothing fancy.

The back of the card has a real nice feel to it. The card number, name, stats, team logo, everything is well laid out. Simple and yet effective. Full stats - nice!

This card back shows that simple is sometimes better. I like it. My only beef would be that with younger players (like the Ovechkin), there is a great deal of wasted space. I can tolerate this because I know that for the vets, I'm going to get complete stats.

Overall, a simple set that doesn't give you 'over the moon' expectations, but would be a fun set to build for literally pennies. I bet this set could be had for less than $5. In fact, I bet if one really wanted to, they could get have the set given to them.

If you've never built a set, this one is for you.

2.5 out of 5


Milestone card #50 is brought to you this week. Still really enjoying the project. I'm already thinking of ways to modify this for next year.


Year In Cards - nov22a

Year In Cards - nov16a

Year In Cards - nov17b

Year In Cards - nov17a

Year In Cards - nov18b

Year In Cards - nov18a

Year In Cards - nov19b

Year In Cards - nov19a

Year In Cards - nov20b

Year In Cards - nov20a

Year In Cards - nov21b

Year In Cards - nov21a

Year In Cards - nov22b

Year In Cards - nov22a