This past week has been busy.  Not work busy, but life busy.  It has been good!  We have discovered the wonderfulness of a kids bowl free program during the summers, so the wife and I bought shoes for ourselves and now we are able to bowl 2 games a day for free basically.  Can’t beat that!

I’ll get to the custom work in a bit, but before I do, there are some things I’d like to document here on my blog (or wherever you are reading this from) so I can look back on it.  After I got my tail whooped by my wife and 11 year old in bowling (I normally beat them … promise!) my wife wanted to go to Chic Fil A and have a victory ice cream cone.  Not to be one to turn down ice cream, I obliged.

Then, while in the drive thru, I read this:


As it turns out, if you dress up like a cow, that day, you get free chicken!  I personally take this as a challenge.  Armed with an oil change receipt and a pencil, I cow’ed up just in time for the teller to see me, and scored a free sammich.  #winning.


Nothing like free food to make me forget my bowling blunders!  I posted this on facebook just after my cousin posted pictures of her family  playing with a jaguar.  Whatever.  My mom emailed me and laughed about it asking how we could all be in the same family – I pull up wearing a cow mask, and my cousin is playing with jaguars.

I told her I was trying to teach the world that you don’t need to live life to the fullest by playing with exotic animals.  All you need is a pencil, paper and a willingness to make a fool out of yourself in front of a 16 year old cash teller.

I know what you are thinking – bowling AND free chicken?  My week can only go downhill from here!  Not so fast …

The mail has been particularly fantastic this week!

As you may or may not know, one of my latest customs is in the works, and it involves using existing Jose Canseco 6 main rookies … by the way …. if you have a 1986 Fleer regular Canseco rookie (the one with Eric Plunk) you want to float my way, I’d be happy as a clam.  It can be beat up, or whatever.

A kind soul (nadeauman33) took care of 4 of these cards for me, along with a plethora of other Canseco…for free!  Take a look at this.  It was like Christmas!

I’ll be having fun with some of those soon enough!

As if that wasn’t enough, p.thomaston asked for my address, because he said he picked up a Canseco for me a while back.  Here is what he sent this week to me:

Can you believe that?  This is my first 9.5 Canseco anything.  I was quite happy with that as well.  It is much too nice to use for my next project, so I think I’ll leave it be 🙂

Driving back on our way back from vacation from Sea World, my brain was stirring quite a bit over customs (like it always does).  One thing I thought would be cool is if they made a Canseco rookie Superfractor.  Well, they didn’t, so I did:

I’m quite happy with how it came out – the back looks like a regular Topps card, but instead of saying Topps, it says 1/1.  This puppy is displayed on my desk at the moment.

Next up in the mail is a personalized autograph from HELEN CHAPPEL! Well, okay … her real name is Crystal Bernard, but to me, it will always be Helen from Wings. Gahhhhh, I love me some Wings.


My original plan was to make a custom out of what I got back from her, but I don’t have the heart to do it with a personalized auto.  Plus, the auto may just be too big for it.  I received one from one ROY BIGGINS (David Schramm) as well.

Next up, is Good ole’ dubya’s dad:

I just got the one on the left earlier this week.  I got the one on the right a few weeks ago.  They are both auto-penned, but still cool with the personalizations.  I may try to get a few more and make a dual autopen cut booklet with them playing baseball.

This one, however, might just be my favorite of the week:

It fits in nicely with my rainbow explosion Rated Rookies that never were custom autograph collection:

I have one or two more to add later, but will not show them until they are autographed … can’t wait!

Now, as far as the other customs go, I’ve gotta say … the past few days have been … well…uhmmm…FRUSTRATING.  I’ve been trying to tweak my methods of producing them.  Each take several steps, and they are always difficult to do.  After hours and hours of time/effort, I was able to produce a 1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter tribute card:

It was born probably at about 1-1:30 am last night, directly after the A’s game.  Man alive, was it a bear.  But it is done!

Now, for the last reveal.  Have you ever played this before?

Who am I kidding?  Of course you have.  And if not this, you have probably played / been obsessed with some sort of video game at some point of your life.

If this is truly you, then you understand what I went through for this next card to an extent.  Let me explain:

When you play a video game, with the intent to beat it, you enter a world of pure enjoyment.  Once you hit an obstacle that is seemingly impossible to overcome, that pure enjoyment becomes a massive burden where bliss meets a horrifying nightmare of obligation.  You have to try the same difficult item over and over and over again, no matter the cost.  It isn’t fun anymore.  It is your duty to show Bowser who is boss.

Kind of like a steakhouse challenge.  You eat 3lbs of meat, and the meal is free … otherwise it is $100.  You love steak … probably more than you love many family members, but when you have to eat a LOT, it becomes something that you don’t want to be a part of anymore.  you just want to run away screaming.

Such is with the latest Canseco creation.

After 15+ maddening tries, I finally got it to how I wanted it to look.  I wanted to do an amped up 90’s Crusade card.  What is the point of doing a copy though?  That is no fun!  So instead, let’s do a Tanner Crusade, shall we?

Tanner Crusade PLUS, folks!  This has got to be worth a million dollars, easy!

I toyed with the idea of making it a bat / jersey / auto card ….

This is a “Donor” card AJ sent me a while back:


Surgery performed ….


Gosh, I think I’m gonna be sick.  How dare I do that to a Canseco BAT card!!!

I added a piece of his game used jersey as well, and did this:

I was not happy with it though, as I felt like it was just much too busy.  The bottom part of course, will be autographed in the near future.

I worked the design a bit more, and in my desperation between screw-ups, I got rid of the bat and jersey to save for another card, but changed some colors:

This was fun trying different versions, but in the end, the Blue/Purple Crusade Plus won out for me:

Much more simple, and it lets the refraction of light come through the card so much better without being hidden by a bat and jersey piece.  Don’t get me wrong … if I had my choice of pulling one or the other from a pack, I would, of COURSE had picked the jersey/bat/auto card, but I’m looking at these more like art pieces and am concerned more with how they look to my eyes…with the understanding that the jersey and bat piece can be used later, for something else!

As I said, the card was maddening to put together … much more so than my wife taking us to a toy store to look for OVER AN HOUR today.  We all did get some rockin’ sun glasses for a total of $1.69 though, so I guess I can’t complain.  I also got to wear them in the mall and draw some nervous stares.

After we bought them, I informed the cashier to not bag them, as I would be wearing them out.  She laughed and said ok.  As we walked out, a lady coming in started laughing and offered to take a picture of all of us together.  It was great fun!

AHHHH … so sorry to get side tracked.  Back to the card!

Yes, I did call it a Tanner Crusade Plus card.  I made it in the design of a ’98, but also wanted to have a spot for it to be autographed.  Not only that, but I wanted to do soemthing else.  Here is the back:

Did you catch that?  Did you notice the cameo I made?  Here, let me make it a little more noticeable for you:

Yup, that’s right – yours truly.  Just your favorite custom card creator chilling in the background, waiting for Canseco to get on deck.

This is the unfortunate picture I used for the back.  I was hoping I could use it for something useful in the future.  It is of me posing with my wife’s ponytail that she just cut off.  This was posted on facebook, and I got some … not too favorable comments about it.

That is it for today, folks.  I certainly cannot end this posting with this terrifying picture, for I fear that it will give you nightmares (or dreams…you freak!)  so I’ll post another pic of the Crusade card again:

Thanks for reading!