With today being the first of a brand new year, I thought it would be appropriate to recap 2014 today. Yeah, I know it would have been better if I had done this yesterday, but better late than never!

This year, I started doing custom cards – it all started when my childhood hero, Jose Canseco was going to come into town. I started toying with the idea of putting together a Topps base card one night, and post it on a forum.

With a devilish grin, I posted it, very proud of myself – wondering how many thousands of people could I fake out?

It got called out as a fake within about 2 minutes. Oh well! It was fun to try. All I had to cut with was scissors.

Ever since then though, I simply couldn’t get it out of my head. How on earth could I begin to create these pieces of beloved art for my own collection?

With the aid of a LOT of time, money, trial and error, I found out. It has been a fun trip ever since. I’ve come up with some stuff that I am happy to have in my collection, and have had the priveledge of making cards as keepsakes for others.

Here is one example:
A few months ago, someone commissioned me to do 2 booklet cards for he and his father for Christmas. Just after christmas, he wrote me a nice email saying thank you for one of the best gifts he has ever received, and that his father went nuts over it – that he thought he saw a few tears. How cool is that? He also sent me this pic:

A closer up picture of the inside:

I rarely get people to take a picture and send it to me like this (though, I was hired this year to do a Christmas card for a lady who wanted a card to look like her 3 dogs were in front of a barn … the pics were ROUGH but I think it came out nice) – she added me to her Christmas card list, so I proudly displayed it.

My dad was talking about how he wanted a Magnum PI shirt for Christmas, so that was one of the things I got him. I decided Christmas Eve to make him a
Magnum PI card. While I was doing that, my better half came in, and said I should put his face on Thomas Magnum. *Scoffs* … No babe, that would be

ridic….hmmmm….let’s try it.

She is a genius, folks!

I cranked up the magnum PI intro song on You Tube, and got to work…

Here is my pops:

Remember this custom I did recently?

Voila … Magnum D.A.D.

We all got a lot of laughs out of it, and my folks enjoyed the heck out of it!

I ended up grabbing an Ivan Rodriguez game used cap and chopped it up, as you have probably seen. I have not had much gumption to do much with it, but I did end up making my third piece from it:

Later on in the year, I moved onto doing customs for myself to get autographed. Here are a few autographs that have recently come in (I had the stars sign labels for me, just in case they wouldn’t sign, so I didn’t have a lot of time into making a card that would never be signed). Here is a hint for you: If you are an A’s fan, don’t worry about making customs – the players will probably get traded withing a month, so all will be lost!

Here are a few I whipped up for my collection:

Super Man! A base card and a superfractor

Darth Vader Foil

A few other Darth’s – Superfractor and Atomic Berryfractor

Shaq berry foil

Here are a few I got signed or put the sticker signature on:

Everyone’s favorite with Bonnie from Vampire Diaries

Shaq Superfractor

Darth Vader Gold Dust

And last but not least – Tony Danza! Aye-Oh-Oh-Aye! I told him that if he wanted me to make him one, then let me know. Well … he did!

Gasp! Acknowledgement from Tony Danza! That is one of my favorite returns so far.

Did I mentioned someone gave me a Stan Musial autograph to play around with for a cut auto? Thanks Tim, if you are reading!

I had some negative things to say about some dealings I had with some people not keeping up their end of the deal in a few purchases I made, but that is what happens, i guess, if you allow yourself to trust anyone, no matter how nice they are, to do the right thing when no one is looking.

Wow, that sure did end up sounding negative anyway, didn’t it? I don’t ever intend to call anyone out, but as I use my writing as therapy – for crying out loud, people! If you say you are going to do something, or agree to do something – do it! Regardless if you can get away with it or not – just be an honorable man/woman and do what you say you will.

To wrap up everything, I came close to selling EVERYTHING. Literally all of my cards – it wouldn’t have been the first time this has happened, as I’ve sold out several times before, but this early in the year, and after so many purchases would have been good. I ended up not feeling good about the situation, so I ended up declining. I have gotten into a few business deals before that were purely financially based, but with the wrong people and they ended up being nightmares…absolute nightmares.

The gentleman who I was in talks with could very well have been an honest and reliable person, but how some things were answered did not sit well with me, and I did not want to risk it.

It bummed me out that it had to go that way, and would have been great to start over again, but on the bright side, I will be able to have more fun with the cards, and make a lot more money on them by piecing everything out. Who knows? Maybe a deal will be struck anyway.

I decided to snap a few pics of some of the things I’ve found in one of the acquisitions I made. There have been some really cool things I have found so far, and have a lot more to go!

Some unopened rack packs of ’84 Topps with stars on the top. Also shows autographs of Ripken & Emmitt Smith

Atomic Kobe and Career Stat Line Tom Brady rookie

Lots of Manning rookies, and 2 very nice condition rookies of Walter Payton and Terry Bradshaw

There is a LOT more stuff than that, too! These have got to be the most fun acquisitions I have made.

Thanks for reading everyone, and I wish you all the best in 2015!