My Material Life

Calling Cards For Your Blog, Portfolios For Your Purse & More Good Ways To Show Your Work

Following up on my last post, here are a few more ideas for putting your blog photos to work in the actual, material world.

Calling Cards For Your Blog

The idea for these cards came from a diy business card project in the book, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book. The book showed cards for the blog, A Beautiful Mess, with printed portraits and names of the authors on the front of the cards and handwritten information on the back (name again/blogger and blog address). But the best part of the back was that they used a piece of washi tape between the two lines of information. This not only provides visual interest; it provides a guideline for your writing. And that’s a brilliant thing.

I decided to use project images from my blog on the front of my cards and just stick to my name and blog address on the back. I couldn’t figure out what to call myself. Blogger? (As one friend pointed out I really don’t post that much anymore.) Maker? (Too hipster for me.) I could go on, but you see what I mean. I printed my images on cardstock, not on photo paper, as this gives the cards a lovely matte finish and a back side that you can write on. Use the thickest cardstock that will work with your printer and a good quality pen.

To learn more about the history of calling cards and how to use them today, may I suggest this post from The Art of Manliness blog. Not for men only, of course.

A Portfolio For Your Purse

A couple of months ago I shared a little bound book I made to show some of my spool knitting projects. I suspected it might not hold together as it was bound with tape, but it was so cute and I had so much fun printing and cutting and folding, etc. that I didn’t mind if it didn’t last. Once it fell apart I decided I still wanted a little portfolio to carry around with me, but one that represented the breadth of my projects, one that would not be limited to a particular thickness by its binding. So I decided to print some contact sheet size prints of my favorite images, punch two holes in one side of each of them and simply thread them on two binder rings. You could make a cover from a sheet of plastic or what have you, but I had some blue vellum handy, so I used that. I did use photo paper for these, specifically the 4×6 cards that came included with my HP printer ink set. Now I just need to find a case for it.

Folded Mini Book

Now if you do want to showcase just a piece of your work (no more than eight small pages), you might consider folding a mini-book from a single piece of paper. My HP printer software includes a template for this kind of book along with folding (and cutting) instructions. If you use an HP printer, you’ll find this in the HP Photo Creations software. If not, search up the instructions for folding a book from a single piece of paper anyway because it’s an awful lot of fun.


Speaking of showing your work, I wanted to let you know about this book I found at the library (source of image above as well), Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon. Whether you’ve been blogging for a while now or are brand new to it or are somewhere in between, there is so much good material in this book for you about the reasons to blog and how to do it and combine it with other platforms in a way that makes such good sense. One of the things he talks about is the idea of your stock and flow. My best example of stock is my Attack of the Knitting Nancys post. This is the kind of post that has longevity, but is not the kind of thing you put out every day. Whereas your flow could be more regular postings of images on Instagram to show what you’re working on, what inspires you, etc. I think I’ve got some stock, but am seriously lacking in flow.

How about you? Do you use Instagram? To me it can all just seem like so much digital clutter. But if you know of someone who is doing something on Instagram you think I should take a look at do let me know, will you? And in the meantime think about printing some photos and doing something fun with them, OK?




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