#143 Prison Encouragement Certificates (new)

April 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

Printing Prison Encouragement Certificates

It had been awhile since I was last printing anything, since I had only gotten back into blogging about a few months ago, so my projects had been on hold for some time. Then, when I got back on, I just didn’t have the resources to buy ink…

HP ink cartridges are not cheap folks. My computer requires two cartridges, a tri-color and black. Tri color ink, at least at Staples, costs like $40, and black ink costs about $30. And no, don’t tell me about Wal-Mart…I might save like 20 cents there, but to me, its not worth it to fight the parking lot traffic, and the 4 or 5 checking lanes they MIGHT have open. I can get in and out of Staples much faster, and besides, they have a rewards program.

I also tried the cheap refilling ink places too…not a good idea at all. The place I got it refilled was at first a great deal, I think it was $12 to $15, but I noticed that for some reason, it didn’t take long at all before my computer was telling me something about the ink is low. Sometimes it happens like one or two days after I got it refilled. Folks… I might do a lot of printing… but I have not gotten to that point where I am going through THAT much ink…not yet. So I realized that the refilling of that ink seemed to be a problem. I would end up going there 3 or 4 times a month, maybe more, to get it refilled, when a brand new cartridge might last me a couple of months.

So anyways, because I got some support from a reader, I was able to buy some tri-color ink, which allows me to now do some printing. And since I did find my files with my prison encouragement certificates (as well as other prison cards I made), I decided to do some initial printing, to see how things looked.

As you know, I will be making these available in May, so from now until then I hope to be burning up the ink and paper to print as much as I can, to have it on call. So today I wanted to do some test prints of some of my prison encouragement certificates, to give you some idea of what I have been talking about.

There are many, many ways to get creative with this idea folks, but what I wanted to do was just print some samples of what I did in the past. I am using basically two different types of paper, regular all in one printing paper (good stock, not the el cheapo thin ones), and I am also using basic certificate paper. There is a reason for this:

Basic certificate paper already gives me the border, which is either red, soft gold, green or blue, depending on what I like. That way, I don’t have to create a border, just the text and design in the middle of the certificate. This way, I can focus mainly on what I want to say, with minimal effort in a big design.

“This kinda sounds too complex, isn’t it as simple as making something up and printing it?”

Maybe it is…but there is a thing I like to call SINCERITY.

If I am going to make something available, I want to at least give the effort that I am trying to create something that will give you hope, and to also give that same amount of hope to someone you care about in prison. I have done this before in the past, and I know it works. People appreciate it when you make an effort to help them. These certificates allow me to give them some sincerity, so they know that this guy on the other side of this computer does care.

So, as I was saying about the certificate paper, it allows me to focus mainly on what I want to say, and what values I want to create. Here are some examples I printed today, from what I made in the past:

Merit of Patience: A pretty certificate with the title centered and in gold old English font, with the text inside that says, “In your patience resides your hope, may this merit empower you to believe that even in difficult times, there can be hope, as long as there is also patience” At the bottom I have a “TO” and “FROM” for your signatures.

Merit of Grand Love: A certificate with a fancy font as the title, with the text in the center as follows: “May you always be reminded that regardless of your situation, you are truly loved. Be encouraged and never forget that.” I have the “TO” and “FROM” at the bottom for your signatures.

Oh, so that I don’t get repetitive, every certificate I have or create has the “TO” and “FROM” so that you can sign it with your own hand, giving it a personal touch.

Golden Sunshine Certificate: A fun certificate using the title in bold letters and in a sunset orange color with yellow borders. The text says as follows, “May you never forget that there is always hope, even in the darkest days. I pray that you find peace in mind and body and that you ALWAYS know you are loved.”

Blessed Peace Award: A nice certificate with the title in elegant gold font, with a soft marble background. The text is as follows, “May this award give you strength in mind and body, and may you find peace that no matter how difficult things may be now, there is, and will always, be hope”.

Best Son Award: A certificate titled with the same font style as the Blessed peace award, with the text as follows, “To you because I wanted to remind you that no matter how difficult things get, you can always remember that you have someone who loves you. This award is to you, my loving son.”

Trust me folks…there is MUCH more that I made, but I needed to print out some to make sure that the lines were right, and that the text wasn’t bleeding into the borders…technical stuff.

Now, I also mentioned that I printed certificates on regular paper…there is a reason for that.

Whereas the certificate paper was pretty much “ready made”, the regular paper gave me the ability to construct a new certificate, borders, background, text and all. This of course, requires more work and creativity. I wanted to do it this way because I want to make certificates with people in mind. I want to make some as if the person was right there, asking me for something that might help encourage their loved one in prison. I sold a lot of these in the past, and is as much fun to create as the prison cards.

I have many different certificates of this kind, but I printed out three… one drawback with these types of certificates is that they will likely use more ink than the others, so I have to make sure my tri-color is full to do these. As some of you know, you can have a tri-color cartridge that might be low on one color, and the results will show as you print. I was trying to print some of my Sunset certificates a few days ago, and noticed the red in the printing was lacking, likely because past printings. It meant I had to buy a new cartridge, even though there is still some ink in it. But to get it done right, you have to do it right.

As I said, I printed three different certificates, which are the following:

Stratosphere Award: The title is in a whimsical cursive font in blue, with an art deco kinda blue background and designed sides. In the center is a picture of the stratosphere, a horizon full of soft clouds, something only a place would have the pleasure of seeing. Across this picture is my text: “This award is lovingly given to remind you that no matter what difficulties you are in now, the sky is still the limit if you never give up on yourself”.

Below this, in bold and blue words is, “Be Encouraged”.

Rose Encouragement Award: I think this was one of the very first prison encouragement certificates I ever did. The title is in white with red borders and black shadows across the top of the certificate. The background is a pretty rose, and the text across it reads, “Lovingly awarded to you with love and respect, the symbolism of the rose itself. Also given in the spirit of courage in your difficult times; another symbolism of the rose. Stay Strong”

This is based on the representations of the rose, and under the text are three red hearts. On the left heart is the word “Love” in gold, in the middle is the word “respect” in faded blue, and on the right is the word “Courage” in bold green.

Certificate of Heartfelt Love: This was one I had some fun with, using floral borders with a yellow and gray background. The title is in red with pink outlines, and sits atop the certificate, in the center. The text under it reads, “Awarded to you on this day to remind you that regardless of what you are doing through, you are loved so very much. Don’t ever give up on yourself.” Underneath is the word “Date” with a line for you to sign.

There are, of course, many others, but those are what I printed up at the time.

Maybe later today or tonight I might print some more, maybe even print out some prison cards, but the idea was to get some printing done. Sometimes you have to run some test to make sure everything is working. But with those now printed, I can slowly start printing more and more things to have ready by May. I have already been getting requests for them, so I hope to be ready to accommodate those ordering from me.

My thanks also to those who have been supporting me. I can always use more ink, it determines how much I can print before I have to buy more, and it also does factor in how much I can sell my books, cards and other things for. With this not even being halfway through April, I think I have already set a decent pace…although the certificates are easy to print. The longest things to do are my books, because it is actually cheaper for me to print from my home computer than taking it to Staples. I think they charge like 50 cents or so per page…even if it was a quarter, it would break me to try to do one book. My first book is 77 pages long…the others are about 100. So to take it to Staples to do even 77 pages would cost over $35 bucks! UGH!

I have to go back to check, since I have not sold any books since I last had a blogsite, but I think I sold them for $25, plus $3 for shipping. And I always sent free items with it. I can’t take it to Staples for printing but I do have to take it to them for the binding. They actually do a great job with it, and it really looks nice.

So anyway, that’s where I am now, I may do some more printing today if possible. Do email me or message me if you want to know more. And understand folks, the idea here is to create positive and constructive ways to help a loved one in prison. If you can come up with other ideas, try those too. I’ve hope to create many more creative things because it allows me to find new ways to help moms, girlfriends and wives to help a loved one in prison. So until then…


Entry filed under: girlfriends with boyfriends in prison, God and prison, inmates, jail, LostVault, mothers with sons in prison, prison, prison abuse, prison blogs, prison books, prison cards, prison food, prison jobs, prison mail, prison pen pals, prison support sites, Prison Talk Online, Prisonbid, rehabilitation, son in prison.

#142 Where is God (new) #144 My son is in prison…PRAY (really?)

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