Check Out My Cards, My Art, and My Bro

A  little over a week left.
Sometimes it’s pretty hard to find a gift for the mister in your life when chocolate and roses and ribbons just aren’t his thing.

Tools may not be fitting for this delicate day either. Clothes aren’t really all that special.  Well, I suppose you could do superman underwear or something….

But if that doesn’t do the job of communicating “you are special to me,” what are your options?

We’ve already discussed the masculine cards designed by my sister, and the music of the Massif Trio – both of which are stellar gifts for your special someone.

What would be really cool, though, is something that guys really dig, you know, something that has monetary value, collectable excitement, and even a nod toward nostalgic fuzziness. Isn’t nostalgia the feeling you get when you walk out to the garage, or into the basement, and see those boxes of baseball cards?

Several times recently, I’ve heard people whistfully remember the childhood days of buying and trading sports cards. Or “giving” them away – that’s what my little brother Terry did with our neighborhood friend Dima.  “I’ll give you this card for free if you give me a dollar.” Now that’s salesmanship!

Back to the holiday at hand (which is Valentine’s Day, if you haven’t figured it out yet).

There are three ways this could work – and they are definitely not mutually exclusive.

1. Turn those old cards into $$.

That’s right, with the help of my brother’s awesome company,, you can get your (er, his) cards out within reach of the people who want to buy them – all from the comfort of your living room…and garage.  You send the cards to their Seattle warehouse, they scan them into the website (using Tim’s unique patented technology), you set the prices, and they do the rest – basically. Click here for a simple explanation of how the process works.

2. Buy a card for your special someone.

If you are thinking that this just isn’t for you, I suggest that you take a minute to look around on the site anyway.  There is WAAAAY more there than sports.

You might be picturing Michael Jordan…

Asking price for this one is $6,823.23…maybe not a typical V-day gift. Just think of what’s in those boxes in your garage… 🙂

…or Kirby Puckett

This one is $119.75

With their nearly 4 million cards to choose from, there is something for every price range.

This one is only $29.99
Don Knotts' signature - the back shows part of a check signed by Bill Bixby

3. Purchase a special card to hold the card you buy.

While you’re out there searching for the perfect collectors’ card, keep in mind that you want to have a unique and customized way to give this gift.

You could do this:

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or this:

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But what if you could find a card that was specially designed to go along with the theme of your gift?  Or what if that card could even stand alone as a one-of-a-kind token of your love – practically a collectors’ item on its own!?

Veolia!  I made these with you in mind.

These cards can only be purchased at

A couple years ago, my brother Tim, the founder and CEO of CheckOutMyCards, asked me personally to create some appropriately themed greeting cards to be used as card holders.  His idea was to create a new kind of collectors’ item with each card numbered uniquely.  And thus these cards were created.

Sporting my amateur approach to the technique of pointillism with marker on paper, these cards are each designed to mimic the patterns that are common in sports cards.  The artwork print is attached to the card with pop-up stickies, adding depth to the simple, and hopefully intriguing piece.

Get it?  It’s like an autograph.

I truly had a fun time making these cards.  There is something totally therapeutic about this kind of art for me, and my wish is that you, the giver, and you, the receiver, are enriched and inspired by my splash of creativity.

There he is – my big brother Tim.

He is a computer genius, math whiz, successful entrepreneur, and great friend.

Check out his site.

Check out my cards.

Check out how cool you will be this Valentine’s Day.

By Naomi Bird

Wife of tenor Nathan Bird, pianist, organist, former music therapist, writer, tea-drinker, mom of two mini-sopranos and two mini-tenors, and learner of loving the arts.


    1. Oh is that what that is? And all this time I thought it was a sinus infection!! 🙂 Thanks. I’d say that some of it was oozed onto me by my sister.

    1. Torijinsir,
      Thanks for the question. Are you curious about how I come up with the ideas for the designs, or how I produce them? The ideas come from a combination of things – the layout of baseball cards, the purpose of a greating card, and just wanting to have some really neat sports-themed art. The pointillism thing with markers was something I stumbled across a few years ago. I had studied the technique briefly in some high school art classes, but mostly just played around with it and found it to be a really fun and forgiving medium.
      Let me know if you want more details. I hope you like the cards!

  1. Holy mackerel! Those are awesome!

    You are extremely talented, and your brother’s website is one of the greatest businesses in the history of commerce.

    The type of card you are producing is referred to as a “sketch card” by collectors. In recent years, card manufacturers have been getting artists to make one-of-a-kind original art sketch cards, which are then randomly inserted in packs. They are particularly prevalent in non-sports sets such as Star Wars or Marvel superhero type sets, but they sometimes show up in sports card sets as well. Some of them are quite elaborate and valuable. Some, not so much.

    In addition to pack pulled sketch cards, there are also artist-produced sketch cards not distributed in packs (such as the ones you created). You can see a lot of these being offered for sale on eBay and similar sites ( only deals in pack-pulled sketch cards). In some instances, the cards are produced by professional, well-known artists, either sold to raise some spending money or used as a kind of business card or even traded among the artists themselves. Amateur artists will often use sketch cards to promote their work or simply as another medium of expression.

    Strathmore makes blank sketch cards made of Bristol board. These can usually be found in art supply stores or online. If you’re going to be producing sketches anyway, you might as well put them in handy trading card form. Then they will appeal not just to art collectors but card collectors as well. And who knows? Maybe some day you can create sketch cards that will be distributed in packs and sold on

    1. CheckOutMyDeals,
      Thanks for the kind words – and the information about sketch cards. Tim has tried to impart his knowledge about cards to me, but I’m afraid it takes me a while to figure out the industry! 🙂
      The difference between sketch cards and my cards is that my art is actually pasted onto a folded quarter-sheet sized card, with envelope included. The front art is attached to the front of the card, and the back art is on the back, leaving the inside blank.

      I’ll have to look into getting some of that Bristol board for a next project.
      Best wishes with your card selling!

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