Dec 17, 2010

One Week!

Holy Moly! Only one week until Christmas? Seriously? Who is playing with my calendar and making the days go faster? Are you running around as crazy as I am? Or are you the organized, prepared, got it all done early, make me sick but love you anyway type? Just when I think I'm doing okay checking things off of my list, time speeds up in some kind of Christmas black hole time warp thing and I'm behind again! Well, at least the shopping is done. Presents are waiting to be wrapped. Decorations are ALL finally up. Christmas letter is written and the front of the card is below - those are printed and waiting to be cut, scored, and folded. Stamps are bought but still need more red envelopes. Then, it's just baking and grocery shopping. Oh, and a trip to Disneyland is getting squeezed in there somewhere.

Well, it's the best kind of busy, getting ready for Christmas. Though it is tough this year in many ways, my first without my parents, it is still cheering me up in many other ways and helping me remember lots of lovely Christmases with my family in years past.

Love is the Greatest Gift of All

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 12/17/10. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: body from; hat from Finecrafted Designs at; hearts from Holliewood Studios at; sparkles from Nicole Young at; everything else is from my images at

I am actually working on a hand cut piece in between everything else. I haven't made a hand cut piece in months and it is challenging to switch gears and think more gesturally than mechanically as I have been so engulfed in digital images. Hope to get it done and posted next week.

Johnny Depp dear, please don't read this. My excitement for today entailed getting my 40something face waxed. Not just my brows but my whole face! I don't trust my aging eyes to pluck all that might need to be plucked. It's hard to do with glasses on and hard to do without. Well, I had no idea how much your facial hair has to do with how you feel in your face. Not feel your face but feel WITH your face - if I touch it, it feels like someone else's face, kinda numb. It is the oddest feeling. I might risk the sasquatch look or as my hair grays, the Santa look my husband has become accustomed to and skip the whole face procedure next time. Might just keep the brows from taking over my forehead from now on. Oh well, the Christmas company will have a prettier less hairy but slightly numb face to greet this year. TMI? Well for that . . .

How about a Christmas prize drawing? I was thinking that would be a good way to celebrate all of my loyal and supportive friends and customers and what they have given ME this year. Don't post yet to enter the drawing, but be sure to watch this week for a collage sheet drawing and a print drawing in the next couple of days!

Until then, have a great and joyous weekend!

Dec 10, 2010

Welcome to my Little Freak Show

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 12/10/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: body and ticket border from my friend Nancy's Crowabout Studio B at; wings from; face, hat, curtains, floor, and everything else from my own stash of images, many available at

(click on the picture for Flickr's better resolution)

Feeling better today. I think I just needed to tuck myself away (as much as possible) and make some art. It was a bit difficult to make the last two pieces. I'm rather rusty which shows me I need to exercise the muses more. Making art is my most favorite part of life and I need it like sleep and water and I deprive myself of it way too often.

Thank you so much for your kind words in the post comments.
I get a little teary eyed reading through the love you all send me. If only you knew how much I loved you right back.

I am keeping the shop closed just a tiny bit longer until I feel a little more refreshed. Have some art I want to make still and Christmas stuff to do. Teaching kids' art this afternoon.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! Don't let the humbugs get you down!

Dec 9, 2010

Small me . . .

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 12/8/2010. All rights reserved.
Image credits: Everything is mine from except for "Le Petit Journal" and a portion of the background which come from

I had something entirely different planned for a post today, but . . . I am feeling rather worn down today. I seem to be attracting negative energy lately - lots of heavy stuff going on around me personally and professionally, so many people with problems and puzzling attitudes. Including me probably. Taking the day off from the world . . .


Dec 8, 2010

New post coming . .

I'm still here! Long overdue for a new post. I have lots of new sheets done, a print sale in my Etsy, and other news but wanted to make some art before I put up a new post. Maybe later tonight. Hope all of you are well and enjoying the Holiday Season!

Nov 29, 2010

We don't like to talk about it . . .

. . . but every now and then it's good to have a discussion about copyright. I know I learn a lot every time it comes up somewhere.

Recently I had a customer question the legality of some sheets I was selling in my Etsy shop. In fact, I was accused of theft. The sheets in question used parts of masterpiece paintings. The customer brought up a good point and one that I supported until several months ago. She questioned the legality of selling images taken from photographs of masterpiece paintings. I, too, once thought that if you scan or photograph something in the public domain, you own the rights to the scan or photograph. Art museums thought and some still think the same thing and not surprisingly so - they want to profit from the artworks that they exhibit. Therein lies the crux of the situation . . . is it fair for artworks in the public domain be available only to the museums that house them?

There have been several court cases in which that thinking has been challenged. The most well known case, and a kind of standard for the United States copyright discussion, was the Bridgeman Art Library vs. Corel Corp. case. It seems that Corel was using and or selling images from artwork kept at the Bridgeman Art Library and Bridgeman sued Corel for copyright infringement. The case was dismissed, on two occasions, because the court decided there is no real "spark of creativity" or originality in simply photographing a two dimensional artwork already in the public domain. In other words, the Mona Lisa is in the public domain. Taking a picture of it, no matter what skill was required to do so, does not create an entirely new artwork - it is a reproduction of a work already existing in the public domain and would not differ much from any other photograph taken of the Mona Lisa. The "spark of creativity" was Da Vinci's back when he created the Mona Lisa and that is no longer protected by copyright.

So, like many, I used to think unless you went to the Louvre and took a picture of the Mona Lisa yourself, you could not use it in your artwork whether it is for sale or not. I have come to the opinion, after a great deal of reading over the last few months, that may not be the case. But, the rules do vary by country. In the United States, it is widely considered acceptable and legal to use a photograph of an accurate reproduction of any original two dimensional artwork that is itself in the public domain.

To be honest, I don't mind being questioned about images I use. I am very meticulous about such things myself and would be happy to reassure anyone that was double checking for their own peace of mind. I do, however, find myself a little rattled by the way in which I was approached about the issue. So, I have decided to pull the collage sheets for now to cleanse the palette, so to speak. Those of you that know me know that I take copyright issues very very seriously and would never want to in any way tarnish my reputation for being less than astute about the legality of the images I use and sell.

The images I created for sale in the Zetti MasterPIECES and MasterPIECES sheets were a combination of scans from old art history books and images available from Wikimedia. Every single one of the Wikimedia images stated the image was in the public domain in their permission statements. While I had never used images from Wikimedia until I created those two sheets, I was satisfied in my research that they were not under any copyright protection and were free to use in the public domain. I combined those images in layers with scans from old books and recolored them in layers and cropped out parts that I wanted to use. Though I strongly feel I was not in any way violating U.S. copyright laws, I decided that if there were any question at all it is better to be safe and over cautious. My main concern was that even though the images would be legal to use in the U.S. and most other countries, there are some countries with laws that differ and I am uncertain how the law would apply to customers using the images in those countries.

If you own the sheets in question, it is certainly up to you whether you'd like to continue using them. If you decide not to, I am more than happy to refund your money for those sheets and ask that you delete them from your files. I will contact each customer that purchased the sheets and direct them to this post. I will continue to use them in my work and you are welcome to do the same if you are satisfied, as I am, that they are not in violation of any copyright infringement.

On a lighter note . . . there are a few new sheets in my Etsy - all taken from papers and tools that I own an completely legal! hee hee

Merry Borders

Merry Backgrounds

Christmas Trims

Gothic Color



And here's a free image for you to use in your own work. Please do not resell as is. It is restored and recolored from one of my antique postcards. I like her warm hat as I sit here shivering in Southern California!


Nov 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving & a surprise!

What was I thinking? I thought I would have so much time to do a cute little post and make all kinds of personal blog visits and wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving personally. But it didn't work out that way. I am so behind and tomorrow is the big day!

So here I am with a bland and anticlimactic post to try and let you know somehow just how thankful I am for each and every one of you. I am! I am thankful for you ALL and your talents and spirits and journeys and joys and strengths and quirks and what make each of you, YOU!

(image from the public domain, 1894 Thanksgiving issue of Harper'sBazaar)

I do have a surprise for you, though, in this simple little post . . . My Etsy will be closed from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon so that I can take care of family and company. But Saturday evening through Monday, there will be some big sales in my Etsy! Several $1 collage sheets and some print sales, too, beginning Saturday evening through Monday night - November 27-29, 2010. Just my little Thanksgiving Customer and Friend Appreciation sale!


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Nov 18, 2010

New Stuff! And an old prize drawing . . .

Hi everybody! I'm trying on a new blog banner for size. It's probably going to change. With things I'm going to see everyday, it's harder to overlook what I don't like and I need to ponder it a bit. It's kind of a draft at the moment.

I wanted to put up some collage sheets I'm just about to list in Etsy. It's been a few days since I made any and I have several more in the works but won't be ready for a week or two. I've linked the ones below to the shop and they'll be listed sometime today. I may not get much more done before Thanskgiving - so much to do!

Bright Side (to counter my Dark Side backgrounds)

Ethereal Rings

Zetti MasterPIECES (2 page set)

Wings (have to think of a better name for this one)

Master PIECES (these and the zetti pieces all come from masterpieces, mostly from the Renaissance or earlier, altered and cleaned up a bit)

Old Prize Drawing
Remember way back when I was asking for suggestions for a file sharing service? I clean forgot to do the prize drawing! I remembered because I was trying yet again to find a new and better service yesterday and was referring to all of the suggestions that were offered. Well, I did a highly technical drawing of names - the old "pulled a paper out of the hat" routine and here's the winner . . .

Mary Green of Green Paper blog! Congratulations! You get 2 free collage sheets of your choice. Just email or Etsy convo me with the sheets you'd like. If you haven't visited Mary's blog - hold on to your hat. She has the most beautiful vintage journal pages you will ever find.

I still haven't found anything better than 4Shared for a download service. Most services only allow 10 GB of storage and I already use almost 20 now. And Media Fire looks great but it's really hard to password protect the files if you like to change up the passwords every now and then. So we're stuck with 4Shared awhile longer.

Some Free Images
This first one I ran across the other day and immediately thought of Rip Van Winkle and taking a long nap, which is always good to do after eating a lot of turkey. So this is my twisted Thanksgiving image for you . . . (it's in the public domain so you are free to use however you like)

And since a lot of us are thinking Christmas, thought I'd share these images that sweet
Caitlin O'Conner sent me a long time ago. They are vintage postcards and you may use them in your own work but please don't sell them in collage sheets or as images for artwork.


Nov 15, 2010

I'm aware
Before I get any more emails from concerned customers and friends . . . I'm aware of the frame in the other designers' kit that just came out. It's not my frame, perhaps amazingly similar to my idea, but some ideas are hard to resist replicating as we all know and do. All is good.

But here is something else folks have been asking me about . . .

Buyer Beware
There are designers and shops that sell kits seemingly for altered art and collage work but you can't use their images in work for sale. Sometimes this is because they are reselling images from stock photography/image places (with little alteration) and don't have the right to sell the images for any commercial use - they are not in the public domain. Sometimes it's simply because they don't want you to profit from their work for various reasons. Sometimes you may think you're not going to sell something you make, you think you're just going to trade it, but you never know what you may want to do down the road with that piece you just made. You can use my collage images in artwork for sale, you just can't resell my images in collage sheets or digi kits or the like. None of my images come from stock sites and are either altered from the public domain or from my own vintage ephemera and photograph collection. Don't get stuck! Be sure to check the Terms of Use when purchasing images from other designers and stick to their terms! It's the right thing to do. (There's a list of some of my favorite designers that allow commercial use on the "Resources" tab at the top of my blog.)

On a lighter note . . .
I will proudly share,
the images below were inspired by the work of my friend Mary Haldeman and with her permission. I decided I can share these digital creations since I'm going to do different hand cut pieces for a project we're working on together.


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/15/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: Everything is from my own images, most of which are at


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/13/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: bird is from; hands are from; wings are from; frame is from; crown and some layers were created from papers given to me by Mary Haldeman; everything else is from my own images, most of which are at


Nov 10, 2010

Inspired . . .

This is not polished and I'm not going to share the whole story in this post but wanted to show you some of the work I've been doing for an upcoming project. There are more pieces coming in this series but I may not post them all here.

In January of 2009, still barely learning about collage and how to blog about it, I wrote a post about one of the biggest inspirations I had for turning my life upside down to work on art full time. This was a very important crossroads in my life. I wrote about Mary Haldeman
in the post There's Something About Mary. I had seen her work in the book Artist Trading Card Workshop by Bernie Berlin nearly 18 months before I wrote the post and had searched for more of her work on the internet. She is a semi-private lady and I could not find much out about her. Still, I kept returning to her work over and over. The color and subtlety of her images, among of long list of other things, appealed so deeply to me. When I first wrote about her I was new to collage and hampered by processes and materials. I couldn't make what my mind saw. Though I still struggle with that to some degree, after two years of collecting images and practicing processes I find myself closer to being able to illustrate what her work inspires in my mind's eye.

As fate would have it, after somewhat of a sabbatical, Mary, on her son's urging, googled herself (like we all do from time to time!) and discovered my blog post about her. She reached out and once again my journey was impacted by the generosity of a fellow artist and the serendipity of life. We began emailing each other and learning about each others' journeys and life stories. What an incredible experience to be able to talk with and get to know someone that inspired you so much and in some ways changed your life.

I want to save the rest of the story for an upcoming project. Mary continues to inspire me as a human and an artist and I am so grateful for fate's chance for us to travel part of our journeys together. Parts of the story have confirmed for me yet again that there is a plan for each of our lives and when we are open to it and embrace it, amazing things can happen. When I share the rest of the story I am sure you will be as inspired by Mary as I have been.

For now, you might want to visit her Picture Trail here. The pieces below use papers that Mary shared with me as well. Her papers, a signature part of her work, are luscious sumptuous works of color and texture that truly made all the difference in my exploration of working in her style. Mary is a cut and paste gal (like I am at heart) so it is especially exciting for me to try and work digitally to create my "forgeries" of her work - exploring digital work is important in my work at this point, however temporary it may or may not be. It reflects in these pieces my attempt to borrow Mary's style but make it my own.


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/10/10. All rights reserved.
Digital scene. Image credits: inspired by the work of Mary Haldeman and using some of her papers in the crown, body, and background mixed with my own textures, overlays, and images; black and white border from Crowabout Studio B.


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/4/10. All rights reserved.
Digital scene. Image credits: inspired by the work of Mary Haldeman and using some of her papers in the body and background mixed with my own textures, overlays, and images; keyhole from; hand and black and white borders from Crowabout Studio B.

In other news - I've been a nurse the last week or so. One "child" is sick and one "child" had his wisdom teeth out. It has been a week of appointments, soup making, sheet changing, med bringing, drug store running, forehead feeling FUN around here. I say "child" but they are 17 and 18 and you'd think by now they could fend for themselves a bit. I swear they are worse now than they were when they were little. Boy child did have a particularly rough wisdom tooth extraction - all four impacted and horizontal and needing bone graphs. Today he woke up and his face is turning green from the bruising. They'll survive if I do!

Working on new collage sheets - something a little different should be ready in the next few days.

Oct 26, 2010

Neglecting some things, nurturing others

Most of the balls I usually try to juggle are on the floor right now and only one or two up in the air. It's time to regroup and start over I think. Nothing at all serious, just life junk . . . just your ordinary run of the mill "deal with that, deal with that, do this, do that, go here, go there" stuff that have taken me away from most of my art projects.

Check out these Image Designers!
I did take some time yesterday and today to make some new digital pieces. I got some new images and wanted to share them with you.

Julia of Juila and Company blog and Cemerony on Etsy, has a gorgeous new kit of doll sheets out but I just love everything she makes. She is one of the most generous and kind ladies I have met in a long while and she has helped me figure some things out selling my own sheets. Generous indeed. Julia currently only sells jpg sheets but believe me, they are worth the time to extract if you are a digital artist. She has some very unique images and a style all her own. I've used pieces from her sheets in lots of work since I discovered her, but all three of the collages below have some too. (specifics in the image credits)

Many of you know Freubel but did you know she is selling images now? I about had a tizzy when I discovered it! Yum, yum, yum. Her new shop is here. And this first collage uses some of her images. I just love finding such unique images for for my stash!


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/26/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital scene. Image credits: ladies and pillars are from Freubel at; wings are from; some sparkle and clouds from Finecrafted designs at; some sparkle from Nicole Young at; face in moon is from flickr's picassoswoman; moon from my own images at; portions of the background are from the public domain.


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/25/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital scene. Image credits: face, bodice, wings, and legs from; globe, arms, halos, and background from my own images, many at; stardust from Nicole Young at

Little Pond

Copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/25/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital daydream. Image credits: fairy body, wings, and crown from; most everything else from my images at (some coming soon).

This last piece uses some of my new images I'll have in Etsy soon. I need to restock prints in Etsy and get some new sheets done but it may be a few more days. I have a few little things done but am waiting to upload to the shop until I figure out some new wording and have more sheets ready. But here's a little tease . . .

ange d'étoile

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/25/2010. All rights reserved.
Imagined digitally. Image credits: everything from my images at (some coming soon).

Splendor sheet coming soon to Etsy . . .


Oct 20, 2010

The Mighty Mighty Png Image


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/11/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital journal page. Image credits: words, flowers, and some border pieces from Crowabout Studio B at; body and some border and background pieces from Finecrafted Designs at; eyes from Sherrie JD at; main face and some background texture from my images at; flypaper texture on top.

Inspired by my friend Tracey of Glitterbug Studio's comment to my last post, I thought I'd try and shout from my own little mountaintop how Png images are so misunderstood!

Hand cut and paste folks tell me all the time how they have to use jpg images because they don't work digitally. Helloooooo! Up until a few weeks ago, I worked almost entirely in hand cut work. Png images can absolutely be used by anyone and has so many benefits over jpg images.

So what's the difference between the two you ask? Here's the skinny on png and other images . . . There are three main types of image file formats: png, gif, and jpg. For some reason, everyone has fallen in love with jpg at one time or another but have given png and gif the cold shoulder.

I'm not gonna talk much about gif because I still ignore them and no one I've run across sells gif images. Gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format and from what I understand, are the largest of the three types of files without anything lost in the saving process. They also only support 256 colors. But they are better used in animation projects for reasons I don't yet understand. Mainly, they are not used much by most people we know that are not professional graphics artists and designers because of their huge file size -they aren't easily shared or displayed.

The most popular until recently, jpg files are more portable - trimming the quality and information of an image to a size that is more easily stored and shared. Jpeg is short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the name of the committee that designed the format. The jpg format is designed to compress color and grayscale images. Compress being the key word. From Webopedia . . "The information that is discarded in the compression is information that the human eye cannot detect. JPG images support 16 million colors and are best suited for photographs and complex graphics. The user typically has to compromise on either the quality of the image or the size of the file. JPG does not work well on line drawings, lettering or simple graphics because there is not a lot of the image that can be thrown out in the lossy process, so the image loses clarity and sharpness." Thought it says the changes are not detectable to the eye, they are if you save them over and over. I'm sure you've heard that every time you resave a jpg file you lose quality of the image. It's true! And, jpgs come with a built in white background and have no transparency benefits. It is the smallest of the image formats but the least flexible and over time actually degrades your quality.

Oh, the lovely png format! My favorite! First, let me tell you . . . all of you hand cut and paste that just want to buy an image and print it out . . . you can do that with png! You can simply print it just like any other jpg image or collage sheet you own.
  • You can, if you feel uncontrollably determined, also save a png file as a jpg anytime you like and convert it to jpg permanently but I would urge you to try out the benefits of png first.
  • Png stands for Portable Network Graphics and brings to us the happy medium between Gif and jpg. Not as big as a gif, more flexible and better quality than a jpg
  • Png images never lose any image information so they are not as compressed, and therefore degraded like jpg files. You can save them over and over and not lose any quality.
  • Png files, because they are not compressed like jpg, are larger files but not as large as Gif because png files do not support animation.
  • You do not have to work digitally to use png images but they offer the option to work digitally if someday down the road you choose to.

Why I think png is better for any collage artist, hand cut or digital . . .
Ever since I started working in collage, I didn't like the idea of having to print out a whole sheet of images to get the one or two I really wanted to use over and over. So, I started making my own custom sheets to save on ink and paper. I would crop out the parts of a sheet I wanted, save it as a picture by itself or drag it where I wanted it, and then design, a sheet of images in Microsoft Publisher at the time (now I do it in Photoshop Elements), print it out and went about my work cutting and gluing, etc. Well, with jpg images, the white part always got in the way during that process. I couldn't put a pair of glasses on a face, I couldn't put something behind or "in" a hand or jar, I couldn't place things close to each other because of the white background, etc. The day I discovered png everything changed.
  • No more white background to hide what was underneath, things could be overlapped or placed closer to each other on a sheet allowing for even more saving of paper and ink.
  • And the quality of a png image is better than a jpg! Png images are sharper because they don't compress as much as a jpg when saving. This can make a difference when purchasing collage sheets - designers that create jpg collage sheets from jpg images have already degraded the image before you even buy it. Png sheets from png images retain the sharpness and color of the original image.
I wouldn't be a good girl if I didn't tell you the downside to png.
  • Some browsers, like Internet Explorer, don't support png so if you want to share an artwork on your blog it's best to save finished work as a jpg. Gif's are too large.
  • Png images are larger than jpg and very difficult to email. Even when zipped, they don't lose much size because they won't compress much. That's why most scrap image sites and a lot of other image designers have to send the images you purchase through download links. (but remember you are getting more versatile, higher quality images!)
The poor png is just misunderstood. If you ever want to give them a try, just let me know when ordering from my Etsy that you'd like to try the png. If it doesn't work for you, I'll send the jpg. I can't do that for everyone all the time or I will never finish mailing links and attachments, but I am happy to send you one or two to try if you ask.

Thank you for your input!
Thank you for all of the comments on the previous post. Your input is invaluable! I am continuing to check on file sharing services to find the one that has enough storage for all of my sheets and the best ease of use for customers. I'm going to let the post sit another day or two and then I'll announce a winner drawn from the comments to win some collage sheets.

Specific responses to your suggestions . . .
  • Since I started selling images, I have asked in three different places in each item listed in my Etsy for people to tell me if they prefer png or jpg. 95% of the time no one tells me so I have to take the time to write and ask or take the time to send both. So asking for preferences has not worked.
  • We're all busy. Most of us, including myself, don't always take the time to read everything so asking for preferences or explaining how things are sent most often gets overlooked and unaddressed. I'm guilty of it too.
  • Most people don't realize the limitations of their own email service. There are a million services like AOL, and Yahoo, and Gmail and all the others in the world and most people don't realize the limitations of their account. So, when they don't get their images, they assume it's something I'm doing wrong and not that their box is full or their email service does not allow for certain size files, etc. Because most people assume the problem is on my end, I have to research and solve the problem for them. As a business owner looking for word of mouth recommendations, the customer is always right and you have to make it work for them as best you can.
  • Resolution - lowering the resolution of my images is not an option I want to consider at this time. Most people I sell images to don't just work in ATC size most of the time. Most work in larger or in digital formats, so the higher the resolution the better. The sheets are easily enlarged to work in 5 x 7 or even 8 x 10 journal pages without much loss of quality. I have decreased the resolution from when I used to send separate images in kits, but I look for the largest size I can include, taking into account the amount of images you can get for your $2 or so invested in a single sheet of multiple images.

Are you all snoring? Did you make it through that long post awake and informed? Perhaps willing to try png images? Perhaps ready to slap me?

Have a great Wednesday! I have some exciting Feature posts coming up in the next few days along with new collage sheets so keep an eye out!

For your viewing pleasure
  • My friend Betty of The Gossamer Tearoom has a beautifully delicious Midnight Carnival post for you to visit here!
  • For some of the most beautiful journal pages you'll ever see, visit Kate at The Kathryn Wheel.
  • One of the artists that has most affected my work and inspired me to expand my horizons in recent months has been Trudi of Two Dresses Studio. She is also the creator of The Butterfly Effect project you can see linked in the upper left side of my blog.
  • Her work is always inspiring to me (such rich color and detail), but Terri of Pringle Hill has the most wonderful post on an Envie Journal here!
  • Julia of Julia and Co is going to be one of my blog features coming up soon. She is such a kind and generous person and has some of my most favorite collage images in Etsy. You can take a preview peek here.

Oct 17, 2010

I'm here but I need advice!

I'm stuck in image sending land this week. Lots of problems all the way around for some reason - planets out of alignment I think.

Since listing my new collage sheets a couple of months ago, I've been so lucky to need to send over 500 collage sheets to customers. I'm astonished but so happy and thankful. Everything has gone well until the last couple of weeks and I've hit some snags.

Here's where I need your input . . . (there's a prize involved!)
Almost everyday, after I've taken the time to send jpg sheets as attachments to customers, I get at least one customer (at least one - today I've had two already) with a full mailbox or over their quota limit or their email service has very limited permissible message sizes and everything bounces back and I have to contact them and start over. I truly waste hours and hours and hours a week trying to deliver images. To the point that I've almost thrown the towel in on selling images. I haven't had time to even make more sheets due to all the email issues people have.

So, I had decided to send everything through download links from 4Shared. I thought this was going acceptably well until this last week. It was faster for me, faster for them and all seemed to be fine. But this week, I have had customers totally confused by using 4Shared or didn't have the slightest idea how to unzip and save the image file from there . . . or just plain old didn't want to move away from email attachments.

Do you all have a solution? Do you get really great image delivery from an image seller you want to share? Do you have any input on file sharing services like 4Shared or MediaFire you like or don't like? Leave me some advice and you might win a drawing for a free set of collage sheets! (that I promise will get delivered one way or another! :))

Jpeg images can be attached to emails but some sellers, like me, have very large high resolution sheets and some email accounts can't handle the size of the file. Png images have to be zipped and sent through links. Png images/files are way too big for anyone to email or receive in an email. If you have no way of unzipping, links of any kind won't work for you. Lots of PC software has built in ways of unzipping so be sure you don't have to buy one before you do. There's a free zip file utility called jzip that gets pretty good reviews if you are in need of a way to unzip files.

I know they are not real popular yet with most cut and paste folks, but I prefer png images hands down to jpg images even when working with hand cut and paste pieces. Png files are much more flexible and don't have that jpg white background in the way if you want to print overlapping pieces before you cut them out.

And one more note . . . links are much faster than email attachments. I can send you links to five pages and you can download and unzip them all faster than I can send one jpg attachment. Just sayin' . . .

Oct 10, 2010

Resource Designer List . . .

I promised a resource list of designers that allow you to use their images in art work you sell. Here's the start of one.

Things to remember:
  • Most designers do not allow for their images to be used in "print on demand" services like Zazzle or Cafe Press or the like.
  • And most don't allow you to mass produce things. So, when you're famous and having your art printed 10,000 copies at a time, you won't be able to use anyone's images but your own, without special permission or licenses.
  • And of course, you cannot redistribute their images as is or as part of your own collage sheets.
  • Check your designers' TOU every time you purchase. As I told you in my last post, I was so disappointed to find out my most favorite designer of all, is no longer allowing commercial use of her images. I wouldn't have known had I not asked so I'm glad I asked before I made a new purchase.
  • Be sure to read each designer's Terms of Use carefully and look for updates with every purchase.
These are my favorite designers that don't require additional licenses for commercial use at the present time: (they're all linked to the appropriate shops)
These designers require an additional license fee for commercial use but very much worth the wee bit of extra money:That's all I had time to link up and double check on tonight, but I'll be adding more.

Madame Butterfly

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/8/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital scene. Image credits: two frames on left and both butterflies from and used with commercial license; small door from Lorie Davison of and used with a commercial license. Everything else from my own images, some available at

There are some great new kits from my friend Nancy Baumiller at Crowabout Studio B at I just couldn't resist a little play time tonight and made these digital journal pages.

Supreme Somebody

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/10/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital portrait. Image credits: Everything from either Crowabout Studio B at or my images at

Clean Dream, 100%

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/10/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital Journal Page. Image credits: face, body, dream word, hat from Crowabout Studio B at; swirl from Holliewood Studios at and used with a commercial license; wings, star eye, 100 percent clean words, and some background texture and borders from my own images (some at; flypaper texture; some background texture from Amanda Rockwell.

Here's my latest collage sheet . . . you can see other new sheets on another page, right here on my blog, all linked to my Etsy.

Bottled Up image set

Have a great week everybody!


Oct 7, 2010

Image Information Miscellany

I'm sure not doing a good job of staying on top of my blog lately. Sorry about that. Just a busy couple of weeks. And not the good busy but the chore and appointment busy. I haven't had much time to work on collage sheets either, but I do have a couple in the works.

One important note to make about my collage sheets . . . after my business Yahoo account seemed to not want to let me attach, and after a new gmail email account was set up and my messages kept failing cuz gmail thought I was sending spam . . . I've decided to no longer send jpg sheets as email attachments. I also had trouble on several occasions where the customer's email inbox was too full to accommodate the large jpg file attachments coming in - wasting everyone time. This change shouldn't cause too much trouble for anyone. They'll be sent through download links, just like my png versions. It's really easy and even a little faster once you get the hang of it. I'll be sending easy instructions along with each order how to open the links. Just wanted you to know.

A couple of new pieces . . .


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/6/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: doors and background are from; mirror frame, rat, and crown from Holliewood Studios at and used with a commercial license; chest from Lorie Davison at and used with a commercial license; textures and shadows from a variety of places; picture in mirror, body and face from my own images coming to very soon.

The Audition

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/6/2010. All rights reserved.
Digital collage. Image credits: black and white frame altered from; dance audition sign from purchased stock photography; curtains from Fidlette Designs and used with a commercial license; background from flickr's 'Playingwithbrushes' and layered with my own textures and a wee bit of a background from; face and body from my own images.

This is the first of a series of posts I hope to offer with tips and tricks and useful image information. Hope to give you a helpful post every couple of weeks or so for awhile. Or more often or less often but several over the next few months.

Information about Png images . . .
Many of my customers don't realize the advantages to png sheets and images. Png pictures have a transparent background so that if you want to layer images in any program on your computer, the white background of a jpg image doesn't get in the way. You can print png sheets just like jpg sheets - since the background is transparent, you can't tell the difference between a printed jpg sheet and printed png sheet. The transparency of the png sheet just makes it more flexible to use should you ever want to work digitally. Png images are larger files than jpg images but for most people that is not a problem.

Want to try the digital side of collage?
I would highly recommend Photoshop Elements if you don't have another editing program. It costs less than $100. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Photoshop's Creative Suites, but they have plenty of tools to get started with. Also, you can get the Gimp editing program for free or for a small donation if you want to make sure you're getting a good clean version. Gimp works very similarly to Photoshop Elements and even has some more options PSE doesn't offer. I find PSE a little easier to work with but I do use Gimp frequently.

Information about buying digital images . . .
I love images and not just my own. It's no secret that I use images from lots of sources. I am very careful with copyright and Terms of Use (TOU) as I encourage everyone to be. Respecting TOU policies and copyright will ensure that we all continue to have access to quality images.

One thing to be especially careful of when purchasing images if you sell your work . . . Not everyone allows their images to be used in works for sale. Be sure to check a designer's TOU to see if they allow you to sell items using their images or you could be in copyright infringement.

Some designers allow for commercial use of their images without additional licenses. Some charge a one time fee for that license and some charge a yearly fee for a license.

I was so disappointed tonight to learn one of my most favorite designers ever, Holliewood Studios at is no longer allowing her images to be used commercially. I had purchased commercial licenses in the past from her and am so bummed to have to look for another image source. I will really miss the chance to use any of her future kits.

Since a huge portion of my blog buddies and art friends sell their work, I'm working on putting together a list of designers and sites that allow you to sell work using their images. I'll share that handy dandy resource as soon as I re-check and confirm all the TOU's.

Information about using Flickr images . . .
Again, be sure to check for permission to use any image from Flickr. Most images on Flickr are not available to use in your work so don't ever assume you can. There are free to use groups that offer a great variety of images you have permission to use in your work but even some of them specify you may not sell work using a particular image. If you're not sure, ask the image owner.

I think it is a good policy to always credit the images you use. Most designers require it and if you're using something from a Flickr member, it's just a nice gesture to show your appreciation. It also clears up where you got something should anyone question it. Many vintage pictures were mass produced and it's possible for more than one person to own some of them. But, designers almost always clean up and color and restore the images they sell and would know their work anywhere.

Tomorrow's Friday! Yay! Have a great CREATIVE weekend!