May 24, 2010

Heeeellllllooooooo there!

Oh my goodness . . . do you tire of me promising to get better at blogging? I know. I know. I keep saying how busy I am and how I'm almost on top of it all and will get some visiting done . . . but then stuff happens and I just can't seem to get over the hump. Well, I know I won't for a couple of more weeks - lots of stuff going on, all good, but deadlines, deadlines until the 18th.

I got to make an actual piece of art today . . . for the first time in a long time. I made this skinny for a swap. I used pieces from my kits at and some of Nancy Baumiller's new stuff there in her Crowabout Studio B collection. This one is hand cut and glued, very little digi work, but I did digitally manipulate the skirt of the dress with some of Nancy's yummy new pieces before printing.

Different Epiphany

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/24/2010. All rights reserved. Do not copy, print, download, or use in any way without permission.
All pieces from from Tumble Fish Studio and Crowabout Studio B.

Besides a ton of new vintage images I've purchased lately, I've got more good art in the mail! The first two are envelopes I got from a swap project. And the third piece is a skinny from a swap.

from Cathy Parmelee

from Terri Kahrs

from Hermine Koster

All of my digi kits have now also been converted to jpg collage sheet sets and all of them are now available at - 19 in all and 2 of them are free so be sure to go by and check them out!


May 13, 2010

My adventure into Digital

Hi everybody! I'm truly about to turn a corner I think with "things" and as soon as I get my next big project done in the next few days, I think I can actually get some hand cut pieces done and work in two worlds at once and not feel so behind. New undertakings are always hardest in the start.

Right now, the next big project is me working on putting together jpg collage sheets to parallel my new digital png packs at DeviantScrap. I haven't given up on hand cut work, just laying the foundations for my sideline business and laying foundations always takes more time in the beginning. Converting the png picture kits to collage sheets is taking a great deal of time but I should be done with that in the next few days.

So customers can either buy this digital pack with png images and larger picture files . . .

or soon customers can buy this jpg collage sheet set of the same images . . .

As I've been e-talking with people about collage sheets and digital kits I realize some people have been missing out on using some great images because they were unsure of the format. So wanted to give some information to those that might not know. . .

Digital image kits can be used for hand cut collage work! Don't shy away from png file pictures. Png images just mean the area surrounding the picture is transparent until you put it on top of something.

I'm finding people acquire and prepare their images so differently from one another. Some just purchase collage sheets and print as is. Some, like me, purchase collage sheets and crop out only what I want to make my own project based collage sheets. For hand cut work, I use Microsoft Publisher and drag in a collage sheet, crop out what I want, pull in the next one, crop what I want, etc. - play with sizes and print out my own custom collage sheet so that I'm not wasting images, paper, or ink on things I don't need. I know some people that do this in Picasa and Gimp (which are both free programs to download by the way), text document programs, Paintbrush, and others.

You can do exactly the same thing with png pictures. Just pull them into whatever program you have that you might use to print a flickr picture. Most scrapbooking sites sell kits of png images and those kits are exploding into all kinds of imagery that works well with collage and mixed media work. If you sell your artwork, be sure to follow a designer's Terms of Use, but there are many images out there available! And, the nice thing is, most of the images have been cleaned up, revamped, extracted from their old backgrounds (making cutting out with scissors easier) and are of great sharp quality! You don't have to be a digital artist to use digital kits or png images, so don't deny yourself a huge source of imagery for your work! There are lots of traditional scrapbook sites now offering kits especially for altered art, collage, and mixed media work and I am finding the prices are very reasonable.

As far as learning and creating digital art . . . I am interested in digital mainly to clean up and restore vintage images and make my prep work a little easier for my hand cut work. I still prefer the subtle layers and depth and quirkiness of hand cut collage as far as my own art making goes. I am learning PhotoShop Elements 7 and am actually amazed in what I've learned with just a few video tutorials and even screen shot tutorials. If you're interested, DeviantScrap is offering beginner classes in PhotoShop that I am told would still be worth taking even if you're not working with the full PS version - like me. PS Elements programs do not have all the bells and whistles of PS Creative Suite programs, but for someone just starting out and not wanting to spend much money, the Elements programs are wonderful.

Just a clarification, I had someone ask recently why I wasn't using parts of my own collage pieces in my image kits - that's because what I use in my own hand cut work is not always mine to redistribute. If I purchase an image from another designer and even if I alter it in my work, I can't redistribute the image I bought from them according to most vendor Terms of Use. The images I am offering in my digi packs and collage sheets are all images from my own collection of antique photos, postcards and ephemera.

May 7, 2010

Sneak Peek

I have a new digital Element Pack coming out at DeviantScrap on Monday - Angels. Here are a couple of quick digi pieces I made for samples.

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/7/2010. All rights reserved. Please do not copy, download, print, or use this image in any way without permission.
All pieces except words from my Angels Element Pack at

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/7/2010. All rights reserved. Please do not copy, download, print, or use this image in any way without permission.
All pieces except words and brushes from my Angels Element Pack at

I am learning so much digital stuff my head is spinning - actually making digi art is still a huge challenge for me though. I find it hard to get depth and quirky-ness like I do in hand cut work, but I like practicing and trying things and the immediacy of digi work. It's like making a virtual dream house, click a button and you add a story or hot tub or new kitchen counters! It is quite addicting to play with. But it's so much harder than I thought it would be.

A word about png images and the new trend in collage images . . . you will find my image packs at DeviantScrap and now a growing number of other image vendors is to use png files. Png files have a transparent background so they can be used by either digital or hand cut collage artists. I'm finding that many old school hand cut collage artists don't know how to use png images so I am strongly considering offering image collections in jpg collage sheets as well. I'll keep you posted on that. However, wanted you to know that you can "build your own" collage sheets by placing all the png files you want on any type of working desktop you have. I still use Microsoft Publisher, as I did from the beginning with jpg images, to build my own sheets so I don't have to print out a bunch of stuff I don't want. You can place png files in your workspace just like any other individual image. If you're wanting to try digital, I've been finding PhotoShop Elements 7 as low as $35 right now. PSE 8 is out and the price on 7 has really dropped. It's all I have, I don't have the full big Creative Suite addition of PhotoShop yet. If you do take the leap, Deviant Scrap has lots of tutorials on how to do things in PhotoShop and there are thousand of tutorials on the web.

I am still buried in work trying to get up to speed on everything at the shoppe and the other projects on my plate. This concerns me greatly - I hate always feeling behind. It is like nails on a chalkboard uncomfortable for me. While I am loving making these digital packs, I am questioning how long I can keep up the pace for the business end of it. I had no idea how much work was involved when I started this endeavor. This blog has always been about my journey and it's always been honest and well, that's what I'm feeling at the moment - overwhelmed. You never know how hard it is to do something until you try it. But I also know that you learn a lot from those experiences.