Archive for the ‘Digital Art Resources’ Category

Exciting New Partnerships {ideas & sale too}!

Friday, January 24th, 2014

rikki donovan

Hello all! We’ve been busy around here the past many months with some exciting partnerships and wanted to share the news with you, too.

Many of our long-time followers will remember our partnership with Jasc/Corel that started 11 years ago. I was blessed to write a book for them in 2003, Scrapbooking the Digital Way, as well as license all our CDs for re-sale in their format. This wonderful relationship has been renewed, and we are excited to have a large collection of our art bundled with Corel PaintShop Pro Photo for special promotions. Stay tuned in their newsletter for future announcements.

Some may also know that I worked with Creative Memories in 2006-2007 to help develop their digital product/software division, as Creative Memories’ headquarters is here in St. Cloud. With their recent re-structure I have been able to again work with the co-creators of StoryBook Creator Software, Panstoria, and am selling our art in their shop in their proprietary format. More of our kits will be added weekly.

If Photoshop Elements is a bit overwhelming, give Artisan (their version of StoryBook Creator) a try! I am thrilled to again be a part of the software side of digital scrapbooking (using my technical degree) and look forward to seeing all Artisan will be in the upcoming versions.


melinda vermeer

And, the team has had creative fun mixing patterned papers and geometric shapes. See details and more layouts in our patterns and shapes gallery.

See our current sale in the shop on all purchases, for a limited time.

tonya regular

tonya regular

beth ervin

As always, keep learning and happy creating!

Michelle and team

Get Moody with Somerset Memories {resources}

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

michelle shefveland. mextures iPhone appthis is life 5 scrap.words

We’re excited to share my latest Digital Workshop column in the Fall 2013 issue of Somerset Memories, on newsstands and available for order. In this step-by-step article, I’ll lead you on a journey of creating soulful, moody art pieces, using Adobe Photoshop Elements or your cell phone apps.

Get this issue for a very limited time on Stampington’s site here. For the past nine years I have been a columnist with Stampington and consider it a highlight in my digital art journey.

Also featured is artwork from team members Rachel Shefveland, Beth Ervin, and Melinda Ver Meer. Congrats everyone!

Happy creating,

Michelle and team

It’s that time of year {calendars}!

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Wow, is this year flying by or what? Halloween is just around the corner, and we all know what that means…Christmas decorations are hitting the department store shelves. Like I need reminding that the insanity of the holiday season is about to take over my life! So why don’t we all get a head start on our holiday presents before we’re bombarded by Black Friday ads and we end up buying gifts we know nobody wants in the first place.

Calendars. Everyone wants one, everyone needs one. But why not give the gift of memories as well? Anyone can get a cheap, tacky calendar from the kiosk in the mall filled with impersonal stock photos, or even better, photos of Johnny Depp. I mean who doesn’t love 12 months of Captain Jack Sparrow? I digress…

Combining digital scrapbooking with calendars is the recipe for holiday gift success. And this year, we have 7 new styles in 5 sizes! Every month of the year, your friends and family will flip the calendar to see beautiful photos of loved ones, combined with soft and pretty art that match virtually anyone’s decor.  It will mean so much more than the cake pop maker they will never use, or the red and green striped socks they will probably re-gift anyways. And did I mention it can be done on budget, too!? 4×6 prints go for around 20 cents a piece, and even if you go bigger, it still won’t cost you as much as the calendars you buy in the store. Also, if you print at a local printer, you won’t need to pay for shipping!

Handmade is the way to go when it comes to gift giving, ask anyone and they’ll tell you the gifts they’ve received (or given) that they remember most, are the ones that came from the heart and were handcrafted by someone they love. Check out our various styles of calendars in the shop, there’s sure to be something there for everyone on your list, even the pirate lovers ;)

Happy gift making!

Rachel & Team

Creative Borders {ideas}

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Ever make a scrapbook page and say, “there is something missing here, but I have no idea what?” Well it could be missing a border, or at least for me that’s often the case. Something that forms a decorative edge on your layout, giving it a balanced feel…something that draws your eye into the story of the page. You don’t have to use actual borders; you can use just about anything in your digital stash! With the new products in the shop this week, you can make a variety of unique borders for your art. Check out these simple ideas!!

rachel shefveland

Stack two papers on top of each other, with two edges of the bottom paper sticking out from beneath the top. Give the top paper a custom drop shadow to make it look realistic. This will give the scrapbook page a composition that draws the eye back towards the main focus of the page, instead of drifting off the side.

michelle shefveland

Lay the edge of a paper with complementary colors over one side of your layout like Michelle does below. It will look almost like a ribbon, and you don’t even have to add a drop shadow! But it doesn’t end there: On the same page, she also uses the bottom of a frame cluster from Scrap.Frames 28 as a border at the top. The two custom borders work beautifully to bring everything together as a cohesive layout.

michelle shefveland

You can do the same thing as above, but with all 4 sides of the paper showing, giving the layout a full border that keeps everything nicely balanced.

rachel shefveland

Use the edges of our Scrap.Journals for a chunkier border to fill a large space. This one includes a little word art, which gives it a double use – score!! Be creative and layer elements to get even more unique effects!

michelle shefveland

Below, Tonya creatively uses stitching and mini accents to make two opposing side borders, and an embellished ribbon to balance her travel journal page. So eye catching!

tonya regular. supplies

tonya regular. supplies

Enjoy more inspiration with these new product layouts and those in our creative team gallery! – Rachel & team

rachel shefveland

michelle shefveland

tonya regular

karen wilhelm

beth ervin

Announcing our 3rd Online Class at Digital Scrapper – BONUS ends Friday!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Hi all…lots to share today! We’re excited to announce our third digital art class with Adobe training experts, Digital Scrapper: ClickArtistry – Photo Art Blends. Rachel is co-teaching with me and Kris played a technical role in video production and testing. A family labor of love for the past few months!

In the old days, creating a Polaroid transfer was cumbersome and involved messy chemicals and hit or miss luck.

But all that has changed with the digital age.

In this exciting class, we will lead you step-by-step in 10 Lessons (and 4 videos) through the process of creating unique fine art pieces out of your own photography, using our new, innovative techniques and digital art tools… without the mess, chemicals, and expense!

To Make Great Art You Need The Right Tools!

WE have included a one-of-a-kind designer art/digital tool collection that will guide you in making beautiful art with your images. It includes all-new art:

  • 18 innovative Photo Art Blends (5 styles in varying sizes)
  • 10 different Photo Transfer Edge Frames
  • 8 artistic Word Art Overlays with inspiring quotes
  • 12 custom Gradients
  • 18 Designer Textures in 3 sizes each (8×10, 12×12, and 12×18 – 56 total)

Get Inspired!

In this class you’ll have access to many examples of gorgeous photo art blends to get your creative juices flowing.

In addition, We also offer special printing tips and ideas for DIY display projects.

Here Are Just Some Of The Specific “Gems”

You’ll Discover In This Unique Class of 10 Lessons (along with 4 videos):

  • Add light leaks to your photography. It’s all the rage, and it’s very easy to do with our custom gradients!
  • Edit your photos in 3 different trendy styles: moody, vintage, and retro to use in your digital artwork and scrapbooking
  • Blend our art textures with your images for spectacular results. (Includes cool bokeh textures!)
  • Add the perfect sentiment to your photo by choosing from our word art collection.
  • Apply custom artistic edges to your photos with our frame collection. This transformation takes seconds, but it will look like you slaved over it!
  • Use our designer art to enhance traditional digital scrapbooking so that your pages stand out like a neon sign in the gallery!
  • Display your amazing new art as home decor, and create unique DIY gifts.
  • Plus you’ll be inspired by our Pinterest boards that relate to the class lessons. (You’ll get tons of ideas from this alone.)
Important Note: for those who have any of our earlier Photo Art Blends, you will be happy to know the Photo Art Blends included are all new, involving different techniques. Combined with the textures, photo transfer frames, gradients, word art, and retro photo editing tutorials, this class shares Michelle’s never-seen-before creative process from start to finish.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. This class is hosted at Digital Scrapper, not Cottage Arts. But you do NOT have to be a premier member of Digital Scrapper to sign-up for classes at Digital Scrapper.
  2. You will need to have a separate log-in for their site, as your Cottage Arts log-in does not transfer to their site.
  3. The class is self-paced with forever access. However, Rachel and I will only be in the class forum (for seven days) for this first introductory offering as part of the Bonus offering. We can be reached at any time in the future for feedback or to answer questions.
  4. Bonus art will be e-mailed separately when the class begins.

Contact us with any other questions.

Learn more about the class and Early Bird Bonus at Digital Scrapper!

P.S. This class is Self-Paced and you will always have forever access to it, but the bonuses go away on Friday, September 20, 2013 at midnight Eastern time. See Digital Scrapper owner Linda Sattgast’s testimonial, along with past students’ comments, on the Class Information Page on their site.

P.P.S. Check out our Pop Art Posters and Soulful Silhouettes forever access classes on their site, too! You can always contact us via the online classroom at any time with questions.

Happy creating!

Guest Photo Blend Tutorial at Somerset Place

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

michelle shefveland. photo art blends 5, botanical banners, butterfly danglies, say it again 2 scrap.words

I recently had the wonderful opportunity of working with my friends at Stampington on a guest tutorial for their blog. Since they have many paper and traditional artists we wanted to share a fun digital tutorial that wasn’t intimidating for those new to digital art. You can find it on their beautiful blog here (with a special coupon code to our shop, too).

Look for my upcoming Digital Workshop article in their Fall 2012 Somerset Memories issue. I can’t believe it’s already seven years as a columnist for them!

Enjoy! Michelle

How Big Can you Print {get it printed no.19}

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

scrap.frames 24, photo art blends 4, this is life 6 scrap.words

Hi all! Just ran across this great resource for all of us wondering how big we can print our digital photos. The post focuses on iPhone images, but pertains to all photos from all digital cameras.

LifeInLofi is an informative photography blog, and this post in particular offers helpful tips on upsizing your photos with cell phone apps, Photoshop, or other software.

Check out their blog post here!

Note: photo above taken with 8 MP MyTouch 4G cell phone camera. Edited with Photoshop using two different photo art blends from set 4…one with colored bokeh and one with texture.

Happy printing!


DIY Photo Transfer Tile & Memory Box {get it printed no.18}

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

michelle shefveland. simply love papers, elements & sentiments

Let’s make some photo transfer art.

With scanners and digital cameras now commonplace, producing eye-catching personalized art with inkjet printers and specialty papers is just a click away. Making jewelry with photos from your personal library or ready-made vintage collage images is both beautiful and satisfying. The list is endless on what you can create with these powerful tools as your aid: scrapbook pages, memory art tiles (as shown above and below), jewelry, wall art, decorative ornaments, and so much more.

It used to be that to get a great photo transfer you had to go to your local copy center to get a toner color copy made of your photo, buy special chemicals, and use trial and error burnishing techniques. However, quality inkjet transfer papers of many variations are becoming prevalent and easy to find at craft retailers, producing quality results. Experimentation may still be necessary to get the preferred result, but with easy access to your home printer, it is convenient and forgiving.

Common types of specialty inkjet papers for crafting are iron-on transfers, decal paper, vellum sheets with adhesive, inkjet transparencies, photo transfer papers, plastic inkjet film, just to name a few. Each product has its own idiosyncrasies, qualities, and instructions, however, most function in the same way: prepare images for printing in image editing software, arrange in a print layout, print onto the specialty papers, and adhere to the intended surface. In general they produce the same end result: a semi-transparent image adhered to a specific media.

Below I’ll take you step-by-step in creating a photo transfer memory box with Adobe Photoshop Elements and Lazertran Decal Inkjet Paper, using photos and memorabilia of my grandparents. The art tile above follows similar steps.

michelle shefveland

Lazertran does not need to be sprayed with a cover coat like other inkjet waterslide decals; the ink become waterproof after 30 minutes allowing the decal to be put in water without the colors washing away. It is an eggshell white decal that can be made clear by the application of any oil-based varnish, such as polyurethane.

Supplies/Tools for Photo Memory Box:


Open Adobe Photoshop Elements

Open the images by choosing File, Open and browse your system for the photos and/or memorabilia you want to open. Select each file and click Open. We opened six different images including a scanned war ration certificate.

Choose File, Print Multiple Photos and, from the Select Type of Print list, choose Picture Package.

Choose a layout like Letter (8) 2×2.5. Drag and drop the images into the boxes on the page. Duplicate some, if desired, to fill the page and reduce waste.

Set Print Settings using Plain Paper type and Draft quality, so as not to apply too much ink.

Print the image onto the creamy side of the decal paper. Leave to dry for the recommended time.

Prepare gift box or paper mache box by painting one or two coats of antique white craft paint.

Let dry. With a cotton rag, wipe antiquing medium across the box and quickly wipe off with a damp clean rag, giving an aged patina. Allow to dry.

Using scissors or paper trimmer, carefully cut around the edge of the images on the decal paper.

Prepare a shallow warm water bath. Immerse the decal in water for approximately 15 seconds until the backing paper lifts away from the decal.

Lift the decal and place it carefully on the box taking care to remove any air bubbles. Flatten the image so it adheres well to the box, wrapping around corners if desired.

Smooth the image gently with a damp rag or sponge. Repeat for all the decals and set aside to dry.

Where the decals overlap, you may need to adhere with a small amount of craft glue.

For a finishing gloss and more durability, you can apply a clear varnish (or Mod Podge, Perfect Paper Adhesive, Diamond Glaze).

Adhere lace and buttons with a hot glue gun.

For the art tile at top, we created a digital collage with Photoshop Elements (or any image editor that supports layers).

michelle shefveland. simply love papers, elements & sentiments

Print it on Lazertran as above, setting the print size equal to the size of your tile (we bought a box of 9 – 4″ unsealed natural stone tiles at Home Depot). Trim and adhere to tile as directed for memory box.

Voila! Instant photo transfer art tile.

Note…these are very delicate, so are for display purposes only.

FYI…Diamond glaze, Perfect Paper Adhesive, and Glue Dots (for dimensional embellishments) are durable adhesives to consider using in these projects. In my own experience, finding the right bonding agent for a particular medium is crucial to a successful finished piece. And, as always, taking time to play and experiment without expecting perfection will enhance the creative process.

Happy creating! Michelle

Mixed Media Art Quilt {plus a freebie/sale!}

Friday, April 6th, 2012

michelle shefveland

My latest Digital Workshop Column just hit the newsstands in the Spring 2012 issue of the fabulous Somerset Memories Magazine, led by editor Jana Holstein.

It’s a new twist on my tutorials, as I teach how to make a mixed media art quilt using digital art, muslin, and an inkjet printer! Oodles of step shots help walk you through this creative endeavor.

The project is made less daunting with the FREE 8×8 Butterfly Wings quick page below. Just add your own photo, journaling, and print as instructed in the article. You can do it! The quick page makes beautiful wall art as is, too!

Download FREE 8×8 quick page here (image below is not linked)

FYI…the quick page was made with papers and elements from our Butterfly Wings 5 Pak Pak (on sale thru Sunday, April 8th). We sent out our What’s New Newsletter Saturday morning with sale and coupon code details. Free newsletter sign-up here.

Order the magazine here, or purchase at most newsstands.

Happy creating!


{online workshop} Toy Camera with Photoshop

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Hi all! Stopping in quick for an important announcement. Fellow artist, author and instructor (plus beautiful soul), Susan Tuttle, is teaching a highly creative online workshop: Toy Camera Effects with Adobe Photoshop Elements. It is guaranteed to get your digital art creative juices overflowing!

See her inspiring iphoneography article in the Spring 2012 Somerset Digital Studio {on newsstands}. Note: my Software Comparison article continues to be updated for this inspiring issue and falls as a resource in the back of the book.

Here’s all you need to know about the class:

Format: stepped-out instructions, screenshots and video tutorials (clear video of the projects being carried out on)

The class is not given in a live format, so you can sign in and work on the projects at any time that is convenient for you during the duration of the workshop.the screen, with audio)

Software: The projects are taught with Photoshop Elements 9.0 (PSE 9.0) — earlier versions of the program and the most recent 10.0 will work just fine, as the tools and functions used in the projects are the classic, tried-and-true ones. I provide supplemental written instructions for Photoshop/CS versions. If you have an earlier version of Elements or a Photoshop/Photoshop CS version, your screen will look different from my screenshots, but you will be able to carry out the projects in your program if you have a basic knowledge of your program’s tools and functions and are able to navigate your program with ease. Note: You can get a free 30 day trial of the latest version of Photoshop Elements on Adobe’s site.

Length of Workshop: 4 weeks (plus an additional 2 weeks of comp time to access the site if you need it)

Cost: $129

Workshop Dates: March 1 – March 29, 2012  The workshop site will open Thursday, March 1st. at 9 A.M. EST.

Level: This course is designed for both beginners (who have a basic understanding of the tools and functions of Photoshop Elements and/or Photoshop/CS) and the more seasoned folks who wish to learn how to digitally replicate toy camera and film processing effects.

She’ll also be giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to our shop to enhance your digital artwork and photography!

Register HERE on her site!

Happy learning! Michelle

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