Tuesday, August 30, 2016

An Explanation & Solution

It's not easy to admit when I've messed up big time, but I have! You may have noticed that Studio on the Corner Etsy shop is on vacation. It's not really a vacation, but I had no choice but to close the virtual door until I fix a problem a watchful customer found.

Creating in 300 dpi/ppi is all-important for making every image in every kit a high-quality printable. That has always been my standard & will continue to be going forward. Now, Etsy has a file size limit of 20 MB.  If a folder larger than 20 MB is uploaded, it will not be accepted. Often times, individual  papers become HUGE files into the 30s & higher. One paper would not fit in a folder according to Etsy limits. In an attempt to keep the file size within Etsy parameters, I used the save for web option. What I didn't do was check to see if the dpi/ppi had changed...it did indeed. Almost every image I created in 2016 is of lesser quality or 72 dpi/ppi.  For the web 72 dpi is fantastic, for printing... not so much.

After getting over the shock that I'd spent 8 months listing 72 dpi images & kits I closed Studio on the Corner to straighten out the mess. The only thing to do was to check every listing on the site, remove or deactivate the problematic ones, fix them or toss them.

There is a silver lining to this frustrating problem, it's made me check my listings with a fine-tooth comb & fix problems. Also, I've come to realize that I lack a true-north focus that is in keeping with my original plans for Studio on the Corner.  I've used three words to describe my shop: VINTAGE   TIME-WORN   WELL-LOVED & don't forget my tagline that I don't use like I should:  Putting YESTERDAY on the page. I've strayed away from this focus & into a hodgepodge of styles. While drawing & creating from scratch has become a wonderful way to express myself, that was never my intention with Studio on the Corner.

I'm going back to my shop roots...the place that I love so much that I prefer to surround myself with vintage, time-worn, well-loved, yes...antique & old things from ephemera to furniture to simple things like a jar full of buttons. There will be fewer listings on Studio on the Corner for now, but I guarantee what you see will be more focused.

Future Plans
Sometime in the future I hope to open a second shop that is just my own clipart. It won't be any time soon as I really want to concentrate all my efforts on Studio on the Corner. Paying homage to wonderful images from the past that were born in books, newspapers, post cards, photographs, writings, etc & turning them into something different & usable today is where I am. Look for more grunge, aged, steampunk, & delightful images that have stood the test of time in future listings.

The Studio on the Corner will reopen SEPTEMBER 1st.  As I said, there will be fewer listings & some that have been in the shop will be gone for now. October 6th will see Scraps, the Studio on the Corner Newsletter come alive again. Freebies, which may at times include my own clipart will be offered through Scraps. If you'd like to receive freebies & more, just subscribe. You'll find the subscription button in the right sidebar.

Thanks dear friends for reading & understanding my shortcomings.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Of Water, Family & the Kindness of Neighbors

Just when you think life is going to settle down something happens. This summer has been so darn busy with the little man's involvements with theater & STEM camp. Then came a wonderful visit from my sister & brother-in-law from Montana. My son & daughter-in-law arrived on Friday. Waking up early Saturday morning with all my children under one roof brought so much contentment that I shed a tear or three. On Monday morning & excuse my salty language, all hell broke loose! At first it was just low pressure, then it was a trickle until with a swoosh some kind of nasty, gray-oozey stuff came out of the kitchen faucet! Then....nothing. No water dripped from any of the faucets. Uh oh!

Let me say this...never have I had more appreciation for those hard-working folks born before indoor plumbing than I do now. Living without water is not an option, it's a must have.  So we gathered & talked...talked some more with water professionals.  Yep, the well has truly run dry. A new well will be drilled, new pipes will once again give us free flowing H2O, but until then it's going to be somewhat of a chore.  Laundromat here I come!  Don't be surprised if I come knocking on your door with a soap on a rope around my neck, a towel in one hand & shower caddy in the other.
UPDATE: I started this blog a couple days ago & am happy to report that a gracious neighbor is allowing us to tap into their water source via hoses that stretch from their outdoor spigot to ours. It's an amazing feat of water olympics! We have running water all through the house with enough pressure to put us in awe of the wonders of nature.  It's so good to have running water while we wait on a list for our well to be drilled.

Beyond the water situation, life must continue to be as normal as possible.  The 100 sale in Studio on the Corner Etsy shop has come & gone. And a new listing is up. Beautiful fall tags are ready for you to use any way you wish.
Six tags as individual PNG tags & one sheet with all six make up the time-worn, grunged package of Autumn Tags.

I'm going to digress a bit....by the fates my son & his wife, who live in Colorado, were here during this water emergency.  They both jumped in & helped lessening the load for the rest of us. Digging a 4 feet hole, removing cement, & using his highly honed skills as an electrician was such a blessing. Ton Saturday they flew home & I miss them so much. With hands pressed together I thank the powers that be for loving, caring family & friends who opened their doors for showers, water, & a shoulder to cry on, & generous neighbors who help without one iota of concern.  Each of you possesses a grace that is too often rare these days & renews my belief in an oft-times not-so-nice world.

Thanks for letting me vent a bit about the current situation in my corner of the world.  Until next time...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

It's All About Hyacinthe!

A month or so ago I designed some gift tags after drawing an adorable hippotamus I named Hyacinthe. As she grew characteristics became evident, she loves the color pink, ballet, flowers & her best bud Lavender Ladybug. Now she's a whole digital package of clipart & sitting pretty in Studio on the Corner Etsy shop. So much time & love has gone into her creation that putting my baby into the world is a bit scary, but she is ready to fly.

The palette is soft, gentle pinks, moss green, & cream. There are flowers, borders, butterflies, & 2 Hyacinthes...one in a tou-tou.

Hyacinth is also special because she's the 100th item that's been added to the Studio on the Corner & it's time to celebrate with you! Let's have a 100 Sale! 
Friday, August 12
Saturday, August 13
Sunday, August 14
Monday, August 15

50% off Everything in Studio on the Corner

Coupon Code: 100sale

That's all the shameless promotion for today. Thank you, my friends, for sticking with me. Have a wonderful day! 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Back 2 School & Sales

Good Monday to you! Last week was just crazy, but meeting some interesting people from around the country was such fun. The weather? Not so much...sitting in 90 degree sunshine with the humidity at 82% is just plain sweat-provoking tedious. Yep, once again the garage & yard were opened to the public for the 127 World's Longest Yard Sale. Two friends filled tables with all kinds of items from a beautiful duvet to old ephemera. Me? Well not much to sell, but I sure found some treasures like a pair of white, vintage 1960s gloves, a blue sponge ware chamber pot, & wonderful, beautiful old ephemera. Deep sigh for the generosity of dear friends.

With all the busy of last week I was not able to be a part of the Digital Designers Team Blog Hop. I do apologize, but I just couldn't make it happen. The package created with good intentions is now available in Studio on the Corner Etsy Shop.

The clipart package includes 7 papers, Ollie Owl & Benjamin Bookworm along with traditional school icons like pencils, eraser, & an apple for teacher. Plenty of options come with Benjamin & Ollie's Back 2 School clipart package the papers are JPGs & the images PNG (no background). Just add your imagination. Ollie & Benjamin want you to know this kit would be super cool for bulletin boards, create awesome certificates of achievement, decorate your website page, or use for digital scrapbooking.   

I'm about to add the 100th item to Studio on the Corner & I want to celebrate with you by having a sale. Once I add the all-important item, Hyacinthe Hippo, the details will be posted here, on Facebook, I'll tweet it, & share it on Instagram.  You just can't miss it!  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter

Thus began the writing career of one of the most beloved children's author & illustrator, Beatrix Potter. Her soft, gentle illustrations of naughty rabbits, bad mice, a charming hedgehog named Mrs. Tiggy Winkle 

& so many more drew me into her world where I have remained for all these years. I admire her tenacity in an age when the expectation of women consisted of marriage, home, & children.  She bucked the system & did what she wanted to do throughout her life.  Her illustrations, along with Kate Greenaway, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite & Tasha Tudor, are my favorites. Oh to draw & paint as they did.

Stacked on a bookshelf in the living room are the books that introduced my daughter & son to the Tales of Peter of Rabbit, The Tale of Two Bad Mice & my favorite where an ailing tailor laments, 
"No more twist." 

Over the years I've gathered special edition books celebrating the 100th anniversary, books on Beatrix Potter, & movies about the author. Prints, stuffed characters, & a music box decorated my children's rooms. Her sweet drawings will always make me smile & take me to a wonderful land of talking animals who have the simplest of adventures, but never fail to enchant. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday Thrills

I am thrilled that my sister & brother-in-law arrived from Montana yesterday.  What a joy it is to be able to start the morning with a good cup of coffee & chatting away with my sister who is just across the table, instead of a thousand miles away.  I treasure these simple mornings when those I love are near.

I just have to tell you... a clip art package is about to spring on Studio on the Corner Etsy shop & I'm thrilled to share Hyacinthe Hippo with the world. While working on her, she's emerged from the gift tag to become a lovely character.

She's adorable & altogether girlie! Her dream is to become a ballerina & pink is her favorite color.  Her very best friend is Lavender, a ladybug who is almost always close by.

This is a clipart kit for creating all kinds of wonderful things like greeting cards & stationery. You could do a whole party theme using the various flowers, garlands, ladybug & of course, Hyacinthe.  Think invitations, banners, cupcake wrappers, toppers, place cards, labels, tags, et al. She also comes sans tou-tou. Six papers are included in the kit. So much fun! Yes this kit will be for personal & small business use. 

While my sister is visiting, SotC shop & blog will be a bit slower.  In fact the next few weeks are full of activity that goes beyond the digital world, so things may be a bit scarce, but when September steps onto the stage, SotC will be ramping it up for fall, Halloween, & the wonderful holidays to come.  

So take some time to sip tea with a friend & . . . 


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Inchie Tutorial

It's Saturday! I promised a tutorial & a tutorial you shall have. The best part is it will remain as a link to this page on the Just for You page. So, if you don't have time now you can give it a whirl in January  when it's cold & there's nothing to do.

I would say this tutorial is for anyone who has a basic knowledge of Photoshop Elements or some other program that supports layers. Don't have Elements? You can download a free 30 day trial, just click on the following link: Adobe Photoshop Elements Free trial

Next you need to download four charming images. We'll use one in the tutorial & the rest are for you to use for more buttons/inchies/flairs or use in some other project.

Go ahead & download the 4 Nature Kids as a freebie from me to you, even if you're not going to try the tutorial. Here's the link: 4 Nature Kids

It's time to open Elements & unzip the image folder.  Open the Strawberry image in PSE.


From top menu:  File > New > Blank File

In dialog box type:

  • Name: Inchie Template
  • Width: 1.5 inches
  • Height: 1.5 inches
  • Resolution: 300
  • Background: White
  • Click OK

You'll need to change the color in your bottom color picker. I'm using a middle toned teal with the Hex Code: #56aea9

When the dialog box pops up, type in the suggested color HEX code or select a color.
Click OK


From the tool menu bar on the side select the Shape > Ellipse Tool

Make sure foreground color is showing in color box
Choose Fixed Size from drop down menu
Type in W: 1 in  H: 1 in (ignore the 1.5 in in photo above)
You can check From Center, if you wish
Click anywhere inside the file you created & an exact one-inch circle is drawn for you.
Click Simplify

Center the round by Clicking on SELECT from the top menu bar
Click on ALL
Click on the MOVE TOOL which brings up options including ALIGN Click on Center & Middle
When you're finished deselect the circle by hitting command + d on a Mac or control + d on a PC

Now let's put the strawberry girl on the circle

Open the Photo Bin & place the strawberry girl by clicking & dragging the image on to the circle. Release & now we need to resize her so she fits.

Grab one of the boxes in the corners & pull inward until your strawberry girl has a similar placement as the photo below.

You can center our little strawberry girl in the same way as you did the teal circle.



Create a new layer by clicking on the icon on the right side of the workspace

Give this layer a name by double clicking on the word "layer". Let's call it Highlight.

Select the Elliptical Marquee tool from the tool bar on the side.

Make sure the highlight layer is selected in the panel bin

Click on the image & create a small oval similar to the one in the photo below.

Fill the oval with white by clicking on Edit > Fill Selection
When the dialog box opens select White from the drop down menu & click OK

Now we're going to soften the oval into a small highlight.
Make sure the oval is NOT selected. Deselect by hitting command + d on a Mac or control + d on a PC. 
From the top menu bar choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian
When the dialog box opens you can select how much blur to give the oval highlight

I chose 20%. You can either move the slider with your mouse or type in a number. Play with the amount of blur until you're satisfied with how it looks. Click OK

Burn Edge
It's time to give our inch a little more definition.

Select the teal circle by holding down the command or control & clicking on the Shape 1 layer. Now the burn that we're going to give will it will be confined within the circle.

From the tool bar select the BURN TOOL.
In Options:
Range: Midtones
Brush: Soft 35
Exposure: 50%

Place the crosshairs of the brush on the marching ants line going around the circle & while holding down the left click button on your mouse carefully burn the edge of the circle.

Burn the right side edge again by beginning in the center off the circle & coming onto it so the first bit is narrower.  End in the same way, by gradually brushing off the image.

Enlarge your brush just a bit by clicking on the right bracket key. Instead of a continuous brushing, just click inside the line randomly until the inchie has the look you want.  Do not get carried away with burning. You want to add a 3-d look but not make it too harsh.

You're almost done! Let's duplicate the image right now.
File > Duplicate > Give file a name > OK

Let's finish up the Strawberry  Girl file by getting rid of the white background. Click on background layer & delete it by clicking on the trash can in the corner.

Next merge all layers before saving. Layer > Merge Visible

It's time to save your inchie as a PNG. Quick tip: PNG = no background so you can place the inchie  on top of another image like a paper or greeting card & all you see is the niche without a white square around it.

In Dialog Box:
Where: Choose a location to save your image to
Format: Choose PNG from drop down menu

One more step to go: Let's save the original to be used for future use.
Make sure you have the original Inchie Template file open.
Remove the strawberry girl image by clicking on that layer & then the trash can.
Now you have the button on a white background & that's what you want to SAVE.

File > Save
Dialog Box:
Name: Inchie Template
Where: Location where you want to save your file
Format: Photoshop or PSD  By saving your file as a PSD the layers remain intact allowing you to edit the file whenever you want
Click SAVE & that's it.

Now you can open the template, add a different image, resize it and save it. Remember to always duplicate so you can return to the original inchie template.

If you change the color of the circle you'll have to redo the burning, but other than that it will be a snap to create an inchie anytime you want.

That's it for the Inchie Tutorial. If you have any question leave a comment or email at thestudioonthecorner@gmail[dot]com. If you try this tutorial, I'd love some feedback about how it went. Just leave a comment & don't be afraid to give me the bad along with the good. My goal is to create for you in exceptional ways & I do that best when I know what I'm doing wrong as well as right.  Thanks so much & . . .