Monday, December 5, 2011

FREE Xmas graphics! - Make your own cards tutorial

With Christmas fast approaching, I have yet again run out of time to create and sell Christmas cards in my Etsy shop this year. make up for it, I have instead created a whole bunch of Christmas graphics and ornaments available for download. As this puts the onus on you, the reader, to make and print your own cards, I have created a step-by-step tutorial for those of you who have never done this before. It's not so hard, and the kids can contribute also. Grab your FREE graphics above - click on each pic to enlarge, then right click (for PC) or control-click (for Mac) so you can download to your computer. This tutorial is for a completed A6 size card (measuring 5.92 x 4.2 inches or 148x105mm folded).


1. To begin with you will need an A4 sheet of cardstock, preferably white. Ensure it will pass through your printer. Most newsagents sell A4 sheets at 120gsm which is suitable for most printers. One A4 sheet makes two cards.

2. Measure and draw a line halfway across the page, dividing the sheet into 2 equal halves.

3. Using a steel ruler and cutting knife, slice the sheet into 2 pieces. You now have 2 cards.

4. Take one half, position it horizontally, and again, measure and mark the halfway point with a faint pencil line. Using the ruler as a guide, lightly run the knife along the pencil line only to score the paper, but do not slice through it. This is where you will fold the card after printing it.

5. The side with the score mark will be the outside of the card. You can use a clean eraser to rub out the pencil line. Repeat stage 4 with the 2nd half sheet to make 2 blank cards. 

6. For printing, use a graphics program on your computer to create an A5 document with a centre guideline.

7. Insert or place your Christmas graphics to the right hand side of the document only. This will be the front of your card. Keep all elements a good 10mm away from the edges of the document. Design to your heart's content! For this example, I used multiple elements.
8. Load your blank card into your printer tray (with the scored side upwards-this is the side to be printed on). Ensure your print settings are for an A5 document centred horizontally or vertically (depending on your printer). You can always do a trial print using cheap copy paper to check positioning. 

9. Your finished printout should look like the computer document you created.

10. To finish, fold the card along the score mark made earlier, write your own personal message inside, and hey've made your own Christmas card!

All it needs now is a matching envelope. Envelopes can be purchased at most newsagencies or stationery shops in multiple packs.

For more downloadable Christmas elements, visit my Etsy shop section 'Christmas goods'

Have a fabulous Christmas everyone!

All artwork and graphics ©Stella Peterson. Please do not sell or pass off any downloads as your own.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Free downloads - Art Nouveau

Some Art Nouveau patterns from my digital collection over the years. Most are free samples from Dover publications.These are copyright-free for use in your own arts/crafts. Please do not sell as your own. Enjoy, and feel free to share your artwork by posting a link here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Featured Artist – Elena Vizerskaya

Well, this Russian photographer literally blows me away! Thirty year old Elena Vizerskaya is not only a photographer but a very skilled manipulator of digital imagery with amazing creative vision. Her works range from dark to whimsical, fantasy to surrealism, and some of her concepts are downright unusual, but never boring! – a reflection of her inner world. I find her work very glamorous and edgy, borrowing from fashion, adding drama and sexiness. Like I said before, her ideas and concepts blow me away! It's one thing to envision an idea in your mind, but this lady has the skill to bring it to life and make it appear almost 3-dimensional.
In an interview, Elena mentions always having a camera handy to record anything and everything of interest, even perhaps milk or chocolate splatters, as in the pic above. She files away all her photos and will pull out certain images that she may want to experiment with as she creates each new piece. I dare say she does a lot of modelling shoots and probably stages many of the pics she takes. Experimenting with images seems to be key to her end results. I can relate to that. The beauty of digital is in the experimenting – saving many versions, tweaking, being able to return to the original, blending, painting, colourising, merging, isolating, distorting, flipping, rotating – the sky's the limit! And in this case, it seems Elena's imagination soars, boundless.
 View Elena Vizerskaya's portfolio of work here. Elena is also a contributer to the istock photography site. View her profile here. All photos are taken from the above links and are the exclusive copyright of Elena Vizerskaya. Please do not reproduce them or pass them off as your own.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Faded Lotus

Throughout my time as a graphic designer, I have been drawn to and very much inspired by Asian art and patterns. There's something about the order and restrained simplicity which I love. From calligraphy brush painting to Japanese woodcuts and beautiful colored etchings, ancient porcelain florals - it's all quite breathtaking.

I felt like creating some simple art which is purely based on  color, texture and pattern, nothing more. Just like my 'Life's Journey' pieces, this series is also influenced by a set of papers called 'Faded Lotus'. I just fell in love with these paper designs and colors, some exotic, some subdued, but all very Asian in patterning. It was fun experimenting with pure aesthetics and surface design, and not having to delve into the meaning of an art piece. I think all artists need to do this once in a while, take time to play, and see where the creative process takes you.
 These prints and many more available in my shop Crimson Circle Studios.