Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Guest Designer; Marina Prinsessan Holmen

Marina Prinsessan Holmen
I am delighted to announce our guest designer for the month of April, Marina Prinsessan Holmen.  Marina has been a fan of Vera Lane Studio digi stamps having submitted outstanding samples to share with our members,  I know the works she will be posting this month will be a treat!

Marina Prinsessan Holmen is 57 years young and loves to create cards.  Marina is married to a officer in military with 3 children ranging in ages 36, 21 and 19 and a  dog. Professionally Marina works children with special needs and has done so since 2003.

Inheriting her artistic vein from her mother and she from her mother , Marina loved to create art from an early age. Her art philosophy is to find beauty in the ugly, albeit Marina's creates are those of beauty!  When Marina had no time for pottery she began her paper crafting with scrapbooking -- that let to creating cards.  Marina has been creating wonderful paper crafts since 2002. 

Marina's creations will be posted on Wednesdays for the month of April.  I know you will be inspired by her creations.  Please welcome Marina in joining our fabulous and creative design team and cheer her posts on!  You can find more of Marina's creations on her blog at: www.frideborgsmys.blogspot.se

Sunday, April 2, 2017

ATC Swap April 2017 with Vera Lane Studio

Our Design Team Member Mischelle Smith has opened a new ATC swap in our private FB group.

 Mischelle is calling for Vera Lane Studio digi stamp images to be incorporated into a Rainbow themed ATC. 

The swap will be accepting submissions through April 30th.  An upload of your card must be submitted in our designated album on or before April 30th to receive a swap partner's address.

Mischelle and our design team memebers from Vera Lane bring the very best in ATC swaps to crafting.  Their inspiration is tops!  You can visit Mischelle's creations on her FB Look Book, on Instagram and her blog at www.mischellemakes.com .   Please browse our Etsy shop!  If you like what you see please "like" our business page on FB and join our private group for sharing, contests, swaps and more!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Digi Stamps and printers

Coloring with diverse media without smudging printing ink is a concern with new to digi stampers.  If you are looking for an economical printer that will give you the best results choose a b/w laser printer.  You can find a low end Brother model to do the job for as little as $60 US.  Shop around, there are deals to be found.  The laser toner will take your alcohol markers and watercolor without smearing.  The toner cartridge lasts a long time and the aftermarket replacement cartridges are as inexpensive as a dye ink pad. 

If you using an inkjet printer there are printer options that will be helpful and user-friendly to most media.  Prior to printing you should be able click on a new window to reveal "printer options."  You want to select grayscale printing.  Not only will it save your ink, the printed page can work well with your diverse media.

In the sample on the right, "Lil Love" was printed on an Epson Workforce printer using the grayscale option. (Cardstock setting was also selected and the paper is inserted in the back of the printer)  There was no waiting time, no heat setting.  Copic and inexpensive alcohol markers work beautifully.  Watercolor and pencils, no worries.  The Tombow marker will pull the printer ink -- but I really worked it in.  If you are careful wit the pointed tip you can avoid the ink lines and will have no problem.  I have had success with grayscale printing on several inkjet models.

Looking for a new inkjet printer?  Make sure it can accommodate cardstock.  (Papers discussed in last weeks post).  If you do not need color printing an inexpensive b/w laser is the way to go.

Some choose to go to Staples or Office Max for their printing purposes.  Load up your layout with as many images as you can.  Save your file to a flash drive and take it to your chosen copy center.  Many places will charge $ .18 - $.25 for a single color or b/w laser copy.  Request color laser copy if possible to get the blackest black. If you bring your own cardstock or request theirs the cost will be the same.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Digi Stamping; Papers and a new release

Paper choices

There are many paper types out there and it can be overwhelming to choose.  How you work, what type of media you prefer and how much are you willing to spend are factors in your decision making.

Reams of paper vary in weight and price.  In the US we measure by lb.  GSM (gram per square meter) is the Euro weight.  The heavier the paper weight the more substantial the paper.  Paper is measured in the weight of printer's sized sheets (not the size you put in a home printer).  Depending on the paper type printer's sheets can vary in size so it can become even more confusing!  

While I like a heavyweight cardstock many home printers do not.  I have printed up to 110lb and preference a 100lb. paper.  I find a 65-80 lbs. weight acceptable, this compares with about a 150GSM.

I have tested four papers with Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils and this is what I found.

Hammermill Paper, Color Copy Digital Cover, 80 lb, 8.5 x 11, Letter, 250 Sheets

This is my personal favorite.  It is a bright white very silky smooth paper.  The paper takes the printing ink very well and gives you a crisp image.  Copics blend very well with no feathering and maintain true colors.  Prismacolors go down smoothly.  It is a very reasonable price at about $10-12 a ream.  The heavier stock costs a little more.  I had switched to 80lb. just to take a little stress off the printer and it does the job. Personally I prefer this white over the other samples.

***Neenah Premium Cardstock, 96 Brightness, 65 lb, Letter, Bright White, 250 Sheets

Neenah is my second choice, although I think all these papers you will find suitable for digi stamp printing and coloring.  Neenah Bright White takes both Copic and Prismascolors well maintaining true color and vibrancy.  Ink prints crisp and clear. The 65lb. weight does not give the substance of the heavier weight but it works and can also be found for a few dollars less.  The white has a bit of a yellow cast to it when compared with the other samples.
Many crafters preference the Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White 80# Cover 8.5"x11" 250/pack.  this paper is about $36.00 a ream.  I had ordered the wrong paper but was still happy with Neenah quality.  The Classic Crest Solar White does get great reviews but I do not have it to compare.  I have read that people love it or hate it for Copics so I suppose it depends on the artist.  For 1/3 the price I found the Premium Card Stock a decent paper.               

Copic Markers Blending Card by X-Press It, 25 Sheets (250GSM) **110lbs US 

This is a bright white smooth surface paper designed by Copic for Copic markers.  The white has a bit of a blue- gray cast.  It is a pricy paper at about $15-$16 for only 25 sheets.  While the markers blend very nicely on the paper's slick surface I found that color loses a little vibrancy and washes out unless you add multiple layers.  The paper is designed for alcohol markers so pencils are not compatible for my tastes, I like a little more tooth to grab the pencil.  Not much of a fan for these reasons: cost, too white, not good for combining your media.

Georgia-Pacific White Cardstock Paper, 8.5" x 11", 110 lb, 150 Sheets 

If you are new to digi stamping or on a budget this is a great starter paper.  Many crafters use this paper.  You can pick up a ream for about $5.00.  This cardstock keeps colors very true but is a little trickier to blend with alcohol markers.  It will leave a little streaking if you aren't careful. It's a nice bright white and closest to the X-Press It in hue. The surface is not as smooth as the Hammermill or X-Press It. It does have a little more tooth which makes it better for pencil.  If you like combining the two on your images this paper is a fair choice.

I have the above mentioned papers from experimenting while searching for a good all-purpose paper for my digi stamps.  The Hammermill is my go-to and pretty much the only paper I use lately. Choosing the right paper is a matter of preference and how you work.  There are other papers available that I have not reviewed, therefore this review is limited to the above products.

If there is a paper you prefer please mention it in the comments.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why Digi Stamps?

Hello and welcome back to Vera Lane.  I have been absent on the blog scene post two eye surgeries but my goal is to get back and hopefully provide some useful information for new and old fans of VLS.

What are Digi Stamps?

A digi stamp is designed by an artist much in the same way a rubber stamp is designed with the crafter in mind.  Many applications overlap.  A digi stamp is readily accessible and downloads after purchase.  The files are stored on your computer and can be used over and over again.  Digi stamps are digital files scanned, cleaned and saved in high resolution jpg or png format.  What does that  mean?  You can resize and your image will still be crisp and clean, ready to color!  Images are brought into your graphics program (or even a word processor such as MS Word) and manipulated to your liking and printed on your computer for purposes of paper art crafts.

ATC by Sharon Rogers
A digi stamp, unlike rubber, can be resized, made thinner or thicker, reversed and rotated.  If you are using png images, images can be combined.  For example:  this character on the left does not come wearing a hat -- the hat image can be resized and stretched or pinched to fit any character.  Images are layered on your screen. "Love" is also a separate digi stamp.  Sharon reduced it to fit on the brim of the hat.  The combined image is printed, colored and fussy cut as one.

The png image holds no white space around it.  A jpg file has a "white box" surrounding the image.  You will not be able to layer a jpg file in the way you can manipulate png files because the surrounding white box is in the way.  When using a jpg you will have to print, manually layer and fussy cut as you would with rubber stamps.  Sizing for overlaps with jpgs may be trickier since you will do this post printing your sheet. 
ATC by Stephanie Eaton

Digi Stamp Advantages:

  • Many images readily available for instant download with no shipping costs!
  • Space saver -- images are stored on your computer or file folders to color later
  • Use ink from your laser printer or ink jet (print in grayscale to avoid smears)
  • Ink color can be changed on computer
  • Color as you would a rubber stamped image with desired media
  • Can be scaled to any size for ATCs, journals, planners, cards, invites and more
  • Can layer and print as one
  • Very affordable
You can see that digi stamps offer a wide range of design opportunities.  Vera Lane Studio is the leader in value priced bundles.  Our sets work together to give you an unlimited possibilities for your paper crafting . Most of our sets come with sentiments additional images and image accessories that can be combined to suit your design tastes.

Getting started is as simple as opening a word-processing program such as MS Word.  You do not need fancy software.  Photoshop, Photo elements, Publisher and even free downloadable programs will do the job as well. 

Creating a page layout is fun and easy.  Bring your image file in, resize and position.  Work with single items or create a scene.  You can squeeze many images on a page to print out and store in a file folder to color later. 

We have a few videos on our YouTube channel to get you started. Our closed FaceBook community has many talented members including our fabulous VLS Design Team eager to help and advise.  If you are not already a member come and find us and join our friendly community!

Next week we will talk about printers and papers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Announcing the January 2017 Vera Lane Studio Design Team

With an overwhelming number of applicants for our first Vera Lane Studio Design Team  we are confident this talented group of ladies will inspire you with their weekly makes.  We will be adding guest designers so others will also have an opportunity to showcase their talents using our whimsical and quirky digi stamps. 

We are a friends community first.  Our closed FaceBook group allows a safe haven for sharing and new friendships.  Vera Lane is a place to play, a place to get away from daily worries and escape into creativity and inspiration. 

A special shout out to our Design Team Coordinator Nikki Woodward for her dedication and hard work behind the scenes as well as being and super talented designer!

Meet the Design Team!

Nikki Woodward; Design Team Coordinator

Our VLS Design Team Coordinator has been behind the scenes at Vera Lane for quite some time!  Nikki has coordinated for other stamping site challenges but has found her happy place here on Vera Lane (and we are excited to have her park here)!  Nikki has been an admin for VLS as well as our crafty cheerleader! She hails from Canada with roots in the UK.

Nikki, is mom to three (handsome) superheroes, a wife and a passionate experimenter of all things arty and crafty. She describes her style as eclectic, having a love for whimsical, quirky and the unusual. Nikki loves mixed media, colour, using different techniques and tools. Her favorite thing to make and trade are artist trading cards, but also make cards and art journal. Nikki tries to approach everything with a positive attitude and a lot of humour, its got to be fun - right?  

Stephanie Eaton

Stephanie is our "Grunge Designer in Residence" here at Vera Lane Studio. Her painterly style and grunge techniques offer a unique look with our VLS characters.  Stephanie is currently working as the education coordinator at her local JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store in Jackson TN. She was also a Head Start teacher for 9 years. Stephanie has a passion for teaching and sharing all things art and crafts. 
Stephanie is a 42 yr old mother of two creative adults and touts that her creativity grounds her and keeps her sane!  Look for Stephanie's creations on Instagram.

Teresa Morgan

Perhaps you know Teresa from her 100 days of Vera Lane Studio ATCs!  What an accomplishment as she inspired many with her endless creativity!

Teresa lives in Staffordshire, England with her partner, daughter, her partner and two cats! Teresa has been crafting in one way or another for most of her life and started card-making around 12 years ago. Teresa  decided to start blogging a few years ago, and this led to her invite to couple of design teams.
Teresa is an "outside of the box" thinker and has fun trying out new products and techniques. She enjoys altered art, journaling, and mixed media, as well as card making.
When not covered in paint and glue, Teresa loves to get outside and enjoy the countryside. She is an avid photographer, always looking for interesting details or beautiful plants to photograph.
Teresa has made wonderful friends on social media through her crafting, and is looking forward to making some more lovely friendships in this team!

Carole Jones

Carole is from the North West of England and lives with her lovely hubby and kitty, Casey. Carole loves all types of arts and crafts and can spend hours in her craft room, losing all track of time. She currently enjoys making cards, tags, ATCs and boxes - in fact anything from paper. Carole's eclectic taste can range from cute and whimsical to shabby chic and vintage. Carole is an avid fan of challenges and we look forward to her challenging you!

Sharon Rogers

Sharon Rogers in not new to Vera Lane -- she has been playing on our lane from the very beginning!  Active in our FaceBook group Sharon's creations are always inspiring. 

Sharon has been crafting for at least half of her forty-eight years. From rubber stamping, sewing, papercrafts, ceramics, cross stitch, beading –" LOL you can imagine the “stash” of things I have – can’t bear to throw anything out not even a scrap of paper – never know when it might come in handy!"  Don't we know it!

Sharon is married with two adult daughters (23 & 19) and two dogs.  Sharon works in their own turf Management business as a greenkeeper and drives a truck!!

Crafting is Sharon's only hobby and form of relaxation and creativity – She crafts whenever she can – even take digi images to bed to colour before she goes to sleep!

Sharon has been on several design teams but now chooses to park her truck here on Vera Lane! And we are thrilled that she is here!

Miscelle Smith

Mischelle Smith has been in the papercrafting world for over 20 years.  In her ‘old life’ she was the founder of a stamping company that reached stampers worldwide.  Today, this die-hard stamper has spread her wings into the worlds of mixed media, journaling, scrapbooking and everything she considers ‘Artsy Fabulous’. 
Mischelle considers most of her work ‘Art Therapy’.  “Art heals me – the entire creative process heals me and feeds my soul.  Without art in my life I would be nothing more than an empty vessel.” 
Mischelle’s style is broad – from eclectic to creepy, whimsical to unique, traditional to classic – she likes to explore and experiment with everything the industry has to offer.  “I love pretty much everything made for papercrafters.  Yep.  Pretty much everything.”
Over the years Mischelle has been published in many of the industry publications; has been a guest artist on the Carol Duvall show several times; and has made guest artist appearances on Paint, Paper and Crafts.
Mischelle lives in the heart of Kansas with her husband, Kevin, and their two kids – Kevin II (Boy) and Sophie.  Their American Bulldog, Stella, is not only the glue that holds the family together – she is also the most photographed member of the family.

Meet our special "Pop-up" Designer, Jane (Not so Plain Jane) Wetzel

Our intros would not be complete without a special shout out to Jane Wetzel.  Jane is no stranger to design teams but like a true artist does not conform.  Jane has been playing on Vera Lane for a while with her creative and unique art pieces offering a little something different and whimsical.  Jane is a true mixed media artist, whether she is using home-made stencils or creating small canvases or wooded boards her creations are truly inspirational.  Don't look for Jane on any given day -- she's our pop-up designer, you just never know when the VLS mood strikes her!

Welcome all design team members! 
We are looing forward to your creativity and sharing.

Please leave a comment and a chance to win a set from our shop!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tiny Snow Family

The Tiny Snow Family is our last set to be released in 2016!  This is a sweet little quirky snow family with SnowMom, SnowDad, snowboy and snowdog!  Two cute sentiments complete the set.

Our set will come to you in both png and jpg high quality resolution files without watermarks.  Your immediate download from our Etsy Shop can be saved to your computer for personal used.  These little guys can be used for cards, tags, planners, journals and holiday giving bookmarks!

No coupons needed as our sets are always bundled, always discount priced!  If you are new to Vera Lane Studio please stop by our shop!