Friday, June 21, 2013

Rosie O'Donnell: 'Queen of Nice' or 'Queen of Decoupage'–which is it?

I was reading the Santa Fe Reporter yesterday while eating lunch in my car, and I noticed a tiny photo of Rosie O'Donnell in an illustration, it was labeled: 'the Queen of Decoupage' (I thought that she was a comedian, or the Queen of Nice). Evidently (you all probably already know this), one of her many earthly manifestations now is as a Maven of Crafting, with a particular bent for decoupage. When I got back to my workspace I immediately googled: rosie-odonnell-decoupage–and there she was—neck-and-neck decoupaging with that other Queen of Crafts, Martha Stewart.

You should check out the video. They were into something completely different than Jeff Rudell, from my post last Saturday. Whereas his approach was very precise and objecty, their effort was more pictorial, and their method was definitely more playful. Rosie really likes to get her hands in the goo.

I dove into our collections to see what we might have for images that were comparable to the wallpaper that they were using on the show.

On a botanical theme we have collections like Trees and Leaves (0486998088), in which many of the individual images are cleanly silhouetted, which makes them ideal for decoupage.

I think that these images are very compatible with some of our bird illustration from Birds (048699158X), and that the two could be artfully combined.

The seed has also be planted about wallpaper: I'm now on the hunt for a sample book of antique wallpapers for a future collection. That's all for now. Oh, and here's one last thing—yes, a decoupage monkey...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Daring Decoupage!

It's Tutorial Tuesday, and to continue on with this week's theme, here's a round up of some of the coolest tutorials around that utilize Dover clip art for decoupage!

1. Carol Endler Sterbenz’s decoupage plates via Craftynest

2. How to: Decoupage Your Ceiling via Apartment Therapy

3. Sea creatures DIY glassware and plates collection via Mod Podge Rocks!

4. How-To Decoupage Chest and Magazine File via Martha Stewart

Have you seen or maybe even created your own eye-catching decoupage tutorial? Let us know in the comments!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Decoupage Monkey on my back...

I got lost in a reverie...I was thinking about Carol Grafton's brand new collection:

and speculating what it would be like to decoupage some of the images from that collection onto something—you know, like a serving dish. It took a little while, but I eventually realized that it was a pretty bad idea (however, those images are good for other things). I fell into a brown study in which I realized that I only had abstract notions about this craft- I had never made a decoupage, further, I don't think that I knew any other guys who ever had made one. Slowly the core question dawned on me—do guys decoupage?

Just a little snooping around the web turned up the obvious answer—of course! I found this great tutorial by Jeff Rudell:

I thought that his perspective was quite practical and informative, and it prompted me to do a little survey of decoupagable (sp?) materials that we have in our collections. I think that my taste runs toward the flat and graphical, rather than the pictorial (thus my disqualifying of the Great Paintings of Food and Feasting).

Art Nouveau images and motifs seem ideally suited for decoupage. Check out:

on an ethnic or cultural tangent I thought these collections would work really well:
Russian Ornament of the Tadjik (048699788X)

Traditional Chinese Embroidery Designs (0486996042)

Now I'm hooked. Jeff has several other interesting tutorials about decoupage on his site-but I'm running low. Anybody out there got a favorite site for this kind of work they'd like to share? Let me know-I got a decoupage monkey on my back..

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Meet the Dover Crafting Ambassadors: Carmen Flores Tanis

Every other Tuesday we'll introduce you to a member of our Dover Crafting Ambassador Program- a group of exceptional artists and crafters known for their dedication to Dover. This post is a continuation of that series.

Today's featured Ambassador is Carmen Flores Tanis! Carmen Flores Tanis is a mixed media artist, crafter and designer from Glendale, CA, who specializes in combining diverse materials in unusual and unexpected ways.

 "I love making things!" gushes Carmen, and it's no wonder- she spent her childhood surrounded by an inordinate amount of pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, glitter and glue!

"I am still pulling pieces out of my hair," she jokes.

A Designer Member of the Craft and Hobby Association, Carmen has had projects published online and in print. She sells her work at craft shows and online and teaches classes regularly at the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach and CBS Glass in Orange.

Let's take a look at some of the crafty things Carmen has made using Dover clip art!

Carmen also has two online craft supply stores which allow her to help others in their crafting adventures. Her secret to crafting happiness is "patience, practice and power tools." You can see Carmen's work at and

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Art Deco Vector Designs

Due to popular demand we're going to keep Art Deco Designs on sale for one more week—June 6-13!

One of the coolest things about the graphical branch of the Art Deco tree is that the imagery is so crisp and clean that it is perfectly suited to the vector graphics format. We've chosen the imagery for this collection specifically with vectors in mind—all of the images tend to have beautiful curvilinear edges and nice blocky areas to fill. 

Below is a mini-gallery of illustrations created from some the vector files in this collection. The effects that were used can be generated in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Besides the vectors themselves, you also get a set of textured fills in the form of JPG images when you purchase the entire collection. Click on the image above to visit this collection's page on our website—there, you can use the magnifier to take a closer look the illustrations below.

An additional benefit when you buy the entire collection is that you get a pdf version of the printed book. This includes a very useful instructional section that gives step-by-step instructions for creating special effects in Photoshop and Illustrator. Below are two sample pages from this section.

There are instructions for Adobe Illustrator...

...and instructions for Adobe Photoshop.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Great Gatsby!

I'm probably the only person who hasn't seen the new Gatsby movie yet (but I feel like I've seen the previews at least a hundred times). I figured that I wanted to see the Mia Farrow/Robert Redford version once before it became unwatchable forever.
      It's hard to imagine the text of the film without the overlay of Art Deco, and from what I've seen of the new film, it looks like that veneer is a little thicker than on the 1974 version.

Detail from an illustration by George Barbier

One of the things to love about Art Deco is the way that it flirts with so many other art and design movements in-play at the beginning of the 20th century— flirts with them and then ties them up and wraps them in cellophane… There's this veneer of superficiality, with the promise of genuineness lurking somewhere beneath the surface. Nothing quite conveys this like the graphical works of George Barbier, and Giovanni Meschini, the master of the pouchoir postcard. These situational illustrations had to be an influence on the art direction for the recent Gatsby film. 

Illustration by Giovanni Meschini

The DoverPictura collection, Art Deco Designs

Art Deco Design (048699807X)

was assembled with this notion of multiple influences in mind, and in it I tried to present a selection that references many of the significant movements that are reflected in Art Deco. Influences of the Arts & Crafts movement, especially in America and Great Britain, can be seen in the wood-carvings and bas-relief sculpture:

In contributions from German sources you can see elements of the nascent Expressionist movement—both in the edgy cabaret line drawings:

and the aggressive, hard-edge logos and commercial graphics:

The line between Art Nouveau and Art Deco has always been bit blurry to my eyes—perhaps you can see what I mean in the many highly-colorful, geometric and floral pattern pieces:

If you have a project in mind with an Art Deco theme you should check out this collection. It covers the scope of the movement from it's most basic black & white, to the wildly colorful; from the highly figurative work of Barbier and Meschini, to hard-edge, geometric abstractions. The collection is comprised of 227 JPG and TIF image files; many of the images also come in an EPS vector format.