Monday, February 9, 2009

Free Arts & Crafts Minikit for Scrapbook Max

Download the 9.4 MB minikit here

IMPORTANT NOTE: these are all collected as Embellishments. This means that you will NOT find the kit if you start a New Scrapbook and try to find it from on the "Select a Theme" dialog.

Here's how you find them
You start a new scrapbook (or open an existing one), and once you it's open , you click on the heart icon or Object > Embellishment, and you will find the folder named DJGArtsCraftsMinikit.

It's the first of a planned set of products I'm calling the 1900 Series.

What's included in the SBM files
This mini-kit's based on some British, American and Canadian Arts & Crafts designs.

It includes:
  • 2 papers based on wallpaper designs from architect Charles (C.F.A.) Voysey, clean and straight from the factory
  • 2 duplicates, but grungey
  • 1 ribbon, neatly pressed in Arts & Crafts / Art Deco style
  • 1 ribbon duplicate in the form of an engraving
  • 1 ribbon shadow PNG -- you can make the ribbon appear to float inches above the page!
  • 1 enamel button that picks up the rose motif of one of the papers
  • 1 wood, bronze and mother-of-pearl, Arts & Crafts style photo frame
  • 4 photo corners (UL, UR, LL, LR) based on Arts & Crafts silver pin.

The 1900 Series
The 1900 Series will include decorative styles that were well in place in that year. More accurately, it includes styles floating in the air from the mid-1800s through 1920 (and which continued at least on through to Danish Modern in the 50s and 60s).

These include:
  • Art Nouveau / Jugendstil (France; Germany)
  • Arts & Crafts (England, Canada & US)
  • De Stijl (Netherlands)
  • Vienna Succession (Austria)
  • (later) Bauhaus, Art Deco, and more
  • (in the auction world) Late Victorian, Edwardian

It just so happens that these styles (and it's often hard to tell them apart, to be honest) are major favorites of mine... and of millions of other people.

About the Arts & Crafts Movement
Arts & Crafts began as a social movement in the mid-19th C. It sought to bring beauty to the common person. It contrasted well-designed hand-made goods, beautiful to the eye and beautiful in use, with cheap, kitschy machine-made stuff.

John Ruskin and others (including Arts & Crafts genius William Morris) felt that the designs embodied in mass-produced goods were aesthetically bad, and that bad aesthetics coarsened and demoralized daily life.

Arts and Crafts turned to nature and to Medieval English inspiration to avoid square corners -- angles other than 90 degrees were OK -- and decoration for decoration's sake. Everything was to flow from history or nature, and every detail was supposed to contribute a cohesive sense of beauty.

In painting, the approach was played out in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, symbolized by the willowy, yearning work of Edward Burne-Jones -- not coincidentally, a close friend and collaborator of William Morris.

In this kit, the abstract rose blossom in one of the papers is based on Medieval models (the Tudor Rose in particular, though the color scheme in the latter join the white rose of York with the red rose of Lancaster).

Note on the process
All the designs are based on originals. I produced them using vector art techniques in Real Draw Pro from Mediachance and Xara Xtreme from Xara Inc. I spend around 50 hours total in research before beginning.

The ribbon is a scan of an actual ribbon -- took about an hour to select the ribbon, iron it, scan it and extract it. The rose paper was done in less than two hours; the floral pattern took 10 hours and it's still not 100%. The button borrowed elements from an earlier pin and took about an hour only because I had done the earlier pin wrong. The frame took under an hour. The photo corners took many hours, far too long, and involved preliminary work in Asymetrix Web3D, a 3D modeling program.

Downloading and installing the SMB format
You can download it (9.4 MB) here . The file is an .SMB for Scrapbook Max and SBM automatically installs it.

To use the file, when your Web browser asks you what you want to do with the file, click the "Open" button (Internet Explorer or Opera browsers) or choose "Open with: Scrapbook MAX!" and click OK (Firefox browser). Once the file has downloaded, you should see a message that tells you that the template has been successfully installed. It will now be available the next time that you create a new project or page.

Don't have Scrapbook Max?
For those of you without Scrapbook Max: the file is really a ZIP file. You download it, change the file extension to .ZIP and use any ZIP utility to retrieve each of the JPEGs and PNGs. But you should get Scrapbook Max...

Foster + McKeehan types (see this post)

hip & trendy
shabby (Old World, romantic)

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