I knew I would never come up with something as clever as my Mime card for SQSC13, so I just went for coordinated papers from the Letters to Santa Designer Series Paper. I tried to go with simple solids, as some of the example cards had, but it just looked too flat. That is one of the challenges of working exclusively with the My Digital Studio software. It’s nearly impossible to pull off something as elegant and lovely as Simply Sara Stampin’s all white anniversary card.
I found that I had to play with the papers a bit. If I didn’t use patterns, it just looked silly, but if I just used two patterns of Designer Series Paper in this sketch layout, it was far too busy. I ultimately settled on this design, a mix of three patterns and a solid:
Here’s the breakdown on the elements:
Background: Letters to Santa—3
Large Square (pink): Letters to Santa—11
Borders and Long Rectangle: Letters to Santa—2
Solid: Very Vanilla
Stamp Brush Sets: Merry & Type—small post, and All Holidays—Christmas, both in Early Espresso
Embellishments: Grosgrain Ribbon and Bow, both in Old Olive
I made the homemade glitter paper I have been using in my projects with Photoshop CS5. I’m sure you can use a similar process to make your own glitter paper using another version of Photoshop or another image editor. This is just the software that I happen to have and use most often.
I will provide the most basic instructions here. The process is not very complicated, but you could play with the filters extensively to try to fine tune the look. I will leave the fun of playing with the tools to you. Here is what I did to create the basic files:
Create a new file in Photoshop that is 12" by 12" (or whatever size you like), with 300 pixels/inch, and with the background set to Transparent.
In My Digital Studio, choose the Color Fill option and choose the color you want.
Click the RGB tab in the Choose Color dialog to get the values for the color you have chosen. It should look something like this:
Go back to Photoshop and set the foreground color to the RGB values for your color.
For most colors you want, set the background color to white (RGB values 255, 255, 255). See the note below for more info.
Fill the 12" by 12" image with your foreground color.
From the Filter menu, choose Texture » Grain…
Set Intensity to 100.
Set Contrast to 50.
Set Grain Type to Enlarged.
From the Filter menu, choose Noise » Add Noise…
Set Amount to 4%.
Choose Uniform Distribution.
Check the Monochromatic checkbox.
Save the file as a JPG with your photos or following Stampin’ Up’s suggestion and saving in a new folder for your glitter paper in one of these locations:
For a PC: Program Files>My Digital Studio>Components>Backgrounds>Designer Series Paper.
For a Mac: Applications>My Digital Studio>Components>Backgrounds>Designer Series Paper.
That’s it. It looks complicated than it is because I broke the steps down so much.
Let me add a couple of notes however. First, I suggest setting the background color to white. That works for most colors to create a sort of shine. For very light colors, however, you may need to choose a light gray for your background color. For my white glitter paper, for instance, I set the background to RGB values 238, 238, 238. You may have to experiment to find a suitable contrast.
Second, try experimenting with any of the settings above to get the effect you want. You may find that increasing the amount of Noise works better for you. It’s ultimately about whatever you want, so once you understand the basic idea you can play around to customize the look.
Navigate to the location where you saved the glitter paper. If it’s with your other backgrounds, it will look something like this:
Choose the color you want and click OK.
See the notes on Zoom and printing at the end of this post for more details.
If you’ve saved the glitter paper somewhere else, the process is a little more complicated.
Add a punch to your project.
Click Paper Fill, and choose any random paper. It won’t matter what design.
Double-click on the punched image and the Punch Image Editor comes up.
Click on the Replace Image button (shown below):
Navigate to the location where you saved the glitter paper. The glitter paper will load.
Click the Reset button at the bottom of the dialog to remove any zooming that My Digital Studio has added to the image.
Note that you can play with the Zoom buttons in this Editor, but I found the best results were to use the Reset button and leave it as it was originally. If it is reduced too much, the glitter seems to disappear and you are left with a sort of flocked look. If it is enlarged too much, the glitter turns into over-sized splotches and pixels.
Finally, I should add a word about printing. The glitter paper works best on the screen. It is not meant for printouts. When you print it out on regular paper, it looks flatter. You can experiment with your printer, but you will never achieve an actual Glimmer Paper look. I did find that if you print on glossy paper (like photo paper), the shine of the paper makes the printout look much better than on general paper or cardstock. You may find a use that works for you, but I would definitely test things before committing to any large printout!
Sadly Stampin’ Up hasn’t released Glimmer Paper for the My Digital Studio software. Partially, I think, that they are concerned about the difficulty of printing a page that looks glimmery without any real glitter on the page. Most of my work is online, so I took a stab at creating my own glittery-look paper. The cherry color to the right began as the same shade as Cherry Cobbler and then I modified it in Photoshop to get the glitter effect on the screen. I’m writing a series of posts on how to download the paper, how to use it in My Digital Studio, and how to make your own.
If you do not have Photoshop or just want a color that I have already made, you can find all of the glitter paper that I have made on my Flickr account. To download the images, follow these steps:
Click on the image for the color you want. The names are similar to (but not the same as) the SU color names.
Go to the Actions menu on the upper left (under the words Flickr and Home).
Choose the View all sizes link.
Click on Original (2700 x 2700). It will be the right-most link.
Right click on the 2700 x 2700 image and choose Save Image As….
Note that you should be saving a JPG file. You can also change the name from the odd string of letters and numbers that Flickr assigns to something understandable.
Choose a location on your computer for the file. The security or anti-virus software on your computer may mean that you need to save the file to a Downloads folder or to your Desktop. You can move the file later if necessary. If you can, save (or later move) the file to the folder with other background files used by My Digital Studio, as Stampin’ Up suggests. You may want to create a new folder for your glitter paper if desired in one of these locations:
——For a PC: Program Files>My Digital Studio>Components>Backgrounds>Designer Series Paper.
——For a Mac: Applications>My Digital Studio>Components>Backgrounds>Designer Series Paper.
That’s all you need to do to get a copy of the glitter paper on your computer. Note that the images have a Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial license. That means that you can use the images freely in your designs, but you may not sell the paper. I don’t want to get into any trouble with Stampin’ Up by selling this paper!
Check the next post for instructions on how to use the paper in My Digital Studio.
I found a very cute turkey card made with the Owl Punch and the Butterfly Punch on Cindy Washington’s site. I decided to see if I could accomplish the same thing with My Digital Studio, and this card is the result. I didn’t like the different colors for the Butterfly Punches for the tail feathers. It sort of lost something in my version, perhaps because there was less of a paper feel in the digital version. To make my tail feathers, I stacked Butterfly Punches in a series of colors—Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Really Rust, and Creamy Caramel (shown on the left).
The rest of the card is fairly straightforward. The turkey’s body is an elongated Circle Punch (don’t have the Owl Punch yet), Full Heart Punch for wings, resized Square Punch for the hat. The hat’s brim is Basic Black Grosgrain Ribbon, and its decorations are More Mustard Grosgrain Ribbon and Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware—square. The turkey’s wattle is an upside down Small Heart Punch. The eyes are Whisper White Circle Punches with Basic Black Brads. The beak is a very small Square Punch in Summer Sun. The legs are All in the Family—right arm.
I don’t have Twine yet for MDS, so I used Chocolate Chip—Stitching Straight. The border at the bottom is Torn Edges—Eyelet Border in Soft Suede, with two pieces of Soft Suede Grosgrain Ribbon and Chocolate Chip—Stitching Zigzag. More Mustard Brocade Square behind the turkey, and the card background is Wild Wasabi. The sentiment is text, using the Kirsten ITC font in Chocolate Chip.
This week’s Stampin’ Queens Sketch Challenge (SQSC13) puts the emphasis on a series of rectangles. Because it’s such a simple design, I decided that the inner-most rectangle was going to have to be a special image to make this card work. Here’s the original sketch:
I looked at all the example cards for inspiration, but nothing struck me. I started thinking about the design itself, asking myself, “What goes in boxes? What can you do with the notion of boxes?” At first the answers weren’t all that helpful: the dog (we call his cage/crate, his box), presents, food (e.g., cake mix), and crayons. Nothing was quite right, and then I thought of a mime! A mime trapped in a box! Here’s my version of the card:
The inside sentiment is “Let me help you out!” I’m thinking of it as a sort of “Thinking of You” card for someone who has been stuck at home for one reason or another—sick family member, bad weather, tending to children, and so forth. Inside the card, I’d tuck tickets to a movie or a local event and a voucher for free babysitting. Perfect!
My sisters and brother were all in the high school mime troupe, so I am well-schooled in the ways of mimes. They followed the practice of mimes like Marcel Marceau who wore black and white clothes (sometimes with gray) and with a touch of red. So that was the inspiration for my colors: Basic Black, Basic Gray, Very Vanilla (Whisper White looked too stark), and Sahara Sand with a Real Red ribbon.
I created this design as a very late response to the “Friday Inspiration Challenge” from the So Stampalicious Thanksgiving/ Fall Online Class that I won access to. The card could be used for Thanksgiving or as a simple Thank You card at any time of year.
The inspiring photo for the card included a photo of a robin in a distressed blue frame and a throw pillow with a folk art design in a near-by chair. I put those two details together for this image. Here are the details:
Background: Basic Black
Frame: Frame 1 from Frames with a Flourish Stamp Brush Set in Island Indigo
Center Image Stamps: Frame 5 from Frames with a Flourish, Bird from Berry Christmas, Large Flower from Baroque Motifs (layered with circle and heart punches for contrast colors)
Center Image Colors: Soft Suede, Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, and Kiwi Kiss
Embellishments: Basic Black Brads for the birds’ eyes
Text: Typed in Baskerville Old Face, styled after the Thankfulness from the Bright Blessings Stamp Brush Set (which was too wide to fit inside the frame legibly)
I really like the way that the watercolor technique allowed me to color in an image with more variation than piecing punched shapes behind a stamp had allowed me. I wanted to try another card, and the Medallion image from the Day of Gratitude stamp brush set seemed like a good option. It has a lot of play between the stamp image and the background that seemed suited for watercoloring.
So I put the two ideas together in my card. As I had done on the Thanksgiving Watercolor card, I stamped the Splatter from the Extreme Elements set to build my watercolor pattern. I choose colors from the color swatch option in the color fill section as Heather did, but I didn’t follow up the rows. I picked and choose nearby colors that fit the pattern I was going for. It took dozens of stamped images in layered concentric arcs to fill in just one section of the medallion.
After I filled in four of the sections, My Digital Studio crashed repeatedly. Every time I tried to do anything, the software responded with memory errors. I realized that pasting hundreds of stamps onto a single card was more than the software could handle. I had grouped my first arc, and was copying and pasting it around the medallion. With a bit of trial and error, I was able to remove the copies, so that I was down to just one color spectrum.
I had to get creative if this was going to work. I copied the spectrum of Splatters and pasted it on a new page of the greeting card and then exported that page as a JPEG. I opened the image in Photoshop and saved it on a transparent background (this got rid of the surrounding white space). This is the exported image:
I then went back to My Digital Studio and used the Photo section to add that JPEG image repeatedly to the card, rotating it to fit around the Medallion stamp. It wasn’t exactly the look I originally wanted, but it was close—and I was no longer crashing the program.
Finally, I added additional Splatter stamps to the image to fill in empty spaces and correct places where the colors were not overlapping correctly. I found that the butter yellow color at the outside of the image was too subtle, so I stamped over it with the brighter yellow that you see in the card.
I ended up adding a bright yellow and black (Go Steelers!) punch, using the Modern Label Tag at the bottom. I added a Basic Black Grosgrain ribbon behind the Punch and Basic Black Brads to “hold” it in place.