Here’s a sneak peek at my gianormous, fantastic, jumbo pile of swaps from Stampin’ Up Convention 2012. I got to meet the marvelous Heather Summers, got to play with the beta version of MDS 2 (I’m hooked), and generally had a magnificent time. Can’t wait to play with MDS 2 more and post about all I learned. Thank you Stampin’ Up for an AMAZING convention.
The book that is demonstrated in this video could easily be mimiced in a card or small book created with Stampin’ Up’s Simply Scored:
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.
- Click OK.
- From the Filter menu, choose Noise » Add Noise…
- Set Amount to 4%.
- Choose Uniform Distribution.
- Check the Monochromatic checkbox.
- Click OK.
- 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.
Once you have some homemade glitter paper, the process to using it is basically the same as adding any photo to a punch. If you have followed Stampin’ Up suggestion and saved the glitter paper files in a new folder with the other Designer Series Paper in your Backgrounds, it’s extremely easy:
- Add a punch to your project.
- Click Paper Fill.
- 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:
- Go to the Glitter Paper on Flickr.
- 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 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.
I was impressed with the color spectrum paper that Heather Summers created for her contest cards, using the color swatch option in the color fill section. Her video explains the process better than I ever could:
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.
When I looked at the samples for this week’s Stampin’ Queens Sketch Challenge, I knew I was in trouble. Every thing that immediately came to mind (snowflakes, flowers, cookies, pumpkins) had already been used. Here’s the original sketch we were to use as the model:
I finally realized that no one had done stars! Since I worked on Veterans Day, I created a patriotic card, perfect to thank a Veteran or someone actively serving in the military for service to the country—or just save it for the 4th of July:
As always, I made the card with Stampin’ Up’s My Digital Studio. Here’s how I put it together:
- Background: Grid Designer Paper Series in Night of Navy
- Red rectangles: Nautical Expedition Designer Paper Series in Pattern 12
- Stars: Star punch in Night of Navy stamped with the Star from the Jolly Bingo Bits Stamp Brush Set in Whisper White
- Scallop: Scallop punch with a 6px mat. I used the picker to match the grays in the red rectangles.
- Sentiment: Let Freedom Ring from the Red, White, & Blue Stamp Brush Set.
- Ribbon: Grosgrain ribbon in Whisper White.
I was intrigued by the Watercolor card posted by Julie Ann Davidse on the My Digital Studio (MDS) site. She credited the technique to Patty Bennett’s watercolor card, also on the MDS site. I had to figure out that technique!
I ultimately found the instructions on Cindy Schuster’s Watercoloring Technique video and her MDS Watercolor Technique Tutorial blog post. I’m not 100% sure who came up with the instructions originally, but those are the examples and sites that inspired my Thanksgiving Watercolor Card:
I wanted to try something other than flowers, and a splashy fall tree seemed like a perfect option. As the saying goes around here, you can tell Fall is proof that God’s a Hokie.
It looks a bit more like an impressionist’s painting to me because of the colors are deep. I used the same basic technique that was described in the tutorials:
- I changed the background to Very Vanilla.
- I stamped the Dutch Elm from the Lovely as a Tree set in Early Espresso and resized it to fit the card.
- I stamped the Splatter from the Extreme Elements set in Cherry Cobbler and in Pumpkin Pie.
- I rotated and resized the Splatter stamps, and I changed the layering until I had the leaves covered and a color arrangement I liked.
- I adjusted the opacity on some of the Splatter stamps, rather randomly, to add some lighter colors and give the image some depth.
- I stamped the Splatter from the Extreme Elements set in Soft Suede and Early Espresso, resized to a much smaller size, to fill in the trunk of the tree.
- I restamped and resized the Dutch Elm from the Lovely as a Tree set in Early Espresso, and aligned the images (I found this easier than moving the images up and down to get what I wanted).
- I stamped the sentiment Gratitude Transforms from the Bright Blessings set in Cherry Cobbler, resized it to fit the width, and added the drop shadow.
So happy to learn this technique. I’m now reconsidering my Wish List to see is there are other stamps that would be great for watercoloring. Thanks to Julie, Patty, and Cindy for posting their examples and explanations.
I made this card for the Stampin’ Queens Sketch Challenge 10 – SQSC10. The colors are Cherry Cobbler, Basic Black, and Whisper White. The stamp is from Baroque Motifs.
The card is a much better version of one of the first things I tried when I installed My Digital Studio. Look back at the Dracula Swirls card to see the old version. I like to think I’ve gotten better at this over the last two months.
I began to wonder if there were a way to represent the crashing waves with something in My Digital Studio. The closest match I found was the Wing from the Extreme Elements brush set. I threw in the Fish from the Cute Cat set, the Cloud from the Big Bold Birthday set, and the Boat from the Nursery Necessities set. The rest of it is punches, the Straight Stitching element in Very Vanilla, and a sentiment from the Thoughts and Prayers set.
In all seriousness, however, best of luck to everyone on the east coast. Stay safe and dry.