Tag Archives: My Craft Studio

A Little Bit Spooky!

Hi folks,

So today I have spent my time creating a halloween card for a crafty challenge. As I do not have any halloween real stamps, I have used the digital images from Issue 9 of Crafters Companion magazine (Autumn 2016) as there were some Sheena Douglass Day of the Dead Digi-stamps on it as well as some other halloweeny type images and papers. I know some people have cd’s sitting at home feeling unloved because they belong to messy crafters so I am posting a guide for this one to show that even messy people can find joy in a digital image πŸ™‚

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This is the finished card front and what we are working towards. As normal, the sparkle pen used on the spider and the skulls does not show on the photo, but it is there!

The first step in any computer crafting that will result inΒ  a physical card, is to know your printer!! It is incredibly disappointing to create something that you are really happy with only to discover that you cannot print it.

The second is to decide what software to use. Depending on the disc you have, there may well be an embedded program that will mean you can resize and print directly from the disc. This is great if all you want to do is click and print to the preset sizes and build a project that way.; for what I have done here however, an actual graphics program is useful as some of the techniques I have used cannot be done on a program that is only designed to print out the image it sees.

I have used Serif (as this is my go to program) however you can also use My Craft Studio Elite to achieve the same results; the ‘Docrafts’ program does not have the right tools for what I have done here and if you are working with ‘word’ you will need to fussy cut the background cobwebs and stick them on…. probably not worth it….

Build your scene:

You will need to decide which elements you are going to want to use; I usually give myself a reasonable selection and then narrow them down further depending on how I like them when grouped with the other elements. You will need to import your chosen images into your graphics program. If you are not using Serif, please skip this next bit!

For Serif users, the quickest way to import your images is to do it from the ‘add photo’ tab at the left hand side of the program. When you click the ‘add’ button you will be taken to your current computer files; locate the disc you are using from the list on the left had side of the window which will have popped up, click on it and then click through the folders on the disc until you get to the image that you want. Either double-click the image (which will import it straight away) or single click the image and then click ‘choose’ in the bottom right hand corner of the file window. Your image will now be imported into the photo section of the program and you will be able to manipulate it to your hearts content. On a side note, you can also move images from the photo section into either ‘backgrounds’ or ‘materials’ by first dragging it out to the work space and then dragging it back in to the section you want it to appear in. The reason for doing so is so that it will then behave as a ‘background’/’material’ rather than as a photo.

If you are using My Craft Studio, then the files on your computer will already show on the left hand side of the program without needing a separate window; so just work your way through these files to the disc and then to the images that you want; you should then be able to double-click or drag them to use.

Once you have your images you are ready to scene build πŸ™‚

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My initial scene build

So what have I got?

  • Background paper
  • 7 digi images

The background is a paper from the disc. As you can see, it is a more vibrant colour on my screen than the printout; this is where knowing what your printer will actually give you comes in handy. It is also worth a note about what you intend to print on. You will need to think about what you hope to do with the image once you have printed it which will then dictate what type of paper/card you will need.

For this project, I need something that will take heat embossing, distress inks, glue (for glitter) and also work well with my alcohol markers. Paper is too flimsy for heat embossing and glue and my general use ‘light card’ is not great for alcohol inks. I have therefore used the ‘My Craft Studio’ super smooth card as this will do all of the above; however what it wont do is go through my printer at A4 size. Fortunately, this is for an 8×8 card and my printer will take the card if it is cut down to 8×8 size, but again this is something you will want to sort out before you start creating to avoid angst later on πŸ˜‰

A lot of digital images include white space, by which I mean that they are an image drawn onto a square/rectangle piece of digital paper. This means that if you layer them together you will have random white corners of this ‘paper’ blocking out parts of your other images; it also means that for images like the cobweb, you will have white spaces in-between the web lines rather than than the background you have chosen. This is where using a graphics program comes in handy. In Serif you can use the ‘cutout studio’ function to remove the white space. Some images will do this really well because they have been digitally created which means that the program will recognise all of the lines, for others the program isn’t quite so sure about which lines are which so you will need to help it a little. In MCS the corresponding tool is the scissor function; it will not recognise lines the way that the cutout studio does but you will still be able to use to eliminate white space.

My Build

  • Drag in the background and then lock the layer so that you can’t move it by accident!
  • Place the first cobweb
  • Copy and paste the cobweb another two times
  • Rotate, resize and switch the second two cobwebs as desired and layer onto backgounrd
  • Play around with the line depth and transparency of the cobwebs – the large cobweb at the bottom is a lot more faded than the other two
  • Layer on your other images, resizing as appropriate – this is an important part of the build; although the mummy, the spider and the two sentiments are printed separately to the rest they need to be included at this point to make sure that the sizes are correct

Once you are happy, you will need to remove the items that are not being included in the background print, however do not make the mistake of deleting them as you will then no longer have the images at the right size for your project. Just move them to the side of the print area. Both Serif and MCS have a scale to the bottom right hand of the program which you can use to zoom in or out of the print space; I find it useful to zoom out before moving my images off of the print space.

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Background print

This is the initial print-off, ready for me to play with!

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Glitzed up version; which is substantially more exciting than the original print

So what did I do?

  1. Stamped and heat embossed the latin words stamp several times
  2. Added distress ink – I tend to do this a lot with my printed backgrounds because they are not as vibrant when printed out as I would like so i tend to use a matching ink to warm it all up. For this project I have used Barn Door and Black Soot
  3. Coloured the ‘what lies beneath’ digi-stamp – you may have noticed that the black parts of the print-off were not particularly black, so I have gone over all of the solid black sections with ‘True Black’ and used DP4 for the lighter dark shadow areas. I shall puta full colour list at the bottom.
  4. Glittered the cobwebs – only some sections and in two different colours just to be interesting….
  5. Matted the background onto black card

The Elements

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All of theseΒ  have been fussy-cut; when choosing to do elements like this take a moment to consider how easy they will be to cut out… or not…

The Spider, Mummy and ‘Happy Halloween’ have all been coloured with SN; what you can’t see on the photo is that the Mummy also has red glitter eyes and both the spider and the happy halloween have some heat embossing on them.

On the Happy Halloween I have also used a red fine liner to go around some of the words to make them pop; them the whole has been ‘torn’ against a deckle edge ruler.

To finish

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If we take a last look at the finished piece, I have shaped the elements before sticking them on (pinflair 3d glue) then added some Nuvo drops both as actual drops, but also along some of the edges of the card to mimic blood (urgh!).

Disclaimers (hehe)

The light caught against some of the shinier bits of the card so the finish photo is actually a little brighter than the real thing; the background photo from earlier is a better colour match. This photo also doesn’t show the height on some of the elements, in particular the spiders legs which I have curved right up and over.

Really observant people may have noticed that my Mummy suddenly has a couple of blood splotches on his bandages; this was an accident as my finger tips appear to have picked up some distress ink from nowhere and dumped it on my Mummy 😑

I hope you all like this one; I did πŸ˜‰

Spectrum Noir Colours:

  • EB1,2 & 7 – Mummy and all bones
  • DP4,3 PV1 – Spider and all ‘torn’ paper and shadows
  • True Black – Deep Shadows
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Another Wedding Card

Good Morning everyone, some of you may remember the wedding card I did several weeks ago using the Tattered Lace accordion dies. This one is also using the accordion dies and for a wedding, but in a completely different style.

The brief was ‘old style film cameras’ and not ‘lovey dovey’ so this was what I came up with.

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Side one has papers from my ‘all occasions’ USB, I have then imported camera images onto the top of the backing papers prior to printing. I have also used the colour mixer on ‘My Craft Studio’ to warm up the paper and then distressed it after printing with Rusty Hinge. The main image here is a Lily of the Valley Digistamp coloured with Spectrum Noir pens/pencils and with wink of stella over the top of the flowers and veil. On this particular digistamp there is no drawn bottom to the dress so what I have done to finish it off is run the bottom of the stamp through my die-cutting machine using one of the tattered lace torn edges dies (which means its also eligible for the challenge!). All of the ‘film’ is printed onto vellum and then strategically glued. I would strongly recommend to anyone doing this type of glueing that you invest in some small pegs as they are perfect for holding things like this in position whilst you carry on.

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The papers for the reverse is a repeat of the front panels and the mid-section is left unembellished for the personal message. I have then tried to make the left-hand side mimic a dressing room.

The whole of this card is very solid, the base was Sheena Stamping card (300gsm) to start with and then the whole of the frame has a double layer of both black card and vellum. I like the frames being re-enforced as the structure of the card does mean that the frame edges can be a bit flimsy, especially if the centre panels are then heavily embellished.

And what posh card would be complete without a box to keep it in?! _20170513_133842

This Stamp is a Sheena Douglass stamp from the ‘Remember When’ collection. I had originally hoped to use this on the card itself but the image was too large for the style of card I went with. Since my client also very much liked this stamp, it made it’s way onto the box instead ;).

I really enjoyed this card and am proud of the result.

Thanks for reading!

 

‘Dogs’

Another commission; this one was rather easier than the wedding card I posted previously!

The brief was just for a 60th birthday and dog related.

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The background is from the My Craft Studio ‘Occasions’ USB. For anyone who has been watching create and craft over the last few days, you may have noticed that there have been several demonstrations using the My Craft Studio software. I have previously posted items created using both Serif and My Craft Studio however one of the demo’s showed something I had not tried (ooeer) so I thought I would give it a go. The emboss function on the software is what I was playing with; I have used it before but it had not occurred to me to layer the same image over the top to maintain the colour. This is what I have done here and I quite like the result πŸ™‚

The main image is a Mulberry Wood digi-stamp (sourced by Crafters Companion) which I have coloured with my Spectrum Noirs. Very observant people will realise that it is largely the same colour palette as for Barnaby Bear, this is because I really like how the bear turned out, so thought I would use the same again πŸ˜‰

First Wedding Card of the Year

This card is one of my most intense commissions of the year so far; it features the Tattered Lace accordion dies and a variety of other bits and pieces.

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There are three sizes of the die and I thought it would be nice to mix them together. Anyone familiar with accordion dies will notice that the middle sections are not joined together. This is because with the size difference they can only be joined if you make the smaller squares the same width as the largest one (otherwise the whole card warps) either by adding extra card of by extending their width with ribbon. I didn’t really like either option so instead I went with having the middle sections swinging free.

The brief for this card was a tricky one;

I was asked for decoupaged Forever Friends Wedding bears; Something to do with Music; Something to do with sport and a mix of both Western and Oriental influences in the general feel of the card.

We later narrowed down the sport to ‘tennis’ and the music to ‘the piano and violin’.

This is the back:

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The base of the card is from double-sided centura pearl, I have also used the centura for all of the embellishment die cuts. One of the things I really like about using CP is that the sheen of the card comes through once it has been coloured. The sports and music items are both digi-stamp builds so they are printed on some nice paper with a decoupage layer to allow the images to be beyond the size of the swing square. There is also a matching box however I failed to take a photo of it!

Western influence:

  • Key
  • Bears
  • Tennis
  • Piano/Violin

Eastern influence:

  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Red Packets
  • Brush Script Kanji (I think that’s right)

I am listing everything used below; please feel free to comment/ask questions πŸ˜‰

Dies:

  • Tattered Lace accordian dies
  • Tattered Lace Torn edges squares
  • Tattered Lace hearts (both from mini assortments)
  • Tonic Key
  • Tonic ‘Secret Whispers’ mini envelope
  • Crafters Companion Lanterns
  • First Edition Letters (these are part of Docrafts)
  • Delightful Daisies Sue Wilson
  • Sapphire set tag die

Other Embellishments:

  • Self Adhesive Lace
  • Musical embossing foler
  • Sticky Pearls
  • Clear liquid Drops
  • Assorted paper flowers
  • Daisy Punch

Images:

  • Forever friends (sourced from Docrafts)
  • Sports and Music sourced from My Craft Studio Designer Directory digi-stamps
  • Background image for text is from the Crafters Companion Kimono collection

Colouring:

  • Wax Pencils
  • Distress inks (Peacock Feathers and Dusty Concord)
  • Alcohol pens (hanging hearts only)
  • Gilding wax (key)

Plus my computer πŸ™‚

Birthday Card for Him

Not strictly in-line with this months’ aims however I needed to make a card for a birthday in this month so I have allowed myself some leniency πŸ™‚

Normally, I do not post cards before they are safely with the recipient however I am confident that in this case the future owner of this card will not see it in advance so I think I am safe!

I wanted to show this one because I want to talk about using a P.C. for a little bit more than just your basic printing.

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The main topper image on here is from a HunkyDory ‘little book of’. In order to integrate it into the card, I have scanned the topper into my computer and taken it in to ‘My Craft Studio’ (you can also use Serif). Now, I need to mention copywright; it is a breach of copywright if you scan in a topper like this and then mass produce it; however for single use on a card on which you are also using the actual purchased product its ok… probably…

So the main background is from ‘My Craft Studio’ as is the tag and football; I have also added eyelets and a ‘Happy Birthday’ Peel off.

The Computer Stuff

There are several reasons why I have scanned the image in; the first is that I find it helpful when generating a computer background to have the topper that is going to go on top of it in place for reference. If you are doing this then do check that your reference scan has maintained dimensional integrity before you start working with it (so if your actual topper is 5×3, make sure that it is still 5×3 in your graphics program)

The second reason for this particular image was that I didn’t want a hard line between the topper and the background. I have therefore used the program to fade in the edges around the topper giving it a much softer transition.

I have then used what is called the ‘lasso’ tool in MCS and the ‘cutout studio’ in Serif to isolate the beer can that is part of the topper. after that I have used dear old copy and paste to give myself a group of cans that will then tie the main image in with the background – I have also added drop shadows to the cans to give them depth (again, both programs mentioned here will do this).

At this point, I would normally then remove the reference topper in order to print; not so here. The advantage of leaving this one in is that I keep my nice soft transition to the topper and I can now decoupage the actual topper over the top of my printed image.

For this one, I have only done one level of decoupage, but as three separate elements; the two word banners and the armchair with occupant. The print quality of Hunkydory is substantially better than what I can achieve which means that as well as the paper quality itself adding texture, the colours are stronger on the decoupage level than on the basic print level which adds another layer of interest to the card as a whole. This along with the faded-out edges of the print layer also means that the armchair itself gives the impression of crossing out into the background which again supports the card as a complete image rather than as separate sections that happen to be on the same base card.

And now its done πŸ™‚