Tag Archives: Serif

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 🙂

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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 in  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 🙂

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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 😉

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 these  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 😉

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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Xmas Crafting 2017

If you have been paying attention this is not the first 2017 Xmas Crafting but heyho.

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Starting with 4 quick cards. Image created in Serif (was actually printing inserts but also had a little play) All four images printed on one A4 MQC stock and cut to size so that matt layer is also only one A4 sheet of hd card stock. Not clear in photo but I have treated them all slightly differently in terms of where I have added glitter.

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8″ * 8″  –  This one started with an image from HD Xmas little book. It is a nice image but not my style so I challenge myself to use. I cut out the centre image leaving a frame that I have added to an acetate ‘box’. Under I have added a die cut halo and put over the base images, decoupage the inward image from the previously cut out frame ( hope this makes sense). The die cut frames are part of the HD Moonstone range, these particular ones are designed to go with the Little books. The Merry Xmas die is from tonic , part of their bottle wrap inserts.

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6″ * 6″ – I also had the topper set etc of the same image so carried on with my challenge to myself. This one is simply using the cut off of the blue HD used on previous card, a linen gold mat plus the topper.

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(photo not good, sorry) 7″ * 5″  –   Made a bit more effort on this one. Circular topper with a tonic circular die added. The second topper has been created using a different tonic die set. The patterned matt layer is the one deigned by HD to go with this topper set. Gold base, which had the circular topper cut out of it, and the two flashes are some gold glitter wash tape.

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Both DL –  1st one is the image from HD card stock (the remaining piece is blue with stars and therefore can easily be used separate from this image ). Added a strip of the gold wash tape and a sentiment. 2nd one is a topper matted onto black. The strip is an offcuts mounted onto a dark purple offcut finished of with a sentiment.

That used up all the images ……

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8″ * 8′ Kraft card – There was a piece of card stock left over. I have put gilding wax on edge of card. Black base matt with the card on top. A different image from the Little Book matted onto a HD mirri matt. Gold ribbon with bow plus Xmas sentiment.

In between I also got carried away and sorted my off cuts into colour groups, and threw many bits away as even I do not know why I kept white copy paper off cuts. They are now in poly pockets stored with card stock in the same colour groups. The theory is that I will use up the bits before getting annoyed looking through bits box and just cutting up a new piece of card.

Whilst Xmas was happening in one room…

… I was trying to be a good bunny in my room!

The Challenge this month is to use something new, however both WC and myself are also trying to be really good and finish off projects that have been started and toppers which have been made but then not added to anything. I already had a small backlog of toppers which has since been added to because I have taken to doing some colouring when away from home; so yesterday I took some time to go through my ‘starts’ tray and divided everything up into ‘Coloured’ ‘Half Coloured’ ‘Not yet coloured at all’ and ‘Completed Toppers’. I am now trying to work my way through them before starting something new, though I have to admit to working on a reward system; having completed the ones that will be shown below I allowed my self a new bit of colouring…

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This Is the other Crafters Companion Stamp by Donna

That I bought a few weeks ago which I have coloured with SN alcohol pens and some distress ink. I am also quite pleased with myself because I have used up a piece of backing paper that I didnt like (yay me) and then created a bead trail all over using liquid pearls. I plan to do a more overtly steampunky version but have not yet reached that reward level…

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Technically this one still is not finished because it needs a sentiment, but apart from that it all finished! Colouring mediums as above although this one also has twinkling H20 over the top of the flowers – this is what I used before there were sparkle pens 🙂

This next one I started for Mothers Day this year but it got sidelined because I had an order come in which took priority; after which Mothers day was over so I never finished it.

The base of this card is all computer generated

I also printed off a second Daffodil image so that I could colour it; the leavs under the coloured image are actually the same daffodil image coloured in green. I have then foiled the word ‘Mum’ in gold and added several green flicks with my colouring pencil to add to the bouquet along with gems and liquid pearls.

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When I originally did the foiling there were some gaps where the glue has not pulled the foil, so I have filled in the holes with more of the 3d paste creating quite a nice ‘bubble’ effect on the word ‘Mum’ although I am not sure how well it can be seen on the photo!

And Finally, this one could also do with an additional sentiment to bridge between the two sections; I have included it here though because the dragonfly topper I have used has been sitting in a drawer for 2 years…

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Christmas is Coming

So firstly had to tidy ‘the room’. To be fair it has been a work in progress for a couple of weeks especially since a shelf fell down creating havoc. The shelf is back in situ and various re-arrangements later I am in a good place again.

Hadn’t really decided to xmas craft today but was having a quick look through my xmas HunkyDory stash and immediately thought “that would be perfect for xxxx”. I then got out ‘The Xmas Craft Box’ i.e.. All the bits left over last year, and found some toppers I made and never used.

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Not bad for one afternoon 🙂

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The card that started it all today, mostly HunkyDory goodness with a corner snowflake and single snowflake die cut added.

IMG_1468IMG_1471            Decoupage toppers found in box now turned into little cards. Various glitters added but not clear on photos. I will have to make bespoke envelopes but that will be easy enough.IMG_1473

I also found some digital crafting images which again made but not utilised .

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These were made using Serif. I have added sparkle and glitter mainly because I can. They can of course be easily repeated (in fact I already have more than one of each but as I did more or less exactly the same embellishment on them only included one of each)

And finally today the ‘tidying up card’ (please tell me I am not the only one that does it)

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Base is the off cut from card one. Then the other main topper on HD sheet. Frames are all on 3D pads or pinflair gel.

That is me done for today but feeling slightly smug that some of xmas is done.

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 😉

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 🙂