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 🙂
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 🙂
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.
- 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.
This is the initial print-off, ready for me to play with!
So what did I do?
- Stamped and heat embossed the latin words stamp several times
- 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
- 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.
- Glittered the cobwebs – only some sections and in two different colours just to be interesting….
- Matted the background onto black card
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.
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!).
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