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Posts Tagged ‘Photoshop Elements’

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Before you run in fear from the above title, read on….you just might find that digi crafting isn’t as scary as it first sounds.

There are a lot of different kinds of digi crafting, just like there are many kinds of paper crafting.

  • You can buy CDs of images and background papers, print them and use them just as you would paper from a shop.
  • Software is available for you to layer images together on your machine, so you create your card on your computer and just print out the result.
  • Or a blending of the two, where you create/modify images on your computer and print the various elements out so you can assemble them ‘In Real Life’

So why am I encouraging you to try this kind of crafting? Well apart from the fact that it is a lot of fun, you can also save a lot of time and money printing your own papers, but the CDs often include embellishments, to print and layer as well.

I admit I did learn one of the more tricky pieces of software for my digi crafting journey, by choosing Photoshop Elements. Mainly coz it was on DHs computer and I could play, I took Free online classes run by Hewlett Packard the printer people and learnt how to use the program for digital scrapbooking. Thanks to that class I can now use their shapes, textures, bevel’s etc to make realistic looking embellishments, either to print or to use within the program to create an entire page.

Like a lot of us at the moment, funds are tight and paper crafting can get expensive. Pretty papers, stickers and embellishments soon add up and the downside for them is, it’s a use once and they are gone kinda thing. I fancied trying scrapbooking but the expense of putting each page together, mixed with the fear of ‘getting it wrong’ have always put me off. By using software like Photoshop Elements I can colour pic a colour from within my photograph to create a coloured background paper, add textures, drop shadows and have lots of fun. If I like the result I can save/print it. If it all goes a bit wrong, I can play with colours or position of things without having wasted a lot of money. Of course you can do the same with making cards, tags, invitations all kind of things.

Beginner’s

For the newbie, I’d suggest starting out with the kind of CD where you just choose an image and print. No need for lots of prior learning for those ;) You can get CDs of background papers, some specialise in cards and you have the option of printing background papers, a main image and then a decoupage sheet to add dimension to the project. Going digi doesn’t mean you never get to play with the paper, you can get as hands on, or hands off as you like.

If you have a particular kind of style that you like have a look online, there are often people selling CDs with particular themes. Cute, heritage etc. Here are a few sites worth investigating for the kinds of print and play kind of CDs.

  • Artylicious; Glenda Waterworth form Graphicus, makes the most stunning CD ROMs of printable papers and designs. Do check them out.
  • Crafters Companion Flower Fairy’s, Beatrix Potter, from classic illustrations to cute. If you are a Pro Marker/Copic pen fan, you’ll love her matching stamp ranges too.
  • Joanna Sheen; Joanna has all kinds of different styles of CD, do check out her online shop

 

Intermediate

If you are happy playing with software on your computer then you can get dedicated programs for creating Scrapbook pages. These often require a bit of time to learn what tools do what and how to get the best from them, but its worth the investment in time as you will get more flexibility over what you can do.

A few in between packages that would give newbies to digital crafting more options with their images include

Scrapbook Factory Deluxe; Pre made pages you can just drop in your own photos

My Craft Studio; has its own themed images that you can layer on the screen and print a finished card, or print elements to layer ‘in real life’ for more dimension. These also allow you to add your own images, in some cases. Their latest version of the software, includes the option of sending your finished card as an E card. They are moving more towards a simplified version of the more complex programs like Photoshop, but are still easier to navigate if you are new. If you follow the link, click on the ‘shop’ button for a listing of the themed CDs.

Advanced; that computer doesn’t scare me

If you are already confident on the computer the most versatile, and there for it will take a while to master, is Photoshop Elements by Adobe. Within this program, you really are in charge, you can edit your own images and create whatever you like, with so many effects like textures etc. If you are bewildered (as I was) do check out the free online classes by Hewlet Packard. They do a digital Scrapbooking class, every so often and it takes you every step of the way.The classes expect no prior knowledge and really teach you a lot.

The best thing about crafting like this, is that you never run out of that special paper! No more long drives to the craft store, if you mess something up, you just print another one. Need another sheet for the morning??? Craft Store closed? No worries, just press print and carry on ;)

Here are a few of the CDs/ DVDs that I use for Digi Crafting.

Digital Crafting Software

The larger programs often have free 30 day trials, so you can get started and see if you like them without spending a penny ;)

Do you have a favorite CD or digital software programs that you, like? Do leave a comment and tell me about it. This blog is all about sharing and it would be great to share programs from around the world with the readers of this blog.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

This month the 6 x 4 challenge theme was; Using Your Computer to Craft.

For my piece I decided to do a digital page, using a photograph I had taken from the garden.

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I used Photoshop to edit the picture and to create the 3D snowflake brads :) I know Photoshop has a steep learning curve but it is WELL worth the effort of learning how to use it. It is such a versatile programme, and there are free lessons on HP site from time to time which is where I learnt how to do both the elements and the effects.

This piece also covers my entry for The Virtual Crafting Challenge as I made the snowflake brads from scratch on here too.

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today a brief introduction to hybrid crafting. The term ‘Hybrid Crafting’ is used when cards or other paper projects are made where some of the design has been created on the computer. There are many different ways of doing this, you can use a Photo Editing Package such as Photshop Elements and create the entire piece on the computer and print out the result, or what I have done is used a computer to print out the elements for the card and then assemble them as you would if you had bought the paper in a store. Or print out from a pre made CD Rom on a chosen theme. The second option will give you less control over what is printed but is useful if you are less confident on a computer and just want to print and play.

 

The CD I used in this case is called My Craft Studio; Everything Oriental, this was purchased from Create and Craft. It will be simple to use if you have not done much in the way of picture editing on a computer before. You simply select the images you wish to use, re-size, change the colour, layer to your hearts content and then print. You could design the whole card and just print it as a finished flat piece or as I have done print the elements I like (background paper, main image, image mat) seperatly on a single A4 sheet and then cut and assemble them afterwards. Te advantage of this is that it adds dimension to your card/project.

 It is a quick and simple way to create cards if you are in a hurry.  You can reprint favorite sheets as often as you like, no more rush trips to the craft store only to find that your favourite paper is out of stock.

I did find the CD a little limiting but that is ONLY because I am used to working with Photoshop Elements, which took MONTHS to learn how to use and I am still learning. Photoshop is far more versatile but the learning curve if you are not computer savy is HUGE. I can live with the limitations for a quick n simple version.

 

This card was for my mother in laws ‘BIG’ birthday, not saying how old she was, that would be rude! I am pleased with how it turned out as it was my first card that I have made entirely from elements from the computer. I have made layouts using the computer for digital scrap booking and in honesty it is the only way I would scrapbook. The computer has an UNDO button that just isn’t available in real life scrap booking. I use Photoshop for digi-scrapping and although it takes a while to get used to, it is worth it for the versatility.

Links

The best place to learn to digiscrap that I found is http://www.hp.com/ 

The free on line classes link is, http://h30240.www3.hp.com/?jumpid=re_R602_mktg/hpcom/split/oc 

This takes you to the current list of classes running, and every so often they run a digital crafting class. It is possible to download trials of several leading brands of photo editing packages which will last long enough to get you through the class. If you can’t see a class you like at them moment check back with them in a few weeks they rotate the classes on offer.

UPDATE, Urgent heads up for  free online class

Getting Started with Digital Scrapbooking class from Hewlet Packard now available October 3rd to November 6th. Class ends November 14th 2008.

http://h30240.www3.hp.com/courses/overview/p/courseId/15633/Getting_started_with_digital_scrapbooking.htm?courseSessionId=72467&campusId=1302&webPageId=1000000&hhopsession.id=05612d3ebe218bff086e0274e71e

Learn how to do techniques like these with your own images! In the class you learn how to make your own background papers, elements and so much more. It is an online class so as long as you complete the class before the end, the exact days and times you ‘attend’ your class are up to you. This is an excellent class I would recommend to anyone interested in finding out more about using their computer for crafting. Without spending a fortune on CDs. I would  highly recommend downloading your lessons and also printing some of them out, there is a printer friendly version available. That way you can have the instructions next to you as you work rather than have to keep switching screens.

DO check out the Activity Centre 

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/activityCenterHome?lc=en&cc=us&hhopsession.id=3e64f30ac2ffced9019ce199c564

There are plenty of useful projects in the Activity Centre, which give full instructions and some pages to print out. Everything from Christmas decorations, party invites to business cards.

Best wishes and thanks for reading

 

Billie :)

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