Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Come Sail Away!

Summer is winding down. Finally!  This has been a hot, crazy, and hectic summer for our little family and I am looking forward to getting back to the regular routine of the school year come next Tuesday. But in the meantime, here is a little summer-inspired card from my Making A Difference class.  If you missed the class, the kit is still available.

Colors: Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight and Whisper White.  Stamps: Moving Forward.  Big Shot: Polka Dot Embossing Folder.  Punch: Scallop Edge Border, Word Window.  Accessories: Brads.
I know I've mentioned before how much I love this sail boat.  (Actually, I just love this whole set).  Here I've put it on a 3x3 card with a very simple layout.  I stamped the image twice, once in Turquoise and once in Pumpkin and then cut out the pumpkin sail and used a dimensional to adhere it to the card.


Monday, August 27, 2012

MDS Monday: Watermark Feature

It's Monday again.  That means it's time for MDS Monday and today I am featuring a super easy new feature from MDS2: using the watermark feature for stamps and punches.  In the original MDS software, you could turn any image into a "watermark" by changing the opacity.  But in MDS2, it is even easier since they've built it right into to the color feature.

The first step is to open a project and insert a stamp image over your background.  This technique is perfect to use with the overlay stamps to create your own DSP.  Here, I've added one of the Vintage Overlay Stamps over the entire background of the page.  (Vintage Overlays is included in MDS2+).  The next step is to pick the "change color" feature under the Design Center.  (I've circled it in red).

In the "choose color" window, you will see the very last option on your palette is a square with the letter "w" in it.  That is your watermark feature:

When you select watermark, the overlay image creates a subtle, texture image over your original background color like this:

You can do this with any stamp to make a background for your project.  Here I've used a couple of images from Artist Etchings (also included with MDS2+):

Stamps aren't the only feature you can watermark.  You can use the same technique with punches as well.  Here is an example where I used the snowflake punches to create soft images on a project:

And here is my semi-completed project.  I used the punches from above and then I also used the watermark feature on the Dot, Dot, Dot stamp on the bottom of the page.
Colors: Marina Mist, Whisper White, Not Quite Navy, Riding Hood Red.  Digital Stamp Brush: Dot, Dot, Dot  Digital Punches: Snowflake, Snowflake Trimmings 1&2, Tasteful Trim Shape 2.  Embellishments: Regal Buttons, Latte Buttons, Grosgrain Ribbon and Knot.
I say semi-completed because I haven't added and journaling. And actually, in MDS I have a hard time deciding when my page is done.  I do feel like this is missing something so if you have an idea, please post it in the comment section below.

Ready to try this feature for yourself, head on over to my store and get your own 30-day free trial of MDS2.  And I'm so excited because the 31% off for 31 Days on MDS print projects has been extended to 45 days!  The last few weeks have been a little off at our house so I'm thrilled to have the time to finish up those projects I've started. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Googly Ghouls Card and Frame

I had so many comments on the Frame I featured last week on the Blog Hop.  I am so happy everyone liked it.  Today I am going to share with you the details on that and the card I made. 

So without further adieu, here are the details on the frame:
Colors: Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Basic Black, Whisper White.  Stamps: Googly Ghouls.  Big Shot: Typeset Alphabet Bigz, Circle #2 Originals.  Punches: 2-3/8" Scallop & 1-3/4" Circle Punch. Embellishents: Polka Dot Parade Designer Series Paper, Many Marvelous Markers, Googlies.  Other: 8-1/2x11" Document Frame.
When I made the Family Frame last spring, I envisioned seasonal inserts for the same frame. Then Stampin' Up! went and retired the two larger alphabet die sets.  And the new Typeset Alphabet dies are much smaller and just weren't quite going to work for a 10x13 frame.  But I had made these smaller frames as teacher gifts at the end of the school year and thought I'd give that a whirl with the new dies.

The Polka Dot Parade Designer Series Paper is cut into 2-1/2" squares and layered on a piece of Basic Black Card Stock.  I used the Circle #2 die to cut 2" circles since that is missing from our punch line up.  They are the middle circle in the mat stacks under the letters.  For the Googly Ghouls, I stamped them in Staz-on, colored them with the markers and cut them out.

I have visions of making a similar frame with the Howlstooth & Scaringbone Designer Series Paper and the Toxic Treat Stamp Set but I haven't had a chance to yet.  Both will be offered at my Spook-tacular Stampin' Buffet coming up in about a month.  But starting today, I am offering the Googly Ghouls Frame Insert Kit so you can get one of your very own!

And now for the card:
Colors: Tangerine Tango, Basic Black, Wild Wasabi, Perfect Plum and Daffodil Delight. Stamps: Googly Ghouls,  Punches: 2-3/8" Scallop & 1-3/4" Circle Punches.  Tools: Heat Tool and Paper Piercer. Embellishments: Basic Black Embossing Powder, Many Marvelous Markers, Googlies, Basic Black Scallop Dotted Ribbon, Howlstooth & Scaringbone Designer Series Paper.

I made this for the Stampin' Addicts Holiday Catalog Swap. It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but I stamped the witch in Basic Black Craft Ink and then Embossed her with Basic Black Embossing Powder to give her some dimension and shine.  Then I colored her with the markers and cut her out.  I originally had a Tangerine Tango circle behind her, but thought it needed just a bit more color so I changed it to Perfect Plum to make it just a bit more "Halloweenish."

And if you missed the rest of the Blog Hop Projects, all the blogs are deep linked together so it's not too late.  Just start here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ghoulish Googlies Treat Holder and Banner

As promised, today I'm going to share the details of the Ghoulish Googlies Treat Holder and Banner from the Holiday Catalog Blog Hop this past weekend.  It is not too late to enjoy the blog hop if you haven't already since all the sites are deep linked now.

First project is the Treat Bag:

Colors: Whisper White, Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie, Lucky Limeade.  Stamps: Googly Ghouls.  Big Shot: Chevron Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  Punch: Word Window. Accessories: Ghoulish Googlies Designer Kit, Googlies, Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder.

Again, I CASEd and idea that was shown by Shannon West on the Main Stage at Convention.  Here is what you will need to get started:
Basic Black Craft Ink, Chevron Embossing Folder, Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder and Heat Gun.

First step: Ink up your Chevron Embossing Folder with the Basic Black Craft Ink.  I found the easiest way was to wipe it across the folder.  But be careful not to press to hard to get it into the recessed parts:
Carefully line up the glassine bag with the chevron patter on the folder and run it through your Big Shot:
After you run it through the Big Shot.  Cover it completely in Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder:
Then shake off the excess powder and heat set:
Finish your project by filling the bag and embellishing it as you choose. 

Here's another picture that shows just how sparkly it is:

I am also showing the details of the banner today too since I don't want this to stretch out over several days.  Here's the banner:

Colors: Basic Black, Whisper White, Lucky Limeade, Pumpkin Pie. Stamps: Googly Ghouls.  Big Shot: Label Collection Framelitsm Typeset Alphabet Dies.  Accessories:  Ghoulish Googlies Designer Kit, Pumpkin Pie Brads, Lucky Limeade Ruffled Ribbon, 1/8" Basic Black Taffeta, Googlies, Paper Piercing Template and Tool.
The tags from the Ghoulish Googlies Designer Kit are double sided.  So I used both sides of them here. I love how these tags layer perfectly with the Labels Collection Framelit.  Here is a close up of one of the tags where you can see the paper piercing and all the other details:

Come back on Friday for a look at the card and the frame and find out how to get a frame kit of your own.

Monday, August 20, 2012

MDS Monday: Recoloring Paper and Embellishments

I hope you enjoyed the Blog Hop this weekend.  If you missed it, all the sites should be deep linked together so you can still see all the fabulous projects and ideas from the Holiday Catalog by starting here: STAMPIN' ADDICTS HOLIDAY CATALOG BLOG HOP

On Wednesday and Friday this week, I'll be sharing the details of my projects, but today is MDS Monday!  We've had a few things come up at our house this weekend so I am behind on my MDS projects, but I still wanted to share a fun new feature of MDS2 with you today: recoloring Designer Series Paper and Embellishments.  Sometimes the ones included with the kits are just not quite right for the pictures you have in mind.  And I love that they have given us this option.

First: recoloring DSP.  The easiest way I have found to do this is by adding a page layer.  You do this in the Background Papers menu in the Design Center (on the right of your screen, first option) or the Resource Palate (left side of the screen, last option).  I've circled the "Add as Page Layer" feature in the Design Center Menu below. 

And here is what it looks like on the Resource Palate.  Again, I've circled the "Add as Page Layer" feature in red:

When you do that, it actually converts your page layer to a photo box, filled with Designer Series Paper.  I wanted the DSP to fill the entire page so I needed to recrop it and stretch it to the screen.  You do this by picking the crop feature under Photos on the Design Center or by double clicking on the layer: 

The window you get looks like this:

To fill the entire page, move your box up to the top left corner and then drag the bottom right corner until the entire image is selected.  If you only want part of the DSP on your page, then select the portion and shape that you'd like.

Once you have your paper to the size you'd like, you are ready to recolor it. Simply click on the "recolor" option under your Photo menu in the Design Center:

The color palate box comes up and you can pick any one of Stampin' Up's exclusive colors, or any other color using the other options available on that menu.  I wanted to make my background Midnight Muse so I selected that.

And Voila!

You can also recolor embellishments in a similar fashion.  I wanted to add the helicopter from the On the Go designer kit, but the green wasn't really working with my color scheme. On the Design Center under Embellishments, click on "recolor" and follow the same steps above. 

When you recolor embellishments, it recolors the entire image in monotone colors.  It isn't the same as recoloring a stamped image where you can choose which parts of the stamp gets recolored.

And now for the semi-finished page:

Colors: Midnight Muse, More Mustard, Cherry Cobbler, Bashful Blue and Whisper White.  My Digital Studio Elements: On the Go Designer Kit, Flag Digital Punch, Alphabet Soup Digital Punches, Round Buttons and Brads.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Stampin' Addicts Holiday Catalog Blog Hop: Ghoulish Googlies Bundle

Welcome to stop #12 on the Stampin' Addicts Holiday Catalog Blog Hop.  If you're hoping in order, you've just come from Betty's Kitty Stamps Blog.  (Isn't that cat just awesome?  I've just added it to my wish list.)  If this is your first stop on the hop, no worries: all the blogs are looped together in a circle so you won't miss a thing.  If you get lost along the way, or just want to chat about the hop, visit the main hop thread on Stampin' Addicts.

First of all, there are so many amazing things in the Holiday Catalog, I had a hard time picking what to use for the hop.  But several years ago, Stampin' Up had a Halloween set called Booglie Eyes that I never bought and I've always regretted it.  So when I saw Googly Ghouls, I was not going to make the same mistake twice.  And the Ghoulish Googlies Designer Kit is only $4 more when you buy it in the bundle with the stamps so who wouldn't do that? Right?  You get enough goodies to make ten treat bags and you will have left over tags for other projects too.  And honestly, I just can't stop creating things with this stamp set.  It is so cute!  If you come back on Wednesday and Friday next week, I'll be sharing more information about the blog hop projects.

The first project I'm sharing is actually a CASE of a project that was demonstrated on the Main Stage at Convention by Shannon West.  It uses all the things that come in the Ghoulish Googlies Bundle: the glassine bags, tags, stamps and adhesive-backed googly eyes. I added texture, color and bling to the bag in a technique that Shannon demonstrated and I'll tell you more about on Wednesday so be sure to come back.

If you've hopped along with Stampin' Addicts before, you know that I LOVE banners.  I make a new one every Halloween (and this year, I've made 2 already).  I was actually going to show you the other one I made, but then I got the idea to use the tags from the Ghoulish Googlies Kit as the background for the letters on a completely different banner.  And I love how they layered with these die cuts from the Framelits Labels Collection.

I easily could have made a card using the cute tags from the kit too.  But I made this card for a Holiday Mini Swap a few weeks back and decided to feature it instead.  I just love that witch image. The Designer Series Paper on here is from the Howlstooth and Scaringbone pack also in the Holiday Mini. 

This Halloween Frame was so fun to put together and pretty quick with some circle punches and die cuts.  I love the bright fun colors in the Polka Dot Parade Designer Series Paper Pack; four of the six are perfect for Halloween.  And of course, the Ghouls make an appearance here with their googly eyes. Love those things!  Come back on Friday to learn more about this project and how to get a kit to make your very own.

I hope you've enjoyed this look at the Ghoulish Googlies Bundle and that I've convinced you that you have to have it too. Don't forget to come back on Wednesday and Friday to learn more about each project.  Next stop on the hop is Heidi's RunningwScissorsStamper Blog and a look at Perfectly Preserved.  She always has fabulous projects share.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Support the Ronald McDonald House Charities

For my class this month, I'm doing things a little differently:  I'm including a stamp set with the class and all the projects will use that set.  The set I chose: Moving Forward, this year's Making A Difference Stamp Set.  For every set purchased, including the ones for this class, Stampin' Up! donates $3 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Here is just one of the eight projects we will be making:
Colors: Gumball Green, Melon Mambo, Pretty in Pink and Whisper White.  Stamps: Moving Forward.  Big Shot: Labels Collection Framelits, Adorning Accents Edgelits, Fancy Fan Folder. Punch: Word Window.  Accessories: Festive Paper Piercing Pack, Paper Piercing Tool, Pretty in Pink Scallop Dot Ribbon
Here's a group shot of all the projects together.

All the details on this class are posted here on my blog and on Facebook.  If you can't come to the class, but want to make these cards yourself, head on over to my Kit Page where you can buy the kit to make them.

And don't forget to check back on Friday for the Holiday Catalog Blog Hop.  I've been working all week on my projects and I can't wait to share.

Monday, August 13, 2012

MDS Monday - Editing Stamp Images

Welcome back for MDS Monday, where I share an exciting new feature of MDS2.  Today I am focusing on twp of my favorite new features: the ability to crop and apply multiple colors to a single digital stamp.

Last week, I volunteered to make the buttons and banner for the upcoming Stampin' Addicts Holiday Catalog Blog Hop.  And I took full advantage of these two features when I made the banner for the hop that is coming up this Friday:

Colors: Gumball Green, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White, Primrose Petal. Digital Downloads: Owl Occasions Stamp Brush Set, Snow Festival Designer Series Paper, Hugs & Kisses Punch.
See all those individual parts of the stockings?  Those are just stamps that I digitally colored.  It's very easy and a little addicting. On the right side of your screen is your "Design Center." When your stamp window is open it looks like this:
I've circled the recoloring option in red. You can select that or simply double clicking on a stamp image on your project to bring up the coloring window that looks like this:

You use your mouse as the paint brush.  Just pick a color from your palette and a brush size and run it over the portion of the stamp you wish to color.  You can see here, I started with my Santa hat in Cherry Cobbler but I wanted the pom-pom to be Gum Ball green.  I used the same thing to recolor the other images as well.

Did you notice that I didn't use the full stamp of the hat on the banner?  I was trying to fit a lot of things on that banner and I needed the hat to be a little shorter. This is where the "crop" feature comes in handy.  Again on the "Design Center" stamp menu you can see this option:

When you click on it, this screen comes up:
Simply use your mouse to select the area of the stamp you want on your project.  I used this same technique to change to size of the branch.

I hope you are enjoying MDS2 as much as I am.  Don't forget, if you don't have it yet, you can download your free 30-day trial by clicking on my "shop now" button.  And don't miss the Stampin' Addicts Holiday Catalog Blog Hop this Friday through Sunday.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Snowflake Soiree

One of the first sets that caught my eye in the Holiday Catalog was Snowflake Soiree.  I debated about getting it because I don't really need another snowflake stamp set, or Holiday stamp set at all for that matter.  But I loved the greetings in it, "Believe" and "Merry" so you know it just jumped into my virtual shopping cart.  The is the card I made for a recent Holiday Mini swap on Stampin' Addicts:

Colors: Bashful Blue, Midnight Muse and Whisper White.  Stamps: Snowflake Soiree.  Accessories: Whisper White 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Rhinestone Jewels and Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder.
Its hard to tell from this picture, but this entire card is sparkly thanks to Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder.  One of the things they demonstrated at convention is embossing with the new ink pads.  You have to work fast, but it does work. That is how I did the "Believe."   For the snowflakes, I used Whisper White Craft Ink so you don't have to work quite as fast with that. 

I love so many things in the Holiday Mini Catalog.  You can check it out for yourself by clicking on the link below.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Convention Christmas Card Swap

I almost feel bad even sharing this card I swapped at the Stampin' Addicts Meet and Greet.  See, I have a secret to share about it.  I didn't really make it at all.  Remember I told you my friend Erin Kyle was here while I was making my convention swaps?  This card is all her.  She designed it, cut it, stamped it, colored it, assembled it, and even bag and tagged it for me.  Like I said, I want her to come back every year before convention:

Colors: Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Gumball Green, Marina Mist, and Shimmer White.  Stamps: Merry & Type.  Big Shot: Square Lattice Folder and Apothecary Accents Framelits.  Accessories: Water Color Crayons, Aqua Painter, Many Marvelous Markers, Rhinestone Jewels, Early Espresso Baker's Twine, Early Espresso Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon.

Do you know how you can tell I didn't make it?  It has water coloring on it.  Water coloring is just not my forte.  I love the look, but I don't have the patience to do it for swap cards.  She used Shimmer White Card Stock because it holds up better to coloring with an Aqua Painter.

And the other way is all the detail work to get the twine on there.  I think I would have jabbed my eye out instead of tie all those little knots.  But I do love the way it looks and I appreciate her jumping in and getting it done. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

MDS Monday: Custom Size Projects

Welcome to my first MDS Monday!  Each Monday for the next few months, I will be showcasing some of the amazing new features of My Digital Studio 2.

Did you notice that I changed the background of my blog?  I really struggled to come up with an idea that would work for this.  Then this morning, when I was in that half awake and half asleep phase, this design idea hit me.  I used the Convention 2012 Book Template that is available as a download for $17.95 in the US.

I've used MDS to make blogger backgrounds, headers, and buttons before, but with MDS2 it is even easier.  Before I would have to export the images and then crop and resize them in a photo editing software.  But MDS2 now has a "Custom Size" project option that makes this SOOOOOOOO much easier.  Today I'm going to show you how to make a blog button using this feature. This is the blog button I made this morning:
Created with MDS2 using the Convention 2012 Book Template.

When you open MDS2 you still get the options to create photobooks, calendars, designer templates, cards & tags and journals.  But the last option on the page is Custom.
Click on the custom feature and this window comes up:
You have the option of choosing to size your picture by pixels or by inches.  For blog design work, I generally choose pixels and to make a blog button, I chose 400 wide.  The height will depend on what you are doing.  For my "SHOP NOW" button, I wanted it square so I also put 400 for the height.  Select "create project" and you get a nice canvas to start your creation.

Another really nice feature is the ability to change your project size after you have started it.  To do this, you select the "edit" menu at the top and "Change Project Size/Type" in the drop down menu:

I've used that handy little feature more than once in the past few days.  It does try to resize any element you already have on your page to match the new size of your projects which is also a really nice feature.

Next Monday, I will be talking about how to edit stamp brush images including cropping and adding more than one color to a single image.  But on Wednesday and Friday this week, I'll be back to convention swaps and Holiday Catalog projects.  See you then!

Friday, August 3, 2012

MDS2: First Impressions

I promised to give you some more information on the new MDS2 software today.  I've been playing with it for two days now and I all have to say: WOW!

I mentioned on Wednesday that there are 75 new features with the software. For the next several weeks I will be sharing some of these new features, tips and projects each Monday for MDS Monday.  I know today is Friday, not Monday, but I couldn't wait to share so you get a bonus today.

One of the first things to love about My Digital Studio is the ability to work in 2 page spreads instead of just one page at a time.  That was something that used to annoy me about the original My Digital Studio: even though you could view two pages at once, going back and forth between the two pages was slow and cumbersome.  This is a screen shot of the first project I started working on in MDS2.  It is an album of our trip to Disneyland last year. Since all print projects are 31% off this month, I'm hoping to complete this album, plus at least one more before August 31.
To toggle in between the two views, you click on the icon just to the left of your individual page previews at the bottom.  I circled it in this screen shot so you can get a better look:
Toggle between working on one page at a time or a two page spread by clicking these icons.
As you can see from the screen shots, the overall look of the software has changed.  The screen is darker and some of the icons have changed just a bit but I found it easy to use and figure out what is what. 
We were told at convention that Stampin' Up! had an internal goal of releasing MDS2 on August 1.  Someone leaked that date accidentally to the public so the company did everything they could to get the software in our hands on that date.  Unfortunately, that means there still might be a few bugs.  They have promised to fix those in the next several weeks with free updates.  However, in working with it the past two days, I have only crashed the program once trying to use the new "draw" feature.

Over all, I find the software faster than the previous version.  There doesn't seem to be as much lag time between switching pages or adding new elements.  Of course the speed of the program is completely dependent on the computer you have and how much RAM you have on board.  Stampin' Up! recommends a Pentium 4, 1.6 GHz  processor with at least 2 GB of RAM. (Just FYI, my laptop runs 64-Bit Windows 7 on a 2.00 GHz Pentium Dual-Core processor with 4GB of RAM.) 

I chose to purchase MDS2+ for $79.95, instead of just the upgrade for $19.95.  But this is a personal decision.  I went through the list of downloads included with the plus version and there were more than $70 in downloads I didn't have that I knew I would use. The full version of the software with very limited content is also available for $39.95.  You can see the difference between the content here:
If you already have the original My Digital Studio, all the downloads you have purchased will automatically transfer to the new program when you install it on your computer.  Any projects that have started in the previous version transfer over just fine as well.

Anyone can try a free 30-day trial of MDS2, even if you've already tried a 30-day trial of the original MDS.  The free trial includes about $200 in content (select content that comes with MDS2+) so you can really get a feel for the program and play around with all the features. 

Here is a closer look at those pages I showed you above:

Colors:  Green Galore, Basic Black, Whisper White and Almost Amethyst.  Digital Stamps: Blast Off Ensemble.  Embellishments: Candid Frames.
Just a couple of quick things to mention about these pages.  You probably noticed I used "retired" colors on my page.  With MDS, there is no such thing as retired.  Green Galore and Almost Amethyst just matched Buzz Lightyear best.  Also, the Candid Frames download is one of the 31 digital content items available for 31% off this month.
If you are ready to get started with MDS2 head on over to my online store to download your free 30-day trial or to purchase your software.  All versions are now available as a download so you can get started right away!  If you have questions about MDS that you would like me to address in future MDS Mondays, please post them in the content section and I will do my best to get them figured out.