In celebration of REVEAL tomorrow, I want to show you my first set of digital stamps for Studio Calico. Hopefully this will be the first of many! I also want to show you how I used them in my Project Life and tell you how to use them if you are new to digital stamps or brushes. Here is a sneak of the set - you can purchase them HERE for $3.99 starting at 9:00 am pst Sunday, April 27th if you are a subscriber or at 9:00 pm if you are not.
If you are new to how to use digital brushes, it is WAY easier than you are probably anticipating. Think of these files as two things: First, a stamp to add on top of a photo or anything you are printing - so a digital stamp that can be any color you want. OR Second, a cut file just like any other file you use with your Silhoette. I'm going to show you examples of using them both ways and tell you how I did it.
In this first example, I used the "hello love" stamp as a cut file. Keep in mind that each of these files above are a seperate brush, so you can open them one at a time. First in your Silhouette software, go to File, Open and find it in your saved files and open it. Second, go to the eraser tool on the left side of your software and erase over the love portion. Now you should have just the word HELLO on your Silhouette software screen. On the top right of your software, click on the little box with the blue X in it and you will see the trace function. Click on the "Select Trace Area" on the top right. Now you want to trace the word hello so you can turn it into a cut file or .svg file. Start at the top left corner and drag the box down to the bottom right so it covers the entire word. Next, if your High Pass Filter has a check mark in it, remove the check mark on the right side of your screen. Then hit the Trace box (small red box that says Trace next to it under Apply Trace Method). You should now see your black hello with a red line around it. Move the black hello word over to the side, click on it so a box surrounds it, then hit delete so it is off your screen. You now should have the word hello as a cut file on your screen. It should show as just a red outline of the word and you can just follow your usual method of cutting the file out. Make sure to resize it first to fit on a 4x6 card as I did above (I sized it as 4" tall, but it is not 6" wide). My O fell when I was photographing it, so the O should be higher.
This is another example of one of the stamps being used as a cut file. I cut several of the words out of one sheet of turquoise blue cardstock. I used the Best Day portion of "best day ever" for this card.
Please note: I AM NOT AN EXPERT AT THIS. I taught myself. I might be doing it all wrong or a longer way than is necessary. But it works - so hey, why not tell you the way it works for me since i am a complete idiot when it comes to using anything electronic. Maybe it will make it simple for you too!
If you look on the top picture above, you will see that I also used one of the stamps on top of my photo of my daughter at the beach. In this image, I used it on top of a circular frame and added a shadow behind the words. I kept the letters in black as they appear when you open them. Now I want to show you how to change the color of the words and stamp them on your photos. Again, this is my self taught method - no guarentee of this being the "right way", but it works for me!
On this image, you can see I used three of the digital brushes all in white on three of my photos. I wanted to keep the spread cohesive, so I used them all in the same color - they really stand out on the photos this way.
To use them as stamps in white, here is how you do it: I use Photoshop Elements which makes it a very simple process. Open your photo and size it to the the size you want in your Project Life. I tend to keep my photos to be either 4x6 or 3x4 either horizontal or vertical since I primarily use those size pockets in my PL. Next, open the digital file of the words you want to use. It will look like this:
Now, if you want to turn these words to white - go to Enhance on the bar across the top, then hit Adjust Color, then hit Adjust Hue and Saturation. You should see three bars across the Hue/Saturation box. The bottom slider is for lightness. Slide the bar all the way to the right to remove all color. Your words will now be white, so close this box. Now select the words (hit select all or Control/A). Then copy the words by hitting copy or Control/C. Now go to your photo and once it is on the screen, hit Paste or Control/V. It will now be over your image. Grab one of the corners of the words and resize them to fit on your photo. Now before you flatten these words to your photo, I like to add a drop shadow. Go to the Effects area on the right side of your screen and hit Drop Shadow - I hit the box with the Soft Edged drop shadow which is on the bottom right. Now if you are like me, this will be way too much of a shadow. I then click on the little eyeball on the right side of the layer 1 on your sidebar. That will bring up a "style settings" slider bar. I move all three of these choices to around 20 or 30 (Opacity, Size, and Distance). You can play with them and see what you prefer to use. Click Ok and you will now have a better looking drop shadow. Now go to Layer on the top of your screen and click on flatten image. Your words are now part of your photo and you can print it as is.
This works especially well on a photo with a lot of white space as this one above. You can also change the letters to be any color you want. Just go back to the Adjust Hue/Saturation box where you turned the words to white. Now instead, click on the "colorize" button on the bottom right and you can move the three bars around to get to the color you want. There are other ways to do this same thing, but this is an easy way.
Now that I've shown you how to use my new digital stamps as either a stamped image on a photo or a cut file for your PL, let me show you some more examples of how I used them in my spread this month. I have four spreads in the gallery - so I used them quite a bit!
For this card, I created a 4x6 white canvas in Photoshop Elements. Then I copied and pasted two photos that were both 4" wide x 3" tall onto the canvas. Last, I added one of my digital stamps to the center of the two images in black.
On this example, I took a 4x6 picture of my sister on the beach - she was SO happy to be visiting me and going to this beach. The back story is, I had been at this beach a couple months before when her husband called me to tell me she had a brain tumor. I was crushed as I knew the horrible path she would be going down and my heart was broken for her. I also sat in my car praying at this same beach all day while she was in surgery and received the call that she was ok. So as soon as she was able to travel, she wanted to come see me and go to her happy place - the beach. I purposely took her to this exact spot where I had been. So I could not have been happier as I saw her walking towards me on the beach happy and healthy and on her way to recovery. "Bring on the happy" seemed like a good saying to add to this photo! I turned the words to white and then used a black arrow stamp below them.
That is the end of my little tutorial. Please come back tomorrow, Sunday April 27th in the evening - around reveal time that is. I'm going to show all four of my spreads and show you all the ways I used Neocolors on them with directions. I am now a Neocolor Expert - self proclaimed that is! So it will be fun to show you how to use these new fun adult crayons as I call them all over your projects! xoxo - Happy Reveal Day TOMORROW! suzy