Monday, January 18, 2010

My Digital Studio Baby Announcement

After I made the baby shower invitation I thought it would be fun to do a few baby announcements with My Digital Studio.  And since I never sent out announcements for my own kids (how sad is that!), why not do one for each of them!  They’ll never know I was years behind in printing them right?  Here’s what I came up with—again using inspiration from some online services:

baby announcement boy-001

baby announcement 1a-001
baby announcement 2-001
These were super easy and very simple without a lot of fuss.   If you know anyone who might be interested, I would love to help design a “real” baby announcement!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The best time of the year!

Looking for a great discount on papercrafting supplies?  Now is the best time of the year to sign up as a demonstrator for Stampin’ up!  The Stampin' Up! Starter Kits are a great value!  You can be a “hobby” demonstrator and enjoy many benefits:

  • Save 15% on the Starter Kit and choose a Bonus Stamp Set (valued to $47.95*).  Ends March 31.
  • Choose from Two Kits:  The Standard Starter Kit (Now $169) and Digital + Starter Kit (Now $157) offer over $295 in Stampin' Up! products and include free shippingCustomize the kit with your choice of stamp sets, ink colors and more (of equal or less value).
  • Sign Up On-line.  Get immediate benefits.  Just email me for my password.
  • There's no obligation to sell or hold workshops and no penalty if you decide to drop.  You keep all your goodies. 
  • Fill your Wish List!  Receive 30% off your first order of $150 or more plus qualify for hostess benefits. During Sale-A-Bration you'll also earn 3 free gifts with a $150 order (one for every $50 in product).
  • Enjoy 20% off every day.
  • To remain active, $300 in total retail sales is required per quarter.  This includes your own purchases and customer sales (based on retail prices).
  • Join now!  The end of the first full quarter isn't until June 30.  You would be guaranteed discounts and benefits until then. 
  • If your sales reach $300 by June 30, you remain active through September 30 (third quarter).  Your discounts continue through the release of the new 2010-2011 catalog (July 1) and In Colors.

Interested?  I would love to have you on my team!  Email me with your questions or to receive my password to sign up on-line.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Digital Studio tutorial baby shower invitation

I got an emergency email from a friend who needed a baby shower invite created in a hurry.  Here’s what I came up with…
 anne's baby shower invite blurred
I got the inspiration from a pre-printed invitation online.   Since I already showed the first few screens in the other MDS tutorials, I will skip them here and just tell you, I opened up MDS and selected the Greeting Card option, 5 x 7 portrait size, then “create your own” template.  Then I named my project and here is my blank canvas:
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Again there is a gray bleed area highlighted to show where the print service may cut the card.
Background Color: To make the entire background the hot pink color, I selected the background papers bar from the Design Center on the right side of the screen
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I then chose the color palatte and selected Melon Mambo as the color choice.
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Add a layer: To add a layer of color (white), I chose chose the cardstock option from the background paper bar and selected whisper white, and then clicked Add as  page layer" in the bottom left of that screen.
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This is how it inserts:
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So I just moved it around and changed the shape using the “handles” on each of the sides and corners.
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When you enlarge a “piece of cardstock” it is going to prompt you that it will pixelate when printed.  As long as it is a solid color, you do not have to worry about pixelation.  If you are working with a patterned piece of paper it is different—I will show you an example of that later.
Using Punches: Now I am going to show you another REALLY COOL feature of the MDS software.  To add the scalloped border punch, I selected the punches bar from the design center on the right side of the screen:
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Important note: in the MDS program, the punches are “vector images,” which allows us to change the size of the punch without pixelating it.  Here’s what I did:
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I clicked the add a punch box, then the drop down menu of all the available punches shows each punch shape and its name.
I selected the scallop edge punch, which then inserted into my document like this:
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If I just drag the top “handle” of the punch, it will distort the punch by “stretching” the shape of the punch:
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So, instead I hover over the punch until I see the 4 way move arrow, then I can move the punch image where I want it.
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Now I want to “fill” the punch with whatever color or paper I choose, which for this design will just be white.
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So I chose color fill from the punch menu, then I selected whisper white.
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You can see that the scalloped area now matches the white cardstock above it.
To add the eyelet holes, I used the punch feature again.  By selecting the circle punch and making it small enough to fit in the scallops, I can “fill” each punched circle hole with melon mambo, and make it look like the white scallops are punched out showing the melon mambo color underneath. 
Here’s the circle punch:
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I can resize it manually by grabbing one of the “handles” and shrinking the whole image, or I can just right click on the circle and choose edit object, which will bring up this window:
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So then I am going to change with width and height to about 10 and see if that size is what I am looking for.
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See that little gray square dot?  That is the circle, reduced to 10 by 10 (measured in pixels).  At this size it is a little tricky to work with, so I use my arrow keys to move it around to the place I want.  I can then fill it with the melon mambo color.  Once I do that, I just copy and paste all the circles down the line of scallops.  There are a couple of tricks to help through this process.  In the bottom right corner of the screen is the zoom button.  I zoomed in to about 200% to work with the circles.  I also added the grid to my canvas, which you can select from the top menu bar on the right hand side:
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So I just select the little circle, then copy it (ctrl c), and if I want to keep them all in line, I can choose to paste it “in place” instead of offset.
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Then I just move the pasted circle with my arrows over to the next scallop.
By zooming in and using the grid, you can line up those circles quickly and easily.

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Adding Text: Then I added my text.
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Then I typed my text in the box:
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I then changed the font, and colors of text using the options on the design center on the right.
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Using Stamps: Now I want to add the “oh baby” title at the top.  So I click on the stamp icon in the resource palatte on the left side of the screen and a drop down menu of all th stamp sets available shows up.
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I chose Schoolbook Serif Alphabet.  Then I drag each letter for baby onto the screen and re-size it.
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As long as you have the keep proportions box clicked, your alphabet letters will not distort.
Then I selected each letter individually and changed the color by using the “change color” button in the design pallete:
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Then to line them up, I used the grid feature again:
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For the oh, part of the title, I used added a text box and selected a font style instead of using an alphabet stamp. 
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Grouping: TO make it easier to move the word baby around to get it centered I selected each of the letters by clicking on them while holding down the control key on my keyboard.  Then I made them a group by selecting the group button in the arrange menu, or just clicking ctrl+shift+G. 
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Now my project is done!  I have several print options I want to show you.  In the design center on the right side of the page, the very bottom bar is “share project”
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Share your Project: You can see that there are two categories or sharing—create from home, and professional print.  I am going to create from home—sort of.  I want to export this file to a jpg and then upload it to a local print shop.  So I click on export to jpg and follow the steps to save it to my computer as a jpg file.  Then I can upload it to any print service.  If I wanted to print this at home with my home printer, I could also just click on the print button and follow the steps there.
Professional Print Option: The professional print option offered through Stampin’ Up! takes me to an order screen which allows me to print multiple copies of this card professionally.  The 5 x 7 greeting card choice prints as a folded card, and I created this to be a single sheet “panel” invitation, but if I wanted to use Stampin’ Up!s professional printing service, I could copy my design and paste it on the inner page of the card, then when I receive my printed order, cut the card in half to make two panels—which would also cut my price in half!
C0lor Match: I chose to send this file as a jpg to a local big box store for printing.  I picked it up today and the card color was pure RED not pink!!!  Many local print services have a hard time with matching the colors to what we see on our screen.  Stampin’ Up!s print service matches the SU colors, so if for instance I was going to mount this card onto real SU Melon Mambo cardstock, or tie a Melon Mambo ribbon on it, I would be assured that it would match if I printed it through the professional print option.  It would also qualify for any hostess benefits—so if I was printing a big order I could get free merchandise with my print job, or I could print a small order and add other supplies to qualify for hostess benefits. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sweet Treat Heart Cups

HeartTreatCup_landingpage_B2
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Stampin’ Up! is offering a new heart shaped treat cup with coordinating accessories (of course!). 
Available to order starting today, these heart cups will have a limited supply availability, so don’t procrastinate!  I am planning on using these in an upcoming class, but you’ll love them so much you’ll want a whole box full to use for all your Valentine’s cards.  Here’s the details:HeartFlyer_US single
Heart treat cups (#120435) coordinate with the full heart punch (#113693) and come in a box with 12 cups for $2.95.  You can mail them in a sweet treat padded envelope (#116911).  There is also a new stamp set that coordinates with the heart cups, “Sweetheart”.  Which you can get as a traditional wood mounted stamp set (#120415) or in the new clear mounted set (#120780).
HeartFlyer_US stamp set only copy
These cups and coordinating products would be fun to use for weddings, Mother’s Day, baby showers, birthdays, etc. 
Download the flyer here.
Call or email me to place an order, or shop online 24/7 at www.melissab.stampinup.net

My Digital Studio 12 x 12 photo only tutorial or Scrapbooking for Strugglers.

So now that Christmas is over, I imagine all of you have hundreds of photos trapped on your camera or if you are truly ambitious, maybe you have dumped your photos from the camera to your computer.  But they are still sitting there.  This next tutorial is a great way to create multiple no-fuss pages when you have so many photos you don’t know what to do with them!
I start again with the new project options window and choose photo album.
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Then I am going to choose 12 x 12 again.  If you don’t have a large format printer (who does?) and your local print store doesn’t offer 12 x 12 or they are too pricey, then you can always choose a smaller page size, print at home, and them mount the pages onto 12 x 12 cardstock (if you are keeping a 12 x 12 album)
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This time, I am going to select photo only from the template window.
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There is only one template choice for the photo only option. which includes 10 photo only layouts.
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After I click next, MDS prompts me to arrange the layouts in any order.  I can re-arrange pages at any time during my design process.
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For this tutorial I am going to show you the auto-fill option.
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After I choose auto-fill, I select the photo folder that I want select photos from.
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The next step is to organize photos.  I have 100 photos in this folder of Christmas morning.  Of course there are many duplicates and bad shots, so by going through and deleting and sorting here, I can save myself a lot of time.  I can even add photos from another folder if I want.
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Then I name my project Christmas 2009 pages.  Because that is how much creativity I have.
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And here is my canvas pre-populated with the photos from Christmas morning.
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You can see at the bottom of the screen there is a “filmstrip” of all the pages with my photos already filled in.  I can change the order of the pages by clicking and dragging individual pages and dropping them in the order I want.
Now I want to do some re-arranging with the photos on this first  page, so I can either delete some of the photos, then drag and drop the ones I want into the places I want them from the resource palette on the right.  Or I can delete and drag within the page.
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You can see above that I have deleted the photos I didn’t want from the page, but the photo boxes remain.  Now I can choose the photos I want from the resource palette on the right and just drag and drop them into place.
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I am going to delete the long skinny photo box and add a text box there in the same shape.  Just click on the text bar in the design center and choose add text.
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Then I moved the transparent text box and resized it to fit the open space.
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And since I am journaling disabled, it will remain blank until I can think of something to say that doesn’t bore me.
Now if I want to add a page in the middle of the template pages,then I select Insert from the top menu, then choose add page.
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Then I can choose which of the 10 templates I want to use or I can just insert a blank page.  I want to put another this template—page 7.
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Then I can drag the photos into the photo boxes that I want to use. 
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I would like the photo on the top right to be larger, so I am going to delete the photo box on the left and then drag the photo on the right to be larger.
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MDS is warning me that by dragging the photo to be larger, that it might pixelate or distort, so instead, I am going to delete the photo and then drag the photo box  to be larger.
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This is one of the great beauties of MDS.  It will fill the photo box with your photo without you having to mess around with ratios, or image sizes.  Except now I think I would like it better if the top photo was centered.  So I am going to move the photo be grabbing the whole thing, not just a “handle” on the side or corner.
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Here is are a few more examples of the photo-only templates. image image image image
Are you smellin’ what I am cookin’?  Doesn’t this look like scrapbooking for dummies?  There is just not time in the world to scrap every photo you have ever taken, but with these templates, you can at least print a bunch of photos on one sheet in the album size of choice and go to sleep a little less guilty that your youngest child has no physical evidence of the past.
Now if you want to jazz things up just a little without spending an hour on each page, you can just change the background paper:
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Arrange>Change Background Paper>Cardstock. 
So I chose red, (Real Red to be exact) because it is so festive.  Here’s another trick—if I want all the pages to have the same background, then I open the background papers bar, and click the apply background paper to all pages button near the bottom.  This WARNING appeared on my screen
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THIS ACTION CAN NOT BE UNDONE.
Watch me.
Here’s a page that if I were to print at home would drain every drop of magenta and cyan from my ink cartridge:
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So, all I have to do now is click on cardstock, color, designer paper or custom and change the background.
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TaaaDaaaa!  Back to white, or any other color of my choice.
One more neato-frito trick.  Let’s say I want captions under all my photos, in case my journaling is not coming along like I plan…
Just click Edit>Preferences>
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Then click on the captions tab and enable auto captions.  Now any photo you add to your page will have a caption at the bottom which defaults to the photo name (which from my camera is just a jumble of letters and numbers)
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Can you see it?  IMG_0125.  But I can change the text to read something else:
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Now you have no excuses.  Get yourself a copy of My Digital Studio and stop the insanity!  Your photos are calling you.