Thursday, October 28, 2010

Digital Tuesday sponsorship!

Doodle Pantry is so happy to sponsor the Digital Tuesday Challenge this week!  I hope you can play along, the challenge is to use something that you would not normally use for crafting... things like from the kitchen cupboard or from outside.... sounds like fun!

I wasn't able to make something this week, but the Digital Tuesday DT did a TREMENDOUS job showcasing this theme, so even if you can't play, I hope you'll check out their creations and get inspired by their wonderful ideas!

Hope you have a fun paper crafty weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CLOSED - Important image question for you!

THIS QUESTION POST IS NOW CLOSED - thanks for your feedback!

Good morning!
I wanted to get customer feedback before I begin a project.
I have been debating on re-drawing the first 5 birdies... 
Happy Bird (I would make this one a freebie like the other)
They were all drawn with pointed feathers, which was the original design.   I am wanting to update them with the new rounded feathers that you see on the latest birdies, like Pirate birdie and Birthday birdie,  and then I would discontinue selling the pointed feather versions (although they would remain posted as reference on the site for copyright reasons).  
I would offer the new versions at a discount for those who purchased the pointed feather versions... 
Do you think you would replace your first version, if given a considerable discount? 
Thanks for offering your feedback!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Layering Digi Images in MS Word

I use Microsoft Word to print my digital images, and I wanted to show you how easy it is to layer Doodle Pantry images.
(Note to keep in mind:  My Word program is older... 24 bit depth, and the PNG's are saved at 32 bit depth, so PNG's "appear" a bit pixelated on the screen in my Word document... but  they print just fine.  If you ever place a PNG and it "views" this way, it is likely that it is NOT the quality of the image at all, just your program or computer screen... it will probably print just fine.)

MOST Doodle Pantry PNG files are "white filled", meaning that the image can be placed on top of another digital file and the image below will be covered by the image on top, without manually having to "erase" the image behind.  (There are a few images in which I did not fill though,  the Pasque flower is one of those.)
This allows creating a scene of several images, a snap. 
I do not know how other companies save their PNG's... but the few that I do know of are outlines only, and you see other images through them when layering, which does have it's benefits for some applications, just not for easy layering in Word program.

First, add the image you want that will be below or behind.
Below, you will see what happened when I tried to layer a JPG of the gift sheep on top of another JPG of the gift sheep.  It is not a seamless overlap... half of the sheep "behind" is blanked out.
But, add a JPG of your first image and then a PNG version of another on top (after) you place the first one, and as long as the PNG file has been "white filled", you will get a seamless overlap. See below... the JPG has been placed first, and then a PNG file is placed second, overtop.  Most of Doodle Pantry images are white filled to allow you to do this.

Additionally, you can use the JPG image below and a PNG sentiment above your image and won't have to worry about the white bounding box overlapping and covering any part of your image.   Place either a JPG or PNG of the image down.

Now place the PNG file of the sentiment and move it to the desired location.  See below.
If you had tried to place the JPG of the sentiment, the entire middle section of the birdies would have been covered up with white space.

One last tidbit of information.... my Word 2000 on my mini laptop doesn't seem to allow me to rotate or flip my images. For some reason that combo just makes that option to flip or rotate, disappear.  So for a while, I was at a loss on reversing my images, until I discovered that my Photo editing program, Photoscape, does it perfectly AND I can save the flipped copy!

If you also have the free photo editing program Photoscape, just open your JPG or PNG digital image file using Photoscape, then save a copy of it in the same folder and name it something else, like with an R at the end of the name. 

Now open the copy image, then in the left sidebar area of Photoscape where you can see all your thumbnails within that folder, right click on the image you want to reverse, then select flip vertically. Viola!  you don't even have to save the copy that you just flipped! (That is why it is important to save a copy of the original FIRST and then flip the copy)  You will have to navigate to a different image and then back to the one you flipped, for you to see the newly flipped image on the screen.

Now I have a reverse copy of the gift sheep to create a new scene below. The sheep on the left is the flipped version.

There you go, a crash course on JPG and white filled PNG images and PNG sentiments, and saving a reverse copy of an image.

I hope there was some useful information for you!

October 20th new releases!

Hello everyone!
The first official post at the new blog, woo-hoo!
We have a smaller release today due to the month of October being a pretty busy month for me personally.
Below I am showing you the digital sets.  Click each title to go directly to the listing, which will have photo examples under the store listing picture to help get creativity flowing!

The newsletter will go out a little later today, as well as a digi tutorial.

By request, the birdie is having a birthday cupcake... and the cupcake is covered in his favorite sprinkles... bird seed!  I've included an individual cupcake image as well, and the bird seed can be colored like sprinkles instead, so there are a lot of options.  There is a birdie with cupcake wearing a birthday hat, and a birdie with a cupcake without a hat.  Total 3 images and 3 sentiments.

This set was offered as the participant gift for the CDBC10, so if you missed it, you can get it now!  Perfect for asian cards, or masculine cards.  2 images and 2 sentiments.

SADDLE UP - $2.75
Someone requested a realistic horse... and I had to throw in the one opening his mouth like he is laughing.  I can't wait to use that for a relatives birthday, lol!  2 images and 6 sentiments.

The shaggy cat found a little friend to play with, and he is a quick little fellow.  1 image and 5 sentiments.

PEACHES - $2.00
I've had the peaches on my to-do list for several months to build onto the fruits image collection.  1 image and 3 sentiments.

Thanks for taking a look at the releases today!  I hope you find something that inspires you and hope you have a creative day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Side-by-side display card fold

(Originally posted HERE on Sept.  19, 2010)
SIDE by SIDE display card fold

The finished card is here.  It is 4.25" square, in position to display the front and inside side-by-side.  Please read further to find out more details.
A PRINTABLE INSTRUCTION PDF SHEET with dimensions and tips is available HERE
Here is the front view when in accordian position.
Here is the view from the back.
Here is a picture of the foldable base with scor-tape tabs on each end for attaching the front and inside panels to, and I decorated the back sides with designer papers.  This photo is BEFORE I attached the panels to the base.
Here are the close-ups of the front and inside images.
It also can be standing up like a square box.  However if you do this, you will want to add a little tab to the "inside" (right) panel with velcro on it, and attach the other side of the velcro to the backside of the front panel, so that it will stay together in a square shape.  You won't need the velcro if standing in a "V" shape shown previously.
When it is folded up, the front panel is still the front panel, and the inside is actually on the very back facing outside.  This is how it looks folded up, from the top.  My card here is about 1/4" thick.
TIP: you will want to get yourself a protective clear envelope for your card before putting it into a paper envelope or box envelope.  Since the front and inside are facing outward, you want to protect the delicate embellishments during transit to the recipient.
You can either use a 4.75" plain flat envelope which will expand when you slide the folded card in.  Or you can create yourself a custom size "box style" envelope for even better protection.
A PRINTABLE INSTRUCTION PDF SHEET with dimensions and tips is available HERE
  • IMAGE: Pirate Birdie by Doodle Pantry
  • CS/PAPER: 90 lb. Canson watercolor paper, CDS ripe olive, CDS deep sea, soft suede, Basic grey pyrus DP
  • INK: SU not quite navy marker, Tombow markers 992, 947, 098, 879, 933, 491, 845, 026, N15, N65, N75
  • ACCENTS/TOOLS: waterbrush, spellbinders labels 1 and 2, ticket corner punch, piercer, linen thread, 1/4" square punch, aged copper brads in two sizes, sewing machine, PTI ribbon, liquid pearls, spica glitter pen, scor-pal and scor-tool, scor-tape, glue dots, pop foam dots
  • COLORING: Watercoloring with Tombow markers and a waterbrush
  • SPECIAL FOLD: The front and "inside" are added to tabs off each side of a "card base" so that it can open up and fold to set up like in the photo. When collapsed, the "inside" is on the back and the front is still the front, and the inside is folded in between them.

Watercoloring a landscape

(Originally posted HERE and HERE on August 25, 2010)
This was a special request to watercolor a landscape.  I decided on the Asian Garden image by Doodle Pantry because it includes stone, wood, bark, leaves, grasses/foliage, and water.
  • Small round tip waterbrush with water reservoir filled with distilled water
  • Tombow markers 942, 947, N65, 946, 856, 098, 177, 526, 899
  • Canson 90 lb. watercolor paper with digital image printed on it
These instructions can be applied to a more simplistic landscape, but they are designed to help you feel less intimidated with the more complex and detailed landscape images.  The basics are that you start from light colors and move through to the darkest, and to keep in mind the landscape light source, and the landscape elements requiring different brush or color application techniques.
Using your waterbrush:  To get water flow out, you gently squeeze the barrel until desired flow penetrates the brush tip.  Sometimes too much is coming out, and you need to wipe off on a paper towel until you regulate the flow to being steady.  Sometimes, there is not enough water in the brush and you need to give the barrel 3 or 4 quick repeated squeezes until the flow returns.
Blending:  When working with nature scenes, sometimes, if you are "trying" too hard, you won't get a natural look.  Just move gently, make sure water flow is enough but not saturated, and try to only go over an area once, if possible.
Brush stroke style:  Think about the element you are coloring/blending.  Is the bark on a tree smooth or rough?  Where is the light coming from?  Is the water element still?  Or moving?  Bushes and distant trees usually have varying shades within them, make note if the foliage you want to achieve is blotchy or has straight lines through it.  How you tap or stroke your brush on the color in these different elements will change the outcome.
Color order:  I generally work from lighter colors to darker.  I personally feel this is the easiest way to color my images.  Select ALL your images colors prior to beginning and then place them in order from lightest to darkest to the best of your ability.  And then you just start with the lightest color.
Timing:  I find it is best to wait at  least 5 minutes inbetween each color blending to allow  the area to dry as mucch as possible before applying the next color. The only exception to this is if your intention is to add some more marker color to the damp area to give a little contrast of shade.
My lightest color on this image is the 942 brown.  I added the color to the tops of the branches and the tops of the bridge posts, railings and walkway boards.  If you look closely, you will see that I even went a little outside of the lines.  Lighter colors are easy to cover up with darker colors later on.  Using  your waterbrush, blend with one stroke over each area.  Don't over-do it, all you are trying to achieve on this is to dampen the paper and lightly soften the color you just applied.
Add the darker brown color 947 to the shadowed areas on the tree trunk and bridge.  Remember to constantly think about where the light is coming from as you color.  Usually, underneath creases and where joints meet is where darker colors are.  You really don't need much of this color, but i added a little more than I normally would have, just for the sake of this tutorial.
TREE TRUNK: Blend with the waterbrush by brushing over the lighter color first and then moving the brush toward and into the darker color. Once you get to the darker color, go to the edge, carefully, and then back out into the lighter color. Quickly move to the next adjacent section and repeat.
BRIDGE: Touch the very tip of the waterbrush to the darker colors and with VERY short and quick strokes, move the color out into the lighter color.  Stay within the lines of the bridge sections.
Don't try to blend too much.  Often times, it is better to just go over once, and wait and watch as the color blends and dries.  Many times the first blending is the perfect one and playing with it too much will make it harder to achieve a natural look.
Here's what is looks like after you blend the darker color into the lighter.
Next color is the N65 gray for the stone and cement elements.  Add color to the areas where you think there are the darkest shadows.
Blend by touching the brush to the clear areas first and then blending into the areas where you added color, and then move the brush back out until the areas are covered. Finished blending of stones above.
For the leaves, I used mustard color 946 and just added a small dot in the center of each leaf.  I Blended by dabbing the tip of the waterbrush over each leaf individually.
Above is the blended leaves.
I wanted these leaves to have a prominent red color in their centers, so I touched very lightly with the 856 marker into the center of each leaf, AFTER the mustard color was dried, and I did NOT blend the red.
Landscapes quite often have many tones of greens, so try not to limit yourself to just one type of green.  Above, I used the 098 color for the mossy ground around the stones and the bush at the other end of the bridge.  I added dots of the color on the bush, and applied blotchy patches of the color on the ground.  Blend with the waterbrush by grabbing the color from the ground and moving to areas on the ground where there is no color.  Stay away from those leaves.  Using the smallest tip of waterbrush will help you.
Dab the tip of the wet waterbrush onto the bush, but don't try to blend too much, as white spots left will be filled in later with red for "flowers".
Above: olive  green areas blended
Add color 526 blue to the edges of the tree/leaves for the sky, and along the bush line, as well as under the bridge for the water, and create some squiggly streaks flowing out, if you want "moving" water.
Blend by applying the wet waterbrush tip to blue areas on the sky and move back and forth to pick up all the color in that section and move outward to fill the space.
Above: Blend the water by touching the wet brush tip to the white areas on the water and moving into the area under the bridge. Move the brush back again and over the entire water area.
I used the 177 green to color the ferns below the tree, the grass on the other side of the bridge and the bushes along the horizon.  For the bushes and grass, I dotted the color on so that after I blend, those dots will remain as an undertone and give the bushes a natural look of lights and shades. 

Above is after blending the 177 color. Notice how the bushes appear realistic with the variation in the color due to how I dotted on the color.
Using the fine tip of the 177 green, I drew over the long grass near the shoreline, added a few blades of grass on the grassy section on the other side of the bridge, as well as next to the big rock in the front left. No need to blend these areas, except for a tiny touch at the  base of the tall grass next to the riverbank.
We are at the darkest color now, the 899 brown, and this is used for the bridge supports, and for the bark in the tree trunk.  Blend the bridge supports.

To add a bit of color, I used the 856 again, for the large leafy plant near the bank, and "dotted" on the bush next to the other side of the bridge. Blend the red on the leafy plant.
Above is where I added the 899 brown as the bark on the tree trunk.
A few final touches:
Add some gray N65 to the undersides of the stones just to accentuate their contrast a bit more.  If you'd like to blend very quickly and lightly, do so now to smooth out the stones.
Above: Using the 899 brown again, apply very small dots in the green grassy area in front, just to add some variation in color there. Blend by dabbing quickly with the tip of the waterbrush, over each dot of color.
Here is the raw finished image.
Now you can apply and attach your layers, sew and finish your image panel.  AFTER the panel is finished, you can add your effects like clear lacquer on the water, or flower soft on the ground or on the bushes.
I chose to add green ultra fine flower soft near the bottom and red flower soft on the little bush and clear lacquer on the water.
My finished card:
  • IMAGE: Asian Garden image by Doodle Pantry
  • CS/PAPER: Canson 90 lb. watercolor paper,red, mustard, chocolate, K&Co Classic K Bailey 12x12 stack DP
  • INK: Tombow markers 942, 947, N65, 946, 856, 098, 177, 526, 899
  • ACCENTS/TOOLS:  Waterbrush,Spellbinders scallop square die, SU button, CDS mustard seed satin, thread, sewing machine, ultra fine flower soft green and red, clear glossy accent lacquer, pearls, glue dots, pop dots
Thank you for taking the time to go over the tutorial.  I hope you are encouraged to go and COLOR! Wishing you a wonderful weekened and many stamping pleasures!