This week's CPS Sketch 59 was definitely a stretch for me! I am fairly competent in graphics programs and thought that putting together a completely digital card would be a piece of cake. Three tries and several hours later, I decided that I'd better just go for hybrid (meaning partially digital--perhaps only digital papers, or even a computer-generated sentiment)--and let myself off of the "completely digital" hook.
If you own more stamps than you'd care to admit to the general public, you might be wondering what the point of digital elements would be anyway. Well, let's say that you don't have the perfect sentiment: it's really pretty simple to find neat free fonts and print your own. I love digital papers too; I've bought far more of them than I've actually used though! I like the idea of starting with a digital file and changing colors to get a color scheme that I want to work with and that goes with my traditional inks and papers, (which I did here.) I also really like the idea of scrapbooking digitally so that I can print off multiple copies for the grandparents, aunts and uncles. Even if you aren't ready to purchase digital kits (which are relatively inexpensive), you can find free kits at most digital sites. The other things you would need is a graphics program of some sort. One common one is Adobe Photoshop Elements--a simplified and considerably less expensive version of Adobe Photoshop. If you'd like to play with a digital program before committing to a purchase, you can normally get a free trial version that will expire after 30 days--very nice to be able to decide if you would use it or not!
Another question that I have been asked regarding using digital papers is what kind of printer I use, and whether it is cost-effective, considering the cost of ink. I have a two or three year old Canon Pixma iP 3000--an inkjet printer that was less than $100. I bought it because at the time Consumer Reports rated it highly and said that it was fairly inexpensive to run--just what I was looking for! I have been using generic ink in it almost the whole time that I've had it, so ink costs are negligible. I get my best print quality when I use good paper, such as an all purpose matte photo paper, for printing my digital backgrounds that I intend to use conventionally. I also tweak my printer settings to best quality, and sometimes higher color saturation as well. I am NOT claiming to be an expert in this area--just dabbling in digital. If I were really ready to commit to digital scrapbooking, I'd love to have a large-format printer that uses six colors of ink and is rated archival. . . (No, that's not in my foreseeable future.) If you are considering playing with digital images and printing them out, be sure to check out not just the cost of the printer, but also the cost of inks for that printer.
On to the card (detail shown above): For digital papers, I used the Flower Stand by S Bartolini and Shabby Miss Jen from Shabby Miss Jen
Stamps: "hello" tag from Mixed Messages by PaperTrey Ink
Accessories: fun foam flowers are cut with a Spellbinders S4 072 Flower Creations die; pink taffeta ribbon by Stampin' Up; Cotton Candy Stickles; brad is Two Scoops by Basic Grey
Now, just so you can see just why I decided to go hybrid rather than all digital, I'll attaching my all-digital try first. (Humility is good for the soul, right?) I know how to add drop shadows, but seeing printed shadows still isn't quite the same for me as being able to see actual raised elements and being able to feel texture on a card! (You can click on any images on my blog and get a larger version.)
Compare that to the hybrid version to which I added some Stickles, a tag stamp, a couple of mat layers of cardstock, ribbon, and some fun foam flowers that I die-cut. It makes a difference! Still, digital design has great possibilities and is great fun to experiment with.
For some great information on how to start playing with digital images, check out this post. If you have some digital shop favorites, feel free to list them in the comments section following this post. Tomorrow night, I'll stick to stamping! Have a lovely day!