How can it be February already? I'm sure we've only just had Christmas and New Year or maybe that's just me. Anyway, I hope the new month is bringing thoughts of spring, even if it feels like a long way off with all the inclement weather we seem to be having in various parts of the world.
Talking of Christmas, have you done anything with all those photos you took during the festive season yet? No, I thought not. And now they will probably just clutter up your phone until you get round to deleting them somewhere around the middle of July.
Well, help is at hand with three digital projects I've created to give you some ideas and inspiration for using them. After all, you must have thought they were worth taking at the time, even that one of your sister-in-law face down in a mince pie with half a glass of eggnog in her hand while Great Uncle Jim gurns in the background.
All you need for digital projects like these is a computer (PC not Mac), Craft Artist Professional which is an incredibly easy to use but very powerful graphics programme and a Christmas digikit to provide you with all the lovely digital backgrounds, materials, frames and embellishments you'll need to enhance your photos. Shop around on the internet for Craft Artist to get the cheapest price although even at full price, it still costs a tiny fraction of a "normal" graphics progamme.
You will find all the digikits you could possibly want, including free ones, at DaisyTrail. I've used a lovely kit called Paper Poinsettia for my designs but there are plenty of other Christmas ones you could choose from.
My first project is an example of a card front for an A5 card which could be printed out and stuck on a card blank or the design could be professionally printed. Just think how nice it would be for your family and friends to receive such a personalised card and how happy you'll be if you've got all your cards ready when there are still over 300 shopping days to go!
Top Tip: Use the "colour picker" in Craft Artist (the little tool that looks like a pipette) to recolour the background papers, materials and embellishments from the digikit so that they match your photo exactly.
My second suggestion may seem a little more complicated but it isn't really and it doesn't even need a digikit. I've created a party invitation from a photograph of presents under the tree. All I did was re-size the photo to fit an A5 blank workspace in Craft Artist and then take it into the photo editing suite (Photo Lab) which is built into the programme. It only takes one click to add a filter effect which was water-colour in this case. I then "punched" the trees from another copy of the photo using a digital punch I'd created from an embellishment and added the invitation text with the text tool. Finally I added a "texture" effect to the whole page from one of Craft Artist's built-in styles.
For my final project, I created a digital scrapbook page of a beautiful Christmas decoration which was a perfect fit for the Paper Poinsettia digikit. The white area surrounding the smaller version of the photo is an "intelligent" digital frame from the kit and the photo snaps to place in it automatically.
Top Tip: To create a decorative border around your layout, draw out a quick rectangle in Craft Artist and resize it to fit round your design. Click on one of the digital "brushes" that come with your digkit or use a built-in one from Craft Artist. Now select the brush tool from the top tool bar and watch your decorative edge miraculously grow round the edge of the page!
Why not email your scrapbook page to friends and family to remind them of the (hopefully!) happy occasion or print your page out and add some glitter or adhesive gems and then frame your design?
I hope I've inspired you to get those Christmas photos off your phone and out into the real world. And don't forget to email me with any of your creations. I'd love to see what you come up with.
All images Copyright 2016 Melissa Lawrence