Thursday, April 23, 2009

No! I refuse to feel guilty anymore...

I can't afford to buy a lot of stamps and nor do I have the storage room for them. I find some stamps outrageous in price, so....I used to feel guilty----no, actually I felt as if I was doing something to be looked down on by "stampers". I admit it, I use clip art! Now I find there is actually a name for it - Digital Stamps!!!

I was making cards using my graphics programs long before I even knew about the "stamping world". I was also making digital scrapbook pages long before I knew that was what I was doing.

This all came about when I spotted a card I just had to make on No Time To Stamp. Trying to track down the supplies used was next to impossible - then I found out how I had to get the stamp, how long it would take to get this stamp and how much it was going to cost me! Hello, this is Wednesday and I need this card for a week Monday morning! I was hoping to work on this card over the weekend. I am used to instant gratification!

I contacted every stamp store around here looking for a damask stamp - nope - that was last year's stamp. Pardon me! Michaels had an Inkdinkadoo stamp set that seemed like it would work and so did Clipper Street. Be Creative had a pretty one that might work too. Now I had to track down pink ink. Good luck with that one! We have a couple of stamp/scrapbooking stores open until midnight around here and, with the picture of Sharon's card off I went. I found pink ink in Langley (and of course other stuff) and I hurried home with my parcels ready to start early in the morning stamping the damask stamps with the pink ink I found AND hoping I would end up with the same effect as Sharon got. Nope, not even close.

Now I know I am not the greatest stamper (two gibbled wrists and lack of talent and knowledge - did I mention I was a "paint-by-numbers" person and I was creatively challenged?) BUT, how hard was it to take a stamp pad> dab, dab, dab on to the stamp> take said stamp and place it directly onto paper> lift carefully> examine image...I mean, I don't think I am an idiot but this is a question I have avoided asking my friends....So, why was the image partially inked? Ok, let's try the other ink pad...same result...third ink pad..same result. Give me a break here! Three different ink pad, three different stamps and the same result - really crappy images!

Let's go shopping and let's come home with pink embossing powder - do you know what cheese is like when it is over melted - you know, that greasy, yucky look? That's what I was getting. I know I am not over heating because I was getting the same result with not one ink, not two inks but, all three inks! This is Momento, VersaMagic and Brilliance we are talking about. Ok, lets try different paper...same result. I felt a bit better when my friend Deb said I probably got a bad batch of stamps and/or ink pads. Another thought was that the stamps were the clear ones and I have never, ever had a problem with red rubber. Have I mentioned that Murphy is my guardian angel? No matter, I QUIT! Do you hear me, I QUIT! I don't need this card anyway, but I sure am interested in bringing out the rum!

Monday - I have slept on the problem. I remember what Marta said about her cards and how she mixes actual stamps etc. with digital images and boy, are her cards gorgeous! I decided to come from this at another angle. At lunch I contact my BFF, "Google". Up comes the internet> "Google" damask> search images (I am really good at finding exactly what image I need for projects)> up comes close to a million images and there, right in front of me, is an almost identical damask> enlarge it as big as it will go> check for watermarks - none> check to make sure it is free clip art - yep> right-mouse-click "Save as" "Damask" to my Desktop> close internet> right-mouse-click on "Damask"> "Send to mail recipient"...done!

Now I can hardly wait, my heart is pounding, my palms are sweaty and I find myself watching the clock...this is a long day. I get home, get supper on, clean the kitchen up, scratch the cat and have our usual conversation ('Jinks is a real talker, not DH) and finally, I get to the computer> open email program> open email from myself> right-mouse-click on the image and save to my Desktop. Ready to get creative here....rats....damask is black - card is pink.

I want pretty, soft, luscious pink like Sharon's card (at this point notice I have not started swearing at Sharon yet?). Now what do I do? Hold it...I have graphics programs, remember? Open up Print Shop> create new document> insert "Damask" clip art> "Effects" drop-down box> select "Color object"> locate pink and presto, the damask is pink. "Effects" drop-down box select "Tint" and now the damask is pretty, soft pink. I did it!!!

Ok, now to size the picture...get the ruler from the bulletin board...get the picture of Sharon's what? How do I figure out the image size? Wait a second, Sharon mentioned her ribbon was 1-1/2"...this is easy! Take ruler and the ribbon size in the picture is 1" ergo 1" equals 1-1/2". I said I was creatively challenged not brain dead! So, I want my graphic to be resized to 3" with the aspect ratio selected (this means that if I resize the height the width will automatically resize at the same time)> print. Awesome, awesome, awesome - I am a happy camper!

What this all means to me is that I can, and will, meld computer graphics with stamps etc. and not feel guilty anymore. I am done with it. I love how the card looks, others have posted they liked the card, even Sharon said she liked the card!

So, with my BFF "Google" I have been doing some cyber-surfing "digital stamps" and I have found another world. I found a few digital artists who are selling their work as digital stamps and there is one in particular I have fallen in love with - Dustin Pike ( His work is whimsical, darling and so, so much fun! I purchased all of his bear collection today and I can hardly wait to start "Copicing" them! Imagine eight digital images for the price of one rubber stamp!

I will no longer feel guilty because I am using digital stamps. Never fear, there is great satisfaction in dabbing ink on a rubber stamp (as long as the stamp and ink work)> placing the stamp on paper> lifting the stamp and seeing a perfect image....If I see a beautiful rubber stamp I will buy it...If I see a beautiful digital stamp I will buy it.

Now, I am facing a brain freeze creating a grad card for my niece...that is for another day!

Hope everyone is having a more creative time of it than I have lately. Happy stamping!



mitch1066 said...

I read through this entry and totaly feel the same.Even when i do have cash i get overwhelmed by the choices at the store!I tend to buy white cardstock and print my own digital papers at home,cheaper and i only print what i need:)Crafting is all about creativity anyway and i'm not sure buying everything and sticking it together is that creative,its much more unique to create and re-use things you have and end up with something really unique.

Catrick said...

Thanks Michelle. You are not alone. I too, have a hoard of digital paper stockpiling. There are some really gorgeous designs out there.

mel m. m. mccarthy said...

I loved reading about your digital adventures & clever tricks Cat! I'm hooked too. It's such fun isn't it? My latest fun has been mad experiments with sealing them using microglaze. You can get some really funky effects with Copics by only sealing lightly and working areas with your Copics. (If you're into weird effects, LOL) Not sure of long term effects on your marker tips though, but my rule is "they're tools no jewels" ;o) Happy Digital creating! So tickled that your photos & commenting is all hashed out.
:O) mel

P.S. Aren't you lovin' our weather lately? SUN! ahhhhh!

Catrick said...

I'm really loving the sunshine - now if hubby could just work out the kinks in his shoulder we could get out more on the "two-wheeled couch"!