Saturday, February 20, 2010

card conversion: digi to "real"

ok, so you may remember this digital card i made for missus trash's recent gala birthday festivities? well, it wasn't *just* a cyber-card. no, after i posted the digi version, i went back and printed and tinkered and layered...and then i mailed the 3-dimensional results to the diva in question!

before we get to the nitty-gritty i have a guilty confession to make: 99% of my digi-based hijinks take place in broderbund printshop, rather than photoshop. i do use photoshop for correcting & cropping pics, and SOMEDAY i will learn how to do blendable layers; (!!!) but when all i want to do is take existing digi-products and tweak, re-color, re-size and combine them, the system of layers in printshop is just a LOT easier and more intuitive; also, as soon as you want to add TEXT in photoshop, you are--imo--fighting the tide.... (granted, this is partially b/c i've used printshop for years; whereas i've been horribly lazy about learning photoshop properly!) that's the way i do it right now!

anyway, on to the FUN PART! having composed the card digitally, the next thing is to think about is how to make it look nice in real life. which to me translates as, "how many (physical) layers and different textures can i add?"

first, the layers: in this case, the curtain is the perfect starting point, obviously it will make a fabulous layer all by itself, so i want to pull that element out and print it on its own, so it can be cut out and layered over the pretty background. thus, the background collage needs to extend BEHIND the curtain, 'cause you'll be able to see a bit of what's under there! (having done this before, i've already sized the background so that the "hidden bits" are still there & ready to be printed.) then, everything that's in front of the curtain in the collage can be cut out separately and popped up foam tape, for another layer of depth!

so now i'm ready to print, and it's going to need to be done in two batches. but first, let's think about paper: the curtain, background and birds are all going to look amazing on glossy photopaper...but for contrast, the ticket and the word slips really ought to be on plain paper. so now we have *3* print batches...but since printshop will let me move and regroup everything quite easily, i needn't duplicate anything unnecessarily--so i'm not wasting ink--and i can slip a few extra elements onto the bits of un-used photopaper--so i'm not wasting blank space there.

after everything is printed, but before it's cut out, is a great time to think about texture. that gorgeous curtain has absolutely beautiful depth and detail in its shadows and folds...wouldn't it be great to emphasize that with machine stitching and a bit of ink? the slightly surreal "night sky" background has layers of stars and twinkly "glitter" bits i've added digitally...but there's no reason not to use that as my guide to place a bit of actual glitter, and a few teeny gems, is there? the birds also have glittery bits, as well as tiny flower accents...some stickles and tiny primas adorned with mini-bling will enhance those perfectly.

since the collage is roughly 8x8" i've decided to mount it on a corrugated cardboard "tile" instead of a regular hinged card. i've distressed the cardboard by pulling off bits of the top layer of kraft paper and brushing the surface randomly with some clear glitter paint. i've inked the edges of all my fussy-cut elements, i've machine-stitched, and i've glued on bits of actual ribbon where the curtains are tied back. i had intended to keep the"night sky" background flat, but having printed a few extra clouds i couldn't resist testing them out as an additional layer, and they looked quite fab, so i've stuck them on with foam tape. the curtains have foam tape on their inner edge, but are stuck flat to the outer edge of the cardboard, to enhance the feeling of a window.

all that's left is to add the finishing touches: real ribbon in swirls (tacked with gluedots) being carried by the birds, the printed ticket adorned with an epoxy heart from my stash, and it couldn't possibly hurt to add a few dimensional flowers (with hot glue) and adhesive gems, now could it?!

et VOILA! it's ready to be padded with tissue paper and added to the box of presents!

~materials~ digi-stuffs: curtain, birds, ticket, hearts, ribbon, pink sparklees: my drama queen kit by vinnie pearce, pixel canvas; background paper, clouds, journaling strips: bennett's hammock kit by roben-marie smith, digichick; fonts: typewriter from 286 & hurricane, dafont; software: broderbund printshop; scrappy-stuffs: sm. flowers & gems: prima; lg. flowers & ribbon: michaels; gems: mambi; epoxy hearts: recollections; glitter paint: folk art; glitter glue: michaels & stickles; tiny nail art gems from the lovely terrie bailey; inks: colorbox & ranger; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, low-temp hot glue gun; other: cardboard cut from a box, sewing machine)


  1. WOW Lauren. This is amazing. Pure ART. Love what you have done with all the layers. You sure think of every little detail. LOVE the curtains. Sending you lots of hugs and love.

  2. sweet mother of pearl..I love it!

  3. That is so cool. I love how you showed off how you did this! This isn't a card its a art piece to hang on the wall. Seriously. I love it. I'd be totally doing my own version of this if my stupid printer wasn't being a pain right now. Its like not aligning ever since I put the new ink cartridge in. Grr!!

    Awesomeness girlie!!! :)

  4. Amazing!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. I'm tellin ya, Photoshop (or PSE since that's what I use) has an E.Norm.Ous. learning curve. Not for the faint of heart! I've been trying to learn it for about a year now, barely scratched the surface.
    But however you got there - you *got* there! You're a true collage talent missy! :)


the *BEST* part of blogging is the comments, dontcha think? thanks for taking time to leave one! ~♥~