Monday, 29 June 2015

DaisyTrail CS English Town Digikit

Hi everyone.

Back again after a fortnight and as the UK gears itself up for the promised heatwave this week, I'm getting in a supply of blackout curtains and checking that all my fans are in good, working order. Not being a fan (no pun intended) of the sun or the heat, I shall be anxiously scanning the skies for signs of thunderstorms to break it up. Sorry! Oh well, at least there is Wimbledon to watch while the UK burns.

One of the problems I have trying to work during the summer is that the upstairs of my house which contains my craft room and office gets extremely hot. It is certainly several degrees warmer upstairs than down, possibly because it is quite an old house with no cavity wall insulation. As you go up the stairs in the summer, you can feel this wave of heat coming towards you but then after you've been downstairs for a while, you need a jumper.

I love my house though and this week, I incorporated a photo of it into a piece of home decor using the fantastic CraftScapes English Town digikit from DaisyTrail. I love this amazing kit and although I've now bought some more of the CraftScape kits, I've got a feeling I shall keep returning to it again and again. I don't very often design in landscape or portrait mode, preferring a square work area but the CraftScapes lend themselves so well to doing "scenes" that it's easy to design something that will fit into an A4 frame.

The other thing about these kits is how incredibly quick and easy it is to put a design together. I placed the photo of my house on a blank page in CraftArtist Professional2 and then just built up the digital elements around it, resizing etc to get the perspective as accurate as possible. It was great fun to do and seems to have really enhanced my house and garden. Also, the beauty of digital software is that if you feel your garden needs a bit of a boost, you can do things like adding extra roses to the rose bush! You don't have to be too "realistic" either but just let your imagination take over.

No doubt I shall be back with more CraftScape designs before too long. In the meantime, enjoy the summer, while it lasts.

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2015

Monday, 15 June 2015

Hot Off The Press Red Velvet Kit

Hi everyone.

Here I am again after a couple of weeks away from my craft blog. I can't believe it's the middle of June already, in fact we're getting close to the longest day now after which the nights start drawing in. Hoorah. (Sorry!)

I've been very busy trying to find an agent for my current book so although I've still done quite a lot of designing, crafting has been a bit thin on the ground. I did however manage to do a "real-life" 8 x 8 scrapbook page (as opposed to a digital one) which I'm very pleased about as I tend to shy away from these for some reason. However I did find this one a lot easier than most so maybe that will spur me on to do some more.

One of the reasons I think I found this page fairly straightforward was because I used one of the fabulous Hot Off The Press Artful Card Kits. I love these kits and have several in my "stash" although they are not always that easy to get hold of in the UK. The kits are not only beautifully designed with great colourisation and lovely die-cut embellishments and papers, but absolutely everything co-ordinates perfectly. You also get a helpful sheet of project layouts and ideas so you can't really go wrong.

I chose the Red Velvet kit because I wanted to use this monochrome photo of my late parents' wedding day and the red and very dark brown colours of the kit work really well with a black and white photo. I "fussy-cut" some of the flowers from a matching sheet of backing paper to decoupage the flowers on my chosen background paper which gave the page some added dimension. The embellishments were all taken from the kit and so were the "gems" as the kit comes with "dazzles" which are lovely raised glittery stickers in several different sizes. I think you'll agree that when you put them on the page, they do look like actual gems.

If you'd like to try a Hot Off The Press Artful Card Kit for yourself, you should be able to find a selection on the Paper Wishes website. I've just checked and the Red Velvet kit is still there.

Have fun and I'll see you in a couple of weeks by which time I hope to have found an agent!

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2015

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Memories Digital Art

Hi everyone.

It's a bit windy out there! The weather forecasters have described it as "unseasonal" although I'm not sure we really have seasons any more. After all, it is the beginning of June.

I was sorting out yet more old photographs this morning and came across a lovely photo of a woman called Rene Lowe who was a friend of my mother's way, way back in the day. I don't know anything about her except that later on in life she lived in a windmill. We used to drive past it sometimes when I was a child and I remember being very disappointed that it didn't have any sails.

I wanted to use the photo for a design project using Craft Artist Professional 2 but it didn't really feel right to do a scrapbook page so I settled for a piece of digital art instead. This week, I have been looking at all the beautiful artwork on the My Craft Studio "Quintessential Country Garden" CD-Rom which is rapidly turning into one of my all time favourite MCS CDs (and I have lots!) and it felt like a good fit for the photo.

I used an enlarged insert from the stationery section of the CD for the main background and overlaid it with a section of a script style embellishment. I then took the photo into the Cut Out Studio and used a blend mode and a glow edge to blend it into the background. The CD has some beautiful "photo real" flowers on it which matched the insert so I imported them into CAP2 and layered them up on their corresponding flower on the background. All I needed to do then was add the butterflies, a few gems and the title. I hope Rene would have liked it!

This will be my last craft blog post for a couple of weeks as much as I enjoy making projects for the blog and writing about them, I'm finding it a bit much having to make a blog project every week. Also, I'm at a stage where I really need to be posting on my writing blog much more regularly than I have been doing so I plan to alternate between crafting and writing each week.

So I'll see you in a fortnight. Happy crafting!

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2015