Monday, February 23, 2015

Inspire Me Monday: Fading Lilacs with simple digital effects

Hello Friends!  It’s Christine here bringing you another Inspire Me Monday tutorial. Today I’m going to show you that you can do great creative effects with digital images even with simple programs like Microsoft Word.  

I don’t have Photoshop on my Mac computer, but I still enjoy working with digital images.  I thought I’d play around with making foreground and background effects in Word so that you can try them too. They are quite basic effects, but it might help you if you’re a beginning in the digital image playground.  

First you’ll begin with your digital image. Here I’ve chosen our new French Lilacs digital stamp set.
I know these next pictures are a little small, but I wanted to also show the dropdown menus that I’ll be using so you can read the words and see the picture and then have something to refer back to when you try it on your computer.  

I’ve opened my Word program and added one of French Lilac images on the left, resizing it by left-clicking on the image and then making it smaller by dragging one of those corner points in. I’ve added a second lilac image to the right of the other lilac, making it even smaller.  I’ve also tipped my images slightly left, do you see that green dot just above the corner points of the image?  If you drag that point right or left it will rotate your image.  

Next I want to change the colour of my image on the right.  You can’t see it because of the way the screen captures the shot but, I make sure my image has those click points around it and then select Format from the top toolbar on my computer screen, and then select Picture from the smaller menu that pops up.   (please ignore the Grab toolbar on my images shown here- it’s the program I use for taking pictures of my screen - you won’t have that in Word).  In format this smaller screen you see above will pop up.  I want this image on the right to become blue.  

From here I can select Recolor from the center of the menu and then scroll down in the menu that pops up and select Accent Color Light, it will have a light blue picture beside it.  Then I can adjust the little slides below the Accent Colour Light to adjust the brightness, contrast and transparency of that lilac image.  When I get it where I like it, I move on to the next step.  

Now I want to show you that you can also soften the edges of the lilac to make it look like it’s fading into the background.  Make sure you can see those “click points” again.  From the same menu where you could change the colour you can also pick the selection on the menu that says Glow and Soft Edges.  A new menu will pop up and it you’ll see a slider that you can move to soften the edges of the blue lilac.  Pick the amount of softness that you like.  I chose 15 pt on mine.  

Now I want to drag my smaller lilac image over to the other lilac image, putting them close together, so it looks like the black and white lilac is in the foreground and the blue lilac fades into the background.  Just make sure you have those click points around your blue image, click on it from the center and move it over.  If it doesn’t want to move, you likely don’t have enough room in your margins.  You either have to Format your Document to have larger margins, or make your images smaller.  

Now your image may look just perfect the way you want it to right now, you can test print it on copy paper to see if it gives you the look you would like.  

If you’re having trouble getting you images to bleed through each other, here’s a couple of things you can try, get your click points around your image and select the Format Picture Tab in the Menu and then select Layout from the menu, you can click on these different pictures to get your image to appear like you want it to.  Remember you always have the Edit button from your top toolbar if something goes wrong, you can just “undo” the last step.   I’m by no means an expert in this, but it’s fun to play around and see what effects you can get, even in a simple program like Word.  

Here’s what the images look like once I printed them out.  I coloured up the black and white lilacs in the colours listed above, giving lots of depth and definition.  I wanted to give the blue lilacs a really soft touch, so they would sort of receed into the background, so I only coloured them with the B60 and B63 markers.  

Next I added in the colour for my leaves.  Again I used all the colours above for the black printed lilac, but then only used the G40 and YG61 for the blue lilac. 

Here’s what the finished colouring looks like.  And now I’ll make it into a card.  

I used the Grand Circles Nestabilities from Spellbinders to cut the lilacs in a large circle, cut a card base in a soft periwinkle cardstock colour, and then made a “frame” as you can see on the left with 2 circle dies to frame up my card.  

To make the frame stand out from the design  I embossed the circle.  Some of the edge of the circle didn’t fit in the embossing folder, but that was no big deal as I knew I would add my ribbon in that spot on the design.  

I popped up the frame with foam tape on the design, then added the ribbon.  

And here is the finished design!  I added the sentiment from this digi set, also printed in blue, some pearls and the polka-dot ribbon in a bow.  You can see how the blue lilac receeds into the background because it’s done with a softer effect.  I also added some pointillism dots to give it that soft ethereal feel as well.  

My encouragement to you is to go and “play” with your software and see what cool things you can do with your digital images!  The beautiful thing is, if it doesn’t work out, you can always re-start and “no paper has been harmed” until you print it!  

Have a great Monday!  


Maria A. said...

GORGEOUS!!!!! Oh Christine, how very lovely!!! I wish I was this good with all of this modern technology, it looks simple but I'm afraid I might need tons of help from my daughter to be able to do this. I just love how you framed this amazing image, the colors are so life like, all you need is the wonderful aroma from this blooms.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Kathy Jones said...

What an amazing tutorial Christine and the final result is breathtaking!!! :)

Nora N. said...

This is amazing!! I would never thought have doing this with my digital stamps. I LOVE your coloring and the layering of this card. Thank you for the inspiration!!

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Christine, what a gorgeous card!! And a great tutorial with more wonderful ways and ideas to use the beautiful digitalis!! I really love the card shape and colors! Hugs!!

Robyn Oliver said...

Simply gorgeuos Christine, beautiful colouring

Charmaine said...

Wow! Christine your card is beautiful. What a cool technique. I can't until this weekend to give this a try.

Bobbie Bluegill said...

The embossed frame really sets off the lilac well.