Friday, 29 June 2012

Converting a heart embellishment to a frame using "Convert to Curves" - a tutorial for Serif Craft Artist.

Hi Everyone,

I'm back with another little video tutorial using my favourite crafting software, Serif Craft Artist Professional. As usual, I have also provided the accompanying PDF version, which you can download - click here.

Watching a recording I had made of Michelle Jackson-Mogford demonstrating Serif Craft Artist on Create & Craft recently, she had an enquiry from a viewer asking if it was possible to make a heart shape embellishment, from the DaisyTrail “Cupid” kit, into a gold frame.

Michelle tried it out on air by using the usual quick and simple way to convert an image to a frame: dragging the embellishment into the Frames Tab, and then back out on to the workspace. Because the heart is slightly more intricate in shape, this didn't work.

Instead, Michelle demonstrated how you can make your own gold heart frame from Quick Shapes, and adding one of the Metallic Effects.

A thread was raised in the DaisyTrail Forum about Michelle's alternative: Making gold heart frame demo, and one of the responses mentioned that you can indeed convert this embellishment to a frame and linked to the Creating smart photo frames in Digital Scrapbook Artist tutorial, one of the DaisyTrail Video Tutorials.

I knew as well, from making the Word Art Frames tutorial last year, that it should be possible to convert this embellishment into a frame; it follows a similar approach to that mentioned in the tutorial. It just takes a bit more time and fiddling around than Michelle had on air.

As I gave it a try, I realised that there is yet another alternative - using the "Convert to Curves" feature so that I could really fine tune things.

So here is the video:

Here is a card I produced using the new frame and the kit, for my sister's wedding anniversary. The church is St Lukes, in Cannock, Staffordshire, where they got married.

I do hope you enjoy the videos and the pdf tutorials and find them useful. I'd be interested in any feedback so that future ventures can be tweaked if needs be. If you have any problems or queries then please do leave a note in the comments.

When watching the video, if you find the view looks blurry, go to the "Change Quality" setting, the little cog at the lower right of the screen, at the opposite end to where you maximise / minimise the screen, and push it up to 1080p HD. That sharpens things up.

Other tutorials for Craft Artist, and DSA2, can be found on the Serif You Tube Channel, and also on the Daisytrail website here.



Friday, 15 June 2012

Kitten Cam's Miranda is looking for her purrfect furever home....

Hi Everybody,

Last weekend, when I should really have been working on a few things, I found my time taken up instead by the fate of a Mama Cat and her kittens on the other side of the world.

As I mentioned in my anniversary post about Selene,  I've been watching the Kitten Cam for the last few weeks, getting my daily fix of cuteness. 

It was a wonderful de-stressing technique, with many laugh-out-loud moments, especially as Miranda Mama Cat didn't seem to like her offspring sleeping up on high on the various cat-trees. Her response was to "evict" them, dragging them off by the scruffs of their necks, which wasn't always easy as they grew bigger. A rather rude awakening at times for them - "What am I doing on the floor?"

Photos from The Kitten Cam
These kittens are very sophisti-cat-ed. John would bring his iPad with him and the kittens would play with the cat games on there - apparently they were becoming expert at hacking it.

You can see some videos over at the Kitten Cam, a reminder of just how active these little critters could be, and also how they would just flake out for hours on end.

However, last Saturday was the day of their adoption event. The time zone differences meant I had a good part of the day to watch their antics for the last time before they were all transported off to the Purrfect Pals Everett Petsmart location.

Unfortunately, John, their wonderful foster dad, injured his knee just a couple of days before they left, so was unable to be with them as planned on the day, so he was online chatting as we waited to hear what was happening with Cagney, Casey, Cassidy, Corey and Miranda.

Instead of going off and doing other things I found myself glued to the PC. There was elation when we heard that Cassidy had been adopted, and then later in the day there was a bit of high drama when poor little Cassidy was returned.

By the end of the day, rather unusually, apparently, none of the kittens, nor Miranda, had found their furever homes and families. Although three others of the Purrfect Pals adult cats did find homes - according to John, that is the equivalent of 6 kitten re-homings, so that was good.

However, the next day saw Corey adopted and on 11th June news came that Cassidy and Casey had also been adopted. On Tuesday Cagney also found a new home.

So now there is just Miranda Mama Cat left - waiting patiently as the notice says on the Kitten Cam.

Miranda - photo from Purrfect Pals-Everett PetSmart FB page

The weekend is coming and I gather that there is another adoption event with 20 plus kittens and older cats. I do so hope that Miranda finds someone to take her home and love her as much as I'm sure she will love them. She is so sweet and full of character, not much more than a kitten herself. Her details can be found here. As can those of the other cats who are still awaiting loving homes.

Although it is a bit different over here in the UK, our last two cats were adopted from the local Cats' Protection League. They were a mother and daughter, Selene and Hecate. Together, they brought great joy and laughter into our lives, and although Selene now lies buried in the garden, the memories live on, as does her daughter, and her mischievous ways!

If you live in the area local to Miranda, and are looking for some companionship in your life, why not pay a visit to the Everett PetSmart? She, and the others, are all there, patiently waiting to bring joy and love into their future homes.  

And all best wishes and Healing Vibes to John for a speedy and easy recovery to his knee. We Kitten Cam addicts are all ready and waiting for the next set of foster kittens, and we know they won't be there until he is healed enough to look after them with his usual care and dedi-cat-ion.   Thank you so much, John, for allowing us to watch your little fosters as they flourish in your care, and for the pleasure this brings as we view their antics as they grow.

Edited to add: It looks as if Miranda has a prospective Cat Slave already lined up - hooray!

"Sophisti-cat-ed iPad Kittens" page created in Craft Artist using the Digiscrapbooking Boutique's "Old Treasures Collab" kit.