Thursday, 15 July 2010

School's out ... nearly

... and that means teachers gifts and cards. I am not that much of a crafting goddess that I make the gifts too, some chocolates will suffice, but this year I did get myself into gear and make some thank you cards.

We had an interesting debate on the Craft Stamper blog the other day about digital stamps and whether readers want to see them in the magazine or not. It got me thinking about digital images and their use in crafting. Personally I have always loved my computer and have used clipart and dingbats since I started crafting, long before I used stamps actually, so for me the computer is an invaluable tool.

Stamping manufacturers have come to the table as well and are now producing "digital stamps". Really clipart by another name, but whatever you call computer generated images, all I know is that I love them as much as I love any other medium in my crafting world.

I also just recently upgraded to the newest vesion of CorelDraw ... love this package (I have owned and used it for 15 years now and it is still my favourite). So, for the teacher cards I used one of CorelDraw's clipart images. The apple.

Sized and then printed several of those on smooth white card. I then grabbed whichever copics I though looked apple coloured - no math here, I simply go by my gut and then do the trial and error thing. After a few tries I sort of got apples that didn't look too bad.

For the backgrounds I wanted some text, so typed the alphabet several times in a block. I could have used the A-Z stamp from Stampin' Up!, but I wanted the letters a little larger, so just made my own. Printed several onto brown card, cut out and distressed the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink.

I then added a little decorative strip onto the left side of the panel. This was as much decoration as they were going to get. I am aiming for quick and easy here.

Then on to the actual blanks themselves. I do a sort of digital sketch on my computer first so that I can judge placement and size of the elements. This also allows me to know where to print the wording onto the card blank. CorelDraw is ace for this sort of thing, so easy to move and size elements onto a specific sized background. Because I am using computer generated text I can personalise the cards too - always a nice touch I think. Once I have done this it is easy to make several cards really quickly. I also save my templates and use them again and again.

Voila - personalised teacher cards.  Now I know these don't stand out as the most innovative designs or anything, but I am really drawn to the very simple picture at the top of the card and writing underneath scenario. This design is a classic, probably totally overused, but i love it.

Just a note here. CorelDraw is aimed at the professional graphics market and therefor pretty costly. Worth every penny if you are going to make full use of it, but if you are only using it for crafting then it may be a little over the top. I invested in this package many years ago when I was using it for work as well as pleasure, so I could justify the cost. If it is within your price range then great, it is a truly amazing package, but if not, and you are looking for an alternate vector based drawing program, then DrawPlus is just fab and is free to download from the web. They also have an enhanced version available, DrawPlus 8, which is really cheap but has some added features. In my opinion a good workable alternative to CorelDraw. 


  1. Great cards Lousette, I love the backgrounds and I am sure the teachers will like them :)

  2. Flippin Gorgeous!! :) lol thanks for the compliments in the last post too! :)