PaperWhimsy Musings
PaperWhimsy Musings

January 2009
 Bits n Bobs

A bit of inspiration and some new goodies that are peppering the virtual shelves of the Paperwhimsy shoppe.

Hope you enjoy!

Another New Beginning
The weather surely hasn't changed much here in Indiana since last we spoke but for some reason it feels fresher, newer.  Could be because it's put on a new coat and is calling itself "Winter 2009".  So, of course, I'm immersed in creating all kinds of  resolutions and challenges for myself for this new beginning, some already forgotten (but I'll get back to them) and some, as yet, unthought.  And lots of time to think them up because there are still 340 some odd days in this new year to do something exciting, something healthy, something I've always wanted to do... and something I never thought I would do (whatever that could be - hopefully not bungey jumping).

New years are the absolute best!

One of the challenges I've set for myself this year is to write every day.  I keep flirting with this challenge year after year, and year after year I manage to add yet another empty journal to my library of journals covered in dust on bookshelves, shoved in dresser drawers or kicked under my bed.  And yet, funny thing is, I do write... but all my best stuff is written on the backs of envelopes and on Post-It notes never to be seen again.  Post-It notes stuck on the bottom of my slipper that I yank off in annoyance and toss in the trash not remembering that the best poem I ever wrote was on that stupid bit of yellow paper.  Or the envelopes shredded along with all the other junk mail because, stupid me, the funniest story I ever wrote was on the back of an envelope that a Chase credit card offer came in.


I invested in a Bind-it-All several months ago which hasn't, as yet, bound anything but I'm thinking that if I find myself a basket or maybe recycle one of those nifty Starbucks bags I can toss those Post-It notes and junk mail envelope musings in the basket/bag and bind-them-all at the end of the year and forget about buying a 2009 journal.

I've also decided that I need to get up out of this chair in 2009 and move around.  Which is a mighty challenge, me being the exercise-phobe that I am.  But, then I remembered: I always wanted to be a ballerina.  On my 5th birthday I received a tutu and in lieu of ballet slippers I wore it with my tap dancing shoes (which were like new because I only took 6 weeks of tap when I thought I wanted to be a tap dancer).  So, what with dancing being in my blood I've decided to take up... belly dancing.  Which is perfect because I already have a belly and I've long outgrown that tutu and those tap dancing shoes.

Luscious - The Bellydance Workout for Beginners
by StratoStream - World Dance New York
DVD ~ Release Date: 2008-05-27
List Price: $14.98
Our Price: $10.49
Check it out

And where one DVD is good, two are even better.  (I couldn't make up my mind).

Bellydance Basics and Beyond: Technique for a Solid Foundation
by StratoStream - WorldDance New York
DVD ~ Release Date: 2006-09-26
List Price: $18.99
Our Price: $14.99
Check this one out, too

How exciting!  Are you grabbing your pen and paper and starting your own list?

Another challenge is getting back to the collage sheets.  There are several old favorites that I just love and can't part with but could certainly benefit from a makeover.  (Check out Sheet 004 - Emmy Moon).  And adding to the digi line.  I have made a commitment to myself to add, at least, 10 new digis a month.  How about that for a challenge?  We'll talk about this a bit more in a moment.

The new Emmy Moon

So, what say you and I meet this new year head on and stretch our wings a bit. Whatever that new wing-stretching thing may be I would love to share in your excitement.  Drop me an email or better yet, come join us at the PaperWhimsy Art Group and share your exciting new challenges and successes with us.  And maybe find yourself delving into a new project or two with us that just may stretch your creative wings.  Life can be quite an adventure if you're up for the challenge.

Viva le challenges!  Viva le 2009!  

g xoxox
Black & White & Red (or Pink or Blue...) All Over
The Digi section is growing!  Just in the last week I've added nine new sheets with more in the works.  My original goal was to have 10 new digisheets by the end of January but, heck, I think I can blow the doors off that challenge.  In any event there are some neat new designs: some backgrounds, some elements and the start of a new collection I'm calling "Chameleon Collage Sheets".


Chameleon Digi Sheets

The cool thing about these Chameleon sheets (and yeah, I tried to come up with an artier name but kept going back to "chameleon") is that you can print these digital collage sheets on various backgrounds and the backgrounds alter the look of the images. 

I printed the sheet, above, on scrapbooking paper and also on a background paper I'd created myself and magnifique!  Different background paper, different look.  So, if you need pink houses for Valentine's Day, pull out your pink scrapbook paper and print away.  If you need a different color for some other project - maybe green for spring, purple for Easter, yellow for summer, orange for fall... ta da!  Something so simple and yet so amazing and downright fun.

Watch for more of these to pop up in the shoppe.  Of course, if you're not quite ready to do your own printing these are also available in a print version that has an old page background.  But... well, why aren't you ready to print your own?  We'll talk about that a bit more, in a moment.

(I also urge you to read all the way down to the bottom of this little newsletter for something kind of cool.)  

Pretty Break: A Little Romance

Oh, for the love of feathers!  What a fun thing to add to your handmade Valentine's cards.  These are the fluffy little Maribou feathers and they're definitely a necessity for all your romantic art.  Find them in Necessities.
Romantic Rub-ons

Some pretty romantic rub-ons from Prima also make for a wonderful addition to your "love-ly" art.  Soft and swirly flowers and flourishes... find them in Necessities, as well.
More Pretties...
Pretty Brads

Pretty brads for embellishing in a variety of soft colors and patterns.  Perfect alone, or as a flower center.  You can find these in Trinkets & Beads.
Design adhesives

Design Adhesives are a perfect way to add a glittery flourish quite easily to your art.  Just affix and foil, leaf, emboss or glitter.  Find them in Necessities.
Heart charms

Finally back in the shoppe are these wonderful silver-toned heart charms.  Also available in gold-tone you'll find them in Trinkets & Beads.
Get Thee a Printer
If you've been a bit unsure of your ability to print your own collage sheets because you're printer stinks, take heart!  There are a wealth of fantastic photo printers out on the market in just about every price range.  Which, perhaps, leads to another of your concerns: the choosing of the printer.  Because there are so many brands and models out there how do you know which one is best for you?

Here's a tip, one I follow religiously for just about every purchase I make, and it's free: if you can find it on Amazon chances are several other people have, too, and lots of those buying customers leave very helpful comments and product ratings.  I don't buy anything big without checking Amazon, first.

So, here's just one example of scores of printers in all makes and models.  Even if you don't buy on Amazon you can get educated and feel a bit more comfortable when you go to purchase it locally.  Hint: as a rule, though, you don't pay sales tax if you order from Amazon and if it's sold directly through Amazon, the shipping is generally free if the purchase is over $25.  If you're worried about the actually transporting of your printer from them to you... don't.  Draw and I bought our flat screen TV through Amazon and it arrived in perfect condition.  And if it doesn't?  Amazon has an excellent and very user-friendly return/replacement policy.

HP Deskjet 6940 Color Printer (C8970A#B1H)
by Hewlett Packard
List Price: $181.99
Our Price: Too low to display
Check it out

Canon Pixma MP610 Photo All-In-One Inkjet Printer (2180B002)
by Canon Office Products
List Price: $199.99
Our Price: $174.25
Check it out

Epson Stylus C88+ Ink Jet Printer (C11C617121)
by Epson
List Price: $156.47
Our Price: $87.24
Check it out

Once you get your printer, the trick to getting the best print is, quite simply, to use photo quality paper (matte is my preference) and use the highest printer settings for the paper you're using.  Don't skimp on paper and don't skimp on your print quality setting.  Don't fall prey to thinking that regular inkjet printer paper is going to give you excellent results even if it claims to be for color inkjets.  Use photo paper. 

And then, of course, you can print on other media such as transparency and fabric (yep, I'm now stocking my favorite fabric for inkjet printers).  What a huge exciting adventure printing your own digi sheets will present for you. 

Have you just added a printer to your 2009 Challenges?  Cool!

Now, how about we chat a bit more about printing tips?  Read on.
Digisheet Magic
As Rande has been working on projects and testing and printing out the PaperWhimsy Digisheets she's accumulated some fantastic tips to help you get the most out of the files.  Let's take a peek:

Printing different sizes:

One way to change the size of your image is to change your paper size in your print menu.  An example would be to change the paper size to 4x6.  When you do this your printer will print a smaller version of the entire sheet.  You can also change where the image will print on your paper.  This allows you to print more than one resized sheet to a page should it be small enough to print two to a page.

Scaling your print size

Adobe window

Another way to adjust the print size of the images is to change the size of the Acrobat window.  This is a great way to enlarge an image.  You do that by dragging the edges of the window to isolate just the image(s) you want to print (fig. 1)

Then in the print window, select "Current view" in the Print Range option.  If you want to print one image larger, such as a full page background, then after selecting the "Current view", select "Print to Fit" or "Fit to Printer Margins" in the Page Scaling option.  Doing this will enlarge the image even further and print right to the margins.

Current view

Isolating an image for printing is a great way to get a full size of one of the backgrounds and print a fabric sheet.  Or you could print the full page image to paper and then overprint with one of the Chameleon sheets.

Printing different colors:

Most printers have a Properties button and this is where you can have fun with the colors of your image.  By adjusting color intensity or changing the color intensity of a particular color of ink, as well as tweaking contrast and brightness, you can adjust the colors of your images pretty dramatically.  Make them more red, blue, green, yellow... more intense and darker or softer and lighter.

Note: on the Canon printers within the properties you can also adjust your paper size in the Page setup tab. 

Test print your image when playing with the color options.  When you want to change the color isolate a small image such as an atc size, and print that to get a look at your adjustments before printing the whole digi sheet.   This way you're not sucking up a lot of ink on prints that you'll never used because the color isn't quite right.

Another twist would be changing the color setting to sepia tone, or even black and white, if you want to color the image yourself or overprint it.
  You would find this option in the Effects tab of your Canon printer.  For other brands just poke around - you'll be surprised at the neat effects your printer offers.

Printing on different papers:

Try printing the images on a colored paper such as parchment, or light-colored scrapbook paper.  If you select an image with light areas in it, the color of the paper will show through.   Just remember, any colored paper will make the original image a bit darker.  A good example would be printing a black and white or sepia toned digi sheet on parchment that's made to be used on an inkjet (or laser) printer. 

Remember to use the proper paper setting and print quality setting.  For printing on scrapbook paper, generally you can use a plain paper setting.  And of course, printing your digis on lighter colored paper is another way to change the color of the images.

Try overprinting the black and white or sepia images on other digisheet backgrounds for some interesting effects.

Once you get going, no doubt, you'll find new ways to print and new techniques. 
We have a forum set up in the PaperWhimsy Art Group where we discuss digisheet how-tos and it is also a great place to share some of your tips as you experiment. 
A Bit More "Pretty" Digi-Style
And if you need just a bit more inspiration and encouragement to join in on the digi craze, how about these... all located in the Digi Sheet section of the shoppe (scroll to the last page for all the newest additions).  You can also find them in New Goodies.

More New Digis
So ends this issue of Bits 'n Bobs, the first of our new year.  I hope you enjoyed spending some time with me and are walking, skipping, jumping, running to your studio inspired, challenged, energized. 

New Stuff

Until next time... many blessings and warmest wishes for a blissfully creative and exciting 2009!
  And I shall leave you with a bit of nourishment for your funny bone...

Affably yours,

Gale Blair

Save 25%
So let's try out some digis!  Just use the coupon code below on your purchase of the digital download files and save 25%!  Shop as often as you like between now and January 14th.  Enjoy!

Offer Expires: January 14, 2009  (midnight EST).  Good toward digital download files, only.