Today I launched in the store an adorable Junk Journal that took me several days to create. I used PH Neutral PVA book glue for this project, recycled items from around the house, some of my old vintage papers, plus journal cards from my collection. This ring Journal can be added to and edited however you choose to use it. See the video for more detailed info and a walk through the book. Enjoy! Want to buy it before it's gone? Get it here: Junk Journal
Glad you stopped by to check out this edition about choosing backgrounds for your designs. Below is an amazing background and texture package I picked up from DesignCuts for only $29. I am going to use some of it today to show you a few things you can do with it. I had a great time with this awesome bundle. If you find you are interested in it too get over there this second before it times out! It is available for only 8 more days.
That's a lot to look at right? Yep and this bundle may help you a lot with answering the next question. So how do you go about choosing or creating a background image for your design, digital game, photographs, scrapbooks, cards, fabric, and pretty much anything else you can think of?
Well its all about symmetry and using your gut instinct. It may also help to see what is up and coming and popular depending on the feel you are trying to achieve. For instance the most popular backgrounds right now are geometric, marble, faded or mute color, grunge (been in for a while). But are these right for you? Choosing a right background texture or pattern can totally set or break the mood of what you are trying to convey.
So let us for an example say we are developing a website for deodorant. We could go a few ways to set the mood on our main page. We could try a grunge background texture behind our male model using one of the Kim Klassen samples above. What would that convey? Grunge could convey the dirty, stinky, route. By using a grunge texture for layers both over your model figure and behind in the background sets the mood to be used with the slogan; "Are you dirt nasty?" Try BoDOH! See left image below.
I used the same day photography images of actor Joe Manganiello (Sorry Joe) to prove that just changing a background can have a huge effect. On the left we were going for the grungy dirty look to "sell deodorant". On the right using a background from Hot Pixels, (Included in the bundle) we convey an entirely different feel. A more clean modern look that you might find on the front of GQ™ or Muscle Magazine™. Just by slightly dimming the actor by 90% on his layer in our Corel Photo Pro, gave us that more modern effect of muted/faded color and image without losing the clean feel. Now which one would you prefer to see on a deodorant website? And why?
Again its about instinct and using your gut. What feeling are you trying to convey? What is YOUR message. Which one is going to sell your message? Here is another sample. Staff artist Angel Koch took images from the texture bundle to create a 9 page Planner sticker bundle. She was trying to convey a soft harmonious feel to this bundle. Did she succeed?
You can get this bundle at a discount here: PASSIONATE 9
Angel used the textures from the Bloom files included in the Texture Bundle. There are over a thousand images included in this texture bundle and she was able to create this set just using one small file of images. I personally love them. Here is what Angel had to say about it.
Hi again GrafXQuest guests, it's Angel Koch again; President, Co Owner and designer of Flamango Door the Planner store here on GrafXQuest. I am back this week to play around with some graphics from DesignCuts. Once again there were really so many to choose from in the texture bundle that I had a hard time choosing what to start with! I decided to go with Bloom and I had plenty to work with!
I created 9 planner sticker sets this time that I am very crazy about! I cannot choose a favorite. The patterns were super cohesive and I used matching solid colors for full boxes, half boxes, ombre boxes, headers, checklists, and movie marquees.
I then printed them all out onto full sheet label stickers using my color inkjet printer at home, and kiss-cut them using an Xacto blade and a bit of patience. I put them in my own bullet journal using my go-to vertical layout reminiscent of Eric Condren and Happy Planner style.
Here is my personal review of the graphics product above from DesignCuts:
You get over a thousand of textures to play with for a tremendously good price! I was able to use the images without trouble, they easily fit into my Silhouette Studio program, no resizing or touching up at all, no converting to other file types, either. Working with them was a dream, and my planner stickers are beautiful! I would definitely recommend this bundle as I have enough to play with for months. The sale won't last long, though, so you'd better hurry!
Thanks for your time -Angel
Thanks so much Angel for playing with the bundle and giving us your valuable opinion. I also just created a freebie for our Newsletter followers, (below). Using the metallic rose gold patterns included in the package by Zepplin, I created a cute little stationary set. Unfortunately unless you are already signed up for our Newsletter you wont get this one as it has already launched; the one below is not full sized. But sign up for our Newsletter to get fun free printables like this one in the future. Now I am off to go use this texture pack to make some Paper, Spring Cards, and Mother's Day cards! See you on the flip side and thanks for joining us! `Lady T
Hi all its' Lady T and let me tell you as a designer I am constantly on the hunt for visual digital content that is new, fresh, and will awe my guest, (customer) . I look for something that not only grabs the eye but takes your breath away. Something that makes you say 'I wish I had thought of that or I can't live without that'. If I haven't accomplished that then I haven't done my job very well as a designer. And that would be “AWE”ful.
I create a lot of my content but not all of it. It takes a lot of time to be your own art director, artist, marketing department, and publicist. So how does one go about finding good content that not only inspires, but also fits within your budget and lets you wear the hat of many roles? Buying art from other people to use in your own products can be very expensive can't it? And what about creative licenses, that can be sticky too.
The answer is to do a lot of research on the internet and occasionally you get extremely lucky and trip over a phenomenal find like DesignCuts. What is extraordinary about this company in particular is they bundle design packages by top Artists in the country that can be used together or separately. They offer an amazing amount of content in the bundle and the bundles usually are only $29 USD. The best thing of all is that they offer an extended license on their bundles which means I can use their content from these bundles over and again commercially. That makes it extremely valuable to me because this content can be used in so many ways from creating backgrounds to foregrounds to digital papers, letters and more you name it AND I can sell what I make with it, not just for personal use.
Because we use a lot of content from DesignCuts they have asked us to try out and do an honest review of their most current bundle “The Inspiring Artistic Design Collection”. Are you kidding?! Bring it on!
First lets start with what came in the collection and then I will show you some samples of what I did. I will then also share our guest artist; Angel's personal opinion as she worked with one portion of the bundle in particular and rocked it out.
This creative collection knocked my panties off featuring thousands of assets built to save serious time in my creative work. Professional logos with a super epic Feminine Logo Creator, realistic brush details with GrutBrushes and Retro Supply Co, and gorgeous watercolor touches and kits. There is a Woody texture design kit to change your text to wood and Cloud effect brushes unlike any I have ever seen. Vintage constellation and Medical kits, and and...ok I am loosing my breath because I got so excited! But there is a lot of stuff. So lets look at some of the things we played with!
First I created an exclusive freebie for my newsletter followers called Yesteryear, (shown here) which features several elements I pulled from the “The Inspiring Artistic Design Collection”. I used the included Pattern Pop collection for the washi samples which were in PNG formats with clear backgrounds. I was able to pull those in and size them down to half inch strips. Even though the Pattern Pop washi comes with gold, silver and rose gold pieces, they were very easy to re-colorize in Corel/Phototshop to match the freebie color tones so that is what I did.
I then used the Eclectic Anthology kit for creating the actual post cards with ripped edges, corners, the vintage paper creator, and the huge collection of antique stamps and cancellation stamps. It was a dream to use and very easy to put the images together to make these vintage looking pieces using layers. I also re-colorized some of these pieces as well which was super easy to do as the PNG's are super clean images and a dream to work with. The hard part was choosing which stamp. There were well over 60 beautiful ones to choose from.
The third kit I used from this bundle for the note cards was from Vector Hut, whose focus is to collect, restore and re-purpose old and forgotten artwork that they find within pre-1900s books and ephemera. I chose a Marigold but decided to go with the scientific name when creating the card because that would have been more typical to the era found in printed items.
Well I am going to run off to play with some more stuff, I am going to create some 12X12 300 DPI digital papers now with the Sky Box Creative set. Want to see two so far? Stay tuned and see Below! Go check out the bundle...and see you around the intergalactic water-cooler ;)
I will let Angel take it from here, well...ok actually in two more paragraphs I will!
Angel has been working on an extensive 5 page planner sticker set with well over 400 stickers for planners, journals and bullet planners. This set is absolutely heart stopping, brain altering, breath capturing goodness and she did it by choosing the Mix Pix Box's collection of Lights & Stars from “The Inspiring Artistic Design Collection”. So what does Angel say? Ok Angel NOW its' your turn.
Hi GrafXQuest guests, I am Angel Koch; President, Co Owner and designer of Flamango Door the Planner store here on GrafXQuest. I had the opportunity this week to play around with some graphics from DesignCuts. There were really so many to choose from in the bundle that is on sale right now, I had a hard time choosing what to start with! I decided to go with the Lights and Stars pack, focusing on the 22 backgrounds and leaving the layering pngs for another time. I had plenty to work with!
I created 5 planner sticker sets that I totally love! I cannot choose a favorite. I wanted to highlight the patterns as much as possible, so I didn't use any solid colors for full boxes, half boxes, ombre boxes, headers, checklists, or movie marquees.
I printed them all out onto full sheet label stickers using my color inkjet printer at home, and kiss-cut them using an Xacto blade and a bit of patience. I put them to use in my bullet journal using my go-to vertical layout reminiscent of Eric Condren and Happy Planner style.
Here is my personal review of the graphics product from DesignCuts:
You get so much to play with for a tremendously good price! I was able to use the images without trouble, they easily fit into my Silhouette Studio program, no resizing or touching up at all, no converting to other file types, either. Working with them was a dream, and my planner stickers are beautiful! I would definitely recommend this bundle. The sale won't last long, though, so you'd better hurry!
Angel is right there is an end date on this super cool bundle and it ends in a couple of days. Just think of all the things you can do with it, cards, stationary, gift wrap, zazzle material, T-shirts and it just doesn't end there. Why am I telling you this? Because I use their product all the time and I wouldn't tell you about someone unless I used them first and approved. It is high quality and the waiting list for high end artists to submit material to DesignCuts is long. Even I have tried to get on it and have been turned down for now. The list has some heavy hitters on it. But that is puuurrrfectly fine with me I will just continue to lick up the cream. ;) If you create something with this bundle by the way I want to see it. Submit it to us through our contact form to share with others, we want to show your talent. God Bless!
PS I almost forgot! I wanted to show you how versatile these bundles are and why I am a raving fan. Way above earlier Angel used the Mix Pix Box Light & Stars to create her 5 page sticker package. To give you an idea of how versatile these design collections are for using with your own products I used that same package but on this photo on the right. See how I was able to add a more magical and whimsical touch to the image on the right just by overlaying some of the PNG's from the Mix Pix Box set and then going back over the model and the Hawk with an eraser. This gave them a more glorious and shining appeal don't you think? Fun stuff!
Have you seen any of those cool post cards or wedding invitations that are printed on "seed cards"? These cards contain seeds within the paper and if you plant them they will grow wild flowers of various types. They are a super cool way of boosting the environment by assisting the declining bee populations and what a super mini gift. How cool would it be to print a thank you to your guests on seed paper that they can take home and plant. It would be a wonderful inexpensive wedding gift for your table too.
While doing some research on the subject I found there are certain seed papers that will actually do better based on the region you live. Check out this map below.
Find your region and the corresponding seed types
1. Pacific Northwest - Black-Eyed Susan
2. North Central - Smooth Blue Aster or Prairie Coneflower
3. Great Lakes - Smooth Blue Aster, Showy Goldenrod, Black-Eyed Susan or Yellow Coneflower
4. Quebec - Black-Eyed Susan
5. Mountain - Smooth Blue Aster or Prairie Coneflower
6. California - Black-Eyed Susan
7. Southwest - Black-Eyed Susan
8. South Central - Black-Eyed Susan or Lemon Mint
9. Southeast - Black-Eyed Susan or Lemon Mint
10. Mid-Atlantic - Black-Eyed Susan or Showy Goldenrod
11. Maritimes - White Yarrow
How does seed paper work? The native seeds are all small enough to work on inkjet printers with any artwork. When planted appropriately in regular growing conditions, they will grow. Plant seed paper under 1/8" of soil. Water thoroughly. Place in a sunny corner and keep moist during germination. Where can you get seed paper? I found some here at Botanical Paper Works where I happened to borrow that cool map up above with the region information. I plan on making some Printable sets to be used on Seed paper and found that these guys had some cool seed paper guaranteed not to grow weeds either.
Recommended Methods of Plantable Paper PrintingWhen printing on plantable paper, I recommend using the following methods of printing:
Tips for Getting Amazing Plantable Paper ResultsIn order to get the best results from your plantable paper printing project, here are some tips
Now last you may be curious as to whether or not you can plant seeds meant for other regions. Botanical Paper Works states they don't encourage planting native species outside of their native range but if you’re willing to provide a little more T.L.C. you may be able to grow a plant outside its native environment. Sometimes plants will grown and flower outside their regions.
Here is a selection of tags that would work great with seed paper. Jars, Birds, Flying. Enjoy!
Our WInner will also get ...
Good Luck and we look forward to 2017 in having you as our continued guest. Enjoy poking around and talk to you soon!
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Life in general is an art and I will show you how to find the beauty in everything you see and do. Subscribe and receive a free weekly download and updates.
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