Hi! Welcome to Under the Inkfluence!
I don’t often say anything when I update the look of my blog, which I do a few times a year or so. I was thinking about that today and decided that I was doing my readers a disservice. My blog designs are as much a shareable project as anything else I post about and it hit me today that you might be interested in what I use to make them.
I use Stampin’ Up’s digital paper crafting software, My Digital Studio, along with Stampin’ Up’s digital download elements to create my blog graphics. Yes – you can do more with My Digital Studio than scrapbook pages and cards! it’s a fantastic program and the latest version includes some nifty tools that let you do things like place text on a curve, change colors of embellishments, and use multiple colors on digital stamps.
For this blog header, I wanted to make a banner. I started out with a couple banner-shaped punches. Actually, I guess they’re tag-shaped punches because they come from the Tags for All Designer Template kit. I filled the punches with patterns from the Eastern Elegance Designer Series paper kit. The yellow pattern is the same one I used for the blog background. I gave each flag a drop shadow to give the illusion of 3 dimensions and making them stand out from the Smoky Slate background.
The rosettes on the banner flags are from the Designer Rosettes digital download. Since the rosettes only come in 5 different colors, not the color that I wanted, I used the Recolor tool from the Design Center menu to change a Crumb Cake rosette to Calypso Coral, then copied it to each of the flags. The Recolor tool is so easy – simply click on the embellishment, then click the Recolor tool icon, then select the new color. Honestly… that’s all it takes. The only thing that seemed less than intuitive to me is that most of the time it’s best to start with a darker original color. I find that in general, that gives me the best results.
The string that the flags are “hanging” from is simply a Starter line that I changed to a curve and adjusted until it fit the curve of my banner flags. I changed the color of the string to white and moved it behind the flags, then added a couple of Baker’s Twine bows to the ends of the banner. Once again, there was no Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine so I used the Recolor tool to change the bow from Baja Breeze to Calypso Coral. Love how MDS is smart enough to keep the white and only change the colored areas of the bow. Similar thing on the rosettes – the shadows/darker areas are retained after recoloring so you don’t end up with a 1 dimensional image.
Even placing text on a curve is easy to do. I copied the line that I used for the banner string since I wanted my text to follow that same curve. Then I created the “INKFLUENCE” text, set the font to FFF Tusj and the color to Burmuda Bay. I adjusted the text size after I curved it so that it would fit all the way across the banner. And the last magic step – select both the text and the line by selecting both objects with the Control key pressed. Right-click and select “Attach to Shape” from the pop-up menu. If you don’t want the curved line to show, just set the opacity to zero so that it’s completely transparent. I know – it seems too easy to be true!
I copied the resulting curved text and used it to create the tag line underneath the banner, changing the font, text size, and color. A note on fonts – My Digital Studio doesn’t come with any fonts. It uses all the fonts that are installed on your computer. I love fonts and have hundreds on my laptop. Lots of free fonts are available on the internet – just Google “free fonts”.
The last thing I did was to finish the background. I’d initially just put a swatch of Smoky Slate behind everything (love the gray with the Crushed Curry, Calypso Coral, and Burmuda Bay color combination), but the more I worked on the header, the more blah I thought the background was. To compensate, I added texture by using the digital stamp image “Basic Black Texture” (I’m not sure if this image comes with My Digital Studio or if it’s part of a digital download kit). I placed it behind my Smoky Slate background, then set the Opacity of the Smoky Slate to 6o so that the texture stamp was colored a little darker than Smoky Slate. I love the fabric look that gives without overwhelming anything else.
I know that today’s post was pretty long and I thank you for sticking through the entire thing. I hope you enjoyed a look at how I create my blog headers using My Digital Studio. If you don’t already have it and would like to take it for a spin, you can download and use it for free using the free 30-day trial. The full version of My Digital Studio is an incredible value at only $19.95 and Stampin’ Up! releases new digital downloads every Tuesday to add to the images already included in the software.
If you have any questions about My Digital Studio or want to share a tip, trick, or project that you’ve made feel free to post a comment here or use the contact form at the top of the page to send me a note!
Thanks for stopping by!