Ready For Something HYBRID? A mini-class just for you!
Well, hello! My name is Sandy Henderson and I am a member of Mye's Creative Team. I'm here to share a little something using HYBRID crafting techniques. What is hybrid you say? Well, in a nutshell, it is something you create using computer/digital technology combined with crafting. So…if you have ever made a paper layout and printed out your journaling, you've created something hybrid. The same holds true for making things with your Digital Cutters (Silhouette, Cricut, etc.)…yes! When you cut out your files electronically and then create a card, scrapbook layout or piece of home decor, THAT is creating something HYBRID! Pretty, cool, huh? I was asked to share how I created this hybrid card incorporating Mye's Digital Kits.
I make digital layouts all the time and love it; but every once in a while I like to go back to my roots. I am a paper crafter…and I still have all the "goodies" to make pretty much anything I want to create. Before I got into digital scrapbooking, I made cards by hand all the time. Before that, WAAAY before, I used to make paper scrapbook pages as well. Anyhow, I stumbled upon digital scrapbooking around 2009. I owned PSE6, which I used mostly for photo editing and organization, so I already used the program. I was inspired by many of the pages and techniques I saw back then, so I began to teach myself how to digitally scrapbook. Eventually, I took some classes, started to feel more comfortable with my skills, and decided to come out of the "closet" around 2010 and post my first pages. EEK--a digi scrapper was born! Since then, let's just say I have met so many wonderful people and have become loyal to certain designers and stores. Fast forward…here I am, on Mye's CT; and so grateful to work with such a wonderful person and her gorgeous designs! You will also find me as a CT member at Pixels and Company, where Mye has her store. I am also the face behind the name of Henderson House Designs. Ok, enough of that. Let's get started!
When I made the card you see at the top of this post, I used Mye's About a Boy Kit. I was drawn to the bright and energetic papers, as well as her always beautiful smears. Her smears are the beautifully colored brushwork that I wish I could put together; full of texture and interesting designs! The other elements I included on this card are the alphas, a few word strips, and a journaling card. It's the putting together of all these things that creates a beautiful layout, or in this case, a card. In explaining how I went about making this project, I have re-created the process using the kit Mye has on promotion during the month of July--Walking on Sunshine. You can get it in the store all month for 40% off, with no coupon code needed! It screams summer with fun, warm and lively papers, word art, alphas, and those beautiful smears I love so much. Isn't it gorgeous?
I created a template for myself to use so I could keep all the papers and elements not only organized in my layers pallet, but so they had a "home" predetermined where they would "live" in my project. Besides, I already had an idea of how I wanted my card to look. I LOVE working with templates for this very reason…for when I have something in mind AND for when I don't! As you take a look at the template I created below, you will see I made a home to show off as many of the kit's beautiful papers as I wanted, represented by the vertical strips numbered 1-14. I also knew I wanted to bring emphasis to the journal card by cutting a hole out of the center and placing an eye-catching element inside. The "place text here" spots are places I wanted to put a saying. From the beginning, I knew I would print a duplicate of the word strip layers along side my flattened image. Those little rectangles had pop-dots in their future. The SENTIMENT spot would hold the black alpha in the About a Boy Kit. The last thing I wanted to have was a backdrop for some smears! I even put a big brush splat to use as a paper-clipped background, or to use as an actual clipping mask for smears. (A big ole' paint brush stroke would look awesome, too!) **Anytime you wish to see the picture in a larger image, just click on it with your mouse.**
Now it's time to make a NEW card using the Walking on Sunshine kit. I am going to skip out of order a little because I would like to talk about a few design principles. It's important for you to know I made this card at 5x7 inches. I know our scrapbook pages are typically 12x12 inches, so we just drag and drop papers onto our canvas. You can still do that here, but you FIRST must consider the SCALE of the canvas and adjust the paper size accordingly. Those itty-bitty strips won't show much paper detail if you just plop and clip a full size paper on them! By taking into account the smaller scale or size of this project, plan on reducing the paper size by either dragging it WAAAAY down by clicking on the corner arrow and holding SHIFT at the same time to constrain proportions, or by reducing it before you drag it over. Let me show you how I did it.
I like to use my Rectangle Marquee Tool (Cmd+M or Ctl+M) to make a selection, then drag that strip over onto my template. As you can see, by reducing the size of my paper to 6x6 inches, the scale of the paper is much more appropriate and pleasing for the size of the card. Of course, you could make the same selection on a full sized paper, you would just have more reducing to do to get it right. Either way, it works! I wanted to share this little tip with you because SCALE is an important factor when creating digital layouts of any size. I'll be throwing in some more design tips as we go.
Back to the card…I pulled up this very same template, and the first thing I decided on was the background for the upper part of my card. I wanted something light, yet interesting so whatever I put on it would still show up nicely. Next, came plugging papers into the strips in a way that was visually pleasing to me. I tried to space out the ones with white/light backgrounds to break up the other more intensely saturated papers. Trial and error… I did the whole moving around of papers thing until I was happy, and that meant changing my background paper on the bottom. Therefore, you will notice in these screen shots that where the papers started out, isn't necessarily where they ended up! Spoken like a true digi-scrapper, huh? So now my vertical paper strips are in place, my upper background paper is in place…Hmm, use a journal card again or paper? PAPER! I filled in the open center with a stamp from Mye's current Fan Page Challenge--Easy Livin' Stamps. So far so good!
This brings me to my next design tip--SHADOWS and LAYER STYLES. I do pay attention to the shadows on my pages, because I like the look of paper-crafting; the read deal! When I placed the paper in the journaling card/paper position on my template, I could have just left the shadows as they were, but no. I had to do a little tweaking to make it look more like pop-dots actually were under that paper! I don't know how others achieve this effect, but I can't seem to do it with just ONE layer…ugh. Kudos to those who can. What I do is the usual--create a shadow on the base shape (NOT the paper clipped to it). When I am happy with the look, but want it to continue around the shape, I DUPLICATE IT. Yep. That's my little secret. I duplicate that layer and then go into the shadow styles and under drop shadow, I swing the angle pointer around to create a more continuous looking shadow. Here's a screen shot to show you what I mean. I also used this treatment on the Word Art strips. Feel free to copy my shadow settings on your card if you'd like.
Now that little stamp in the center needs a some lovin' as well. Let me just say, RIGHT NOW, that I LOVE Mye's Shadow Styles. One of my absolute favorites is the rub-on style…I use it on smears, certain stickers, stamps, paint, really any element I want to have a very slight dimension. Again, love it! When I selected the Easy Livin' Stamps to go in the center of the cut-out, I wanted it to be flat…no pop-dot treatment. I headed to Mye's shadow styles and selected rub-on, and was all set. With the shadows cast from the overlaying paper, I achieved the look wanted. Now, let's talk about all those little vertical strips of paper and how I created the look I wanted for this card; it's a little different from the original card. Can you tell yet? I decided I wanted the strips to have a very clean edge with a little bit of a bevel; so, first I got my drop shadow in place, then I went back to the Layer Styles window to do a little more adjusting to get the contoured look I was after. You can see how I achieved the look in these 2 slides…
I also want to mention another technique I use on nearly EVERY single digital creation I make. I use BLEND MODES! If you are looking for that little extra somethin'-somethin' on your pages, give Blend Modes a try. You can change the look of papers and more effectively blend elements and photos into your paper, etc. Back to my template…I was looking through the papers trying to decide on a background paper to place behind all the paper strips. I had a problem though--they were all pretty much the same VALUE; meaning they all had about the same amount of color saturation. I needed a background that could stand on its own AND make the papers POP that were attached to it. I really liked the green chevron print paper, however as I said, it just blended in with the greens in the paper strips. It needed a little help. I decided to put the solid green in the kit over the chevron print and create my OWN paper, with a little deeper value and still using all the awesomeness the paper had to offer. I wish I had a before shot for you, but I will show you the way I achieved the blended look I wanted. Maybe you will be able to tell from the kit previews. See how the paper has a richer depth to it than before, yet it still works with all the other papers as well? LOVE! It works because I didn't change the color, just the value.
Alright, now the base of your card is designed and it is time to embellish! What word strips do you want to use? What alphas? How about adding flowers, tags, smears, paint, etc. Well, I went to town and added in all the fun things to make this completely digital card. Remember, EVERYTHING you see on this card was printed out…with nothing added. Doesn't the orange flower look so real? Remember when I was talking about creating realistic shadows? Well, that flower got the royal treatment. I did my "duplicate the layer/adjust the shadow angle" technique to achieve a realistic drop shadow all around the flower; and then I took it a step further! I added another flower on top, made it slightly smaller, and then followed the same process; even adding in some highlights this time. By doing this I create shadows and highlights more purposefully, with a plan, rather than just clicking on a layer style and hoping it is "good enough"--AND I got a fuller, more realistic looking flower. There is another tip I would like to share with you all. When I am finished with EVERY project, before I actually save the final image, I ALWAYS pull up the Levels window in the Adjustments drop down list. I do this to make sure the colors are vivid, saturated, the light is evenly distributed on the page, and that I am overall happy with my finished page. See what I mean? The adjustment layer is turned off on the left photo for comparison.
Alright, here is the completed DIGITAL version of my Walking On Sunshine card. Pretty? Remember, this paper is completely flat! The only treatments were to round the corners and ink the edges of the paper. I will take a moment here and talk about INKING or distressing the edges of the papers and elements you adhere to your card. There are several opinions on using ink/distress; and it all comes down to personal preference. There are those who like a completely clean finished edge. Perhaps you have guessed, but I am not one of those people. I love to use ink as a way to build texture, create depth, distinguish paper pieces from one another, add pops of color, and create shading. Inking can be accomplished easily by dabbing a sponge onto an ink pad and then sweeping it along the edge of your desired piece; or you can simply drag the paper's edge along an open ink pad. Inking is a whole different tutorial in itself…I say, just experiment. If you were to have one color--choose a medium brown.
Since this is a HYBRID tutorial, of course I have a few more cards to show you. Just printing out the card and leaving it flat isn't really achieving a Hybrid card, in my opinion. I like to add STUFF to my creations and make something using the "bones" of my design. I also want to touch on how and what to print out when you are creating a hybrid project. First of all, now that you have all the elements on your completed card, it's time to start thinking about what you want to take OFF--what isn't necessary to keep onto your base . Everything that comes off can either be printed as its own layer, to later be placed back onto the card using pop-dots or other methods; or it can be replaced completely by some other tangible elements you have on hand: ribbons, buttons, tags, flowers, letters, stickers, metal accents, etc. The options are endless. Just keep in mind that if you take something off your digital card which represents height and dimension, you will want to replace it with a "like" item. For me, this is where the FUN really happens! Back to taking things off… when you are ready to print out the pieces of your card, make sure you separate the sections so they are printed as individual parts. Usually, you do NOT want to print your digital card as a whole, just to cut it apart and then re-assemble it. For some cards/projects, it can be done, but generally, you will be taking away from the size of your finished piece, as well as perhaps cutting out certain elements. Personally, I wouldn't want to print out my flower digi card only to have to figure how to cut out the flower, and then how to put the remnant pieces back together. Want to see what it looks like to print out your card in pieces to be easily assembled with your new design elements?
Yes, it could be this simple. As a recap, separate your background as its own foundation layer; then print groupings of other selections which you wish to add in layers on top of your foundation piece. When you are ready to print, I would recommend printing on paper at least 65 lb. weight. I prefer to use Epson Presentation Paper in Matte, but I have also used just plain ol' cardstock. The presentation paper is formulated for the ink to sit more on top of the paper rather than sinking into the fibers, leaving you with a more vivid image. The best tip is to know your printer! If you know colored designs will print lighter than what it appears on your screen, then adjust for it in PSE/PS. Finally, choose to print with the BEST quality rather than standard; making sure you have also selected the appropriate paper from your printer's paper options. Here are a few more cards I created using the same card design, but with different finishing touches…making them truly HYBRID.
I hope you have learned more about what HYBRID means, and how to create projects yourself with the tips and techniques I have shared with you today. It's a fabulous way to get more out of your digital kits and use them for more than just digital layouts! THANK YOU for making it to the end of this post…and as a reward, I am giving you the template I created and used on these cards to try it out for yourself. In addition, I have created a more simplified version. Please use these templates for personal use only. Feel free to alter the design as you wish…after all, we are all artists. It would be fabulous if you shared some of the projects you make either here or on Mye's Fan Group Page. It's FREE for all of us who love Mye's designs; just request an invitation at the site, and we'll get you in. She also hosts a monthly creative contest, with the winners chosen from her Creative Team. See you there! Oh, I am also including a link to where you can get the Easy Livin' Stamps Set for FREE also, as it is the featured product in Mye's Fan Group this month. Happy creating!
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