Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Craft Hobby & Stitch International: Part II In Which I Turn Digital

While at CHSI yesterday, I did manage to give my plastic a little bit of exercise, by investing in some software.  I had heard of digital scrapbooking, but I never thought it would fit with my crafting.  Given free rein, I do decoupage, stamping, furniture restoration and art journaling, none of which seem particularly suited to digital intervention.  However, I stopped off for a demonstration by Michelle at the Serif stand, and was immediately hooked on the possibilities of this piece of kit.

The best description I can come up with is that it's desktop publishing for crafters.  The software comes with a set of very intuitive templates for making everything from cards to cupcake wrappers to bags, scrapbook pages, menus and wedding invites, using a comprehensive assortment of backgrounds and embellishments.  Every shape, line and background can be customised, and you can scan in your own photos, art or pictures.

I have to admit to having been a bit sniffy at the thought of digital scrapbooking and digital art in general (don't worry, I'm over it).  However, I think I can see some possibilities in this that will fit fantastically well with my existing work.  Michelle showed some lovely pages during the demo that made me see beyond some of the templates.  I now have the opportunity to scan in some of my ephemera, book pages and art, and to manipulate it digitally (photo editing is included).  I understand that you can blend backgrounds and pictures together, tidy up, age or distress items (there's a gorgeous glass effect that I can imagine having great fun with).  And although I've been thinking "so where's the lovely texture going to happen", the answer, of course, is that it will happen once I've printed off my digital creations, and done my usual decoupage, art journaling or whatever with the end result.

I am so very excited at the thought of sitting down to play with my new kit; in fact, I'm almost squeaking!  But real life is intervening until at least Thursday, so expect future ramblings of delight when I finally get to play.  And this year's Elf School is going to have some very fine artwork indeed.

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