Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas 2014 Free Printable, My Cards Tutorial, Dec Linky Winner and More!

Hi Everyone,  I have some fabulous things to share today like our Free Christmas Printable for 2014, my Christmas Cards Tutorial,the Dec Linky Party Winner and other samples!  Congratulations to Gail Scott who was lucky #5 and won our Crafty Secrets December Linky Party!

For several years we've posted free printable images with each season as a thank you gift for our supporters and I thought these adorable kids would be a hit this year. You can see past printables here. Left click the image until it becomes as large as possible and then right click to save it to a picture file.  Please Note our vintage images under go several changes, are copyrighted by us and are no longer in public domain. For personal use only please. 

 Gail won a $40.00 Gift Certificate plus free shipping and everyone else will receive their choice of 1 of these 3 Digital Stamp Sets - Bedtime Kids,   Deer Christmas  or  Christmas Tree.  Thanks to everyone who entered, there were some great samples!

I stopped designing to get crafty and make a couple of Christmas cards and a hanging postcard using our new digital Christmas Sets. My Tutorial shows 2 easy ways to change black digital PNG stamps to any color using Photoshop Elements or the free Paint programs. Once printed, I treated them just like regular stamped images, adding paper, embellishments and a little chalk to color the truck and mouse cards.  
Note: On my previous post I showed how to invert a black PNG stamp and make it snowy white and I also used the Gradient Tool to add color but I think this method is a faster way to change color.

I will show you how to add color using Photoshop Elements first, then how to using Paint or I have PSE 10 - (Photoshop Elements 10) but this method works with any PSE version. You can find the 2014 PSE version #13 for $59.00 on and Costco has it, or I also saw a new version #11 for $44.99 with free shipping on amazon. If you want a free program, the 'Paint' program is pre-installed on many PC's or you can download from and it's is excellent for the zero price tag!  Mac and PC users can also download Gimp.

Step 1 - Using Photoshop Elements  open the PNG Black stamp (jpgs won't work) and click on the Edit Tab on the top, then 'Fill Layer'. A box will pop up and you just check the 'Preserve Transparency' Box and click on the 'Color' button and a a box will open with a slide you can adjust to pick a color. Simply move your mouse over the color area to change the hue. Once you say okay, your stamp will become whichever color you picked.  I used the truck and tree stamp from the Christmas Tree Digital Set.

Step 2 Optional - You can add other colors digitally using the lasso tool - but I'm a dummy and forgot how, so I cheated and just used the Paint Bucket Tool to color the tree, ornaments, red lettering and tiny green designs. Just click on colors in the palette and really zoom in to click right on any tiny lines or areas to change the color. If you miss and click outside the line or where it's all joined it will fill in too much color but just go under the Edit tab and click 'Un-do Paint Bucket' to step back.

It's a bit tedious but I love that I never wreck a project (like past blotched ink stamping I'm guilty of). I can always click undo and when I'm happy I can print multiple copies and just add a bit of color, paper piecing an embellishments!

Step 3  Save your color image with a new name and print it on your fave medium. I printed on white card stock and a buff color for the postcard.  You can easily change all the digital stamps in a set to various colors and save the original black set. They cost less than buying regular stamps and you don't need so many color ink pads!

Tip: If you have an inkjet printer and and want to use Copics or other pens to add more color and are worried about the ink running you can use a heat tool or hair dryer to make sure your printed image is bone dry before coloring it.

After printing the truck, I used chalks with a Dove Blender Pen to color part of the truck, tires and  windows. I also added Glossy Accents to the windows, Faux Snow, Copper and Green Stickles, ribbon and a tiny piece off a green garland to my bow. Red Polka Dot Paper is from our Radiant Papers and Brown Paisley is from Earthy Papers.

This 'deer mouse' was fun to do and is from our Deer Christmas Digital Stamp Set. I changed her to brown and used the Paint Bucket Tool to change Happy Holidays to red. I printed her on white card stock and colored her and the background with chalks using a Dove Blender Pen for small areas and a make up sponge on the background. Added Copper and Green Stickles, piece of a white lace doilie, scrap of embossed red paper. Pattern paper is from our Radiant Collection. Red ribbon, twigs, piece of green garland.

Step 1 Using Paint or to change Black to Color can be done by using the Paint Bucket in Photoshop Elements, the Paint Program or other similar editing programs.  I have a previous tutorial here showing how  as well as coloring words in different shades - so I decided to show a sample with a mix of colors and shades for fun instead of the plain red lettering.

 This is the postcard I made using the design from our Deer Christmas Digital Stamp Set and it was  easy as the design is pre-done. I just changed the the postcard from black to brown and used the bucket tool to make a few parts red. I also cropped the Happy Holidays lettering from a sign, changed it to red and pasted it on the postcard. I printed the card on buff card stock,  cropped the little deer stamp and printed it on white card stock to add with pop dots.

You can see below that distressed or broken lines take a bit longer to color as you have to click on each separate piece. I embellished with Copper and Green Stickles, Faux Snow, distressed and inked the edges and added 2 eyelet stickers from our Hardware Sticker Sheet over the punched holes and gold elastic to hang it. It could hang over a bottle of wine, on a gift, a tree or wreath.  
TIP: I used my lemon zester to distress the edges!

Now I have some cool DT samples like this Christmas Silhouette card by DT Member Darlene Pavlick using our Deer Christmas Digital Stamp Set. It looks so striking in black with the red contrast. You can see details on Darlene's Blog.

DT Member Melody Clement created this wonderful Christmas Toast card using our Vintage Santa Stamp Set and paper and images from CD 6  Creating With Vintage Christmas.

Look at this cute purse style gift bag by DT Member Diane Hoover using printable rose paper from our Radiant Paper Pad. Diane has more photos and details on her Blog. I also love the side view.

Lastly after all that talk about our Deer Christmas and Santa Stamps I have to share a photo of a little Christmas Deer and Santa Devil Dog who stayed with us Saturday night. Otis use to be our family dog but our youngest daughter Chelsea and her husband Anthony kidnapped him. He's almost 15 years old, blind and diabetic but he's still going strong thanks to their care. Now the devil dog Fred belongs to our middle daughter Holly and he howls so much when she leaves he has to wear a citronella collar. They both stayed over Sat night so it was dress up time Sunday morning!

Wishing you joy and creativity
Sandy Redburn
Crafty Secrets

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Birgit said...

Thanks for the cute freebie, Sandy! Glad you found time to get crafty. Your little doggie shoot pic's are adorable! Have a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Blessings ~ Birgit

Gail said...

Thank you Sandy for the new Freebie given each year - it is a blessing to collect these lovely digitals and use them in creations as well - also thank you for the tutorials - it is wonderful when others share their talents to help us learn how to create and thanks so much for the win on the challenge - I am so doing that happy dance and will take some time this week to select some lovely items from your store - looking forward to Jan challenge and viewing more DT creations - I thank my friend Dar as well - she is the one that got me started in this adventure when I met her several years ago at a workshop - Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy 2015 New Year!

Kathy/NorthCarolina said...

I love the chalk backgrounds you added to these cards...and the little tutu mouse turned out totally adorable! Great post,Sandy! Hugs!

KT Fit Kitty said...

Big congrats to Gail! Thank you, Sandy, for the freebie and tutorials!

Cynthia said...

Congrats Gail and happy shopping! Thanks for the tutorial and fabulous DT inspiration. Looking forward to more fun in the New Year!