Saturday, October 6, 2012

Best Free Digital Software Downloads, Quality Low Cost Ink, Tutorials and Ideas!

Hi  this is a big post with beginner tips and helpful links for using our Digital CD's and Downloads, the best free digital software downloads and low cost ink!
Many people tell us they love the idea of being able to use and print vintage images and paper designs but they have never used digital image CD's or digital downloads.  This post provides the answers to the most common concerns we hear:

 - Where do I start and do I need to buy expensive software?

Where can I buy good quality, low cost ink?

- What can I print on and what can I create?

- Where can I find tutorials showing me new techniques and inspiring ideas?

 You don’t need to be a computer whiz to use our Creating With Vintage CD’s. If you can print a jpg and a png file you can use our CD’s to print papers and images to create with but many more creative options are possible if you use some image editing software.  You can layer PNG files like our lace over a piece of paper and add a photo, frame and cool digital embellishments!  Our first 6 CD's includes a step by step tutorial by Patty Debowski  showing how she creates this layered layout below using CD#1Patterns with Photoshop Elements but you can do the same thing with many of the program links listed below or try PSE free for 30 days with the Adobe. 
You don’t need to run out and buy expensive software. I’ve listed the most popular FREE programs below and each has various tools to help you crop, color, re-size, rotate, add text, artistic filters and layer images, designs and photos.  They also have a history button so you can quickly undo your last action if you don’t like the result.  If you are a newbie, look on each company’s site for FAQ or tutorials.

If you just wish to re-size and crop images, check your computer to see if you already have a built in program you can use such as Paint, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, Windows Photo Gallery and often printers come with photo/image editing programs.

Links to the Most Popular FREE Image Editing and Viewing Programs  for Windows or Mac, will do layers and many similar features as Photoshop.   image editing, creative tools, it supports layers and is easy to navigate   image editing, creative tools and it supports layers.  variety of tools, slideshows, animations, combines and splits images. 

PhotoFiltre 7  creative tools, layers and impressive photomask tool. For personal use only.  image browser, viewer, converter and editor but no image layering.   Picassa from Google offers some fun tools but no image layering.    Adobe offers a free 30 day trial for Adobe Photoshop Elements and for Adobe Premiere Elements.  Both are for the fully functional programs and offer a perfect way to see if you like the software.

If you pay too much for INK  try quality compatible ink made for your printer from  www.inkfarm or We buy all our ink from these two companies and use it for all our proofs and samples and have saved a bundle a money!  

*** UPDATE - I'm back to add this great news - Matt from Ink Farm just offered all Crafty Secrets Customers 15% off and Free S&H Forever! Just use code: craftyink 

What Can You Print On?  Paper, cardstock, canvas, fabric, label sheets, tissue and other mediums to create cards, invitations, ATC cards, album and  journal covers, scrapbook layouts, decoupage sheets, decorative labels for bottles, boxes, candles, coasters and tins. Iron-on T-shirts, pillows, aprons, wall art and more!  Here’s a label I printed on opaque label paper using our Free Mothers Day Printable BoxTemplate.  

You can use transfer techniques or print on decal paper to decorate dishes, glassware, furniture, soap and other items.  You can decoupage paper and images to transform and recycle all most any ugly surface! Read Vicki’s tips on how she re-did these old drawers and bottles using CD #3 Typography

When using  liquid mediums such as Mod Podge or acrylic gels for image transfer and decoupage projects keep in mind that ink from ink jet printers may bleed if you don’t seal the surface you have printed on.  Krylon Matt Spray Sealer is our fave brand to seal a printed surface for decoupage. Wait until the ink dries on your printed surface and apply a light coat of Krylon Spray. When dry, give it a second coat of spray and repeat to seal it more if you like.  When the surface is completely dry you can use a liquid medium to glue and decoupage  images to all sorts of surfaces! Major craft and home improvement stores sell Krylon sprays. Note: Laser printers use waterproof ink. 
Iron-on Transfer Paper is available at many office and craft stores and online. Just follow manufactures directions and remember to reverse the image if it has text on it or your text will come out backwards.  Click link to see apron and pillow by DT leader Vicki Chrisman used iron-on transfer paper

You can print on fabric to embellish aprons, gift bags, tote bags, onesies, T-shirts,  sweatshirts, napkins, pot holders, tea towels, quilt squares,  pillows, wall art and more!  Look at these cute fabric ornament sachets Tammy Roberts made with CD #2.

You can print on fabric with Freezer Paper!  Freezer paper usually comes on rolls and is waxy on 1 side.  Iron the waxy side to a large or small piece of light colored fabric so the wax melts enough to stick.  Cut fabric into to 8.5 x 11" or best size to fit your printer and the freezer paper will  make the fabric stiff enough to feed through. After printing, simply peel the freezer paper off and you will have a printed fabric design ready for a project!  Note: Don't use wax paper as it's waxy on both sides. Yep, inkjet printed fabric won't be washable, but it's so inexpensive and great for many decorative projects such as gift bags, pincushions, pillows and more!

Here's my Decoupage Dress Form Tutorial  using a white plastic form with 2 sewing papers from CD #3.  Later I printed assorted designs from the CD onto cheap cotton fabric ironed to Freezer Paper to make a fabric skirt that ties on. 

See Inspiring Ideas and Samples on Our Pintrest Boards   to see inspiring samples for all of our CD's, digital downloads as well as our original Clear Art Stamp Sets,  printed image Booklets, Creative Scraps and other pre-printed products. 

Tutorials and Videos  See over 60 tutorials and tips with digital as well as traditional stamping and crafting techniques. 

CD 7 Sew Decorative -  Check out our latest CD, Sew Decorative which includes an 8 pg Tutorial by Designer Sheila Rumney showing step by step beginner digital techniques.
You can visit our online store at The new site  automatically provide links when anyone purchases digital items and creates a packing slip for any items to ship. Plus the shipping is lower on small orders, there is a Wish List and each month we have a FREE  Digital Stamp or printable with orders (1 per month).  Here a FAQ page on shipping etc. 

Our old Shopatron Store doesn't offer digital downloads or have an international shopping and eventually when we get all the customers moved over we will close the store because it's so limiting.

Come Join Our Linky Party and Design Team Challenge the first Monday each month.  The party lasts for a week during which you can post samples you have made as well as see what our Design Team ladies have created.  There are winners and loads on inspiring ideas!

I also have to brag a little as I'm so proud of our oldest daughter Katie who is a Story Producer on the Bachelor Canada Show and was in charge of planning many of the dates and finding exciting and romantic locations and activities.  It's a bit of a standing joke that Canadian TV Shows have a tighter budget than TV Shows filmed in the USA. In fact we heard some radio announcers joking that they might go to Subway for a date.  Ha-ha - thanks to Katie and her co-producer the dates appear to include international destinations like Paris! It's so exciting because she has sworn not to divulge any details and her 2 sisters and I have wondered for months what was happening??? You can watch the first episode online here but I better warn you there is some W-itchy potty mouth by a few ladies. 


 Katie is 30 and has been with her boyfriend Ryan since grade 12. They are still so romantic it inspires me.  She's been a vegetarian since she was 14 and last weekend she helped host a big birthday dinner for 20+ people and cooked his favorite meal, meat - now that is love!

So, where did all that time go?  In this photo below our girls are holding their twin nephews who are in university now and it's hard to believe how grown up everyone is!

Hey, don't forget about our Linky Party this Monday, Oct 8/12.  If you are busy it runs for a week and I will post details on choosing 2 muslin bags or a digital gift for every entry.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadians and Happy Columbus Day to those in the USA!

Sandy Redburn

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Sue C said...

What a blessing to see you and your happy family! Thank you for sharing.

Sue C

Nancy Wethington said...

Thanks for all the wonderful tips! So happy you found another source for your stamps. Love using them in projects!

Debbie K. said...

Such pretty daughters you have Sandy! Great new stamps sets too!

Rene said...

Congrats to your daughter! Love that photo of the kids; priceless.

Image Viewer said...

Thanks for give the useful tips!

Johnson said...

Thanks for this great tip about CD Printing. It is really a very amazing blog.

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