Saturday, January 9, 2010

Digital Stamps: Information and Uses

When I first heard of digital stamps, they sounded so confusing to me. I am no computer expert for sure...I would put myself at a 3rd grade level, LOL. Since they have been around for a while, I would read a bit here and a bit there over time. Eventually I read enough so that I was actually comfortable and tried one. I fell in love wit them right away.

I still love my rubber. the wood mounted and easy mounted, even some of the acrylic stamps, the smell of the ink and the many techniques that can be done with them that can not be done with digital stamps.

By adding digital stamps to my collection, I have expanded my crafting tools.  Now, I would like to share with you some information I found helpful in learning about this new way to "stamp".

When you first purchase a digital stamp, you will be sent a file to download and keep on your computer. If you have ever saved a photo onto you computer, it will be the same idea. When you click to download the image, you will have to choose where to save/file it. I keep mine in my documents in a file created just for my digital stamps. In this file I created files for each digital stamp company I have stamps for. This way I know where they are and whose they are.

Before printing and printing your digital stamps:

Resize and Print I

Resize and Print II

Changing color of stamp with photo shop

Coloring stamp before printing

Playing with before printing

Printing only part of an image using Adobe

Printing only part of an image using Word

Combining Digital Images

Placing text where you want it using Word  (VIDEO)

Printing duplicates on one sheet

Card making tricks using Word (VIDEO)

Printing a greeting

Cutting out with your silhouette

What Now:

There are loads of sites and tutorials for getting, filing and printing digital stamps, as you can see…BUT what now? I am still on the search, but have found out a couple of things I want to share. I also found some fun videos on other unique things to do. I have not tried 5-11 yet, but will certainly be posting when I do.

  1. Cut the image out by hand as I did in these posts, Dec 31, 2009  And here Jan 1, 2010   
  2. You can used a die cutting machine as I did here   Jan 5, 2010
  3. You can multi-layer it (similar to cutting by hand) as I did here  Dec 31, 2009
  4. Sew it to felt or fabric as I did here  Jan 2, 2010
  5. Print right on a card (VIDEO)
  6. Coloring with markers and pencils
  7. Watercoloring
  8. Heat Embossing OR use glue pen on the lines of a simple image
  9. T-Shirt transfer (VIDEO)
  10. Print directly on fabric
  11. Ink jet transfer stamping

If you know of more...please drop me a comment or email. I would love to added them to another post for all to try.

Helpful answers:

>>>What exactly is a digital stamp?

>>>Can I keep them on disc? is encouraged to save your files in/on a back up source such as a disc or external hard drive.

>>>Can I share them with my friends? No...You may use them over and over, but sharing them with others, though it seems like a simple thing to do, is against the artists rights. You can however give them the URL of the site you purchased it from so they can purchase their own. See Digital stamp Angel Policy (scroll down just a bit for digital stamps AP)

>>>From the Squiggle Fly site:  Though this talks specifically about thier images, we have all gotten images that appear like this from other sources.

Help! The images look enormous on my screen! What do I do? This is because Squigglefly images are sized for your printer, not your computer screen. A higher resolution ensures smooth, crisp print quality. They will look big on your computer screen, but will print out on paper at the correct size.

>>>From Carol Ann's Studios  .Jpg vs PNG

Which image format shall I use and when?:-

.Jpg is the most widely used format for graphics. It can be used with just about any programme that uses graphics. .Jpg images will show any transparent area as a white background. Your .jpg Digital Image Stamps can be resized to suit your project requirements, printed and coloured in the traditional way. All our .jpg Digital Image Stamps are saved as high quality 300 dpi images.

.PNG is a newer format that is becoming more popular, especially with cardmakers and scrapbookers but especially with digital crafters. PNG files can be used with most, but not all, graphics programmes. .PNG images will preserve any transparent areas. Your .PNG Digital Image Stamps can be resized to suit your project requirements, printed and coloured in the traditional way, digitally coloured and printed or used on your digital projects. .PNG files can be digitally layered onto your crafting projects and then can either be printed out or displayed digitally. Because the transparent layers are preserved your graphics can easily be overlapped. Image quality is high with .png files. Our .PNG Digital Image Stamps are saved with transparency for easy layering.

Some of our Digital Image Stamps downloads include both .jpg and .PNG files to give you the freedom to craft in any which way you want!

>>> How do I unzip my stamp files?  I use WinZip so that is what I am going to show you here.

UnZip your files with WinZip:

Installing WinZip: Go to WinZip and in the right side bar click the "Download a free 45 day evaluation version" button. On the next screen click the download WinZip now and save to your desktop. 

Go to the file that you would like to unzip and right click on it.

When the window pops up, click "open with", then click WinZip

Another window will come up from WinZip. You need to click on the "Use evaluation Version" button. It moves from side to side sometimes when you open it, so make sure it is this button you click on.

The next window will show your zipped file. Go to the top menu and click "Extract".

Now another window will come up, this is where you will tell Winzip where to save the file. It is very much like saving a photo.

Click "Extract" at the bottom and is usually VERY fast, maybe a second or two, though I have had some that took longer, so don't get nervous.

A new window will pop up showing your new file in the folder you saved it in

Close both windows and you are ready to use your new image.

>>>Images Smearing??? WHY?  from Stretch N' Bubbles
I have not had a bit of trouble with smudged images when I use my mom's printer to print out my images. she has a cheap Lexmark, but on my HP and Epson it smears.. so I did some research online and found out a couple things.. If you are planning on printing a digital image to color with markers or water colored pencils etc.. you will want to look at what kind of ink your printer is using.. Just like regular stamping. ink the type matters. My HP printer uses a black + tricolor combo or a photo + tricolor combo. If you find that your images are smudging the problem could be that you are using a black ink instead of a photo ink. Black ink is designed for text while photo ink (used in place of the black cartridge) is designed for photos and made to be of a more archival quality. So using a design printed with black and tricolor inks the image would smudge but the one with photo and tri color inks didn't budge. So if you are having problems with smudging check your inks and see if that makes a difference, ;)

Try them for FREE:

Most digital stamp sites offer you some free images to try for free. Here are a few for you to start with.

Squiggle Fly

Stitching Cards

Fred She Said blog

*Wink *Wink Ink

Sweet & Sassy

Sew Many Cards

Designed2Delight  She has a very unique way of giving her freebies to you ;o)

Bee Crafty

Charmed Cards & Crafts

D.A.I.S.I.E. Company  (just click on the Santa)

My Grafico (5 pages of them!!!)

There are 2 types of files in these links. Some you will find have a download button which you will click on and save the file. The others you will need to right click on the image and "save as" on you computer in your designated file.

Unique Digital Stamps:

In my search for new digital stamps to buy, I found some sites with very unique stamps. Sites that have a style of stamps I have never seen or rarely have seen elsewhere. Here are a few:

Angel's Landing   Piecing and piercing

Stitched Cards Pattern stamps to stick on the card...all come with directions

Fred She Said Print, cut, score, layer...multi file...some colored, some you color

Mo’s Digital Pencil Too  has multi cultural stamps as well as images with more details which make them more similar to rubber stamps

*Wink *wink Ink  multi file  download..some precolored, some you color

DAISIE Company---WOW, anything you would want digital 

Two Peas in a Bucket digital fonts

Mujka Chic  Borders and elements

News, tips, tutorials:

My Digital Art Studio  Happenings in the Digi World, New Products, ect

Pink Elephant Tip room Tips and trick...digi and other

I hope you found this post helpful to you. If you know something about digital stamps that could be added, please email me. I will put all the information together (giving you credit for sending it to me) in another post.

One more tip I would like to share, but it really has nothing to do with the subject.....but can be stretched to be, here it is for you

Cutting in tight places

Have fun! hugs, Sandy O


Jenny said...

This was very helpful information! Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all this info. I am all thumbs when it comes to anything with the computer. Your info is a big help and I appreciate it.

Theresa said...

Thanks so much for this post! I think you my have solved my smearing problem!!!!


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