Archive for January, 2012

Easy faux Versamark™

I’ve got an easy technique to share with you for when you want a Versamark™ look but have a digital image instead of a rubber stamp. In case you aren’t familiar, Versamark™ itself is a rubber stamping ink designed to mimic the watermarks found on fine stationery. (These days we think of watermark more in terms of protecting our digital photographs which is why I don’t just call this faux watermarking.)

For this technique you will need an inkjet printer, some medium to light colored  (not white) paper or card stock and everyday software. The first thing to do is open a document in your graphics, desktop publishing or even word processing program and place a few sample elements. Squares or letters work fine or you can use images from your eventual design as I’ve done here. Pick a color you think will match your paper for one element and then choose shades lighter and darker for the others until you have a spectrum as shown in the screen capture below right. Print the document on a scrap piece of the paper you want to use, in my case kraft paper (see results below left).

Pick the shade you like from the printout and note the corresponding color in your digital document – “next to last brown swatch,” for instance. In my case, I picked the color of the volleyball (RGB code 214-185-146 if I want to use with other software). Now all that’s left to do is color your design with the watermark color you’ve determined. The pictures really don’t do this justice. It is a nice, subtle look and it really does look rubber stamped and not just printed.

My background was created from characters in the adorable Doodlebat font DB Beach Doodles. The beach chair (also from DB Beach Doodles) and sentiment (LD Handwriting font) were drawn with a Sharpie marker and cut on my Silhouette SD. The sketch-look border was created using the new Sketch feature in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.

Versamark™ is a trademark of Tsukineko, Inc. which has no affiliation with this blog.

January 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm 7 comments

“Magic” floating windshield message

A dark background, and light colored, reversed letters are all that is needed to “project” your message from dash to windshield. You can do it with a printer, but it’s ink-intensive, so I put my diecutter to work instead. This is white vinyl on black cardstock, but white cardstock letters would work fine, too.

A couple of caveats. It only works when light is shining through the windshield (so during the day and under street lights) and polarized lenses dull the effect significantly for the viewer. But hey, it’s cheap and this low tech heads up display is a cool way to surprise a special someone with an encouraging message (hijack their fancy sunglasses first) or remind yourself of something important.

January 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm 4 comments

Silhouette software options compared

With the popularity of the Cameo (and earlier SD model), and the introduction of premium software from Silhouette, there are lots of questions about which software is best. There’s not an easy answer, because it depends on what you want to do, and how much you want to spend. I have prepared a comparison chart to help you choose what’s right for you, Silhouette’s own software, Make the Cut or Sure Cuts a Lot.

Download the PDF here

Update: For the latest comparison click here.

January 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm 20 comments


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