Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spice Up Your Blogs, Shops and More...

by MaryAnn Carroll

Hmmmm......what to write about?  Well, I was going to talk about the upcoming wood-firing by my husband Bill who will graciously save some room for my beads in this quarterly adventure.  I think I'll save that for next week when I hope I can display some gorgeous beads that come from the kiln!! 

Instead, I have been sharing a tutorial that I put together quite some time ago with various people lately.  In the past, I've shared this with Beads-of-Clay and Totally Tutorials as well.  I thought that those of you who have blogs, Etsy or Artfire, etc. shops, websites or would like to make some of your own interesting display signs for your shows, etc. this might come in handy.  I use it all the time.  I'm sure that there are other programs which will do something similiar and perhaps, even more sophisticated, but this is what I use.  It's fast and easy to do.  As a matter of fact, I just created a Free Shipping banner on my Etsy shop just 15 minutes before this post. 

This is a VERY simple way that I go about making a banners, picture gadgets, etc. This one was done on my PC....  I've used it to make picture collages like you see on our Love My Art Jewelry website homepage.

First, you need to open a new blank document in MicroSoft Word.

1. Along the top banner, you should see options for selecting various "tools." Click (insert shape). Look down to the bottom for a choice called (New drawing canvas) that. In the example below, I have shaded in what it will look like. The initial "drawing canvas" will be white.

Example 1: Drawing Canvas that has been "filled" with color
2. You will now have a box that has some black dash like outlines as shown above. This is the box that you will be adding pictures/wordart, etc. to This will be your "DRAWING CANVAS" and you will work within this. Each addition (pictures/wordart, etc.) also have their own capabilities within the box until your project is completed. For example, you can resize them, drag them around, etc. In the example below, you would be able to drag the rabbit picture around, add outline colors, etc.

Example 2: Blank Drawing Canvas with 1 picture inserted.
3. When you add different parts (picture, etc.) to it, I would typically work with it OUTSIDE of the drawing canvas first. I first format it by selecting "TEXT WRAPPING" on the tool bar and then select "TIGHT" so that I can move it around easier. I then cut and paste it into the main box. *NOTE: When inserting anything into the DRAWING CANVAS you must have only the outside lines showing as in Example 1.

4. Once you have everything where you want it, you can drag the outside black lines in where you want them (for size), you would click it and cut. **Make sure that the only thing showing when you select are the black outside lines...not the pictures.wordart, etc. that are separate parts inside the text box.

**Think of those parts like the parts you add to a collage. They can be moved and manipulated until they are glued into place. When you pick up the collage, the entire piece goes with you.**

Example 3: Drawing canvas after I formated the picture border of the rabbit and the Drawing Canvas. I also inserted WordArt
If you select the banner that you made correctly, the entire banner should cut (not copy) from the document.

5. Paste it in your Microsoft Clip Organizer (NECESSARY STEP). If you don't know where that is, just search it where your programs are (lower left corner of computer). Once it has been pasted in the Clip Organizer, you can copy from that and paste it in your picture file. Now, it is no longer a Word Document. It is a picture.

**You might want to go back to your document and undo the cut and save it so that you have a template for future banners.

6. At that point you would size it, etc. like you would any picture.

Example 4: Finished Banner. When uploading a "Gadget" on your blog, pick the "Picture" option.
You will then be able to upload this and link it as you wish.

This one has been linked to Nancy's "All Handmade" bead and jewelry shop Round Rabbit on Etsy.


Jen V. said...

That's a great one! I always agonize over photo software trying to figure something out. I'm going to try it!!

Alice said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm so inept when it comes to stuff like this, but I think even I could manage to make it work.

MaCarroll Beads said...

I hope that it works out for you. The more you practice it, the easier it gets!

SummersStudio said...

Brilliant Mary Ann. I do something a little like this in Power Point. No time or energy left in this old bird to learn new things! Thank you.

Patty said...

Great tutorial Mary Ann! Thanks for sharing it with us. :-)

Carol B said...

Thanks a million! The text wrapping tip will save me tons of time. I've been using PowerPoint, saving the file as a jpg and then using GIMP to scale it. Your process looks easier.

Gerry said...

yes, thanks for sharing.....can't wait to do this!!!!

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