Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Adding Text

I thought I asked you guys to wish me luck? You didn't wish quite hard enough - my day of experimenting with adding text to my triangles was a bit frustrating and did not yield quite the result I was hoping for. I'm settling for the result you see above, one that does not show up as well as I'd like, but is the best I can do. Here's how I got there.

I started by making a scan of the triangle.

In Corel Paint Shop Pro, I used this as the background layer, sizing the canvas to match the actual size of the triangle. I added a vector layer to try out different fonts, wordings and arrangements of the text, seeing exactly how it would fit on the triangle when printed.

Here's another version with slanted text. The background layer with the triangle is still there, not visible at this point because I changed the opacity to keep it from printing. I could have deleted the layer, but I wanted to be able to bring it back up if I needed to adjust the text. Ready to print, I ironed each triangle onto a 3 x 6 inch rectangle of freezer paper - just big enough to hold the triangle - and adjusted the printer layout accordingly. I did print just a plain piece of paper first to check alignment and which way the triangle should be fed in, and then sent through the real thing. The first two fed through fine, although the printing hardly showed - even when I changed the text color. And then...there's little worse than the sickening scrunching sound of a paper jam. Yup, that small piece of freezer paper caught and wadded up tight under the printer head. The fabric came out fairly easily, but it took patience and gentle steady tugging to extricate the paper in one piece. Most of my employed years involved some kind of administrative aide work, meaning I have a lot of experience teasing paper jams out of a variety of printers and copy machines, so in a way, I was back in my element. ;-)

Lesson learned, I pulled out a full sheet of heavier weight Jenkins freezer paper, figured out where on the page to affix my triangle, reset the printer layout, ran a test paper through and successfully printed enough triangles for my postcards with no more jams. Good thing I have more triangles than I need because a few of them were not lined up quite right and the text positioning was off.

But as I said, the ink just wasn't showing up well on this fabric, so "enhancement" was in order. I settled on colored pencil fill and Pigma pen outlining although I probably could have gotten the lettering to pop more had I tried a little opaque paint. However, the way the day had been going, I sensed paint and a paint brush were not a good idea. For better or worse, I'm using these as is, ready to attach them to my postcard bases. (Click on any picture for a larger view.)  


MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Sheila. You know what they say--Live and Learn. However, I don't think I would've had your patience to carry through!
best, nadia

Olga said...

So, this is your mountain with this project! I like the subtlety of the colouring - I like being able to see more when I look up close. But you could use the printed letters as a template for embroidery. Using up leftovers might be virtuous, but not necessarily easy! Good luck.

The Inside Stori said...

First of all......you might not be impressed with your computer skills....but I sure am. I have the full version of Photoshop and for the life of me still can NOT layer. I have books, tried online tutorials, even had a friend help guide me but nope....it just doesn't work. It's a skill I NEED to learn.....sighing. Your solution to fill in using Pigma pen was a good one.....

The Idaho Beauty said...

Well, ladies, my patience may be more stubbornness than anything. And the virtue in using up leftovers - that may also be more stubbornness! These particular leftovers are imbued with sentimental value too, the cards going to people who will appreciate the connection. Or at least that's the idea behind this self-imposed challenge.

Olga, I feel like I'm rationalizing when I look at these and think the subtlety makes them more interesting - perhaps TOO subtle? True, I didn't want the text jumping out, but I did want it to show a little more. Have found another color of pencil that punched it up a bit so am happier now. I did think about using the printing to guide embroidery but it felt like more work than I was willing to put in - machine embroidery is a skill I've only somewhat mastered and stresses me out. Doing it by hand too fussy and time consuming on these small bits. Will tuck away that solution for another day, another project.

Mary - I don't know about Photo Shop, but my program has nifty drop-down menus and on-screen help that has gotten me to where I am in proficiency. I'm a "read the manual" person anyway, and mastering this sort of thing appeals to me. I hate to admit how many frustrated hours I've spent over the years "playing" with it. And I haven't begun to tap its capabilities. You may feel you need to learn it, but I know you'd much rather be playing with your beads - not a bad thing!