Thank you all for the great welcome back. The book has been printed (www.d4daisy.com) and I feel as though I can do other things.
We are really pleased with it and it has more pages than expected - the designer fell for Nina Humphreys' artwork and insisted we add a page or two. See right.
In the book, I do use the printer for some of the effects as I love the look and feel of paper and it is much stronger than you might imagine. Combining printouts with traditional drawing techniques is huge fun and I have several step-by-steps that feature this.
There isn't much use of image programs in Long Diaries as it is so difficult to find one that everyone uses. However I have found a splendid, totally free program called paint.net. It is quite free, quick to download and seems extremely stable. Just google on paint.net for details.
I think it may be more Windows-based than Mac as it a development of the very basic Paint program that comes free with the Windows operating system. It really is the easiest software for Layers, which often cause hassle. I have used this part-stitched image in the book, printed on ordinary printer paper and crumpled it has hand stitching added.
Here is a tutorial on how to do it in paint.net.
1 Go to the File Menu and select Open. Choose a suitable image. Trees work particularly well.
Go to the Layer menu (in the top bar) and click on Duplicate layer. Note that the image will appear in the Layers box on the right.
Repeat Step 2 so that three layers are showing in the layers box.
Click on the MIDDLE layer so that it is highlighted.
Go to the Adjustment menu on the top bar and choose Invert Colours. This will change the colours of the middle layer only but you won’t see a difference yet.
6 In the Layers box on the right, click on the TOP layer.
At the bottom right of the Layers box is a powerful little button called properties – see
arrow. Click on this and a box will appear.
Click on the little arrow (Mode) and choose the option ‘Difference’.You will see how the
image has changed. Good fun, eh?
When you have finished playing, either save in the native format (.pdn) to keep the layers
intact, or merge them down in the Layers menu by clicking 'Merge Layers Down'. Do this
twice to ‘flatten’ the image and save as a .jpg.
I promised to show some ideas for making text looked distressed but I think this is enough
for now and I will be back soon with ideas for mock calligraphy.