Wednesday, 16 December 2015

New Book and Some Free Software

Thank you all for the great welcome back. The book has been printed ( 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 It is quite free, quick to download and seems extremely stable. Just google on 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

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.


Heather said...

That all sounds very interesting but a bit daunting to me - I'm not very confident with my laptop but would definitely like to try it. I'll ask my technical adviser (daughter) to be on hand to get me out of any scrapes and thanks for sharing this.

Susan E. J. White said...

Thank you for the tutorial. It looks great! Maggie would you consider adding a widget/link to your blog so we can follow you via email notification?

Maggie Grey said...

Thanks, Heather. I think it is quite a useful program.

Susan - i think I might have added that!Good idea.