Tag: graphics

Illustrator Tutorials, Tutorials

See the magic of Illustrator Scribble

Can you tell I was blown away by the power of that simple Scribble effect in Illustrator that I found while following that tutorial I posted the other day?

This is how to do it. A solid black circle into a Guilloche swirl with one filter and three settings. It’s like magic.

If you want the PDF (Illustrator Scribble Effect PDF) here you go:

Illustrator Scribble Effect PDF

Free but you’ll need to subscribe.

Illustrator Tutorials

Security seal tutorial

Today I stumpled (a happy typo Mr Tree made the other day – I like it) across a wonderful Illustrator tutorial. You can find it here:


Written by Alberto Kaiser Sosa, it’s clearly explained with lots and lots of screen grabs on the way. The author thinks it would take you about an hour to do but if you’re familiar with Illustrator I think it’s more like 45 mins or so.

I learned just how awesome the Scribble effect could be – and Wow! Would you believe that the centre element, the shape like a squiggly line apple is a solid black circle with a scribble effect applied?! I didn’t know that was possible.

The only problem I had with creating my version of the security seal was not related to the tutorial. I could not, any which way, reduce the line weight of vertical or horizontal lines below 1 pt. I could make them bigger but nothing below 1 pt.  I  Googled and found the answer (isn’t Google great? You could find the DNA of a fruit fly on Google these days). The techie answer, or explanation is that if you have ‘align to pixel grid’ switched on, fractional strokes (as in half and quarter points) cannot be aligned to a pixel grid so the application will automatically round the line weight up to the smallest value that it CAN align: 1 pt.  So turn off the ‘align to pixel grid ‘ – there’s a check box on the bottom of the New Document dialogue – uncheck it.

Digi stuff, Free

Birdbox papers for digicrafts


I’ve been listening to some Tony Robbins CDS and have been working on re-framing negative questions into empowering ones. Instead of asking, for example, ‘Bleh! Why does this keep happening to me?!’  I substitute something that gives me the power to change it and recast me as the adult in control and not the victim of circumstance, for example, ‘What changes do I need to make to ensure that I always get the best results I can?’. It’s an extremely powerful exercise.

Now, how does this fit in with a set of papers with birdboxes on? Tenuously, I grant you, on a superficial level, but I can tell you that channelling energy into creating something is, for me, therapeutic. I love to make things! I love colour in my life!  It gives me juice! Instead of moping around feeling listless, bored and heading off to the kitchen for something rubbishy to eat to fill five minutes here and there, it engages me. It lifts my spirits to make something pretty that I can use and share with others. I have created a resource for channelling my attention and energy away from negative, self-esteem robbing crappy activities like eating mindlessly and enabled a better, postive behaviour that I enjoy. I live in the moment, use time purposefully and make something that satisfies me. I know my weight is not my worth but it’s a difficult concept to internalise when we live in a world that seems obsessed with diminishing the size of normal women into waifs – but I’m working on it!

Now, instead of eating crap, I find things to do. And when things don’t go quite right, I don’t beat myself up or stuff the frustration down my throat with biscuits and crisps  thinking ‘Hmmm , I haven’t got it right, I’m rubbish at this’ I think ‘What’s not great yet?’. It’s a great way of seeing the potential and the lessons learned instead of the negative blinkers of ‘failure’ –  a tremendously disempowering word, don’t you think?

I was tempted to use a question mark with an exclamation mark there – wouldn’t it be useful if there was a punctuation mark that combined the two?! Well, there is! The interrobang:


The interrobang, interabang[1] (play /ɪnˈtɛrəbæŋ/), ‽ (often represented by ?! or !?), is a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the “interrogative point”) and the exclamation mark or exclamation point (known in printers’ jargon as the “bang”)[2]. The glyph is a superimposition of these two marks. It is present in Unicode as U+203D ‽ interrobang.

I think I will have to deploy this useful little chappie cos I think he’s just cute! What a pity it’s a non-standard punctuation mark so not available with normal font families!

Talking of cute, I recently used a photograph, courtesy of Russell Orr Wildlife Photography (http://www.russorr.co.uk/) in a romantic card for Mr Tree. Aren’t they gorgeous?


Anyway, back to the pretty birdbox papers… same deal as before. If you would like a set of the papers above, FREE, drop me a comment. I’ll keep them available for a few weeks.

Have fun and be good to yourselves.

Hel x

Digi stuff, Free

Free kitchy kitchen pot 12 x 12 paper

Hi there!

A quick posting. I saw a 12 x 12 with coffee pots and thought how cute it was and sat down with Illustrator and designed my own set of kitchy kitchen pots  and put them together to make this happy and colourful 12 x 12. Now, same deal as before… if I get a minimum of five requests for it I’ll make it available for download (minus all the copyright notices blatted all over it!). If you would like to be able to download for your digi scrapbooking or print it off to use (it’s 300 dpi so will print nicely), let me know and I’ll upload it should I get five requests. Comments reached the target. Here’s the file.

Kitchy Kitchen Paper (PNG)


Have a happy day

Hel x

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