Thursday, April 20, 2006

Scrapbook Clipart

By Christina VanGinkel

Clipart can be found all over the Internet, both for free and for sale. It comes packaged with many software applications, including office programs and graphic oriented programs. Some software is devoted entirely to clipart, with it broken into various categories to make it easy to find what you need. The advantage of a lot of clipart when compared to pre-made stickers is that it can be customized quickly and easily to the size you want, and even the color of it can usually be altered with little difficulty.

What to Do with All that Clipart

Why would a scrapbook enthusiast want to be able to make his or her own clipart you might ask? Clipart can be used in your scrapbook layouts in a variety of ways. If you cannot find the perfect sticker to embellish a layout you happen to be working on, with access to the right clipart, a computer printer, and a Xyron, you can make your own. You can also print clipart directly onto your layout if your printer will take the size and type of paper or material that you want to print directly onto. While one of the most common sizes of paper used in scrapbooks is 12" x 12", this would require a printer that accepts a size larger than your average 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper or cardstock. They are available, but often cost more than your average inkjet printer cost. Keep in mind though, that prices often fall with demand, so as more people discover the feasibility of printing directly on oversized layouts, the possibility of a printer being manufactured for less than what they currently are, which will do what the average scrapper wants it to, is a possibility. Clipart can also be used to make your own customized overlays. Everyone seems to love the idea of an overlay at some point in time, but finding one that fits the page you want to use it on can be near impossible. With access to clipart, and the right fonts, you can have the perfect overlay readily available every time.

Too Much to Choose From

To think that it is possible that you have too much clipart sounds almost impossible, but that can be a problem. With it packaged with just about every computer program you own, wading through it all for the perfect piece can be an issue. Because of this, several ingenious companies have come up with some very good programs for the computer devoted to scrapbooking and crafting itself. Choosing one or two of these programs is a great way to avoid the clipart that might seem like it will work, but just does not do justice to your layouts. Consider one of these, such as those from Creating Keepsakes, Hallmark, American Greetings, or Nova Development.

One of my favorite online companies that have clipart perfectly suited to scrapbook layouts includes pcCrafter. They have artwork by some of my favorite artists, including Debbie Mumm, Tina Wenke, Debra Jordan Bryan, Beth Logan, and many, many more artists that lend their work very well to the craft of scrapbooking.

There are also companies such as Lettering Delights that combine fonts with clipart for creations that are nearly indescribable, yet once you encounter them, you find yourself wanting more and more of them. If you can conceive of a way to combine letters with pictures, they have most likely already done it, and better than you could ever have imagined. One of my favorites of theirs is an Easter one. Each letter and number is combined with a tulip or two, so whatever you spell out is touched with a bit of spring. Another favorite of mine is their Animal; set, which includes three fonts, the color alphabet Beast, along with LD Zoo, and LD Funny Serif. The color alphabet Beast combines an array of animal prints with each plump shaped letter. The LD Zoo is one of the funniest zoo arrangements mixed with lettering I have ever come across, and is perfect for any layout having to do with a trip to the zoo, Africa, or anywhere wild for that matter!

The next time you need the perfect piece of clipart, turn to your computer before you spend hours at the local scrapbook store in search of that elusive sheet of stickers that never seem to be exactly what you wanted in the first place.

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