A Rose by Any Other Name

Lynn Schoeffler © 2009

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What can I say? I love the World Wide Web. Growing up, I always had my nose in a book, and I was in seventh heaven when my family moved to a house that put the community library within walking distance; surfing the web is just a natural extension.

One of my favorite blogs is The Blue Lantern* by Jane Librizzi, with a beautiful stream of vintage paintings, illustrations and objects díart; Janeís captions are nicely written, with a lovely smattering of quotations and poetry. The picture in this post of a letter written by Edouard Manet to Isabelle Lemmonier had me day-dreaming about how to make my own version to print on fabric.

My first impulse was to write a quick how-to for Photoshop. After slogging through layers of filters, palettes of special effects and tons of blending modes, I realized writing a tutorial for all that was not going to be user-friendly. Also, I wanted to make the work accessible to readers who would no doubt rather spend their time stitching than clicking (computer programs, that is).

To that end, here is my version of parchment background, illustration and text that can be done in Microsoft Word.

First, the caveat: not all versions of Word are created equally. I believe that Microsoft puts out a new version every year just to see if we are awake. Hopefully, youíll be able to adapt my instructions to your version.

To start:

I have created a parchment-type background, which you can copy and paste into a Word document. You can also find parchment and ephemera pages by searching the web; many are copyright free.

Click View>Zoom (top toolbar) to enlarge the parchment page to about 3.5 inches. You need to get the rose onto the same page, so donít enlarge the parchment any further here.

Left click to position the cursor outside the frame, and add one line space.

To insert the rose:

My rose started with the purchase of a photo from an on-line stock photo company. These companies provide large resolution photos for a fairly reasonable price, and the photos are copyright free. I wanted to learn how to use Photoshop to make my photo look more like a hand drawn illustration. You are welcome to use my image, if youíd like. Iíve also included a few copyright free images from Vintage Printables below. I found that only pictures on a white background work well.

Copy and paste the pink rose image into the Word document. (*Note: If you havenít placed the parchment image correctly, the rose image will cover it over, so itís important to follow the steps carefully.)

Right click next to the rose to show the bounding box around the rose. Left click to show the Picture Tool Bar.

To position the rose onto the parchment, click Text Wrapping > In Front of Text > on the Picture Tool Bar.

Next, click the Transparent Color Tool on the Picture Tool Bar. Drag this icon near the rose image (not on it).

After you click the Transparent Color Tool, the Move Tool will appear. Click and drag the rose to the desired position over the parchment. You can re-size the rose again by clicking and dragging the sizing handles.

To insert the text:

Choose Insert (top tool bar). Click Text Box in the drop down menu; a large drawing box will appear. Click inside this box for the small text box. Click and drag the text box (from the top border between the sizing handles) onto the parchment (the large box will disappear). Click and drag the sizing handles to enlarge the box, and then type your text into the box.

For the text:

Choose Format (top tool bar) > Font > Font Style > Font Size to set your type. I used the Lainie Day font from the Fontsy collection. Again, you can find just about any font by searching the web; also try 101 Fonts, and Fontica. Font size is 26 points. You can also change the color of your font by clicking on the Font Color drop down menu.

If there is too much space between your lines go to Format > Paragraph > Line Spacing > Multiple Lines in the drop down menu. I chose .75 for the size of the space between my lines.

To remove the text box when you have the text as desired, move the cursor to the text box border (between the handles); right click. Choose Format Text Box > Colors and Lines >Fill > click No Fill (in the drop down menu.) Next go to Line> Color; in the drop down menu, click No Lines. Click OK. Move the cursor off the parchment and right click to remove the box lines.

To print on fabric:

Use the sizing handles to make your picture the size you desire for your CQ. Test your print on paper first! Use your favorite printer-friendly fabric sheets; I currently like the cotton sateen from Dharma for very crisp detail. Silk will give you a slightly softer printed image.





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