Craft Artist Platinum Review & Fussy Cutting!

December 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm 15 comments

A little while back, I was sent a copy of Craft Artist Platinum by Serif and asked to review the software. I have several items to show you and a review of how I got on.

I guess I should  put in some history before I do that. I use Photoshop CS4 normally for photo editing and to do digi-scrapbooking (if I have time). It’s a great yet expensive piece of kit. One that I’ve always wanted to get to grips with better, but one that requires a hefty amount of both time and IQ to conquer. I was really chuffed to receive this as I’d got a freebie basic copy with another craft mag a while back and had a brief explore but found it was a bit basic for what I wanted it for.

So, how did I find it? The positives;

1. It’s pretty easy once you’ve found your way around.

I used to be a lover of reading instruction manuals but now I tend to explore myself. There is a very good reason to look through their really good tutorials- it will save a whole HEAP of frustration!! However, due to another facet of my character being a slightly stubborn desire not to let things beat me, once I’d actually worked out how to load digital items into Craft Artist, it was plain sailing. It comes with 5 discs and a built in photo editor which is good and I have not managed to explore everything..but I will!

2. It’s really user friendly.

It does require a basic knowledge of computers and if you have used a publisher/photoshop type package before, you’ll find this really simple. It’s much easier to navigate than CS4 and unless you’re a graphic designer you’ll not really need much more in a graphics/design package. I just clicked around and discovered what different things did. Again, don’t do what I did, watch the tutorials and you’ll learn quickly what it took me a while to discover. However, after only using it twice, the Scrapbook layout only took about 30 minutes in total which is pretty good going.

3. Value for Money;

The software retails at just under £30 which is a great price. The add on digikits are very good value but you could quite easily not spend anything beyond what you pay for your Craft Artist as there is a wealth of free digikits that would keep you going for a very long time. I have downloaded most of them from the site Daisy Trail which is a fabulous site with the options to upload what you’ve created and join in with the online community too.

4. What can you actually do with it?

Just starting out? They have pre-created cards and scrapbook layouts that you can simply print out onto paper or card. Wanting to make it more your own? All preloaded cards and layouts can be altered and added to ; a great starting point for playing around with the software. My scrapbooking layout took one of theirs and changed it around. Want a real challenge? Mix and match digital elements from different kits- you just add them to the left of the screen which acts like a big clipboard.  You can start with a blank sheet and simply add elements to create a card for example, or, do as I did with the butterfly card- just print off the images you require and then use them as a normal card (the Inkblot Butterfly digikit which I used is gobsmackingly beautiful!). I do favour the ‘hybrid’ scrapbooking which means you do a layout digitally and then add to it using your normal crafting stash- kinda the best of both worlds.

The teeny eensy negative;

I would recommend it wholeheartedly but you do need Windows to use it. I have a somewhat decrepid laptop with limited memory space and a speed slower than most snails. The ideal would have been to have loaded it onto the family computer which, alas is a Mac. (We’re serious Apple lovers in our house). The only way I could look at the software in detail was to reboot the Apple in Windows, load the software, create the projects, save them as pdf’s, reboot the computer back to Mac OS (the printer isn’t set up with Windows and I couldn’t face hunting for the drivers), email myself the pdf’s, download them onto my laptop, change them into jpegs in CS4 (as wordpress didn’t appreciate them being pdf’s) and then upload them here. NOT FUN! I’m really hoping they might consider bringing out a Mac compatible version (really soon? Pretty please?!!!)

I hope you like all the projects. The white transparencies are some Hambly overlays I had in and seemed to fit in beautifully. By adjusting the brightness on other elements in the kit, I could have created something very similar and simply printed onto printable acetate. That’s the versatility of the package- once you start playing, you’ll appreciate its simple complexity (if you get my drift!).  I’m also entering these butterfly cards in a City Crafter ‘Fussy cutting’ challenge; you know me, I love making minute movements with a small pair of scissors. The swirls are all cut out too. Steve asked me last night what I’d been doing. ‘Having fun cutting out butterflies’. He laughed rather cynically but appreciates I’m a girl of simple tastes!!!

Must go, these  nights are getting later and later and the dreaded ‘s’ word is looming! x

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Favourite Projects & Paper Crafter’s Library Design Team Submission Crafts Beautiful & Wahooooo!

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kirsty Vittetoe  |  December 30, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Such lovely card, thanks for playing along with us at CCCB!

    Like

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  • 2. Ros crawford  |  December 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Your cards are so adorable … who can resist butterflies … sounds like you are having fun with your new toy … I use Print shop for mac for most of my digis … So easy to use.
    Thanks so much for playing along at CCCB … always nice to see you here

    Like

    Reply
  • 3. Linda R  |  January 3, 2012 at 12:54 am

    WOW!! I am loving your Butterflies.. Your cards are truly beautiful.

    Thanks so much for playing along with us at CCCB!

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    Reply
  • 4. cheryln  |  January 3, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Such GORGEOUS work! Thanks for joining us at CCCB!

    Like

    Reply
  • 5. Emma  |  January 5, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Congrats Keren. What a deserving post for you. Your clock was displayed proud at convention. Shame you weren’t there. Emma xx

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  • 6. Michelle W  |  January 5, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Congratulations Keren!!!!!! Can’t wait to share the next 3 months with you on the Design Team!!!!! What a great way to start 2012!!!! Looking forward to seeing all of your amazing creations! Michelle 🙂

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    Reply
  • 7. Valerie Durham  |  January 5, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Congratulations, Keren! You are a natural and you are going to be a great asset to the design team!

    Like

    Reply
  • 8. Lili  |  January 5, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Congratulations,Keren! Can’t wait to see your creations!

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    Reply
  • 9. Lisa Brown  |  January 5, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Congratulations on making the design team!

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    Reply
  • 10. DWD  |  January 5, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Congrats Keren on the Paper Crafter Library design team. I love SU and paper crafts. Looking forward to some of your projects. I have never done the digital thing. May be fun to learn!!!

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    • 11. kerenbaker  |  January 5, 2012 at 6:56 am

      Thankyou so much for commenting. I’ve been blown away by the visits and messages! Look forward to seeing you again xx

      Like

      Reply
  • 12. Kadie in Arizona  |  January 5, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Keren: Just heard the news on being selected as one of the four lucky entries for a spot on the Paper Crafter’s Library Design Team. CONGRATS Girlfriend! Can’t wait to see what you post on the PCL Blog….but more importantly…….I’ve found a new blog to follow. MANY THANKS for providing us with a corner of your world-I’ll be back often to visit.

    Like

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  • 13. zoë  |  January 5, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Can’t think of a better candidate for this DT post. Well done you. I look forward to following your creations. Happy New Year. Love Zoë x

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  • 14. tina faghy  |  January 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Hi Keren- i thought i recognised your name on Andrea walfords design team- Congratulations and Well done. You have some beautiful projects on your blog- i will be back here often. Tina Faghy.x

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  • 15. Peg  |  January 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Well done Karen! Can’t wait to see your designs, Peg

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Welcome to this space, my little place of creative refuge away from the busy-ness of life!
I'm a wife, Mum to 6, crafter, Christian and fortunate to be doing a job that I love!

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