The split screen library view allows you to pull out a panel from the left side tab in order to view all your files and saved work. It makes it easier to click on the design you want to work with and drag the object into your workspace. This feature alone is a huge timesaver. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted switching in and out of the workspace to retrieve a file or pattern. It would get pretty annoying trying to get a design done and then get bogged down by this back and forth feature. This gets a 5 star rating from me.
My Plan, Do, Review kit continued to sell, but I had another collection of useful templates bubbling in my mind. Before I had even ever started this blog, I had been using a system called the Ultimate Life Binder as a way to keep track of my life. It was my central hub for setting goals, measuring my progress, and generally just being aware of where I was, where I was going, and what I was working on a day to day basis. It was comprised of life-management printables that I had printed out from my findings on the web and some that I had created myself to suit me even more personally.
Canva is the best place to design greeting cards if you have a Mac, but you can also use it to create hundreds of other projects, including business cards, flyers, book covers and infographics. In addition to being stylish, Canva’s images are high quality – you can move them around and resize them to fit your design without causing pixilation or creating jagged edges. And if you can’t find the right graphic in its huge library or you want to share a personal photo, you can upload your own. However, Canva is missing some basic photo editing tools, including a cropping tool and a red-eye remover, so you need to edit your images before you upload them. Also, it doesn’t have templates for traditional multi-fold cards like those you find in stores. Instead, it has templates to create flat, postcard-style cards. Another potential drawback is Canva is a subscription service. However, it’s easy to cancel your membership, so depending on the scope of your projects, it can end up costing less than some of the other programs we tested. There is also a decent free version, though it includes limited access to graphics. The service’s excellent support pages make it easy to figure out which membership is right for you or your business – its support information is searchable and detailed.
Artist Notes: What a festive and fun way this card is to say Happy Birthday to all the special people in your life - whether friends, family or work associates. The card features a row of colorfully patterned and decorated candles, with diagonal stripes, polka dots, flowers and swirls on the candles of blue, green, pink and orange, on the black background. The result is a colorful line-up of candles, with flames atop, ready for the birthday celebration to begin. The hand lettered message, "Happy Birthday", is above the candle flames, in alternating brightly colored letters, that match the candle colors. The inside wording is "Hope your birthday sparkles!""
I used this product with the Avery template 5388 from the Avery website and using Microsoft Word to print 3 x 5 cards and it worked great. The sheets are sturdy enough to take two passes through my Brother laser printer, printing first on one side and then manually turning the sheet over to print on the other side. After printing, the cards are easily removed from the sheet and have very smooth borders which look quite professional.
This feature is another game changer. When you start building up several files in your Silhouette library, sometimes you want to get a glimpse of a file or recall who the original designer was. You can now double click on the small thumbnail and it expands to a pop out screen with all the pertinent info and details. What a timesaver. With a slider button, you can expand or decrease the thumbnails in this preview panel. Enhancing visibility when you have multiple files to look through is another huge enhancement. This feature gets a 5 star rating.
A little bit about this print. The Christmas Carol is my husband’s favorite Christmas movie/book of all time. Every year around Christmas we are forced asked to watch every version of the movie. Some of my kids like this tradition, others do not (I fall into this category). But it’s becoming a tradition and when I saw this book in the digital library I had to use it.
In that moment, I realized that if I really believed that I had created something amazing, something that I knew would help people, then I had to stick to it. I knew that there was probably a million more people out there who would LOVE my Life Binder as much as the 50+ people who had bought it in the last 30 days, but it was MY job to make sure they knew about it.
Still, if you prefer to use your own photos and images and want to create quarter- or half-fold cards, Greeting Box may be a good fit. Since Greeting Box doesn’t have photo editing tools, you need to use another application, such as Apple’s Photos, to correct red-eye and crop images before you upload them. Once the images are in the software, you can only drag, layer, rotate and reverse them. There’s also a transparency option, but compared to Hallmark Card Studio’s design suite, which includes more effects and filters, Greeting Box’s tools are very basic. This program’s biggest benefit is its price – it only costs $9.99. Other greeting cards programs cost between $40.00 and $50.00. Our best pick, Canva, is a subscription service with a fee that, over time, can make it cost even more. While Canva has a limited free version, it can be frustrating to only have access to some of the features and graphics, and Greeting Box gives you full access with your initial download. Also, you can order more clip art directly from Greeting Box for a few extra dollars.