About two weeks ago, Ztampf!, one of my favorite digiscrapping designers had a sale to celebrate her third year in business. You searched the site to find coupons and would try to use them before other folks found them. I'd found a 20% off coupon, but I wasn't sure if it would still be good. I saved it for later and hoped. If it was meant to be, it would happen.
I just tried that coupon and it was meant to be! I am one very happy camper! I've just downloaded 33 zip files. I'll burn them to a CD to save them for a backup, copy them to my EHD for just in case and then I'll start unzipping and sorting new files! Wheeee!!!
Why do I love these files and this designer so much? Here are two examples. This is from a 'Fastcar' kit I got from ScrapGirls. The designer is Sarah Batdorf. I received it as a .png file, the only thing I've done is save it as a .jpg so I could easily upload it. If you put a straight edge up to your screen, or if you scroll a bit, you'll see that the black and white squares in the flag go straight across the shape. They do get smaller towards the right side of the flag, but that's not quite the right perspective.
Racing fans will also notice that the flag is the wrong shape. A checkered flag that waves when you win a race is not long and narrow, it's almost square. In fact, the NASCAR checkered flag is six squares by five. Did you also notice that this long, narrow ribbon of a flag is flying on a flagpole that could be used as a support pole to hold the grandstand up? It's a little big for the flag. If I were scrapping for a toddler and didn't know anything about racing, I'd like the kit. I wasn't very happy.
The other embellishments in the Fastcar kit were about the same quality, a few were even worse. I can't think about her idea of flames without cringing.
Embellishments from Lie Fhung, the designer of Ztampf! are much more detailed and accurate. Here is a charm from her Antiquest Add on Kit. I did nothing to it but save it as a .jpg to upload it. As you can see, it looks a lot more real. It looks three dimensional. It has highlights and shadows in the right places. It has texture. It does not look like something cut out of a scrap of printed paper and given a streak of shadow.
I've heard several folks say that Fhung's stuff is not their style. They find her kits intimidating, because they are so sophisticated and they are not used to that. They are afraid that they'll do something and the layout will not turn out well. I have the opposite experience. I can throw together anything at all from her kits and the layout will turn out well. As long as I don't range too far from the original kit and use elements from wildly disparate kits, I'm fine.
If you start with lousy parts to work with, you have to be a miracle worker to get something great looking out of it. It the parts are really good, you can be a poor artisan and create something that looks pretty good. I know I am not a miracle worker, so I try to avoid the lousy parts. I hope that I'm not a poor artisan.