Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Character Papers

Bulmer Fishing
I thought it may be a good idea to write a little about our Character Papers because they are slightly at odds with the way we set up the site originally.

We developed the site to provide a basic library of free papers which could be used by both Card Makers and Scrap Bookers. These were all going to be general papers covering a wide variety of topics; sports, recreation, hobbies etc. Basically anything which would be useful for making cards or Scrap Booking Layouts.

Now the Character based papers move us slightly away from these original aims. We found that many people like to make cards with Disney Characters, Winnie the Pooh, Simpsons etc etc but the in many instances this breaches copyright. Even when you buy the official papers they often put restrictions on what you can do with them.  Although our images aren't copyright free we are more than happy for people to make hand crafted items with them, either for personal use or for sale.

Bea Fairy
So we are trying to build up a portfolio of characters which we can then put in different situations, all relevant to paper crafters. So far we have Brewster our oldest character who so far has 11 sets of papers to his name, Beatrice, the fairy with attitude,  2 sets of papers and Bulmer, the slightly grumpy Gnome who has just has his first set of papers. We intend to develop at least three more characters and then to concentrate on establishing these within the paper crafting community.

Although we have enough "situations" for the Characters we have to last well into 2012 we always welcome new ideas for things they can be doing.

In the meantime look out for a very special set of papers coming very soon which will feature all 3 of the current characters.

Brewster Bowling Brewster Cricket
Brewster Newspaper Brewster Singer

Friday, 4 November 2011

New Gallery on Free Craft Downloads

Well I really didn't enjoy the last two weeks. For those who haven't heard the main gallery area, which hold our free papers for downloading, corrupted. It didn't go all at one, it went bit by bit, gradually getting worse and worse. We tried uploading a backup copy of the database we had but unfortunately it didn't stop the rot :-(

So in the end we took the decision to upgrade the Gallery to a new, and hopefully better version. It was something we had planned to do at some stage anyway, when time allowed. Just not yet. Unfortunately half way through copying stuff over from the old system to the new one the old one died bringing down not only Free Craft Downloads, but many of our other sites as well (Free Craft Stuff,, Craft Clip Art, Craft Bargains etc etc.  So we were forced to close the old gallery early  and then work as quickly as we could to move over the remaining papers. Even as I type this several days later, there is another computer over in the corner slowly moving the papers. We are on the last stretch now, having reached the Valentine Paper we should only have a few thousand left to do! That will be over 50,000 images moved from one Gallery to the other. All we will need to do then is go though each section and ensure the description etc is OK.

Ever cloud has a silver lining as they say and this one certainly has. The new Gallery is much better than the old one mainly because it is simpler. Now, one you reach an individual image, you will find both Print and Download Buttons  on the top right of the Gallery. This means there is now longer any need to load the largest version of the image although you may still do so if you so wish :-). The thumbnails are now larger and the whiole thing just works quicker!

We hope you like the new gallery as much as we do. Hopefully that's the end of all the excitement for us for a while.