Freebies, Dead Links and a Puzzle, and Catalog Xpress Tip #5, Recoloring and Backgrounds

If you have been online more than 1 week, you probably have a lot of "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" that you have accumulated.  I am a collector of links.  If I think I may be interested in something, but don't have the time at the moment and I create a Favorite.

Because I do this blog, I have a lot of them - that is my story and I am sticking to it!  I did not realize it, but I had nearly 1,000 of them.  Holy Cow!  How did that happen? 

Enter, "Dead Links."  Initially, there were about 120 dead links.  There were also ‘redirected' links where the Webmaster had made sure than there was a new path to an old link.  That occurred mostly where there might be sales involved.  The Dead Links were among smaller sites that would not have had someone to watching to be sure that the link was still of value.

Next, I used the "duplicate" link review.  I got another 90 or so duplicate links. 

Altogether, I got rid of over 20% of my links.  In looking at the names, I was surprised to note that I could identify many of the links by just looking at the names.  A few were of no further interest to me and I was able to delete another 15 or so links. 

I still have too many links, but I do take a little more care of what I link to these days.  After all, there is only so much time left in a day filled with embroidery and other joys of life.

Here is a little bonus tip with this blog.  If you love the photos of family, friends and your life, you can enjoy them even more with this little program.  It is "Jigsaw Puzzle Lite."

It has the options to buy puzzles, but I just use it for my favorite photos.  I can have a few puzzle pieces for the kids or over 300 piece for me to work.

It has 4 corner sections for those who like to work with just a section at a time, and lots of other puzzle players' favorite methods, like arranging or not.


  Let the littlest kids do a puzzle of themselves with 6 pieces, they really love to see themselves on the screen and the puzzle helps them with their mouse skills.


Here is the next installment of my tips on Catalog Xpress.  I hope you have found them helpful, I enjoy bringing them to you.  If you don't use the features of your programs, even if they are free, you are wasting a valuable resource.

  1. Keep notes on issues (your input) - Notes
  2. Search by the usual information AND by Notes Search
  3. Resize designs - Resize
  4. Convert the format  Conversions
  5. Recolor designs and background colors
  6. Categorize designs in multiple subjects (place a design of girl in garden watching a butterfly in multiple categories)
  7. Arrange designs in multiple methods (Name, Type, Number of Stitches, Colors, Dimensions)
  8. Print the entire catalog of designs in 3D (as small or large as I like)
  9. Work with Alpha Xpress to create wonderful projects.

I love to change the colors of a design.  I try to keep in mind that the designer may have a strong background in coloration, or perhaps not. 

I have said it before and I will reiterate it again, a digitizer is only as good as their background - which requires knowledge of so many things, not the least of which is color coordination.  So, in the colors department there are these considerations (you may have others, these are my observations):

  • The designer may not be particularly good with selecting colors
  • The designer may be wanting to do something whimsical rather than life like or vice versa
  • The background you are using is very germane to the colors of your design.  If the design does not pop - I stop!

I have selected a design with many colors; this one has 19 color stops, but only 8 different colors.  The digitizer is layering the colors one upon another to build a more life looking design. 

I seldom use any software to attempt to limit those because it may just ruin the design.  For instance, eyes could disappear or details could end up buried. 

However, since this design has extra color changes, it gives me an excellent opportunity to adjust the colors to suit myself. 


The colors are not, in my opinion, what I might see in a real circus train.  On a white background, it looks great.  But, I am going to place the design on a denim tote, making the colors blend into the fabric.  I want my project to really POP.

So, I use the background changer, found in the "Options" menu.  I change the background to a denim color and the design is no long a bright train for a child's tote.


I reviewed the directions given by the digitizer regarding the colors.  I selected the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 14th colors to be changed.

One thing I like about Catalog Xpress is that it identifies the colors by their number.  Some of the others use a ‘color slide' system, which shows where your color is on the spectrum, but if you wanted to return to your original color, you have to ‘figure out' which one it was.  You can check back with the directions, but I want to see colors that are adjacent and how they act with each other.  So, I have the color numbers and sometimes go back to an original for various reasons. 

If I decide on, in this case, a ‘white' platform for the cage, I selected a ‘beige' so that it looks a little weathered and possibly dirty from being on the road.  I like how that looks.

I make more changes in keeping with my recollections of my childhood which includes a red cage with some golden trim.

I think it will pop very well, and I am pleased with my changes.  I feel confident that my project will be great. 


I use Catalog Xpress a lot for coloration, it gives me what I need to do what is in my head.

Comments (2) - 8/14/2010 4:39:37 PM

I like the desing and the versatility.  Lorraine

It seems like it was very recent when we were learning computers, the Internet and cell phones. I am

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