Thanks for a really good tutorial. It was very helpful to this really new newbie.
Here are a few suggested additions. I realize some are obvious, but for someone like me you can never be too obvious. (In the digital world too many people are afraid of looking stupid, and thereafter getting flamed, so they simply struggle through. I'd rather look stupid than waste my time.)
1) Tell people where to get the plug-ins (these may all be available in one place, but after searching I found them at the indicated locations):
a) Drop shadow (http://users.telenet.be/krisvandermotten/). And note: the drop shadow doesn't work with version 3.10 of paint.net, which can still be downloaded (I know, because I did.)
Gaussian Blur Plus: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=22819
c) Alpha Mask: viewtopic.php?t=2178
2) If the "layers" toolbox isn't on your desktop, click on "layers" under "Window." (Too obvious? Not for me.)
3) Part 2, Item 3: "This will be the Alpha Mask you will use repeatedly in creating your sig."
4) "Glassy highlight, Item 2: "Fill in the space above the line with white." (Right?)
5) "Shadow," Item 2: Change your Secondary Signature Color layer to fully transparent. (I assume that's what you meant. Otherwise, you got some splainin' to do.)
6) "Shadow," Item 3: Remind the newbies the sig has to be selected before the drop shadow will work.
Again, thanks. It really was a terrific introduction to the tools.