Artist Trading Cards- Fairy Tale theme

March 31, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

ATC Fairy Tale Theme
ATC Fairy Tale Theme

I have been participating in a monthly Artist Trading Card swap with a bunch of Artist friends of mine. We are part of a group we call the Fly-Tribe. You can follow our Monthly Blog Hops here- .

This month’s theme was Fairy Tales. I have always adored Fairy tales and I was very excited to participate in this swap. I made a few different ATC’s to push myself to draw some more faces. I scetched and then tweaked in Photoshop, and you can see some of that process in my videos available in the Digital Downloads section of Easy You can read more about the videos in this blog post- .

The initial picture in this post is a scan of  the ATC’s that I made for the swap. Even better, here are the ATC’s I received…


ATC Fairy Tale Theme- received

ATC Fairy Tale Theme- received


I have to say in the case of Artist Trading Cards, the adage “It is better to give than to receive” is just plain wrong &#59;) It is fun to make ATC’s, but I have to say it is MUCH MORE FUN to receive!!!

If you would like to check out my friends web sites, here are the links:

Fly Tribe Blog Hop- Shoe Shots

March 19, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

It’s another Blog Hop! This time the subject matter is shoes, or really shoe shots. You know- the pic where you take a shot of your shoes looking down.

I took a pic of my favorite new running shoes- they are super bright! I love running shoes! In fact, I threatened to wear them with my wedding dress when I got married, although at that point in time, running shoes were not nearly so colorful! I did wear typical Bride shoes, but I confess I wore socks rather than stockings to more more comfortable &#59;).

Here is one word of advice- always check your shoes BEFORE you leave the house. Last week I was heading into the city to catch a performance of Les Mis. Luckily I happened to glance down at my shoes before we left, and there- you guessed it- were 2 different shoes, in 2 different colors!! I would have looked quite the fashion freak if I had not noticed it in time!! So always- look down before you leave &#59;).

Please follow along the Blog Hop to see the shoes of my Fabulous Artist friends in the Fly Tribe!!




Versafine Transfers with Rubber Stamps using Gel Du Soleil and Ranger Craft Sheet

March 16, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

I absolutely adore transfers, but sometimes creating them can be a real drag- a very time consuming process, not to mention that it is a bit more difficult to work with stamped images. Not impossible, but certainly not a painless procedure either. And I always seem to be left with bits of paper on the transfer, so it is not quite as clear as I would like. Plus, for those who don’t know me very well, I have NO patience!! I like to do things FAST- because I have so little time usually :)!

This is a technique that I came up with while playing around with gel mediums and transfers. When I was introduced to the UV Curable gels, I wondered if the same technique would work with those mediums :idea:.  I tested it to see if it worked with one of these- Gel du Soleil. It worked perfectly!! No more layers of gels, no more leftover lint! If you have ever worked with transfers, you know what I mean :D.

For this technique you need a Ranger Craft sheet and Gel Du Soleil. I have not tested with Lisa Pavelka’s Glos Magic, but will try it and update this with the results.  I also mention in the video, and I alluded to it earlier, that a similar approach can be taken using Gel Mediums. I also wonder if it would work with epoxies- the two part kind? Hmmmm- another experiment to try!

I hope you enjoy my way of making transfers with Rubber Stamps!

Antique Ledger Paper for a Quick and Easy Card

March 9, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

Using Antique Ledger paper to start a Quick and Easy card! I got mine from a friend with an Etsy shop: . It is beautiful and makes a great base for a card or mixed media project. In this video I use Distress inks for a really fast card. Then I use VersaMark ink with Pan Pastels for a more colorful, but still easy &#59;) card.


Here is how one of the cards turned out….



Photoshop Tutorials Intro to Scanning and Layers

March 8, 2012 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

I made some Introductory videos to make sure you understood the basics of scanning and layering. These video’s document the process I use when working with original art and Photoshop. They are free and located on YouTube.

The first is Intro to Scanning :

NOTE: In this video I used resolutions of 300 ppi to scan and print. However, I just read an article here that indicates for printing images in multiples of their native resolution  will result in better print images.  So, some articles are suggesting that you would be better off using 360 or 720 rather than 300 or 600 if you own Epson equipment, like I do. I have not noticed a difference in image quality in the images I print, using 300, though. More info on interpolation for the techies is here &#59;). I am no guru by any stretch of the imagination, but this guy seems like he might be, so I am going to spend some time on his site- Eric Chan. Always learning!


The second is Intro to Photoshop Layers:



Photoshop Tips and Tricks- enhance Snow

March 1, 2012 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts by Ursula Smith

It is a Winter Wonderland here, and yesterday I managed to snap a couple of pictures that I was actually happy with! I am not the world’s best photographer, and so I use Photoshop a LOT to fix up my work. I took a picture of leaves in the snow that blurred the background, and yet actually captured the snowflakes themselves. When I looked at the photo, I decided I wanted to add more. They had a cool, blurry outline to them, so I thought- I can do that with a paintbrush! Here is what I did-


The original photo looked like this. See how the background and snowflakes falling are soft and blurred? For once, that was due to my picture taking skills, not Photoshop &#59;)



Here is where the magic comes in. I created a new layer on top of the photo with a transparent background. I then chose a white paintbrush and made the edge soft. In the paint brush tool, you can change the hardness of the edge, to be well defined (100%) or soft and blurry (at 0%). I chose the hardness to be 0. I also changed the opacity of the paintbrush. to make it more transparent Then I clicked to add a soft, somewhat transparent blob of “paint” onto the layer. I continued to add snow here and there, on this layer, varying the opacity of the brush as well as the size. Note that the smaller the size of the brush, the less blurry it looked, even tho I left the edge set at 0 for hardness. Here is what the layer looks like (I placed it over black so you can actually see the snow in this screen shot, but obviously, my image doesn’t have the black layer…



Here is the final result-



It is super easy. You can do it too!!