Sanded Frame in Photoshop

September 6, 2013 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts, Video Posts

Building on a couple of previous posts, today I have a quick video tutorial on how to take a picture that is sanded and use it in Photoshop to create a custom brush. I made it easy on myself by starting out with a print that was a solid color. Then I sanded it and scanned that back into the computer. I brought it into Photoshop and worked with it in a couple of ways and this video shows how…

I have done this same process with other sanded photos- it just takes a bit more work to isolate the sanding. I hope this gives you some ideas on how to use a sanded photo in Photoshop! Enjoy!

Shabby Chic Wedding Idea- Say it with Flowers

September 2, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

Hi everyone! A reader has asked for some ideas for her daughter’s wedding invitations, and one of the styles that they like is “Shabby Chic”. Shabby Chic can mean a bunch of different things to different people, but I tend to like what I think of as “Shabby Chic” and so I decided that I would challenge myself to a few blog posts to come up with different ideas for wedding invitations. I decided to cover different mediums, as well as different degrees of complexity. Creating your own wedding invitations, can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work. So let’s start out with an easier project. One that only requires photos, a minimal amount of photo processing, and perhaps some stamping.

In my opinion, nothing says “Shabby Chic” like flowers- especially Roses. I didn’t happen to have any great pictures of roses, so I chose other flowers for this example. A photo of some roses on a white picket fence would be ideal for this project. Grab a digital photo or scanned image of flowers, and open the image in any photo editor of your choosing. For example, I use Photoshop, however any basic image/photo editor (even the online ones for photo printing services) will work for what we are doing here. Use the transformation or re-size tool in your editor and re-size the flower photo to fit on the size of the card that you would like to send. Greeting card size (A2: 4.25 x 5.5 inches) typically, is a great size to use for making your own cards, because the card base can be made from a half sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch card stock. However, this might be too small for wedding invitations. Once you have determined your size for the card base, you can then re-size your photo so that it will fit on the card base.

The next step is to add a quote using the text tool. One of my favorite quotes for weddings, anniversaries, etc., is the one by Rumi- “Be with Those Who Help Your Being”. I loved it so much, I made a stamp out of it. So that is another option- you could print out a photo and stamp or hand write a saying on it. This is a lot more time consuming than editing it directly onto the photo. However, it can have more of that handmade, “Shabby Chic” feel to it. Next week I will cover some ways to get around the time consuming part. But for now let’s stick with simple choice.

If you have a photo editor that has a tool to turn the photo into either black and white, and/or Sepia you could also experiment with that. I chose to make one of my photos sepia toned in this example.

Since I have my own printer that prints photos nicely, I can print my photos from home. However you can also have them printed from a service. I have the option to print on matte, lustre, or glossy paper. I generally like matte myself, but in this example I had lustre paper sitting next to the computer, so I went with that choice. I also printed a sheet of photos at one time, so I could get 4 greeting card fronts from a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper. If your card base is bigger, you may be able to print only 1 or 2 photos at a time.

Here is how the image sheet looked after I printed it…

Weddng flowers

You could stop here, but this doesn’t really have the “Shabby Chic” look. So I took the photos and sanded them with sand paper. I cut the photos down and then sanded them each individually, all around the border. I sanded the corners a bit more heavily, and on a diagonal so that the sanding framed the image. I lightly sanded the interior portion of the image on some of them, but for the most part I concentrated on the borders. If you want the card from to look even more shabby, you could also bend and wrinkle the photo, but for my taste, with these images, I liked just the sanding. Here’s how they looked sanded…

Shabby Chic Flowers

Now all there is to do is to attach them to a card base, and stamp, write, or print the interior page with the necessary invitation. This project is not too difficult, and not all that time consuming. This method also works great for making wedding and anniversary cards. Try it out!


From Gelli Arts Print to Photoshop Brush

August 22, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts

Hello, everyone! It has been a fun-filled, busy summer with little time for playing in my craft room, and even less time for blogging about it ;-). However, I told a friend I would post a how-to on creating a brush in Photoshop. There are tons of tutorials on this subject, so to be a little bit different, I decided to start with a print from my Gelli Art plate, since we had been discussing that as well. I also decided to try a video tutorial rather than a written one. My system is a little slow on the uptake in parts, but hopefully I covered all the important bits for you to do this on your own!

Some additional notes that I would like to emphasize:

  • I hope it is clear from the video, that your image in Photoshop needs to be black and white. The black part of the image will become the part of the brush that picks up the paint. The white part will not pick up any paint and will be transparent.
  • Also, I work with images that are as large as I can possibly make them, because I tend to stamp with my brushes rather than paint flow-y lines with them. You can always make a paint brush smaller in Photoshop, but to make the brush larger than the original, you would have to stamp it onto a layer, and then enlarge that layer, which would degrade the resolution.

Hope this helps you try to make your own Photoshop brush from your drawing or print. Enjoy!


Gelli Arts Print for Photoshop Brush

Gelli Arts Print for making a Photoshop brush


Gelli Arts Print for Photoshop Brush

Photoshop brush created from a Gelli Arts Print used in a background

It was only a minute ago

May 4, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

Sorry folks, this post if for me. My daughter is growing up, and it is bittersweet to watch. So I am working out my feelings with a post using pictures of her when she was just a sweet little toddler. I’ll give some Photoshop tips along the way, so maybe you can use those to work on your own precious memories!

Upon looking at this photo, I decided that I wanted to  blur and de-saturate the background. The first thing I did was click on the photo layer and choose (right mouse button click) “Convert to Smart Object”. This will allow filters to be applied in such a way that they are able to be modified at a future date. So I can always go backkepp and tweak the blur if I want to.

I used the quick selection tool to select the greens in the background and then used the quick mask tool to refine the selection around the hair. Then I chose the filter Gaussian Blur, which will be applied as a smart filter (because we did the step above), and it is also smart enough to create a mask to only blur the portion that I have selected.

Using Selection tool in Photoshop

Selection to use for masking
You can see the photo as a smart object (circled in red), and the mask created for the smart filter blur (circled in blue) in the photo below…
Photoshop Smart Filter
Using blur with smart object

Let’s take a side trip here. Adjustment layers let you do things to layers in Photoshop without directly applying the adjustment ot the photo itself. So you can get rid of the adjustment, without disturbing your photo if you decide you don;t like it. Every time you create an adjustment layer, it creates a mask. Masks are black and white. If the mask is all white, any adjustment you have made using adjustment layers will be visible and will apply to all the layers beneath it. If you have trouble with masks, and can’t remember how they work, the standard “White reveals, black conceals” rhyme that all the Photoshop folks use, might help you. For me I could never remember the correct way, until I started thinking as if the mask were made out of paper. black paper will cover up anything beneath it. So in this case, black will hide the effect of the adjustment. So then I could remember that black conceals. The other way I thought about it was white knights are the good guys, so the white mask will help or allow the adjustment to do it’s magic. The black knight will try to thwart the good magic of the adjustment, and so will hide it. Use whatever means makes sense to you to remember how layer masks work, because once you figure it out, you will see how powerful they are.

So now I have a blur filter with a mask for my selection. I clicked on the masks and then used right mouse button-> “Load selection from mask” to select the background again. Then I chose to create an adjustment layer of “Hue-Saturation” and moved the Saturation setting down to get rid of some of the color in the background. Once again, my selection was used to create the proper mask, so that the adjustment was only applied to the background.

You can see the adjustment layer to de-saturate, with the mask circled in red in the picture below…

De- saturate In Photoshop

Adjustment Layer- Desaturate

The final thing i did was add a soft white border around the edge of the photo. To do that I used a color fill adjustment layer, and chose the color white. Then I clicked on the mask, which was all white, and which will reveal the adjustment to all the layers below. So everything is now white. But I used the lasso tool to create an organic rectangular selection around the mask and then used the paint bucket to fill with black. That black hides the adjustment so that everything beneath that part will not be filled with white. So, you can now see the image below in that portion. The white border had a really sharp edge, so I chose Window->Properties to see the properties of the mask itself. Here I could feather the mask so that the edges of the white border were much softer. And viola!

In the picture below you can see the color fill adjustment layer on the left, circled in red. Then on the right, you can see the properties panel for feathering the mask so that the white border has a softer edge…

Smart filter vignette In Photoshop

Vignette with color adjustment layer


Here was a different look, where I used the white color fill adjustment layer, and then used a grunge brush as my eraser and erased on the mask. I used the eraser, but it wasn’t at full strength so that I could go  keep erasing, and build up the look gradually. It wasn’t what I wanted for this photo, but it might be cool for an antique look.

White Grunge in Photoshop

Grunge look using erase on Color fill


Here is the final result…


Blurred Vignette Frame in Photoshop

Final adjusted photo


Another photo in the series…


Blurred Vignette Frame in Photoshop

Another adjusted photo


My final thoughts…


Soft Painting in Photoshop from photo

Another adjusted photo- more filters
Thanks for letting me share my feelings with you ;). Maybe you can try it on you own photos. Enjoy!