Archive for July, 2011

This past Friday I started the section on retouching and transforming photos. I learned how to change the canvas size, which is pretty cool. Even cooler was learning how to use the Actions palette to automatically make a frame around my photo. I have heard of actions before, but I didn’t know there were any included in the Photoshop software. Neat! Of course I had to try out a bunch….

This is the brushed aluminum frame.
alulminum photo frame

Photo corners.
photo corners

Spatter frame.
spatter frame

Wavy stamp.
wavy stamp

Wild frame.
wild frame

Wood frame.
wood frame

ok, I got a little crazy with the frames!

I also played a bit with the Clone tool.

Just a simple stamp with the clone tool…
two lilies!

Here I tried to be a bit more artful. I used the clone tool, cropped the photo, adjusted the color balance, and used the spatter frame action.

lily stamp

Thanks for stopping by!



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Lately I have been feeling so uncreative. I wonder if I will ever make anthing good again. I’ve hardly worked on any projects lately. I don’t even know what I’ve been working on!

Sometimes I wonder if I am getting anywhere with my art. Is there any point in it? Sometimes I feel so untalented compared to other artists. Sometimes my magazines make me feel so inspired, and sometimes they make me feel I am not an artist at all. I have been feeling the latter recently. I feel time is passing me by, as if I’m drifting, with no direction.


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This past Friday I played around with color some more, applying different effects from the Image/Adjustments menu. I used the same photo as last time. Again, here is the original.

my angel

Here is the photo using the Desaturate option. This option changes a color image to grayscale.

desaturated lily

And the Posterize option, which allows you to choose the number of tonal levels. Quite frankly I have no clue what a tonal level is. But basically this option reduces the number of colors, and then maps each pixel to the closest color. I particularly like the posterize option – it makes the photo look like it’s from a comic book, which I find to be fun.

posterized lily

With a Gradient fill. A gradient fill is kind of like a spectrum of colors, or it could be black to gray and then white.

gradient lily

And using the Threshold option. This converts a photo to a more simplified, high-contrast black and white photo. I also like this one a lot.

threshold lily

And with that I am finished working through the section on color. yay! Next up is retouching and transforming. Sounds like a good time!

Thanks for stopping by!


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out of focus
I am all over the place when it comes to my art&craft work. I’m trying to learn Photoshop. I want to experiment more wih collage. I want to make more jewelry and learn metalworking techniques. I want to try drawing.

I feel rather scattered.

I didn’t used to be like that. When I did my beadwork, that was all I did. Beadwork.

Now that I’ve entered this mixed media/collage/digital art world, techniques, ideas, and inspiration are rushing at me all at once and I want to grab it all. I don’t want to miss anything, and I want to do it all.

Is that asking too much?

There are so many techniques I want to learn and supplies I want to play with – metalwork, digital art, fabric, lace-making, beeswax, resin, painting, drawing, precious metal clay.

And I feel so pressed for time – the artful life is passing me by. I feel like I’m always five steps behind everyone else. I find it difficult to focus on just one technique or medium – is this normal? Maybe I should just go with it.

I do believe though, that if I simply keep taking it all in, learning everything I can and doing everything I can with the time that I have, that one day, some day, it’s all going to come together into something wonderful.

dancing star


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I mentioned a little while back that I have been attempting to learn Photoshop, and Friday is my dedicated night for doing just that. Right now I’ve been reading about making quick and simple image adjustments. As I read I often open a photo to play with to help me understand and remember what I’ve read. I thought I would share some of my playtime photos.

Here is the original photo.

my angel

Here are two versions of the photo – I was playing with the Color Balance option, under Image/Adjustments.

my angel

my angel

Here again I was playing with the Color Balance, and I adjusted the Highlights as well.

my angel

I have so much fun playing with the photos – it’s so neat trying out all the different adjustments and seeing what happens. I don’t fully understand the underlying science of what exactly the adjustments are changing – the light values versus the dark values, and all that technical stuff. I just love to play around and experiment!

Anybody else out there trying to learn Photoshop, whether on your own or through a class perhaps?

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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