Update on Update and a Freebie

Hey, there!  I found out that the little one, my granddaughter, was sent to live with her father.  Bless her heart!  Her father has always represented punishment to her because her mom made him that way!  “If you don’t behave, I’ll send you to your father!”  I recall he was extremely attentive to his little girl when she was first born.  He stayed home with her for several months.  I just want her to be happy!   I’ve got to find a way to send her both something for Christmas and some of her toys that are still here.  My daughter has come back several times and got as lot of her stuff, but, hardly any of the children’s.

My grandson is still with his mother, so, I am not finished with that.  I’m turning to the officer who took an interest in the children.  If that doesn’t pan out, then, I will call CPA, or Dept.Children&Families, as it is called here.

I appreciate all of your kind comments and support.

I just happened to have another set of artsy goodies for ya’ll, too!

Click on Image to Download from Dropbox

Click on Image to Download from Dropbox – Samples Not Included

Thank you for reading my blog  and for leaving your comments.  They mean a lot to me!  I hope to post again before the holiday, but,

Find a few moments to touch base with yourself.

In such a busy holiday season, find a few moments to touch base with yourself.




Wassup with Su?

Hi, Folks,  I thought it would be a good idea to give you all an update on what has been happening.  This isn’t terribly professional, but, I think it needs to be said.

My daughter is an abusive parent to two beautiful children.  She doesn’t beat them, per se, but, slaps, uses a belt and says the most awful things to them.  They’re 6 and 11.  She tells them she hates them, that she is going to send them away or just take them somewhere and drop them off, and/or that she is just going to leave.  The 11-year-old had a melt down last year and spent 5 days in a mental ward.  Now, he is on Prozac and some medication for ADHD, which I KNOW he doesn’t have.  The six-year-old is so starved for her mother’s attention, she literally follows her like a little puppy.   They both tip-toe around their mother.  She will lock her bedroom door and either nap or chat on Facebook.  The children would come to me, so, it became up to me to see to their needs.  If I went and got her up, she would be so hateful to the children and me, it just wasn’t worth it.  I’d just do for them myself.  I pretty much had them to myself for nearly a year.

All this time, I have been trying to protect the children, to stop my daughter from going too far and to give those children as much love and acceptance as I possibly could.  After the boy’s meltdown last year, the Dept. of Children and Families got involved.  My daughter, they felt, just needed better coping skills than she had, as she was obviously under stress.  So, for several months, my daughter and the children went to therapy – her, by herself, and her, with one or both of the children.  There was also a therapist who came to the house once a week and tried to help my daughter with her skills.  That pretty much ended and I see no change what so ever.

About a month ago, my daughter was stressing real bad and mentioned to me twice that she wished she was dead, how she wished something would just kill her!  I figured that was just talk.  But, then, the little one came into my room and told me her mommy said she was going to wait until we all went to bed then she was going to kill herself.  I just couldn’t let that go!  I was scared!  So, I called my other daughter to see if she thought I was right or what and it scared her, too.  So, we called 911.

I don’t know what she thought, perhaps, maybe, that I was trying to have her arrested or something.  I don’t know.  But, she was hostile to me!  The officers told me she wasn’t exhibiting the ‘right’ behavior for them to take her for help.  She must have really gone off about me to this one cop, because, I heard him tell her maybe we just needed a break from each other for a while.  As soon as they left, she packed up the children and moved out!  He came back a few days later to bring the children some ‘badges’ and was surprised she moved out.  I told him now I had no way of protecting the children at all.  He was going to try to go see her, I am pretty sure she is at this one friend’s house.  I don’t know if he did or not.

I haven’t seen the children for over a month.  Oh, she has stopped by here and there to grab stuff and get her mail and I have seen them for a few minutes.  But, it is awkward.  It’s obvious she has said something to the children because they are very distant with me.  I can get a hug and an ‘I love you’ out of them, but, that’s about it.  I am absolutely crushed and I am worried sick!  I have a folder full of things I’ve made, but, I can’t pull it together enough to get it out to you all.  I’ve pulled back from nearly everything I did online as it is so hard!  I see all these posts of pretty layouts with happy, little families decorating the Christmas tree and I lose it.  I’m very emotional anyway, so this has just devastated me.  I’ve lost even more weight.  Like, a not very healthy 113 pounds!  I haven’t weighed that since I was 13!  I don’t know what to do.  I’ve sent her messages that I would like to see the children, but, get no response.  Nothing.

The reason I felt like posting this is for any one else who has ever had anything like this happen to them.  Or, perhaps, they wondered about someone.  In a gazillion years, I would never have thought anyone in my family would ever be like this.  But, here I am.  There are other family members, like my son and other daughter, as well as a niece of mine, who are willing and ready to take the children, but, my daughter isn’t having any of that.  Even the little one’s father is ready to come get his daughter.  But, when it comes down to him coming from S. Carolina, where he currently lives, she changes her mind and tells him he isn’t getting her.

This little one is having an awful time at school.  She doesn’t listen and she doesn’t cooperate.  She has been suspended 3 or 4 times so far and she is only in first grade.  Her next stop, I’m afraid, is a school for ‘bad’ children.  She isn’t a bad child at all!  She is brilliant, but, all of that is going to waste since she can’t get the one thing she so desperately wants and needs – her mommy’s love and attention.  The boy, the older of the two, has built up a wall and hides behind it from her.  That, and the meds she has had him put on are numbing him to it all.  He is scared to death of his mother.  He told me once he was afraid his mommy would do to him what she does to his little sister, like sending her to her dad.  (She sent the girl away for the entire summer this year!)  It wasn’t two days later that she threatened to send him to his father.  He was totally freaked out!

I don’t know what to do!  My mind is constantly on those children and if they are alright.  I putter around in Photoshop to get my mind off things – it’s great for that.  But, even that comes to an end.  I’ve had nightmares and didn’t know the human body could produce this many tears!  I feel like the ‘system’ has let us down.  Then, I saw an episode of some ‘detective’ show about a woman who hated her ex-husband so bad, she got visitation and killed the child.  She had lost custody, but, somehow got visitation.  Her revenge was at her ex, but, the child paid for it.  My daughter is completely pissed with the little girl’s father as he chose to move away instead of being with her, my daughter.  (The child is the result of a one night stand – honestly!)  In fact, the poor treatment really started after he left.  It’s like she wants to get back at him by treating the child poorly.  She isn’t as hard on the boy, but, then, she sees his father whenever she wants.  It’s not romantic, just friends.  Neither father is paying their court ordered child support, but, the boy’s father, who lives here, will give my daughter money any time she needs it and he buys the boy school clothes and shoes and such.  My daughter’s attitude between the two children is very different!

My family thinks my daughter is mentally sick and she may very well be.  But, how do you get someone to do anything?!  What do you do?  If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open!

I just hope and pray that the children are okay.  They deserve happiness.

So, that is what has been happening.  As I say, it isn’t very professional, in fact, kind of tacky, to ‘air my dirty laundry’ here.  But, some of ya’ll, I consider friends.  It just seems so odd to share any of this with people online.  But, maybe, someone will realize a situation they are in.  Maybe this will help them to, at least, share their fears and/or experiences.  It’s so hard!  I wouldn’t even mention it AT ALL before DCF got involved as I was afraid someone might call them.  Once they got involved, then, it became a matter of deep embarrassment.  “Hi, there, my name is Susan and my daughter is a child abuser.”  Maybe there’s a support group or something?

Be happy, my friends.  Hug your babies, your children, even your grown up children.  Let them know they are loved and important to you!  Tell them this often!  This isn’t going to be a very good Christmas, but, I will celebrate it.  I have other children and loved ones, so, I’m not alone.  Just worried sick!  Thanks for ‘listening’ if you did read through this.  It really does me good to get it out.

I promise I will get my new goodies posted for ya’ll!  I just have to get it together.

Until then,


Happy Holidays to Each of You and Your Loved Ones!


On Textures and First Artsy Freebie

Okay!  Here goes!  LOL  I have a lot to share with you all today!  I have my house to myself, again, since my daughter moved out.  I’m trying to keep so busy that I don’t miss the children as much!  It’s hard!

I was spending my QUIET afternoon, searching around the net, looking for techniques, particularly with brushes.  I saw a thread where the author was inquiring as to the location of the ‘Textures Panel/Palette’ and I had to chuckle.  I swear I recall one of the real early editions of Photoshop having one, a panel, like the others, where a texture could be applied.  Realizing that, if I wasn’t the only one who spent a ton of time, looking for the darned thing in more recent editions, then, there might be others who are confused on this issue, as well.  I have a little tutorial for you all that will hopefully explain texturing a little better for you – complete with examples!  LOL

Did You Know…?

PS does have a place where you can add texture to a layout/document.  A couple, in fact.  Under ‘Layer Styles’, grouped with ‘Bevel and Emboss’, there is a Texture feature.

Image 2

Tip:  You can save a favorite texture as a Pattern to use for this feature.  Notice the word ‘Pattern’ to the immediate left of the selection window.  Save it full size – 3600pxs. if you want!  You can ‘Select’>’All’ if you like, first, but, a full page will save full.  Go to ‘Edit’>’Define Pattern’ and click it.  A little window will pop up where you can change the name, then, save it.  Since it will be the most recent Pattern made, it will be the last ‘Pattern’ in your Patterns Panel.  It may start out a texture, but, once you do this, it will become a Pattern, too!  Save it!

Here are my results:

Image 8

Texture I am using is from Jack “Wow” Davis’ on Facebook!  (Click on ‘Freebies’ tab)


There is a ‘Texture’ feature in the ‘Filters’ Panel.  First, though, if you have a recent version of Photoshop, you may not be seeing all of your ‘Filters’!  OMG!  LOL

Image 3

Now, to the ‘Filters’ panel!

This list of Filters is the complete list, by the way, as I checked the box to enable me to view them all.  If you don’t have all of these, you need to check your box.  This includes from ‘Artistic’ down to ‘Other’ – not AVBros or Digimarc)

Image 4

Another window will open.

Image 5

Now, here’s the thing!  A window will open up when you click on “Load Texture” where you can select an image/texture from your hard drive.  It must be in .PSD format!  So, if you have a cool texture you want to use, take it in to PS first and save it as a .PSD file, then, close it so you can select it here.

Image 6

I am able to view my .PSD files in Windows with the Tuma’s marvelous program, “Argus” – http://www.tumasoft.com/argus/index.html – or click image.

The texture I will be using is  highlighted in blue.  Then, I click ‘Open’.  Here is what I got:

Image 7

As you can see, there are several settings you can tinker with.  The ‘Scaling’ is the size of the pattern/texture.  ‘Relief’ refers to the depth of the texture.  You can change the lighting angle and ‘Invert’ that, too, if you like!  Then, click “Okay”.

These settings are about the same as when I used the Texture feature in Layer Styles.  The problem with both of these methods is there is so little you can adjust!  There aren’t any Blending Modes!

Now, I want to just show you how different this page will turn out if you simply open a texture in PS, drag it onto your layout and change the Blending Mode to ‘Multiply’ or ‘Overlay’ or whatever – play around with them.  This is the same exact texture that I used for the other two methods, just in .JPG format.

Image 9

The difference is obvious!  The PS-generated Texturing is ‘sterile-looking’, if you know what I mean.  Not real!  But, the texture we just dragged in and Blended has texture AND character, as well!  You can lower the ‘Opacity’, if need be, too!

Just one last tip and then I have something for ya’ll!  There are Textures and there are Overlays.  The difference is that a Texture is usually a .JPG and may be a photo or any image with an interesting texture to it.  An Overlay is ‘transparent’ and comes in .PNG format, as a rule.  If either is in a color you don’t like, or, in Grayscale, you can change the colors first, before blending them, to get better coloring.

For months now I have been yammering about my experiment and research and the ‘hand-made’ look and all that jazz.  I am finally to a point where I can start putting it out for ya’ll.  I was considering making it all into a kit, but, I think, instead, I will give the stuff away by type of resources they are.  Like, the goodies I have for you today are some ‘painted-looking’ background papers/textures.  They were some I had made a while back and didn’t much like.  So, I really switched them around!  I used an ‘under-painting’ technique.  (This is pretty common when painting with oils or acrylics. It gives the work an interesting backdrop or blendable texture as well as a stronger foundation.  Try using ‘complementary’ colors – opposite each other on a color wheel – one on each of two separate layers.  Adjust blending modes or whatever else.  Note the green and purple texture in the preview.)  That’s why they are titled “Recycled”.  There will be elements and stamps and some presets, too!  Click on the image to collect these!

su RecycledArtPPsVol01-PrevWEB

I put this set in Dropbox.  Let me know if you have any problems?  I am not sure what is going on with my host.  I definitely have more time to get all of this out to you all!  So, I shall see you soon!

Until, next time…




Links, News of Interest and Freebie Sample

A lot has happened in the past few months since I have been away.  Not very much of it fun, either.  But, as they say, “Life goes on!”  I haven’t sat idly by.  I had both a desire to create and a need to keep myself occupied and busy.  This gave me something to hold onto, if ya know what I mean.  Maybe it was an escape.  I dunno.  Either way, it was good.  Once you get the basics down in the Photoshop program, the rest is technique!  That is what I have been researching – the various techniques and ideas others have found in PS.

One thing I feel I am good at is research.  Like when I started doing the research for techniques.  I found myself smack dab in the middle of the digital art journaling scene!  One technique in particular, a brush/transfer how-to by Captivated Visions’ Rachel Jefferies, had so many listings at Google search for ‘brush techniques’ it wasn’t funny!  Digi-art journalers strive to make their pages as realistic-looking as can be, so, it seems quite natural that they may offer some great techniques and tips.  A lot of the learning goes on in ‘workshops’ and/or online classes, with videos and full supplies.  They look like a lot of fun and learning.  Taking any kind of class or workshop just doesn’t fit in my budget – unless it is a freebie.  So, I looked at what is available.  And, I kept a list of those links.  Others have posted their lists and I even include those.  (I hope no one minds)  I found ‘Pinterest’ to be an invaluable resource, though, not so much for the digital art journaling.  Anyhoo!  All of this can be found on a new page I created here on my blog, “Digital Art Journaling – Resources/Tutorials/Links”.  I posted just an image for it the other day, so, I thought I’d let you in on what that is all about.  The ‘techniques’ section has the longest list of links for articles I found with tutorials in them.  There are some fabulous ideas on these pages that can be used for all or any art needs.  Digi-scrapbooking certainly is a fitting place to incorporate some clever tricks!  To me, the line between digi-scrapbooking and digi-art journalingt is barely there.  I enrolled in every free class I could find for digi-scrapbooking and digi art journaling!  LOL

Here is a page I created that employs some of the techniques I have found:


Right-Click and Save As
Inspiration – Cilenia @ SAS

See how the page lends itself to either a scrapbooking layout, or, with journaling, an art-journaling layout?

I want to share something good with you all - Ink and Texture.  As the title suggests, this site is all about ink stains/marks and textures.  I know both of these resources are easy to come by these days, but, you should see these folks’ offerings!  Hand drawn doodles, scribbles and splotches are appearing everywhere!  They specialize in them!  They just came out with some leaf textures that are gorgeous!  Textures and ink stains just work for the art scene these days!

Here is just one example and use:


smear – Ink&Texture; image – 123rf.com

I don’t do their goods justice, but, here is a poster I made for their Gallery:

Sources: Ink&Texture, 123RF

Sources: Ink&Texture, 123RF

Click on either image to go to Ink and Texture!  There are some tutorials there, too.  Oh, and the folks are real nice!

Have you been to Pixel Scrapper lately?  If not, hurry on over!  You can now purchase memberships!  There are Personal Use and Commercial Use plans.  Marisa and the other designers create some awesome resources and you can download any of the offerings, any time you please, with the memberships.  There are templates, kits, bundles, brushes, embellishments…  You name it, they have it!  The entire site is one big, happy community!  Their forum is very nice, with challenges and tutorials galore!

Another new site you need to check out is Design Cuts.  Tom, from PSD Fan Extra, and a couple of his contemporaries have put together a site that offers not only some outrageous deals, but, follows those up with tutorials and support for those particular items!  Who does that?!  Their very first deal is an incredible membership rate to SpoonGraphics!  Try $7.00 for one year!  That is a remarkable savings, and a great deal as Chris, at SpoonGraphics, has one of the most popular sites around as far as PS users go.  When you sign up for Design Cuts, you get notices of the deals, as well as, some great resources that you will get a link to.

Tom is building quite a presence online!  In addition to the Fan Extra network, he is co-founder of My Design Deals, a site featuring limited time deals on everything from memberships to great sites to web designs to brush sets.  Many of the deals are as much as 90% savings, depending on the deal.

‘Adobe Photoshop Secrets’, an excellent blog from Adobe Certified Expert, Bojan Živković, has undergone a design and name change.  His site is now known as “Design Easy”!  He still offers the best tips and tuts, as well as, some awesome resources!  He keeps his fingers on the pulse of Adobe’s happenings!  Go check his site out!  You will be pleasantly surprised!  He always has some kind of cool freebie that he made whilst experimenting.  He comes up with some original goodies for sure!

I have so much more to share.  If I try to incorporate too much in one post, something always takes my time away and I end up saving it as a draft and not getting back to it very soon.  So, by keeping my posts a little shorter, I can complete them easier.  LOL

So, on that note…that’s all for today!  I’ll be back!

peek-a-boo cat



Digital Whisper: Free Trial Memberships and a New Kit, “Oz”

Well, hi, there, you all!  LOL  Long time, no post!  I know, but, it was time well-spent!  I trust all is well with each and every one of you!


A few posts back, I told you about Digital Whisper.  DW is a Ning group I have had the distinct pleasure of being a member at for several years now.  It is a group designed primarily for the digital artist.  We have groups, like Dark Whispers, Whispered Dreamers, Photography, and Walking on Water, a spiritual-based group for example, with weekly to monthly challenges.  We have special events, such as Spring Fling, the Holidays and other special times.  There are tips, techniques, tutorials and tons of camaraderie and support.  You don’t have to do any of the challenges or you can attempt them all.  There’s even a nice a gallery for your art.  You ought to see some of the art that these talented folks can create!

Wait!  You can!  As DW is a private group, a membership is required.  But, you get to sample things first.  When you join, you get your first whole month FREE!  After that, if you think we have what you want, the membership is only $15.00 for a year.  Being a private group, this gives anyone who is interested a chance to come on over, see what we have to offer, and decide for yourself if this is for you.  Neat, huh?  So, now, ya’ll can come see for your selves what it is I have been yammering about for the past 4 years!  LOL

I really hope you can, at least, check it out.  One of the things I am real proud of is that the site owner, Patti, has implemented something new.  We have made a kit for the purpose of turning folks on to our art.  Ning isn’t free anymore, so, the cost of the kits, and other goodies, is to cover those dues and other fees to operate DW.  Patti has set up an Etsy shop for this purpose, Elegant Whispers.

We just wrapped up a kit based on “Oz: the Great and Powerful”, the new Disney movie.  It is humongous!  We did two kits, in fact.  One is designed more for the scrapbooker.  The other, is a more compact version of some of the same things.  In the ‘Midi-sized kit’, we have added collage sheets and smaller-sized pieces, designed with the collage artist, the art journaler or the ATC lover, in mind.  In both, there are digital papers, elements of all kinds, frames, mattes, characters and stamps.  There is something for all!  Here is one preview:

dw OzPreviewFull01


dw OZPreviewFull02

I got to work on this one!  It was definitely a team effort, one we plan to continue.  We already have plans for more epic kits on the drawing board, so, keep an eye open!

“Oz” can be purchased right now and downloaded for you to get started creating your digital masterpiece.  Check it out!

And, come see us!  At any given moment, you can find so many things to become enlightened to or involved in!  During the month of May, in honor of Mother’s Day, for example, we have a challenge for mother-daughters to participate in as a couple.  Of course, this extends to any female-female relationship – sisters, aunts, etc.  What would you and your mom/daughter/sister/aunt, come up with, artistically?  You can just do a nice layout or you can get down and dirty!  LOL    We are also doing a four-part Fairy Tale segment, where four rather obsolete Grimm Brothers fairy tales are read, one at a time.  Then, you create from your interpretation.  It’s so cool!  Kym is our resident idea lady and she has a surplus of ideas – all culminating in some very inspirational and fun projects for you.

Don’t take my word, come see us at Digital Whisper!

Oh, and stay tuned.  With work on the Oz kit, I took advantage of the creative time and worked on my own style.  I have made some goodies for you that I will post later today or tomorrow.

Until then,