Freebie and Nonsense

Hey, there!  Has anyone been watching CreativeLive’s Photoshop Week?  If not, all this week, assorted PS gurus are doing workshops for ya at CL.  Each one is only a few hours long, as opposed to CL’s usual time frame of 6-8 hours.  The week long activities are sponsored by Adobe.  There has been segments on actions, content aware and brushes, so far, along with some other beneficial sessions on retouching photos, PS workspaces, etc.  Today’s line up looks promising, too.  This morning there is one on ‘Advanced Actions’ and another on working non-destructively.  They are running two at a time, so, be sure to look up at the very top of CL’s page for the green button that says, “Watch Live 2”.  A drop down menu will appear with the two that are currently running.  Click on the one you like to see and watch away!  They also do re-broadcasts in the evenings if you happen to miss one you like.  You can also purchase the courses so you can watch them whenever you want.  When you purchase, you also get any related course material with it, such as files that allow you to work along with the video/class.  On the PS Week feature page there is a schedule of the courses so you can map out which ones you like.  Do realize that CL is in the PST time zone and adjust your schedule accordingly.

Digital Whisper has re-opened!  My old haunt is back and going full speed ahead!  DW is a Ning group site with all kinds of good things!  There are individual groups, plenty of challenges and, so much support and help.  The art some of these folks create is stunning!  I am so honored to be exposed to their personal styles and tips/advice.  I run the “Learning Center” and the “Photo-Manipulation” groups, myself.  I’m not that much an authority, but, we manage!  LOL  There is a small fee for new members, if you are interested.  (Ning charges now, so, the fee is to offset costs.)  The role of the group is to give aspiring artists feedback and support in ways that are beneficial.  It’s also a place to hone your digi skills.  They are a wonderful bunch!  DW is where I learned a good deal of what I do.  If we don’t know, we find out!

I have yet another goody for you from “A Rose is a Rose”.  You have the whole kit.  I had forgotten a couple of items, so, I want to give you those here.  The other day, I gave you the cherub frame, and today, another frame:


And, some lips:


and, last, but, not least, a word art cluster I played around with:


BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND SAVE AS A .PNG!  While I do host these, they aren’t zipped.  They should open a new page.  M’kay?

That will be it for today.  CL is starting up!  Until next time,

Be Happy!




“I Love…” Freebie Parts and ‘Recovery’

A good Monday to all!  I hope everyone is staying warm.  For Florida, 20 degrees is cold!  It’s been in the 20’s two nights in a row.  During the day, it barely made it up to 40 degrees.  My drafty old ‘cracker’ house is cold!!  My house sits above the ground a foot to a foot and a half.  Nothing is protecting us from the cold drafts underneath.  It’s wonderful in the summertime, allowing breezes to flow all around the house.  Needless to say, come winter and we have to run the heat in excess.  We have to bundle up – indoors!  Everyone has slippers and ‘footies’.  You have to!  Even with the heat cranking, like it is now, my feet are like ice cubes!  Brrrr!
I want to tell ya’ll about something I found.  One of the wonderful ladies in my group, Digital Whisper, is offering a free course called, “Recovery”.   Stephanie has this to say in her opening, 
We are all in recovery from something…. and the entire human race is in spiritual recovery right now!
It does not matter what you need to recover from… the important thing is that you know you need to walk down this path for a while! 
You could be in recovery for drug or alcohol abuse, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, a difficult relationship, a difficult childhood, depression, grief, of not loving yourself, of enabling the people around you and many, many more things….

 “Recovery” sounds like just what I need!  There will be daily ‘lessons’ which are mailed to you in your inbox for a daily cleansing, as Stephanie so writes on the blog, “Inspiration for Life”. She is going to be using a text for the course, but, it isn’t necessary in order to take the course. She does give the info on obtaining a copy if you like. She suggests keeping a little notebook or perhaps a journal. The daily classes are real short so they can be done quickly, a plus for our busy lives, eh? I know I hemmed and hawed as to whether to sign up or not. As a rule, any self-exploration/discovery I have ever engaged in has been painful! It has been ‘good’ pain, but, pain, never the less. I am not looking forward to opening myself up, right now, anyway. But, I know from experience that this is what makes it or breaks it for me. You might say, the more painful the lesson, the more help it is to me. These things always take a certain amount of gumption to take on, but, if I can’t do this for me, no one else will. I think that is the key, here. This is not for anyone but me!  I don’t know about you guys, but, I have spent a lifetime waiting on others and making sure my loved ones had everything they needed.  What about me?  I need.  So, I signed up.  LOL  The classes start today, so, if you think you might be interested, go see and sign up, in the side bar, for this.  Like Stephanie told me, I can always ‘un-subscribe’ if I don’t like it.

Today, Miss Edna and I are giving out the next two(2) parts to our February kit, “I love…” Last week you got the QP’s. This week, as well as next, there are two parts, full of elements and papers so you can create your own pages. Typical of me, I forgot to add the TOU’s and Sources for this one.  My bad!  However, this one is for Personal Use only, please.  My supplies came from “123RF Stock Photos” and “Barry’s Place”, a wonderful place with all kinds of tubes and .pngs in stock.
Below are my two previews.  Click on the first one for Part 3 and the second one for Part 4.  Then, below that, you will see Miss Edna’s preview.  Click on it to go to her blog to see her parts and download them.

Part 3

Part 4
Miss Edna’s Place
As usual, all of my past links are still available.  My next project is to put all of my goodies up on one page with links.  Like a gallery, folks will be able to view a preview, then, click on it to go to that post.  I just have to figure out how to do that!  LOL
Until then,Funny Graphic #6
Keep Smiling!
SU CheshireCat

New Collab Freebie, ‘Tropical Sunset,’ and a Tut

Hello, everyone!  How are you this fine, sunny morn?  I woke up with an horrible pain in my right hip.  Geez!  I’m hobbling around here, in slow speed.  What a pain!  I had things to do!  LOL  C’est la vie!
I’ve been doing a whole bunch of writing lately.  A friend of mine has a website.  He is a pc repair guy and website builder.  It’s very new.  He needed some content supporting the ‘design’ aspect of his site in order to get sponsors with ads relating to web-design, pc’s, etc.  He asked me if I would contribute to it to help him out.  
At the same time, I have been doing a segment over at Digital Whisper in PS101.  Yeah, me.  LOL  I’ve written sections on the Layers Palette and the general ‘workspace’ in Photoshop, so far, plus various other assorted ‘Secrets’ for a group by the same name.  I used the same content for my friend’s site as the DW articles are private.  You just have to be a member, but, it is rather ‘protected’.   The chances of a designer reading it at my friend’s site, then, again on DW are practically nil.
I tried to do a good job on all of it.  I have screen shots and step-by-step instructions where needed.  One of the tutorials is something you all might be interested in.  If you want to give it a read, you can go visit the site,, then, click on “Graphic Design” on the left-hand side.  There are two tuts; the one for brushes is awesome, I think!  I just learned it recently and it has changed the way I work.
This week is the first release of the new August freebie kit that Miss Edna, from Miss Edna’s Place, and I have done, “Tropical Sunset”.  Each month, for a year next month, I believe, Miss Edna and I collaborate on a kit, decide the them and the colors, create, then, post what we do in three(3) weekly installments.  We give two(2) ‘parts’ away each week.  So, four(4) parts each week for three(3) weeks = twelve(12) parts when you collect them from both of us.  And, I repeat, they’re FREE!  LOL
“Tropical Sunset”
Below are the previews for my first two(2) parts, which is a set of QP’s.  Then, next Monday you’ll find two(2) more parts and the same the following Monday.  The parts for the next two weeks are scrapbooking goodies so you can design your own layout pages.  Click on the preview to go to to download my parts.  They’ll be in one file.
Then, here is Miss Edna’s preview.  Click on it to go to her blog for her QP’s today, too.  She’s done a beautiful job on them!
Aren’t they nice!  I love the jewelry look!  I sure hope ya’ll enjoy them.
That’s gonna do it for this week.  I’ve got to get up out of this chair!  LOL  I’m heading for my bed and the heating pad!  Sounds exciting, eh?
You know what?
I hope you

SU CheshireCat

Summertime, Inspiration and a Freebie

(Note:  This is a long one!  LOL  I have a lot to share today!)

I guess I always thought of summer beginning when the school year ended.  That was all that mattered to a school child.  Summer vacation!  Wheeee!  It was more the freedom from the school routine, at first.  Then, as the third day of sleeping in rolled around, it was time to start the vacation.  Of course, it wasn’t really vacation.  That was when the whole family went to the beach for two weeks.  But, summer days, trapsing through the neighborhood woods, riding our bikes to places we had only seen from a car window, and the hours spent, swinging over Hogtown Creek, trying to break the record – that was summer vacation for us kids!  Never did see that record everyone kept breaking.  I guess it was pretty ‘broken up’ by the time I attempted it.  LOL  Things have obviously changed since I was a child, but, my summer vacations were of the memorable nature.  Fond memories!  And, no summer school for me!

For many folks, vacations mean visiting some of nature’s gorgeous destinations.  In the US, the Grand Canyon was always a biggy.  Growing up, we stayed in motels, like when we spent two weeks every summer at Daytona Beach.  When my children were coming up, though, we camped.  There used to be some places over at the beach, but, on the inlet side of A1A, where trails led back into dunes and mangrove stands.  You could almost get lost navigating your way amongst sand and sun and trails, barely big enough for the family car.  Our favorite place was along the water’s edge.  The Matanzas Inlet, which runs parallel to the beach, was an ideal spot.  We’d find a place along the shore, secluded by mangrove shrubs, and set up.  Central to the site was the fire pit.  We dug a shallow hole and built a fire from twigs and sticks we would find along the shore, but, we always brought logs from home to burn.  Sometimes, we would have a tent to set up, but, most of the time, a blanket or sleeping bag around the fire was just fine.  We’re talking summer nights on the beach!  During the day, we’d head over to the beach, which involved a quick walk up and across A1A and down a path.  The beach along this spot had these huge rocks along the water’s edge.  From the erosion and wear from all those waves, the rocks had unusual patterns on them.
Standing on those rocks is the best way to view the sunrise.  We did that so many times!  With some of the rocks you can sit down in the eroded centers.  It’s like a personal-sized hot tub.  LOL  Truth be known, these rocks play a role in some monthly rituals for some ladies I know.  I won’t go into that here, but, suffice to say, it is an extremely spiritual experience!
Come nightfall and we were all gathered around the fire.  Being a stone’s throw from the inlet, the boys would fish.  Sometimes, someone came along with us that brought a boat.  We would venture off on little excursions, returning every so often to check in and grab a snack.  We brought most of the food with us, like a large jug of orange juice and a couple of boxes of donuts for breakfast.  Several times, lunch was a package of hot dogs, purchased from the near by minute mart, heated in their microwave oven and slathered with bought ketchup and plopped on buns.  The children loved it!  It saved us from having to pack a bunch of food and worry over spoilage.  
We had some fun times at our ‘beach place’.  Weekend after weekend, we headed to the beach every Friday afternoon and returned, burnt, sandy and tired on Sunday afternoons.  My children have fond memories of the days spent at the beach.  I do, too.  My most fond memory was the ‘phosphorescence’
Everywhere the water is ‘disturbed’, it luminesces this kind of light.  It’s an organism, or is created by some organism, that attracts mates and dinner, but, it looks so cool!  If you ‘swoosh’ your hand through the water, it leaves glowing trails.  This wasn’t there all the time, but, when it was, it was neat.  Every time a boat went past on the waterway, the waves danced with this eerie blue light.  The effect was magical!  The children were mesmerized.  So was I!  LOL
What fun!  Our wonderful camp site was eventually built over.  Some developers came in and built condominiums on the spot.  It’s flat and treeless with the exception of their ‘landscaped palms’.  It’s very sad.  Each week, when we packed up, we made certain that all we left behind was our footprints.  There’s nothing worse than pulling up to the water’s edge, only to find beer cans and rubbish.  Not only that, but, we shared that spot with a lot of wild life.  Trash is harmful to them!  This applies to anywhere you go.  Nature is beautiful as is.  When we visit a spot and take in the beauty, it is so important not to leave traces of our visits.  It isn’t just necessary, it is our responsibility to this planet.  I actually found this cool video today and it fits in with what I am writing.  Check it out – it’s short:
I thought this was cute!
So, that’s my message to you today.  Find yourself a barber!  LOL  Seriously, when I learned all about the different periods in this planet’s cycle back in school, little did I ever think we would witness such an huge a shift in things in our lifetime.  We learned about the “Ice Age” and so forth.  This warming of the planet is the end of ice and the beginning, or transition into, an entirely different era – apparently one dominated by water.  LOL  It won’t affect any of us too much in our lives, but, it will affect future generations.  Though it cannot be stopped, we can sure do all we can to ensure our children’s children’s children have a chance to enjoy all the lovelies in our world.  Each of us has to do our part.

I have some links to add today.  I have found two that I want to share.  Both are primarily for ‘inspiration’ for me, but, you may find them useful in other ways.  The first is Polyvore.  Polyvore is about style.  Your style.  Other folks’ styles.  You really must see this.  People make up vignettes of different objects/things they find online.  Not only are some of the layouts gorgeous, they list every source for each and every thing in the vignette.  Here is one:

For 2 Junkyard Diva’s by tattered*rose featuring a crop tank

As you ‘roll over’ the different parts of the layout, you can see what the item is and from where it comes, with links.  You build your own layouts and comment on each other’s.  There are groups that hold challenges.  It seems like quite the community!  I like to search the “Art and Expression” gallery.  As most of the layouts are for clothing and accessories’ style, art layouts have a lot more in them, as a rule.  I’ve found some awesome websites this way.  I’ll see some pretty adornment, follow the link and enjoy some great sites.  The folks who make these layouts are quite talented!  I peruse these pages for a spell and soon I am off to Photoshop to create.  This Polyvore place is neat!  Go visit them and you won’t be disappointed.  I promise!

The other site is Pinterest.  Pinterest is a social website by definition.  Here, people find things that they love, or like, online, and post them in ‘boards’, which is a collage, of sorts, that you create, of sets of images of your ‘likes’.  (My English teacher just turned over in her grave. lol)  In a way, Pinterest is like Polyvore.  On Pinterest, though, you could ‘pin'(what you do when you collect a link or an image – pin it to one of your ‘boards’) anything you like.  Find a recipe that sounds good?  Pin it!  Like the new scrapbooking designs from your favorite designer?  Pin it!  You may see where this is quite inspiring.  I have gained some marvelous ideas from this site, so far.  To sign up, it says you have to be invited.  You place your name on a list.  I heard back in less than an hour!  If you don’t hear soon enough, though, leave me a comment and I’ll invite you!  Here is a screenshot of what to expect:
Maybe we’ll see each other over there!  LOL
 At Digital Whispers, I am the new admin for the new “Secrets” group.  LOL  It’s a group where we share our Photoshop ‘secrets’ and tips.  The type of things that have made it in here are things that aren’t necessarily posted anywhere online, but, have been passed along and are used frequently in what we do.  From ‘keystrokes’ to ‘techniques’, the folks there are revealing them!  It’s cool to see how another artist does one of their techniques, then, shares a ‘how to’ with the rest of us!
I’ve shared about ‘actions’.  I love these things!  It isn’t just that you can whip up a bow or some element and slap it in a kit.  An action is a chance for me to click through the steps to make it, one by one, thus learning new things.  What I have is a ‘box’, a shadow box.  I made up a box in greyscale, and placed the individual parts on for you.  Click on the preview to go download.  Use the arrows on either side of the image to collect four(4) parts to the box, the back, sides, frame and corner pieces.  They are all .PNG files in ‘full-size’, based on 12″ by 12″ at 300 dpi.  I decorated my corners to look like they are old, etched gold. 
Mom and Dad’s Wedding Day – beads-jtsdesigns,
You can decorate it anyway you like.  For our challenge, we are creating a “Mystory Box”.  Mystory is anything about YOU.  If you love cats, Nani, you could create a shadow box of kitty images, some pretty ribbons and patterns.  You could make copies and design a neat layout of boxes, building them up like the shadow boxes in your mom’s hallway at home.  
Layout suggestion
You decide and have fun with it.  But, that is the point – it should be about you and for you.  But, don’t hesitate to share with us if you make something.
To post a link in a comment, this page has some easy, quick instructions – in pictures, even.  LOL  But, basically, type what is in blue:
Make certain you include the quotation marks (“) both directly before and directly after the URL.  Obviously you would plug-in your information, the URL and the title, but, this is how it is done.  I should say that this is how it is done on Blogger.  LOL  I am not sure about other blog formats.
That’s a gonna do it for today.  You know what I want?  I want you to 

SU CheshireCat

Art @ Digital Whisper and a Freebie

A very good “Happy Saturday Afternoon, To You!”  It is such a lovely after noon, here, in sunny Florida!  Spring is upon us but good!  We made it through another cold, dark winter, to have come out just fine!  Gardens are in all over the world, in preparation, already, for the Autumn harvest and the coming year’s bounty.  On the farm, baby cows and lambs trot around on wobbly legs, while, the raccoon and fox tend to their new offspring in their hidden dens in the wood.  We live in a marvelous world!  Mother Nature is one hell of a gal!  Ostara, origins of Easter to Christians and Passover to the Jewish, is a way of giving thanks to her for all she provides for us.  The people celebrate with the sowing of the crop.  It’s the season for that which has gone dormant to become revitalized, alive, and reborn. Kick it off with a dance in the first rain of the season.  It really is ‘revitalizing’!  It’s something the children can do, too, though, I prefer to hold my own little ritual when frolicking about in my garden.  LOL
Bless all living things!
In my Digital Whisper’s group, we’re doing great things!  Lately, we have explored the art of Cristina Parise, whose style is very colorful collages.  I like her philosophy because it sounds like me.  She got caught up trying to do what others did or expected of her.  Finally, she got it – I’m getting there!  LOL  Here is one of Cristina’s works:
Then, we worked out a color palette from Cristina’s art page and made something ourselves.  Here is the piece that I did:
What made this different for me is the vivid colors I used, or borrowed, from Cristina’s art.  I went into a lot of detail for this piece.  The button pack, for example, has the birds wearing crowns; it also references the ‘happiness’ the Bluebird(brand) is noted to bring.  So, it relays the message to live well and be happy.  The crowns symbolize how special I am in my own way.  The dog, well, Chelsea will probably pop up in more art.  Dominoes are there to symbolize my nightmares.  They aren’t in the correct places; they can’t be with the combination I used.  In my nightmares, whatever the topic that night, in each and every one I am trying desperately to accomplish a feat that I cannot ‘conquer’.  Once, for example, I had to count stacks of pennies.  The more I counted, the more stacks popped up for me to count.  I could never get ‘on top of’ counting the pennies, or whatever dream task it was that night.  This has been an underlying theme most of my life.  It just manifested itself in my nightmares.  The ‘fairy tale’ tower, by the way, represents my love for fantasy art.
The next art we are tackling is “Zetti”.  Please do not ask me to explain it, except that the term was coined by Teesha Moore.  I am still studying the style, but, I know you have seen examples of it online!  It is very popular in art journalising, ATC and collage communities.  Here are a couple of her pieces:
(Click on image to go to her ‘Journal Page’ artwork)
Do you recognize it?  What I am gathering is the addition of ‘body parts’ is unique to Zetti.  Wings, striped, hand-drawn appendages and the collage effect for a layout are other key characteristics.  There are even collage sheets of arms and legs, offered by Zetti-ists, for use in this art.  LOL
So, at Digital Whisper, we are having two Round Robin Challenges!  It will be tomorrow,well, it will start then.  In both groups, one for Zetti art and the other in the Color Palette group, the first person who signed up will start a piece of art and add one element to begin, like a background.  The next person adds her parts, perhaps along a theme, like the Zetti one.  We have a lot of communal sense and conversation for events like this.  The last one, at Valentine’s Day, was a success and the art turned out beautiful!  See?
Tomorrow’s (April 10) Round Robin promises to be alot of fun!  If you would like to join us, leave a reply to my e-mail, suruha, and I will send you an invite.  Even if you don’t make it until tomorrow, your sign up will add your name to the list of the order in which it travels. All of the addition of our parts is done online.  You would download the piece when it is your turn.  In your program of choice, Photoshop, PSP, Gimp, etc, get creative, following whatever guidelines, if any, or style, like Zetti.  When done, save your part, but, then, post the ‘new’ piece back to the group for the next person.  It is a lot of fun!  I will watch my inbox this weekend, just in case anyone wishes to join us.  Feel free to join us at any time, if you can’t make it tomorrow.  We have ‘party’ days about once a month, with challenges and contests.  Everyone wins something, too.  There are no losers!  The best part, I have to say, is how supportive the folks have been and how educational my experiences have been with DW.  That is their aim over there.
Anyway, in preparation for tomorrow’s big day, I made some bits and banners and thought I would share them with you.  Even if you don’t do digital art or ATC’s or whatever, you could use them to embellish your scrapbook pages, on and off-line.  It is one sheet, so click on the image to enlarge it, then, right-click and save to your hard drive.
The upload was 12″ by 12″, but, on my pc, in only comes up as 1600px by 1600px, when you open it.  It’s just stripes and squares.  If you find you really need a larger sheet, drop me a line and I’ll link you up!  LOL
Monday, the day after tomorrow, Miss Edna and I release the second parts of “It’s Raining, Duckie Darling!”  These parts will be the scrapbooking goodies.  I will be back then.  Have a good Sunday!  Maybe, we’ll see you at Digital Whisper!

SU CheshireCat