My Art With Christine-Art’s Hand-Drawn Kits

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I did several more layouts for Christine-Art, so, she posted them on her blog, Christine-Art.com. Click on image to go see her post with my art.

Thank you so very much for looking! Christine, thank you for allowing me to have such fun working with your kits!

Su

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Freebie – Gesso-Look Canvas Textures

Hiya!  I wanted to pop in with some things to share with you!  Yay!  One, right off, is my ‘logo’.  I ‘slipped’ it in on the first parts of the Dec freebie.  My friend, Su, from StarSunflowerStudios, actually commented on it.  Thank you, Su!  The two hands holding a card with my name on it was too big.  It covered too much of a preview.  So, I looked to do something else.  Since my nickname was one I picked up in my ‘hippie chick’ days, I thought about something along those lines.  The ‘whirling dervishes’, as they were referred to, were the chicks, and a few dudes, who would dance and spin around to the music at the live events.  Yeah, I was one of those!  LOL  I had seen the ‘gypsy’ silhouette at 123RF stock, so, I used one with some paint spattering and texture.  It takes up a lot less room on a preview, yet, I think, it still stands out.  I had hoped you would like it!

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Looking back, still, ever since my teen years I have kept some kind of journal/sketchbook.  With journaling, if I was in a dilemma over something, by the time I transferred my feelings to paper, I had usually ‘worked through’ what ever it was.  That happened a lot!  I think that, with me giving the matter(s) their due while writing, I would mull it over and, more often than not, find answers or, at least, some measure of resolve.

Journaling carried over to my adult years, writing about my children and the ‘occasional issue with my hubby’.  (What an understatement!  LOL)  Family, moves, jobs, schools, friends, I always had something to write about.  I know some of you can relate.  It wasn’t until I started learning digital art, though, that ‘art journal’ came to me.  That was just what I wanted to do!  I saw all the beautiful, impactful pages others had done and I liked it!  I love art anyway, but, coupling art with the written word was perfect!  Most of all, though, anything goes – just about.  Using bits and scraps of my life and the world around me is, to me, the greatest form of art!   Whatever is ‘relevant’ works in art journaling.  Hell, it doesn’t even have to be that!  LOL

The ‘free’ spirit in me has always bucked tradition and art journaling was built to order for this chick!  I just haven’t ever set out to do a ‘journal’, like in a book format, yet.  I’d like to.  So far, though, I have just been creating art, and only occasionally adding some prose or text expressing a feeling.  After my most recent drama, here, at home, I could really use the opportunity to work through some of it via my art and/or writing.  To get it out in an art piece, or, in a little journaling, I think, would do wonders for me!

  There are some awesome kits and sets available for journaling anything and everything.  One look at almost any scrapbooking site and there is a section on journaling.  But, they were designed by another for whatever use they had in mind.  They just aren’t my own.  I knew I wanted to use a ‘canvas’ for my base and went in search.  There aren’t very many available and those that are, well, they are quite pricey.  So, I decided to start totally from scratch and make my own.

The very first need was a canvas/page.  ‘Gesso-smeared canvas’ is a look that is really popular, perfect for art journaling.   I couldn’t find much along those lines, though.  So, that is what I made.  Five(5) of them!  They are free to use any ol’ way your little hearts desire!  Well, other than harmful.  LOL  Click on the preview to download!

su GessoTextures 600

Here is a close-up of one of the textures so you can see what the canvas and gesso look like.

su GessoTexture close-up

Like the one above, the rest of the textures are all neutral, 3600X3600px in size, 300 ppi, and free to use, no credit necessary!

Have fun and enjoy!  Until next time,

Smile Graphic #9

Hugs,

Su

“The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out” – Freebie and Tut

Greetings, All!  I’m back to share a little more gross-ness with ya for the spooky holidays coming up!  If you saw the QP’s for this month’s freebie, “Goth-n-Gore”, last week, one of them had a dirt background with grub worms crawling throughout.  I meant to include just the background in the kit, but, I forgot it.  So, I am going to go ya one better!  I will give it to you here, plus, I’ll show you how I made it, complete with resources!

Here is a preview of the QP’s from last week’s post:

Click on image to visit post.

Here is a preview of the ‘dirt’ texture I made:

The ‘grubs’ are from an ‘.ASL’ file from Sonarpos at DeviantArt.   Here is a preview of what it looks like:

Here is a zip of the texture and the pattern:

http://www.suruha.com/download/su_oct12/su_DirtWorms.zip

And, finally, the tutorial for the wormy-dirt background!

1 – In Photoshop, open the 3600X3600px ‘Dirt Texture’ from above.  Load the ‘.PAT’, Pattern, file.

2 – Create a ‘New File Document’ at 3600X3600px, 300DPI, RGB, Transparent Background.  Copy and paste the ‘Dirt Texture’ into this ‘new doc’.

3 – Create a ‘New Layer’ in the Layers Palette and fill it with the ‘Worm’ pattern.  I increased the ‘Size’ of the pattern to 200% for a better look.  This pattern is not seamless, but, since we are only showing several of the worms, it won’t matter.  Just avoid any ‘lines’ where the patterns don’t match.

4 – Slip the ‘Worm’ layer down underneath the ‘Dirt Texture’.

5 – Add a Layer Mask to the ‘Dirt Texture’ layer.

(A Layer Mask is white when you first apply it.  The image it is fully visible.  By painting over it with black, it ‘erases’ those parts of the Dirt Texture the mask is on.  This allows the image/pattern beneath to show through.  The beauty of masks is that, if you mess up, simply paint back over the area with white and start again!)

6 – Lower the Opacity of the ‘Dirt’ layer enough to see the Worms underneath.

7 – Click on the Mask to activate it.  With a soft brush, using black, ‘paint over’ several of the worms to expose them.  I lowered the ‘opacity’ of my brush to 15% to let the worms peek through gradually.  Brush over the lighter areas more than the darker areas, following the highlights and shading of the worm pattern.  You can vary the strokes to achieve a more random look.  It will appear as though the ‘worms’ are coming through the soil.

8 – Raise the Opacity of the Dirt Texture layer back to 100%.

9 – Add any enhancements or adjustments to the overall image, merge the layers and save!  That’s it!

Finally, here is one background I made if you don’t want to make this yourself.  Click on image to save it full size.  It is 3600x3600px @ 1.6mb.

I hope you understand my directions.  If not, post a comment and I will get back to you.  Have fun!

Hugs,

Su

 

Scrapbooking and Digital Resources: Sites with Links

It’s done!  From now on, all my downloads will be direct downloads!  Yay!  I shouldn’t have to host my files on Minus anymore, though, of all the hosting sites, they were awesome!  I learned how to use the FTP and put the files in to my site’s files for direct download.  Thanks to my friend, J. and the folks at Hosting Bonanza!  All files are ‘on site’!  Woo-hoo!  I hope to, eventually, move the bulk of my goodies in to my own site, so, I don’t have to rely on the hosting sites anymore.  Then, I won’t have to put up with the scams (see last post), pop-ups, and constant waiting that come with some of those sites! Yay!

If you are in to digital scrapbooking, there is an entire community of scrappers online.  There are hundreds of shops, forums and articles, with tips and tutorials, that make up one huge community.  Everything I have learned in scrapping, I learned from other scrappers, either by asking, reading posts, or from tutorials.  This is probably the case with many of my fellow scrappers.  You seek out and find a site, possibly with a forum and a good group of folks, with fun challenges and helpful members, and you’re set!  Everyone seems to find their niche quite easily as the members are a friendly bunch.  That’s what I have noticed about scrapbooking.  Everyone is so helpful and friendly!

I will venture a guess and say that over half, at least, the scrappers use Photoshop.  Learning PS is the biggest hurdle!  So, along with learning digi-scrapping, you must learn how to use Photoshop, or some other editing program.  It is in trying to learn PS that I have discovered another huge community of folks – the PS design blogs/sites.  These are the sites where you can read anything at all on the topic of using Photoshop.  You can find a plethora of presets: textures, patterns, brushes, actions, you name it!  If it works in PS, it is offered!  Additionally, there are scads of tutorials that are there to teach old and new techniques and offer inspiration.  Some sites have Premium areas where members have access to certain tutorials and PS goodies for a minimal fee.  Most are under 10 dollars a month, with even better deals for 6 or 12 month memberships.  Several of the larger sites are a part of a network of related sites, all included under one membership and all geared to help you with design!  But, the bulk of these sites are there for your perusal of free goodies.  I sign up for the RSS feed on most of them and have their frequent updates and newsletters sent right to my inbox so I don’t miss a thing.  Over time, I have learned which ones are better than others and have adjusted my e-mail intake accordingly.

I bring all this up as the scrapbooking community, as huge at it is, is not the end all of obtaining resources and learning Photoshop.  While these PS design blogs/sites may not have blinkies to collect and display on our blogs, and they may not have the challenges and communal events so popular in scrapping sites, they offer some serious PS help!  Over the past 4 years, I have learned a great deal from subscribing to these design sites.  I’ve also learned which ones are preferable.  I want to share with you all what I have found.  I promise you won’t be disappointed in any of them!

I want to note that some of these sites have ‘vectors’, either in their name or as a feature.  DO NOT ignore these sites!  Vectors work in PS!  If you don’t know this, you do now.  Look at the file format – .ai (Adobe Illustrator).  Adobe is the key word here.  But, .eps (Encapsulated Post Script) files open in PS, too.  Try to open either one in PS and see for yourself.  There is a box that pops up that will guide you through opening the image.  As PS is a raster program, the .ai and .eps files will be converted into rasters once opened.  To maintain the ‘vector’ status, though, they must be opened in Illustrator or another vector program.

Ready?  Alrighty!  In no particular order:

WebTreats – This site is well-known for their wonderful patterns with liberal terms.  But, they do offer other PS presets, such as brushes, textures, shapes, styles, etc.  I know you’ve seen these around the web!

crimson_red_patterns_preview

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PSDFanExtra – This is a large network of sites offering all kinds of presets, for free, as well as their Premium section’s offerings.  They feature a weekly set of textures that I always love!  Here’s a set of mixed textures from a recent offering:

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I tend to fancy this site as the folks there are wonderful help!  On their BlogsFanExtra site, you can ask for and receive a redesign of your blog – free.  Tom will evaluate your current blog/site and make recommendations.  He includes a .PSD file of his recommended suggestions.  He did my previous blog and I took his advice, carrying over to this blog, his ideas and suggestions.  My content is what I want featured, not necessarily other scrappers blogs.  He’s evaluated some popular sites since it’s inception.

PSDTuts –  This site is also a part of a large network with a Premium section.  They’re very well known for thier tutorials and their ‘mini-courses’ in all sort of Photoshop training.  Their Basix series, featured by Martin Perhiniak, is wonderful for a beginner learning PS.

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They also offer many free resources such as the previously mentioned presets.

PSDDude –  This site has some of the coolest offerings, in my opinion.  As they don’t have a Premium section, that I know of, all of their offerings are free.  Just in the past week, I have obtained an action that gives paper a folded look

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and a set of styles that create both Letterpress and embossed effects for your designs.

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 CreativeNerds – Another good site, featuring similar free resources and tutorials.  They often feature goodies from other sites that one might miss if they didn’t.  They have a really good Premium section and, get this, their membership is $15.99 for A YEAR!

Their most recent free offering:

freepaintspaltterbrushpreview High Resolution Free Paint Splatter Photoshop Brush Set

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VectorPatterns – Don’t let the name mislead you!  These folks come out with the most awesome free patterns!  I think I have downloaded all of them!  Their latest offering:

flowerbannerpreview thumb A Great Simple Seamless Flower Pattern Set

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Each download comes with a scalable vector and a PS .PAT file.  They have some cute designs, perfect for scrapbooking!

Fuzzimo –  I saved the best for last!  This site seems to cater to the needs of us scrappers.  They offer some fantastic freebies, many of which I have used, myself, and have seen others use.

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Obviously, there are a gazillion more web sites, many that are similar to these.  And, there are even more design sites that aren’t strictly PS sites.  Many are specializing in web design, or, in a particular aspect of PS and/or design.  For that, many of their resources work for scrapbooking.  I only mention these few sites as I find they are tops in providing goodies that scrappers might be able to use.  While I absolutely love the scrapbooking community, I only want to suggest that there are other communities of resource providers and folks who are eager and willing to help available.  Hey, the scrapbooking community has some fantastic designers, but, sometimes, free is what we need.  A good deal of these sites have liberal terms, as well!  I hope you have found something among these sites I’ve listed!  That would make me

Smile Graphic #22

Hugs,

Su

Freebie Final Parts and Links

Whee!  LOL  I am caught up!  You don’t realize how much stuff you are involved in until you can’t do it all for some reason.  In addition to catching up on e-mails, there are dozens of tutorials to check out, articles to read, and goodies to snag.  I know it makes a lot of work for myself to read all I do, but, I like having my finger on the pulse of the online digital design community.  I find a lot of interesting stuff this way!  I stumble upon a previously unknown-to-me design blog, subscribe to the feed or e-mail alerts, and I’m with it.  LOL  Rarely have I ever gone back and unsubscribed.  There are lots of ways to find out what is happening.
The most obvious places to start are the ‘search engines’.  I know of three(3) of them, right off: 
http://cufreebiesonly.blogspot.com/
http://cbhscrapbookfreebiessearch.blogspot.com/
http://digiscrapdepot.com/ 
(Found Another)http://www.craftcrave.com/category/digifree/ 
If you know of any others, add them in the comments and I will add them to my list on my ‘Resources’ page.  The three I mention are there, already, near the bottom.
Pinterest, the ‘clippings’ site, is an awesome way to find out about cool stuff.  There are Photoshop sections (use the search feature at the top of any page) where there are loads of goodies and tutorials.  I think you have to have an invite, so, if you need one, comment and I will accommodate you.
One great way to find things you like are to go to any blog that has something you like, then, check that blog’s links.  Their links are usually in blinkies or ‘Lists’ on the sidebar, so, it isn’t too difficult to find them.  An excellent example would be Sugarbutt Designs.  I wrote about it a few weeks ago, and, since, have learned the dear lady’s name – Jenn.  She told me she has gone by ‘Sugarbutt’ for ever.  LOL  I think it’s a darling name!  On her sidebar, she has lists of great sites to visit.  Click on Sugarbutt – aka: Jenn’s site and check it out for yourself.  She had some I had never heard of.
Real quick, here are just a few of the places I have found lately: 
I found one new place that I am digging – Slo-Dive.  They feature a lot of Photoshop goodies and tuts, too.  They are real regular with posting, so, be sure you subscribe. 
Then, there is PSD.co.  They have a little bit of everything – textures, brushes, patterns, shapes, actions, etc… 
Another good Photoshop blog is ‘Hello, Streetlight’.  Right now, on their home page, there are quite a few nice brushes and textures.
As far as digi-scrapping blogs/sites, I found one where, even tho it is a store, the goodies are mostly free.  Retro-Zing is set up in a store setting, but, I think all of the stuff is free.  There may be a pay item, but, I haven’t found it.  There are some cute ‘collections’ going on, so, check it out!    
And, now, finally, here are the last two parts of this month’s collaboration with Miss Edna’s Place.  This was a crazy month, but, I managed to get everything done and posted.  Whee!
Click on the ‘elements’ preview, below, to go to Part 5 and the next preview, the ‘papers’ to get Part 6.  Then, you will see Miss Edna’s preview.  Click on it to go to her blog for her parts, if you haven’t been there already.
So, here ya go:
Part 5

Part 6

Miss Edna’s Preview

Miss Edna and I will be back at it again in April.  Here’s peek at the colors with a familiar ‘April’ theme.  You’ll see!

Until then…
Hugs,
Su

SU CheshireCat