New Freebie Collaboration – “I Love…”

Happy Monday, folks!  Boy, this year is zipping right along, now, isn’t it?  I think time passes a lot quicker when you are old-er.  When we were kids, it seemed like it took forever for one’s birthday to roll around!  Or, Christmas!  Or, summer vacation!  Remember that?  Some school years, it seemed like June was never going to come!  I’m sure some of the teachers felt the same way.  LOL  But, now, as an older person, time just ZOOMS by!  What do you think?  
I’ve given you a couple of things in the past few weeks – a tutorial and some textures.  Now, I give you a couple of links to sites I know you will find of interest.  The first one is ‘Vintage Feed Sacks’.  If you fancy ‘The Graphics Fairy’ site, you’ll love ‘Feed Sacks’!  They are similar, in some ways, in that they both ‘clean up’ some of the images for you.  They also have ‘suggested uses’ in common, both offering sweet ideas to which to use the images.  But, the images are all different.  I think that, between the two sites, they have the vintage image ‘market’ cornered!  LOL  What one doesn’t have – the other has.  Not really, obviously, but, you really don’t need too much more than these two fab sites!  I’ve written about ‘Graphics Fairy’ in the past and, quite honestly, you’d have to live under a rock not to know about it!  Now, check out Feed Sacks
This next one is the perfect combination of resources for me!  Sugar Butt Designs, yes, Sugar Butt!  This perfect combination?  Tutorials AND resources!  OMG!  If you don’t heed any of my suggestions, do heed this one!  What she does is gives you a little, easy-to-follow tutorial that shows how to create say, a felt texture, for instance, in Photoshop.  She gives you the tutorial and samples to go with it for you to see what she means.  This post is all about felt, cardboard and metal textures, three different downloads.  

Each file has a sheet like the one above, then, any samples that might be included.  In addition to tuts, she also has a great list of links in her side bar!  Categorized links!!  LOL  She has other items and she sells at one of the shops, even.  So, her blog isn’t all just tutorials.  I wish I knew ‘her’ name, but, whatever it is, go check out her site!
This next site is what I refer to as a ‘PSD Blog’, meaning the site is aimed at Photoshop users as their main content.  PSD Dude is up there with some of the best.  If it isn’t, it soon will be!  It’s going great guns!  Every couple of days, I get an e-mail notification for some cool freebie or another.  Tutorials, brushes, patterns, templates, shapes, etc., they’re all available here.  Speaking of shapes, there doesn’t seem to be too many of those to download for free across the web.  But, here, they have a good selection!  There are several I have never seen before.  You have to register.  That is the only drawback as far as some folks go.  You can sign up for the e-mail alerts or the RSS stream.  Give them a whirl!  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Winding up today’s list is Best Photoshop Tutorials.  WAIT!  Don’t skip over this because of the name of the site.  Tutorials are just a mere section of this site.  They have everything you need for Photoshop!  If they don’t carry everything, they have the links to it all.  LOL  There is quite a page full of Photo Effects, such as cartoon, out-of-bounds, Andy Warhol, etc.  There are actions galore!  The textures are the ‘cream of the crop’, to me. Same as the brushes and the fonts.  Here is an image of the most recent brushes they offer:

There seems to be a good blend of actual downloads from this site and articles of images that link to at other sites.  This is fairly common.  I do it!  LOL  The folks who post have a good eye for what is popular in the design world. Pay these folks a visit and see what all they have!  Have fun!  LOL   
And, finally, this month’s freebie from Miss Edna and I.  This month we give you “I Love…”  It’s for whatever you love!  It doesn’t have to be a person – you can love horses, or chocolate, or diamonds.  You get the idea!  LOL  Today, we give you the QP’s, two(2) of them.  This is Parts 1 and 2.  Then, next Monday and the Monday after that, we’ll give away two parts each time for a total of six(6) parts from each of us.  Three Mondays, 12 parts total!  LOL  Click on the preview to go to the download.  Then, click on Miss Edna’s preview to go to her blog to download her parts.
Parts 1 and 2

Miss Edna’s Preview

And, that’s a gonna do it for this Monday!  I’ve been spending a little more time with my  blog, so, I may be back before next Monday.  Either way, be sure to come back for the rest of this fun kit.  I’ve seen Miss Edna’s parts and they are awesome!!
Until then…

Blessings and Hugs!

SU CheshireCat

Blog Changes and a Freebie

Good Tuesday, All!  You may notice I have been heeding Tom’s advice on my blog.  It was hard not to, since he gave such wonderful feedback.  I placed all of the blinkies, which once filled my side-bar, to a page all their own.  There is now a button, labeled ‘Blinkies’ in their place.  Click on it and go see all the wonderful friends and associates of mine.  
Next, I created a few more ‘Pages’.  These may be accessed from the ‘Menu Bar’ across the top of the page, right under the header.
‘Resources’ is for Photoshop pre-sets, such as brushes, styles, actions, etc, as well as textures, vectors, etc.  If it is used in Photoshop, those links are here.  In fact, this page has been here for a while now.  
‘Stock Resources’, is a listing of such sites as ‘Flickr’, ‘StockExchange’, ‘Deposit Photos’, etc.  These are sites that specialize in stock photos.  I have found a bunch of them!  I believe these are all free, too.  
‘Deviant-Art Stock Providers’ is just that. DA artists are often left out of ‘resource lists’ and they shouldn’t be.  A lot of lists mention DA, as a whole, but, rarely go into each of the artists/providers.  This list will be helpful if you like to do photo-manipulations, or want to incorporate artsy images/elements into a project.  DA is an artsy community, so, much of their offerings are geared towards art.  You can find patterns, brushes, actions, textures, and whatever else you need to be creative. 
Artistic Spirit is a page of my artwork.  My digital interests are split between Scrapbooking and my art.  Including both on my blog is something I have been wanting to do for a while.  While I just started this page, I haven’t posted but a few pieces.  I intend to add more.  I have them!  LOL
By creating separate pages for much of the content that was crammed into a skinny, little side-bar, I feel I have made the links easier to see and use.  They have become the ‘feature’, rather than a side note.  Accordingly, this left my blog posts much easier to see and read.    Next, I wanted to change out my blog’s design.  I have always loved the cluttered look as I am a kind of ‘sentimental and have to keep it near me’ sort of person.  I don’t necessarily horde things, but, I like to put things out to see and admire.  I also like bold colors.  But, there is a time and place for them.  Tom made a point to me and that was that the ‘content’ was paramount.  My own remark was that it did seem ironic to post all these links and banners to other folks blogs when I wanted folks to notice my posts.  I totally support the folks whose links I have posted!  I didn’t eliminate them entirely either.  I just moved them to place all their own!  This radically cleaned up my page!  
I left a few things in my side-bar: the RSS Feed, About Me, the Archives List, Followers, Labels, etc., all blog function related info.  I left only a couple of personal things, such as the DeviantArt banner and one group badge for Digital Whisper.  While I am proud to be associated with many wonderful sites, to me, that may not be something other folks are interested in.  They want to see what I have to offer them.  All the links to the sites I like are still here, just on their own page now. 
I went with a simple blog template.  Now, my posts literally ‘pop’!  Well, I think so.  LOL  The soft color is soothing to the eye.  While I was on eye-appeal, I took Tom’s advice and changed out my font.  I admit, it was hard to read.  I am pleased with the results.  
The next thing to work on is my header.  I have been experimenting with different ones.  I am still not sure what I want, but, I want it to reflect my own artistic personality.  You may see something different up there from time to time.
So, that is where I am.  Working on the blog will, hopefully, be good for readership, but, it has also been a good project for me while I am going through adjustments.  Working ‘behind the scenes’, so to speak, has been therapeutic.  It gives me time to be ‘pro-active’, rather than ‘re-active’ to my world.  I’ve not really been ‘here’ lately.  I don’t feel I am able to give anyone my all.  When I go through an adjustment phase, such as I am currently doing, it is best to keep to myself.  Some medications can affect one in certain manners, if you know what I mean.  There is no telling what I may post.  LOL  It’s just a precaution.
I’ve had these soft textures for while.  Today, you can have them if you like.  They’re all textured differently, and softly.  The colors are random, but, I included some neutral toned textures that you can color to your hearts content.  Or, you can use them with a blending mode to add just a hint of texture to a layout or page you create.  Just click on the preview to go to Minus to download.

Be sure to check back next Monday for the first of another neat set of our freebies kit from the collaboration with Miss Edna!
Until then…

Credit:  Shutter-Shooter@DA


SU CheshireCat

Essential Gore Freebie

Greetings, all!  I have been promising you all a goodie and I am back tonight to deliver.  In celebration of Hallowe’en, I made a set for ya’ll.  I don’t call it a kit, because the parts aren’t meant to match each other.  It is just a collection of things, both papers and elements.  You might say that I have been working on this set of goodies for two or three years now.  I started with a concept a few years ago and just played with it, here and there, since.  This month, with Hallowe’en on the way, I spent more time on it and got it to where I think I can let it go.  LOL 
Before you all start worrying about me, this is my ‘dark side’ showing through.  Lots of us have a dark side.  It is that place that we hide from others, except maybe those close to us.  It is that part of us that allows one’s self to think bad thoughts.  We’d never act on any of those thoughts – they’re just there.  I see them as a kind of counter-balance to my ‘good’ side.  My dark side is my phobias and my fears.  It’s the memories of things that hurt, or really affected me, yet, normally, I don’t like to recall.  It’s secrets and hushed tones.  Ya’ll know what I mean!  
It may sound crazy, but, expressing this darkness with my craft, yields more creativity.  I think that is why I have worked on it for so long.  When I needed an outlet, I would play around with the elements or add a bit more texture to a paper.  I was noticing how much better I have become with a couple of years of experience in Photoshop.  There are a couple of items in here that I did in the very beginning that aren’t all that great!  They will do, though!  LOL  I don’t know what I will do now that it is done.  LOL  I suppose I’ll start another!
There isn’t anything in this set that will be disgusting to anyone, I hope.  It’s just a lot of blood, tombstones, bats, you know, blood and gore.  There are some whimsical goodies, as well.  I separated the papers from the elements for the previews, but, clicking on either one will take you to for download.  At, there are 4(four) parts for you to download.  Click on either the list of files or use the arrows to the side to scroll to the next download link.  I really hope you enjoy!
That’s all I have for today.  I will see you next time!  Until then…

SU CheshireCat

Collab Freebies – Parts 3 and 4, Plus Links

Good Morning!  I trust your weekend was relaxing and that you are ready for the week.  It’s here!  It’s a Monday morning, both g-kids are home with me and another one is on the way.  The little one, my son’s son, is coming so his mommy can go to an appointment.  I’m slugging back my first cuppa and trying to get ready for the day.  You know how it is.  You’re ready ’cause you gotta be!  In hind sight, one may wonder why we put ourselves through such difficult times – three little kids, first thing on a Monday morn.  Well, it is rather like the song,  “The Dance”.  I might have missed some pain, but, then, I would have missed the ‘dance’.  Life is a dance.  We dance our little hearts out all our lives.  Sometimes, we try to avoid ‘bad weather’ and we hide in our shells.  Other times, we’re right out there, dancing in the rain, making the most out of a rainy day.  That is me.  It took me quite a few years as this is a learned attribute.  When you get older, you relish any dancing and try to withstand any inclement weather the best we can.  You roll with it.  That is when life becomes the best, to me.  I can choose to react to every situation with the same panicky anticipation, or, I can choose to pick my battles.  Life sure gets a lot easier when you do.
Alrighty, then!   Onward, I have some links to share with you.  How do ya’ll like vintage clip-art?  I found a website that has a ton of clip-art and it’s free.  Let me tell you.  The website is from the University of South Florida.  It is a part of Florida’s Educational Technology for educators.  From their site they, “provide digital content, professional development, and technical services supporting the appropriate integration of technology into K-12 and preservice education.”
The terms are that you may use up to 50 images at a time for educational purposes.
The screen shot above shows the 4 main categories, Clip Pix, Clip Art, Presentations and Maps.  The first two are self-explanatory.  So is Maps.  Presentations is neat!  They are designed for PowerPoint, but, there is an awesome collection of paper figures.  Here is an example:
What’s even nicer is they come in several sizes.  They’re ‘.TIFF’ files, which are supported by many programs.  I know you will be interested in the variety, as I was. In addition to the people clip art, there are frames, some Alphas and some PowerPoint templates.  There is bound to be something you can use.  Go give them a visit.
For a quick run through of some old standards worth paying a visit, let’s start with Atomic Cupcake.  Their new freebie is a ‘barely stamped’ action.
The Coffee Shop, has posted some new frames and storyboards.  Rita shows you how to get the most out of the frames, which come complete with a vintage texture.
Next, if you are into digitally mastered images, like DAZ and Poser, I have a link for you for very nicely done ‘stock’.  DeviantArt is an entity in and of itself, but, one stock provider I found, Cheyenne75 has an awesome collection.  The menu is down the left-hand side.  Be prepared for ‘creatures’, in that she has all kinds of aliens and unusual ‘monster-ish’ goodies.  I like this site with Halloween coming.  After all, where else are you going to find a ‘magic beanstalk’ or a ‘zombie dog’?
Another site, Made to Be Unique, is similar.  There, you can find all kinds of images, digitally produced, to help with designs.

If you’ve never considered this kind of stock, these folks have done a good job and their goodies are worth checking out.

The last one is a designer who keeps a DeviantArt website and a blog.  JustieJ and Just Creations are there for designers.  ‘Justie’ creates templates and Photoshop resources to make designing easier.  Both websites of hers have about the same stuff, though, it looks like many of the actual downloads are on the blog, Just Creations.  On the DeviantArt pages there are a lot of ‘cut-outs’, .png files for you to use.  Like this:
In addition to her wonderful designs, she also has an blog devoted to tutorials, Just Creations Tutorials.  There is quite a selection.   She teaches the details of light and shadows, plus, a lot of coloring or recoloring of elements.  One tutorial shows how to make a paper preview for one’s designs.  There is also a free pre-made template for it if you just don’t have the time.  Like this:
And, that is it for the links today.  But, I’m not done with you, yet!  Today is the second set of parts from my collaboration with Miss Edna’s Place, “Tropical Sunset”.  Last week you received the QP’s. Pts 1 and 2.  This week and next week, we’ll be giving away the scrapbooking papers and elements.  We each give two(2) parts each week, so, you should have four(4) parts today.  Though my previews indicate the elements separately from the papers, each part is a combination of both.  The first preview will take you to Pt. 3, and the second one is to Pt. 4.  Then, after that, you’ll see Miss Edna’s preview.  Click on it and you’ll get to her blog for her downloads.
 Part 3
Part 4
Miss Edna’s Place Preview
(click on preview to navigate to her blog)
Isn’t that awesome?!
(Note:  All of my past links are still active.)
I want to share a little something else, real quick.  I found the neat ‘ant’imation, below, at Crafted by Gina blog.  Gina does beautiful scrapbooking designs and has taken part in several blog trains.  A lot of the links are still active for the older posts, so, check those out.  All this is is a .GIF image.  You treat it like you would any image.  If you want to use it down in the siggy on your own blog, here’s how:
On Blogger, go to ‘Dashboard’;’Settings’;’Formatting’.  Down the page you’ll find a text box labeled, ‘Post Template’.  There, you paste the ‘HTML’ link that Photobucket, or any other host site, provides you.  Then, after you save, the very next post will have the ant, or any other little goodie you like for the siggy part.  I have two, right now, the ant and the Cheshire Cat.  I thought you all might be interested, so, that is how it is done.

PhotobucketRemember to keep smiling!Hugs, Su SU CheshireCat

Freebie & Links

Growing up before the technology we know today was so readily available, I was big into my penmanship.  My handwriting was very important to me and I worked at it.  In fourth grade, my best friend and I adopted such similar styles of penmanship, our teacher couldn’t tell our writing apart.  I altered my script through the years, but, always wound up with the same basic scrawl.  It’s no wonder, then, when I see something of importance to me online, I grab pen and scratch paper and jot away.  There are “note” programs, including “sticky notes”, available all over the internet and I’ve probably tried a third of them.  Still, I find myself grabbing for my trusty Number 2.  
For the past few weeks, I have been jotting down the names of the links I’ve found and want to share with you all.  So, now, I sit down to post and what do you think has happened?  LOL  I can’t find all of my scraps with notes jotted on them.  Where is that “sticky notes” program when I need it!?  I can remember most of them, though, because I was impressed with them.  So, without further adieu, here we go! 
First off, I found a cute little blog that gives away clip art.  Every post offers either a small set of images or a collection of like objects.  Les Cliparts de Clo is this blog.  What I liked about it is the terms.  She has both ‘Personal Use’ items and ‘Commercial Use’, too.  The site is in French, but, a quick translation to English shows that they are very liberal.  Actually, her terms are in both, French and English.  She states that they are okay to use in scrapbooking designs, even those to be sold, as long as the stuff you create is sold as PU.  How very reasonable.  She has some really nice clip art, too.  Here is today’s post image, just as an example:
Just click on the above image to go to that post.  If you like and want to receive updates when there is a new post, subscribe to her feed and updates will come to you.  It’s really simple.  And, as always, do remember to leave a note or comment.
If you all think I place too much emphasis on terms, you’re right.  I follow them to the letter.  Several months ago, I did a collage sheet in which I added in some arms and legs.  I didn’t know where the appendages came from, but, rather than pursuing it as I should have done, I went ahead and used them.  I was, in effect, giving away something that did not belong to me.  The artist of the limbs notified me about them.  Turns out, we knew each other already.  She was very sweet about it, but, I felt so stupid!  It was embarrassing, to say the least.  I didn’t know they were hers, but, I didn’t get them from her site.  Someone else was sharing them and I took them, then.  This doesn’t make my using them any less bad, though.  I didn’t even credit that source.  (Early on, I didn’t worry too much about making sure the file names included the artist.  I don’t remember where I found some of the image I have.)  Now, the terms are the deciding factor in whether I use anything I find online.
Next on my little list of links is a stock photo site.  Now, if you have spent any time at all on stock photos, you know they aren’t cheap, especially those with usage rights or licenses.  Though not very often, I use images, or photos, in my photo-manipulations or other personal art.  I’ve used some of the vector designs that the photo sites often carry, but, also, not very often.  Once in a while I need an image for something and finding one I could afford and that I had rights to use was always so difficult.  I usually had to rely on the website’s “free” image categories, which limits the possibilities.  Until, I found Cutcaster.  Cutcaster is a site for photographers to upload their images for sale or free use.  You can also go download photos to use.  Their set up is awesome!  Every image has it’s own page with all the info one would need – artist’s name, download button, topic, size, etc.  The resulting downloaded images are just gorgeous!  Here are just a few that I picked out to show you.
The terms are reasonable, as well.  The only worry would be if you intended to sell something made with one of their images.  You can read more on their terms for their free images here.

What next?  Oh, yeah!  I found a website, Photoshop Tutorials, that is so awesome, I consider it a cut above the rest.  Maybe, their topics are just more my style, I dunno, but, there is a lot of good things here and I found all of it to my liking.  Don’t let the title, ‘Tutorials’ mislead.  They do have those.  Theirs are for images/techniques I would actually want to do.  LOL  Some of the manipulations on this site are nice.  I would sit down and follow them and maybe even use the techniques again on some of my own stuff.  I liked this one: 

(Click on image to go to this tutorial)
Photoshop tutorials, in general, are great for learning the program.  If you have never done one, by all means, find one you like and go to it.  I’ve had plenty of “a-ha!” moments while doing a tutorial and learning something new.  Some are easy to understand, ‘holding your hand’ all the way through, while others may leave you scratching your head.  It helps, too, if there is still someone around to answer any questions.  I’ve met some darned nice people by asking questions or commenting on posts or articles I come across.

Getting back to this website, though, there is not a whole lot of content, but, all that is there is usable stuff.  There are some textures, but, not one-of-every-color-under-the-sun, so much.  There are several packs and assorted others.  The brush list is only three pages, but, I can use 99% of them and they are good quality.  There is just a lot more at this site that I, personally, can use and like.  For that reason, I like it a lot.  Give a visit.  You’ll enjoy it.

Next, I want to tell you about Creativity103 website.  This one is definitely worth signing up to get.  If I recall, it took about a day to get the link to activate, but, it was worth the wait.  There are the best collections of images I’ve seen in one place.  They present some very nice collections as a ‘pack’ which can be downloaded as a zip.  Or, you can download just the images you like from their gallery.  There’s more in the gallery than in the packs, so, there are quite a few images.  The layout of the site makes it easy to navigate around.  The quality of the images is just great!  Here is an example of one of the ‘packs’ they offer:

They also have the ‘organic’ textures and patterns and all that.  But, the packs offer something a bit different.  Sign up is easy and it’s free.  Once you get the password, go have fun.  Their archives have some great images!  They send you an e-mail when they post new images, too, so, you never miss out.  It is about twice a month.

I’m going to wrap it all up with this Flick’r group, “Textures 4 Layers”.  I wouldn’t normally share a group with you all.  They require a membership that involves contributing and participation.  I try to stick with the sites that you can stop in, bookmark, if desired, and peruse, hopefully, coming away with some awesome goodies that are free and legal to use with little or no attribution.  LOL  Those are my guidelines for staying on with a website.  But, this group does do some really nice textures.  I joined the group to enjoy the challenges.  There are some really good artists there!  The collection of textures, though, is extremely nice and can be used commercially or personally, with varying terms of attribution, depending on the artist.  Most just want you to credit their name.  Rather than try to show you a sampling of their textures, I want to share with you the image I did for one of the recent challenges there.

The clock image was the ‘starting’ image, then, we were to add any of the textures from the group pool to come up with our interpretation of the clocks.  There is a format to use to give credit to the artist(s) whose textures you’ve used, but, I found that part good.  It helped show me an easy way to keep up with the images I use.  I actually learned quite a bit on copyright and attribution from this group.  You really ought to go check out what they offer.  They have some really good textures for you.

Whew!  LOL  That’s going to be it for a little while.  I have more and I am always on the lookout for more and interesting links to share.  I want to remind everyone that the ‘second part’ of my collaborative kit with Miss Edna, “Miss Edie”, was posted Monday.  That leaves one part left to go, next Monday.  When you are done, you’ll have a beautiful kit.  The inspiration for the kit was Miss Edna’s friend and SIL, Edie.  Such an sweet thing to celebrate a friendship with a kit!  So, it was made with friendship in mind.  There is all kinds of pretty things in it.  Here are our previews.  (Images are linked to the posts that have the downloads):


Miss Edna’s Place

The link for this second part is at the very end of Edna’s post.  She has just recently lost her brother.  In fact, today is his funeral.  She just wasn’t with it that day.  Excuse her if you will, but, she got the link posted.  Bless her heart.

I’m leaving you with a little set of textures that I did for the Flickr group.  I added an overlay of grungey edges, too.  You get them first here!  LOL

(Click on the image to go to MediaFire for download)

Well, are you still with me?  LOL  That was rather lengthy, but, I’ve been wanting to get to this list for a long time.  Things don’t always go as planned, though, do they?  I’m going to close with a couple of photos of the contributing “plan-breakers”, the g-kids.  LOL 

 Always up-side down!

Notice nothing else is blurry except Kaleb.  LOL  He is a perpetual motion machine these days!

Kaleb was cuddling with the big stuffed doggy.

I will see you next time – Monday, for sure.  Edna and I have already completed another present for you all.  You’ll know about it soon.  I almost forgot, too, on November 1, the new Gothic Inspirations Blog Train leaves the station.  November’s theme is “Horror Whorez”.  LOL  I have a contribution for it.  Actually, so does Edna!  So, be sure to come by to collect my part and then, go visit all the other designers, too.

Smile, ya’ll!



SU CheshireCat