A Freebie Gift & a Couple of Tips

Wow!  Two posts, back-to-back! LOL  I have several things I have been wanting to get posted, so, I thought I better do just that!  There are a couple of tips that I want to share with you and there is the matter of a little gift that I have been promising for over a month.  I wanted to make something that was truly Suruha.  I did.  LOL  I guarantee there is not another like it online!  The only thing I wish is that I could give you these things for real.  The folks that come here say the kindest things and I appreciate it.  I don’t expect it, so, it is so nice when someone leaves a kind word.  Those of you who left messages when I was out, I thank you.  It really means a lot to me.  Thank you!

I’m going to jump right in here.  Did you know that the “Color Range” feature in Photoshop can help you in extracting something from an image?  Well, it can!  LOL  I use CS3, but, other program versions surely have a similar feature.  In CS3, it is located under the “Select” menu.  Anyway, click on “Color Range” and a box pops-up.  Typical PS!

I whipped up a simple greeting to show you what I mean.  Feel free to copy it and follow along.

Say that I want to remove the orange background and keep just the text and flourishes.  There are several tools in Photoshop that will help remove a large background expanse such as this one.  The “Lasso” and “Quick Select” come to mind.  But, the hard part is selecting the spaces in and among the swirls and leaves of the ornaments.  By using the “Color Range” feature, you can eliminate all of the color you don’t want. 

 Open the “Color Range” box.

Your cursor will turn into an eye dropper for you to sample anywhere on the orange color.  The sample tells PS what color to select.

 If there were several shades of orange, you would hold down the “Shift” key as you sample all of the shades of that color.  

When you select a color, that part of the preview will turn white everywhere that is ‘selected’.  
You can adjust the “Fuzziness” if you like.  This feature will cause the selected area to go from sharper to a little blurry, it looks like to me.  Anyway, around 60 is usually good.  Play with it and see.
Click on “OK”.
Every place that is orange will now be high-lighted with marching ants.  This means it is selected.  Click on “Delete” and watch all the orange disappear.

Easy-Peasy!!  LOL  If you wanted to remove another color, simple repeat, but, click on that color.  This feature works really good for extracting a tree from it’s background, providing the background is a different color.  Or, if you want to actually change the color, still using my example, after all the orange is selected and I’ve clicked “OK” on the “Color Range” box, just open an adjustment layer to the color settings of your choice.  (The “Adjustment Layer” button is the half-black half-white circle at the bottom of the “Layers Palette”.)  When you click “OK”, all of the orange will be the new color.  There’s another little tip for you to store away.  You may even use it one day!  LOL
Next, did you ever want to link to a site in someone’s comments and didn’t know how?  All there is to it is one small bit of code.  The code is in red, the URL and the Text will be yours:
The ‘URL’ is, of course, the address of the site to go to.  For the text, you would type the name of the site or some other bit of text.  Here is how it should look if I wanted to link to my blog:

It ends up looking like this in the comment:

My Blog
(Click it, if you like.  It will just bring you back here.  LOL)

 And, that is all there is to it!  Be sure to include the apostrophe(‘) before and after the URL.  The words “My Blog” are all that will show when done, but, those words will be clickable to my blog.  You can use this in typing a comment on someone else’s blog or website, where you want to direct the folks to some place else.  This code will work in almost any place where HTML code is used.  (I had to post the code examples as images since they were code.  It wouldn’t show up if they were typed in text.  All you would see is “My Blog”, because the code would take effect.)

I have been promising a gift for you all for forever!  LOL  There really is a gift!  I finally got it finished up for you.  It started out to be my contribution to the monthly Gothic Inspirations blog train.   For the month of February, Jessica gave the theme and the colors for a CU freebie.  What ever we made had to be CU friendly.  I started out with her color scheme, but, after missing the deadline, I put it all on hold.  When I returned and went to wrap it up, I found myself leaning towards the colors in this month’s freebie collaboration with Miss Edna, “My Fair Lady”, that we began posting yesterday.  I used a lot of the same pinks and light greenish-blues, as well as some other colors. 

If you folks are anything like me, you love keeping a diary, saving little ephemera from special days.  (I have every card my children ever gave me!)  I’ve always used some kind of book for posting my ‘secret stash’.  My own personal diary is always a work in progress, with papers and other tid-bits stuck between it’s pages all haphazardly.  I love it that way, though.  When I open up my diary, all of those ‘stashed’ items fall out and I have to handle them, thus, looking at them.  LOL  They send me on a little sentimental journey.  It’s just one of my ‘cheap thrills’.  LOL
My diary is actually a bound “Journal” book.  I’ve used spiral calendar books, as well.  The bound books come in lots of colours and have pages that are lined so I can write neater.  There is a ribbon attached for a page marker, like I need one.  I can find almost anything in those pages, because I only post special stuff.  If I wanted to gripe about something or blow off steam, there are other ways.  My diary is a kind and gentle, happy place.  I try to keep it like that.  Who wants to pick up a book and find it full of misery?  Some day, my children may read it.  I want there to be happy memories.  It may not be the prettiest thing they have ever seen, but, it will be nice.
When making this gift, I put together some ‘diary’ pages for you.  They are all old-fashioned fancy-schmancy, gaudy as hell, and all that good stuff.  LOL  They’re done up as though I put together whatever was handy at the time – a scrap of pretty stationary, a pretty picture that I like, a fancy decoration or ornament I found, a bit of lace and pearls, etc.  I include some embellishments for you to decorate your pages with.  I also put in some pretty patterned ‘notes’ papers with fancy trims.  Feathers.  Yup!  Feathers!  LOL  Not all feathers, just on one.  You’ve got to check it out.  It isn’t full-size or tagger-size, but, everything was made based on full-sized.  None of it matches and there aren’t any specific pieces, except for the “diary” pages and the notes papers.  There are a few scrapbooking pages, some simple silk to show off your writing.  Throughout, there are a few scattering of hearts, since this month is Valentine’s Day.  Everything is done vintage, so, it will appeal to many.  Since I made it all, you can use it for anything you want!  There are a few clip-art pieces from the internet, but, these particular ones are so universal, attributing credit to someone is all but impossible.   Believe me, I looked!  That being said, if I am wrong about any of them and they do belong to you, please, let me know.

There are 4 separate links.  They range from 40 to 50 mbs each, so, they’re pretty hefty.  The files don’t have that much in them; it’s just because everything is huge!  I make everything BIG.  I figure you can always resize it down.  I resized nearly everything in the preview way down.  In the files, everything is larger.

Here ya go!  I hope you enjoy!



Novelty Papers


I still have more to share, but, I have to get up.  I’ve sat too still for too long and I’m stiff.  Have fun with this stuff!  Add to it, throw in some of your own favorite goodies.  I “collect” odds and ends online, even, and have some of them in a few of my Photo accounts.  This is sort of like that stuff, only I can use this in my art, on my blog, in a layout, and even print it out.  So, Thank You!




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 PhotoshopTutorials.ws 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

Freebie, PS Pattern Work, Art, ‘2 for 1’ Tutorial & a Link

While going through yet more of my files, I came across a layout I made, but, I don’t remember what I made it for.  It seems it may have been a Quote Challenge piece.  If it is, though, I don’t recall which one or where it was for.  LOL  I do know it was around Valentine’s Day, because of the concept I chose and the verse I wrote.  I’ve not had very good luck with exes.  Maybe, I should say that my exes haven’t had very good luck.  Both of my husbands and too many boyfriends to innumerate, have passed away – after we broke up.  Two, died tragically just days before a date with me.  Isn’t that an awful thing to know!  One was in a car wreck, a week before; the other was shot while working at a mini-mart.  The latter happened the day before we were to go out.  Needless to say, it kind of makes me hesitant to know anyone better.  Anyway, that explains the layout:

You might have to click on it to see it in larger size.  I do know that this piece was good practice for working on shadows.  LOL  No disrespect intended to any of the deceased.  I find it kind of strange, that’s all.

I have another link for ya!  This one is for a free Photoshop ‘style’ each and every day.  Who couldn’t handle that?  LOL  The name of the website is, are you ready, “PS STYLE A DAY”.  You can enter your e-mail, if you so desire, and they will be sent to your inbox daily.  As I said, they are free, but, for personal use only.  For commercial use, the styles I looked at were only $2.00 each.  Can’t beat that.  It started up almost a month ago, so, their archives aren’t that many.  The examples in each post are applied to text, so, I’m assuming they are mainly meant for that.  But, I asked about designing styles.  Who knows?  Maybe there will be some.  There were a couple of styles that I really liked and could use.  One is a ‘western-looking wood’ style.  I’ll have to follow them to see what else they offer.  These can be used to enhance smaller elements of scrapbooking stuff.  Often, the style appears too much like a repeated pattern when you try to use one that was meant for text in too large an area.

Next, I found a quick tutorial that turns any photo into a line drawing.  No plug-ins or actions necessary.  It’s quick and the results are cool!

  • Open your photo in Photoshop.
  • ‘Duplicate’ it twice.
  • ‘Desaturate’ both copies.
  • ‘Turn off color(bottom-original) layer. 
  • ‘Invert’ the top copy.  
  • Add a blending mode – ‘Color Dodge’.
  • Your image will disappear almost completely.
  • Not to worry.
  • Go to ‘Filter’>’Other’>’Minimum’ (Still on top copy).
  • Tweek the ‘Radius’ to get the image the way you like it.
  • You can leave like that.
  • Or, you can ‘Merge’ the two desaturated layers, turn the color layer back on and add ‘Blending Mode – Luminosity’.

You’ll have a softly colored sketch when you’re done!

Here are my before and after images.  I didn’t actually use a photo.  I used a vector flower design.  You can see how it took the vector and turned it into what looks like a soft watercolor or pastel painting.

Let me tell you.  What I did was to open a “New Action” from the actions palette after I opened my image.  It gives you the okay to start recording, which is what an action is, really.  I went through the above steps, then, after merging the layers, I stopped the recording.  The only part of it that is adjustable is the ‘Minimum’ feature.  I have mine set at “1” in the action.  That’s fairly general, but, I could change it if need be, by going back in ‘History’.  I now have an action that does all the steps – automatically.  As soon as I figure out how to save the silly thing, I’ll put it on here for anyone who might want it.  LOL  It is so easy to do this.  There is a lot more to making actions, like adding messages, or prompts, and, of course, saving them.  I’ve only just dabbled, so far.  I have made a couple of actions for myself to do some of the more menial, but necessary, tasks.  Image resizing for previews is one.

So, there you have it.  A ‘2 for 1’ tutorial.  How to turn a photo(image) into a sketch/line drawing and recording it as an action.  LOL  Bargain!

It just wouldn’t be the same without a goodie to give away to you.  So, again, from my file reorganization/weed-out, I bring you a set of ‘experimental’ papers.  Over at Patternhead, they offer some really nice repeating pattern ‘templates’ in vector.  Once you create the pattern from it, then, blend it with a color layer and, maybe a texture, or two, you can get some really neat papers/textures.  Here are three that I downloaded from there, then, worked with:

Download Sources @ Patternhead:

 “Twisted Floral Pattern”

“Grungy FleurdeLis Pattern”

“Intricate Lace Pattern”

Can you handle one more quick tut?  To make a pattern out of the above type of vectors:

  • Open pattern template in Photoshop.
  • Go to ‘Select’>’Select All’.
  • Go to ‘Edit’>’Define Pattern’.
  • Save it when the box pops up.
  • Close template.
  • Open image to add pattern to, such as a paper.
  • Or, fill a new, blank document with any color.
  • Add the pattern to it and adjust to your liking.
  • Save as .jpg or .png.
  • Re-open, or ‘Flatten Image’ to use for adjustments and blending.

(A newly styled layer is impenetrable.  LOL  It must be saved or flattened before you can do anything to it.)

Have fun.  I did.  Here is what I made.  Click on the image to go to MediaFire for download : 

I left these kind of ‘exaggerated’ in color and pattern/texture for blending purposes.   I just hated to toss them out.

Take care!  And,





SU CheshireCat

Freebie, Good News & a Cool Action

Gosh!  I didn’t realize it had been so long!  I haven’t felt very well, so, I have been avoiding writing as I feel that I don’t pass on very good karma if I don’t feel good.  I want everyone to be happy and feel wonderful!!  (I don’t live in a fantasy world; I hold a lot of hope!  LOL)  No, actually, I just haven’t felt too great.  However, to keep myself busy I have been working on designing.  In one of the challenges I have done this month (more on that later), we took on paths.  My goodness!  They are quite easy!  I tried several shapes and some text, even, and ran a path around them with a round brush.  This makes the shapes appear ‘scalloped’.  It is so cool!   Naturally, I ended up with some things to share.  (Again, more on that later.)
Well…..  After being a part of the scrapbooking community for about a year and a half, I have finally decided to join in on helping design the Daily Download for the month of May at Magickal Scraps!  If I can do it and it is all okay, I will most likely continue on.  I am real excited!  At our chat last Friday night, the ladies talked me into it.  LOL  I’ve been with Magickal Scraps since they were but a few months old, the entire time I have been doing this stuff.  I was drawn to the atmosphere, the openness and the warmth, and the good-hearted, friendly ladies there.  One of my biggest fears is not living up to the expectations.  What expectations, you may ask?  Those I have put on myself.  After all, isn’t that kind of what happens?  Most often, we are the ones that place the enormous expectations and demands on ourselves.  I can lay ’em on good, too!  LOL  We shall see.  We shall see. I will write more on this as May draws near.
I found this super cute video on another forum I visit.  I bring it here to share.

Isn’t that the cutest!

I want to tell ya’ll about a cool website I found!   “Pencil Pixels” !  They do ‘art services on demand’ with these incredible actions for Photoshop.  They turn a regular photograph or image into a work of art!  You have got to see this for yourselves.  While you are there, check out their freebies, too.  They have some gorgeous frame packs, styles and the actions, among their pages.  If anyone asks, tell them Su sent you.  LOL  They are so nice!  I made a comment, thanking them for the free downloads and they e-mailed me with a real nice note of thanks for visiting and commenting.  That is why I think you all will like it.  They are good people!  I got one of the actions and have been having a field day playing around with it.  The one I got is the original Pencil Pixel Action.  It ‘sketches’ your image and leaves you with separate layers with different attributes.  So, even after you run the action, you can still make adjustments.  I have a rose that I ran the action on.  Depending on the settings, it comes out different, but, this one I did pastel, light and kind of dainty.  It started as just an image of a rose that I found on a Google search.  Isn’t that neat?

You know what I was thinking?  When you run this action, color is on one layer.  So, you could leave off/turn off the color, print it and paint it yourself with watercolors on an image of your liking.  They would be so pretty!

And, finally, I give you “a matte kit”.  Isn’t that an original title?  LOL  I mentioned earlier in this post about a challenge I had done.  This little kit is the outcome of the Design-Technique Challenge over at the Magickal Scraps’ forum.   Since I already explained the process, I leave you with the kit.  It isn’t fancy or themed, even.  It is merely a collection of various shaped, patterned, textured and colored mattes.  I added some simple bows, flowers, and papers.  Hopefully, someone can use them.  I learned a lot from them!  Good experience!
(Click on image to go to MediaFire for download)

I hope everyone had a terrific Valentine’s Day!  Until next time, SMILE and Be HAPPY! 


Freebie, Tips on Tuts & Kaleb’s Nap

So, I’m becoming more learned in Photoshop.  I haven’t gone in to ‘channels’ and many of the more involved techniques and uses so much, but, I’m getting better at things like layer styles, blending modes, and adjustments, like, curves, filters, Gaussian blur, etc.  I understand more about what each does and when to use them.  The online course I have been taking, since the fall, over at Creative Techs,  has taught me a lot.  There have been a lot of “a-ha” moments.  But, jumping in with both feet and tackling a tutorial of most any kind is where I learn the most.

The folks that write most of the tuts are full of advice, extra tidbits of information and great final images.  You can follow along and see what each step does to get to the end result.  Many of the writer’s comments about why they did a certain thing or applied a specific effect are where I come to understand just what the adjustments are doing.  Many of the tuts are not very long or involved, so, starting with some basic tuts and working my way up to some rather far-out tuts is a process.  What I learned from some of the more basic ones I can carry with me to do the more involved.  You can, too.

I find myself scrutinizing images I find that I like, so I can try to determine what the artist did to get the over-all end ‘product’.  Often, I run off to go try it myself.  That is how ya learn.  Trial and error.  I look at some of my stuff and grimmace.  My early creations are so ‘un-finished-looking’!  So ‘basic’!  I guess all of our ‘firsts’ seem that way.  Not that I am that advanced.  I definitely rate, still, as low-end intermediate, I would say.  But, I see much improvement.  Just going back to the start of this blog, up to now, I see a marked improvement.

Tutorials aren’t hard to find.  Most of the forums that I go to have tutorial sections and many of the challenges are based on a tut of some kind.  If you aren’t a member or don’t want to go that route, there are a gazillion websites offering tutorials, both written and video.  Here are just a very few sites where I know you can find a good tut.  These first three(3) are primarily ‘scrapbooking’ tutorials and they are all free.
and, some general Photoshop sites:
What I really like to do is some of the online Photoshop ‘e-zines’ offer lists of tuts in their posts that you can see an example of and click over to try.  A great example of what I mean is Naldz Graphics.   Looking down the current list of articles, there is one on ‘Digital Painting’.   Ronald Bien has gathered a selection of tutorials from around the web that will surely impress you.  Take a look and choose one to try.  Go on!  LOL  This one, from 367art.com is really cool!
Hecate by XiaoBing
Being given a link to the resource files is not uncommon, so, you start out with practically the same materials as the artist.  From there you just follow along and, whether you do a good job, or not, you learn stuff!  That, to me, is the ultimate pay-off.
Okay, enough of that.  You really ought to give some of these a try, though.
My baby grandson came over with his mommy the other day and she left to go get her hair done.  Since having the baby, my DIL wanted to perk herself up a bit.  So, off she went.  Kaleb was hungry.  I gave him his bottle and held him.  Looking at that tiny little guy, it was hard to believe that this was my son’s little boy!  My son was the rough and tumble kind of boy.  He was known at the ER, by name, by one of the doctors there.  He was forever cutting himself, falling and getting hurt or breaking something.  I can’t picture him, hardly, without his skateboard and arm cast.  Oh, and his Metallica t-shirt.  Now, he has a son of his own!  OMG!!  LOL  I have other g-kids, but, this one just seems so bizarre, for some reason.
After his bottle, Kaleb wanted to nap for a bit.  He was a really good baby for me.  After a while, I checked on him and he was restless, like, maybe, he was trying to wake up.  So, I went and watched him.  He would stretch this way and that, then, snuggle back in for a little more shut-eye.  Then, he’d yawn, real big, arch his back, stretch his arms out, and slip back into rest, yet, again.  The faces he was making were hilarious, so, I went and got my camera.  I perched on the arm of the sofa I had him napping on, camera at the ready, and snapped away at all the funny, little faces he was making.  I had to do a layout of it as I thought it would be fun, later in life, for him to see them.  Here is Kaleb’s “My Naptime Faces”:
(Click on the image to see an enlarged version)
He was asleep in every photo!

I wanted to add , here, that, the background pattern came from a ‘fabric’ design entry.  Over at SpoonFlower, purveyors of beautiful printed custom fabrics, they also have contests.  Folks design a swatch of fabric, based on some theme.  This week’s contestants did swatches in “crayon”.  You should see some of their entries!   Go to “Fabric of the Week” and feast ’em.  I took one of those designs and blended it with the light green for my layout’s background.

Go have a look-see and, maybe, vote on your favorite.  The fabrics they sell are gorgeous and not too unreasonable, either.  You can get sample-sized swatches for crafts and such, rather cheaply, too.

I’ve also been busy working on several projects.  One, I finished the other night.  I did a kit for Digital Scrap Garden’s “Rainbow Challenge”.  It was a real challenge, for me, in that it used a color palette that was different shades of similar colors.
Is it called monotone?  I think that is what it is called.  Anyway, it is quite a difference to work with colors that are so close.  It’s called “A Hearty Kit”.  Bet ya can’t guess why.  LOL  I want to share it with you.  Here are the previews.
(Click on the images to download from MediaFire)
I hope that you like it and that someone can use it.   As always, I really thank you for your interest.
That’s all for tonite.  Think HAPPY thoughts and keep SMILING!  (It makes people wonder what you are up to.  LOL)