Month: July 2016

Playing and Inspiration

During those times when I don’t feel like creating and I need a spark to renew my interest in digital scrapbooking, I sometimes find inspiration from others. Another artist in Anna’s gallery, Sharron Lamb, recommended a watercolor action for Photoshop. I was intrigued and wondered how well it worked. Below, I describe my process for playing with this action and creating my page.


This watercolor action came with not only the action, but also an abr brush file and a link to a video explaining how to adjust the layers once the action finished running.

Per the instructions, open a photo in Photoshop, create a new layer and title it “brush” using all lowercase letters. Load the brush set provided. Then brush over part of the photo with a soft round brush (included in the abr file) at 100% opacity. Finally, run the action.

Once the action finishes, make adjustments as described in the video. On my page, rather than using a soft round brush as described in the video, I placed one mask from Anna’s Simple Fotoblendz No 1, duplicated it and adjusted it’s size. I renamed the layer “brush” and ran the action. After making adjustments, I created a composite of all the layers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.28.24 PM

Clip the composite to one of the masks from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 3. Adjust the size of the mask. Change the blend mode of the overlay mask layer to linear burn.

Note: I blended three papers to achieve the texture on my page below the mask.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.15.34 PM

Extract blooms from other photos to create a bouquet. For this page, I extracted three different blooms, adjusted their position and anchored them with ButtonThreadz No. 2, UrbanThreadz No. 2 and No. 3.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.17.41 PM

Duplicate the watercolor composite. Drag them below the original composite and mask. Add inverted masks and stamp ArtsyStains No. 1 and No. 2 to create depth below the bouquet. Change the blend mode to linear burn and adjust the opacity.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.18.22 PM

Stamp splatters on new blank layers. Add brush layers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.19.16 PM

Place a button, adjust color and anchor with a thread. Place transfers. Add a title and date.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.20.01 PM

When I began playing with the Photoshop action and my photos, I really didn’t have an idea for a page. I love a watercolor look and I just wanted to play with the action. I simply wondered what kind of background I might create. Once I had my watercolor composite, then of course, I was inspired to create a page. Sometimes, all that’s needed to spark an idea for a page is something new, i.e. a watercolor action.


Every Summer Has a Story

There is still time to participate in Anna’s ArtPlay Every Summer Has a Story challenge. A link for downloading the free supplies and instructions for the challenge are included in the challenge post at Oscraps. Yes, there are some nice prizes, one being a seat in Anna’s next class.

I completed my page for the challenge with only the papers and elements that Anna provided for the challenge although you can use other Anna designs. I challenged myself to use all 18 pieces and nothing else by following Anna’s recommendation to play and experiment!

The photo is a combination of a copy of the photo clipped to the mask on multiply blend mode at 50%, a sketch which I explain how to do in a video, another copy of the photo on color blend mode and one more copy on which I brought back in only the part with the sail boat using a layer mask.

First, I layered the two papers, flipping paper 2 and changing the blend mode to multiply, then blending parts of paper 1 below that layer. Then I changed the blend mode of the light leak to color at 90% to create sunlight behind the sailboat. I placed the brushes, transfer and overlay above and below the photo to add texture to my page. I created a cluster with the elements and anchored my frame. I added a title. Once I had used 17 pieces, I didn’t want to quit. Finally, I figured out that I could resize and place the lined frame lines behind the psd frame.

This really was a fun challenge. Hope you will play along!!!


Kate Wants a Sister

Kate played at the park with a little boy until he tried to take her sand toys home. She told me she would really like a sister because her brothers aren’t always willing to play with her. From my own experience having a twin sister, I can understand why she would like a sister. I asked her what size she would like. She said she’d prefer one as tall as she is, so I guess that rules out a baby sister. I mentioned Kate’s request to her daddy, but he said no.

2016-07-12 125739

2016-07-12 125133

2016-07-12 132124

2016-07-12 132333

2016-07-12 133824


Black and White for a Timeless Look


One of the first design principles that I consider when creating a page is color. I wanted to create a page with these photos of my grandchildren playing in the sprinklers on Friday, but I also know how difficult it is to work with grass green. That particular green with any additional colors in clothing often compounds the problems for creating pages.


In additional to problem solving with color, I also think about what it means to create an artistic page with color. Running in the sprinklers is a classic summer activity. I remember running in the sprinklers. My own children ran in the sprinklers as kids. Now I photograph my grandchildren playing in the sprinklers. I thought about that timelessness as I created this page. To emphasize that traditional theme of playing in the sprinklers, I decided to convert all the photographs to a timeless black and white.


Yet, I didn’t think that there was enough interest with only black and white photos on the templates. To create more interest, I added the soft greens from ArtPlay Palette Airy and recolored several LightLeaks to provide color interest. While not as high contrast as red might have been with black and white photographs, I chose the greens because they fit with the lawn setting where my grandchildren were playing. The greens I chose aren’t nearly as vibrant as the original grass green in my photographs, but I think the additional color not only provides interest but also helps tell the story artistically.

Enjoying Summer

While I haven’t found time to create another page yet, I have been enjoying my summer. Kate and Corbin are spending the night. I have a theory that it is easier for me if I keep them busy. First we walked to the park to play.

Then we walked to McDonald’s for a happy meal and ice cream cones. On the way to McDonalds, we ran in a neighbor’s sprinklers.

2016-07-08 170612

Since we couldn’t find anymore of our neighbor’s sprinklers running as we walked home, I suggested that they might like to run in my sprinklers.  The lack of swimsuits didn’t present a problem. Corbin decided he would simply wear his clothes and then change into his pajamas when he was done. Kate knew she didn’t want a wet dress and removed it before the hose had even filled with water.

2016-07-08 180853

Once the sprinklers were on, Kate decided she didn’t like her pants wet either. So she removed those too. Play resumed.

2016-07-08 183357

It really is nice to have a big brother to show a girl how to have fun.

I’ll be back to creating pages later this weekend. It’s nearly eleven o’clock and I still haven’t got them in bed!!!

A Tip for Adjusting Album Templates

Photographs that capture the personalities of my family make me smile. I love watching their antics. While the boys may grumble about posing for a family photograph, I’m hoping that someday these moments together will remind them of wonderful memories.

To make creating pages for a book easy for myself, I generally use templates. For the left side of this two page spread, I used template 2 from WaterColor Template Album No 3. For the right side, I needed one of the fotoblendz masks on template 3 to extend the large photo of my granddaughter and son. However, I wanted more photo frames than provided with template 3. Rather than creating the frames myself, I simply combined some frames, stains and tapes from three different templates.

From template 3, I placed the small fotoblendz mask and stain on the left of the template in position so that my photo of my granddaughter and son would span both pages. However, I rotated the large fotoblendz mask and two stains just below it 90° clockwise. I reduced the size of the mask and stains before clipping copies of my photo to the mask and stains. I adjusted the position and moved the texture more toward the left. I find it easiest to select just the layers I want and then move them as a group.


Next, I selected the three small frames and stitching from template 17. I dragged them along with a splatter to my two page spread. I placed these layers above the large photo clipped to the fotoblendz mask. I moved the splatter up in the layers panel and adjusted it’s position.


From template 15, I dragged over two frames, the stitching, a piece of tape and a stain. I placed these layers below the layers from template 17. I increased the size of the horizontal frame on the left and adjusted the position of the tape.


For the background on this page, I added Artsy Transfers Swell to the tapes and stains from the templates. With a little journaling and a few elements I finished my two page spread. Creating more spaces for photos was easy using WaterColor Template Album No. 3.



Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén