Sunday, July 26, 2009

Practice, Practice...

I have been practicing and this week has been about adding digital word art to photos. I have found so many sites that allow use of their digital word art for personal use. This is great as I create photo and note cards for friends and family but a little limiting for those cards and photos I want to create for my own cottage business. The rules for commercial use are very difficult to find and when you do, they aren't always so clear. So for me, if you are planning to sell it, make your own digital word art. I am going to tackle that challenge next week. I am pretty sure its rather easy, using different fonts, you create a layer for each word, or set of words is how I think it would work. This would allow you to create depth, change font sizes, change font color. weave fonts into one another.

In any event, here are some really interesting sites that I think you might find fun to work with in developing your own photos. Be careful and make sure you use them for your own personal use, or get permission. In many cases, the artist or creator asks you to give them recognition for their work.

I am posting a few photos that I have created for you review. If you are looking for resources here are some. Let me know if I can help you with any other additional information.

Oh, and you can purchase all kinds of frames, masks, word art, etc. But many of these also specify they are for personal use only as well. Make sure you check.

This one is free for both personal and commercial: This site provides textures, papers and they can be used for both commercial and personal use. Read the creator's profile. I like his willingness to help others.

Here is one for fonts:

I stumbled up this site and so far all of what I find here seems to be limited to Personal use only. This woman Elegant Word Art 2 has beautiful work and again, her word art is for personal use ONLY. If you want to use it for commercial use you need to contact her directly. I haven't heard back from her regarding my request yet. Her site is well organized and categorized and there is a lot to choose from.

The interesting thing about word art is that if you aren't creating your own then you are limited by the thoughts and ideas of others. Quotes are everywhere, and its not the quote that is protected, its the style, layout and fonts used. If you are learning photoshop you will learn quickly that you can and should do this yourself so that you can create and use your own thoughts and ideas freely.

I have posted one of the new ones I have done for my family. Please link to your sites and let me see what you are creating! In this photo I used the paper texture from Lost and Taken and Bethany's word art from

Check them out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Fun, Challenging, Frustrating all at once...

I continue to learn in my digital photo shop class. Today's lesson involved adding layers or scratches, frames, text, color. It was so much fun and I am excited about the outcome of this photo. It was challenging because the computer sometimes locks up on me, and freezes, or I have to go back and watch the video to see what step I missed. I am learning about adding fonts to my libray, finding new sites for free layers, masks and grunge looking styles. It is so much fun. I am so proud of this creation and hope you will venture into PhotoShop and try your hand at making your photos stand out.

It can be frustrating as you learn to use the tools in PhotoShop, but patience pays off and before you know it you are moving through the program quickly and everything is coming out the way you planned. It does take practice.

I am thinking though that if I am going to take this seriously I will need a faster computer that can hold, handle, store all of my images, new images and templates. What do you think? If you use Photoshop how do you keep all your images organized? Any ideas? Suggestsions? I look forward to hearing from you.

I have posted the after and the before pictures. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First PhotoShop Lesson with Jessica Sprague

I had my first PhotoShop Lesson today with Jessica Sprague and as an on line class it was easy to navigate, easy to learn. She teaches you different techniques designed for Digital Scrapbooking, but it also is helping me learn how to improve my photos, create unique accents to the photos, size them correctly for reprints and more. This is all from a free class she is offering this month in celebration of her website/company birthday celebration.

I definitely plan to take some more classes from her but for now, I am learning quite a bit and its free! I had a question regarding setting my workstation up and downloading some files, and I sent a note to them and immediately got a response within an hour! I was truly impressed.

Why I like this class? I can take each lesson at my own pace, go back and replay the class unlimited times as I perfect my skills. Jessica really took the time to set this up for any one to learn, the audio is clear, she gives clear instructions, and is available to answer questions should you get stumped. When I choose to learn more, the classes are priced reasonably and to me, well worth the minimal expense. Here is the sample photo I designed digitally using Photoshop Elements.

Let me know what you think!! The photo above was one of the first lessons. It included cropping, applying a brush, text art, and using layers. Its not the perfect picture layout as I am just practicing, having some fun, but it certainly opens up all kinds of ideas on how to portray my photos. Anyone can do this. Its easy once you become accustomed to.