Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Two hot Tips for Mac Users

These tips both involve your PREVIEW program.


If you want to watch a slide show of a group of photos or just a collection of images. Hold down SHIFT and click on the images you want. They don't have to be in any order and you can skip some if you want.Thn

Hold down COMMAND + OPTION + Y all at once and your slideshow will pop up.

Here's a link that tells you more about the slideshow.


When you double click on a graphic or photo you can see it in PREVIEW. That's not too exciting. However if you click on the TOOLS dropdown menu you 'll find ADJUST COLOR. Clicking on that will open a whole picture editing tool.

With the editing tool you can
- lighten or darken
- sharpen
- add contrast
- change tint
- add saturation
- make into a Sepia image

Who knew.

From the menu above the photo you can
- crop
- rotate
- zoom

Have fun!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Holy Crap! It's a Blog Post! 

How to do Fancy Schmancy Lettering

If you're comfortable using Photoshop Elements then you can read this post. It will give you the quick version of how to do this.

You can use this method to do cutouts as well like the Eiffel Tower heart at the bottom.

Beginners, you will also learn to use other functions in this TUT.
For those of you just starting and are still trying to find the photo bin read the post below.
This post will also show you how to:

- quickly find the size, DPI and amount of zoom on your work
- add a plain coloured layer of your choice
- what that little gear on the styles pallette does; like how you can add different shadow effects and even bevels to your work.

Ok Enough with the small talk, onto making 

Fancy Schmancy


We're using Elements 11 for this. I'm sure it will work in Elements 13 too.

First open a NEW file from the OPEN button at the top left hand of elements. I made my new file 2"  high x 4" wide.

Notice the round circle on OPEN. Click it to find NEW FILE. A window will open so you can select a background for your text. I chose a TRANSPARENT background.

The RED OVAL shows the ZOOM factor, the SIZE OF FILE in inches and how many DPI  (mine is 300DPI) the file has.

The FILE menu is circled below. Go to the FILE pull down menu at the top and go down it until you  find PLACE. See picture below. It will open a window that you can select a nice background. I've chosen the highly saturated butterfly background that I made. You can use a dictionary page or postage stamp background; whatever you like.

Don't worry if it doesn't fit. As you can see mine didn't. I dragged the butterfly background so it covered the file background. Don't worry about dragging the picture outside of the background.

Just above the layers pallette on the far left is a paper icon. It's in the lower circle. Click it to add a layer. This will be your text layer. On the screen shot it is shown as layer 1.

If you want, you can change the name of LAYER 1 to TEXT LAYER by double clicking on the layer name and filling in with your own text.  Hit your return key to finish naming the layer.

Font layer
Choose a font and type a word onto the text layer. Make sure it's a really beefy font because you want to fill the text with the background image. I used CARGO font.

You can get it free from

Once you've typed your word drag the text layer to the bottom of the stack.
At this point you won't be able to see your text anymore.
It's important to have your layers in the proper order, unlike what you can see below.

This should show the text layer at the bottom of the stack.
 Click on the grey background to deselect the 2 layers.


Put your cursor between the 2 layers. Then press the OPTION (mac) OR ALT (PC) key. Your cursor will change. If it doesn't gently slide the cursor along the gap between the layers until it does.

When your cursor changes, click your mouse. Voila!
You now have text filled with background.

It may be a bit of a letdown so you can add a plain background so it will pop.

I've added a boring grey background. To change the layer colour double-click on the top square. It's in the circle on the left.

Adding the background
To get the background, select your layer colour. Click on the LAYER pull down menu. Choose NEW FILL LAYER and then SOLID COLOUR. It will automatically add a layer the same colour as that square that's circled.

Add a shadow and outline text using STROKE
To add the black outline click on your text layer, add a shadow and click on the gear. It will open the window shown above. The outline effect is from the STROKE selection. You can make the outline thick or thin by using the slider on SIZE. I used 3 for the thickness.

Whew! I forgot how much work these blog posts are!
Be sure to leave your comments. Don't be shy about asking questions. If you have a dumb question, there will be lots of other less brave people wondering the same thing. Do it for them. It also helps me.

Ok it's 5am and I'm fried. Have fun with it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Random Thoughts and Comments


I just took a look at my visitor list. I'm totally amazed at all the countries you come from! I had no idea that there were so many different countries.  But thanks for checking out my blog.

Sad news in the world of Photoshop. I know this is old news from the spring, but I thought that I would mention it here. The new extended versions of Photoshop will only be released through subscription. You can no longer buy new versions in the box. Here's a link with some more info:

Then for the rest of us peasants is the new Photoshop Elements 12. At least we still have some options. Elements has always served me well so I will stay with my Elements 11.

If you are totally broke then there's always good old GIMP which you can download here for free:

Also SUMO PAINT remains free; but if you want it on your desktop then you can buy it for $20.

These are all in my links list on the right hand column.

Speaking of links, I just went through and deleted pages and sites that are no longer with us. A moment of silence for all the dead blogs please.
I fixed all the broken links. Some of the banners have been deleted. Once again, a moment of silence. I will be adding some new links in the near future.

I did add a link to Weebly which is totally FREE website host. I searched long and hard for a FREE website host that offers a store option at no cost and Weebly fit the bill. It offers an easy drag and drop store builder.

If your blog was deleted or if your badge was deleted, please send me a link to your badge with code and I'll put it back up.

If you have any ideas for great links post it here and I'll check it out. Most of my links here are for Photoshop. Other than that I have 2 requirements for links.

1 - That it's free or at a nominal cost.
2 - That it works well. Nobody likes crap that doesn't work even if it is free.

I've added a link to Shabby Blogs which features some great Blog eye candy for Free.

That's about it for now. I just wanted to update everyone on what's going on here.
Keep creating because every famous artist started somewhere, so keep doing what you love.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Adding Patterns

Hi. Here's a simple way to add a pattern fill to something using the Colour Pop.

Photo courtesy of Retro Cafe Art

Once you have your photo up, you can SELECT the QUICK SELECTION TOOL. Elements 6 users, this is in your magic wand flyout selection. Elements 11, you'll find this at the bottom left side below your workspace.

Make friends with this area, we'll be using it a lot. Here's a better pic. of it.

Notice that the quick selection tool is chosen.

After choosing the QUICK SELECTION TOOL you'll notice your cursor turns into a circle. Start at the top of the area you want to fill and drag down to the bottom and release.
There should be marching ants around your selection.

It's probably not perfect. If it doesn't go out to the edges you can drag the marching ant line out. I like to increase the size of the photo when I'm dragging the line out. Even if you don't need new glasses you'll find resizing helpful.

At this point you may of dragged the marching ant line way out of your selection area. Don't stress out. you can fix this. Hold down the OPTION (ALT key for PCs) key  and it will now be able to pull the line back inside the border.

Then click on your PAINT BUCKET tool.

Above picture

At the bottom of your screen will be all your options for the PAINT BUCKET tool. At the far left you have 2 different boxes. The plain box is plain colour. Okay, dump in some plain colour if it makes you happy. Now you can remove the plain colour by hitting Command Z.

The second box has diagonal lines. It selects PATTERNS. Next to it is the pattern I've selected.


Okay, now dump the PATTERN into the selected area (marching ants). Mine looks like this.

So Tragic...

I agree; it doesn't look that great. Take a moment to look at the sliders in the above picture.

In this tragic picture:
The TOLERANCE is at max
The OPACITY is at 100%

Click on your new FILL LAYER layer on the right hand side of your page where your LAYERS pallet lives. You can:

Adjust your MODE (try using MULTIPLY or LINEAR BURN)
Adjust your OPACITY to around 75.
Your fill should look like this.

NOTE: If you added colour go to the MODE pull down menu and second from the bottom is COLOR. The jacket should fit then.

Linear Burn at 75% opacity

For most people this is the last step. However the jacket is really dark, MULTIPLY often is. In this case go to the top and under ENHANCE pull down the menu and go to ADJUST LIGHTING and LEVELS. You can adjust the lighting without the fade that you would get from the OPACITY slider.

I used this method and about a zillion more changes to make this.

Notice the jacket. Thanks to Fruebel for the balloon and Jinxmim for the colourful bird.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Everyone loves a Freebie!

Here's a few freebie backgrounds. Show me what you've done and I'll post it here.

300 DPI - 8 x 10

300 DPI - 4 x 4

300 DPI - 8 x 10
300 DPI - 2.50" x 3.50"

300 DPI - 2.50" x 3.50"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

F**K the Preset Manager

As mentioned earlier, I just got PSE 11. For years I collected brushes, .abr and Patterns, .pat. I have hundreds of them. My greatest fear in moving from PSE6 to PSE 11 is losing them. I had the worst time adding them in the first place. I watched YouTube videos and searched the forums and groups.

It didn't matter what I tried; trying to add them drove me crazy. Sometimes I got lucky after hours of trying. Suffice to say, I paid for those brushes with hours of anguish.

Now I have to move those hundreds of items into PSE 11. I've been there before and it was ugly, so I've avoided doing it. After repeating my earlier mistakes and getting frustrated again I thought there has got to be an easier way.

I'm here to tell you there is!

All you have to do is go to your old photoshop program and double click on the icon. Then click on PRESETS. Next, you can click on BRUSHES. You will see a whole folder of .abr files (Brush files)

Brush file

To make the next steps easier, you can change from icon view to list  view.

-SELECT ALL (the brushes)
- Cut

Open up your PSE program and head to the brush section there.

- PASTE into PSE 11's brush folder.

And that's it. You're done.

There will be doubles and you will be asked if you want to replace the brushes that are doubles. Just say no.

Your patterns, styles and textures can probably all be done in the same way.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Easy, Peasy Colour Replacement

Okay, it's been awhile since my last post. But I haven't forgotton you. I'm happy to say that I've had 20,000 views on my blog since I started this blog according to Google. I've just jumped from using PSE 6 to using PSE 11. This is one upgrade that's actually worth the money. If you wish you could use 'Actions', PSE has finally included that option. If the tools look different, it's because I'm doing this tutorial using the Elements 11 work space.

So I've just found a super easy way to change colour. You don't need PSE 11 to do this. First click on the element you want to highlight. I add each element (flower) on a new layer. If you do that too, then you can just click on the layer you want to colour. Otherwise, you can probably select with the selection tool. Once the part you want to colour is selected then you can:

 Go to your ENHANCE menu and drag down ADJUST COLOUR. Then ADJUST HUE/SATURATION.

Now here's where it gets interesting. A window will open that looks like the one below. There is a pull down menu button called MASTER. You'll notice that when you pull down the menu, MASTER will now be at the top of the menu instead of being a button.

MASTER is the one you choose if you want to change the colour of the Entire picture.

Instead choose a colour like blue, in this instance. Then, start to play with the sliders. You will notice that anything blue in the flower you selected will start to change colour as you slide back and forth.

This is a way to isolate one colour only, and change it without changing any of the other colours in your picture.

Unfortunately I'm not that well organized tonight. I don't have a PSD of this picture. I'll have to use another picture to show you some samples.

 This is the original composition I did. I clicked on the red poppy layer to highlight them. Then I pulled down the the menu on HUE/SATURATION. Then I chose RED.

I then adjusted the sliders until I got a green colour and played around with the SATURATION slider and the LIGHTNESS slider.

On the dragonfly, I went through the same steps.

One thing to remember is that the colour will mix with the original colour like poster paint. Remember your colour mixing. Red and blue make purple, so if you have red, drag the slider to blue to make purple.

Have fun and keep creating!

If you have any questions then make a comment so we can all see the answer. If you're thinking it, there are probably a lot of others wondering as well.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Photoshop for The Terrified

Tonight a Facebook friend asked me how to get started on Photoshop. I've been there. I opened the program and it just sat there, staring blankly at me. I'm not ashamed to say that I gave up; a few times. So here's some info about how to get started.

Double-click on your photoshop icon. When your program is open there will be panels to the right that look like this.

Below the coloured boxes are FULL, QUICK and GUIDED. Choose FULL.
Below that are your PANES. The first is the Content pane, then the Effects pane. Below the Effects pane is the Navigator pane.

Open it by clicking on the triangle. These triangles are for opening and closing the PANES. When you open it there won't be much there. Also your Layers pane and your Favourites pane will drop down to the bottom of the panel. That's alright.

Now we will open a new BLANK FILE. Here's a screenshot.

Go to the FILR menu and click to pull down. Click on NEW and there will be a FLY OUT window to the right. Select BLANK FILE.
Remember, the triangles are for opening and closing.

 First name your document.

PRESET is the size of paper. You can select U.S. paper for a standard paper size or photo size; whatever you want. If you want a specific size, then select Custom from that same menu. Below are the width and height boxes. To the right are pull down menus where you can choose the type of measurement you are comfortable with.

Below those is the RESOLUTION. I use 300 pixels/inch. It's standard.

Below that is the COLOUR MODE. RGB colour is fine. That means it will print out the colour that you see you picture on the computer screen.

Below that is BACKGROUND CONTENTS. That is the colour of the background.  The best choice is Transparent. That's because later when you use the eraser a background colour will appear. If you erase on a red background when you erase the red will show. With transparent you have a clear background, so when you erase, what you are trying to erase will  gone. This will save you endless amounts of misery later on when you want to make a png.

In the bottom right of this box the IMAGE SIZE will appear. Now you're ready to click OK. Your page will appear and to your right your NAVIGATOR will have a thumbnail of your page. this is what it should look like.

Above your thumbnail where the pointer is will tell you the % of the larger image you are viewing. To the right of the pointer is a scale where you can zoom in or out on that page by moving the slider. So, play with it and adjust it until the whole page shows up on your main screen. You'll notice the page will have a checkered background. That indicates your background is transparent. If it is white, then you have a white background. Which means you need to close the file and open a BLANK FILE.

Now we are cooking! Notice below your navigator pane there is a LAYERS pane or pallette. Click on it to open it up.Here's what you'll see.

 You will notice 2 things: your navigator pane gets smaller and there are a bunch of scary looking things at the top of your LAYERS pane.

First we'll deal with making the navigator pane larger. Where my pointer is there is a handle that you can grab onto. If you slowly move your pointer, the pointer will change. Press down on your mouse. That will enable you to slide the pane up and down making the panes larger or smaller. I like to give more space to the layers pallette because as you add more layers, you'll need more space. I find with the navigator pane I mostly use the slider.

Now let's check out the navigator pane. Top left will be left on normal. It has a pull down menu and when we get a graphic on the page you can try the others.

Next is Opacity. Leave it at 100% for now.

Okay, this is a good time to talk about what the layers pallette is all about. This pane is the basics of how Photoshop works. Grab a few sheets of coloured paper. Put one piece of paper on your desk. This is your background. Remember the transparent background we made? Next put another sheet on top, or better still if you have a sticker or other graphic lay it on top. This is your second layer. If you do any kind of collage this will start to be familiar. Next element. This is layer three.

So, what you are doing is building a picture from the ground up. You can move these layers up and down and add adjustment layers with effects.

Below are icons. The first one is to add a layer. Go ahead and add a layer by clicking on the icon. Notice that your first layer is called layer 2. Add another layer. This is layer 3. You can change the order of layers by dragging them to the top or the bottom. To the right of those thumbnails are names layer 1,  layer 2, etc. Double-click on that name and you can change the name of the layer. Hit RETURN on your keyboard. Done! You just named your layer.

Next is the circle icon. That's to add the adjustment layer I was talking about. Go ahead and click on it. Holy Crap! What happened? Don't panic. Here's what you will see.

Notice where my pointer is. There are 2 squares. The top one is red. The one in the background is white. The red one is Foreground colour and the white one is the background colour.  Remember when we chose the background colour? If the colour of the background was turquoise that's what you'd be looking at when you open your page. So if you're wondering why your new file is was turquoise, now you know.

Just click cancel to get rid of the colour. If you clicked OK on the colour box you'll be happy to hear our next icon is to delete a layer. Simply click on the coloured layer and hit the delete icon.

One last note about the layers pallette. You have probably noticed the eyes next to the boxes. If you add a layer and then aren't sure you want to keep it, then click on the eye to make that layer invisible. Layers can be manipulated and worked on using transparency or using effects on the layers pallette. Remember the NORMAL setting on the pallette. Often you can invest a lot of time manipulating the layer. This is when the eye comes in handy. You can turn it off instead of deleting it.

Okay, so you are probably bored to tears by this point and you are itching to make  something.

Let's do a quick and dirty (just a term, this is family friendly site)  picture with what you have learned. Don't close anything!

Delete all the layers until you are back to layer 1.
Go here and select a background of your choice.

In Photoshop go to FILE->PLACE to place your graphic. Adjust the size by clicking on it and grabbing the corners. Here's mine.

Next click on new layer in the layers pallette for your next layer. The beauty of putting each new element on a separate layer is it's easy to get rid of if you change your mind later.

Next layer add a new element and choose MULTIPLY on layers pallette. Adjust Opacity with the Opacity slider.

 Add another layer.This is your texture.
Play around using opacity and effects.

This is our last layer. Go to layer->Flatten image
Go to FILE->Save

Say goodnight Gracie.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


In my absence Blogger has changed everything! So, I have to sort through everything and update to the radically different interface. But not tonight.

Just an update.
I had my appendix removed recently, so I haven't done anything for awhile. I just updated my Etsy shoppe. I've also started bookbinding. I shall return to my photoshop adventures soon, as I'm now able to spend longer periods of time in my computer chair.

I added a new website Kim Klassen Cafe, that looks intriguing and I will return shortly.
I've had about 700 views in my absence and I thank you for hanging in there.

My latest bound book.


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