Shabby Chic - Amour

Sunday, January 30, 2011


So far, I've been able to take at least one picture every day this year, and am feeling pretty good about it!  I'm in that no-man's land of learning my camera where I think I should know how to do something, but I don't.  This is due to the fact that I had an SLR camera years ago and was pretty familiar with it. Now, with the DSLR, it's probably the same, but it's been 30 years since I picked up a camera other than a point-and-shoot, so there is much re-learning to do.

I like today's shot. It has a clean grunginess along with the rich tones of the wood. I only used one texture, but I used it three times: Kim Klassen's Nature's Beauty Jan28.  It is now officially my very favorite texture (thanks again, Kim!).  If you are interested in textures, including how to use them, be sure to check out her blog at:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Improvement

This morning's photo cried for attention, so I whipped out Angelle Designs' Fresh Breeze QP and dressed it up:

I feel much better now.  

Where Is It Written . . .

Where is it written that you must start something -- be it a resolution, Project 365 or 52 -- on January 1?  I'm never quite ready for the new year to start.  In fact, I'm always surprised that the old one is over!  So it takes me awhile to accept one and begin the other.

Thus, on the 23rd day of this year, I am ready to begin.  Maybe not 365.  Maybe not even 52.  Hopefully, though, somewhere in between.

Today, I had breakfast with my friend Rita Daniels whom I meet about once a month for breakfast or Farmers Market.  Something short, but enough for us to catch up on each other.  We met at Paradise Bakery by the University of Arizona in Tucson, where we both live.  It's the perfect place for a Sunday morning chat over a muffin and a hot cup of white Chinese tea.  When I walked out the back door on my way back to the car afterwards, I was struck by the reflectiveness of the glass fascia and how the name just stood out, and I just had to stop and take a phone camera picture:

Note post processing with Skeletal Mess textures: Faux Frame and Scratch Type Thing.  I hardly do anything without Jerry's textures.  He's one of my go-to resources.

I'm still going to play with this, perhaps scrapping it or merely framing it.  It doesn't feel done yet.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Photo w/Skeletal Mess Texture & Graphics Fairy Frame

There are so many good resources out there.  Two of my favorites are The Graphics Fairy for vintage prints and other goodies, and Skeletal Mess AKA Shadowhouse Creations AKA Jerry Jones for absolutely the best textures around--with the bonus that they are free of charge.

It started with a scrolled frame Graphics Fairy posted:

I spent hours cleaning it up--but it was actually quite soothing to clean off the background and, little by little, have the frame emerge intact.  I then converted it to a Photoshop brush.

That done, I had to play with it, of course, and it so called for a wedding picture.  So I started with a layer of solid red color, then the mask (a previous freebie by Digital Freebies with credits to Atomic Cupcake and Monica Larsen) above that, followed by the picture of my niece exchanging rings at her wedding ceremony, the Scrolly Frame brush, all topped with Jerry Jones' Aged2 texture at Darken 75%.

Don't you love it?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Works Like a Charm

Kim Cameron posted a wonderful charm on her Blue Ridge Meadows website which I promptly downloaded. Here it is after I've popped in a picture and clipped it to the green disk. I love it! Thanks very much, Kim.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Color In Black and White

We've been challenged! Kris Myers at Scrappity-Doo-Dah has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged us to create a black and white photo with color.  More details on the site at the Scrappity-Doo-Dah forum.  I do love playing with photos, and here's what I've come up with:

My husband, Mike, during a day-trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Unfortunately, at this size and resolution, you hardly notice the subtle coloring I've "added" in the eyes as well as the cheeks. But any more would have made the photo clownish, so I'm sticking with this. Believe me, I know how blue his eyes are (hehehehehehe).

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I'm so jazzed to have found an exciting new (to me) blog created by Donna (of Tootlebugz), Day (of Day's Digidesign), and Linda (of Mrs. JayBob).

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to DigiInspirations at

I've been following Donna for a long time, and love her work. After visiting DigiInspirations, I'm beginning to feel the same way about Day and Linda.

They have some novel ideas, like PageStarters:

And, guess what?  This freebie is still available on their blog!

Check this and all the other cool inspiration at Digiinspiration.  I love great ideas that take us in new directions.  From a purely selfish standpoint, I wish these ladies well.  The rest of us can only benefit from their creativity.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thanksgiving 2009 in La Jolla, CA

Thanksgiving happens to fall around my older sister's birthday, so we make an effort to spend it together as a family.  After dinner, we walked down to the beach in an effort to mitigate some of the damage from gluttonizing and/or overindulging in every way!  I got some decent shots, despite the fact that I am photographically challenged, both behind and in front of the camera.  So, it's always a pleasant surprise to see something come through that is somewhere within the realm of what I was hoping for.  The picture below was at sunset (duh!) and, after duplicating the photo and changing the copy blend to Multiply, I then added a blue canvas and a caramel texture, both from Skeletal Mess.

This is the original, straight out of the camera:

And, not able to leave well enough alone, I manipulated another copy with the blue texture only above the sand line, and the caramel texture below it.  This is not quite so dark, and has a completely different feel to it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ad Pictures for Upcoming Tucson Festival of Books

The Second Annual Tucson Festival of Books is fast approaching (March 13 and 14) and we're already scurrying to prepare and place our ads for our University of Arizona Alumni Authors Tent.  Here are some pictures from the Parade of Characters (from children's literature) featuring my good friend's granddaughter:





Aren't they just TOO sweet?!?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wetfish Designs Winter Pix

Cyndi of Wetfish Designs posted some great photographs she took recently. One just spoke to me and I texturized it with a couple of Skeletal Mess phenomenal textures.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Serendipity At the Office Supply Store

My husband and I were running Christmas errands earlier this week. As we were parking at the Office Depot, I noticed the beautiful poppies in the parking lot. I just had to take a picture (or two) and happened to get lucky with these little guys. They were so intent on their job, they never even knew I was there!

Textures used were by Skeletal Mess.
The frame action was by Chain from her Deviant Art account.
The photo, again, was taken by me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

Suddenly, it seems as if I am infused with the Christmas spirit, and felt moved to experiment with masks in Photoshop. They work very differently from those in Paint Shop Pro. Not better or worse, just different. Here's an example of today's effort:

Although I do not know who created the mask, credit for the pattern goes to The Scrappin Cop for her brush entitled Patterned Grunge. Thank you, Deb!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Growing Up

Simplement Scraps is today featuring Ange Design's latest kit, Growing Up, and has shared this beautiful QP as a freebie (available until Sunday, November 15, at midnight):

Here is mine:

Credits include: Ange Designs (QP), Gunhild Storeide (ribbon), and Simplement Scrap.

Download your own at Simplement Scrap:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Creative Burst

I've been looking for an online digital design class all day and have had no luck meeting my criteria (excellent designs created by instructor being the most important).

So, I decided to make some paper. For some, the amount of time I spent making this one paper would have enabled them to complete a kit. Nonetheless, I am very happy with it, especially considering it is a "junior" effort!

Botanical Love

Credit and thanks to:  Aqueous Sun texture; Texture1.psd (unknown author); Wetfish Designs Botanical Overlay

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Misty Cato's Tutorials

Today, I followed a couple of Misty Cato's numerous tutorials on her blog. The lesson entitled, Photo Editing: Impact Portraits, was a real eye-opener. I started out with a photo that, although not technically great (and which certainly could use a lot of help in the composition department), I thought had pretty good color balance:

After a series of steps involving, among other things, copying the original picture various times and using different screen modes, we arrived at the finished product. The improvement in the picture (which I cropped, per her suggestion) and color balance is amazing to me!

Check out Misty's website, her store, and her tutorials.  The tutorials are clear and easy to follow.  And her product is first-class.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Curled Frames

Gunhild Storeide, one of the most generous designers out there, just posted a set of curled frames; and, as if that weren't wonderful enough in itself, she also posted the directions on how to make them!  Head over to her site at: and take a look at this and her other six pages of mostly CU elements.  I told you she was generous!

Here's my frame:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Project of the Day - Frame Resizing

Just finished a tutorial by Sara at After Five Designs for resizing rectangular frames to square ones. It was amazingly easy and I went on to bevel and texture the finished product, all in about 30 minutes!

I started out with a plain rectangular frame by Maria Designs (I've added a black bottom layer for better clarity):

Following the (terrific) instructions Sara provided, I ended up with this, a rustic and realistic old wooden frame:

Wooden texture by AK for Pink Ink Studios

And that was it!  Easy. Try it yourself!