Follow along, It'll be fun!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Scholastic Book Fair 2010! Putting it together!

One more look at the Scholastic Book Fair at our Elementary School this year, as it all came together! The theme was The Book Fair Diner:All you can read!

The fair was this past week. This was the vision of a talented group of PTA volunteers. The book fair was a fun reading success!








Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photoshop mini tutorial combining two photos


This was meant to be a wordless Wednesday but I decided I'd rather talk:)
Step 1
Take a picture of someone standing in front of a blank background. White background is ideal but any solid color will do.

Step 2
Upload your photo to photoshop (I'm using cs4) Open photo

Step 3
Open your background photo. I used this outerspace photo that I found on google images key word outerspace

Step 4
Working on your original photo first. Your background not visible at this point.
On your original photo grab the marquee rectangular tool. Drag a box around your person. Don't make the box touching the person leave space.

Step 4
Grab The magic wand tool and in the options bar at the top select to third icon over from the wand (substract from selection)The wand should now have a - next to it.

Step 6
With the wand click in the negative space (the background). You should get a dotted moving outline around the person. If you have moving dots on the background or a little past the edges of the person, keep clicking on those dots until all of your unwanted area is removed.

Step 7
In your menu bar way at the top click on your arrange documents icon (second in from the right)Select a two up layout. Now you will see both pictures. Grab the move tool, place over the person, which should be selected, and drag onto the background picture. You may need to resize it. In order to resize, go to Select-save selection and select (I used the persons name). Next, go to select again and click on load selection ( the moving dots will appear around the person again). Now right click on the person, a menu will drop down click on free transform. You will be able to move and resize the image now to fit your background.

Those are the basics!


This is a picture of my son( grade 2) holding his school project. He had to do a report about a famous American. He chose Neil Armstrong. The report was to be presented orally. He was nervous about presenting it but was very happy with his poster, which gave him confidence. He had fun making the poster. When my kids have projects to do at home I try to take the opportunity to give them a little art lesson.

This lesson was painting techniques. My son drew stars on poster board. I cut the stars out with an xacto knife and he used it as a stencil. He spray painted with silver paint(want to get a little boy excited about an art project? Hand him a can of spray paint!:)) over the stencil to create the stars. He really liked the way the paint sprayed past the rounded edge of the stencil. He said it looked like the clouds in the real night sky and pointed up to the sky to show me. The other stencil was for the moon. He used a natural sea sponge to paint the surface of the moon. Instant craters!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to make a paint by number painting!


I did this project last year for the spring arts festival. The third graders painted all of the squares! The trick to a successful painting is to choose a simple image with limited color palette. Even a limited palette will yield a lot of colors.


I will try and give clear instructions, but I must admit, I'm feeling a little antsy this morning so my directions may be a bit sketchy.

1.Figure out the dimensions you want your painting to be. It should divided evenly into squares. One you have your measurements cut squares out of canvas sheets. In my painting the square measure 4".
2. Choose an image. Open in photoshop. Apply the cutout filter. This will simplify the image and create clear edges between colors. Print out this image. Trace image onto tracing paper. You will be tracing the contours of the color shapes. With a ruler draw your grid, using the dimensions already determined in step one. Go to kinko (or other office supply store) and enlarge this drawing with grid to your desired dimensions. In my project the measurements were 32"x36" for the pear and 32"x32" for the apple. I just realized as I'm writing this there is a whole other step-uh! Figuring out the colors (If you are really interested in doing this project please email me for this step. It's a biggy! sorry:(
3.Make sure all of your squares are numbers so that you know where they go when you reassemble. At this point you should already have your number key and numbers placed in all the shapes for the color. Cut out squares. Cut one square the same size 4" out of tracing paper. Color this square with pencil. This will be your transfer paper.
4 and 5. Now, you will have three squares, canvas, graphite transfer paper, and the picture. Canvas on bottom, graphite in middle(graphite side facing canvas, picture on top. Trace image and it will transfer onto canvas.
6. Make sure to put the number on the back of the canvas. Hand out one canvas square to each student. Using your color key set up palettes. We used plastic lids. Divided the lid into sections using a sharpie. Wrote the numbers that cooresponded with the numbers on the canvas and pour the paint. Some color had to be custom mixed. I used craft paint.
7. Assemble finished squares on 1/8 thick masonite. Adhere with mod podge. Varnish!
8. Frame!

Did this make any sense?!

See more crafts that make sense at Today's Creative Blog

Monday, February 22, 2010

I ♥ faces "Hands on Fun!"

Sometimes I like looking through my endless files of photos in search of a photo that will fit the challenge of the week at "i heart faces". This week I decided to see if I could find anything to fit their "hands on fun" theme. It was like going on a treasure hunt! I discovered that I had many picture that featured hands. I had hands holding food, building gingerbread houses, craving pumpkins, hiding faces, squeezing faces, playing instruments, lifting weights, kneading dough, feeding pigeons, doing homework, being nibbled, holding bugs, sifting sand, shopping, lifting a glass saying cheers, writing on a chalkboard, picking air potatoes, painting, lighting candles, embracing other hands and holding Lucy!

You can see all the pictures that didn't make the cut HERE in my hand mosaic!


I was amazed at how many pictures showcased hands. I never gave some of these photos a second thought, until now. Now, I cherish them as my special hand pictures. Thank you i heart faces!

See more extraordinary hands at

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday!

Searching for my i heart faces photo this week, which is focusing on hands I discovered that I had a lot of nice pictures of hands! You can see the picture I ended up choosing HERE
Photobucket that I see them all together I think the one that stands out to me the most is of my son biting his nails!

I am missing the colors of my garden. Florida has been unusually cold this winter. All of my beautiful flowers and plants died from the frigid temperatures. My once vivid backdrop for my lovely chalkboards is now brown and dreary. I'll probably dig up many of my plants this Spring and replace them with more hardy plants. In the meantime here's a memory of what once was...


I also need to go out and search for more beautiful frames for my chalkboards. It's time to replenish the inventory!

Here's another color mosaic, to get us in the mood for Spring and Summer! These pictures were taken during my Creatively Fit walks.


Some readers have asked me how I do my mosaics. I do most of my mosaics in picasa. It's very easy and offers a wide variety of options. What programs do you us for your mosaics?

I will be learning how to make montages in my photoshop class this week, so I may be using photoshop for my next mosaic monday! Last week we learned how to do photo restorations in ps cs4. You can see a restoration that I did here

See more mosaics at Marys Little Red House

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Photo restoration Attempt #2

Recently Updated1
This is not my photo. I found this on a photo restoration site. This is a test photo that they give you to do, to evaluate your skill. It was quite challenging for me and there are still some trouble spots but it was worth a try.

This was done in photoshop CS4

I'm trying to get faster and more accurate at doing this. If I can keep improving my skills and speed I wonder if this would be worth doing as a business. Anybody have old photos that need repair?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photo restoration in Photoshop CS4

I am learning how to restore old photos this week in my photoshop class. Because I am still just learning I will not give a full tutorial here. Here are a few tips.

1. Before you begin your restoration create a new layer and work in that new layer, which is on top of your background photo.(the original photo)

2. I used the cloning tool.

3. Use your hot keys to increase your speed. For example, when zooming in and out don't keep grabbing the zoom tool, it wastes time because you will do a lot of zooming. Instead hold ctrl+space bar=zoom in, alt+space bar=zoom out. Use brackets next to "p" key to change the size of your brush.
4. Advise from my instructor: Show restrain! Don't try to recreate the photo just restore.

I still have work to do on this one, especially in the girl on the left. This is not my photo. It was given to me in class. The whole class is working on the same photo.


To get a closer look at what I've done so far click on the picture and it will take you to my flickr than view in larger size. So far I have logged about 4 hours , maybe more, work time. I'm sure it's just because I'm inexperienced:)
I'm actually having fun doing this project! So far I'm enjoying this class immensely!

I'm playing Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home (show and tell was always my favorite activity in school:))
Head on over to see more wonderful things

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Scholastic Book Fair 2010!

This time the theme is Book Fair Diner, All you can read! I was asked to paint a vintage 50's car to go with the drive in diner theme. I still have to paint a sign tonight, to bring into school tomorrow. Wish me luck on finishing and sleeping. It shouldn't be difficult, it's just sometimes I just can't muster up the energy. Lately that seems to be my problem.

Here is the car painting. It was hard to photograph this while it was on the floor. The forced perspective is hard to capture without distortions. I will try to get some picture of it at the book fair:)


Approximate size 6'x7' on craft paper

With sign

See more crafty ideas @ Todays Creative Blog Get your Craft On!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What color are you?

I'm Purple!(humm...purple starts with p as does procrastination and painting, which is what I should be doing right now!)
Spontaneity is the key to your existence. Quick-witted with a flair for originality, you enjoy situations that allow you to explore your creativity. Comparatively conservative, you appreciate beautiful surroundings, especially if they’re found in nature. Your relaxed and self-assured personality allows you to work well with others. Surprisingly enough, your unique and unusual tastes don’t prevent you from being comfortable among your more conservative peers.

I found this fun Quiz over at Sara's Art* House

What color are you?

Take the quiz here

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Wasn't planning or hoping for anything special. My husband, the chef, would be working again! The kids were with grandma anad grandpa, at the movies and I was home with the pup. I decided to take a trip to the store to get ingredients to make these cute pastry hearts that I found on a great blog created by Diane.


While at the store, I decided to rent Julie and Julia. I figured it was a good time to watch something I wanted to watch, since no one would be home. Then my cell phone rang. It was the chef! He was on his way home at 5:30!! He had to pass the store, so I told him to meet me there to get something for dinner. There was a special on two steaks and two lobster tails for $9.99! The chef grabbed a few extra ingredients and we met back at home. He whipped up a gourmet dinner, poured two glasses of wine and we watched Julie and Julia. As you can see, the chef didn't make it through the whole movie. But the attempt was appreciated and the dinner was superb!


Well, the chef is back at work this morning (since 5:30AM). I spent the morning with my other two Valentine's and made us heart shaped pancakes!


I hope you have a happy Valentine's Day! Go with the flow and enjoy!

See more lovely mosaics at Mosaic Monday @ Mary's Little Red House!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mind over Matter

I wasn't going to write a post today. I received a call this morning to sub at my son's middle school. I heard the phone ring, I was sleeping snugly under my warm covers on this cold February Florida morning and to be honest, I did not want to answer that phone. Reluctantly, I got up from my cozy bed and answered it. I agreed to sub but my heart wasn't in it.
I've been in a mental funk lately, moody, depressed, unfocused, just feeling foggy in the head. Not knowing how to shake the feeling, I decided to just go through the motions. I turned on the shower and gathered my clothes while the water heated up. I got in the shower and started thinking (that's where my best thinking occurs. Maybe because that's where I'm the most relaxed).
" I have to shake this feeling. I can't stand in front a classroom of kids with these negative feelings." Whatever I'm feeling will be reflected back at me(that would be scary). And knowing how I was feeling, I did not want 25 students facing me with my negative attitude. I had to turn these feelings around and quick!
I remembered what I learned in "The Secret". Your feelings are a reflection of your thoughts. The quickest way to change your thoughts, which will change your feelings, is to start saying what you are thankful for. So I did! "I"m thankful for my children, my husband, my shower, my dog, the warm water on my face, my health etc..." Not paying attention to the effect this was having on my mood, I continued to get ready. Then a realized I was feeling good, happy, energized! It's that simple! It's amazing!

If you are feeling down today, for whatever reason, try turning it around by saying what you're thankful for! I think you may be amazed to see your day transform. If you feel yourself starting to slip do it again and again. It is hard to be unhappy when you are truly thankful!

See more doodles at Doodle It Up!

Have a wonderful day! And remember, it's all mind over matter!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Learning Photoshop CS4

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am taking a photoshop class at the local college. I'm hoping to continue taking more computer graphics course to pursue a career in computer graphics and web design.
For our first project we had to create three 3-D forms using the airbrush tool. One requirement was to create a cover for the project. We were given complete creative freedom for this part of the project. I like that!:)
I used one of my Creatively Fit photos for the background. It just so happens that this picture was taken on campus. Here's the original photo.

And here's the photoshopped version.


To give the cover a more cohesive look I used the cutout filter on the photo and increased the color saturation to match the vibrant hues of the forms. I added the airbrush at the bottom of the page and the little Ps logo the the left column.

So what do you think? Do I have a future...? I am really enjoy the class!

Paper Mosaic Table Top-A Group Project

Another Elementary Spring Arts Group Project. Every second grader from my children's school contributed to making this faux mosaic table. The table was purchased at a garage sale for $3, years ago. It sat in my garage for a long time before it found its purpose. It was auctioned off at the fair. Each student completed one 2"x3" paper tile. The tiles were mod podged on the top of the table in a specific arrangement (see grid paper) to create this design. The table was varnished for protection. Another way to protect the surface would have been to cover with glass.



See more crafts at

So busy blogging, going to be late to school now:( I really need to stop blogging! It's going nowhere.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mosaic Monday! Doodle Recap!

This mosaic is a round up of my first week of doodles that can be found on my new blog Doodle it Up! I started this blog to keep a record of my doodles and to get my creative juices flowing! Plus, it's much easier and quicker to try and do a doodle a day than a painting a day:) I also try to offer some tips on doodling-yes doodling tip!

Screen Captures

Well, time to get ready for the week, laundry, shopping (done), bill paying, homework (I'm in the fourth week of my photoshop class), more shopping, a mural for the scholasitic book fair, mail chalkboards, exercise, cleaning and doodling! I think I'll write a to do list. It helps keep me on track for the week.

How bout you? How do you get organized for the week ahead?

See more beautiful Mosaics at Marys wonderful blog Little Red House

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A room of many colors!

This room has seen many colors over the years. When we moved into this house it was my older son's room. His favorite color at the time was red. I couldn't see painting it all red so I painted just the bottom half red and a red strip across the top. The top half of the room was a peachy tan. I painted native American Indian symbols in black and white. This color scheme lasted a few years.

Next, this room became a room for two, my two boys(the other room was turned into a play room for a while, which has a whole different color story!). The bedroom was painted green (my older son's new favorite color ) and brown.

After a while, my older son moved to the other room ( the play room). His room is painted in a faux metallic silver finish with a blue base. (his new favorite colors!)

The green and brown room belongs to my younger son now. His current favorite colors are black and gold!! I couldn't see painting a whole wall black. Knowing how many times I paint a room, I thought black would be too difficult to cover up. I decided to paint the top part gold(flat finish) and the bottom white(semi gloss) and added a chair rail. Black came in with the bedding. We will buy a new bed and some wall art, shelving and of course I'll make a beautiful black chalkboard with a gold frame!

Here is the room of many colors

My post title is a spin off of a song that I love by Dolly Parton. I don't sew and we are not poor but when times are tight paint works magic!!
I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen to this sweet song. Even if you've heard it before, you might like to hear it again:)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Group Tapestry- First Grade

This is a project that I created last year for my childrens' elementary school Spring Arts Festival. I was asked to create a group project for every grade. This was a group tapestry for Grade 1. All of the first graders contributed to this tapestry.
All of the pieces created were auctioned off at the festival. They did not ask me to do it again this year. I'm a little sad but also a little relieved, it was a major commitment.
I posted these projects on my other blog Art Spectrum(now gone). I will post another one of these group projects next week.

1. Painters canvas drop clothe 6'x8'
2. Canvas Sheets (you can by a pad at a craft store)
3. Primer
4. Acrylic paints
5. Mod Podge
6. Scissors
7. Varnish
8. Rope

1. Prime canvas
2. Block in colors with paint
3. Cut flowers, leaves and squares out of canvas sheets
4. Have students paint cutouts
5. Glue painted cutouts to canvas.
6. Make tabs out of canvas and sew to tapestry
7. Varnish tapestry
8. Slide wooden dowel through tabs
9. Drill hole at the ends of dowel. Thread rope through and knot ends
10.Hang and admire!

See more creative ideas at

I also started another new blog Doodle it up!! I hope you'll stop by and check it out!:)