Christmas stockings are a tradition in our family, and Santa knows to fill our stockings on the Eve of Christmas. It’s a lovely tradition. Of course, we like our stockings brimming with good cheer.
In my childhood, we were happy with a stocking filled with an apple, an orange and a candy cane, a rather old-fashioned tradition.
Acting as Mrs. Santa one year when I was on a health kick, I attempted to bring back the apple and orange idea from childhood, but my children were dismayed waking up to fruit in their stockings and still talk about it today.
This was in the day when stores were closed on Christmas Day, so there was no chance of Mr. Santa sneaking out to buy yummy foil-wrapped Santa chocolates and those sweet-sour candies the children love.
This is a cautionary tale: Never underestimate the power of a well-filled stocking! My How-To Method for this graphic includes one paper and one frame from my Zany Design Kit on Etsy. There are 21 elements in my Zany Design Kit and two of those are gold, cut-out frames. The frames are easily modified in Elements or Photoshop so that they can be any color you need to suit your graphic.
In Photoshop, I added a blue Adjustment Layer to a frame. Next, I threw on a Santa vector image I completed a few years back and three photos of Christmas stockings my daughter had painted for an open house.
The final touch was the text, Dear Santa … stuff it!
The big gift-giving season draweth nigh, which threatens to be stressful, but then I remember the best gifts are the little, unexpected surprises from friends and family who simply know what you like and love you. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, although, extravagant gifts have their place.
Often, it’s the journal, the mittens, the pens, the slippers – those comfort gifts that linger on after all the wrappings and ribbons are in the trash. Or, something no one else can give, like a piece of art or other personal workmanship.
So, surprise them! It’s always the best gift.
For this graphic, I took two silver elements from my Glitz collection. I colorized one and gave it a blue hue and added a Layer Effect to the other for a gold look.
Also, I made my first Chevron with a Shape layer in Photoshop, which I put over a vector created from a gem I had scanned. The yellow duck is in my Swim Yellow Duck collection, and the sun is from a personal Illustrator tutorial.
And, my iPad travels with me at all times, so I doodle words and phrases in the Inkpad App because I love the pen. I can save or send my doodles from Inkpad to my computer. Then I open the text in Illustrator and make any edits I want with the pen tool. Surprise me started in Inkpad. Next step, Illustrator. Then, in Photoshop, I treated Surprise me like a graphic and added a bevel, outline and drop shadow.
My How-To elements for this graphic, sans Photoshop!
Everyone approaches the eating of cake differently. Some scrape frosting off the cake and eat it sans frosting. Others heap on frosting and single out the slice of cake that has the most frosting or the largest, most garish, sugary rose.
It’s always fun after a party looking at the leftover dessert plates to realize the cake I baked was delicious because nobody left any cake and nobody left any frosting and that the two were inseparable in their goodness. A cake inspired this art. My design process: I tie-dyed a cake and loved the colors, so I snapped a photo. Next, I cut out the background in the photo leaving just the cake top. I brought the simplified cake image into Illustrator and did a “live-trace.” Then, I brought the image into Photoshop and added squiggles made earlier in Illustrator. Truthfully, the graphic is all over the place and the colors are bizarre; however, the making of the cake art was fun and a great exercise of thought when staring at a digital art board void of of pixels.
As a final touch, I added a thought balloon because I question the philosophy of eating the frosting before the cake. I believe they should be eaten in unison.
The basic elements I used for this design were: a photo of a cake, tie-dyed with my favorite tie-dye colors, squiggles, a cartoon thought balloon, and a comic book font.
Flashback: My grandchildren, Cousins Drew, Stephanie and Emma, zooming around the yard. This photo makes me smile every time I see it. The occasion was a reception for my granddaughter Julie’s high school graduation. It was May in the Ozarks. Spring fever had struck, and everyone was happy to celebrate a milestone event. Play time: In Photoshop, I grabbed a photo, two backgrounds, a frame, and Peter Rabbit. The composition soon turned cartoonish, which I thought suited the photo. I chose a Comic font and a word balloon for Kapow. I’ve always wanted to say Kapow, and I’ve always adored the word balloons found in comic strips. Method: I clipped a photo to a frame with a layer mask. Next, I layered two papers and added a Blending Mode for a rich, dimensional background. Finally, I added the Word Balloon Kapow and Peter Rabbit.
Gilded Zany Frame
It’s all rather Zany. The frame is a vintage gold brooch. The frame and the frame-mask are part of myZany Design Collection on Etsy. I clipped the black oval frame mask to the photo to confine the photo within the frame.
I layered two teal blue backgrounds and added a Difference Blending Mode to create a dimensional, red background. It’s fun exploring Blending Modes in Photoshop. It was a happy accident when I clicked Difference and two blues made a red. I had an entirely different look in mind when I began my Photoshop work, but when the red popped up, I fell in love and went to finish.
Background layer one
Background layer two
It was spring in the Ozarks, and the grass was green. A perfect home for Peter Rabbit.
Had fun in Photoshop, playing with the elements and paper in my Zany Collection and made a 12″ by 12″ digital page around a favorite vacation spot, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
It was my first spa day, and it was perfect. I’m a solar-operated girl, so a seaside cabana on the Sea of Cortez was ideal for a massage. I’m surprised I didn’t fall asleep listing to the lull of the waves.
Unfortunately, I miss being on the beach, so looking at my photos conjures up a heap of “Wish I Were There!”