Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Zucchini Noodles

With the need to stay home now, I’m experimenting more in the kitchen. I made a new recipe for marinara last week. I bought some frozen zucchini noodles and a little box of pasta for Bill. The marinara was very good, but the frozen zoodles were mushy. I probably microwaved them too long. That $4 bag was not even enough for one of us.

It didn’t take a long search online for me to find just the right tool. A young woman at Target brought it right out to my car that afternoon.

My new toy easily cut long noodles. Then I sauteed a T of butter, T of olive oil, shallots, garlic, red pepper, 1/4 cup white wine, 3T lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, shrimp and the zucchini noodles in a skillet. I knew I had a winner when Bill said the zucchini noodles were better than pasta. He wants them again

Template and Photos
  • Open file 3 from Simple FotoBlendz Album No. 4 and place on a new blank 12×12 document.
  • Reduce the size of all layers except the text boxes.
  • Shift the layers to the right.
  • Delete stain layers as desired or clip a photo to the stain. (I deleted one stain, clipped the photo to two and recolored one.
  • Adjust journaling.
  • Clip photos to small frames and FotoBlendz mask.
  • Place button below the thread and add a drop shadow.
Artsy Transfer
  • Open file 3 from Artsy Transfers Delicious.
  • Place below the template layers.
  • Delete and/or mask layers that conflict with the template design.
Embellish
  • Place Transfer 11 from ArtPlay Palette Delicious on the right.
  • Add two copies of Overlay from ArtPlay Palette Delicious, one on the left below the title and the other on the right.
  • Place word art from StoryStarters WordART Mix No. 2.
  • Add a color overlay to the wood word art. Change blend mode to Multiply at 100%. Add a drop shadow.

I’ve got to say there are two new things I’m loving about being home: pick up at Target and this Spiralizer. I bought some butternut squash to try next with my new marinara recipe.

Trust

The snow weighed heavily this morning, making it look like white blooms covered everything. While I’m waiting to get beyond this moment, I’m trusting God. The contrast between the weight of this morning’s snow and the flowers I photographed in March spoke to me about waiting and trusting God.

Frame a Photo
Expand Background with Transfer
Blend Photo into Background
  • Place snow photo below the transfer and to the left of framed photo.
  • Add a layer mask to erase and blend edges. Change the blend mode to Luminosity at 80%.
  • Duplicate the photo layer. Change the blend mode to Soft Light at 80%.
Embellish
  • Open psd file 4 from MultiMedia Flowers No. 8. Place above framed photo. Turn off the flower included with this psd file.
  • Replace the flower and shadow with the flowers from psd file 3. Reduce size and position.
  • Add word art “trust” from Faith WordART Mix No. 1 just below the multimedia flowers.
  • Add journaling.

Flattening the Curve

Wide blue tape marks where to stand for check out, barriers funnel people away from one another, black taped lines with arrows indicate one way aisles and special shopping hours for seniors encourage social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve. I try to shop as little as possible and wear a mask when I do go out. I appreciate the efforts that stores are making to protect everyone. However, it feels weird to take photos of signs now when I would like to be out capturing some tulips.

Design with a Brush

I began planning this page with a brush of the virus. It’s large, but right now this pandemic feels large as it consumes my life. Finishing the page was easy.

Color Brush with ArtsyKardz

Use the jpeg versions of ArtsyKardz Disquiet MultiPack to add color to the brush file.

  • Duplicate brush 5 and change the blend mode to Linear Blend. This copy will serve as the pattern for the ArtsyKardz layers.
  • Place jpeg file 1 from ArtsyKardz Disquiet MultiPack just below the top brush copy. Change the blend mode to Multiply with the opacity set to 100%. Use the warp tool to fit it to the shape of the brush.
  • Next, place the jpeg file 2 on the left of the brush.
  • Return to the top copy of the brush and use the Lasso Tool to make a rough copy of the left side of the brush. With the marching ants still active, click the jpeg file 2 layer and then the add a new layer mask. An inverted mask will appear. Leave the blend mode for this layer on Normal.
  • Add a Gaussian blur to the layer, about 20px.
  • Repeat process with another copy of jpeg file 2 for the part of the brush on the right. Change the blend mode to Linear Burn and reduce opacity to 75%.
Add Frames
Experiment

Initially, I thought that I’d use the sold gray paper from ArtPlay Palette Disquiet and only add Artsy Transfers. But after playing I realized that Artsy Paper 4 provided a nice background for my journaling and blended well with the brush.

Open psd file 8 from COVID-19 WordART Mix No. 1.

  • Drag layers just below text boxes.
  • Use the warp tool to fit the thread to the photo grouping.
  • Move the letters back into place on the thread.

Create a visual triangle of color

  • Place layers of file 5 from ArtsyTransfers Disquiet to the right of the title.
  • Reduce the opacity of the paper layer to 50%.

Keep Calm

Am I anxious during this pandemic? My iPhone usage has gone up 30%. I’ve made lists. I’ve ordered from my lists for delivery and pick-up. This week I researched how to make a cotton mask on the web. That involved locating thread, elastic and cotton fabric. After a few failures, I’ve finally created a working mask design. I am waiting for shipments of elastic so that I can finish.

My iPhone asked me this morning whether I wanted to set limits on my usage. “No,” my inner voice yelled, “you’re keeping me organized so I can keep calm and carry on.

I am currently photographing close to home, i.e. sewing a cotton face mask. For this page:

This morning I wrote my journaling as I try to find order and a new routine, a bit of an oxymoron during a pandemic.

Just Like This

Six weeks ago, Adryane and I walked in the warm California sun, photographing art nestled in the brush along the path near her home. Across the bay we could see downtown San Francisco. Oh for more time just like this.

I’m currently staying home, but I look forward to life returning to normal. While I’m home, I’m playing with some of the photos that I made in February.

Artsy Transfer and Paper
  • Place solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Ordinaire on a new blank document.
  • Place the layers file 2 from Artsy Transfers Ordinaire above the solid paper.
  • Delete one transfer layer.
  • Place mask 3 from FramedMasks No. 6.
  • Clip black and white photo to mask. Add a color style to the photo and reduce the opacity.
Framed Mask
  • Place the layers of file 1 from FramedMasks No. 6 above the artsy transfer.
  • Clip art to framed mask.
  • Clip photo of scene to FotoBlendz mask and stains.
Embellish
  • Place layers of file 3 from MultiMedia Flowers No. 7 above the framed photo.
  • Add color overlay to darken the flower layer. Use mask to bring back in the green.
  • Adjust the ribbon with a color overlay.
  • Place word art from Everyday WordART Mix No. 1 over the blended photo.

Boat

My sister and I took the ferry across to Balboa Island in February. There were lots of beautiful boats to photograph. My favorite is the little red rowboat. Nearly 50 years ago, Bill and I had a boat, not one like any of these that I photographed at Balboa Island a few weeks ago, but a 17 foot inboard outboard for waterskiing. The hardest part of this layout was trying to blend an old photo with current photos.

Use a Template
  • Open template 6 from FotoInspired Template Pack No. 2M.
  • Drag the layers to a new blank 12×12 page.
  • Reduce the template size to 85%.
  • Adjust photos in Lightroom.
  • Clip photos to masks.
Use Artsy Transfers
  • Create composites of Artsy Transfers Sea Life, files 2 and 5 by clicking command+option+shift+E after selecting all layers of each psd file.
  • Clip each composite to mask below text and adjust position.
  • Place old photo and use blending brushes to blend it into the transfers.
Build a Cluster

Yes, that is me skiing behind our boat in the old blended photo below the text.

A Photo and a Transfer

One of the things that Kate and Corbin like to do when they spend the night is to explore the wooded area just beyond the pond. On our way back from our walk, they plopped down on the grass and posed for me. I didn’t hesitate to capture some shots in the fading light.

Last fall while on sabbatical, I bought ArtPlay Palette Verdure hoping to have the opportunity after finishing my book project to use the beautiful leaf transfer that was included in the palette. That’s how I began this page.

Place Transfer and FotoBlendz Mask

Note: I masked out a portion of a copy of the mask in order to change the color of my grandson’s shirt.

Add Overlays and Artsy Transfers
Place Splatters, Word Art and Journaling
  • Stamp black splatters on new blank layers just below the photo.
  • Place the components of title from Verdure WordART Mix No. 1.
  • Add journaling.

Magnolias

My week in California was wonderful, definitely an inspiration for my photography. I captured these magnolia blooms on a large old tree in a friend’s backyard; what an absolutely stunning display the blooms presented. I wanted to showcase one photo with a sun flare peaking through the blooms.

I generally prefer light backgrounds for my layouts but I’ve learned not to be afraid to experiment with Anna’s designs.

Clip Photo to a Frame
  • Open file 2 from FramedMasks No. 5 and place on solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Magoa.
  • Edit the photo in Lightroom before exporting it to Photoshop. Reduce the photo size and clip it to the mask.
  • Clip a larger copy of the same photo to the mask layer included in the psd file and line it up with the small photo.
Create Background for Framed Photo
  • Export a second photo of magnolias to Photoshop, a photo with a more distant perspective.
  • Add an inverted mask to the photo. Using brushes from ArtPlay Palette Magoa bring back in the right side of the photo. Using white as the foreground color reveals on a black mask.
  • Duplicate the photo and angle on the left side to create the effect of the tree. Add another inverted mask. Set the foreground color to white and use brushes from ArtPlay Palette Magoa to bring back in part of the branches.
Experiment

I spent most of my time working with this photo on a white background, but it wasn’t working. I experimented.

A change in the background color made all the difference for this photo.

January’s Color

It’s cold outside here; in fact about three or four inches of snow cover the ground. Our driveway hasn’t even been cleared yet. When the weather is snowy outside, a good place to make photographs is my favorite garden nursery, Mulhall’s. Outside, snow covered the ground, but inside the area that is covered with annuals in the spring, today was filled with hundreds of houseplants.

Aside from my favorite ferns, Maidenhair and Boston ferns, I found something new to me: Tillandsia or airplants, their more common name. This is a perennial flowering plant in the family Bromeliaceae.

The green species live mostly more in the shade. In contrast, most gray species live in precipitation-poor areas with high humidity. They prefer the full sun and can therefore be found growing on trees, rocks and even telephone poles.

I thought about taking home some Tillandsia. They looked so pretty in the white tear drop shaped vases. It didn’t look like I’d have to pamper them. But then I remembered how many house plants I’ve lost. So I just came home with some photographs and the feeling of how much I enjoyed myself.

Below is the template that I used to display the photos I captured. It is part of a set available in Anna’s store MonthReview Template Album No. 4. I did turn off the labels on my page. I especially like that they are laid out as two page spreads.

I can see a lot of uses for this series of templates besides just displaying photos taken during the month. Evaluating and deciding which photos to use on a template like this supported my learning about making photographs and how I use my camera. It’s always good when I spend time focusing on my photography.

Painting with Brushes and Transfers

Lauritzen Gardens is one of my favorite places to go at Christmas. The displays are always so creative. This year, along with gingerbread houses, large enough for kids to go inside, big red mushrooms were nestled among the poinsettias.

I began this page with solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Tinselry. At the top of the layout I placed the layers from transfer 4 of Artsy Transfers Tinselry. Then I framed one of the photos I captured in the garden with a file from Distressed Frames No. 5.

In this post, I am going to share how I painted two photo sketches with brushes and transfers.

Paint a Sketch with Transfers and Brushes.
  • Create a sketch from a photo using the photocopy filter in Photoshop.
  • Stamp with Distress ToolSet No. 1 and AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes on new blank layers above the mushrooms in red to fill in the mushroom shapes. Change the blend mode of the red layers to Linear Burn.
  • Press E to access the Erase Tool. Use a hard round brush to stamp the round spots directly on the red painted layers. Adjust the shape as needed in the Brush Panel while stamping to fit the sketch dots.
Continue Painting with Brushes and Transfers
  • Duplicate the red transfer layer from file 4 of Artsy Transfers Tinselry. Reduce the size and warp as needed to fit the mushroom stems.
  • Arrange pieces of the holly and pine from Evergreen FotoBlendz No. 3 to fill in the area around the mushrooms. Recolor each layer a green to blend with the Artsy Transfer at the top of the layout.
  • Place stains from the Artsy Transfers below the holly.
  • Stamp splatters in black on new blank layers.
Repeat the Process
  • Repeat the process on the right side: stamping brushes on new blank layers and coloring stains, evergreens and mushrooms.
  • Reduce the size of the poinsettia from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2. Duplicate and arrange on the left.
  • Create a brush from the dimensional flower from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2. Stamp with your new brush on a new blank layer below the dimensional poinsettias

I enjoyed using a photo from a delightful display at Lauritzen Gardens to create this page. Painting with brushes and transfers was definitely a fun project.

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