Anyone who has witnessed the carnage that results from any “crafty” project that I have attempted, will testify that I am a horrible artist.  I took me 6 years to finally figure out how to create the Pilgrim bonnet that my girls wore at their pre-K’s annual Thanksgiving Feast! My drawings are on the sub-remedial level (stickmen!), and my painting is dauby at best. I can really only be trusted with coloring books and Lego sets.  Despite this aesthetic handicap – and as a distraction from squabbling children – I thought that, this summer, I would discover my inner Picasso, and got “creative”…

Over the past year or so, I have subscribed to an amazing website called The Graphics Fairy, which provides free vintage images and textures for graphic designers, crafters and DIY-ers.  The site also features online tutorials from actual designers and artists detailing how to use said images in projects using Photoshop Elements – the more basic version of the professional Photoshop CC & CS.  Over this time, I have (slowly) become quite proficient to the point where I can create my own memes and collages – and very proud of myself I am too!

IMG_2161One day, while poking around a local antique shop, I noticed some framed botanical prints which were extravagantly priced at $650 a pop. It suddenly struck me that I had recently learned how to “distress” images, in order to make them “look old”,  and that quite possibly these “antique prints” were a rip-off – I’ve become very cynical in my old age!  In order to prove my hypothesis, I bought a cheap wooden picture frame from Michael’s, along with a few other bits and bobs and created my own antique botanical. While not exactly a Monet, it certainly looks very similar to the expensive print. The result is shown at left.

Confident that my lack of artistic talent was no impediment to creativity, I embarked on a second project to create “antique vases” out of wine bottles, using image transfer techniques learned from The Graphics Fairy site.  The result is almost complete – I’m waiting on a metallic gloss –  and shown below:


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I was on a roll! I began following online tutorials at another graphic design site – The Coffee Shop Blog.  The Photoshop tutorials are more “photograph editing” than creating new art projects, but incredibly useful and interesting.  Using stock images from Pixabay, I started to practice some of the techniques and found, to my surprise, that I was actually not bad.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still artistically challenged, but Digital Designing might be my “thing”. If nothing else, it keeps me from getting into mischief.  Or yelling at my kids…

To view some of my favorite projects, visit My Gallery.

Thanks to Karen, Emily et al. at The Graphics Fairy and Rita at The Coffee Shop Blog, for all their help, ideas and inspiration!