Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A New Poster As Free Digital File

If you have not been a follower of my other blog, "Original Art Studio", you may not know that in 2008 my thirty-six year old daughter was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I wrote about my experience accompanying her on the journey from the shock of diagnosis, through major thoracic surgery, through recovery, to her body/mind/spirit adjustment to this new and alarming reality in her life.  (You can read those posts on Original Art Studio here and here.)

One of my (and also my daughter's) coping strategies in any crisis is to learn as much as possible about all the related variables so that I/we can make informed choices and at least have some sense of understanding, even if during the crisis I/we have no sense of control.  So once over the initial shock of the diagnosis and surgery, my daughter and I did a lot of research about cancer and what science knows about its causes. 

As a result of that research, my daughter has made some radical changes to her life.  (My husband and I have too!)   She had removed herself from a toxic marriage just prior to her diagnosis and was still working at recognizing and releasing the toxic emotions that had (in my therapeutic opinion) grown out of control into a a tumor which symbolized how little room to breathe there was in that relationship.  (Her cancerous tumor blocked 98% of one of her bronchial tubes.  The blockage was in the part of the bronchial tube that is inside the lung.)  After surgical removal of the tumor her challenge, as she saw it, was to remove all other possible toxins in her life.  BTW she was never a smoker so that was not one of the toxins she had to remove.

Two books (out of dozens) that were pivotal in her change to toxin-free living were:

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.,  and

AntiCancer:  A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D.

Research on the internet led her to in-depth medical papers about her particular form of cancer ("carcinoid", a neuro-endocrine form of cancer - the same form of cancer that afflicted Steve Jobs although his carcinoid tumor was first discovered in his pancreas, which is considered much more dangerous).  When she meets new doctors, they invariably assume she is a physician due to her comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the topic.  As well as her full time jobs of parenting two beautiful girls and as a business professional, she manages a hot-line for her type of cancer here in the province of Quebec.

Add in my background in psychology and education - and my recent dabbling in Photoshop - to all our research and I decided to create a poster to share some of our newly acquired information and new anti-cancer lifestyle.   Whether you want to use the information to try to prevent cancer (as I am), or to fight cancer if you have already been diagnosed (as my daughter is), I believe you can benefit from this poster.  Perhaps it will motivate you to do your own research and make the simple life changes that help make your body/mind/spirit an anti-cancer environment.

As with the poster I recently created on Depression (you can download the digital file for it here or from my sidebar), I do not want to be involved in printing, packaging, profiting from, or shipping this as a tangible product, so I am offering this poster to you for free as a digital file.  It was designed in an 18 inch by 24 inch file, 300 dpi resolution.  You then have the choice of how you want to print it yourself. 

You are welcome to download the digital file for non-commercial use only.  This means you may not sell (or re-gift it in large quantities) as either a paper poster or as a digital file.  If you post it on your blog, I ask that you make a link to this blog for your readers to make their download here.

Download this free digital file by clicking HERE.

While no regimen or lifestyle changes can guarantee anything, the recommendations in this poster can certainly help you clean up your physical and emotional environs - if that is your wish.  My primary hope is that it motivates you to think seriously about the effects of what you absorb into your body/mind/spirit and do your own research to determine how you want to best live your one life.

BTW, my daughter is doing very well now.  She is a  now a vegetarian who also tries to avoid dairy, eggs, sugar and wheat.  She is also a runner and in the best shape of her life - not that she was ever visibly out of shape. 

While she is exhibiting no outward signs of recurrence, she is currently, at her doctor's request, undergoing a new round of scans and tests to verify that she is cancer free three years after surgery.  This new round of tests is a concrete reminder that once you have cancer it can hover over your life like a dark cloud.  Taking life one day a time, loving and appreciating every moment you have while you have it, is the best strategy for not letting the on-going threat of cancer be a toxin itself in your life.  Byron Katie's book, Loving What Is helped and continues to help us absorb the emotional reality of having cancer touch our lives.

I hope you will take advantage of this free digital download, perhaps print it and give the printed poster it to those who might find it of use. 

Good health and a very happy new year to you all. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

... fill your holidays with delight ...

Our dreams of a white Christmas came true!  We're now enjoying a pristine winter wonderland that just makes the celebrations perfect.

It's very cold, but grandkids, step-grandkids, uncle and Maya the dog ventured outside for a bit of exercise and merriment.

Hope your holiday celebrations are full of loving connections and joy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

take a break ... grab a free texture!

Hi my lovelies ... are you in the middle of baking, shopping, wrapping, planning, decorating, etc?  Or are you one of those amazing (but infuriating! :-) people who is on top of everything because you start preparing for the holidays in August?

If you're like me, you are in the former category rather than the latter and thus very busy right now.  And here I sit ... procrastinating ... in front of the computer ... looking for a little break from it all.  Is that what you are doing too?

Okay ... let's make our procrastination worthwhile ... here's a fabulous free texture for you!  I've called it "YesterYear" because it is full of vintage possibilities.  (If you don't want the frame part of it, simply use the bounding boxes to pull it off the edge of your photograph.)

Download pdpa YesterYear texture, HERE.

Okay, enough procrastination, back to holiday preparations for me! 

If we don't connect again before the new year, please know I wish you all the delights of the season and a very healthy, happy 2012.

Copyright still applies to these textures after purchase or free download, as stand alone articles. I only agree to forego my design ownership rights once the texture is incorporated into your photographic or artistic work. Once the texture is a part of your work, you are free to use it in any of your personal or commercial endeavors. Please respect international copyright laws and do not claim these as your own, try to resell or gift them as is, or use them as the basis on which you create your own derivative textures.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Gift For You

Hi my Lovelies, your 2011 Christmas gift has arrived. 
Wrapped with love and appreciation, it contains two fabulous fine art textures for you.

One is a texture for all seasons.  I call it Cinnamon.  It has many different personalities depending on how you choose to blend it.  Hope you love it as much as I do.

For your free download of pdpa Cinnamon texture, click HERE.

The second texture in your gift package imparts a wonderful feel to a photograph. 
I have called it Backlight.  Hope you can use it somewhere in your artwork.

For your free download of pdpa Backlight texture, click HERE.

May each and every one of you have a safe, joyful holiday. 
Most of all, may you find yourself surrounded by loved ones ...

and ... a few photographic opportunities with photo-art potential ...  ;-)

(I'll be back before 2011 comes to an end
so that I can wish you a happy 2012!)

Copyright still applies to these textures after purchase, as stand alone articles. I only agree to forego my design ownership rights once the texture is incorporated into your photographic or artistic work. Once the texture is a part of your work, you are free to use it in any of your personal or commercial endeavors. Please respect international copyright laws and do not claim these as your own, try to resell or gift them as is, or use them as the basis on which you create your own derivative textures.

Thank You To Gwynnie B. Designs!

Look at what arrived in the mail today!  I was the lucky entrant, in  Gwynnie B. Designs' giveaway a couple of weeks ago, and won this book entitled "Art & Fear - An Artist's Survival Guide" by David Bayles & Ted Orland.

We all, as artists, find ourselves staring at the blank page, the empty canvas, the blank digital file and wondering if we can transfer our ideas from mind to matter.  Each artistic effort is an encounter with the unknown.  The unknown can evoke fear.   The question is - how to manage fear when it arises.  Can't wait to read this book to find the answer to that question!

Gwynnie B. is a person of diverse talents, from jewellery-making to photography, to art in so many forms, to design.  If you have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Gwynnie B. Designs go THERE right now!  She is a wise, wild, wonderful woman with a wicked sense of humor and such a keen sense of design.  Gwynnie will delight and inspire you ... AND ... if you are lucky ... one day she may send you a book! 

Thank you Gwynnie for this timely gift!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Defeat Depression Poster, A Free Digital Download

Hey Everyone ... are you crazy busy?  Of course you are.  It's that time of year! 

It's also the time of year when many of us can experience some form of depression.

As a psychotherapist I spent years helping people deal with depression.  Soooo ... I thought why not pair up my knowledge of the topic with my modest digital-editing skills and make a poster that could possibly help many? 

I do not want to profit from this poster.  Nor do I want to spend a lot of  time or money printing, packaging and shipping actual paper posters ... so I am offering it to you as a free, high resolution, digital download.  Once you download, you can print it on the quality and size of paper you choose, frame it or not, etc.  The poster was designed in an 18" X 24" format.

This poster Strategies To Defeat Depression is for your personal use only.  Copyright still applies after your download.  You cannot sell it, or make products featuring it (or portions of it) that you market commercially.  To use this copyrighted digital file for profit constitutes theft. 

Feel free to give this poster (once you have it printed) as your personal gift to family members, friends, schools, teachers, guidance counselors, etc., or direct them here to make their own download.  It is my hope that it can point the way to relief from depression for many - especially at this sometimes difficult time of year. 

For your free download of this digital file click HERE

To see other posters (designed par moi) go to my new

photo embellishment

Sharing with Lisa Gordon's The Creative Exchange.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Photo Art Friday, Dec. 9th - 11th

Welcome to our last Photo Art Friday for 2011. 

We began this past September and have already enjoyed fourteen photo-art showcases!  Many of you have been showcasing here right from the start and I so appreciate your weekly link-ups!  Those of you who have just discovered us lately, we are thrilled to have you join us!  Thank you all!

This week's suggested theme is to share a photograph, processed to look like a piece of art, that touches on holiday preparations.

I've pulled out our boxes of ribbons, bows, ornaments, decorations etc., all of which were patiently waiting for their chance to make our home sparkle and shine.  We moved away from traditional Christmas colors several years back and decorate now with pale turquoise and orange.  Of course, all the other colors still make an appearance because we kept our special older ornaments. 

Here are some pics of our turquoise and orange bows gathered into collages:

Same collage processed in a soft B&W.

Processed to look a little more vintage.

Our next Photo Art Friday will be January 6 - 8, 2012
How about if we make the theme
"one of my very best photo-art edits of that great year, 2011".

May each and every one of you have a safe, warm, loving, connected holiday season with many moments of peace and joy. 

I'll keep an eye out for your posts and will surely send out a few myself before 2011 turns to 2012.  Keep your eye out for some unique, new freebies that will make their debut before the new year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Three Free Textures for YOU

It's that busy time of year.  Are you in the midst of all your holiday preparations?  Hope you haven't forgotten to take a photograph or two of your pre-holiday activities!  That's our theme for this week's, soon-to-arrive Photo Art Friday

The theme can be as broad as you want to stretch it - so could include shopping, traffic, people walking with their parcels, children writing to Santa, baking, decorating, gift-wrapping, card writing, etc. etc.  Can't wait to see what you all come up with!

This is a collage featuring two textures I'm about to share with you and three applications of them to one photo.  Don't hold me to it, but I believe they were blended in Hard Light, Color Burn and Difference.  You can, of course, blend these textures with your photograph in Soft Light, Screen or Lighter Color for a more desaturated look if that is what you prefer.

Let me introduce you to pdpa Vintage Wine Label texture.  It's sure to add a vintage feel to your photographs.  You can download the high resolution version by clicking HERE.

And this is pdpa Intensify texture - and that is exactly what it will do for your photos.  Don't worry it is not too strong!  Try it in all the blend modes.  I love the painterly effect you get along with the intensified colors.  You can download the high resolution version of Intensify HERE.

And for those of you who like a texture with a little French script on it, here's one for you:

This is pdpa Lover's Lament texture.  It will not, however, cause any 'lament' when you apply it to the right photograph.  Download the free, high resolution version HERE.

Can't wait to see what you create with these three great textures.  Enjoy!

See you at our virtual gallery showcase on Friday (Thursday evening for you earlybirds!).

Monday, December 5, 2011

... a berry beautiful tree ...

It's a grey early morning here in the region of Montreal.  The air seems to be laden with moisture, but the temps are not cold enough to turn that moisture to snow.  With global warming and all the crazy fluctuations in weather, it seems we have to keep our fingers crossed for a white Christmas.  I've got my fingers and toes crossed!

The photograph below was taken in late October.  The tree had shed its leaves to reveal its branches heavy with glorious berries.  I'm sure the birds were feasting on them throughout November.  The photo has been processed in RadLab adding two or three of its 'treatments'.

I'm sharing this with the always gracious Lisa's "The Creative Exchange".  Do visit her site to enjoy all the amazing submissions by photographers who link up there every Monday.  She is also featuring a great giveaway this week!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December: the month for giving

Hi Everyone!

Have you seen all the fabulous photo art linked up for this weekend's Photo Art Friday?  Do take a look and leave a little comment love.  I'll be catching up on commenting tomorrow as I'm busy preparing a family birthday get-together for our son's up-coming 31st birthday.  We've pushed the party up a week to today. 

Do you have close friends and relatives with birthdays in late December or early January?  My husband's birthday is December 26th!  There should be some law against babies being born on that date.  Few enter into happy birthday celebrations with relish the day after Christmas.  Poor guy usually has his birthday bumped to another date.  And we've bumped my son's birthday celebration up a week too.   Good thing they are such agreeable, easy-going guys. 

BTW, my parents were married December 25th.  My father born Jan. 1st and then I marry a man who was born on December 26th and have a son born December 11th, and a grandaughter and myself born in January.  December and January are very busy months!   Oh well, we have all survived and everyone has been duly feted and appreciated.

Since I'm in present-giving, appreciation mode, here's one for you.  Enjoy!

Download pdpa Holy Grunge texture by clicking HERE.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Photo Art Friday, Dec. 2nd - 4th

Hello my lovelies.  It's December!!!  Where did 2011 go?  The older one gets, the faster time flies, don't you find?  Well, let's lift our last-month-of-the-year spirits with our virtual showcase of fabulous photo art.

I have to say that last week, with the Thanksgiving holiday in The States, I expected fewer participants.  However, the numbers stayed much the same as previous weeks.  Thank you to each and every one of you who participated.  I so admire all your work.

This week the challenge is to post an image featuring work with a tool, method, style that we have been wanting to try.

For my part, I conducted an experiment transforming one very ordinary photograph into as many pieces of different photo art as I could.  In all, I have twenty pieces of 'art' from this one photo, but don't worry, I'll only share a few with you here.

SOOC photo of statue in front of a Chinese/Thai restaurant we frequent on occasion.

 Still original photograph, but cropped to highlight hands and torso of the statue.

First edit uses one of my single textures, similar to "Sandy Edges" in my Texture Singles Shoppe,       rotated 90 degrees.  Blended in Overlay 90%.

 None of these edits were assisted with RadLab or Topaz.  Only my textures and PSE Adustments were made to create these effects.

Don't recall and didn't record which texture was used, but I can see it was processed in Difference.  When I use the Difference blend mode I rarely reduce the opacity below 85%.  To do so makes you lose the special Difference effect.  If your image needs more light, do a levels adjustment.  No levels masking was used to remove any of the texture.  Difference blend mode seemed to magically put the bronze into the lines on the statue!

Another texture, another piece of photo art, different than the ones before.

Here Art-Easy Deeply Engrained texture is blended with the photo in that good old Difference blend mode at 100% opacity.

Here I superimposed one of the already edited versions of the cropped statue on a photograph of a church for a little different effect.

Here I use one of my Art Easy textures (as yet unnamed and unreleased). Blend mode Linear Light at 90% opacity.

I hope this post encourages you to try many different things with the same photograph.  You can easily produce very different and unique pieces from one little photo.

NOTE:    Next week will be our last Photo Art Friday for 2011.   We will resume our gallery vernissages in 2012 on January 6th.  Not to worry, I will post some little reminders beforehand.

For next week, how about if we make a piece of photo art that has something to do with the bustle of seasonal preparations: shopping, wrapping presents, preparing xmas cards, decorating your home, etc. - anything to do with preparations for Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations.  Perhaps you will be able to use it for greeting cards you create for next year.

While you're here, grab a free decorative button for your sidebar.  There are now more than twenty to choose from.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grab A Decorative Button For Your Sidebar!

Here are some new blog buttons just for you.  Buttons you can use to decorate the sidebar of your blog.  Most are related to textures and photo-art (what else?) and I hope you can find one that expresses something you would like to say on your blog.  If so, click on Decorative Buttons (see tabs under my header) where you can find the buttons currently available, their code to copy/paste, and instructions on how to do so for those of you that are not sure.  More buttons will make their debut soon. 

So take a look and let me know which button you like the most!  Did I remember to say they are free?  Enjoy!

ready for a little more gratitude?

Texture Tuesday asks that the theme of gratitude be used for this week's challenge.  Since one can never tire of gratitude, and I recently created a texture called Gratitude 2, I have no excuse for not participating!

Used my texture Gratitude 2 as a background and frame for an image of wild flowers already treated in RadLab.  Then K.K.'s texture Yesteryear was added to seamlessly pull the whole image together.  Yesteryear was blended in Soft Light at 23% opacity.

You can download my texture Gratitude 2 HERE.  Check out my Free For You page and the previous post to add even more textures to your collection.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Week's Free Texture

A warm, double kiss embrace going out to all who participated in last week's Photo Art Friday!  I'm so grateful for your participation - and so many inspiring images!!  Thank you ALL.

Last year at this time I had two broken bones in my arm near my wrist.  The photograph below was taken one-handed out of a moving car, during that time.  Due to that it's not a great photo, BUT with the addition of a texture to give it a vintage feel it becomes a viable little piece of photo art!

 This version has the texture Faded Fresco added and processed in Luminosity blend mode at 75% opacity.

 This version employs the same texture in Screen blend mode at 85% opacity.

This is the pdpa Faded Fresco texture used above and you can add it to your collection of textures by clicking HERE.  Enjoy! 

(Remember, if you try to simply click on the image in the post and 'save as' you are getting a 72 dpi image.  When you download it by clicking 'HERE' you get a 300 dpi image which is what you want for superior quality images.)

Sharing with lovely Lisa's The Creative Exchange.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Photo Art Friday, Nov. 25th - 27th

Hi there everyone.  Hope you have had a good week, and if you live in the U.S. that you are having a safe and very happy Thanksgiving.

Welcome to this edition of Photo Art Friday!   (I am publishing this post a little earlier than usual, however you will still have to wait until 7:00 p.m. EST this evening to link up your images.

This week the suggestion is to link up a piece of photo art sitting in your archives that never received the 'attention' it deserved.  I think we all have some of those hanging around!  I often find myself scrolling through old edits and finding one I had been excited about at the time it was created, but never got around to posting.  The one I pulled out to use for this week is the second image displayed in this post.

After pulling it out of my archives, I couldn't resist playing with it a bit more.  So immediately below is the old image now doctored-up a bit for Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I gave the already edited image a faded, rather chiseled look.  I used a brush to add gentle rays of light and used the Text tool to add in the word 'Grateful'.  I finished it off by adding some texture (Filter>Texture>Texturizer).

This is the image that had been sitting unused and definitely under-appreciated in my files.  It's a composite image where a macro flower photograph was used as the background, an angel was added with a brush (brushes often act as stamps, for those of you not familiar with Photoshop), and one of my favorite, never-fail textures (#3) from my Vintage Manuscript Sets finished off the piece.

An alternate version also withering away in my archives that had the addition of the Filter, Stained Glass.

And another version done yesterday, that was gently blurred (Gaussian Blur).

For the next edition of Photo Art Friday let's go back to challenging ourselves to try some edits we have been wanting to try, but have felt were too hard or that we just haven't had the time for.  The photo art could be produced from following a tutorial or simply the result of some creative play with new photo art tools and techniques.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

... free texture alert ...

Autumn Oak leaves SOOC

Same photo treated with RadLab Prettyizer and KK's Phoebe in Soft Light 35% Opacity.

Sharing with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

I hinted yesterday that there was another free texture on the way.  It's called Smokin'!

To download this free pdpa Smokin' texture, click HERE.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Every Monday Needs A Little Surprise

Hi there dear friends - hope you all had a great weekend and are happily bravely greeting another Monday!  :) 

I did a little experimenting with the new free texture called Gratitude 2.  If you didn't pick it up yet, you can do so by going here.

Here, Gratitude 2 is applied to a photograph of branches of red berries against a blue sky.  This application was blended in Difference at 95% opacity.

 Look at the surprise I had when I tried the Blend Mode Hue (100%) opacity.  The background seemed to divided itself into arcs of color without my needing to do a thing!  Love the effect!  The word 'gratitude' also disappeared with the use of this blend mode, without my erasing it.

 Here's basically the same effect using Saturation Blend Mode at 100% opacity.  I love sweet surprises on a Monay morning.  I hope some of you will let me know if you get similar effects with this texture in those two blending modalities.

Keep your eye out for another free texture coming soon.   And don't forget ... this week's Photo Art Friday is an easy one.  Simply link up a piece of photo art from your archives that has never had the attention it deserves.  Easy peasy!  :)  See you soon.

Sharing with Lisa Gordon's The Creative Exchange.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

an expression of ...

For your free expression of Gratitude 2 fine art texture, click HERE.

Just want to say how grateful I am to be able to host such an inspiring showcase of your photo art each week.  It was a delight to see each and every one of the link-ups for the last edition! 

May our American friends have a grace-filled Thanksgiving celebration this week.  May we all live in gratitude each and every day of the year.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Photo Art Friday, Nov.18th - 20th

Hey there!!!  So glad you came to visit.  Welcome to Photo Art Friday!!!  This week the suggestion is to post and link a piece of photo art that illustrates one of your favorite, "go-to" edits. 

After the 'easy' challenge of this week, I intended to suggest that we go back to producing a piece of photo art that uses a technique, tool, style or form we have been wanting to try, but felt a little intimidated by.  However, next week's Photo Art Friday falls around the American Thanksgiving holiday and I imagine a lot of you will be quite busy.  So ... next week's 'challenge' will be to post a piece of photo art from your archives that never got the spotlight and attention it deserved.  How's that for keeping it nice and easy? 

After the Thanksgiving weekend, let's return to challenging ourselves to learn and share something new.  Why not use these weekly link-ups to nudge ourselves into new digital editing territory?  We can just do same old, same old - but why not use these artistic get-togethers to try out new things and ask for feedback or tips on how to kick it up a notch?  If each of us shares our editing process, we will also learn a lot as we visit our fellow photo-artists' blogs.  That way, we would not only be participating in a weekly artistic showcase, but we would be creating some great learning opportunities as well!  What do you think?

Not to worry, as we move into the holiday rush of December, we'll go back to just keeping the weekly link-ups nice and easy.

For my piece of photo-art for this week (using my 'go-to' editing preferences), I will illustrate the progression from straight out of the camera to final product:

SOOC photograph of a shed and fence - taken in the late afternoon this past Tuesday.

In PSE 8 - duplicated the image and processed it in Color Burn blend mode at 70% opacity.  I actually quite like this, as is.

One of my usual 'go-to' edits is, (what else?) the addition of a texture.  Here, I used pdpa Gentle Fog texture processed in Hard Light at 85% opacity.  Still needs a little something to pull it all together though ...  Time to use one of my 'go-to' favorite PSE features.

One of my very favorite PSE 8 features is the Filter, "Poster Edges".   I love how it can sometimes pull all the layers of an edit together.  It does not always work, but I like to give it a try.  If I don't like it, I simply "undo" it.   To apply Poster Edges you must first flatten the layers of the image - and then duplicate the now flattened layer.  Select Filter>Poster Edges.  While I usually bring the opacity of Poster Edges down below 33%, in this case I liked the look at 70% opacity.  That's it, that's all.  Now it looks a little more artsy, don't you think?  (You need to click on the image to appreciate the full impact of the Poster Edges.)