Category Archives: photoshop

Photo a Day Challenge


Leslie, over at a Recipe for Crazy shared the photos she had been taking using FatMumSlim’s Photo a Day Challenge. I’ve been using my new camera nearly every day, so I thought it would be fun to have a little challenge to work on. Above is the picture that I picked for February 1st. Below are some other random shots that I took and edited, adding some special effects.

So if you have a camera, and a few minutes every day, join me for the month of February. Don’t have a blog? Post your pics to MixedMolly Designs facebook wall for a chance to be featured next month!

Today’s Challenge is words. Hhhmmmm…….



The Evolution of an Idea

Idea’s never leave me alone.

They bother me when I’m riding in the car and have no pen to record them. They keep me up in the middle of the night after a child wakes me up. They distract me when I should be paying attention.

Sometimes one idea will come, then quickly leave. Other times an idea will stick with me, aggravating me until I create it, or write it or do something about it.

Often, when I am working in my sketchbook, I am thinking of what else I could do with image.

This idea started with a frame that I created and really liked in my sketchbook. I used my sharpie and watercolor brush markers to sketch this.

doodle borders

I took a picture of it and uploaded that to my computer. I used Photoshop and Illustrator to create a vector image. (Visit this website for more information on vectors and bitmaps.)


Once I had the vector image, I used InDesign to add the background, color and text. I ended up with a 5×7 to offer you as a new free download!

 Psalm 100:2

Click here to download a high resolution 5×7 jpeg for printing at your favorite photo developer!

A Week of Creating Daily (almost)

This week I haven’t exactly completed all of my assignments for the Create Daily class. But I have been creating daily, which is the purpose for taking the class.

Early in the week I painted a rock – which was actually more fun than I anticipated – and photographed a mysterious “monkey” that had gotten loose in the little boys bedroom.


Another day I made something to give away (see the “U R Super Cool card on the left of pic below. The Monkey had gotten loose again, and this time was joined by Dean-O doing the “Dance of the Karate Warrior”. I’ve found they’ll do all sorts of amusing things if I get my new camera out.


I worked on this in my sketchbook  while we were driving somewhere.


Every time I go to Jer’s shop, I eyeball his stash of sheet metal scraps. I got him to bend up a piece for me so I could experiment again with painting on the metal. I have previously tried to paint on it, but it scratched off easily. I did some research and tried a new technique that worked much better. I’ve requested some more pieces, so you will see more metal work in the future.

In honor of the impending Hallmark Holiday, I created this little piece with the metal he gave me to hang somewhere in the house. It is officially the only “Valentine-sy” decoration I have ever owned.


I’ve been working on some new brooches, including some “school spirit” ones for a couple of shops I am going to soon be selling them in very soon.


One day, our assignment was to get messy. I used a brush, my finger and three paint colors to create these two sketch book pages.

get messy


I took a picture of the pages, and used one of them as a background for this image. The flower is a one that I created in my sketchbook with paint, a medicine cap, and sharpies. I scanned it in and turned it into a vector image. Then I added he quote.


limit yourself assignment

Photoshop Magic: Cropping

Having the ability to crop pictures is as helpful in graphic design as it is in scrapbooking. As a photographer, you can crop the image by moving the focus of the camera, or adjusting the distance from the subject or the angle of the camera. In a darkroom, the photographer can crop the image during processing.  A graphic designer has an endless number of ways to edit photographs using software such as Photoshop.

Today, I have shown the process of cropping on some of my own photographs. It is cold in Michigan, so I had to choose two photos from summer’s past to remind me of the hope of spring.

The rocks are overwhelming the cuteness of Monkey in this picture. I used Photoshop’s blur tool to make the rocks in the background softer, therefore enhancing his little monkey expression. I also applied a free Photoshop Action called Seventies from The Pioneer Woman.

Dean-o’s muscles, obviously the focal point of this picture, were being drowned out by the weeds in this picture, taken before we planted a yard. I also blurred the weeds using the blur tool in Photoshop. Since he was the focus in the picture, I cropped out Sissy’s horses swimming upside down. I also applied the seventies Photoshop action to this picture.

Okay, it really is winter, so I had to bring myself back to reality and include this picture, taken last year after a bad ice storm that passed through our area. I do like the original image, but the focus of this photo is the ice and I think the cropping helps to see that more clearly.

If you are interested in seeing other posts in the Photoshop Magic series, click on the links below.

Black and White

The Photo Shoot

Photoshop Magic: Black and White

The earliest surviving photograph was produced in 1826 by the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Long before that there is evidence of pinhole cameras, even as early as the 4th century BC. The Daguerreotype became popular in America in 1839. Almost 100 years later, in 1935, Kodak introduced the first color film called Kodachrome. By the early 1940’s Kodak began commercially producing color films, and the first Polaroid camera was available for sale in 1948. Canon demonstrated their invention, the digital camera, in 1984.

Yet, with all the advancements made in camera and film technology, I am drawn back to black and white photography. Why with all the improvements in quality, do I, in 2011, take the vibrant colors out of some of my photos?

Perhaps it’s a throwback to my Intro to Photography days, when I took my photos on black and white film, developed that film myself, and created my own prints in a darkroom. Maybe it’s because black and white helps me to focus on the subject of the photo, instead of the competing colors. Sometimes it’s simply preference.

Often simply changing a photo from color to black and white can produce meager results. Editing with Photoshop can take those meager results, and make lemonade. Below I have created examples with some of my own photos. First, you can see the original. Next, the same image, changed to grayscale, and the final image, with adjustments made to the curves/levels and adding a RadLab Photoshop action.

If you have a minute, leave me a comment below. I’d like to hear what you think about black and white photography.

Photoshop Magic: The Photo Shoot

Sprinkled among my other daily duties, I’ve been spending time getting items ready for my Etsy shop. I knew I could really enhance my store items by getting someone to model them. Fortunately for me, my sister visited yesterday and was a willing participant. I do not have a studio, or lights, or a fancy digital camera (I am using a point and shoot Canon PowerShot A95). I really did not know what kind of results I would get, but I hoped with a little Photoshop magic I could make my items stand out more on Etsy. So I pinned up a white bed sheet on our front porch and had my sister stand in front of it to model some hats and a necklace and bracelet set I have created.

Here is a collage of the raw images, straight from my camera to the computer, with the “after” photo below it. In Photoshop, I adjusted curves and levels, and applied two different Rad Lab Photoshop Actions to get the final results.

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