Digitally Altered Photography

Have you ever taken a photo that was just captured the essence of who your child is, only to discover that some of the elements in the photo were less than desirable?

Take this photo of my youngest child, for instance. I snapped this one day because I had just pulled her hair up into the first set of pigtails she had ever worn. And she was less than happy about it. I love the expession on her face, but HATE the junk in the background. My shower curtain was open, the counters were all junked up, and as you can see, the lighting was horrible. This was obviously not a photograph that was going to be winning any photography awards any time soon.

So I decided to alter it in Photoshop. I wanted it to have a dreamlike quality and I’m not going to go into all the steps I took to create the photo, but suffice it to say, there were many. I placed a set of translucent fairy wings on her because I thought that would add to the ethereal quality I was looking for. I found an old photo of my mom’s back yard and then went to work blending the two. I played with color, tones, contrasts. I even gave her a rosy glow and darkened her eyes a bit. Here’s the finished result:

I’ve toyed with the idea of offering my photo retouching services for sale through my design site, but mainly for kids and babies.

As you can see, the difference is pretty dramatic. And if someone wanted a keepsake portrait, this would be it. What do you think?


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Custom Blog Header For Sale

If you are interested in this one of a kind custom blog header, I can customize it with your name and tag line and it’s yours for the small price of $30. Let me know – I’m only selling it once!


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My first Promo – how exciting!

Chad from Grizzly Groundswell was kind enough to send me the Promo he did for Simply Amusing Designs and I’m posting it so you can all listen to it and clap in glee with me.

Okay, you may not clap in glee, but I am. It was very exciting to hear my little business talked about in such a manner.

For your listening pleasure (it’s very short, I promise!) Wondering if I should stick it on my Design blog under the “what clients are saying” tab I’ve never made?


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Oh my Gersh…I’ve had to temporarily press the PAUSE button

Who would have ever thought I’d actually have so many orders that I had to close my queue so I could get caught up?!?! But the reality is that since I’m a mom of three, it’s summer, and I have too many folks waiting for their orders, the time has come to shut ‘er down until I can catch up. 🙂

If you are interested in a design, please don’t hesitate to fill out your order form and I’ll place you on the waitlist, but just understand it will be at least 4 weeks before I can get to you, unless I decide to get really spiffy and jazz up on the caffeine and stay up until 4 every morning, then I can get them done!.

Thanks to everyone for your interest and I will catch up, because I LOVE what I’m doing and I love my clients! Each and every one of you!


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It’s Like Photoshop, but Free…

Several people have asked me what program I use in my design business and I always answer with the same thing – Photoshop. Then they openly weep because Photoshop is so stinkin’ expensive and very few people are willing to drop anywhere from $500-750 on an item they want for hobbies. If it makes you feel any better, I have the older version of 5.5 and I haven’t made the plunge yet to CS3 because of the cost. UPDATED: I did it! I made the plunge and haven’t looked back. I’m now the proud owner of CS3…just in time for the new, improved version to come out. Oh well…
I made the mistake of downloading the trial and I used it for 30 days. Those were the best 30 days of my entire life. I didn’t realize I was driving a Pinto station wagon with Adobe 5.5, when I could have been driving a Cadillac Escalade in CS3. Do you know how depressing it is to turn in the keys for the Escalade you’ve been borrowing and go back to your old, broken down Ford Pinto station wagon? Gah. Let’s not even speak of it.

So the next few designs I do will stay in my paypal account so that I can save up for my beloved CS3. What is amazing to me is the fact that I’m willing to spend so much money on a software program! Originally, I said I was saving up for a new Nikon digital SLR (I have no idea which one, but I love the photos that everyone else takes with theirs – I have photo envy), but after the whole Photoshop debacle…well, the choice is obvious.

I mentioned there was something like Photoshop, but free, remember? I’m getting there…hang with me. I kept looking at some of these really cool websites and seeing the words “created in GIMP” at the bottoms…so I did what any red-blooded American girl would do and I googled “GIMP”.

What I discovered was a nifty little photo manipulation program that is really fun to use. Of course, if you’ve never used Photoshop, you might be a little confused the first 27 times you open it up, but if you play around enough, you’ll get the hang of it. There are online tutorials – use your google, people! Here are but a couple of the many ways it will allow you to manipulate a photo:



It will allow you to create and edit in layers mode, which is similar to Adobe – you can add text, etc. etc. etc. Go to their website and download it here. Be sure to download and install the Windows installers by Jernej Simončič, along with the program.

Have fun! And see you on the web!


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Not one, not two, but THREE!

This past week has seen me very busy working very closely with another artist who runs three separate blogs – one for thought, one for radio, and one for video. He wanted a cohesive theme that tied them all together, sort of a “trifecta” effect. He wanted texture and depth and stated his favorite colors are browns, greens, purples, and coppers. After an initial preview, he gave me the go ahead to run with his vision and this is what I came up with. Note the headers are all similar, but the words are highlighted according to what the blog is about. I also did the buttons and members map you see on the right side.

This is Grizzly Groundswell:

This is Grizzly Groundswell Radio:

And this is Grizzly Groundswell Video:

This was a super fun project because it wasn’t something I have ever tried. I love to stretch myself and working with the textures and these colors was really fun.

By the way, Chad is a Raku Clay handmade tile and mosaic artist and very talented – you can check out his work at The Clay Empire.

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