Saturday, November 29, 2008

Layouts: The Winter Coast

A couple of layouts with pictures from beach walks. The sunsets seem so much more colorful in the winter, I'm not sure why. And today was fraught with fog, and the waves were crashing really far out, creating old man dreads rippling towards shore...

Heather Taylor, Stillness

I've done nothing to the photo except crop it (then invert it and take a bit out of the lower part), and only used some brushwork on the background to get it to blend... Font: King.

Heather Taylor, Glory

All 2Peas: 3 papers in the background by Veronica Ponce (Venice Beach kit) with different directions of layer masks overtop, and 2 swirls by Rhonna Farrer (V14 and V4 Swirls). Fonts: 1913 Underwood and You Are Loved. No journaling--'nuff said!

Illustration Friday: Balloon

Word of the week: balloon

Heather Taylor, Balloon

I always dread the post-prandial stupors of the holidays, and the way I seem to balloon...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beach Layouts

Even in the winter, we spend most of our sun-time at the beach...

Ocean Of Light: I really use up lots of time going through the different permutations when it comes to layer blending modes, but boy does it pay off. This paper on the bottom ended up perfectly conveying the swirling depths of the ocean, and I blended it easily with the top photo layer by using a layer mask on the photo and a fat, sheer brush to ease the transition from the dark sand into the paper.

Heather Taylor, Ocean Of Light

Credits: All Designer Digitals, Katie Pertiet: Stacked Photo Clusters No. 2 for the frame, and a beautiful paper blended into the bottom from the Surf Shak Paper Pack. Do you see the giant Japanese crab lurking in there? Those things are impressive--photo is from a trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Font: Last Words. Journaling reads:

"There is the ocean of light
Shimmering sunset paths of lilac and gold,
Foam green curls and jolt of white;
Even in a storm there are still
Twenty shades of gray scattered across
That moment where sky and water meet.

And there is the ocean of the deep.
I had nightmares when we first moved here.
I dreamt of inky depths and deaf blindness;
Of monsters half tooth, half hunger;
I sensed lurkers in every puddle and pool.
You cringed at the constant growl of waves;
I protected us cautiously, wary of the tide.

Now, I have learned to hear its echoes
Rushing in long waves through my blood;
Still, at night when I hear that startling
Crack of a wave collapsing at high tide,
I fear I have conjured up some vast creature
Scuttling in from the cold black waters
Headed straight for me."

Thought At Work: The color in this photo is really vivid and lovely, but wasn't quite congruent with the reflective look on his face, so I opted to desaturate it, then change the Hue/Saturation back to "colorize" and picked a color that didn't make him look sickly or alien. =) I've also really gotten into the softened black and white: duplicate the image, and use a fairly heavy gaussian blur on the lower image (I used about 4.5). Then, either use overlay, soft light, or screen on the upper layer and watch the image lighten and soften!

Heather Taylor, Thought At Work

Credits: All Designer Digitals. Lynn Grieveson's Essentials paper for the background; everything else by Katie Pertiet. Patterned paper and stitching from the Botanical Fusion kit, tag from Lil Bit Tags, flower from Crumpled Flowers (and from the 30 minute chat), twill from Shell Collectors No 4 kit, leafy branch from From My Porch Brushes, tiny birdie from the Little One Layered Template, and title alpha from Grimey Alpha. Font: butterbrotpapier. Journaling reads: "Whether you're speculating about the life path of a star or what might happen if two black holes were to collide, or you're pondering how to construct your latest architectural invention--usually involving trains in some fashion--you get this look: a completely intent yet faraway stare that only tangentially comes near to conveying to us what neuronal storms are firing away in that precious little head of yours."

Sand Golf: I love this transparent alpha by Erica Hernandez at 2Peas--you can really add dimension and meaning to your layout without sacrificing real estate. The stitching leading the eye around the spiral of images is hopefully suggestive, without being over-powering...

Heather Taylor, Sand Golf

Credits: All 2Peas. Background paper by Kate Teague (Paint It), and stitching linking the photos also by here (Worn Out kit). Alpha by Erica Hernandez (Vibe freebie). Font: butterbrotpapier (what would I do without that font, sheesh!).

Journaling reads: "We went for a lovely hike around Cape Perpetua, and you decided the beach needed a channel connecting all the little puddles -- a "sewer system." But I swear it looked like you were playing golf -- especially with Daddy's cap on!"

Scale: Uh, this took a while. =) Lots of blending, clipping...

Heather Taylor, Scale

Credits: All Designer Digitals. Background paper by Katie Pertiet (Naturally Krafty). Splotches are combinations of Anna Aspnes's Floral Art No. 2 or Foto Blendz Clipping Masks No. 10 clipped to papers by Lynn Grieveson (Essential Bases, Kiwiana) or Anna Aspnes (Something Springy). Also by Anna Aspnes are a page border (Something Springy) and a corner swirl (Hipster Plumes Korners N Edges No 2). Katie Pertiet also provided an overlay shell design (Beachy Clusters), as well as stitching holes (Stitching Hole Borders) and stitches (Once Upon A Time kit). Bottom edge border graphic by Mary Ann Wise (Natural Borders), and finally, the page edges are by Lynn Grieveson (Worn Page Edges). Fonts: Monika Italic and 1942 Report. Journaling reads:

"We stand on one side of the bay,
looking into the deep horizon,
lost in the sky, anchored unsteadily
to the side of the cliff. We feel so
And we look down
and witness this amazing snail,
snuggled under a crevasse,
busy foraging in his own, tiny world.
The snail, the lighthouse, the waves:
all sublime, no matter their
relative size."

PS: Just looking over my post to make sure everything came through all right, I was struck in the last layout at the similarity between the capital S of "scale", and the foam on the wave above it. I just LOVE these subconscious synchronicities!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Font Freebie: Tall Drink

Just a little font I made today using Art Rage, Illustrator, and Photoshop... (and a Wacom, of course.) Click to download...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Illustration Friday: Opinion

Word of the week: "opinion" -- I hope writing can be part of the illustration... (Click for larger, (mostly) legible version)

Heather Taylor, Opinion


i saw a little scene
a father screaming at his son
hitting him on the shoulders
right where he knew the child
had a terrible sunburn

my opinion of this man
was not the most flattering

another time
i spoke with a man and his wife
about churches (this was in the South)
and listened to their reasons
for attending at least every two weeks
which was the minimum a man
of his standing
could afford to go they told me

my opinion of these reasons
greatly informs my skepticism

i have heard white people
scoff at the possibility of parity
between themselves and a black person
i have heard black people
scream hatred at 200 year old oppressors
who happened to be born 20 years ago
i have felt the spit of apoplexy
from women burned by men
and i've shrivelled under the scorn
of men whose mindscape includes no females


the grip of emotion
the shadowscreen of our lives

opinion is not often

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bohème Sophistiquée Freebie

Not sure why I made such a huge kit, but there ya go. It's two separate uploads: 1 is the paper pack, and the other are the elements and quickpage. Here's the layout I made with the kit and turned into the quickpage:

Heather Taylor, Simply Darling

The preview image is linked to the element pack, so be sure you come back for the paper pack! Please remember that 4shared is being really difficult with comments, so do leave some on the blog. It's my only pay! =)

Heather Taylor, Boheme Sophistiquee

Element Pack
Paper Pack

Monday, November 17, 2008

Angel Hartline Designs

Joined a new Creative Team, Angel Hartline Designs--a somewhat different direction, but I think it'll be fun!

Credits: Everything from Angel Hartline Designs. All papers and flower from "It's A Good Life" kit, except for the two whitish ones that I scribbled on myself (I also made that little curled bit up there). Swirly bit from Music Flourishes 2. Wordart and ribbon-washer-thingie from Tranquillité kit. Frame from Blessed Part 1. Font: butterbrotpapier. Journaling reads:

"a boy
a stick
sand and water
nature's sketchpad"

Heather Taylor, Tranquility

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tutorial: Fading Backgrounds

This is such an easy technique: take one paper, and fade it into the other. This gives you the chance to introduce some subtle variations into your background, without having to go full out into making something look realistic, and it's great for a soft touch of color if you want it. Here are a couple of examples:

Heather Taylor, Evening Flight

Credits: All Designer Digitals. Papers by Lynn Grieveson: Background from Essential Bases, and blended portion from Catalina (using Anna Aspnes's Fruehling mask). All frames by Katie Pertiet: From the bottom up: Carded Stacked Frames, Filmed Layered Template No. 10 (tape is from this as well), Photobooth Frame No. 2 Sampler, and Little One Layered Template. Fonts: Maszyna Plus and Sidewalk. Journaling reads: "i have seen / gravity / denied / and shadow / fade into / light / a simple act / forbidden / to me"

Heather Taylor, So Sweet

Oh, what I have to resort to to use these pretty feminine kits! *lol* Everything from Vinnie Pearce's new kit at Pixel Canvas, Shabby Baby.

So, how do you do this? First, you need a mask. A mask is simply a shape, which you will use as a "clipping path"--that is, the image will be mapped directly onto the shape, including it's opacity! It's way cool. =) I used Anna Aspnes's mask in the first layout, but they're really easy to make. Open up a blank canvas, and on a transparent layer, just start painting. You can use a big clunky brush for the middle, but the cooler effect will be given by the edges that fade into nothingness, so make the edges gradually lighter and lighter. I usually start by painting, and then erase a bunch, then paint again... Try using brushes that you've made from scans of some text (it doesn't matter what as it'll be illegible)--those make really nice fine texture.

Once you have your mask all set, place your background paper on a layer beneath it. Then, take a slightly contrasting paper, and place it on a layer *above* the mask. Now, do ctrl+alt+g (in PSE, I think it's just ctrl+g). The top paper will map itself onto the mask, and if you've faded your edges enough, it will gently settle over top the background and give you a nice color spot. Have fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Illustration Friday


Heather Taylor, Friday Illustration: Wise

Art Rage, Photoshop -- with thanks to "adnandx" at for the photographic inspiration

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Card, and Layout Catch-Up (no fries, though)

Ha, ha ha ha.

Ok, here's the card. I made the background for this at the same time as I was making one for my art journal, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out:

Heather Taylor, Asian Collage

Supplies: Paints: Gesso, Fresco reinkers, Torn Asian-language newspaper, Mizuhiki Stamps: Art Neko (ginkgo branch), Hanko (single sakura blossom), Asian Image (umbrella), Hampton Art Stamps (women's faces) & Stone House Stamps (calligraphy). Inks: Versacraft black, Colorbox Fluid Chalk green, lavendar, orange, Brilliance coral and purple. Embossing powders: Ranger clear. 2nd layer: red & yellow acrylic paints. Cardstock: shimmering lavender.

And now, the layouts:


Heather Taylor, What's Here and Not Here

Credits: Shell: Katie Pertiet (Designer Digitals, Shell PNG's). Button: Vinnie Pearce (Pixel Canvas, My Pet Elephant Kit). Pebble: Vinnie Pearce (Glass Pebbles). Sea star charm: Vinnie Pearce (Paradiso Kit). Tag: Katie Pertiet (Lil Bit Tags). Font: Hobbes. Journaling reads: "Here, you don't see the dog who has just used her awesome and terrible hunting powers to shoo a mass of seagulls into flight. Here, you don't see a small boy forever drawn by whatever insignificant empty shell or puddle running in the most circuitous fashion as far from the return path as possible. Here, you don't see the mother whose soul has spread itself wide open to the sky and salty wind, while her heavy body traipses ageingly across the beach and her camera catches memories in its digital skeins. Here, all you see is simply a moment endlessly repeated striding across time, briefly frozen."

Yesterday's: I was inspired by a color palette of Kris's, at Kris's Color Stripes.

Heather Taylor, Grandma Cuddle

Credits: All Designer Digitals. Background paper by Kellie Mize (Winter Surf Kit), with overlays by Anna Aspnes (top: Hipster Plumes Korners N Edges No. 2, bottom: Floral ART No. 2). Frame by Katie Pertiet (In A Strip) with papers by Lynn Grieveson (Chat Freebie 09-13-08) and Mindy Terasawa (Sunday Morning Papers). Gold accent paper by Anna Aspnes (Ad Challenge 07-27-08). Tree and buttons by Katie Pertiet (Love Grows No. 1, and Once Upon A Time Kit). Font: 1550. Journaling reads: "Nothing better than a Grandma cuddle on a windy day."

Oh wow, I just realized I have *lots* of layouts I haven't posted, so ok, just a couple more...

On this day, I was glad I'd brought my camera along when we went to change our oil, because we ended up sitting there for almost 20 minutes. So I amused myself by taking surreptitious pictures of the back seat in the rearview mirror, until he caught me out =).

Heather Taylor, Back There

Credits: Almost everything from Vinnie Pearce's Engines kit (Pixel Canvas). Alpha for "back there?" is by Rob and Bob (Designer Digitals, Sanctuary Alpha). Fonts: Splurge and tweed. . I had fun with the perspective tool... ;)

And finally, a scraplift of Denise at Designer Digitals, for the Saturday Scraplift a while ago. We don't do Halloween--after all, Allen doesn't like candy, and he doesn't like costumes. But we did drop by Daddy's office, only to find a couple of gruesome witches, and a Hulk (which he'd never heard of before--we don't have TV). But he could handle the cowgirl, and even consented to model her hat!

Heather Taylor, The Reluctant Cowboy

Credits: Stuff by me. Fonts: Digs My Hart and 3rd Man.

I guess I'd better get to the Friday Illustration before the next one comes, too--I've had a punnish idea for it, as usual...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sweet Quickpage Freebie!

Ok, I just spent a weekend putting a kit together, which if I ever grow up to be a real designer, I'll offer in a store (probably with some more stuff in it). Here's a preview of what's in it now:

Heather Taylor, Sweet! Kit Preview

But I do love to share stuff too (and wow, when you leave me a comment it SO makes my day--thank you to those of you who do so!) so I made a quickpage, which I hope you'll like. Obviously the quickpage has a hole where Allen's pic is right now! =) It's a .png file, which I *think* everybody can open--let me know if you can't, ok?--and all you have to do is create another layer *underneath* the quickpage, drag your photo into there and resize it, and you're good to go. Anyway, hope you enjoy this freebie! (Just click on the image to be taken to the download area)

Heather Taylor, Sweet Quickpage Freebie

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cherry Blossoms Paper Freebie

Somebody was asking for some on 2Peas, so I thought I'd oblige... =) Just a couple of papers! (link updated 10/9/2012)

Heather Taylor, Cherry Blossoms

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Wintery Mood...

Been feeling blue, I guess...

Music To My Soul

Heather Taylor, Music To My Soul

The annual seagull pilgrimage to Yachats River Beach has begun, except this year they are joined by pelicans.

Credits: Everything Designer Digitals. Background paper and paper edges by Lynn Grieveson (Little Hampton and Worn Paper Edges). Masks by Anna Aspnes (Floral Art 2 and 4) and me. Some coloring provided by Katie Pertiet's paper from the color challenge of 10/28/08. Music frame by Kellie Mize (Journaling challenge, 11/2/08). Font: DB Poetic and Times New Roman.

Colors Of Winter

Heather Taylor, Colors Of Winter

I know it's not winter yet, but once the rains start, well, it might as well be. It only gets slightly colder when actual winter arrives, and there's a little more hail. Heh.

Credits: All Vinnie Pearce, Pixel Canvas. Papers from Pieces of Me and Weathered greens. Freebie Template Challenge #5. Font: Oregon LDO (heh!). Journaling reads: "We take our walks along the 804 trail and discover what the increasing rains and winds are doing to the shoreline and the tenacious grasses along the dunes. You jump and run and throw rocks and dig holes -- and pay no attention to our tut-tutting -- just as alive as the roar of the waves, the waves shouldering against the dark rock, spraying their very vitality to the gloomy skies." Very simple!

Memories Of The Sea

Heather Taylor, Memories Of The Sea

The pattern in the long strip is taken from a kimono, of all things. I've turned it into a rubber stamp, but also used it as an overlay for the paper (I'm feelin' a blog freebie coming on soonish!). I'm thinking forward to the time when Allen will have to carry the ocean with him...

Credits: Background paper and strip of paper mine, though the strip has been "worn" with Lynn Grieveson's Worn Page Edges (Designer Digitals, slightly modified to fit my shape). Frame by Katie Pertiet (DD, Stitched Up Frames). Stitched frame by Anna Aspnes (DD, Stitched by Anna No. 1 White). Flowers by Monica Larsen, Floralis. Fonts: Boris Black Bloxx and Luna. Journaling reads: this is our ocean and this is you by the ocean and this is me taking a picture of you by the ocean and here is my gift to you a memory of this day and our beautiful beloved ocean"

Illustration Friday


Heather Taylor,

Art Rage, Photoshop CS2. It was just going to be the line drawing base for a collage-type thing, but I ended up kinda liking it this way, too...