Thursday, May 30, 2013

PSP Basics # 4: The Halftone Effect

I started writing this as part of a separate tutorial I was working on, then I decided that I might as well do a PSP Basics on it.  This is a pretty versatile set of effects in Paint Shop Pro and I use it for a lot of different kinds of work.

"Halftone" is a method of printing that is commonly used in newspaper, comics, and magazines.  Dots of different sizes, shapes, or colors are used throughout an image to simulate darker or lighter shading an degrees of depth.  (Have you ever noticed that if you look closely at the pictures in a newspaper or magazine, you can see small dots?  That's halftone printing.)

Halftone effects have also become popular in graphic art and design.  Search "halftone" or "halftone brush" and you'll see what I mean.

Photoshop has a few different ways of creating halftone effects.  PSP has one, but there are a lot of settings and ways you can apply them.  Let's take a look.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Copyright and What it Means to You

I've been working on this a little a time since January, before I hurt my arm.  It's a sort of follow up to a post I made about Creative Commons licenses.

This work is now available as part of the text Copyright answers on

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5.13_CC composites

Gah, this has been a hectic week.  I've been having trouble getting the zip files up, but here are the ones for this set.
Gallery after the jump

Monday, May 20, 2013


Had a ton of trouble uploading these on Flickr yesterday. I'm wondering if it's because they've suddenly changed their site format and pricing.

I think it looks awful now and will take forever to load on slower connections.

I'll keep the account paid up as long as I can, but when it goes I guess there just won't be galleries here for a while.

Anyway. I made these to be used as backgrounds, but do as you like with them. If you can find a use for them as a layer or an overlay, be my guest.

Gallery after the jump.

Friday, May 17, 2013

PSP Basics # 3-The Materials Palette

This is one part of Paint Shop Pro that can be confusing, especially if you've used Photoshop or GIMP. Those programs handle choosing colors, gradients, or patterns each in their own menus and tool sets.  Paint Shop Pro allows you to "paint" with a gradient or a pattern and any brush tip that you want, so the program groups all of your materials and their properties in one place.

Corel's help file on the materials palette is here, and it's pretty comprehensive.  This article is more simplified and it's just to show you how to get to the materials you want to use quickly and simply.

Monday, May 13, 2013



These were supposed to be stationery but I realized too late that I was using the wrong dimensions. They're 3.5.x5 inches @ 300 PPI, so they'll print a little bigger than a standard index card. Free for noncommercial use. I also have some lined versions (in portrait orientation) and several more colors if anyone is interested.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

5.13 Supporter Exclusives

I've had some awesomely generous donations since I hurt my arm in January, and I've been feeling bad for not offering more Supporter exclusives.  Hopefully this set will be useful to you.  

I'm looking into ways to post password protected zips again.  I had a lot of downloads on the protected files from users who apparently didn't understand that the Supporter Exclusives are...well...exclusive.  For now the best I can do is ask you to comment if you'd like this set and I'll send you a one-time link.

Brushes used in this set are from and  Base paper texture is from

Site Supporters, comment for download links
You'll have them within 48 hours.

Larger Previews after the jump.

Color Palette Templates

The idea of of the large templates is that you paste an image in the center and use the eye dropper to select colors from it.  They make choosing theme colors a lot more convenient for me.  The smaller palette strips can be used that way or you can just fill with whatever colors you want.  Sorry, I didn't think to make PNGs, but the paint bucket worked fine over the light background in the squares.

RBF_Color Palettle Template_prev

I've had these for a while but I originally did them in PSP X5.  Re-made them today in the older PSP 8 so the layer files should work for most Paint Shop Pro users.
JPGs are included for those using other programs.

The sample image is from here:  It is not included in the download.

This is just a template file, NOT the palettes shown in the preview.

You may use the templates however you like and you may redistribute them FOR FREE on your website or blog as long as everything remains zipped together in one package (including previews and credit information.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5.13_Monochrome Grunge

These are some color variations on a grunge overlay. There are several more colors that I may upload later if you guys like them. The grayscale one can be used easily as an overlay for whatever colors you'd like, too.

I uploaded them to my Flickr gallery weeks ago and totally forgot that I had't posted the zips.  Sorry about that.  I'm going to get with the program now. Zips will be up as soon as they finish uploading.

Monday, May 6, 2013

MyMemories Freebies-Deco Dragon Eggs

Update: I realized this morning that I'd set these links up wrong.  I'm really sorry! Clicking the images will now take you to the downloads on the MyMemories store site.

There are assembly instructions as well.

Lesson learned: Don't try to make complicated blog posts when tired.

Here's something for all the paper crafters out there.  I haven't tried these, but they do look like they'd make cool part favors or decorations.  They're free until May 19, 2013 at the store.

Deco Dragon Eggs 1

Two more after the jump.

These are available in .JPG format by clicking the "General" download.

 They'll work in any image program, but if you're interested in MyMemories Suite, my referral code is STMMMS69181. You can use that code any time for a $10 discount on the software (regularly $39.97) plus $10 in free store merchandise.

Here's a little inspiration

I was going to post this last night but I was having trouble with Google.

This is one of the most awesome spiritually related graphics I've seen in some time. It was created by inspired-imaging on DA.  Click to see the full sized version in his gallery.

Friday, May 3, 2013

MyMemories Suite Software Review

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email offering me the opportunity to review digital scrapbook software MyMemories Suite .  As I've mentioned, I don't scrap very much, so I wasn't sure how I'd test a scrapbooking program.

I ended up  designing some cards.  I also tried some banners and custom layout designs, but these cards were my favorite.

Free MyMemories Suite Giveaway Bonus Prize

So, as  I mentioned yesterday, I'm hosting a giveaway for MyMemories Suite Digital Scrapbook Software.

One thing I don't like about giveaways is that I never win anything.  So I decided to make this giveaway a little nicer by offering a bonus.

This set of background textures is huge at 3600x3600 px and I tried to give it a nice variety of different styles so that it will be useful to everyone.

Larger Previews After the Jump.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Memories Suite Design Samples

I posted last night about a free digital scrapbook software I'm giving away.

I wanted to post some samples for you to show you what the program can do.

I don't have children or any family close by, so I don't do much scrapping.  If I do, it's usually for someone else.  I have a minor obsession with greeting cards, though.  I collect second hand cards from thrift stores and I will never throw out birthday cards or holiday cards of any kind if I can help it.

I think personalized cards make awesome gifts, too, so I make them whenever I can.  These particular cards are gifts for my friends and family that I had been putting off making.

The thank you card was made mainly from resources that come with My Memories Suite.  One of the flowers was from this project I posted about last month.

The Mother's Day Card and Best Friends card were created with MMS elements and this kit called Mother by Snackpackgu.

I have personalized text on the finished gifts; I left most that off the samples for privacy reasons.

There is a gallery below with the full sized card fronts.

Cards in

RBF_MMS_Cardsamples_PublicRBF_Mother's Day Card_Sample_publicRBF_Best Friends Card_Sample_publicRBF_Thank You Card_Sample_public

MMS Design Samples, a set on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
These are samples of things I've created in My Memories Suite v. 4. They are not stock this time, sorry.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Digital Scrapbook Software--Totally Free! (And Everyone Gets A Prize!)

Are you looking for an alternative to Photoshop?  Do you want a simple to use program that will help you make attractive graphics without spending hours at a go?

I have recently had the opportunity to review digital scrapbooking software, MyMemories Suite version 4.  I'll be posting that review in a few days.  For right now, I'd like to offer you a chance to win a free copy of the software. (Retail $39.97)

If you're reading my blog, I'm sure you know how careful I am about recommending anything.  I don't have banner ads on the site and will only link to products or articles that I can vouch for.

My Memories Suite is a feature-rich program that comes with a huge selection of content you can use in your products.  It's also very versatile and a lot of fun!  I've used it to make cards and web banners as well as custom scrapbook layouts.

If you're looking for a program for your scrapbooking or other art projects and would like something simpler to use than Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, this is the program for you.

** There will be a bonus prize available for ALL entrants who leave a comment on this post**