Thursday, April 30, 2015

CoffeeShop "Shells" Digital Paper Pack!


Happy last day of April!  I can't believe that summer is almost upon us.

I had a reader request neutral papers with a shell theme (great idea, keep them coming!) so I sat down last weekend and designed one.  I hope you enjoy using these free papers on your own designs and I would love to them on my Facebook page.  If you want a specific paper pack designed please leave a comment here and I will do my best to get it up on my site for free download.

Download the CoffeeShop "Shells" digital paper pack. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CoffeeShop Photographer Storyboard #21, 16x20 for Print or Web


I had some time to this week to sit down and create a pile of new photographer storyboards/mini session template that you can use professionally and today I wanted to post the first of the series.  This storyboard is 16x20 and can be printed or resized for the web.  This storyboard has clipping masks to make it easy for you to load your images in Photoshop or PSE.

If you are new to using clipping masks in storyboards (they are the BEST!) I have a step-by-step tutorial and a free loading action posted here.

I wanted to mention that I found this beautiful wood background for my ad here on Pixabay.

Download the CoffeeShop Storyboard #21. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CoffeeShop Light Overlay Set and Photoshop/PSE Tutorial on Adding Light!


On Sunday I I blogged about my "Magic Light Overlay Creator" Photoshop/PSE action.  Today I will show you how I create these simple light overlays in Photoshop and PSE.  I also have a link on the bottom of this post where you can download three overlays created by this tutorial if you would rather not use an action.  You can also download the companion action called "Blissful Light" that loads these light overlays and adds golden light and a slight haze to your images.

Tutorial-Simple Light Overlay Design in Photoshop or PSE (without using my action):


1. In Photoshop or PSE select File, New from the top menubar and create a new document 6000px by 4000px.  I make my light overlays large so that I can use them on high resolution images.



2. Make the foreground color white and background color black (see screenshot above) and grab your gradient tool (G) and click on the first gradient preset (which should be white to black, see above).  Press OK.


3.  Drag your gradient tool from the point where you want the light to start and across the image.  This overlay sample will give a pop of hazy light on the upper left of an image.

Drag your new overlay onto your image, resize (Ctrl-T) to fit, and then put it in Screen blending mode and adjust the opacity.

You can really have fun creating overlays in different colors if you want to add warm or cool light.  Have fun playing!!!

Download the CoffeeShop "Light Overlay Set".  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures. 

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Imp turns 8. How can that be?


We have had a fun and busy week because my baby boy just turned eight.  Or as Duke says, he is now "infinity" set on its side.

I made this chocolate cheesecake without the crust and we named it "Death by Chocolate".  We don't eat many sweets, but this cake was completely worth the sugar crash.  I had to take a nap post-cake.

We had a small family party because I am not the "hostess with the mostess" if a party involves lots of hyper kids running around.  Imp was fine with that because Dad made homemade pizza, I made cake, and there were presents involved.  

We had a few family members at the house to help celebrate (including my 92-year-old grandmother), but my mom and sister Heather couldn't come because they are in Dallas playing with Heather's new little baby boy.  Yes, we had two birthdays this week.

Life is good.

I don't want you to think I am a heartless person who doesn't "socialize" my boys.  ;-)  As part of Imp's birthday week we spent a day at the beach (followed with mini golf) with one of their best friends.


The water was cold so I wasn't sure they would go swimming.  They started out digging in the sand.


That didn't last long.  We always bring a trunkful of beach toys and they usually go unused.


They ran around like puppies.


And had a blast.


And then they got brave (or stupid!) and decided to go swimming.

We sat on the beach and watched them.  I love the ocean but I love it from afar when the water is cold.


But they didn't care.


And they swam, dived, jumped waves, and floated for over an hour.


When they finally came out they were little ice cubes.

Wow, my little boy looks so big in this picture.  Did I mention he just turned eight?


It seemed like just yesterday when I had a toddler running on the beach.

Life flies by so fast when you are having fun. Take the time to enjoy it!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Sunday, April 26, 2015

CoffeeShop "Magic Light Overlay Creator" Photoshop/PSE Action!


I love adding light to images post-camera and today I wanted share a nifty little action called "Magic Light Overlay Creator"that automatically creates three light overlays that you can use on any of your own images.

This week I will post the three light overlays for download if you would rather not use an action to create them and a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your own.  I will also have a companion action called "Blissful Light" that allows you to use these overlays and adds a beautiful warm light and boost of contrast.


This is the beautiful "before" image I found here. I ran one of my favorite B&W actions (Gossamer Wings) on it and then decided to add some light coming from the top right of the image.


I ran the "Magic Light Overlay Creator" and grabbed the Top Right Light overlay created by the action and placed it on top of the image and free transformed (Ctrl-T) it to fit.  Then I put it in screen blending mode at 81% opacity.  I love this soft hazy version.

Download the  CoffeeShop "Magic Light Overlay Creator" Photoshop/PSE action. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

CoffeeShop Photographer Storyboard 20!



It has been a crazy week.  My husband's assistant has not been able to come in to work as she has a sick baby at home.  So I have been filling in for her the last few days.  I love to work in his clinic, but my sister just had her baby (yay!) and my mom (my just-in-case babysitter) is up in Dallas helping her out so I have no one to take the boys during the day. So they are having to go to work with me and do their school, read, and watch Netflix.  I am exhausted but they are in heaven since they don't usually watch much TV.

So this week I behind in my real job (this blog), but hopefully I will be back to work by Sunday.  I will have lots of new goodies coming out next week!

I do have this 12x12 photographer storyboard for you today.  It has clipping masks and for a tutorial/free action on using these types of storyboards please visit this post.

Have a great Friday!!!

Download the free CoffeeShop Storyboard 20. You can also download it here.


Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Don't Lose the Freckles!" Photoshop/PSE Retouching Action!



I have a new retouching action to share with you today.  I love freckles, but unfortunately most skin smoothing actions will completely blur them away.  So I decided to write a retouching action that smooths mature skin while leaving most of the freckles intact.  

This action also has a eye/hair brighten layer, a whiten teeth layer, and a foundation layer and can be used on any portrait for retouching, no freckles necessary!  Check out all of my other retouching actions on this page.

I used a beautiful image from Bobby from SnapHappy Photography for this tutorial.



This is the before image.  I love the mother's freckles, but I wanted to smooth and brighten her skin and eyes just a bit.


This is my after.  I overdid the edit so you could see a difference on your monitor.  Retouching should always be used in moderation.  :-)

1.  I painted on the layer mask of the skin smooth layer (tutorial) to smooth everyone's skin.  I used a higher opacity brush for the mother's skin and a lower one for the children and adjusted the layer's opacity to taste.  I made sure to avoid hair, eyes, tips of noses, and lips/teeth.

2. I then adjusted the opacities of the "Freckles" and "Skin Smooth" layers until the mother's skin was smooth but still had beautiful freckles.

3.  I painted over everyone's iris and hair with a soft white brush on the "Eye Bright" layer and adjusted the layer's opacity to taste.

4. I used a soft white brush on the "Whiten Teeth" layer on the children's teeth.

5.  Finally, I used the eyedropper (I) to grab clean skin color and used a soft brush with low opacity to "paint" out under-eye circles, soften wrinkles, and brighten shaded skin areas.

I would love to see your before and afters over on my Facebook page!

Download the CoffeeShop "Don't Lose the Freckles" Retouching Action.  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pretty Preset's New Luminous Collection "Chance to Win!" and Luxe Photoshop/PSE Action Montana Sky Overlay Specials and Free Editing Classes!!!

I have a new action coming out tomorrow!!! It should have come out today, but it has been a gorgeous day today so instead of working on the computer (yes, I feel guilty) I was out with the kids collecting blackberries and mulberries and then a nice lunch out with my Mom. My "baby" Imp has his eighth birthday this weekend so we are celebrating the week in style.

We have had a blast and now the kids are relaxing with their Minecraft Legos and I can get on my computer and finally finish up my action. :-)

Today I wanted to post about the newest Pretty Preset collection called "Luminous".  It is coming out very soon and right now you can register to win a free set before it is released by clicking on the image below or here and then like, share, or comment on the Facebook post to enter to win. The only presets I use beside my own are Pretty Presets and I can't wait to try this newest set out myself.  Pretty Presets ROCK!!!

Want to learn how to to use sunflares, bokeh, and flare in Lightroom and what updates are in the new Lightroom 6?  There is a free class for that at Pretty Presets.  Register today!!!!

I also wanted to mention that Luxe Photoshop Actions has a free class on learning how to use layers (great for Photoshop and PSE users) and also all of their Montana Sky Overlay Sets are on sale.



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Sunday, April 19, 2015

CoffeeShop "Vintage Rose" Digital Paper Pack


Happy Sunday!  This morning it is really beautiful and I am going to hang around with my family and get some sun.  We might even try to get out to the beach for a few hours.  I am also working on finishing my newest retouching action that I will post in the next day or two, but I wanted to share a freebie with you this morning.

I love vintage design elements and I had so much fun creating this pretty new paper pack using the rose I found here.  I am always looking for a reason to play with Impression, those artistic filters are so addictive.  Designing digital paper is so relaxing.

I am always looking for inspiration, so if there is a specific type of paper you want me to design to post on my site please leave a comment below!!!  This is a great opportunity to get custom paper made for free.  :-)

Download the free CoffeeShop "Vintage Rose" Digital Paper Pack. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

CoffeeShop 11x14 Photographer Storyboard #19!



I have another free photographer storyboard for you today!  Storyboard 19 (don't you love my original names?) is an 11x14 storyboard with clipping masks for print or web.  You can change the background color and use the optional circle for text.  The circle's color and border color can also be changed.

If you are new to using storyboards and also want to use an action to quickly load your own images, please visit this post for a tutorial and action download.



Download the CoffeeShop Storyboard 19. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bluebonnet Fields Forever


If you are a Texan or know anyone that is a Texan you are aware of our passion for bluebonnets.  It is our state flower and in March we have gorgeous fields of bluebonnets everywhere.  The state even seeds the sides of our major highways so that they look like a beautiful impressionistic painting during March and April.

If you want to keep your Texan citizenship there is an unwritten law that you must make a special bluebonnet drive every spring and risk snake and fire ant-bites to photograph your loved ones surrounded by a field of blue.  We used to have our own bluebonnet field, but since we have moved to our new house in a subdivision I look forward to our annual bluebonnet car trip with the boys.


My mom usually goes with us on our annual bluebonnet adventure.  I love my mom. ♥  She is my partner-in-crime and completely neurotic like me.  She is always up for a car trip and have so much fun hanging out together.


This year the indian paintbrushes were everywhere, so I had to snap a few images of the boys in these gorgeous red fields.  I am probably going to be kicked out of our state taking a posed wildflower photo in a Texas field without even one lonely bluebonnet in sight.  ;-)


Imp had a great time getting some exercise after spending some time in the car. This kid goes and goes all day long but once it hits eight PM he is out like a light.


Duke wanted a photo with his favorite penguin friend.  Wow, his glasses are really crooked.  That is because he spends so much time scuffling with his little brother.


Of course my favorite images are always the candid shots of the boys.  This photo makes me so happy!  See what I mean about Duke's glasses?


I did find a few bluebonnets in the field.  Now may I stay in Texas?


We went to Washington-on-the-Brazos and found a field with both bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes and I managed to convince the boys to stay still for a minute so I could grab a few more shots.  As you can tell my boys dress themselves, love Crocs, and also are scared of combs.  I love these crazy little guys of mine.


(Duke and Imp, March 2008)

Right now I am really taking time to "smell the flowers" and enjoy these years with the boys because they are growing up so fast.  It was just the other day when I had a baby and a toddler in the bluebonnet field (see pic above)...  But as much as I love the boys I am so happy I have this blog as my creative outlet. It keeps me sane.  ;-)
I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather in your neck of the woods.  Happy spring!!!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

More from Rita:
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CoffeeShop "Golden Ornaments" Digital Design Set


Today I have some pretty gold png ornament digital designs that you can use on your artwork.  Just drag and drop them on your favorite storyboards, greeting cards, Facebook covers, portraits, etc.

I found the original scanned ornaments on The Graphics Fairy and edited them by removing the white background and adding a gold texture.

Download the CoffeeShop "Golden Ornaments" Digital Design Set. You can also download them here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

CoffeeShop "Sweet Bakery Hard Glazes" PS/PSE Action Set!


I have had many readers email me over the years about how much they love my Sweet Bakery Glazes action set.  That is a really fun action set, but unfortunately the softening "glaze" feature is not optional so I have also had quite a few requests to make a new version that does not soften images.  This is a great suggestion, keep them coming!

This is one of the first action sets I wrote and it is long due for an update, so today I am posting my new version called "Sweet Bakery Hard Glazes" that adds a beautiful color tint but doesn't make a copy of your image (so annoying, why did I have it do that in the first place???), doesn't soften your image, and has a bonus Matte and Haze layer.  I hope you enjoy using this new version as much as the old one.

This is a subtle action and it is completely adjustable.  For my edit below I used a beautiful image found here on Pixabay.

Using the CoffeeShop "Sweet Bakery Hard Glazes" Action Set:


Run the action on your image.  It will appear unchanged.


Turn on your favorite "hard glaze" layer (strawberry, soft honey, blueberry, green apple, or vanilla). In this image I turned on the Strawberry layer.


Optional:  Turn on the Matte layer to lower the contrast of the shadows.


Optional: Turn on the Haze layer to create a beautiful soft and hazy image.

I hope you enjoy playing with this newest action set and I would love to see your edits using these actions on my Facebook page!

Download the CoffeeShop "Sweet Bakery Hard Glazes" PS/PSE Action Set. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions (including this set!) and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


More from Rita:
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Friday, April 10, 2015

CoffeeShop Lace Doily Facebook Cover / Website Header!


Today I have a really pretty Facebook cover/website header to share with you.  I created a lace doily brush (which I plan on sharing soon) and made this fully-customizable layered .psd storyboard. You can change the colors and even add your own pretty digital paper.  I think this is perfect for spring and hope you enjoy using it.



When you open the Facebook cover you will see several layers.   Group your images to the Clipping Masks, and change the Lace or Background Color using the solid color fill layers.  You can also turn off the background color and drag on your favorite texture or digital paper as I did in my sample cover.  I used a paper from this set.  I have so many free digital paper sets, you should go check them all out!

I have a tutorial about using clipping masks and a free action called "Group-It" that will quickly add your images to each clipping mask.

I used some beautiful "Vintage Val" images from Jill Wellington (FacebookBlog) on this storyboard sample.

Download the CoffeeShop Lace Doily Facebook Cover. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

CoffeeShop Vintage Rose Frame


Today I wanted to post a new fully-customizable vintage rose frame with gold trim for print or web.  I have the layered psd file for Photoshop/PSE and a simple png file for other editing programs in the download. You can use this frame on websites/blogs, Facebook covers and website headers, greeting cards, logos, and business cards.

I found the original frame on Graphics Fairy. I used some beautiful baby images from Jill Wellington (FacebookBlog) on this storyboard.



Open the editable psd file and drag your image onto the bottom layer and resize to fit. The original frame has pretty gold trim and colorful roses.


You can change the roses/background color by adjusting the "Frame Color" layer and the gold trim color by adjusting the "Trim Color" layer.  This way you can "grab" colors from your image and use them on the frame.

Download the CoffeeShop "Vintage Rose Frame". You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.