With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: 2/1/09 - 2/8/09

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Photoshop Tutorial ~ Making A Stamp

I have received requests for instructions on how to create the stamp effect that I used here on my last 52Q Mini Art Journal page. Here is another example using a stamp created in Photoshop.Assuming you have some knowledge of Photoshop, you can follow these steps to create your own stamp:

Choose two images: one will be for your background and the other will the image you wish to make a stamp. In this example, the little girl image will be the stamp and the Valentine will be the background. You will not be able to make the stamp if your image size it too large. To reduce the image size, click "Image". Then click "Image Size".
Change the width and height. I randomly choose 800 pixels and 1200 pixels and had no problem continuing. Click "OK".
Next you will need to unlock the image you wish to make into a stamp. Do this by double clicking the "Background".
A box will appear that says "New Layer"; click "OK".
On the tool bar, locate and click the "polygonal Lasso Tool".
Click around the image you want to use as your stamp. Remember, to complete this step you will have to click right back to where you began your first click (a tiny circle will be there to guide you).
Next, Click "Edit"...
Click "Define Brush Preset". (This is where the problem would appear if your image was too large)
A window called "Brush Name" will pop up. Name your brush or just click "OK".
Now go to your background image.
Click the "Brush Tool" on the side bar; Click "Brush" on the top tool bar; scroll down to the last brush... there you will find the brush you just created. Click on this brush. Adjust the Master Diameter slider bar to make the stamp as small or as large as you desire.
Stamp your background as desired. Play around with the color, opacity and size to get the effect you like. You can stamp as few or as many as you like.
Additional effects can be done by clicking the "Brushes" tool at the top right of the screen. The "Scattering" effect will add the image many times randomly. ...for a look like this. Have fun and play around to get just the look you want.

The addition of text and a few twinkles, glitter, rick-rack and snippets and you have a special Valentine for someone who just melts your heart!

Note: I tried to be as thorough as I could with this tutorial. If you should have any problems following them, let me know and I will make corrections.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fresh Tomato Bisque

This is a recipe that our daughter made for her dad's birthday dinner that she found here. We enjoyed it so much that I made another batch today. It isn't heavy and has a pleasant, fresh tomato and basil flavor. Reminds me of summer :)

(Recipe follows)
Begin with fresh Roma Tomatoes. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Carefully place the tomatoes into water and simmer 1-2 minutes, just until the skin splits. Carefully remove from water with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, saute coarsely chopped onion in butter
I added two bouillon cubes for extra flavor.
Seed the tomatoes. The skins will easily fall off ~ the time consuming part is removing the seeds.
Add the seeded tomatoes to the pot of sauteed onions along with the bay leaf, brown sugar,whole cloves, salt, pepper, basil and boullion cubes. Simmer until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked.
Remove bay leaf and cloves and carefully transfer mixture to a blender and puree.
Return mixture to pot and stir in cream and milk.
Serve with croutons and snips of chives or basil.
Fresh Tomato Bisque

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 6 tomatoes)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 Tablespoon butter
1 bay leaf
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 pint light cream (Kay feels 1/2 pint is enough...and I agree)
1 cup milk
6 large croutons
2 tablespoons chopped chives Skin and seed tomatoes.
Saute onion in butter.
Add tomatoes, bay leaf, sugar, cloves, salt, pepper and basil.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked, about 25 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and cloves.
Transfer mixture to blender and puree. (Or strain through a coarse sieve.)
Add cream and milk.
Heat through.
Served topped with toasted buttered croutons.
Sprinkle with chopped chives or additional basil.


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