Tag name:Photo Crafts

MS Paint vs PicMonkey vs Photoscape

February 9, 2015 / No Comments

Photo Editing

I do a LOT of photo editing. On average, I probably spend 5 hours a week resizing, lightening, cropping and troubleshooting pictures. I don’t try for artistic results, just clean, serviceable photos.

Since I haven’t had the patience to learn anything difficult, I use  a combination of three utilities/programs.  They are: MS Paint, PicMonkey and Photoscape. Between the three of them, I can accomplish just about any fixes I care to do.

Why three programs? Because each of them have good and bad points.

MS Paint is a very beginner level program. It has only a few features and the results are frequently pixely. On the other hand, MS Paint is extremely fast.

I use MS Paint primarily for resizing photographs, making quick and  simple line borders and for occasional fix-ups that only require drawing in a few pixels. It works very efficiently for those adjustments and it only takes a few seconds to open, save and close.

For more complicated photo repairs I use my free Photoscape program. Photoscape is a lot harder to use, but it has a lot of useful features. It includes Bloom, Backlight, White Balance, Color Balance and tons more.

The features I use most are often are Contrast Enhancement, Deepen, Brighten, Darken. None of these features require any real knowledge of digital art, because they each have three pre-programmed levels to choose from. Plus, a very useful undo button.

When I want to get a bit artsy, I use PicMonkey. Picmonkey is fun to use and has lots of special effects, fonts, overlays and more.

I have purchased the upgraded plan, in order to get a few more tools. The plan is about $30-$40 dollars a year and you get the addition of collage plus some other extras.  However, the program is quite usable, even without the upgrade.

I use PicMonkey for the nice frame selection, the collage feature and some really cool special effects. PicMonkey is easy to learn and very enjoyable to use.  I sometimes play with it for hours, just for the pure pleasure.

Is it difficult to switch between three programs?

I don’t think so.  85% of my editing is done just using MS Paint. I then switch to one of the other programs only if I need to. So far, I’m quite satisfied.

Nonetheless, satisfied or not, I am considering trying out other programs. My choices are Lightroom, or the free versions of Pixeluvo or  TwistedBrush Pro Studio. If I do start using something new, I’ll post an update to let you know how I incorporate it into my workflow.

Read More: Design or Home

How To Make Garnishing Flags

August 30, 2013 / No Comments

How To Make Garnishing Flags

Several weeks ago, a  distant relative got married and I helped a couple members of the family make a party for him and his wife.  At my niece’s suggestion, I made 50 garnishing flags for the fruit cups we would be serving as appetizers. They could have also been used to decorate brownies, cupcakes or even large serving bowls of potato salad.

Here’s how to make your own garnishing flags:

How To Make Garnishing Flags 1Using Microsoft Paint or a similar program, shrink the picture of your choice to about 103 x 77 pixels. You don’t have be exact, but that size looked very nice on my project.  Try to use a picture without too much detail or the reduced photograph will look much too crowded.

To shrink the photo, click resize>pixels. Uncheck the maintain aspect ratio box. Then enter the value 103 into the horizontal box and 77 into the vertical box. Click the okay button.

How To Make Garnishing Flags 2Line up two copies of the photos, next to each other. 

To do this, click select>select all>cut.

Then click resize and uncheck maintain aspect ratio box. Using the percentage option, change the horizontal box to 200. Leave the vertical box unchanged.  Click the okay button.

Now click paste, to return the original image to the editing box. Left click your mouse and drag the image all the way to the right of the editing box.

Again click paste. This will return another original image to the editing box.  You should now have two side by side copies of the original image.

How To Make Garnishing Flags 3Print out your photos, cut them to size and glue them around the top of a toothpick.

Tip: If you need to create more than one flag, you’ll save a lot of time by crafting them production style. First do all your printing, then all the cutting, and finally, all the gluing.

Read More: Photo Crafts or Home

Photo Crafts

April 17, 2013 / No Comments


I’m still working busily on my link clean-up spree.  Today’s big project was this photo craft links page. Virtually everything on the page has been removed and replace with fresh new project ideas. Enjoy!

If you are fond of memory crafts, you will enjoy this set of lovely projects. None of the projects require special skills, so they are all easily doable. Enjoy them in your own home or you can give them away for personalized gifts.

Note: Though some projects are specifically grouped under the gift section, almost all of the projects fit that role.

Photo Display Ideas


Photo Jewelry


Photo Gifts


Photo Toys


Photo Transfer Ideas

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July 28, 2011 / No Comments

Photo505 allows you to turn your favor­ite pho­tos into fun dig­ital com­po­si­tions. It’s fast and super easy to use.

Here are some examples I created. Each one took less than a minute to make.

The adorable models are my kittens!!



Read More : Photo Crafts or Home

How To Crop A Photo With Fotoflexer

July 4, 2011 / No Comments

This tutorial is the start of a series of posts on using a free, online program called Fotoflexer to edit your photos. Fotoflexer offers many useful photo editing tools and is very easy to use.

Today we are starting with one of the most basic editing needs, cropping.

Uploading The Photo

Go the Fotoflexer Homepage and click Upload Your Photo. You will be taken to another screen and then allowed to transfer a photo from your computer to the online program.

Adorable KittensI chose an adorable photo of our kittens, taken two months ago.

Cropping The Photo

After uploading your photo, you will be transferred to a menu of options.

In order to crop a photo, click on the icon labeled Crop. Then use your mouse to right-click on your photo. While still pressing on the right-click button, drag your mouse across and down the photo, and a box will appear. That box shows the parts of the photo that will be cropped.

Cropped Adorabole KittensYou may need to try several times before you have the box exactly where you need it. If so, just press Cancel and then Crop, each time to restart the process.

When you are satisfied with the area selected within the box, press Crop Selected Area to complete the crop.

Saving The Photo

When finished, click Done and then Save.  This will bring up the save screen, and computer will prompt you through several steps for saving your project.

Be sure you have correctly saved your work before leaving the program.

Read More : Tutorials or Home

Turn Photos Into Embroidery Patterns

December 5, 2010 / 4 Comments

There are several tutorials on the internet showing how to turn photos into  embroidery patterns, but most use Photoshop or some other commercial software.

Since these programs can be both expensive and hard to use, I’ve developed a similar method,  using Fotoflexer.

Fotoflexer is a free, online program.  It’s also extremely easy to use, which is just as important.

Step 1

mountain-107 Go the Fotoflexer Homepage and click Upload Your Photo. You will be taken to another screen and then allowed to transfer a photo from your computer to the online program.

I chose a public domain photo of a serene landscape.

Step 2


After uploading your photo, you will be transferred to a menu of options.

Click on the tab labeled Effects. This will open up a sub-menu. Click MORE on the sub-menu several times, till the option Sketch comes up.  

 Click the Sketch option and this will give you a black and white drawing of your photo.

Step 3


Click on the tab labeled Basic, and you will be transferred to a new menu of options.  Go to the sub-menu titled Contrast.

Increase the Brightness on your photo till your remove a lot of the unwanted  detail.

Step 4

sample 1

 At this point, there might be additional detail you wish to remove or detail you want to add.

To do this, click on the tab labeled Decorate.  You will be taken to a sub-menu with a variety of drawing options.

Use the Erase tool to remove additional detail and the Draw tool to add the  detail.

Step 5

When finished, click Done and then Save.  This will bring up the save screen, and computer will prompt you through several steps for saving your project.

Be sure you have correctly saved your work before leaving the program.

Read More: Tutorials or Home

Scrapbook Makeovers

September 3, 2009 / No Comments

I decided to to makeovers on a couple of scrapbook pages today. I thought the project would just take an hour.  However, since I wasn’t happy with the initial results, the pages took over three hours to complete!

Here are the results of my work.

Problem: I hated the pink area in the lower left corner, but I didn’t want to redo the whole page.

Solution: I used two shades of green paper and a flower punch to create a more attractive corner.



Problem: I liked the layout of the photos but thought the black background was too dreary.

Solution: I cut out the center layout and glued it onto a new, red background. I then framed the red background with a sheet of black cardstock. I added red and gold accents to the center of the layout.




Read More: Scrapbooking or Home

Shades Of Blue Scrapbook Layout

October 17, 2008 / No Comments

 I love the colors in this layout. The blues go great with my son’s cap and gown. The whole effect is bright, cheery and a little bit scholarly!

To make this page, I cut out white stencil letters and glued them onto a blue rectangle. Then, I cut out out a light blue cap and centered it onto a darker blue cap. Finally, I alternated light and dark blue squares with square cropped photos.

Read More: Scrapbooking or Home