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Posts tagged “Christmas Cards


Image of a Santa Claus Christmas cardSince it is the time of year many people are creating cards, I thought I would post a few using some of my favorite resources and showing some of the ways to use their items.

The Santa card above was created using a tutorial created by Design Cuts for a holiday party flyer. I started following this tutorial and finished it up my own way. If you have not been checking out Design Cuts for some wonderful textures, fonts, vectors, brushes, actually anything needed for graphic design and just plain fun in Photoshop, then you need to check into this site. It presents wonderful resources at very reasonable prices. And they always have tutorials to try out and freebies – so even if you do not purchase the particular package they are offering at the moment, you can still try out some of what they are offering. Can’t say enough good things about them. The tutorial being followed is called Design A Retro Style Christmas Cocktail Party Invite and to be honest, it is rather complicated. If you follow the steps exactly, it does give the results they achieved. The background used tutorial texture Paper 15 from Lost & Taken in a group called 42 Free Vintage Paper Textures. Then followed their Steps 3 through 5 for the type effects and background. I also added 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Vintage Papers 8 set to Multiply blend mode at 34% layer opacity under the green strips (from their tutorial) to get more of a candy cane look in the background. The Santa was the one from their Step 6 downloaded from Graphics Fairy. When added as a layer, it was taken into Select -> Color Range and in drop-down, select White and check Invert Box. Now the black outline was selected and a Layer Mask was added. Right click on the mask and select Apply Layer Mask – it is now a transparent line image. New Layers were created underneath the outlined Santa and using my Chalk 60 Brush set to Angle Jitter of 19% at 30% brush opacity, the beard, mustache, eyebrows, and hat were painted in white; the face was painted a light pink; and the cheeks and lips were painted a brighter pink. Adjust the opacity to make it look right. A red Color Fill Layer set to Color blend mode at 94% layer opacity was placed on top and clipped (ALT+click between the two layers to clip) to the Santa graphic to give the black areas some reddish tones. Also added 2 Lil’ Owls Creative Masks Set 2-20 mask, which is a black texture, set to Screen at 75% opacity – just added to the vintage feel. Still with me? One of my new finds is Nicky Laatz – her Watercolor packages. This image used her Instant Watercolor Set, which also came from one of Design Cuts wonderful packages. I love what she does with type! Her Form 24 was used to create this watercolor effect on the Merry Christmas text which by the way is Ornatique font. A New Layer was created using Santa (and the flying reindeer) in Christmas Brushes by Flina, one of my all time favorite Christmas brushes, and set to Multiply blend mode at 79% layer opacity. Two layers of my free Snow 1 Overlay were applied to just the bottom section of the card. The last step involved adding a Curves Adjustment Layer on top to add back some contrast into the final card. Sounds like a lot, but it was basically just created by working through different sections of their tutorial and adding my own twist. I love holiday cards!
Image of a Christmas Card created in both Painter and PhotoshopWhat started out as a simple card always turns into a major project as I keep experimenting. This was so much fun to create. The card was started in Corel Painter using the wonderful Painter Holiday brushes by Karen Bonaker, who has graciously made them available to the Painter community. (If you use Painter at all, you have to check these brushes out – great fun!) I have used several of her previous holiday brushes for many years and never tire of them. She recently updated all her free brushes so they are completely compatible with Painter X3 and Painter 2015.  Check out her new holiday brushes and you will find the deer, brushes for making trees, snow and snowfall brushes. By putting some of them on layers, they could be brought into Photoshop and manipulated more using layer styles. Text font called Kingthings Christmas 2 was used. Also I added some snow on the trees in Photoshop. This was pretty much just trying out different things.

Christmas Card collage This was just totally fun trying different objects and putting them together. To do this I first used my SJ 5 Opening Template as a guideline and turned it 45 degrees. After that it was simply trying different little Christmas objects and giving them different layer styles to get the looks I liked. Since I wanted a vintage feel to this card, several of the objects are from two of my favorite vintage resources. The Santa image, Christmas Clip-art Poinsettias, and Merry Christmas typography are all from a terrific site called Graphics Fairy.  The Bird on Branch Silhouette and Vintage Tag Roses were from another wonderful site called The Old Design Shop. Both these sites have lots of vintage items and most are free to download. The beautiful vintage background texture is from Painted Textures called Scattered Leaves. The Christmas Tree I painted in Corel Painter and brought into Photoshop. Most of the items were lined up basically with the template, and then the black box layers were just deleted so they did not show up on the edges. Most of the items have layer styles applied to the layers using various color strokes or glows. This was basically just experimenting. The last step involved adding my Snow Overlay that can be downloaded in section on first image. I enjoyed putting the different items together to get this total vintage effect.

I hope you all have are having a great Holiday Season. I also hope everyone has a few new things to try out on the computer during this wonderful time of year!…..Digital Lady Syd

Free Christmas Card Vectors and Brushes

As promised, I am presenting a few more ideas on how to make really nice Christmas Cards.  I found a box of Heavyweight Textured Half-Fold Cards from Avery (No. 3378) that are perfect for a bit of vintage look and print out very nicely.  Amazon carries it here.  I make cards all year using this stock of paper and my own pictures.  People respond very nicely to the look.  Just a couple of card tips that I learned from Lesa Snider:  She starts with a 5 x7 inch document at a resolution of 250 ppi to begin her images – this works nicely with the above cards.  Also be sure to keep your text and any other important parts of the image at least 1/4″ away from the documents edge so you will not  accidentally cut them out when printing.  Check out her link for three nice short tutorials on holiday greeting cards.

This year I decided to use the following image as the tree for my cards.  I got the idea from a tutorial at Adobe Tutorials, one of the 80 tutorials gathered by Photoshop Roadmap.  There were so many ideas to choose from in this group – I could have made many different looks and had a great time creating them all!  Photoshop Roadmap always has a really great variety of tutorials they upload all the time so bookmark this one if you can.

For the  next image I just wanted to try out some of the great free vector images and holiday brushes that I downloaded. Once again the people from Photoshop Roadmap took the time to pull 30 Delightful Christmas Photoshop Brushes, Patterns and Vectors together for our use. I did not even get through a portion of it but I believe if you have a certain look you want, you should be able to find it here. On the image below, I used the Christmas Vectors Package from Obsidian Dawn for the tree – you can download both brushes and images.  Obsidian Dawn is another great resource, especially for any Photoshop presets.  In this case I used the image for the base tree and then I used the brushes for the deer, bird and star at the top.  Also, for this image I used a gradient from the Wow 7 Gradients set from Jack Davis.  They were on the CD  of a little gem of a book called “Adobe Photoshop 7 One-Click Wow!‘ that I have used over and over (in 2014 I am still using these layer styles – check out a free download from Jack’s Facebook Page and click on More-Jack’s Freebees – his Mini Sampler has some in it).   They may still be available in the How to Wow books currently being sold.  I put a final touch on this image using Matt Kloskowski’s Vintage preset in Lightroom.  This preset is for Lightroom 3 but it can be easily updated to work with Lightroom 5. In late 2014 Matt left KelbyOne (NAPP) so I am not sure his blog will be up for long. I also used an OnOne (see website link in sidebar of my Tidbits Blog) PhotoFrame for the vintage look border. Unfortunately the do not support PhotoFrame (which was one of my very favorite plug-ins) but have incorporated their frames and borders into OnOne Perfect Effects.

I just found a good article on 8 Tips for Printing Inkjet Greeting Cards from Red River Paper that may help with your cards.  Well I believe this should be enough resources to make some really pretty Christmas Cards.  I hope everyone has a great time with them – I know I did!…..Digital Lady Syd

Free Christmas Card Templates

Recently two very generous plug in suppliers have released free Holiday templates to download for making cards.  I decided to try one template out  from each group to see how I liked them and to show what kind of looks you can get with them.

UPDATE: (11/19/11) Currently these two suppliers do not have their templates for download. Please check out my new Free Christmas Card Templates-Part 2 blog for a new template that is now available. Also see my Digital Lady Syd’s Free Christmas Card Template blog to download one to use with Photoshop and Elements. Hopefully the ones below will be available again soon for this new holiday season!…..Digital Lady Syd

Photoshop Templates from OnOne Software

The first groups of free templates come from one of my favorite Photoshop plug-in groups, OnOne Software  (click link for template information).  There are 12 templates, 9 are holiday templates, and are set up as Photoshop PSD files for anyone using Photoshop or Elements – no plug-in required.  They come with several colors, textures, and holiday elements to choose from and openings for square, vertical and horizontal images.  This makes it very easy to paste in your image and adjust using a clipping layer. They are constantly adding and changing their templates so check it out often. I also added a free BittBox Texture called BB Grunge Ice Texture in the green card (all the textures in this group are beautiful).

The Florabella Collection

The Florabella Collection provides beautiful actions to give your images different looks. They are providing for a limited time a free download (no longer available) from their Facebook page for the Merry and Bright Holiday Cards templates – 5 psd files in all. You can hook into the Facebook page from the link above and just click on the Free tab. These templates have a totally different look from the onOne templates above.

I hope to bring some regular Photoshop holiday card tutorials next week. In the meantime enjoy these templates. They are a lot of fun to try!…..Digital Lady Syd