Happy Thanksgiving!

A Free Victorian Thanksgiving Card

This year has been a wonderful time for me and my little business.  With the support of my customers, like you, I’ve been able to expand the Passion Fruits Images team and together we hope to bring even more great image resources to the crafting community in the year to come.  I am ever so grateful for your continued patronage through the many changes that have come recently.

Happy Thanksgiving

I found this gorgeous Thanksgiving card in a vintage gallery in Ann Arbor, Michigan and thought of all of you.  I’m offering this high resolution scan, free of charge, in appreciation of your support.  You may use it for all purposes, personal or commercial.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

 

New jack-o-lantern images for Halloween

Jack-O-Lantern images

New Spooky Pumpkins in two formats

I know it’s still hot outside, but it’s already time to start planning those Halloween craft projects. Halloween is our favorite holiday here at Passion Fruits Images, and we are already gearing up for lots of spooky fun. We’ve started the season with this re-envisioning of one of our most popular image collections, SPOOKY PUMPKINS! These images of eerily glowing jack-o-lanterns were made exclusively for Passion Fruits Images by Detroit based illustrator Rena Hopkins.

 

They come in two formats: 1″ bottlecap rounds and 1″ square inchies.

The Spooky Pumpkins collage sheets are designed to make your holiday craft projects fun and easy.  Their darkened borders allow for easy trimming (the gradual fade hides small slips and irregularities, making your projects look neat and clean, even if you don’t have a perfectly steady hand).  Use them with 1″ button makers, glass tiles or in standard jewelry findings, like the ones pictured here from Jefi_Jewelry Findings on ArtFire.

 

 

Ways to Draw Customers to Your Online Store

Selling your artwork online is an enterprise that takes some skill, but can pay off with dedication and luck.  Did you know that Passion Fruits Images has an online store with Etsy?  Here are a few tips to get you started on your own store:

A stylish online store will  increase sales

A good online store has a unified style; a consistent presentation will solidify your brand into a place where people want to shop, and return to shop again.  Making your art memorable to your customers as something they can’t live without is your goal: it’s more than selling your stuff, you want to promote a lifestyle comprised of the things you alone can provide.

Plenty of clear, bright, and accurate photos are essential to showcasing your products in the best way possible.  There are books, magazines, videos and online tutorials (like this one) that will help you brush up on picture-taking technique if you can’t afford to hire a  professional photographer. Online photos need to be crisp and bright Various software packages can fine-tune snapshots for your store as well.  Customers need to be able to see themselves enjoying, wearing, using, and living with your offerings.  Lots of photos will show them how to do this!

 

Opening an online store has become simple and quick, but it’s important to think about keeping your customers happy and continuing to return over the long term.

Returning to shop in your online store

 

Repeat sales are driven by adding to your product line periodically.  A new variety, color, or slight refinement can boost sales, as long as the new product is of the same high quality of previous purchases.  Put out new ideas, but don’t sacrifice your brand image to be trendy.

We’ll continue next month with more specific tips for using the Etsy website, see you then!

Papercraft and resin jewelry by Stephania Brunetti

Resinup Jewelry Butterfly Earrings

Butterfly Earrings by Stefania Brunetti of  Resinup

Stefania Brunetti, is an Italian jewelry artist making stunning pieces using vintage images, including some from the Passion Fruits Images line.  Ms. Brunetti’s line of resin jewelry integrates rich antique images housed in ornate findings and sealed with resin.  Each of her exquisite pieces is made with an attention to fine details and workmanship, and crafted according to sustainable use guidelines.  The butterfly earrings pictured above are stunning, but so is every piece in her collection.  Impressive and stylish, her creative ethic is based on making, (pardon the bad Google translation) “Small batches small, think calmly and without craft that wink to the past with regard to the present, dedicated to those who should not be in a hurry but looking carefully and is willing to stop and feel with the right spirit.”   I don’t speak Italian, but the spirit in which her jewelry was crafted shines through without any explanation.

Her blog is updated frequently, and can be viewed here: http://resinjewels.wordpress.com/  Its written in Italian, but even if you don’t have a great translator in your browser you can still enjoy the many artful photographs of her recent work.  Most interesting to note, she does not mass-produce: everything on the site is unique, hand-cast metals and resin over paper.  The rich vibrant blues, greens, and even reds bring the pictures to life under the glossy resin that protects the art. She has also addressed a frequent question for many women with allergies to certain jewelry; the copper pieces are nickel- and cadmium-free, making them a beautiful option for adornment!

Stefania Brunetti's Copper Phrenology Bracelet for Resinup

Copper Phrenology Bracelet by Stefania Brunetti for Resinup

Take a close look at the clasp on this bracelet: it’s a swivel, so it’s secure while wearing, but quick and easy to get on & off with one hand… very important point when your jewelry is the last thing you want to worry about when you’re out being fabulous!

Stefania Brunetti's Hot Air Balloon Necklace for Resinup

Hot Air Balloon Necklace by Stefania Brunetti of Resinup

The embellishment pieces used in this pendant work so well to show off the colors in this piece.  Stefania’s jewelry is amazing, and the craftsmanship that goes into it can be so easily seen in all the details. The dangling beads catch just enough light to make the whole necklace shine, the proportions of the setting and the chain balance the size of the picture so that the eyes aren’t overwhelmed.

There are so many more incredible works of art in the Resinup collection, and they can be found for sale here:

http://it.artesanum.com/negozio-resinup-5181-1-0.html

Artesanum is a European equivalent to Etsy here in the U.S., so please note that the website is in Italian as well, and the prices are in Euros, your experience and exchange rate may differ.

Three Places to Find your Creative Inspiration

Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration, and that’s okay!  Not every moment needs to be filled with creating from your own vision, sometimes it’s a good thing to relax and explore what others are putting out into the world. Designing content for Passion Fruits Images sometimes requires pauses and breaks to seek outside inspiration.  Here are a few websites we enjoy when seeking that essential spark:

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1. www.artnet.com Resource site for working artists, focusing on fine art, decorative art, and design. Browse over 250,000 artists work, including current auctions and prices. A great starting point for those who dream of owning a piece of history.

2. www.pandora.com Pandora Internet Radio is musical motivation, easy to set up a playlist for relaxing, energizing, chilling out with friends, or whatever type of music moves you to do what you do.

3. www.cutoutandkeep.net Make and share step-by-step craft tutorials If you’re wracking your brain for a new technique, or just want a quick & easy craft to get your mojo flowing, this site has tons of ideas.

What are your favorite websites to visit when the inspiration tank is on Empty?

MC900435236

Pretty, Pretty Packages! Celebrating the Burlesque through paper crafting!

one of many many layers in this month’s winning design…

 

Welcome back to the Passion Fruits website and blog!  It’s been some time since the last post, and there has been some excitement here.  I’d like to introduce a new friend and artist, and the winner of a contest published last month to our mailing list – Evette Griffore of No Fear Scrapping.
Evette’s gorgeous project was inspired by the life and work of our fearless leader here at Passion Fruits Images, Miss Rena Hopkins. (We’re not above flattery, folks.)
In her own words:
I made a pocket sized burlesque theater gift box. It is made roughly 6″x6″x1/2 thick, out of craft-cardstock. It consists of Layers so that you have to keep opening it and opening it and opening it as the story progresses until you get to the good part in the middle of the box: in this case, it takes you thru the process of getting your invitation, walking up to the theater, enjoying drinks and music before the show and then of course, the show itself in the grand theater. It’s a giftbox because on the first flap you flip up is a place where one of Rena’s gift cards in an envelope can rest. Perhaps holding the gift of tickets to a show. I used the black cat silhouettes and the women of the burlesque images. I was inspired actually by Rena. When people ask me for custom work, I took at them and their interests, look, whatever and go with that. I noticed she is into …how do you say it…well, burlesque type things, and her jewelry is very vintage so i chose the theater idea, with the used and muted colors to offset the bright accents on the burlesque women. and of course, what else eludes to “peep show” better than pussy cats rrrrrrraaaawwwwrrrrrr….

Kitty cat doors open into a fabulous burlesque stage!

The Main Stage!

A little bit more about Evette:
My current style is vintage. I have spent the last 3 years focusing on vintage paper crafting, antiquing and aging techniques. i started my artistic training with cartooning and studying commercial art, so I have always had the idea of imparting personality into my creations and that artwork should have a life to it. now I focus on paper, a particularly challenging artform – almost like using clay. Painting is easy, but creating from raw materials is another story. The process is what I call artistic voodoo…I read the customer as if I were reading their tarot cards, create the project idea based on their energy and impart that spirit into the project as I go along. Call it whatever you want but it works.
My goal with my artwork has always been to prove people wrong. They say “you can’t make that out of paper”, I say oh yeah, you mean you can’t. I say yes to every challenge and project someone throws my way. It’s so much more refreshing to take on a challenge for the creative aspect of it rather than the day to day challenges life gives us. I’ve had enough of life to know that being creative is nothing to be afraid of. That’s why my own blog is called No Fear scrapping. Too many times I hear people say “oh no, I could never do that, or draw that or paint that” but then they go and have 5 kids, a divorce, job loss and whatever else and I’m like.. you can do all that but you can’t play with color and shapes? I’d like to empower people creatively.
 
To see the winning project, and learn more, go to http://nofearscrapping.blogspot.com/

Murder of Crows- Free Page Border

 

Free Antique Murder of Crows Image

Murder of Crows page border

This gorgeous border comes from a turn of the century children’s book.  Perfect for Halloween scrapbooks, greeting cards or as a design element in your digital collage work.

Free Crow Page Border

To save this crow border as a .jpg, right click on the image and then select Save As from the drop down menu.  To save this image as a .PNG with transparent background go to The product listing and add the free product to your shopping cart.

All Passion Fruits Images files, even the free ones, are licensed for personal and limited commercial use (including scrap for hire). Please review our Terms of Use for more information.

Big Hairy Vintage Spiders

Image

Today’s freebie is an image of big hairy spiders from an antique zoology book.  Nothing makes us say “EEEK!” like a scary spider in an unexpected place, and what better way to get a jump start on Halloween than by adding a few scream-worthy spiders into your image arsenal.

Hairy Scary Spiders!

Hairy Scary Spiders!

To save the image simply right click on the picture and choose “Save Image As”, select the folder in which you would like to store it, then click SAVE.

You can also add this fellow to your shopping cart and download him with the rest of your files by visiting the free product listing.

Feel free to use these in your non-commercial projects, but please link back to Passion Fruits Images if possible.

Remember, all Passion Fruits Images files are subject to our terms of use, even the free ones.

 

Apply texture to a photograph in Photoshop Elements 10

Antique Image with superimposed texture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Layering Textures to Enhance an Image

Experience Level: Novice

In this Tutorial you will learn how to superimpose a texture layer to add an antique patina to your photographs.

  1. Open a new project file

  2. Adjust the display options in Adobe Photoshop Elements

  3. Add layers to an Adobe Elements project

  4. Adjust Blending options to create new effects.

The screenshots for this tutorial will be from Adobe Photoshop elements 10, but the techniques discussed will work in Elements, Photoshop, and The Gimp.

 

Resources Used:

 

Step 1:  Open a New File

Name your file

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Adobe Elements select File- New- Blank File

Set the width to 4″ and the height to 6″.  the menu should look like the one above.

We’ve chosen to name this file “Layering Texture”, but you can name it whatever you’d like.

When you have your menu options set click OK.

Step 2:  Open your resource files

Select images to open

If you haven’t yet downloaded the resource file we will be using for this tutorial, use the links above and do so now.  We have saved our versions of these images in a folder titled “LayeringTexture” so they will be easy to find.

Once you have the files downloaded to your computer select File- Open-

Navigate to the folder in which you saved your images.  Hold down Ctrl while you click over the two images you want to open, then click OPEN

Step 3:  Add Layers to your Layer Stack

At the top of your screen you will see three bars of information.  The top bar is your main navigation bar.  Below that is a lighter grey bar with some basic control options.  Below THAT bar is a horizontal list with the names of all the files you currently have open.  If you’ve named your files exactly the same as we have then these three bars look like THIS

And our Woman in Crocheted Hat is showing in your document window.

Note that the file name of the image on top of the stack is highlighted in white.  Clicking the little x’s next to the files will close the files.  Clicking on the names of a file will bring that file to the top of the stack.

Click on the name of your original file. If you have been following along exactly this file will be named “LayeringTexture”.  The name of this file will turn white and the blank white canvas will appear in the center of the screen.

On the right hand side of your screen, below the little green icons, is a panel labelled “Layers”.  Right now this panel shows that you have only ONE layer…just the white background of your blank canvas.

At the BOTTOM of your screen you will see a bar with all the files you currently have open. This is your Project Bin.

Click on the image of the woman and drag it into the blank white canvas.

The image of the woman is now in the same document, layered OVER the white background. This new layer will show in the Layers panel to the right.

Click on the “Background” layer in the Layers panel. The layer panel background for this layer will darken to let you know that the layer is selected.  Any changes you make now will occur on THIS layer.  If you add a new layer to the stack with this layer selected the new layer will appear above it.

In the “Project Bin” at the bottom of the screen click on film texture file and drag it into main canvas, just like you moved the image of the woman earlier.

You won’t see the texture image in this window because it is UNDERNEATH the woman in your layer stack, but you can see it in the layers panel.

 

Step 4:  Resize a Layer

It doesn’t do us much good to have a cool texture we can’t see.  Let’s move the “lomofilm5″ file to the top of our stack so we can see it over the image of the woman.

In the layers panel click on the image of the film texture and drag it above the image of the woman.  You’ll see the top bar of the “WomanincrochetedHat” layer darken just a bit as you pass over it.  Let go of the mouse button and the film texture is now above the woman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a start, but the texture layer is smaller than the canvas.  Let’s adjust that!

On the edge of the film texture layer is a dotted line interrupted by larger hollow squares.  These squares are handles that you can use to adjust your image size and rotation.

If you hover your cursor near one of these handles it transforms into a double ended arrow.

Click and drag the handle on the left side of the texture image until it meets the  left side of the canvas. Repeat this on all sides until the texture file completely fills the canvas.  Click enter to finish resizing the layer.

Now the woman is completely covered by the texture layer.

texture file completely covers image

Step 5: Adjust Blend Modes

At the top of your layers panel you will see two little boxes, one with the word “Normal” and one with the word “Opacity ” .  First let’s try adjusting the opacity to see what that can do for us.

Click and drag in the box next to “Opacity” to highlight the text, then type in 50% and click enter.

Texture overlay at 50% Opacity

Texture overlay at 50% Opacity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we can see the woman, in a ghostly sort of hazy way.  Cool, but still not quite what we were looking for. Enter 100% into the box to restore the opacity.

Blend mode menu in Adobe Photoshop  Elements 10Let’s move on to that “Normal” box.  Click on the little arrow to the right of “Normal” and a drop down menu of “Blend Modes” will appear.  This stuff is magic!  Blend modes tell Photoshop how a layer should interact with the layer beneath it in the layer stack.

Take a minute to play around with selecting different options to see what they do.  Some options may make drastic changes with these two layers, others make make little to no visible change here (but might do something AWESOME in another project).

You might also try rearranging the stack order in your layer stack, putting the woman above the texture and adjusting HER blend mode and opacity.

This is all about experimentation and the more you play, the more you’ll learn!

 

The stack order we chose has the texture file on top with 100% opacity and blend mode set to “Multiply”.  Sound fancy doesn’t it?

The image now looks like this

Final Image with texture applied over image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try applying this technique with different textures in your own projects.

You’ll be impressed with how much just this one little trick will add to your arsenal!