One click watercolor effect in Photoshop (a preview!)

foto-rx-one-click-watercolor-class-previewWhen it gets quiet in these parts you know that Michelle and I have been up to something, usually something big and usually something good!  We wanted to share a peek into our new Skillshare class!  We won’t be launching it until November but we are super excited to let you know when the time comes the new (and HUGE) lettering resource we have teamed up with to do a giveaway of the class with.

This is actually going to be a first in a series of classes we have dubbed ‘Hidden Photoshop’, we have found some buried Photoshop treasures that allow you to do things like this super amazing one click watercolor effect! There are many little gems in Photoshop that most people aren’t aware of and we can’t wait to share them with you. We love demystifying PS, because it really isn’t as daunting as it seems and armed with a little knowledge you can create a whole myriad of wonderful things! The class will come with the exact palette and effect shown above for you to to download (free) and play with when you take the class. We have been experimenting with this technique for months now and are thrilled to finally be able to get the class + tools  to you soon!


Is this crazy fun or what?  These eyelashes were drawn with a pen and the watercolor effect was added, in my humble opinion I think it looks pretty darn realistic! For those that may be shouting at the screen to just pick up a watercolor brush, yes, you can (and we hope you do at some point in your life, because it’s a ton of fun) but this is just a fun technique and skill to add to your design arsenal–it’s quick, it’s non-destructive and there’s no clean-up! We have played with this on fonts, lettering, logo mock-ups, backgrounds, you name it all to great results. We will send out a note when the class is available, along with a discount for new sign-ups to Skillshare (at the time of this writing it’s .99 for 3 months and you cancel before the 3 months is up if you so choose), that would give you plenty of time to take all of our classes and then some!  I am sure we will be back this week with some other random goodie for you!




Foto Rx Watercolor effect class and tools (coming soon!)

Foto Rx mailing list (we have been known to send lots of free downloads…)


Free Photography Workshops!


Just thought we would pop in really quick to let you know of an amazing (AND FREE!) opportunity to watch some great photographer’s teach their workshops LIVE today through this weekend.  We have mentioned Yan Palmer before and I am SO excited to watch her workshop (hope they stream it), ordinarily you would pay thousand’s of dollars to attend one and even to attend the conference she’s featured in (Click Away was in that range as well), so FREE sounds a whole lot easier on the wallet. I have been part of the Clickin’ Mom’s forum since it started, long before I was a mother, (I would cringe at the name but they have finally renamed their umbrella company Click & Co, which is easier to share with you;). You don’t need to be part of the forum to watch the streaming!

If you don’t have time to watch everything they are offering a pre-buy to get a video of the conference at a discounted price is available.  I am going to try to catch the live workshops in between toddler wrangling.  I am super excited to learn some new things from some photographer’s I admire (especially the film ones, because I SO want to get better at it!).


Free LIVE Streaming workshops (starts today at 9am Pacific)

Join an AWESOME community of photographers

P.S. The photo above is by a wonderfully creative photographer and teacher-Brooke Shaden (she’ll have the free live workshop this weekend!). Brooke has some great courses if you miss the Click Away one, her style of teaching is very easy to comprehend, here are some of her classes: Transforming a Photoshoot for $10 or lessFine Art Portraits | Fine Art Photography

Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida a review + giveaway!

Great beginner sewing book

I should start this by saying even if this was the worse book ever (note: it’s not!) I still may have given it a glowing review. I am a bit biased because it’s by the talented Sanae Ishida and my business partner + great friend Michelle P. shot the cover! So I was predisposed to loving it. Sewing Happiness just happens to be an amazing book too!  I love, love the format of the book–a hybrid memoir + craft book. I want all my ‘how-to’ books to be written this way. For the sewist there’s plenty of great projects (even a novice sewer as myself could partake). Each project is, meaning that you would willingly part with good money to buy one of the finished goods in a store. I had no doubt the finished book (which both Michelle and I got to work on see here and here), would be a beauty, but I was truly floored when we got our copies and thumbed through it, each page is more gorgeous than the next, it’s so organized, well presented and it’s huge, there’s 20 projects and over 300 pages! We immediately sent an email of congrats to Sanae and then a second email to her publisher so we could ask for a copy to giveaway to you.

Who would like this book? Well, the obvious would be a sewist, next up would be anyone interested in styling, there are too many perfect vignettes to count, I am using mine as a reference  tool, of course the photography is aces a great tool to study how a great craft book can be shot, we are talking inspiration for miles here and of course anyone who loves a good feel good story, spoiler alert it has a a happy ending!

To enter to win one copy of Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida, please answer the following question in the comments by Sunday, May 29, 2016. Winner will be chosen by random and notified the following day!  Good luck!

If someone offered you a book deal today, what would you want your book to be about?

I know what Michele and I would want ours to be about…

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

DIY Abstract Art Made Simple!

DIY abstract art made simple via besoted blog

I have been wanting to try my hand at an abstract art piece using acrylic paints for some time, but felt overwhelmed on where to start. I did have some supplies on hand, I was gifted a small acrylic tube set 3 years that sat unopened (more on that later), I had some craft paint, a wood cradled art board and heap of indecision. Where the heck does one even begin to start?  If you have wanted to do this and are feeling the same way I was, I hope that this little resource and tip post will help you make the move to get started-DIY abstract art made simple!

So where did I start?  I found a few DIY’s, but being me, I don’t always ‘get’ it the first time (or second or 3rd).  I then found a few online classes and that helped me have a few light bulb moments BUT the single most important moment for me was the realization that if I hated my painting, I could just paint over it and build more ‘texture’ in the process, it made the whole intimidating process so much more accessible.  So this is how I did it!


-I pulled out my wood artboard and taped the sides with painters tape (I knew I wanted the finished piece to have the exposed birch wood sides)

-I found a few palette ideas I liked on Pinterest, I have a whole board for blush, peachy and nudes so plenty of palette muse there! I am a bit of a color-phobe, so my palette was very limited-2 whites, a dark umber brown (almost black), ochre, a deep orange that was blended into a dark peach and a sheer pink.

-In hindsight, I should have gessoed my board (this is just a way to prime your board for painting), but I just painted a couple coats of white acrylic on the wood and let dry.

-I started with ONE color at a time over my white surface. I squeezed a dollop of color and used a credit card (you could use an old library card, a palette knife, etc.) and I started to ‘scrape/paint’ with the card to create texture and ‘strokes’ (I deliberately tried to avoid too straight of edges, but if you wanted that look go for it). I would wait for the color to dry if I wanted just that one color, if I wanted colors to blend with each other I wouldn’t let them dry completely before adding other colors on top of the existing colors.

-After I laid down several colors and let them dry, I would add a wash of white over the painting, again with the credit card. Since the credit card method is a little unpredictable I would have some spots where I would press too hard and color from underneath would be revealed (I loved this!).

-I worked for a week in between toddler naps, in 10-15 minute increments which may seem like FOREVER to someone as impatient as myself but this allowed me to step back and assess my work and where I was going.  Also, it prevented me from rushing the white washes and just creating a muddled mess!

-I could have kept going, but at some point I wanted my kitchen countertop back so I stopped myself. I am super happy with the results and I can’t wait to try a larger piece and some backdrops for our photography!

In conclusion, I LOVED this project, it wasn’t the fastest to come together, besides the mess of acrylics, it was a pretty easy going and relaxed DIY. Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments, I’d be happy to answer them!

P.S. For those people that think a project like this may take a sale away from a ‘real’ artist, I am going to put my 2 cents in here and say this–maybe YOU dear reader are a ‘real’ artist and don’t know it yet, maybe a DIY like this is the key to opening up a whole new world of exploration for you and maybe you’ll find yourself a new career path or a new hobby or just make yourself a beautiful piece of artwork that you can be proud of. To everyone that just wants to be creative hats off to you!



Large abstract with a credit card

Acrylic paint series with Lisa Solomon (this is super in depth, you don’t need this for this project but good if you want to keep going with this)


This is a GREAT step-by-step, color by color, stroke-by-stroke if you feel you need extreme hand holding

Easy Abstract Art step-by step

DIY Abstract with gold leaf

Super simple abstract art tutorial

5 step abstract art

An working artists shares his techniques


Gesso (for priming your art surface)

Acrylic paints student grade (if your supplies aren’t too precious it’s more likely to be used more freely)

Acrylic paints professional grade

Craft paints

Acrylic tubes used in piece (I used these) they are beautiful but super transparent and probably not made for large scale painting (but fun!)

Wood art board (these are awesome because you can just hang when you are finished, no additional framing needed: small / large

Pre-primed wood art panels (a large panel 36″ x 38″ is only $125USD!)

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.