Monkey Business

Monkey Business

Oh my sweetums, today I’m going to share a SECRET with you. A bit o’arty advice. Pssst…come closer. I don’t want ADOBE to hear this but…unless you’re a fancy pants designer or uber photographer, you DON’T need Photoshop. Or even the elements version. Seriously, want some cool effects? A photo collage, some text? A file big enough to print or small enough for the web? Well, grab some bananas and head on over to Picmonkey. It’s free unless you decide to upgrade a few choices and go pro. Then it’s a whopping three bucks a month. I’ve been using it a lot lately, redesigning the websites. The header you see up above? Picmonkey. The sidebar dodahs–Picmonkey. Well, not the mailchimp button, that’s something else. Which reminds me, I’ve finally got Arty Life set up for email delivery to your inbox every week. Don’t leave here without signing up.

I’ll know if you do, I’m a mother, I have magic all seeing powers. 

But back to Picmonkey. Let’s play with something, okay. And by the way, this is an unsolicited review. I’m not an affiliate and get nothing but good mojo from sharing this with you.

woot.jpgThis little gem took all of 5 minutes to create. Yeah, yeah, I know it looks like it but I wasn’t going for art here, just wanted to show the ease of creating a little graphic using the program. And I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do. My indecision took up at least half of those five minutes. You can import your own photos but I just played around with one of the stock backgrounds. They have a lot of them. I’ve never even seen this one before. And they’ve got special effects too. And tons of fonts. You can make photo collages, facebook headers, posters and anything else your heart desires.

Let’s play with it some more.

Woot 2

Is that cool or what–a FRAME!

Picmonkey, to sum it up:

  • It’s free unless you upgrade. The upgrade is cheap but you can do fine without it.
  • Large or small files, you decide
  • No download to clog up your hard drive. It’s a web based photo editing thingie.

If you haven’t tried it yet run on over and check it out. Be sure to tell us about it in the comments below. And if you have another favorite photo editing program tell us about that one too.

As always–




Spring Forth

You may have noticed Arty Life has a NEW look. It’s still a work in progress and you may be wondering why, why would I ditch the old header and move some things around?

I could blame it all on my inner geek, the one that loves to fool with webstuff. The one that said don’t write a post this week, take the website apart instead.

Yeah, THAT one.

I could blame it on the same crazy creative mindset that paints over perfectly good canvasses. You’ve seen me do that often enough around here, haven’t you?

Or I could blame it on the time change. Yeah, lets do that.

But it’s not the geek or the crazy painter lady or Daylight Savings Time coming earlier and earlier every year that got me off schedule. No, no no… it’s SPRING!!!

Yep, spring caused me to blow off writing a post last week. And the one before.

Because in my corner of the world EVERYTHING is GROWING! All those plants we planted last year, planted with big empty spaces all around, well those plants, right now as I’m writing this, are having plant babies and SPREADING out, beginning to take over the empty spaces just like the plant lady said they would.


Plant babies! YAY!!!

And it makes me happy. Sooooooo happy I was out there for awhile today pulling weeds and humming and sipping on some cold coffee while the dogs and cat hung out with me eating enough grass to guarantee they’ll be puking later on.

Note to dogs and cat: Not on the bed, please NOT ON THE BED!!! Or anything upholstered.

Spring caused me to want to spread out and renew myself. My blog. And my other blog.

Other blog???

Well, YES! Remember Big Bold Beautiful Yes! The blog where I wrote down to my soul, the blog I stopped writing a little more than a year ago. After an ugly presidential election that came between friends. After the terrible school shooting at Sandy Hook where guns came between friends. It was hard to write YES! when all I wanted to do was scream NOOOOOO and knock some sense into anyone who didn’t agree with me. So I pulled back. Missed a week. Then two. Then a month and a year and basically forgot it ever existed.

Until spring began to stir things up and YES! began bubbling up in my soul again. YES! YES! YES!!! I went back to it, took a look at what I’d written way back when and fell in love again.

And so I’ve decided to revive it. Expand it. Make it better. And change the look so it tied in better with Arty Life. And since I was doing that, I needed to change the look of my art site, the one that’s still waiting for me to finish, I needed to tie ALL THREE of them together. You can get to any of them through the nav bar up there. Or the sidebar if I get around to it. They’re different sites with different looks. Different message. Different voice. But if I did my job right they’ll work together.

Check ’em out. And do let me know what you think. Here’s the link to YES.


Creativity and Mad Hatters

Hello my lovies, in case you’re wondering where I’ve been, in case you’ve noticed I haven’t been here in Arty Life Land this week, I have a good excuse.

I have been down the rabbit hole. 

That’s right… mad hatters, evil kitties, CYBER MADNESS!!!

Website stuff. Mine. And the non-profit where I work. Because why rebuild one site when you can rebuild two??? At the same time???

So I’m a bit pre-occupied right now, don’t really have the time or inclination to write. But I found this really great article that I want to share with you, or rather my FB friend Pam found it, over on the Huffington Post. 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.

Go ahead, read it. And then come back here ’cause I’ve got something to say.

Waiting patiently. Humming. Drumming fingers on the table.

Back now? Was that an AMAZING article? I mean, really–did you see yourself in it? Because holy crap, I sure did! It’s me to a T. That part about observing everything? Some day I’ll tell you a story about Ranger Rick, the canoe and what I saw that impressed him enough to ask me back to the park after hours. Someday. But not now.

Because now I’m going to go to bed and dream of 1-800 numbers and tech support.

It’s an arty geek thing. And since we need something visual I’ll leave you with this magical selfie I took last week with Da Boy. 

Lovin' on Da Boy

Lovin’ on Da Boy

What could be more magical than a pony kiss? Really, what???

As always, sweetums, love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.