Monday, June 30, 2014

Graphic Stock review

I was given this gift from Graphic Stock and was asked to do a review of their digital products.  In doing so, I was given full access to their website and was able to pick and choose any of the graphics they have on their site. The beauty of this, is that any of the graphics I download I get to keep for life...and I can use them on my commercial website without paying an extra fee as many other graphic sites charge.  Being that I create slideshows for students who graduate in the program I work at, I can have so much more fun with the variety of designs I have to choose from.  I also do my own website and my sisters so, this is going to be much more fun once I start updating our sites.

So let me begin with how much I honestly love their website.  

Its very user friendly.  Once I logged in, I was able to move around the site very easily.  I am going to show you some screen shots I took of my dashboard and explain what I see.

This is what you will fist see once you log in, you can see on the left are your account management options.  It tells you the date when you opened your account and welcomes you by name.  Just below that are a couple of search engines where you can get to work right away looking for a specific graphic 

This screenshot is on the same page as the picture above only it has drop-down menu's where you can explore the different categories if you just want to browse around and see what the have. The first time I did this, I must have spent hours looking much to see!

This is a screen shot of the images on the DESIGN ELEMENTS category.  You can see that I have it set to 48 images per page and look how many pages there are..OMG..I could not even look at the all.  One thing I do want to know you can search by file type too...look where it says VECTOR, RASTER, PHOTOSHOP near the upper middle area.  You check off these boxes and it will refine your search for these file types.  

This is what you see when you type in jewelry, you see all the different ways you can search for something you are looking for.

Here are some examples of what they have when I looked up Jewellery. Pretty designs.

These are GREAT! I love banners, and these are perfect of blogs and even websites.

I love these too...LOL  now as I mentioned earlier, I create slideshows...and one of the best parts for me is how to make the slides FUN for the with this picture, I would take it apart and use the mustache on one student, put a pipe in their mouth..or maybe add the glasses to a teacher...anything to make the pictures stand out...  I will eventually add more examples of this particular image later..  :-)

One thing I really like about Graphic Stocks images is they give you a variety of designs using some of the same elements.  Look at the difference here... and again, I could use the graphic above and put it in my own background or maybe one of the other backgrounds I find here...

As for my conclusion of this review, I will say this... Graphic Stock is AWESOME..and I am not saying that because I am being partial to them.  I have used other graphics from other sites and have had to pay per item, and had to pay more for commercial rights.  Some graphics I have paid up to $30 just for that license plus the price of the graphics.  With Graphic Stock, that is not so.. You pay an annual fee, you get full benefits of their graphics including commercial rights without an extra fee.  And as always with any graphics on line, they are copyright protected, so your only limit is to not make money off of them, claim them as your own and a few other limitations which you can read in the Support Center before you decide you want to join in.

So, what are you waiting for?  Check out their website.

I promise it will be worth all 7 days to explore everything they have :-)

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you take advantage of their offer..


Friday, June 27, 2014

Flight of the Dragonfly Challenge

I love dragonflies, they are so amazing to watch and a little scary when they buzz by your head if you are not expecting it.  I decided to join in on the Dragonfly challenge presented by KraftyMax on the Bead Soup Cafe Facebook group I belong to.  Not one design is the same in this challenge.  I decided to paint up my dragonfly.  I have 2 paintings, one I actually was able to finish before the cut off date. So here are the examples of my creation..This is a Blog/No Blog Hop, so those who have a blog to share I have listed them below my images..

I found these awesome beads at Beads On Main, its one of our local bead stores and she has some amazing stuff there...I also got the square link/connector which is beautiful!

I started to make the bead-work on the sides and didn't like how it was turning out, maybe 3 times I had to tear up the pieces I started to make.  I ended up using the glass cylinder beads and just love how it finally fit into place.

Before I put the bead work on and tightened it all up to fit both sides nice and snug, I glued a nice peace of leather on the back side.

And finally the sari silk was the last thing I added.  I made the J hook clasp and beaded up a little band around the wire which is wrapped around the silk that is looped around the end of the hook. Phew...that was a mouthful!  Hehe

This is a better view of the pendent.  You can see now where the word DRAGON is written and FLY, and the heart.  Now, see if you can find my signature...LOL

Here is a close up of the clasp, simple and does a nice job!  Its quite comfortable too.  Its made with blackened steel wire and I sealed it with some really good spray..sorry, too lazy to go find the brand name...LOL  I will get it later.  :-)

Finally another cabochon I painted for this challenge but didnt have enough time to get it finished.  I think this one turned out quite lovely.  It is painted with watercolors and sealed with resin.  It is still in the works and hope to finish it soon.  I struggled a lot with this pendent.  I am not all that experience at beadwork, I consider myself a beginner/intermediate beader.  I wound up being a tad too loose once I got to beading the upper half, but I found a way to tighten it, and I am quite pleased with the finished work..

I am very happy to announce that I am FINISHED with the second dragonfly.  I need to start naming my pieces.  I think it would be great if I had the wits to come up with some fun names...but no..I just am not all that good at it...Hmmm...I think I need to call my BFF in NY.

Wow...are you feeling the love???  This dragonfly looks grumpy though, but when I had a nice close up picture, that is really what their faces look like...those frowns...  Its hard to see in this picture, but the yellow beads I bought to match the body of the dragonfly.  The yellow and black beads were mixed on the strand and I just knew they would match quite well.  And those huge lavender see them in person they are beautiful and add some magic to the dragonfly.

I went shopping the other day at Michaels, and found these great dragonfly pendents.  I thought...hmmm..I might use this sometime, and they were on sale..which is always a benefit! I didnt know I was actually going to use the pendent in my design, but when I finished the beadwork, it looked a little naked yea, the dragonfly looks really nice.  I added some patina to kind of match the dragonfly painting.

I struggled some with the clasp...wasnt really wanting to make the J hook, but I did.  I refused to go to the bead store one more time...cuz you know you cant just buy one thing there...  So after I wrapped the wire around the fabric and still needed something to tie into the was just too plain for me.  Then, the flower spoke to me...and I put it all together and it was done.. Ahhhhh...   The fabric, just so you know, came all the way from Ireland.  When hubby and I went there several years ago, I saw this fabric in one of their side shops..  I love how it shimmers, and being that at the time I was making lots of mermaid dolls, I thought this would be a great piece to bring home.  Funny thing is, I never used it to make any of my dolls yet..and that was probably...hmm...10 years ago now...maybe 8.  It is a purple fabric with a blue shimmer, perfect match!

You can visit my flickr page to see all the photos I have taken of my designs

Thank you very much for stopping by and please take a peek at some of the other participants...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bead Soup final piece

Well, since my time has been a little limited on creating over the past few months, it has taken me a little bit of extra time to complete my bead soup creations.  I had enough beads left to play a little more...  Again, I appreciate ALL of the beads and findings from my bead soup partner Christine...

So, here it is, I hope this piece is liked as much as my other pieces..  I used hand blown glass beads created by Modern Trails who's Etsy shop is no longer available.  I hope to find her again, I just love her beads...