Tess has been showing more of an interest in photoshop.  It started with her love of Instagram, Snapchat, and all things phone.  But the built-in filters was making her stuff look like all the other stuffs on the interwebs.  Tess, currently sporting green hair, was not into joining the crowd, but rather standing out. Lately photoshop has been looking better & better.

For Father’s Day she wanted to do something more “her”, and way less Hallmark. She’s recently started painting, after me begging for years but Tess obstinately sticking to pen & paper & sketching.  I credit a recent art fair at our favorite little city Weil der Stadt. Not only was the art fair filled with gorgeous, hand-made items, but there was a little plaza set-up for kids to get creative. Including painting.


Tess happily painting at an easel in Weil der Stadt.

After looking at many different photo gifts, on many different web-sites, from the hysterical (a customized sleeping mask) to 6 million “mmmmh, maybe?”‘s. She decided on a small canvas, printed and resting on an easel for Dave’s desk.

We picked a new photo of the two of the them, she wanted something from now, not a baby picture or a collage.


We started with a recent, sweet, picture of Dave & Tess

We searched through the Father’s Day selection in the store together to find just the right collection for her to work with. We choose On A Whimsical Adventure: Number One Dad as the most suitable for Tess and her project. We started with a simple photo mask:


Tess wanted something “urban”, we picked the mask in On A Whimsical Adventures: “Number One Dad”

And clipped Tess’ photo right to it! Tess was immediately thrilled at the gritty texture and design it gave the photo. Our photo didn’t fit quite right with the original mask orientation, so we went to edit–>transform—>rotate 90° CW


We flipped the mask 90° to get the right orientation for our project

Tess declared her project “done”! She was thrilled at the gritty, real, effect of the mask on the photo. But then I opened the folder of all of the Number One Dad elements and she spent the next twenty minutes happily dragging in every element, moving it around in photoshop. Resizing. Delete. Layering.  She finally decided on this:


I nixed the moustache.

I actually really liked it.  She’d duplicated the photo mask layer & reduced the opacity to 34%, letting the photo come through a little darker without losing that gritty edge she so loves.  She’s added sweet, adorable, perfect wordart, but the moustache had to go.  That was a firm “no” from me. She argued briefly, but mostly just giggled.  It is a great element!


Tess has simple, clean tastes. She duplicated the mask & set opacity on the second layer to 34%, then add the fantabulous word art from “Number One Dad”. She declared it done, happily!

We found a local printer to do a small canvas for us, and the craft shop on base has the desktop-sized painter easel photo frames. Tess is going to paint it black, then sand it a little to match the urban grittiness of her photo project. Hopefully we’ll be done by Father’s Day.  So far I’m loving her gift & creativity!