Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vector Finds, Freeware and More Photoshop Backgrounds

I promised that I would give you some links to some free vector sites today and I have a couple of them. The first one is Crazy Leaf Design and is a collection of free vector sites with pages and pages of links with samples of what kind of design is offered. The second is Bittbox and is my favorite. Their regular feature is "Free Texture Tuesday" and they appear to have lots of giveaways. I am sure there are others, but so far I have been spending so much time at these two I haven't done any more exploring. You can be sure that as I move on, I will share any other "booty" I find with you.

Some of the files found at the two sites above are Illustrator files with an .ai file type. If you have Adobe Creative Suite that is not a problem - you have Illustrator. If however you only have Photoshop, some of these files will not open. I solved that problem by doing a search for freeware at the Apple download site and found a lovely little program called Drawberry that has solved that dilemma for me and has many other features that I have yet to discover. You know when I do, I will share them with you.

Because of my HughesNet dilemma of only being allowed a certain amount of downloads, except for what is downloaded between 2 AM and 7 AM, I have periodically looked for software (preferably freeware) that would allow me to schedule my downloads during that time WHILE I AM ASLEEP! I have spent many early mornings waiting for 2 AM or getting up at 4AM so that I could download a large file. NO MORE! I had tried some download schedulers some time ago, but they were uncooperative and I was frustrated. I finally have control over when large downloads are scheduled. I found Folx and I will never have to stay up too late or get up too early in order to download a large file again (think vector files and Photoshop brush sets and Photoshop textures). I found it via Macupdate and am hugely pleased with it.

I spent more time playing with Photoshop last evening (big surprise!) and came up with more backgrounds. This time I tried using one picture as the "offset" layer and then added a different picture into the middle before saving it as a custom pattern. I can't wait to play more and find other ways to generate interesting backgrounds. You may download these to use them without restriction, but I would like to know which ones you chose to download and if you use them in a layout, I'd love to see what you create. And on a side note - I really don't understand why when I find a set of background papers online, they want to include the same design in four or five different colors. Just a reminder to you. If you have Photoshop, you can save this design to your desktop and if you want a different color you can choose the Magic Wand (W) tool, click on the brown color (with contiguous unchecked) and it will select all the brown. You then go to Edit > Fill and choose a color of your choice. If you want to change both the brown and the white, you then repeat this process selecting the white. Another thing you might try is to choose a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and toggle the Colorize button for a nice effect. You can adjust the Hue, Saturation and Lightness until you get just the effect you want. This is also a really nice way to "unite" a collage.

This was a happy accident and is my favorite.

I call this one Twirls and Swirls.

If you look closely you can see this is a Circle of Witches pattern.

This one is Flying Witch and Spider.

I hope you like these. They were all made with symbol fonts and I had lots of fun playing while making these.

A dear friend of mine recently lost her mother. I am planning to take her out for the day to see if some silliness and TLC can help her to heal. I realize she has to grieve and it will take time, but she really wants a day where she doesn't have to make any decisions or think about anything serious. I will do my best to fulfill her wish.

Right now what I need is a second mug of coffee and some play time. I'll see you tomorrow....



  1. Drawberry sounds wonderful, and I love what you have done with your backgrounds - unfortunately, it appears to be for Macs only. Ah well...

  2. Nice finds, Vickie and thanks for sharing. I offered my DD a little lunch out yesterday, drove 140 miles to her college and back, she had had to break up with her boyfriend (his fault, these usually hurt her more) and was feeling low. We had a great time and she's better. So, go have fun and do a good thing for you both. :-)

  3. What a wonderful gift to give your friend! ((hugs))

  4. Thanks for the backgrounds. I don't know much about PS yet and only have PSE but I am learning. The first file (the plaid) didn't open but the next one did and I have a PC.

  5. Very informative post - I'll check out some of those things when I get a chance. The background papers are really fun. Really nice job. hugs, nancy