The Pearly Story Behind "Dusting in Pearls"

I always feel like a walking paradox. I can get out in the garden with my shovel and sledgehammer and love every dusty dirty minute I'm out there. I spend the majority of my life dressed in my "grubbies". Yet there's a part of me deep down inside that still likes "the frillies", "the pearlies", and "the sparklies"--all the pretty things. Maybe it's all the great classic Hollywood movies I watched as a kid. I don't know. All I know is that I can be dirty and sweaty and still want to put on heels when it isn't practical; buy the prettiest apron even if it will get dirty; and don pearls when all I'm going to be doing is dusting and vacuuming the house. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to. I've decided to claim it, celebrate it, and have fun with it... and create some "pearly" goodness along the way.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sharing creative inspiration

More than anything else, I like to see others get so inspired by something that they create something new--a dessert, a garden, a painting, or even a memorable moment. Over the past summer, I've reflected a lot on how much joy it brings me to watch someone else go through that precious and very rewarding creative experience. This reflection has caused me to have my own creative epiphanies. One epiphany I had was that with my own work, I would rather inspire people more than having a profit reflected on a spreadsheet.

That huge epiphany led to another one... I could create a digital download shop where everything was free or nearly free. And the big plus with having it be a download shop is that someone has immediate access to the file instead of having to wait for an order to arrive.

As soon as I created the shop, Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop, ideas started pouring in with all the different things I could share. Here are some ideas I came up with...

Textures and overlays are the secret weapon of digital artists and are really easy to use in programs like Photoshop Elements (or the more robust CS3 or CS4) as well as any other graphic software that works in layers. Just like putting a photograph under a piece of gauzy transparent tracing paper or vellum, you can put a digital photograph under a texture or overlay layer to give it a soft look.

Here's a quick example... I took this photograph of some flowers in a vase on my mantle:

Then in Photoshop, I placed the texture Spring Dew (see above) as a new layer over the top of the photograph at a setting of 60% Screen. After a little strategic erasing with a soft-edged eraser set at 10-20%, I got an image that looks like a colored pencil or pastel drawing. Here it is...


For some people creating photographic art isn't their thing. Some people prefer to work with their hands with something tangible. That's where a "background" can be used. Over the past few years, I've created various different backgrounds for lots of projects. I decided I should make them available for download so others could print them off on their printers with their own paper so they could create whatever they wanted with them--scrapbook pages, origami, invitations, whatever. Or someone can also use the background in its digital form to create something like a digital scrapbook page.

I also have sketchbooks with lots of doodles and sketches in them that I realized would be great as clip art or embellishments for someone's blog, scrapbook, posters, artist trading cards, greeting cards, and more. So as I've gone through my sketchbooks, I've finalized some of my favorite sketches and made them available for download too. I've still got lots more to come.

I came up with the idea of blog graphics just last week. Every so often I'll get a really neat design idea for a blog. But I don't want to change up my entire blog just so I can see the new design I thought up. The solution is to simply make the blog design elements (header and sidebar graphics) available for download at the shop for anyone that wants to use them on their own blog. And I was even able to make this header customizable so someone can change the title to whatever they choose. The "Cheery Cherry" design is the first one I've made available, and I'm certain there will be many more to come.

My Dusting in Pearls online shop is still there for those that want to order fine stationery and art that is already done. But for those that want to do some creating of their own, please visit the Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop. Then drop me a note with your feedback, ideas, suggestions and creative stories. I'd love to hear from you because it makes my own creative process even richer and more rewarding to know that I've inspired you to create something!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Latest releases at Dusting in Pearls

Along with sharing the latest releases at the Dusting in Pearls online store, I wanted to let everyone know that if you order a single card with nothing else in your order it is shipped FREE. Your card will be packaged in a rigid mailer so it reaches you in perfect condition. Now you don't even have to hustle down to Wal-Mart or Target to get a card. You can do it from your computer.

Click on any of the images below to read more:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pink layer cake with black bow ties

I was watching the film "Nanny McPhee" a while back and was so intrigued by the cakes in one of the scenes later in the movie. Luckily, I had my sketchbook in hand and sketched a cake inspired by that scene. Then I went and inked it so I had a clean and crisp ink line-art version. Once I had that done, I scanned it into the computer and used Photoshop to color it digitally.

This hi-resolution non-watermarked digital clip art file is available to download for FREE by clicking here. I've also made the drawing available without color (ink line only) so you can color it yourself if you wish (and that's FREE too!).

Friday, August 7, 2009

A really fun announcement!

"Gerberas and Pink Tulips" Digital Desktop/Wallpaper

I am so excited to finally announce to everyone what I've been up to for the past couple of weeks. I've been sitting here at my computer coding and designing a new website called Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop where all downloads are FREE to 99 cents.

This idea was born out of my desire to share many of my photographs as free desktops/wallpaper for people to download whenever they felt like a "change of scenery". But I also wanted some security for myself so that I didn't have problems with "poachers". I realized that if I created a shop of my own where people signed in before they downloaded, it would make my desires a reality.

I started building the site with the free desktops in mind and then realized that I had a lot of other textures, clip art, and backgrounds I've created (or drawn) that I wanted to share too that would appeal to scrapbookers, crafters, artists, and bloggers. I also realized that I am constantly doodling, sketching and creating things so that the inventory would always be growing.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been hard at work building the shop site so that all these goodies are available to download. To make it even more fun, the inventory can be viewed by color palette or season of the year as well as the basic product types. You can browse only the FREE stuff if you want. I've tried to make it really easy to find just what you're looking for.

I hope you'll go over there and download some of free desktops to decorate your computer. There are some nice ones perfect for August in the Summer section.

You can get to the Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop by clicking here,
or by visiting and
clicking on the Digital Download Shop button.

If you have problems downloading from the new shop,
please email me at so I can fix it right away.

IMPORTANT "PEARLY" NOTE: If you are using Internet Explorer, you aren't having the most beautiful "pearly" experience that you could have if you were viewing this site with Mozilla Firefox for the PC or Firefox for the Mac which is available for FREE download at the above links.