Friday, April 29, 2016

How To Photograph and Edit Your Craft Projects - Part 2

Hello friends,

I am here today continuing my previous post. Today I shall share some tips on editing your captured photos using a professional photo editing software - Adobe Photoshop. The tips that I am sharing are easy and you can easily do it even if you don't know anything about Photoshop or image editing.

      Once you are done with photography, the final step is to edit the photos in a image editing program. There are any free software available, you can use them. I use Adobe Photoshop and will be sharing few basic things about post processing your projects. Here are few tips I am sharing to edit photos. I am keeping things simple so that even a layman can understand and edit using Photoshop.

(a)    Cropping - It means keeping only the desired part of the image and discard the remaining. Here are the steps you can do in Photoshop.

Step 1: Open your photo in Photoshop.

 Step 2: Pick the crop tool from tool box

Step 3: Cropping marks will appear on image. Drag them inside to crop the image. This is the area which will be left after cropping. Adjust the crop area and press enter to finish it. While cropping, do leave some room around your project.

Image after cropping -

(b)    Adjusting Levels - Levels tool can move and stretch the brightness levels of an image. It has the power to adjust brightness, contrast, and tonal range by specifying the location of complete black, complete white, and midtones in a histogram. I use it when I want pure white background.
Open Image Menu -> Adjustments ->Levels or simply press Ctrl + L

You will find three eye dropper icons - black, grey and white. Pick the white dropper. The one which is encircled in red in picture below-

Click the area of the image which is close to light. You can always experiment with this. Press ok to finish. If your image is intense, drag the middle slider. This is my image before and after adjusting levels.

Image before adjusting levels-

Image after adjusting levels-

See the difference in both the pictures !! Isn't it a simple way to correct images.

(c)    Adjusting Curves - The Curves command can adjust image's tonal range and the brightness of certain color tones. This command alone can correct your image. Curves is all about taking that straight diagonal line running through the grid and reshaping it into a curve!
Open Image Menu -> Adjustments ->Curves or simply press Ctrl + M

At first, the line is straight because we haven’t yet made any changes. As we bend the line to create a curve (or curves), we make adjustments to the various brightness levels in the image. Move the curve line upward and see brightness changes in image.


 Image before adjusting curves-

Image after adjusting curves –

(d)   Image Size - Since digital images are large in size making it difficult to upload on internet sites.  You can change image size and resolution using image command of Photoshop. You can find it under Image Menu. I usually decrease the width or height keeping the "Constrain Proportion" on.

(d)   Adding Borders- You can add finishing touch to your image by adding borders to it. Though there are many ways to add borders but here I am sharing a step by step tutorial for adding soft border around image.

Step 1: Pick the "Rectangular Marquee Tool" from toolbox.

Step 2: Set value of feather to 200px (max. is 250). This will soften the selection edges.
Step 3: Do View Menu -> Show -> Grid command to appear the gridline.
Step 4: Make a selection around image leaving space for border. Use gridlines for equal width border

Step 5: Do Select Menu -> Inverse command to invert the selection.
Step 6: Turn off the grid. Again do View Menu -> Show -> Grid command for this.
Step 7: Press D from keyboard and flip the colors to get white as foreground color.

Step 8: Choose "Paint Bucket Tool" or press G. Fill white color in border.

Step 9: Press Ctrl+d to deselect. Save your image in the format you want.

Image after adding border

So this is all for today's post. If you have any query do drop a comment.

Till Then
Happy Crafting

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thai Clay Flower Tutorial - LILY

Good day!! Priya here , bringing you Thai Clay flower tutorial!!! Yes you heard it right, thats me!! I was introduced to this art from sometime back by the very talented flower , doll clay artist Priya Nanthakumar. I had learnt a few flowers from her. But had no time to try again or practice. Our Birthday blog posts gave that much needed motivation to make flowers and you ppl have to tell me if I did a decent job!! . Feel free to write to me if you find any corrections.

Why Thai Clay?
           Thai Clay is an air dry clay imported from Thailand, its birthplace.It is made from a type of corn starch and does not break or crack after drying.Thai Clay is extremely flexible, shape able and dries in light transulcent finish, which is an indispensible property for making flowers. Coz an opaque drying clay cannot give a realistic flower effect. It is non toxic , so children can use them too.

Materials used

Cutter for Lily
Frill tool
Pasta Machine
Cold cream
Plastic sheets
Brush, Scissors, Glue

Tips Before Starting

1. Always clean your hands before you begin.
2. Always keep the clay wrapped in cling film and in air tight box once you open it.
3. Use a Foam pad below, when you are cutting petals and leaves. This makes the pressure even and gives a neat cut.


1. Open the thai clay packet and take out the required amount. Put a small dot of colours as shown and mix well pulling and stretching the clay between the fingers till the colours are evenly mixed. You can also use the green pigmented clay from our store, to save time and get that perfect color you need.

2. This is how it should look.

3. Grease the plastic sheet very lightly with cold cream.

4. Press the white clay between two plastic sheet and pass it through  the pasta machine , Keeping the setting at 3. In some pasta machines, this may be a little thinner or thicker. So you need to adjust the number based on your preference.

5. This is how it should look.

6. Open the plastic sheet and cut out petals with cutter-3 big and 3 small as shown.

After you cut, remove the extra clay and keep it in plastic wrap in air tight box .

7. Now press the petal on the petal veiner to get the impression. At this stage, keep the petals covered , till you give shape to the petals or it will dry.

8. Hold the back of the petal edges firmly on your left hand and move the frill tool to and fro gently with your right hand. This gives a slight curl to the edges and so natural look.


9.Add a thin layer of clay around the wires to hide it and adhere it at the back with glue.Wires are used to hold the petals in place and bending when needed.Now allow the petals to dry on an apple tray, so that it gets the natural bend while drying.

9. Colour the petals and add dots in the centre. Following similar steps,make the leaves and buds with green clay

11.Add stamens and pollens to the centre.Alternate the big petals and small petal and stick all the wires together using green tape.

Add some green clay around the wires and attach the leaves and buds.. Your Lily flower is ready!!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tutorial - Thai Clay flower Rose

Hello lovely ladies, 

           Greetings from Priya!! We are extremely happy to have Athiya Nazreen on our blog!! People from Dubai needs no introduction to her!! She does realistic landscape paintings , naturalistic clay flowers , excellent altered art and is a great teacher too!. Dont believe my words, Go have a look at her FB page and Blog!! You will be stunned!!! Her works speak of her talent!! Heartfelt thanks to Athiya for making such an excellent tutorial for our blog!! Clay enthusiasts , you are gonna love the step by step tutorial, explaning everything in detail!! Do stop at her page and leave some love!. Over to Athiya!

P.S : These are not real roses...handmade by Athiya!! 


In This post, I would like to share with you the tutorial on how to make a rose flower using air dry clay.

Materials needed:
- Air dry clay white
- Winsor Newton Oil Colors 37, 49, 9, 4
- Rose flower and leaf cutter
- Rose flower veiner
- Rose leaf veiner
- Ball Tool, Poking tool & Frilling Tool
- Pasta Machine
- Craft glue
- A Fruit tray to form the curve of petals
- Flower vase

Here are the steps,
Steps to make Rose
Mix 2 part of orange and 1 part of yellow color along with the white clay to get apricot color, and make sure that all the colors get blended well.

Place the clay in between two transparent plastic sheets and flatten it using pasta machine.Now, remove one side of the plastic sheet, and use the rose petal cutter to cut out all the petals and use the petal veiner to create real texture for those petals as shown in the picture. After that, place the petals on the apple tray to form the curve of petals

It is time to arrange the petals to form the rose flowers & bud, check all the below pictures to know the steps

Use permanent rose color to shade the edge of rose petals.

Steps to make Buds
Take a small piece of clay and shape into an egglike shape and fix it onto the wire. Shade it with permanent rose. Join the Calyx on the bud. 

Steps to make Leaves

Take green color and mix it with white clay well enough to get the perfect blend. same as how we did for rose petals, flatten the mixed clay in between plastic sheets, and get the thin layer using pasta machine.Use leaf cutter to to get enough number of leaves, and use veiner to get the leaf texture for all the leaves. 
Attach the leaves to wire.

Cover the wire with green tape and then cover it with green clay.

Use permanent rose or brown color to shade edge of all the leaves.

Use green clay & wires to make stems, and stick the rose, leaves to the stem as shown below.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, let me know your feedback. - Athiya