Category Archives: Art

How to add hand-drawn elements to your site using Pixlr.com

Sometimes it’s nice to add a personal touch, for example your own handwriting, to your website or other digital media, such as photos. There’s a great instruction post on Skillcrush that guides you how to do this on Photoshop, but even if you don’t have Photoshop, it’s easy with the free web-based Pixlr.com:

1. Draw or write a message on a blank piece of paper

2. Take a photo and download it/email it to yourself

3. Go to Pixlr.com, open Pixlr Editor Advanced, go to File, and open the image. You can resize it under ‘Image’ and ‘Image size…’

4. Go to ‘Layer’ and select ‘New layer’


5. In the ‘Layers’ toolbox on the right, unlock the original layer (double-click on the lock symbol) and then select that layer by holding your mouse over it, clicking and dragging it up so that moves up in the layers toolbox. It’s now placed above the new layer

6. Use the Wand tool (third from the top in ‘Tools’) to select the white area


7. Delete the white area by hitting ‘Delete’ on your keyboard (or go to ‘Edit’ and select ‘Cut’)
8. The white area will now be checkered grey and white, which means it’s transparent. Keep doing this until all the white areas have been removed. You might need to use the ‘Eraser’ tool to get rid of any extra bits

9. Save as a .png file and voila!

You now have a hand-drawn element that you can incorporate into your website design! Check out the Skillcrush post to see examples of how they’ve done this. You can still see some dots where the white hasn’t been completely removed, so I would spend more time on fixing that up. But here’s my (almost) final .png image that I can now use:

Hello there

A cool idea is to incorporate hand-written components onto images, or use elements in your website background.

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Top 5: Kraftwerk, Blood Service marketing, Archibald Prize, ice cream & kale chips and no time for a nap

Last week’s ‘stuff to be grateful for and admire’ includes music, marketing, art, food and an appreciation for not having enough time for a nap. Here are last week’s Top 5:

1) Music: Kraftwerk at Vivid Sydney
Kraftwerk are a German electronic music band that formed in 1970. This show had amazing sound and 3D visuals. It was so much fun, I had a sore face from smiling!

Kraftwerk

2) Marketing follow-up material from the Australia Red Cross Blood Service
I received this material a few weeks after donating blood for the first time in Australia. From a marketing point of view, I love it! It’s brought me right into the story, it’s given me accountability and made me feel a little bit spesh. However, there’s a slight flaw in this because I’m not allowed to give blood in Australia – I’m only allowed to give plasma so with this first ‘trial’ donation, unfortunately I didn’t save three lives. Still, I like this material so I’ll let it slide!

Australian Red Cross Blood Service

3) Art: Archibald Prize
On the 26th of May I went to the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. The portraits were talented and wonderful, but the portraits that spoke to me the most were those by the kids. Most of them chose to draw or paint one of their parents, siblings or grandparents and their commentaries of why those people are special to them brought tears to my eyes.

Love Face by Vincent Fantauzzo

Love Face by Vincent Fantauzzo (Source: Art Gallery of NSW site)

4) Culinary creations: banana cacao ice cream and kale chips
Word on the street is that kale is totally in. It’s actually been the word on the street for some time now, but I’ve only just attempted kale chips and they are delicious! I mixed torn pieces of kale with coconut oil, garlic and smoked paprika and baked them for about 10 minutes.
Another treat that I made last week was banana cacao ice cream with my flatmate. This stuff is too easy and sooooo tasty. We blended 3 frozen bananas, cacao and a dash of water to make what you see here. Next time I’ll make date caramel sauce to drizzle on top 🙂

5) No time for a nap
Last Saturday I was struck with a strange thought. I’d been out late the night before, got four hours of sleep, went to a boxing class in the park, had brunch with the good people from the class, and then took a walk to buy produce from the markets. I had a few key tasks to tick off the ‘to do’ list before meeting a friend in the city for a gig that evening. Feeling pretty tired, I was hoping to take a nap before the show, but I didn’t have enough time. And that’s when the thought struck me: I had an amazing day with friends, fitness, sunshine and fresh food, and my biggest ‘problem’ of the day was not having enough spare time for a quick snooze. Not having enough time to nap because the day held so many great experiences and people to enjoy them with? Now that’s a thought to be very grateful for indeed.

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