let’s monkey around.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I add titles, banners or other items to the photos on q is for quandie, so I thought I would just share a quick run down on that with you.  It’s really a very easy way to make your photos look more professional, whether it’s just for your own blog or for craigslist ads.

In general I use PicMonkey for this stuff.  PicMonkey is free, unless you want to upgrade to “Royale”, which gives you access to more fonts, more overlays … well, just more cool stuff in general.  It also means you don’t have to see any ads.  And at a mere $33 a year, it was a no-brainer for me.  But, start out with the free stuff and see how you like it.  You can always upgrade later.

I’m not going to give you a step by step tutorial, because that would likely drive me to drink.  Instead, I’m just going to give you an idea of how I do what I do, and then you’ll have to play around with it on your own (or watch the tutorials that they provide).

Let’s start with this photo.

the carriage house

What did I do?  I added a banner (the grey shading behind the title) from the ‘Overlays’ menu, which started out black but I used the ‘fade’ feature to make it transparent.  I added the title over the banner using the ‘Text’ menu.  Each word was done separately using a different font (Futura Medium, Scripting Pro and Ecuyer Dax) with the color changed to white.  I do each word separately so that I can size them and then place them (click and drag) exactly where I want to.  My blog address is also added using the ‘Text’ menu.  Finally, I added a Simple Edge using the ‘Frames’ menu and changed it to white, then added a Drop Shadow from the same menu.

Here is a tip that took me a while to figure out.  If you don’t want your banner to overlap your white border frame, you have to add it first, save the photo, reload the newly saved photo and then add the Simple Edge and Drop Shadow.  Putzy?  Maybe.  But those kind of details matter to me.

Once you have the basics down, the world is your oyster.  There are all kinds of fun things that you can add to your photos using PicMonkey.  You can also do basic editing like cropping, color adjustments, brightness adjustments and so on.  I also use PicMonkey to resize my photos to save memory space on my blog.

Here is another example of something you can do with PicMonkey.

2014 Fall Carriage House Sale

To create this I used the Collage feature.  This is a “Jigsaw” layout, but they have lots of options, including a Facebook Cover.  (tip:  I also used a PicMonkey collage to create the header of my blog).

Once I had my collage ready to go, I saved it and then used Editor to add the circle, changing it to white and fading it to be more transparent.  The text was once again added in several different sections in different fonts.

I will tell you, I am no computer whiz, nor am I a rocket scientist.  So, if I can do this stuff, so can you.

so sweet

You can play around with colors, and adding little accents like these pink and white ‘stars’ from the Overlays menu.

Once you have gotten comfortable with monkeying around, you can move on to Picasa, another free editing program that will allow you to make your collages look like this.  Maybe we’ll leave that for another day (hint:  I added all of the text and overlays in PicMonkey first, saved each photo individually and then used Picasa to create this collage where the photos overlap).

Provence nightstand before and after

Hey, it’s January, it’s cold out, so why not spend some time playing around with these programs to see what they can do for you!  And while you are doing that, I’m going to be busy painting my craft room, and maybe a piece of furniture or two.

(Once again, please note, this post is not sponsored in any way by PicMonkey or Picasa.  I received no compensation, free products or encouragement of any kind.  I’m just sharing what works for me.)

11 thoughts on “let’s monkey around.

  1. Yes Quandie thanks for sharing this info these tools do make for a more interesting photos. And the font and overlay ideas are very cool. And the little dress is so sweet.
    So you are painting your studio this weekend! That did not take you long to decide which direction you were going. You must have pretty much had a plan swirling around in that creative head of yours. Cannot wait…


    1. I have had a plan swirling around in my head, and then it keeps morphing … better known as “I can’t make up my mind.” But it is starting to come together. I’m calling it ‘vintage farmhouse’. Stay tuned!


  2. I love Pic Monkey and Quandie got me started on it. It works great and petty easily because I am even less of a computer geek than my sister. Have to get my adult kids to help me all the time. Can’t wait to see the new room next month on my next visit to the cold country. Dragging the niece with me too!


      1. Mr Q. did you really leave that message or was it Mrs. Q in disguise. I am looking forward to moving there. Hopefully it will happen and we can all do more things together.


  3. Hey, I want a message from Mr. Q!
    Mrs. Q: I have been playing with PicMonkey and signed up for the yearly subscription. Thank you for the fun I had with this as I was recuperating from the dreaded influenza. I was down low for four weeks with it.


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