Tuesday, 28 February 2012

the graphics fairy

The Graphics Fairy is an amazing and seemingly endless resource of around 2,500 FREE clip art images and vintage printables, to use for craft projects, collage, scrapbooking etc! Karen, the graphics fairy herself, has generously been adding vintage image downloads every day since 2007! Above you can see a few of the images that I selected to use for this digital collage I created in Photoshop called 'Let Them Eat Cake'. Watch the animation to see how it develops...
Stage 1 First I place the image of Marie Antoinette, cropped from it's original frame, slightly off-centre.

Stage 2 I lightened the image using the curves function and start placing a few cropped images of flowers.

Stage 3 More flowers... until I feel her 'wig' is just at the right ridiculous height!

Stage 4 Some more flowers and then I put a bird on it... of course!

Stage 5 I finish off embellishing Ms Antoinette's wig, then I give her a hand holding a cup of french 'chocolat'. The swirl of steam is a glyph from Parfumerie Script Ornaments!

Stage 6 I need to give her a background. I've used the back of an old airmail envelope, from another amazing image resource site, Fuzzimo. So lucky to have found one with the red, white and blue stripes, for that extra bit of Frenchiness. The grid paper and masking tape strips are also from Fuzzimo. (ignore the scissors outline - that wasn't meant to show up yet :)

Stage 7 I build up the background layers for a bit of depth. I add a strip of (my own) pattern behind the masking tape, a vintage ticket (from my lovely friend Dawn's fantastic ticket collection) and some faded astrology symbols from my own brush collection.

Stage 8 A bit more pimping up of the background - I add some larger scrolls from the Parfumerie Script Ornaments font, some circle shapes for balance and some nice blood stains - we know where this little lady ends up!

Stage 9 She's nearing the chopping block now, so let's give the executioner a helping hand by telling him where to cut! Another bird here, a couple of butterflies there... nearly finished. Oh, and as if the hair isn't quite extreme enough, let's stick a cake on top and the Eiffel Tower sticking out at the side!

Stage 10 Marie's blindfolded and rouged, ready for the guillotine! Finally, I add a lovely flower and scroll motif with the words 'Let Them Eat Cake'. She really took the biscuit!

If there are any links I have not provided for images from The Graphics Fairy, that's because I couldn't find them again (or couldn't spend the time looking for them again - this blog post alone has taken nearly as long to complete as the collage itself!). And that is really my one and only tiny criticism of the site. The Graphics Fairy is basically a blog and truthfully the format just cannot handle the amount of stuff on there! It's very slow to load and searching is a bit of an effort, although Karen's recently added a basic search function to help matters. But we are talking about a huge one-woman effort here and I know how difficult and costly a dedicated website would be to set up! I just hope one day this becomes a reality, but until then set some time aside to have a good root around over there!


  1. Wow... what a wonderful resource - thanks for sharing it and your process of creating the digital collage.

  2. Hi Leanda, only just discovered you blog but have totally fallen in love! Check out my blog today I have given you a little award...rebecca x

  3. Oh my gosh...this tutorial is amazing!!!


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Leanda :)