Holiday Card Collage with just one image

cardgnomegtgcardkatiesampleIt’s that time of year! Many families are getting family portraits done for their yearly Holiday Cards.  If they are like me, they love that creative collage look that you see for custom greeting cards, but also like the simplicity of using just one photo. Here is something unique and special you can create if you just have one favorite image for your Holiday Card.  A Holiday Card Collage. Gotta LOVE the WOW factor of this creative “collage” look.   Most greeting cards with a collage design require several images. Here is how to create your masterpiece Holiday Card Collage look with just ONE image.

Click to download tutorial Greeting Card Collage Tutorial pdf

Photoshop tutorial:   Create a holiday collage greeting card with only one image
We will use the NEW Photoshop’s Guide Layout to help divide the image into smaller sections. You must have Photoshop CC to use this method.
The image I chose to use for my sample below is a sweet little rescued foster kitten named Denver, a litter of 5.


Step 1: Create a new document go to File>New  I used greeting card specs. For my Purposes, I set width to 1575 px, height 2175 px, resolution 300, white background. If you use a different size document, make sure you compensate for it in your gutters, margins and drop shadows, by adjusting their size accordingly.

Step 2: Add a new layer and name it Shapes

Step 3: Make a 3 x 3 grid with gutter, and margin around edges:
  • go to View>new guide layout
  • set column number to 3 leave the width field empty, set gutter to 30 px
  • click rows, set number to 5, leave height empty, set gutter to 30 px
  • make sure preview box Is selected.
  • Add margins around edges of document: click in the margin checkbox, then set each of the four options top, left, bottom and right to 100 px.
  • Click ok
Step 4: Draw the shapes: select the rectangular marquee tool from the tools panel to draw in shapes. Drag selections around different squares in the 3 x 3 grid begin at one corner and drag to make rectangle. To add press and hold shift key to add next rectangle to it. Continue adding each shape so that all rectangles and center square are selected as one.
Step 5: Fill in the selection with black go to Edit>Fill set contents to black, normal and opacity to 100% click ok.
Step 6: remove the selection and the guides to remove go to Select>deselect. Go to view>clear guides
Step 7: Add a drop shadow to the Shapes Layer. Select shapes layer, click on layer styles, choose drop shadow, settings: blend mode: multiply, opacity 40, angle: 135, use global light, distance 50, spread 0 ,size 50. click ok
Step 8: Open the image you want to use in Photoshop.
Go to select>all... go to edit>copy
Step 9: Paste image into shape collage: Switch over to the shape collage document by clicking on its tab.Go to Edit>paste special>paste in place
Photoshop pastes and centers the photo in the document. You will see it as a new layer above the shpaes layer.
Step 10: create a clipping mask. Select the small menu icon in the upper right corner of the layers panel. Choose create clipping mask. This clips the layer directly in the layer below it.
Step 11:use free transform to resize and reposition image. make sure image layer is selected, Go to edit>free transform pres and hold shift as you drag a corner to lock the aspect ratio. Press enter when done.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Show your support and help your local animal rescue.


Labrador Retriever Puppy Photo Shoot


Yellow Labrador Puppy Playing Christmas Decoration IsolatedYellow Labrador Puppy Photo Shoot

my awesome assistant, my daughter

Our newest yellow Labrador Retriever puppy photo shoot that will capture your heart. All images are ready for license. Look through this blog post gallery for the most outstanding puppy images available online. All crop sizes available

We had  three amazing yellow labrador puppy photo shoots with a local AKC Certified Labrador Retriever Dog Breeder, who shared her sweet puppies with us. We got to watch them grow as they turned 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 10 weeks.   They were playful, relaxed, sleepy and my daughter couldn’t get enough hugs and kisses as she helped me with the shoots, as you can see from the photo of her with one of the puppies. If all of the puppies were not already adopted, I am betting we would have taken one home!
We photographed a variety of puppy images with fun props that will be suitable for ads, greeting cards, and any products that need a loveable, huggable,  kissable puppy on  them! We began with some isolated images and then took a few with a baby blue background, burlap and purple.  These images are hot off the press.  Kelly Richardson Images has been editing through hundreds of images and choosing only the best to present to our licensees.
Here are our most outstanding images available to license now. please go to the Image-bank to get the downloadable PDF for Art Submission. All images ©kelly richardson 2016, all rights reserved.

Best Dad Ever Design for cards …

Tabby kitten playing inside brown men shoes, white background

Inspired by Father’s Day, we used my children’s father’s shoes for this shoot! Nothing beats a pair of worn out brown leather men’s shoes as an excellent prop for a photo shoot.  Best Dad Ever Design for cards was born. We used an isolated background for several of the images. And we also used a burlap background for several. Kittens naturally migrate toward the shoe laces, so we had no problem arousing their interest for these photos and they had a great time playing.  We hope to see best dad ever designs published on greeting cards for dads for father’s day, birthday and more.

Surprise dad this father’s day by adding the best dad ever image to his desktop with our wallpaper! Click here to get the free desktop wallpaper.

We added a few of these to our card store Card Gnome if you are interested in purchasing one as a card for your dad or grandpa, here is a link to our store and samples.


Kitten Love You Dad
Kitten Love You Dad
Kelly Richardson

Father's Day Kitten on Dad's Shoes
Father’s Day Kitten on Dad’s Shoes
Kelly Richardson

All profits generated from selling these best dad ever kitten greeting card on card gnome go directly to help fund “one photo saves” and the foster kittens that Kelly helps care for.



Lighten up your Holidays Colorizing Tutorial

Kitten Playing in Red Box ChristmasSEEING TOO MUCH RED? Let’s have some fun! Try this colorizing tutorial to lighten up your holiday.

It would be a shame to pass on this cute kitten image because there is too much red – just look at those BIG eyes- this is a PURR-fect photo. We can simply change the image to Sepia and then colorized it to a more natural look.  But don’t stop there,  we can change the color to green! Here is how!
Begin by opening image in photoshop. Duplicate original. Add a new adjustment layer: Hue/Saturation. Use the HUE slider to change the color of the box- I chose to change the red to green.
1. To change to Sepia: Add an adjustment layer: choose Hue/Saturation, and this time go to preset box and scroll down and choose Sepia.  The entire image will now be changed to Sepia tone.  Click on the white box in the layers palette next to the Sepia adjustment layer, this is the mask.  Get a soft black paint brush to paint back in the color. If you want a lighter shade, not so bright, more retro, natural color look, change the paint brush opacity to 30% and flow to 50% to paint away the sepia color from the areas of the photo you want to see color in.  (Change paint brush to white to paint the Sepia back in if needed, or use history to undo.)  The more you repeat the brush strokes the darker the color will come in.  If you want to retain the full brightness and saturation of the original image, keep the opacity of the brush at 100% and flow at 100%.
2. After you have changed your red  image to sepia with colorized red box,  you can change the red to green. Here is how:  add a new adjustment layer: Hue/Saturation. Use the HUE slider to change the color of the box and crinkle paper – I chose to change the red to green.

Bright Red Christmas Kitten Card Retro Kitten Christmas Card Changing Colors in Photoshop Kitten in Box

Cats and Christmas Trees

Tabby kitten playing with green garland with ornaments
Cats and Christmas trees can be a dangerous combination. It can be very challenging to keep a cat out of a Christmas tree during the Holiday season. It looks so inviting to a cat whose natural instinct is to climb a tree. But it is best to be very cautious. Christmas trees come with many hazards for cats.  Christmas trees are a leading cause of death for cats during the holiday season. Those dazzling, twinkling lights have been known to cause death due to electric shock and or strangulation.  Ingestion of sparkling icicle tinsel and other foreign objects can send you and your feline friend to the emergency vet pretty quickly. And nevermind about the cat drinking the water from the bottom of the tree!

So how can Christmas trees and cats co-exist?

Here are some tips we found online :

1. Feline repellants – Bitter Apple sold at petstores or home made remedies are useful. We found a few home made remedies but have not tried them:  cotton balls soaked in citronella and placed under the tree may help keep them away, or try a spray made with camphor, diluted vinegar, apple cider vinegar,  or hot sauce?  BUT, Be careful about spraying a tree that has electrical wires on it (lights).  Another suggestion was to use pine cones sprayed with citrus and place those at the base of the tree, or put orange peels under the tree… cats hate the smell of citrus.
2. We have heard of people using obstacles such as tin foil under their tree, wrapped around the trunk, also clear contact paper..
3. Baby proof your tree: use plastic ornaments, unplug lights at night, check for frayed wires, use wire hangers to bend tightly around each ornament so when it is swatted it will stay on tree…..
4. Select a strong base for tree: make sure the water base is completely enclosed so that your cat can not drink the water, select a strong base that will hold tree in place or, tether the tree to the wall…. ..
5. For a sure bet to keep your cat away from the tree: put the tree in a room with a door that can be shut! You will surely sleep better at night!
For a mellow cat these ideas may actually deter them from climbing the tree, however for that stubborn, strong-willed kitten that is ready to conquer your tree these may not work. So we continued to surf the web and found this inventive idea that may be worth a purchase:  Here is a link to something called a christmas tree defender with video that looks like it really works.


Tabby kitten playing with green garland with ornaments

We hope all of our readers have a safe and happy holiday and please protect your kitten/cats from the christmas tree!

Recycle: Paper Chain Decoration

kitten plays with holiday garland paper chainA paper chain is an easy,  mess-free art project –  easy, fun cooperative learning that I used quite often when teaching Art Class in Elementary School.  You can hang paper chains as festive party decorations, or you can just make them for fun.

Christmas paper strips for paper chain decoration Step 1: Choose your paper.   We recycled my old scrapbook paper. I have A LOT of scrapbook paper that I do not use. It has been in my closet for over ten years and this will be the perfect way to recycle it.  My daughter and I looked through my very tall stack of colored and printed papers, searching for Thanksgiving and Christmas theme colors that went well together. TIP **If you are not a scrap booker, leftover Christmas wrapping paper also works very well.

Step 2:  Cut your paper. Try 1″ by 8.5 long.  Or size as needed, all strips should be the same size if possible, unless you plan to make some links smaller than others. I took my scrapbook paper to an office supply store and used their heavy duty paper cutter to cut mine into strips. It was quick, accurate and easy way to cut many at once. For small children, you may want to draw lines on the paper with a ruler and have them practice cutting their strips with scissors.

tabby kitten playing in paperchain christmas decorationStep 3: Tape, glue or staple the ends of the strip into a ring. Weave the second ring into place, and tape, glue or staple it and so on. Create a pattern with the different colors/designs and repeat the pattern. This is a great way to teach small children what a pattern is.  Make it as long as needed.

***Get creative: make a necklace,  christmas wreath,  and garland for tree. Use single rings as napkin rings for your dinner table!

We used our paper chains as festive garland for Thanksgiving and Christmas decoration for our November “recycled rescue kitten photo shoot”. The kittens really enjoyed playing in the paper chain garland. They poked their paws through the holes to pick it up and one of them got a ring stuck on its nose while trying to chew it!  It was adorable and fun. We also used paper chains to decorate the kitten cages and tables at our adoption events at Petsmart.

Here are a few photos from our November rescue kitten photo shoot with paper chains:

Bring in the focus with a splash of color – colorize tutorial

Colorsplash_LIThis is a fun way to bring extra attention to a particular area of a busy or almost too colorful image.   It will definitely “draw” the viewer’s focus to exactly where you want it to be on the image. Colorizing in Photoshop can be accomplished in many different ways, this is just one way to colorize.  I think this is one of the easiest ways and should only take less than ten minutes.  We will change the image to black and white then using a mask and a paint brush, we will bring a splash of color back.  Enjoy!

This Colorize Tutorial available as PDF download click here


The kitten photographed by Kelly Richardson in this image is a rescue kitten that has been in foster care since she was just 4 weeks old. She was adopted almost immediately within hours after her image was uploaded to the adoption website. She is extremely sweet and affectionate and it was not hard to fall in love with her while taking her photos. This image is also part of our LuvKelly Recycles Campaign for November, and is available for licensing on greeting cards and such, along with many others from the shoot. If interested in seeing more, please contact Kelly using this contact from.

Card Gnome Interviews Kelly Richardson

CardgnomesliderGetting Personal… answering interview questions with Card Gnome.
Card Gnome is a very unique online Greeting Card Shop that I recently discovered,  Card Gnome Welcomes LuvKelly  (previous blog post)” . I absolutely love this store and I truly believe the people who created this smart, efficient way to send greeting cards are incredibly talented.
So when I was approached by the marketing department at Card Gnome, who asked if I would participate in an online interview as a featured artist for their online greeting card store blog, I immediately said Yes! They told me I would be their first featured artist for their store, and with over 200 artists to choose from, I felt very honored.
IMG_0319_avatar200x200Answering the interview questions really took me back in time!   I even learned more about my self in the reflection.  If you are interested in getting to know me better personally, with answers to questions about my early beginnings, interest in photography/card-making, my favorite photographer/rolemodels, and inspiration for my images, please take a look.  Here is a link to the Card Gnome interview and the online greeting card store.
Card Gnome is the “smartest, most efficient” way to send greeting cards in the 21st century, so get on board, support my fellow artists,  or better yet, support rescue kittens (My LuvKelly store) and use Card Gnome to send your next greeting card!


WANT TO KNOW WHY CARD GNOME IS AWESOME? Let’s take a look at how much time can be saved by sending a card from Card Gnome.  Traditionally, when sending a greeting card, one has to purchase it: either online and mail to self, or in a store. Then one would take it home,  find a pen, write a message, sign it, and address it. Then one has to buy a stamp at the post office, put the card in a mail box, which then takes a few more days to finally arrive to the recipient.  With Card Gnome, you can do this ALL of this in one step, and save so much time.

Greeting Cards

Card Gnome welcomes LuvKelly

Card Gnome welcomes LuvKelly

LuvKelly Rescue Kittens at Card Gnome

Have you heard of Card Gnome? You should definitely check it out! It is a very unique online Greeting Card Store.  Sending a greeting card in the mail has never been easier.  Choose a card, write your personal message, type in the address, and Card Gnome does the rest. The prices are very competitive, it includes postage and peace of mind that your card has been sent and will be on time! Card Gnome allows you to create an account and utilize a calendar to schedule your cards to be sent out one year in advance.

ARTISTS you should try it! It is a great way for your work to be seen in the marketplace. Kelly Richardson loves it because it enables LuvKelly to spread the word and bring awareness for the rescue kittens.  It serves as a great online portfolio presence for artists to show their work to licensees.  Artists can deactivate their image/greeting card at any time with just a click.

LuvKelly has a store and is adding new greeting cards daily.  As of June 2015, Kelly Richardson has 32 LuvKelly greeting cards to choose from on Card Gnome in many categories including Father’s Day, Birthday, Belated Birthday, Get Well, Love, Flirty, Wedding, and much more. There are beautiful images of kittens on cards, with some that are blank inside that can be customized for any special occasion.

Greeting Cards

CARD GNOME helps save the planet! They use recycled paper and adhere to an”eco-friendly production process”.  AND they help support non-profits.

“Staying connected with your loved ones, family and friends has never been easier. Choose your card, write a personal message and we mail it! Send a single card or upgrade to one of our Pack, Box or Drawer plans. Create an account and choose the best plan for you. For added convenience, you can schedule your connections up to one year in advance.” —-Card Gnome 06/11/15.

A Mothers Day Card & Happy Wishes from LuvKelly Kittens


Mothers day greeting card kitten

Happy Mother’s Day! As May is upon us and manufacturers are gearing up for the upcoming Shows, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the LuvKelly Greetings that I have been working on. Here is a sneak preview Mothers Day Card with much more in the makings! There will be over 100 greeting cards in a downloadable catalog form available for every season and holiday.  You will not want to miss the creative, genius collaboration of text with Kelly’s adorable kitten images.  A purr-fect marriage of verse with an image.
Can’t wait? contact Kelly for a sneak peek !
As always, a portion of the proceeds generated through licensing a LuvKelly kitten image will go directly to help save helpless, abandoned kittens. LuvKelly brand helps raise awareness for rescue animals and the organizations that need support from their communities.  Help bring attention to the cause of saving helpless animals from being euthanized due to overcrowding in shelters.