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:

Give your old Recycled Ribbon a Swirl …

Kitten plays with orange ribbon

Last year, at the end of Fall Season, I stumbled upon a close-out of Halloween and Thanksgiving themed spools of wired ribbon at my favorite craft store: Michaels.  I knew there would be a use for them so I purchased them and stored them away.  This year, as I was unpacking my fall decorations, there they were just waiting there for me to use them. Hmmmm…..  useful for making pretty bows, but too ordinary. So we just began to unroll the recycled ribbon on our photo table in the kitty room and this is what happened next….

You would not believe how much fun the kittens had playing inside the ribbon swirls!

This shoot was taken in home settings using available light, Canon Mark III, 100 mm canon lens. Settings: f2.8 ss125 iso 250.

CLICK here to get a free, downloadable NOVEMBER Desktop CALENDAR Wallpaper

*Each month Kelly Richardson and her team of caring assistants are creating a special pet photo shoot using recycled items that can be found around the house with rescue kittens that were saved and fostered by volunteers at local no-kill rescue organizations in Orlando. We have great hopes that these photo shoot tutorials will inspire creativity and raise awareness for the planet earth and the rescue kittens. This is the LuvKelly Recycles Pet Photography Tutorial for October.

How to Make a Watermark Brush

watermark an imageHOW TO MAKE A “WATERMARK” BRUSH
In previous tutorial, I have explained how to make an action to place a watermark exactly in the center of your image. You can batch edit and watermark hundreds of images at a time with the action. So, why would you want to make a watermarking brush? It is useful for times when you want to customize the watermark, placing it in a more strategic place on the image, make a statement with different colors, and/or change its size easily.

how to make a watermarkSTEPS: Click here to get downloadable PDF howtomakewatermarkbrush with screenshots

  1. Open photoshop – go to file> new. Create a new page. For a long signature, I create a page that is approx 3000 pixels wide and 1000 long, resolution: 300 background: transparent click ok
  2. Ctrl-j to cuplicate layer, then click text tool. Type text for your watermark. To make a copyright symbol, simply hold down alt and type 0169 and a copyright symbol will appear. ©typeyourname Adjust font type, size etc to your liking.
  3. Right click right side of text layer and menu will appear. choose convert to shape.
  4.  Go to edit select define brush preset, name it and click ok
  5. To add watermark to photo: Open image in photoshop, ctrl-j to duplicate layer. click create a new layer.
  6. Press D and make sure foreground color chip is black. go to brush tool select “watermark” brush. click on new layer, click once to stamp on image in black. If you prefer the watermark to be less visible, change the flow of the brush to a lower percentage, then stamp it. Stamp size can be changed easily by changing the size of the brush. color can be changed in this way too.
  7. Done. Your new brush should be in the brush sets. and you can stamp your watermark on anything, in any color or position you want! Shapes from the shape menu can also be used, as well as a handwritten signature!Thanksgiving Kitten Basket

How to Scatter Leaves… digitally


thanksgiving kitten

November is here. The beautiful, vibrant colors of Fall will soon be a distant memory.  Mother Nature brings cool air and the leaves fall – scatter everywhere.

This Photoshop tutorial will teach you how to “digitally” scatter leaves.  You will need Photoshop CS6 to use this tutorial. It consists of several parts, so get ready, set, GO!



The leaf shape is in the NATURE custom shape set which comes with Photoshop. If it is not already in your shape menu, then all you have to do is add it.

1. Click on the shape preview thumbnail in the options bar to open the shape picker.
2. Click on the small arrow in the top right corner of the shape picker. This opens a menu with many options. In the bottom is a list of additional shape sets that were installed on Photoshop.
3. Choose the Nature set. and click append, and OK. Now the Nature set will be in your shape menu.




  Why would you want to do this, when you could easily use the shape tool?  Because there are many more ways you can use it in brushes, such as scattering, color dynamics and more.

STEPS: click to download PDF steps howtomakeabrush with screenshots
1. Open PS, go to file>new. Since I am going to make a leaf brush, I am going to make a square size: 2500 pixels by 2500 with transparent background at 300 dpi.
2. Ctrl j to duplicate layer. Click on shapes tool in tool presets. find leaf that you want to use. draw leaf shape as large as you can on your layer Fill: black. no stroke see screenshot.
3. Go to edit>define brush preset, name it, click ok it is now in your brush pre-sets.




 We will make the background paper first by adding color, using a layer mask and stamp with leaf brush the border, and then clip a plaid background to the colored paper.

STEPS:  click to download PDF steps leafbackgroundtutorial Part 1 and 2 with screenshots
1. file>new choose what size you want it to be. I suggest you use the dimensions that you need for the image you plan to put the border on.  I used 20×16. The image I have in mind has dimensions 10×8 so it will fit perfectly.  Enter Width: 20 in, Height 16 in, res 300, Set background as transparent
2. Ctrl>j to duplicate layer, then choose layer>new fill layer>solid color. choose color from color picker, OK
3. Press D to set foreground color to black, click on layer mask to activate layer. Click brush tool in tool box.
4. Go to window>brush to see brush presets. choose leaf brush. set size to 1500, spacing to 25%. check the boxes for shape dynamics, scattering, transfer and smoothing. Begin stamping design around edges to create design.
5. To add additional pattern choose layer>new fill layer>pattern. ok, choose pattern ,ok
6. To inlay pattern to solid color area only, leaving leaves transparent, you must create a cliiping mask. To do this click in the empty area of the layer to bring up the layer menu, click create clipping mask. I use the opacity slider to lighten my pattern.To make the pattern larger you can doubleclick the pattern and increase the scale. In the image, I scaled my pattern up to 800 and decreased the opacity to 15%.  Save in psd format. close window.




Almost there… get ready for some magic!

1. Open image you want to add background to. Then to preserve your original, ctrl>j to duplicate layer.
2. Go to bridge, find background psd file that you just created. drag background file from bridge and drop on top of your working image, hit enter . This will bring your image in as a smart object which will be helpful later.
3. Click on background, decrease opacity so you can see image below.
4. Click to add a layer mask on the background paper layer. It is at the bottom of layers palette. see picture it is the rectangle with square inside it. hit D, set foreground paint color to black and use soft edge paint brush tool approximate size 500 pixels, hardness 0. decrease paint brush flow to 50%. begin to paint your underlying image back, adjust paint brush size and flow accordingly to fade edges and achieve natural look.* If you have painted away too much and want to bring back some of the background, simply hit the x to flip your paint color to white and paint it back in. this is not an exact science, have fun with it!
When you brought in your background from bridge, it brought it in as a smart object. This means you can double click on the background layer  and change the color orange to another color, or even the pattern, if you wanted to choose another pattern. Double click the pattern background. it will bring up a new window with the background and its layers. Double click the color orange and choose new color. click file>save and it will automatically update the smart object to the new color. Do same with pattern if you want to change its scaled size, or pick a new one. If you don’t like what you just did, use the history button to go back.

Click here to get the FREE downloadable NOVEMBER calendar for your desktop.

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.

Capture the Colors of Fall – SEPTEMBER

Autumn photo shoot kitten

Capture the Colors of Fall with earth tones and rich reds, oranges and yellows.


LuvKelly Recycles 2015 = “Save the Kittens + Save the Earth” campaign continues …

*LuvKelly Recycles Photoshoot for SEPTEMBER. The adorable kittens photographed above are two from a litter of four that were found abandoned in a house in Mims.  They were rescued at just 4 weeks old.   They were very playful and curious, and it didn’t take them long to investigate our materials and props that we used. Their names are Ari and Autumn.  Ari, the orange and white striped tabby loved to play hide and seek inside the pumpkin as we teased him with our feather toys.  Autumn was more shy, but felt very comfortable side-by-side with her brother inside the pumpkin.  You can see from the photo, Ari is the troublemaker 🙂 It turns out their coloring worked purr-fectly with our colors in the photoshoot.  They were a joy to work with!

About the Materials we used: We recycled the carved out pumpkins – we used them last year for a Fall photo shoot.  We got them from Michaels Craft Store and used an exacto knife to cut the holes.  To make it different from last year, we replaced the orange fleece  background with a natural brown burlap material, and added more color. We collected an assortment of pine cones from outdoors. We used artificial leaves and colored berries from an old centerpiece we took apart. This shoot was taken in home settings using available light, Canon Mark III, 100 mm canon lens. Settings: f2.8 ss125 iso 250.

CLICK here to get a free, downloadable October Desktop calendar Wallpaper from this shoot.

*Each month Kelly Richardson and her team of caring assistants are creating a special pet photo shoot using recycled items that can be found around the house with rescue kittens that were saved and fostered by volunteers at local no-kill rescue organizations in Orlando. We have great hopes that these photoshoot tutorials will inspire creativity and raise awareness for the planet earth and the rescue kittens.





Autumn-a-tize this photo! Autumn Photography Tips…

Thanksgiving Kitten CardHere are Autumn Photography Tips for anyone that wants to “Autumn-a-tize” a photo. Let’s see how I can  “Autumn-a-tize” this cute kitten for Thanksgiving Day…

I have searched my galleries for something I can use for FALL.  I wanted flowers, and a really cute kitten- something that looks like a nice Thanksgiving Day Centerpiece for a beautiful all natural table with a “Pottery Barn” feel.  I found this adorable photo of Khloe, a rescue kitten that was fostered a month or so ago.

Mother's Day Kitten Flowers

As much as I love the bright watermelon color, it is not right for Fall, and certainly does not fit the “natural color” palette.  Let’s see how I can  “Autumn a-tize” this photo!


Original IMG_1592 taken on a bright watermelon colored striped background, bright watermelon colored basket, with flowers.  Canon Eos 5d Mark II, EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM at F2.8, 125ss,  ISO 250, window light with one monolight bounce light off ceiling. This is the original image before any color changing.

The first thing I did was select the pink striped background. Then I duplicated it.  I hid the layer below. On the new duplicate layer I selected only the striped portion that I wanted to paint. I painted it all the darker pink stripe color.  I added a layer mask to it.  I unhid the bottom layer to see the kitten, clicked on my layer mask and used a soft black paint brush to clean any of the painted background that may be visible on my image below.  Next I created a new adjustment layer: Hue/Saturation layer and changed the Hue to a beautiful Autumn orange.

Next I followed the steps in the Photoshop CS6 tutorial for Retro Christmas Kitten .  The steps are described here: I created a new adjustment layer: Hue/Saturation and changed the preset mode to Sepia. Then I added a mask, used a soft black paint brush and painted away the sepia from the areas of color I wanted to stay. Then I created a new fill layer and chose pattern-I picked a denim textile pattern.  I changed the blend mode of the pattern to soft light.  I used the pattern layer mask with soft black brush and painted away the pattern off of my subject. Now little Khloe is ready to make her Thanksgiving Day debut!

Photoshop Change Colors
IMG_1592 changesatorange/paintedstripes


Autumn Kitten Card
IMG_1592 orange/sepia/pat

Cornucopia Kitten Love Brings Life

Cornucopia Kitten Thanksgiving Card rescue kitten

I received this Cornucopia with a beautiful floral arrangement from my mom on Thanksgiving (thank you mom!). It was inevitable that I would use it in my Fall studio pets gallery. But this photo has greater meaning to me. What I have placed inside of my cornucopia is what makes it so special – a foster kitten supported by LuvKelly.

The foster rescue kittens I have helped this year have been life changing for myself and my family.  I really had no idea that innocent, little kittens were being euthanized  just for being born.  The lucky ones were the ones I was given the opportunity to photograph.  These beautiful creatures that do nothing but give unconditional love to humans – how can this be?

I appreciate every opportunity I have to photograph each foster kitten to celebrate that they were able to have life.   It is an unfortunate truth that many rescue organizations are not able to afford to take foster kittens in, and some refuse to take them.  There are many left abandoned in front of pet stores and vet offices by our community in hopes that someone will help them sustain life.  Unfortunately when no one is there to pick them up, they are taken to high kill county shelters and in most cases euthanized- (killed).  I am hoping that we can change that by raising money and community awareness for the rescue kittens and fund rescue kitten organizations that will NOT turn them away.   Licensing these images will help provide support and community awareness to save kittens’ lives -to help these little babies reach the adoptable stage.

How much does it cost? Most rescue kittens are found abandoned at approximately 5-7 days old or so.  They are still nursing and need around the clock foster care to feed every few hours with a nursing bottle.  It takes dedicated humans to do so. One can of KMS powder kitten milk replacement cost upwards of $20.00.  Because of the conditions in which they are born, most rescue kittens come with some sort of stomache parasite they will need to see a vet for, and also must be dewormed.  As they grow to 2-3 weeks they can begin eating canned wet food and dry.  Food cost money, as does cat litter. When they reach over 2 pounds they are ready to be vetted and then adopted out.

What does vetted mean and what exactly do they do? All rescue groups are different, however the group I work with will “Vet” each kitten as follows: give each animal their first set of shots, test for Feline Leukemia and FIV, and neuter the kitten.  They are then ready for adoption for approx $75 each (adoption fees vary per rescue , some are as high as $125 for kittens).  As you can see, in most scenarios the $75 does not begin to put a dent in the cost to care for them for their first 8-10 weeks of life, let alone the vetting fee.

I am hoping to make an impact and help save more kittens’ lives by creating beautiful images of them and licensing them worldwide.  By doing so, I can give back money to the rescue groups to help pay for the costs to get the kittens to the adoptable stage.  At the same time, I am hoping to build community awareness for the kittens to save their lives by ensuring every image that is licensed will tell their story, and that when consumers purchase a product with a LuvKelly kitten image on it, they know they are helping to save a kitten’s life.  I can personally guarantee that a portion of every LuvKelly foster kitten image will go directly to help save and foster a kitten’s life.

According to  Wikipedia, the cornucopia (from latin cornu copiae) is the “horn of plenty”. It is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers or nuts. Its first known use is 1508.

I would like to Give Thanks for the cornucopia “abundance” of love and life  helping the rescue kittens has brought to my world and everyone that I share their images with.  I hope that people around the world will consider how important our mission is to save abandoned kittens’ lives and support this cause.

I would like to take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to those very special licensees who have given their support to LuvKelly cause and have licensed rescue kitten images.




Pumpkin for Fall… and pumpkin for pets too!

Puppy Sleeping on Pumpkin

Here we are in Fall, on the eave of Christmas.  Soon Black Friday will  be here and the Pumpkins for Fall will soon be put away. But not so fast! Pumpkin is for Pets too. Did you know that if you have a puppy or kitten having digestions problems canned pumpkin can help?

Feeding Canned Pumpkin to dogs and cats is a safe and healthy way to remedy digestive issues. When choosing canned pumpkin for your pet, at the grocery store, look for plain, pureed pumpkin, NOT chunks of pumpkin or pumpkin seasoned for pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling contains sugars and spices that may cause even more digestive upset.

Constipation: Canned Pumpkin will add moisture and fiber needed to get your pets digestion moving again.

Diarrhea: Add only a small amount of canned pumpkin to your pet’s food, This will add dietary fiber to their diet which will solidify your pet stools by absorbing excess water and stomach acids. Add a teaspoon or two for cats and small dogs.

Here is an article on the Health benefits Pumpkin Provides for Our Pets from PetMD for more information.

So while you are shopping this fall for Thanksgiving, be sure to grab a can of plain pureed pumpkin just in case you pets may need it someday, pumpkin is for pets too!

Check out more PUMPKIN STUDIO PETS at the following links: Kittens and Pumpkins, and Puppies and Pumpkins.

Here are a few of my favorite kitten pumpkin images!

Pumpkin Kittens







Introducing Studio Pet TOONS

Thanksgiving Dinner Puppy Eating TurkeyThanksgiving Dinner Puppy Eating TurkeySNEAK PEEK!  don’t miss out. Kelly Richardson Images introduces her new, innovative art concept for Greeting Cards.  A combination of Cartoon Digital Art, created by Kelly, with KRI Studio Pet images Kelly is calling Studio Pet Toons. Be the first to license NEW retro comic designs that is soon to be the craze for Greeting Cards.  Be the first to jump and reap the benefits  that consumers of all ages will LOVE. Contact Kelly for more information, and to see other designs offered from Studio Pet Toons. The possibilities are endless with KRI galleries of over 1000 isolated studio pet images.

In addition to designs already created, Kelly offers custom design services. Your Art Department can work directly with Kelly to create and customize exactly what your consumers are looking for – from concept to color.

Thanksgiving Dinner Puppy Eating Turkey


 Kitten Standing on Books in School RoomBeing a teacher for over ten years, I couldn’t resist creating a Studio Pet Toon with a cartoon classroom.  Studio Pet Toons are not in the image-bank. If you are interested in seeing more Studio Pet Toons, please contact Kelly.