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It’s Thanksgiving and I Finished It

It’s Thanksgiving–and I Finished It! Oh–the tears and frustration, the struggles along the way… The YEARS that I’ve been trying to finish it. I supposed I should explain–or as Inigo Montoya says in The Princess Bride, “Let me sum up.” More than 30 years ago, when I was in college, I was assigned a project

Intellectual Property Tips

I wrote this post several years ago about trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual property tips for designers. Since then, some things have changed, so I’m updating it. For a while, everyone’s artwork was being stolen, and trying to stop the thefts was next to impossible. It has taken a lot of work by many designers–and some

Magic Wand Image Editing Tip

Image Editing Tip: You can still use the Magic Wand with lighter-colored images

One of the Photoshop tools I use frequently when promoting my artwork is the magic wand. It’s this tool:

It’s easy to select and delete backgrounds where there’s a clear difference between the background color and the product, but where I tend to run into trouble is with images where there’s a white or light background, and a white or light product design. If you click on this image, you can see that the “marching ants” have selected parts of the hair tie as well as the white background that I wanted to delete on this layer:

Magic Wand Image Editing Tip: I used the magic wand to select the white area on this image, but it selected the lighter parts of the artwork too.


I’ve come up with an ingenious solution, and I thought I would share it with you.

Ways To Reduce Chemical Sensitivity

Today, I want to share with you how I’m finding ways to reduce chemical sensitivity to perfume and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Our modern society has unfortunately gone cuckoo for chemicals to the point where toxic chemicals are everywhere. We’re drinking them in our water. They’re in our food. We’re even breathing them in our air, and wearing them on our bodies. Some of the most toxic chemicals we encounter are VOCs.

What is a volatile organic compound, or VOC?

A VOC is any chemical compound that outgasses or creates fumes that are usually associated with a scent. Some VOCs are more stinky than dangerous, like sweaty boy socks. Some are more dangerous and less stinky, like natural gas. Natural gas has to have a stinky compound added to it so that we can smell it and realize that there’s danger. And then, there are those VOCs that fall somewhere in between, like, bleach, perfume, laundry soap, and air fresheners. VOCs can also be all natural, like the fragrance of roses or the scent of basil.

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The older we get, the more our bodies struggle to handle VOCs. Finding ways to reduce chemical sensitivity can be the key to improving our quality of life.

Hi, my name is Krystine Kercher, and I’m an artist and author, and–I have chemical sensitivities… Unfortunately for me, there isn’t any ‘Chemicals Anonymous’ support group that I can join to get support for this.

Most people do not have chemical sensitivities to the extent that I do, which is a very good thing–for them!

But I do happen to know a lot of people who are sensitized, especially to perfume. You might be dealing with chemical sensitivities if, when you encounter someone who’s used too much perfume, it makes you nauseated or gives you a bad headache. Or, if your laundry detergent or bath and body products give you a rash.

Reducing chemical sensitivity to perfume and other VOC’s is a process

If you’re sensitized to VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and you’d like to know how to reduce your sensitivity to perfume and other volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), here are some helpful hints.

Our Best Local Public Rose Garden

While there is more than one place where we can enjoy roses in Lincoln, Hamann Rose Garden is our best local public rose garden in Lincoln, Nebraska. One of the great things I love about this time of year is the heady scent of roses perfuming the air. And all the gorgeous colors, the soft

This Street Play Mat

This street play mat just grew up! Did you ever play with small toy cars when you were little? Toy cars are one of those toys that boys and girls enjoy playing with side-by-side along with other miniatures. Toy trains, toy boats, other toy machinery and equipment along with toy animals can be a lot

Which Christmas stocking are you?

Which Christmas stocking are you? Which stocking best fits your personality and interests?   Are you a musician or a lover of music and musical instruments? Do you love Christmas music played by a string ensemble? Then, maybe this stocking is for you.   Maybe you love to travel and see the world. Maybe you like

Designing with Colorado Wildflowers

I decided to treat myself to a little nostalgia while designing with Colorado wildflowers. They are so beautiful and vibrant, so joyous… “Look how the wild flowers grow: they don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one

Beautiful Bugs

I love beautiful bugs–don’t you? Spoonflower has a Retro Bugs challenge that I wanted to enter, so I created some beautiful bugs–and I want to share them with you. My reasons for entering this challenge are complex. As far as I’m concerned, not all bugs are beautiful. Some of them are really ugly and some

Cottage Garden Love Affair

If there’s one style of garden I’m particularly partial to, it’s a cottage garden. As you probably already know, I have a love affair with flowering plants and enjoy visiting gardens and growing my own garden. I love roses and tulips, and daylilies and daffodils. In fact, I can safely say that there aren’t too many flowering

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