Lisa, you're gonna love how easy this is! ~S~
Here's our photo to use.
I took a photo off of my CD collection, resized and lightened it a bit.
Now, apply and edge-preserving smooth filter to it. ("Effects"..."Noise"..."Edge-Preserving Smooth") My "Amount of Smoothing" is usually set at "18", but you can play around with these settings.
Then, enhance the edges. ("Effects"..."Edge"..."Enhance")
Now, let's apply an artistic effect. ("Effects"..."Artistic Effects"..."Brush Strokes") Use these settings and save them as "light water color" when you have them set.
Enhance your edges again.
I thought the painting needed a little more light in it, so I adjusted the brightness/contrast using these settings:
I like to apply a mask to these and apply the same "Painted" technique to some of my background fills to frame them. Here's my finished image.
(I added the lil' bird in it's own layer and applied the same technique to him.) If you want Hayler's URL to see some of these framing techniques, here it is: (I used a combination of "Faded Image with Texture Frame" and "Blinds Effect Frame")