I had planned on doing a tutorial on how to make your own brushes in Photoshop, but December is quickly passing and there are already at least two really great tutorials about making your own brushes.
And so...rather than re-invent the wheel, I advise you to check out either this tutorial or this one.
You won't believe how easy it is to make your own brushes. I made a brush of the map above in about 30 seconds. And guess what? I tried to make one in Elements and it worked as well. Just remember to resize the image you want to turn into a brush to no larger than 2500 x 2500 px (or 1000 x 1000 px for early versions of Photoshop) first.
I'm thinking a Paris flea-market set of brushes (maps, buttons, manuscripts, and such) might make a nice Christmas present to all of my readers if I can just figure out how to deliver it to you via my blog. Is that possible? Anybody out there know?
In any case, take a break from the December madness and do the December Monthly Special—it's therapeutic. Really. Not frustrating at all. It's like finger painting without the mess.