Focus On – Paints & Glitter

Who doesn’t need more glitter in their life? Nothing beats digital glitter either. There is no mess!! Yay! I am surrounded by little boys in my life. One son, three nephews, two best friends with boys of their own. Nothing but little boys. I joke around all the time that I need more Princesses and glitter in my life. I get that with my digital scrapbooking!

GingerScraps has a huge variety of all things paint and glitter. You can find them sprinkled throughout kits and collections. You can also find them separately. There is no one section in the store for these goodies. You can search for “paint” and “glitter“. I found the best selection were in the doodles and actions section of the store.

That being said, I did the searching for you. Guys, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg for what is in store for paint and glitter. These are the ones that stuck out to me though. All of them below are linked up for you.

Out of This World is a collab brought to you by Blue Heart Scraps and Luv Ewe Designs! This collection is full of colorful papers and elements for scrapping about the people you love to the moon and back!


These beautiful artsy stamps were made as part of my Snap Happy Collection. This collection is perfect for scrapping any type of photos and memories and has a super watercolour artsy feel to it!


16 graffiti pieces that coordinate with the Girls Rule pagekit.


Be{You}Tiful – Paint Splatters is created by Aprilisa Designs


each for the stars, spread your wings and fly. You never know what you can do until you try. Reach For The Stars, the new digital scrapbook kit by JB Studio has everything you need to document your hopes and dreams and those of your loved ones. Scrap your journey as you strive for your dreams and document all the joy of your successes.


#2017 June – Inked Bits by Connie Prince.


Light Up any layout with this celebratory collection, full of sparkle and light! Great for night time firework shows or any other sparkly layout!


June’s Pearl is a beautiful summery kit with pale beiges, blues, pinks and greens. My mother was born in June and pearls were one of her favorites.


Livin’ The Dream – Hodgepodge by Mandy King


4 fun scatterz to dress up your pages. Co-ordinates with Kitty Cat kit and extra packs.


Add a little sparkle to your pages by using some glitter in Photoshop with this set of 4 Glitter Photoshop Styles


Seamless PS Styles that coordinate with any of ‘Mommin’ Ain’t Easy’ packs.

So pretty right? I use paint splatter and glitter on nearly every page I scrap. I like bright colors and patterns. I like putting them behind my photos. I feel it draws one’s eyes to the photo and grounds the layout. I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at all things paint and glittery today!

Fresh Baked: June 09, 2017

Happy Friday! Welcome to a new week! The designers have some gorgeous new kits available and they’re super awesome! Don’t forget to check out the templates too!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab!


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Sneak Peeks June 8th, 2017

Happy Thursday! There is a ton to show you so I won’t delay!

From Dagi

From Miss Fish

From Tinci

From Neia Scraps

From Lindsay Jane

From JoCee

From Aimee Harrison

Have a Wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Ellen: Talking about Tools

Ellen (gmae) and her sister Carol (gnana96) are really working hard to grow their Elements skills and came to me with a question about Pattern Files. I’ll confess I really wasn’t well-versed about them and I’m still not, but I’ve played around a bit with them and have some basics to share with you. I know you’re wondering what that has to do with Tools and you’ll get the answer to that as I go along. You may also think these tools are things only designers use, and that would be a real shame! Later in our conversation Ellen gave me a list of tool-related topics she’d like to know more about and they’re all coming right up. First thing I did was open a blank canvas so I could experiment.

One of the items Ellen mentioned was shapes. I touched on the Shape tool in the tutorial about rounded rectangles, but there’s a LOT more to it than that. Let’s look at the Custom Shape tool, the one that looks like an amoeba. Below is a screenshot of where to look for the tool in the Tool panel, as well as what the menu looks like. As you can see, there are a number of categories; if you know what kind of shape you’re looking for you can zero in by selecting the category and carrying on. I usually look at them all.

That little window holding all the thumbnails is teeny-tiny and only shows about 12 thumbnails at a time, so I made the window bigger. There’s a wedge-shaped collection of dots in the upper right corner of the window frame that I clicked and dragged on to make the window really big. Now I could get down to business.

For this demo I decided to choose a Grecian key shape. To create your shape, you put the cursor on your work surface and drag it across the screen. You can adjust proportions by moving that cursor around or you can tell Elements that you want to “constrain proportions” by clicking on that control bar I have circled below then entering in the dimensions you want. You can set it to create the shape from the centre out, or from one corner. If you’re particular or you have a specific idea in mind then select the controls you need to make the software work for you.

There are two ways to Simplify this shape layer. You can select it in the Tool options panel, or you can right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and select it there. Why Simplify the layer? That’s how you get a transparent background! With a transparent background, your shape becomes a “smart object” that you can move around, resize, rotate, skew and any other alteration you can think of. You want to have as much control and as few CTRL/CMD>Z moments as possible.

I wrote a tutorial about using Styles quite a while ago, so let’s refresh a little. There are dozens of embedded styles in the software; they’re found in the Effects panel you open by clicking on the big fx button at the lower right of your workspace. We’re focusing on the Styles section of this set. Open up the menu by clicking on that little bar the arrow indicates and select Patterns to see this menu. These files have .asl as their file type. and are stored in the Presets folder of Elements on your computer. Hover the cursor over the thumbnails to see what Elements calls each pattern.

The software needs to know where you want to put the Pattern Style, so CTRL/CMD>click on the layer thumbnail to select the contents of the layer. Voilà… marching ants!

This is what the Copper Pattern Style looks like on the Grecian key shape. To apply the style double-click on it.

I wanted to show you one more of the choices from that menu, so I selected the top strip of the Grecian key shape.

Hmm… dry mud? Why not!


Let’s just refresh our memories about those style files several of our GingerScraps designers include in their collections. (Aimee Harrison, Miss Mis Designs, Just So Scrappy/Ooh La La Scraps, Kristmess and Magical Scraps Galore are the ones I can think off right off the top of my head.) I used a different custom shape for this part.

I’m going to apply a glitter-gloss style from Miss Mis Designs’ May Buffet collection called Hustle and Heart.

The menu for that Style group looks like this.

You’ll notice that this type of Style adds some dimension and reflected light to the shape.

There are many embedded Style categories, as I mentioned. What do the ones in the Complex styles folder do? (OMG, I have a typo on my screenshot! Oh well…) This particular style adds dimension, reflected light and drop shadows all with just a double-click.

Here’s another Complex style that looks like enameled or epoxy’d metal. Think of the ways you could fiddle with that!

Ellen also had Swatches on her list. There are a few choices with this one. To see the swatches you can click on the Window tab at the top of your screen and select them from the drop-down menu. Or, if you’re in the Text tool clicking on the Color box as shown will open up the same menu. I rarely use this feature because it’s so much easier and more satisfying to use the Color Picker tool (eye-dropper) to select a colour from either my photo or one of my papers/elements. The sky’s the limit with that method; this one is quite limited.

Here’s a happy little accident I experienced while I was experimenting. I checked out the Wow styles way down at the bottom of my (lengthy) styles list and the Wow Neon style looks like that fancy coloured Niobium wire.

See what I mean?

The style adds a drop shadow, which I felt might be a bit too far from the text for wire, so I opened up the fx menu on the layer to tweak the shadow and noticed that I had the option of changing the colour in there too.

Pulling the shadow in closer to the text looks like this. There are other ways of amping up this look too, by copying the original layer above the one the style is applied to and then applying another style to that layer, playing with the opacity until it looks incredible.

Now to the heart of Ellen’s question. Pattern files. Those ones with .pat as the file type. There are some designers who include a .pat file along with a .asl file in their kits. There are also a number of embedded .pat files in the software. I wasn’t able to find a shortcut for installing these files, so below I’m going to give you the steps for installing them manually. After you’ve extracted the .pat file from your downloads, copy the file (CTRL/CMD>C) then in Windows Explorer, look for the path I’ve shown. C:> Program Files (x86)> Photoshop Elements> Presets> Patterns. then paste the file into the folder. (CRTL/CMD>V)

Now let’s play with some .pat files! When you use a font for anything, you have to Simplify the layer before you can make any alterations to it. Don’t worry if you forget this step, because Elements will remind you. But ONLY with fonts!

Now how do we access those Pattern Files? By using the Pattern Stamp tool, of course! It does the same thing as the Clone Stamp tool, but rather than stamping a sample from the image you’re cloning, it uses a pattern. If you use the keyboard shortcut <S> you can toggle between Clone Stamp and Pattern Stamp easily.

The Stamp uses Brush tool options to select the area it covers. I used a hard square brush for my sample, but it really doesn’t matter what shape you use. You’re just going to click and drag the brush over the item you want to use the Pattern Stamp on anyway. Make sure you have NORMAL selected in the Mode box, otherwise you won’t see the effect you think you should.

This is where Elements hides those .pat files. There are several defaults, and any that you’ve installed into the Patterns folder will appear in the menu.

The Pattern Stamp will cover everything unless you select where you want it to go. So make sure you’ve selected the areas to apply your pattern to.

Do a quick visual check to make sure all the settings are correct.

Click and drag your Pattern Stamp brush over your selection… Bingo!

It looks neat, but I want it to look even neater, so I added a Bevel.

I used the Simple Inner bevel to add dimension.

Then I added a stroke to the resulting rounded text.

And here’s how to find the .pat files you’ve installed. My experience with those that come in kits is that they’re generally just glitter, but I only have the two you see below so what do I know?!

I’m so anxious to see what YOU do with all this creative license you’re discovering. Remember, if you’ve used a technique from these tutorials, post your finished layout in the GingerScraps Facebook Tutorial Tuesday Challenge Gallery for an opportunity to have YOUR chance to challenge me. If you’re not a Facebooker, you can post a link to the layout you’ve created with the tutorial you used in the comments section here on the Blog. I’ll get a notification and will then enter you into the draw. The first week of each month I’ll have a random draw of all entries and the winner will be announced at the end of the first tutorial of that month.

In May, Michelle (belis2mi) and Ellen (gmae) each showed me several examples of how they used the tutorials to their advantage. They both will have another chance at challenging me!

Challenge Spotlight June 5th, 2017

Where has the year gone? We are in the 6th month of the year! I can’t believe it! This month lets check out a new challenge hosted by Rachel of Pretty in Green Designs called the Back it Up Challenge! This challenge helps remind you to back up your pictures! We don’t want to lose any of our precious photos! I personally take all the photos off my phone every month and back them up to the cloud.  On top of a reminder to back up our photos, she gives you a topic to make a layout. This months topic is Mess! With two kids, I definitely take a lot of photos where a mess is involved, but it could also be a renovation, or art project. Complete this layout and 9 others by the end of the month to receive this fabulous collab!

Lets see some examples!



So go ahead and play along with this challenge! If you don’t have pics for it, then make a mess and take them!

Be Pinspired – Creative Photos

How insane is it that we are half the way through 2017. I swear it seems just a few weeks ago we were starting this year! That just blows my mind. Anyway, team member La’Shawn here to bring you some fun inspiration for your digital scrapbooking this Saturday.

I am not going to lie. Pinterest is one of my favorite go-to sources for inspiration. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some creative photo ideas for our layouts. I found ten out-of-the-box ideas when it comes to photos on pinterest. All images are linked as well!

You can take this idea and run with it in so many ways! Moons, stars, hearts, and so much more! I absolutely will be using this on a future layout.


I love stitches on a layout. To me they add depth to it. I like the almost quilt like look of this! Taking whatever stitches, ribbons, or paper strips and using them to outline paper and photos.


This one is adorable! We have a lot of great expecting items in the store as well. I know a few of them have the silhouette you can do this with.


I am not much of a traveler myself. This is super cool to me though. Taking photos and clipping them to a state shape for each one you have visited. So cool!


You cannot go wrong with some good ol blocking!


I just love the idea of taking photos and building them into a shape to go along with a theme. Miss Fish Templates actually has one in her store to get you going with this idea!


This one would be pretty easy to do. Some cleverly placed triangles. Really makes those b&w photos pop with all that pretty paper.


I absolutely love this idea and will be recreating it. It would be another one pretty simply created. You know what though? Check out this template from Craft-tastrophic!


Like I mentioned before, I am not much of a traveler. If I ever take an out of county trip though, this will be in my book! This collab has a template that would work for this perfectly!


I have done something like this with my son’s initial and age. I love this idea. Check out these number templates from Connie Prince!

Fresh Baked: June 02, 2017

It’s Friday! June is here! Time to break out those pools, grab some food for the grill, and prep the fires for delicious s’mores! The designers are all in for summer and have created some gorgeous and fun kits, and templates, for this week! Enjoy!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab!

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Fresh Baked: June 01, 2017

Summer is finally going to officially arrive and it’s time to get our party suits out and have some fun! Vacations, end of school, Father’s Day, and so much more in June!

It is the First of the month, and that means the revel of our new Buffet!!

Don’t forget to check out the Buffet Bundles, one easy click to add bundles of Buffet goodies to your cart, and an amazing value too!

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DD: June 01/02

Time for the Daily Download that won’t be completely daily, but I’ll explain that after I show off May’s Daily Download!


Wasn’t it just too cute?

Okay, now to explain how this month’s DD is going to work. Two designers got together and created TEMPLATES! So, every two days, you’ll get a different version (file type) for a total of six different templates! The downloads will be staying up for 7 days instead of 5 to compensate for the combination of days!

So here we go!


Remember, the download is kept up for 7 days for this month, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Putting the “OH!” in Your Photos

Given the great interest in my two previous photo-editing tutorials, along with some requests for more, today we’re going to play a bit with some simple photo edits. You know that those spectacular photos on photo-sharing sites are mostly NOT straight out of the camera (SOOC)… they’ve usually had some post-production tweaking to add impact. The photo I’m working with today is one taken in Chicago several years ago; it’s of a statue by Dessa Kirk called Magdalene and is part of the Congress Plaza sculpture garden.

Step one when you’re unsure how you’ll like the result is to work on a copy. So I went ahead and CTRL/CMD>J my photo. If you like to work hard, right click on the layer then select Duplicate Layer.

I usually adjust the lighting first, because a lot of the time simply improving the lighting is enough. Well-lit photos are the ones that get attention.

Elements automatically lightens shadows 35% when you select Shadows/Brightness from the drop-down. Take a good look at the results before you make any further adjustments.

I knew I was going to be making other changes to this photo that could affect the lighting so I pulled the slider Lighten Shadows back over to the left to 0. It’s vital that you look for “blown highlights”, especially if you’ve lightened the shadows. How do you know they’re blown? They’re light areas that should have detail but don’t. To bring them back pull the Darken Highlights to the right, watching what’s happening to your image while you’re adjusting. Even with the shadows unchanged, there were some blown highlights in my photo so I moved that slider a bit. Then check the overall contrast of the image. The bottom slider adjusts Midtone Contrast, so not the highlights or the shadows. Move that to where the image looks good to your eye. Be really careful that you don’t overdo it!

Next I adjust Brightness/Contrast. Seems redundant, but it isn’t.

I found my image was TOO bright, so the slider went left. It also needed more contrast, so that slider went right. Everything you do will show on your image, and it’s really crucial that you watch what happens so you can avoid creating something obviously artificial. You’re going for gorgeous, not Oh-Look-I-Edited-This.

Once I’m happy with the lighting, I move on to colour. For this image I wanted to try to make the sky look more blue and to emphasize the rust, so I went into Adjust Hue/Saturation (WSNH: CTRL/CMD>U).

This menu has lots of options. You can adjust only one colour family or the overall colour. I went to the selector, clicked on the tab and selected Blues from the pop-out submenu. There’s no visible blue in my photo, alas. Pulling the Hue slider all the way to the left didn’t make much difference, but the sky looks vaguely green with a swath of lime.

Pulling the slider all the way to the right gave me these pinkish patchy spots that looked awful.

So I put the slider back to centre. Then I tried adjusting the Saturation. All the way left made the sky look leaden grey.

All the way to the right… WHOA, that’s very… umm… abstract.

I moved the slider back almost to centre then went to the Lightness slider. All the way to the left (darkest) eliminated any hint of blue there might have been.

All the way to the right and it’s back to blah grey.

Here’s where I ended up. I wasn’t totally happy with the sky but I moved on for the time being.

Then I reopened the Hue/Saturation menu and selected Reds in the same way. Hue all the way to the left and she looks like she’s a gorgon.

All the way to the right and she looks like Zelena from Wicked.

Hue ended up just left of centre. Then I went on to Saturation. This is a great way to see what a black-and-white version of your photo would look like and it’s one of the easiest ways to do it.

All the way to the right sets her on fire!

As you can see, the Saturation slider ended up just right of centre. The Lightness slider when full left again makes it look like a black-and-white image.

All the way to the right and it’s more like a really faded sepia.

Here’s where I ended up. Can you see the changes?

Then I wondered… what would it look like with a High Pass filter on it? Since I was already working on a copy of my image, I could apply the filter right on that layer.

I adjusted the slider on the filter so that I could see the outline but not really any colour. And then I changed the Blend Mode to Overlay.

See the difference? It’s subtle but adds a little something, I think. (Her face looks a little thinner and her bosom a little bigger but I didn’t touch either one of those areas.)

Now… on to making the sky look like sky. I played around a bit before I found a method that worked for me. I opened the Color Picker and chose a soft blue.

I used the Quick Selection (Magic Wand) tool to select the outline of the statue, including the larger of the little gaps. Then I Inverted the selection (WSNH: CTRL/CMD>Shift>I) so the sky was outlined. Next I used the Fill tool (Paint Bucket) to turn the sky blue. I noticed a couple of areas that were still that almost-white so I used a small hard brush and the same blue to paint out the gaps.

Better. But still not what I wanted. So on I went. I opened a new blank layer over the image.

I chose a large, soft brush that covered the section of my photo shown below. The Opacity is set to 100%.

I went back to the Color Picker and selected a darker value of the same blue. Then, on the blank layer, I clicked the brush over my image a few times to build up an opaque blue orb with fading edges over the face of the statue.

Okay… can’t see her at all right now. I changed the tool from Brush to Eraser and centred it over the blue splotch in the same way as I did with the brush. The Opacity is still 100%.

Now her face is visible again, but needs some more TLC.

I zoomed in quite a lot then adjusted the size of my brush so that I could Erase the remaining blue from the statue. If you’re shaky at that activity, you can use a Layer Mask so you can paint back if you go outside the lines. I really didn’t want a visible white line around the edges of the statue so I was really careful.

And the end result! It took me about 40 minutes to do all these steps and the screenshots, so you can see it’s not a huge time outlay for those special images that you just want to look a wee bit better.

Our next lesson will pertain to some of the mechanics of Elements. Stay tuned!

Remember, if you’ve used a technique from these tutorials, post your finished layout in the GingerScraps Facebook Tutorial Tuesday Challenge Gallery for an opportunity to have YOUR chance to challenge me. If you’re not a Facebooker, you can post a link to the layout you’ve created with the tutorial you used in the comments section here on the Blog. I’ll get a notification and will then enter you into the draw. The first week of each month I’ll have a random draw of all entries and the winner will be announced at the end of the first tutorial of that month.