Have y’all met our featured designer for July yet? She’s the incomparable CathyK!  If you’re collecting her Daily Download Back to Nature you’re not going to be disappointed. I can’t wait to get busy with it.

I asked Cathy to tell us a little about herself.

1…How long have you been designing?

I opened my first digi shop in 2008, so about 9 years.

2…What is your design process?

My design process varies a little, depending on how I get started. Sometimes, the color palette comes first, then I pick a theme that goes with it. Sometimes, I have a theme in mind, then work up a color palette to go with the theme. Once I have a color and theme, I always do papers first, then elements, then alphas and any other add-ons.

3…What do you use to create your designs? (software, hardware, etc)

I use Photoshop CS4 for the majority of my design work and Inkscape for any illustrations I need to do.

4…Describe your design workspace.

I have a computer desk with a large display in our family room. I’ve tried working on a laptop, but the tiny screen size just doesn’t work for me.

5…What motivates and inspires you as a designer?

I like seeing an idea come to fruition and then seeing how scrappers use that kit to scrap their precious memories. I get inspiration and ideas from color, everyday life, my sons’ activities and interests, magazines, Pinterest, textures, a song, a good quote. Really, anything can be the inspiration for a product!

6…What kit currently available in your GingerScraps store is your favourite? Why?

Oh gosh, it’s usually the latest kit I’ve created! My favorite now is Back to Nature (this month’s Daily Download), because I LOVE the colors! But, since it’s not technically in my store yet, I’d say my Are We There Yet Buffet collection. I especially love how the enamel pins turned out. [I can’t wait to see it. The Buffet is the BEST!]

7…Do you craft outside the digital world?

Not as much as I used to. Sometimes I do still make things to use in my kits.

8…What is the last book you read?

I can’t remember when I last sat down to read an entire book! Mostly I’m reading online articles and magazines.

9…Tea or coffee?

Coffee, for sure. I’ve been making cold brew coffee lately and using it to make iced coffee with Chocolate Stevia.

10…Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Starbucks Coffee Frappucino. The sugar content (even in the light version) makes it just an occasional treat. 

11…If time travel were possible, where would you go and why?

I’d love to go back and talk to my grandparents and great-grandparents when they were younger and meet my parents as kids. 

12…What’s your favourite thing about GingerScraps?

My favorite thing about GingerScraps is the friendly, helpful people that make up this wonderful community and the amazing designers and site staff that I work with!

I can’t argue with that! GingerScraps is a true community, in all the best senses of the word. Thank you Cathy, for letting us have a peek into your life.

http://gingerscraps.net/gsblog/2017/07/20028/

July Bake Sale!! On NOW!!!

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this month’s Bake Sale. It’s gotta be the best sale in all of Digiland. Just look at the possibilities!

Our amazing designers and guest designers have chosen a terrific collection of kits on sale from now until the 20th at the cost of only a BUCK! (Did you notice this month’s Featured Designer CathyK has 3 kits in the catalog?) I see at least three kits I MUST have… Time to go shopping!

Fresh Baked: JUly 14, 2017

Woo hoo! It’s Friday! I hope the second week of July is treating you well. Hopefully it’s not too hot in your neck of the woods. If so, make sure you are staying hydrated! Use it as an excuse to stay inside with the air conditioner and just sit and scrapbook! The designers have some great kits and templates to help entice you into that frame of mind!

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

fwp32
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Life-Is-A-Picnic.html

littlerad
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Mama-Bear-Templates.html

mags
http://store.gingerscraps.net/MagsGraphics/

missfish01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Beach-Life-Templates.html

missfish02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Miscellaneous-Singles-1-Templates.html

missfish03
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Plenty-O-Pics-Templates.html

neiascraps
Bundle: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pure-Happiness-Bundle-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pure-Happiness-kit-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Cards: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pure-Happiness-Cards-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Scatters: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pure-Happiness-Scatters-By-Neia-Scraps.html

ponytails
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Proud.html

seatrout
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Seatrout-Scraps/

tinci
http://store.gingerscraps.net/A-slice-of-summer.html

blueheart
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Summer-Templates.html

boomers
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Gettin-Inked-BGD.html

connie
Grab Bag: https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-2017-Grab-Bag-Vitamin-Sea.html
Word Art Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Vitamin-Sea-WordArt-Pack.html

dandelion
http://store.gingerscraps.net/We-Are-Family-By-Dandelion-Dust-Designs.html

dear01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Sizzling-Summer-Templates-by-Dear-Friends-Designs.html

dear02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/What-a-Blast-Templates-by-Dear-Friends-Designs.html

jocee
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-Bundle.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-Kit.html
Titles: https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-Titles.html
Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-Cards.html
Flairs: https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-Flairs.html
Basics: https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-Basics.html

kristmess01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

kristmess02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

lindsay01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Random-Pieces-13-Templates-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

lindsay02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Random-Pieces-14-Templates-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

ad01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

ad02

ad03
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Dear-Friends-Designs/

Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!

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I’m not going to let anything rain on my chances to get some sunshine with this!

Sneak Peeks July 13, 2017

Happy Thursday! Enjoying the heat of summer? This Florida girl wishes for fall when it’s only hot and not insanely hot! But I can beat the heat and scrap! Take a look at all the goodies coming to the store tomorrow!

From Ponytails

From Neia Scraps

From Miss Mis

From JoCee

From Miss Fish

 

From Little Rad Trio

From Tinci

Tutorial Tuesday (General)

How’d You DO That?!! Fontography Demystified

Have you ever looked at a magazine layout or a scrapbook layout and immediately been captivated by the combination of fonts used? Or, alternatively, looked at one and thought, “Wow… that looks… umm… really weird”? And what about all those Pinterest pins that show font combinations… how were they arrived at? After I put together the tutorial on chalkboard art, I had several people comment on how the fonts I chose looked really good together. But I’d never really broken down the process of choosing font combos. So I’m going to share some basic thoughts about how to pair fonts to make your layouts look pulled together, appealing and well-designed.

The fonts I’ve combined in my examples will be named in the screenshot following for each of these tips. Here’s the first combo.

When you’re thinking about pairing fonts, the first consideration is choosing fonts that compliment each other AND your topic. Think about the layout you’re designing and the mood it creates. Does it have a strong personality? Look for fonts that match the mood and personality of your photos, elements and arrangement. The sample below has two Art Deco era fonts in it. See how they work together? They’re from the same general era, so they should look like they belong together.

These are the two fonts I combined for my sample. They make me think of the Roaring 20s, flappers and bathtub gin.

Now see how the wrong pairing can just look odd? They’re of similar weights (more about weight in a minute) and are both bold fonts, but they have nothing else in common.

Even the names the designer gave them aren’t complimentary!

Next you want to consider something called “visual hierarchy“, which is a $10 phrase meaning “Who’s the boss”. In my sample below I chose a heavy slab-style creepy font for the title and a somewhat less weighty, condensed font for the subtitle. You can easily see that had I done it the other way around, the title wouldn’t command much attention.

I love Hallowe’en so I have a selection of these gnarly fonts for my related layouts. (Sometimes the names the designers give them are a little risqué.)

Here’s another combo, one that isn’t quite right. The two fonts, although they’re both similar in mood, don’t work as well together. It’s not horrible, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. This is where your judgment and your “design eye” come in.

Great names!

Let’s talk a little about context. In this case, the definition we’re going to use is this one: “the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.“. I touched on it briefly when I talked about complimentary fonts. But there are some other aspects that need attention too. For example, subject matter; the first font in the screenshot below would work beautifully for a layout about building a new home, or racing motocross, or even one about guys doing guy stuff. But it wouldn’t do for a wedding layout, or one about a tea party with your grand-daughter. 

Another aspect is what you’re communicating with the font. The swirly, curly, girly font on the second line isn’t readable when all caps are used. It would be perfect for a title or subtitle on a tea party or wedding layout when used appropriately. So always think about how you’re going to use the font, and about readability. If you use a tiny, condensed font like the third line it may be difficult to read. For journaling you’re going to want it to be a clean, easily read style in a size that doesn’t require a magnifying glass, particularly if you’re going to print your 12×12 layouts in a smaller size, like 8×8.

These are the fonts I used in my sample above.

This concept is pretty simple. Serif fonts are the ones with those little extra bits that extend from letters as shown in the top sample, and are absent in fonts described as sans serif. (“Sans” means without in French.) You can think of them as a little bit more formal for serif fonts and a little more casual for sans serif fonts.

These are the fonts I paired above.

Alternatively you could pair a sans serif font with a serif font as I’ve shown below.

Next, let’s talk about contrast. The four fonts I’ve chosen for this sample all actually work together. Size and weight are important when you’re thinking about both context and contrast. I’ve used a 72 point font for all these samples so you can get a feel for these concepts.

The first example is a middle-of-the-road font with a medium size, a medium weight and a solid texture.

The second example is an attractive, light-weight, thin decorative font.

The third example is a formal, serif-style, weighty and highly textured font.

And the last example is a scripty, balanced medium-weight font.

What makes them work? They’re different, but complimentary styles. Their relative sizes vary, even though they’re all 72 point. They have different weights – you can almost feel the pressure they exert on the paper. Their forms are different too; look at the relative length of the parts of some letters that descend below the baseline. Although they’re all quite distinct, they have a similar curviness to them that tie them together. And they have variable directions of movement.

See one you liked? These are the fonts I used.

Now, having said all the preceding things, you still have to avoid conflict. See what I mean?

Individually, they’re all great fonts. Together, they’re a mess!

While you’re avoiding conflict, remember to avoid using fonts that are too similar. See how this example breaks all of the rules we’ve looked at so far?

Again, beautiful fonts, but just a little too close for comfort.

One way to be very sure of your font choices is to use fonts from the same family. The designer has created them to work together by varying their weight, their size and their texture, but sticking to a single form. Many of the fonts your computer came with are bound in families like the ones below.

Again, these examples are all the same point size, but they’re just different enough from each other to keep things interesting.

Don’t go crazy with a dozen different fonts on one layout. There needs to be some unifying quality to them and they need to suit their purpose. A good rule of thumb is to keep them to about 3. No more than 5… except when you’re creating subway art. When you’re journaling, this might help you choose. Serif fonts are better for reading quickly because the characters sort of flow one into the next with those little extra bits they have. But when the primary place your creation will be viewed is on a screen, you might want to choose a sans serif font, for their simpler, cleaner look. And remember that your journaling must be legible!

These three look pretty good together. See if you can figure out which rules they follow.

And lastly, PRACTICE! This is the only way to develop that “design eye” that lets you move from novice methodicality to intuitive, flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants creativity. Consciously look at font combinations everywhere. Magazine layouts, product labels, memes on Facebook, Pinterest boards… the possibilities are endless. See what combinations you find pleasing and which you find jarring. Over time, you’ll find you’re not quite so indecisive about which fonts go together like milk and cookies and which are more like chalk and cheese. I actually play a little game in my head sometimes, trying to guess which fonts the designer has used, and I love it when I recognize a font, or a designer.

These are quite different from each other, but I think they look good!

Before we wrap this up, let’s talk a bit about the fonts you should forget about… This isn’t my list; it came from Douglas Bonneville at Smashing magazine. I’d add a couple, such as Bleeding Cowboys and Myriad Pro. For the article I found this list within, and the author’s reasons why, click here.

Here’s a handy little diagram with these rules all in condensed form. It came from Creative Market, a great source of wonderful fonts at discount prices.

To see a larger image, click here.

Credits: Janie Kliever  ; Creative Market

Have fun with your fonts! There really is no limit to how creative you can be.

Let’s Celebrate: Patriotism

With Independence Day in the States being this past week, and Canada day last Saturday, I thought we should take a look at the great items here at GingerScraps to get all those photos we took scrapped! There is an entire section dedicated to all this patriotic in the store. Pages and pages of goodies. I am going to showcase just a few of them. If none of these are what you are looking for, make sure to check that section out!

Made in the USA by Whimpychompers | Made in the USA is a great collection for those who love celebrating their patriotic side with family and friends.

 

My Life – July Kit by Scraps N Pieces | Come July, summer is in full swing and many of us are too busy making memories to devote a lot time to scrapping. That’s where My Life… July comes in. This month’s installment of the popular My Life series features heavy amounts of red, white, and blue – perfect for scrapping the 4th of July.

 

Oh Canada! by Pretty in Green | Happy Canada Day! This full mini kit celebrates Canada Day with lots of red and white!

 

Stars and Stripes by Oohlala Scraps

 

Bars & Stars by Craft-tastrophic

 

Oh Canada…Eh! by Scraps N Pieces | Canada has a reputation for moose, maple syrup, and great manners. But more than that, Canada is a vast country full of beautiful sights and lots of snow. Oh Canada… Eh! celebrates the joys of Canada for residents and visitors alike. This kit’s rich color palette draws on the red and white of the flag, the greens of the trees, and a warm neutral to complement all of your photos. Featured elements include moose galore, maple leaves, hockey gear, ephemera, and a cairn. Oh Canada… Eh! also contains word strips for famous destinations, a square alpha for title work, and enough flowers, banners, and ribbons to decorate your pages for days. Celebrate Canada with Oh Canada… Eh!

 

Stars and Fireworks by Lindsay Jane

 

Stars and Stripes Page Kit by Word Art World | “Stars and Stripes” is a vintage-style patriotic digital scrapbooking page kit

 

Travelogue Canada – Kit by Connie Prince

 

Celebrate July Mini Kit by JoCee Designs | With the 1st of July being Canada Day and 4th of July being American Independence Day there is so much to celebrate in the first week of July.

 

Eh! by Ponytails Designs | Canadians are known for being either really polite, or being crazed hockey fans… both of which are often true! However, there is so much more to us than that. Coming from the second largest country in the world, Canadians have a rich and diverse culture all our own. And while we don’t show it as much as our American friends, we love our country too! Before the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, our Prime Minister asked us not to be afraid to engage in an “uncharacteristic outburst of patriotism.” He went on to urge us to “not be afraid to wave those flags, we’ll apologize to the world for our immodesty later.” So grab yourself a Timmy’s double-double and have a look at my own little outburst of patriotism. Sorry, eh!

 

Fresh Baked: July 07, 2017

Happy Friday! I hope that you had a happy and safe 4th/Canada Day/week! This week, the designers are full on in summer mode and have a lot of great templates and kits that will fit all of those summer moments! Make sure you check them out!

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

fwp3
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Life-Is-A-Picnic.html

lindsay01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Heat-of-Summer-Collection-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

lindsay02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Heat-of-Summer-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

magical
Bundle: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Wave-Patrol-collection.html
Page kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Wave-Patrol.html
Graffiti Pack: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Wave-Patrol-graffiti.html
Journaling Cards: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Wave-Patrol-journal-cards.html
Shabby Wood Papers: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Wave-Patrol-shabby-woods.html
Word Bits: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Wave-Patrol-word-bits.html

missfish01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Mid-Summer-Template-Grab-Bag.html

missfish02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Simply-Petite-Templates.html

neia
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Life-is-Sweet-8-Templates-by-Neia-Scraps.html

ponytails
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Showcase-3.html

scraps
Bundle – https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Life-July-Bundle.html
Kit – https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Life-July-Kit.html

seatrout
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Seatrout-Scraps/

tinci01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Always-blooming.html

tinci02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Mid-Summer-Grab-Bag.html

aimee
Collection: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Seaside-Holiday-Collection.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Seaside-Holiday-Page-Kit.html
Alpha: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Seaside-Holiday-Alpha-Sets.html
Word Art: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Seaside-Holiday-Word-Art.html
Ombre Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Seaside-Holiday-Ombre-Papers.html
Messy Edges: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Seaside-Holiday-Messy-Edges.html
Glitter: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Seaside-Holiday-Glitters.html

boomers
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Watermelon-Smiles-BGD.html

cathyk
Bundle: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-Bundle.html
Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-Kit.html
Papers: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-Papers.html
Elements: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-Elements.html
Enamel Pins: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-Enamel-Pins.html
License Plates: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-License-Plates.html
Word Bits: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-Word-Bits.html
Extra Papers: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Are-We-There-Yet-Extra-Papers.html

connie
https://store.gingerscraps.net/July-2017-Template-Bundle.html

craft
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Beyond.html

dandelion
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Drift-Away-Digital-Scrapbook-Kit-By-Dandelion-Dust-Designs.html

heartstrings
https://store.gingerscraps.net/the-bigger-picture-8-Templates.html

jocee
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Celebrate-July-Mini.html

kristmess01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

kristmess02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

kristmess03
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

ad01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/One-Perfect-Day-Kit-by-Key-Lime-Digi-Design.html

ad02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/CathyK-Designs

Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!

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I’m not going to let anything rain on my chances to get some sunshine with this!

Sneak Peeks July 6th, 2017

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend! Hopefully you took a ton of photos (I know I did!) and one of the new goodies coming out tomorrow will help get those creative vibes flowing!

From Tinci

From Craft-tastrophic

From Neia Scraps

From Lindsay Jane

From CathyK

From Neia Scraps

From JoCee

From Miss Fish

 

From Heart Strings Scrap Art

From Ponytails

 

From Aimee Harrison

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Templates with a Twist

I’ve been planning this tutorial for a while but the right moment hadn’t arrived yet. Then the June Daily Download broke and there it was! Tinci Designs and JB Studios (sadly Dani is retiring from designing) were together in the limelight with their Hey Man template bundle. It was the first time two template designers were in the Designer Spotlight together and it posed some interesting challenges to the store and to our devoted GingerScrappers. But it played right into my hand…

Did you know that you can combine two (or more) templates into a single layout? Are you shocked? Remember, templates are amazingly versatile tools. You don’t have to slavishly follow the design for them to help you create fabulous layouts. They’re intended as inspirational guides, with symbols as placeholders. With templates, your creativity is only limited by your imagination. I’m going to show you how to do a template mashup right here, right now. Let me begin by saying I probably wouldn’t have chosen this bundle for this technique, but the opportunity presented itself and I ran with it. To have the best results with your template mashup, you should choose two templates with clusters, photo spots, masks or combinations of those that you really like, with a good amount of white space, so you’ll have lots of options.

I decided to use the JB Studios template shown below as my base template. I like the row of circles with the small cluster, and I really like the little wordstrip cluster in the corner. I made a mental note of what the file was named so I could find it later…

Then I chose this Tinci Designs template for my second one. I had 2 photos I wanted to use. Now, I could have resized the centre cluster, which would have actually worked beautifully, but I wanted my photos to be really visible.

I had to make room for the section of Tinci’s template that I was going to move onto the JBS template so I selected all the layers but the background and the little wordstrip cluster then moved them up almost to the top of the canvas.

See how that gave me a lot of room?

The next step is to go to my second template and select all the layers I want to add to the first one. If you don’t have the Bounding Box turned on, you might want to do that. It will help you move only the layers you want by including the shapes you’ve selected inside it. You can see my Bounding Box in the screenshot below.

Once you’ve selected only the layers you want to copy onto your other template, right click on the Layers panel to open the Layers menu. Then click on Duplicate Layers…

A new menu opens with everything you have in your Photo Bin included. Look down the list until you find your first template. If you can’t remember the file name, look for the .psd suffix. When you’ve found it, click on it.

Your dialog box will look like this. You can rename the group of layers if you want, but you don’t have to. When you’ve got the correct file selected, click OK.

PSE automatically centres everything on the canvas, so this is what the new mashed-up template looked like right after I added the Tinci pieces to the JBS base template. Time to fine-tune!

I moved all the Tinci pieces down so the JBS pieces peeked out above them.  Then I had to figure out what to do with that little wordstrip cluster that HAD to be in there.

Once I was happy with how it all looked, I could get my layout rolling. There were some layers from the original template that were completely concealed, so when I came to them in the Layers panel, I just deleted them. (I always work with copies of everything, never the original. That way I don’t have to worry about losing something I might want again later!)

If you decide to try this out, remember that you don’t HAVE to copy everything from one template onto the other. Choose the parts you LOVE. Forget about the rest. I could have copied just one of the photo clusters. I could have only copied the wordstrip cluster. It’s all about what you like most! Have fun!

Fresh Baked: July 01, 2017

July is the month for celebrating all sorts of things! Besides Canada Day and the 4th of July, there’s Lollipop Day, Ice Cream Day, and even International Day of Friendship! Some good things to look forward to, besides just melting in the heat (or freezing your fingertips off)!

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!

[Read more…]