GingerBread Ladies Sneak Peeks 1/25/17

It’s sneak peek time again. Once again, our designers have out done themselves with their new releases this week. Do you see one that you think you just have to have?

Make sure to head over to the store on Friday to see these and more!!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Heritage Photos Get a Makeover!

Ever wondered how other scrappers got that subtle-but-lush, hand-tinted look to their black-and-white photos? It’s super-easy, doesn’t take long and adds a really elegant look to your images. I’ll show you how, using this lovely 100-year-old photo of my great-grand aunt Ethel.

I started by making 4 copies of my photo, for a total of 5 layers. I selected my Brush tool and a royal blue from the Colour Picker. The eyes are done on my top layer because they’re the feature I want to have the most control over in this process. ZOOM in a LOT.

For eyes, I like to use a round, soft mechanical pencil brush. The edges of the brush are softened a little, which lets a tiny bit of the underlying layer to outline the area being brushed over. The size should be small enough to fit inside the area and allow for complete coverage. 9 pixels worked well for me. I painted over her irises with that blue colour I chose earlier. One thing to keep in mind: If you’re brushing over an area with an opacity of less than 100%, do all of your brushing in one action, with the left mouse button clicked the whole time. Otherwise, wherever your brushstrokes overlap the colour will be darker.

This is what her eyes looked like after I’d covered both irises completely with blue. Freaky and unnatural!

By pulling the Opacity of this layer down to 32% I could make the eyes look soft and let some sparkle through in the catch-lights.

Turn off the top layer before you move on. It eliminates distraction and gives you a clearer view of the changes you’re making on the layer underneath it. Bye-bye, blue eyes.

I’m still going to use the blue for the ribbon around her neck. I want the edges of my brush to be sharper, so I chose a hard mechanical pencil brush, and it could be a little bigger because I was covering a larger area. In the Brush settings it shows the Opacity as 60%, but I changed it to 100% before I did my painting because I knew I’d have to adjust the size of my brush to get into the tiny corners. I didn’t want those lap marks to show.

Very garish! But infinitely adjustable.

I decreased the Opacity to 45% – I left it just a little darker than I wanted my finished ribbon to look, because when I turn on all the layers again, the layers above are going to add their opacity adjustment to everything below.

The next item I painted was this brooch, on the centre layer. It was this that let me date the photo. I know Great-Grand Aunt Ethel had her first child, a boy she named George Albert, in April, 1913. I used a gold-yellow for it.

With the Opacity decreased to 35%, it doesn’t look nearly so tawdry. And you can read the embossed lettering better too.

On to the lips… second-to-last layer.

I liked this rosy pink for her lips and cheeks. Did you know that your blush will be the same hue as your lips, but slightly less saturated?

100% opacity. Clown school, any one?

Opacity decreased to 34%. Much better!

To blush her cheeks on the very bottom layer, I used a round spray brush – darker at the centre and gradually fading toward the edges – I found for free at But having a circular patch of colour on our cheeks is really and truly clown-school unnatural. So I adjusted the shape/roundness and angle of the brush to match the contours of her left cheek. Did you know that you can “see” the outlines of your brush just by hovering the tool over your image? That’s how you adjust these settings.

First blush. Notice how all the other layers are not visible.

To do the other cheek I adjusted the brush angle to its negative value but left the roundness alone.

Yes, she looks very embarrassed.

I left the opacity exactly as is, at 100% and turned on all the rest of my layers. And magically, her face just looks pretty, with a hint of colour in her cheeks and on her lips. As long as you haven’t merged your layers, you can tweak the opacity of your colours on each layer until you’re in love with the result. Just remember that a light touch gives the best result.

It really is that simple! I bet you have a favourite black-and-white photo you want to try this with. Have fun!!

Below is just a quick-and-easy mini-tut especially for mskinsey. She wanted to know how to apply a border around photos and other items. So here you go…

My photo extended a long way past the edges of my frame. I used the Elliptical Marquee tool to select an elliptical area on my photo layer that just overlaps the edge of the inner area of the frame where the photo goes. Then I inverted the selection [CTRL/CMD>SHIFT>I] and cut away the rest of the photo [CTRL/CMD>X]. That makes the next step super-easy. I just clicked on the layer thumbnail for my photo and that selected the outside edge of my ellipse.

I clicked on the Select tab then chose Modify>Contract from the pop-down menu.

I first typed in “15” but it didn’t give me enough space between the frame and the marching ants, so I changed the number to “30“.

With my marching ants now 30 pixels inside the frame (you can see them peeking around the left upper edge of the menu box) I clicked on the Edit tab, then Stroke (Outline) Selection and entered the width and colour I wanted to use. I also chose for the stroke to go inside the marching ants. That’s a personal preference.

And that’s all it takes!

Next week I’m going to show you another way to play with shadows on their own layer, using the same layout, which is my January Color Challenge entry. (I’m all about working smart, not hard!) Take a look and see if you can guess what we’re going to do…

Don’t forget! If you use any of the techniques or tips I’ve shown you this month, post your work to the GingerScraps Facebook fanpage Challenge Gallery, or if you’re not a Facebooker, you can post a link in the comments here for me. Then I can enter you into a draw to have your very own personal tutorial right here in February.

Creative Style | Purple


Hello scrappers. Today we are going to take a look at a creative style. Well, let me honest. It isn’t really a style so much as getting some inspiration from color.

There are many things that can make a layout stand out in the gallery. What grabs one person’s attention might not grab another’s. I could write multiple blog posts about what grabs mine. That being said, seeing a layout that has predominantly one color always grabs my attention. There really is no reason that I picked this color, except that I like it. Let us get some inspiration from the color purple.

We are going to take a look at some pretty purple images, some great digital scrapbooking layouts done up in purple, and round it up with the latest purple filled goodies from the store. If those do not do it for you, make sure you check out January’s Buffet. A lot of those have purple all through them!

Now, here are some lovely images to get those creative juices flowing. Did you know there was a place you could get pretty nice stock photos for free? These images are from Pexels. (All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.) I use them on my personal blog. I thought I would share with you guys while we get some inspiration for scrapping with purple.



Fantastic right? I find inspiration for layouts in all kinds of places. Looking at beautiful photos are one of them. Want a bit more inspiration? Here are some layouts that are predominantly purple. You know, to help get those ideas flowing! (all images are linked to their counterpart in the store. Go leave some loving!)






Are these not some lovely layouts! I know part of that is the great designers we have here at GingerScraps. These layouts are beautifully scrapped though. I hope you found at least some inspiration from today’s post. I will leave you with some great designs to get those purple filled layouts scrapped. As usual, all images are linked to their counterpart. We actually have an entire location in the store just for purple items.







Fresh Baked: January 20, 2017

This week, it’s time for retirement. No designers are leaving us, but some of their amazing kits are being retired to make way for new and better! There are also some new and gorgeous kits and templates being released this week as well!

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


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Sneak Peeks January 19, 2017

Happy Thursday! There are TONS of awesome new releases this week to get to!

From JoCee Designs

From Laurie Scraps

From Jb Studios

From Miss Fish

From Tinci Designs

From Dagi’s Temp-tations


From Lindsay Jane

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From CathyK

From Neia Scraps

From Aprilisa Designs

Have a Wonderful Weekend!!!!

Designer Sneak Peeks January 18th, 2017

Check out the Designers Sneak Peeks for this week!

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Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Yes! You CAN Warp Shadows in PSE!

Photoshop Elements is a great program for most applications the average digi-scrapper wants to accomplish, but it does have limitations. One of these is that shadows aren’t on their own layer. That means getting your photos or other objects to look like they’re lifting off the page isn’t possible. Or is it…….? Actually, there are a couple of ways to move your drop shadows onto a separate layer and the one I’m going to show you today is the one I find to be the easiest.

I wanted to have a photo lift at one corner within my layout for the Mix It Up challenge this month. I chose a template created by Krisztina of Tinci Designs, found in her Autumn Stories V.2 collection. Krisztina’s templates come pre-shadowed, which makes them especially awesome for beginners.

To start the process of making this photo spot look like it’s lifting, first I had to move the shadow onto its own layer. To do that, double-click on the little fx icon as shown below. That opens the Layer Style menu for that layer.

It looks like this. By moving the Distance slider to the right, the shadow is offset – it moves away from the item.

To make the process easier I temporarily changed the angle on the shadow to 180°, which moved the shadow off to the right of the photo spot. (This step might not be necessary, depending on the size of your item and its location on the page. This photo spot is in the lower left corner, so I was a little restricted in what I could do with it.) You’ll see that I also set the distance to 1000 pixels. This gives me some space between the shadow and the photo spot, which is essential to make this technique work. Once I’m done moving the shadow to its own layer I’ll move it back into position at the same angle as the other photo spots.

Now that I’ve set the distance, it’s time to Simplify the layer. VITAL STEP!! Right click on the layer in the Layers panel and select Simplify Layer. That effectively eliminates the fx icon so you can manipulate the visible layer on your layout.

Select the Rectangle Marquee tool then click and drag a rectangle around the shadow portion of your image as shown.

Now I’m going to Cut that shadow away from the photo spot. Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD+X will do it.

Now Edit>Paste (CTRL/CMD+V) the shadow back onto the layout… and look! It’s on its own layer!

Elements will have put the shadow layer ABOVE the item, so move it down so it’s underneath where it belongs. You can click and drag the layer down or CTRL/CMD+[ will do it for you. Now you can shift the shadow back to its correct angle under the photo/item.

Now we’re getting into the really fun part! Select Image>Transform>Skew.

I grabbed the lower left handle (the little box at the corner) and pulled it to the left. See how the bounding box looks wonky? That’s the Skew in action. Then I clicked OK.

There’s another way of changing the shape of an item. Image>Transform>Distort give a little more variety to how the shape can be altered.

Looking at the new shadow, it looks like the photo is resting on something underneath it and it’s too umm… ordinary. So the next step is to nudge the edges of the shadow a little so it’s closer to the photo in some areas. The Smudge tool is the way to make that happen. It looks like a finger.

Using a fairly big setting, click and drag the Smudge tool along the edge of the shadow, positioning the tool’s cursor something like shown below. Don’t take it all the way to the very end of the shadow though, because then it’ll have a tail and it’s not going to make you happy.

The image below shows what happens when you get carried away. It’s very bizarre looking and NOT what I want at all. Rather than try to correct it, I undid (CTRL/CMD+Z) back to where I was still liking the look, and then continued.

Now that’s more like it!

And for that final touch of realism I hit the Image>Transform>Distort again and pushed the corner of the PHOTO (see that the photo layer is the active one) in just a tiny bit. You can see the final result in the gallery. The effect is subtle but it’s there.

Think about how you could apply this new skill to a paper item you’ve stapled to your layout. You can use the Smudge tool to bring the shadow in really close to the edge of the paper where the staple is for a much more realistic look. It also lets you make your photo look like it’s cupped a little and the centre of the photo is closest to the paper. This technique can be used to adjust shadows for a lot of things other than paper too. Flowers, butterflies, string, ribbon, the sky’s the limit! Give it a shot and let me know how you like it!

Bake Sale – January

Good morning scrappers. It’s that time of the month again. Today starts the GingerScraps Bake Sale. From January 15 to January 20, our designers have some of their kits reduced to just $1. Yes – $1 for a full kit or template set. Let’s see some of the goodies.

Just head over to the Bake Sale area of the store and grab these and more!!

Creative Style | Project 52/365

Happy 2017 everyone! I got a bit overwhelmed at the start of the year; and I failed to bring you your weekly inspiration. Even though we are two weeks into 2017, it isn’t too late to start on our photo projects. I am talking about Project 365 and Project 52. What are those? According to Google

Simply put, Project 365 is committing to taking one photo a day for a year. Whether you’re using a fancy DSLR, or simply using your phone, there is no wrong or right way to put together your own Project 365.

Basically a photo a day for project 365 and a photo a week for project 52. You can capture it however you want, post it however you want (or not at all)…or scrap it! I personally post them on Instagram with my personal hashtag, as well as scrap them.

To help you on your way (and to keep going) GingerScraps has a challenge area just for this, as well as a section in the store dedicated to the products you can use on your layouts. Today we are going to showcase a few of those items.











Fresh Baked: January 13, 2017

The weeks just keep flying by! The designers are not letting the time get away from them and are putting out beautiful kits and templates this week!

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


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