April Feature Designer – Dear Friends Designs

I’m back with the second part of our Feature Designer post. This one with one-half of Dear Friends Designs, Trina. She finally slowed down enough to “chat” with me.

How did you get started in digital scrapbooking?

Back in early 2007 (yikes, can’t believe that was 10 years ago!) I was pregnant with my second child and making a wedding slideshow for my SIL of her old photos and her hubby to be’s old photos. Was having fun, then started searching for ways to make it fancier and stumbled upon digital scrapbooking! I used to sell Creative Memories, and was only about 4 pages in PAPER scrapbook for my oldest. I was instantly hooked, shortly after sold my paper supplies and never looked back!

What made you decide to design?

It has always intrigued me, I’ve dabbled with different types of designing, and never seemed to be able to leave a template alone and just use it. Got to the point where Colleen & I were both just making our own templates, so we hemmed and hawed and eventually bit the bullet and asked Ginger what she thought – she was so encouraging and excited for us, now its been 2 years! I so wish we started sooner!!

What do you use to create your designs (program, additional tools, etc.)?

I use Adobe Creative Cloud. I have been addicted to Photoshop since high school when I learned to use it for yearbook! I create EVERYTHING in Photoshop, fliers, applications, etc., I mean everything!

Describe your design workplace.

Wherever my laptop happens to be!! When we travel in the car, I make hubby drive so I can design and/or scrap. Sometimes in the chair or on the couch. When my back was bad before surgery I’d be laying on the living room floor! Now most often its on a desk right in my living room.

What is your favorite thing about designing?

That its work, that doesn’t feel like work, and I still get to scrapbook! Getting to know other awesome designers, and working with some pretty amazing CT! Also seeing what others create using our templates is motivation to do more! I love hearing back from our customers about how much they love our templates and how they’re perfect for them and easy to use!!

What is your favorite kit currently in your GS store and why?

Oooh – always tough to choose just one…hmmm….one of my favorites is still our Nifty 50 series! They were so fun to create (and so much work too) but I love all the LOs we get from them. As far as a regular template pack goes – a more recent one would be “My Happy Place” because the name makes me smile, and I love all the banners and different sized photo places!

What was your first job?

Um, good question! Babysitting if that counts, then I worked at a Pet Store, and an Espresso & Eatery, and a cashier at a grocery store, and then in the meat dept of the same grocery store – but I’m not entirely sure on the order of those! heehee!

How many languages do you speak? What are they?

I speak English, and “toddler-ese” (haha, but I’m usually pretty good at deciphering young kid talk!) I know a tiny bit of Spanish, and a tiny bit of sign-language. Wish I could say more!!

What’s your favorite holiday?

All of them! Any time that I can spend time with my family!

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

Not sure we have too many traditions, we’re almost always in different locations for each holiday, so hard to make traditions…

What three things do you think of most each day?

My 4 kids and everything they need for the day.
My never ending to-do list
What my “photo of the day” is!

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Warning: Hates Mornings!

Is there anything you wished would came back into fashion?

Nothing I can think of off the top of my head – not sure I really follow any fashion things anyway – I wouldn’t say I’m trendy like that – I just like to be comfortable! hahaha!

Do you collect anything?

Not really, I have a little collection of rocks from my younger days, oh but I do collect photos! haha! Of my kids and of bugs and wildlife (those are my 3 fave things to photograph!)

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

Teleporting, flying & wiggling my nose to get the house to clean itself!

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

My family? Losing them would be horrible!

How would your friends describe you?

Depends on who you ask! IDK – ask Colleen?!

If you were a fruit or vegetable, which one would you be?

I’d like to think I’m sweet like fruit, but also pretty hardy like a vegetable. Ugh – IDK! Tough choice!

What would you prefer as a second home: Mountain cabin, beach house, or big city condo?

Mountain Cabin – with a lake haha!

What would you do on your dream date?

Funny – we were just talking about this – and I couldn’t come up with one! Depends on the day, week, month, season! I like to dress up and go out “fancy” but also like to take it easy, or rough it and camp, or go hiking, biking or geocaching, so really depends on the time of the year and my mood! haha!

Thanks Trina!!

Make sure to check out Dear Friends Designs GS Store, FB Page, and FB Group!

They have a sale running in their store until the 30th.

And make sure you are grabbing the daily download from this blog to get the special kit they have put together with Neverland Scraps.

Sneak Peeks April 20th 2017

Happy Thursday! There has been a ton of new releases the Ct was able to play with this week!

From Aimee Harrison

From Mags Graphics

From Ponytails

From Amy Stoffel

From Key Lime Digi Designs


From Tinci

From Neia Scraps

From Craft-tastrophic

From Miss Fish

Have a Wonderful Weekend!


Designer Sneak Peeks-April 21

It’s Wednesday and time for a few sneak peeks from our designers. Looks like summer and vacation planning are in full force with these sneek peeks.

Don’t forget to head over to the store on Friday to grab these and more.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Get in SHAPE, Girl!

So, I was having a chat online with Lisa (slfam) about the April GingerScraps challenges. She wanted to take part in the Scraplift Challenge but didn’t know how to make rounded rectangles. This beautiful layout sort of demands them… if you’re like me and want to stick as close to the original as possible.

Looking at the layouts posted in the thread told me that Lisa wasn’t alone in wondering how to get those curvy corners. So I decided to work a tutorial out for y’all.

Let’s start out with a 12×12 canvas. Select the Custom Shape tool, which may look a bit like an amoeba on your desktop. The top right icon in the Tool Options section takes you to the menu for rounded rectangles. Because the example layout uses a square shape, I set the Geometry Options to Square.

The amount of curve on your corners will be determined by the Radius you set for them. You can type in any number you want and do a test run to see what it looks like.

I started at 150 px, and just kept click-dragging out squares until I got to a radius of 400 and was satisfied with the amount of rounding. See the little Simplify button down there? You can WSNH by using it, or you can do it the other way. But you DO want to simplify your shape once you like it, because that makes your background transparent.

This is the long way… See what the thumbnail looks like? You want the background to be transparent for a later step.

Now that I’ve got the shape with the curvy corners I was looking for, I can resize it – bigger or smaller – and still keep the corners at the same radius.

You can also change the proportions from square to rectangle, but when you do you also change the radius of the corner from a perfectly round one to a more elliptical one.

Here’s why I wanted you to Simplify your shape. After going to all that trouble (well… playing with the radius can be tedious!) you might want to save your shape as a clipping mask for future use. You can use the same mask over and over and over and over! (If you want to use it multiple times in one layout, just CTRL/CMD>J it as many times as you want.)

In the Save As menu, select where you want to put it so you can find it later. (I have a folder labeled Jan’s Elements where I’ve saved quite a few things I’ve created over the years.) Name it something simple you can remember and select PNG as the format. That’s how you preserve your transparent background.

Now let’s take this little lesson a step further. We’re going to make a template for a banner. With the Custom Shape tool selected, click on the icon in the middle of the second row of the Tool Options section. That opens up the Polygon shape tool. You can make an equilateral (all sides the same length) shape with as many sides as you want. Let’s make a triangle.

For my banner, I don’t really want an equilateral triangle. I’m looking for more of an isosceles triangle. (Am I causing you flashbacks to junior high math class? Sorry!)

After I Simplified my shape, I changed the dimensions. Once I had the shape right, I could change the size to something more useful.

To make the string/rope that your banners will hang from, the next step is to draw out a nice elliptical shape using the Elliptical Marquee tool. A gentle curve will work beautifully.

I made 5 copies of my little flag before I moved on to this step. For now they’re all still in a stack. Once the ellipse is drawn out and looks good, apply a white Stroke to the outside of the marching ants. Edit>Stoke (Outline) Selection…

I chose 20px for this stroke. I wanted the rope to be strong! (At this point your rope will just look like a line. Giving it the appearance of rope or twine is an advanced technique we’ll have to explore another time.)

Once the stroke has been applied, Crop the whole shebang down to a manageable size.

Then you can start moving your flags along your line. Spread them out. Tip them so they’re attached to your line at both corners of the short side. Don’t worry too much about eyeballing for a perfect spacing.

Once you’ve got them all lined up, select each of the little flag layers. In the Tool Options section of the Move tool, select Distribute>Middle and voilà! They’re all perfectly spaced. Too easy!

Move the string layer to the bottom and you’re done! Now you can clip papers to each of the flags, mixing and matching colours, patterns, stripes… whatever your little heart desires! And you’ll have a custom banner that’s a perfect match to the kit you’re using.

The final step is to Save As… Only this time you’re going to save it as a PSD file, which will let you change up your papers every time.

I just know you can think of a gazillion ways to use this lesson. If you like to add lots of tabs to your layouts, you can make your own clipping masks in the shapes you like best. There are so many things you can do with this you might never work without clipping masks again!

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.

Until next week, friends! Ellen‘s challenge is going to be a big one… as soon as I figure out how to show what I’m doing while I do it. Michelle is still deciding on her topic. Stay tuned!

Let’s Celebrate Easter!

Easter is tomorrow; and I hope you plan on capturing all the memories! Today we are going to take a look at just a glimpse at what the store has to offer to scrap all those Easter memories. There is an entire section in the store dedicated to this holiday. If you do not see something that grabs your fancy on today’s post, you probably will find it there! There are pages-and-pages of Easter goodies.





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April Bake Sale Time!!

It’s that time again. Let’s see what our designer’s have placed in this month’s Bake Sale. All these items are only $1 each from the 15th to the 20th.

And if that’s not enough to get you excited, how about a Spring Cleaning Sale? The items in this group are going to be retired by our designers. This sale goes until April 20th at 11:59 pm (Eastern Time).

Time to head over to do some shopping.

Fresh Baked: April 14, 2017

Happy Friday. Spring is definitely here. Flowers are blooming all around and the songs of baby birds chirping for their meals are common. The designers are feeling the joy of the warmer weather, and have some great kits out. Several are also doing spring cleaning, so you’ll find some good sales, as well!

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


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Sneak Peeks April 13th 2017

Happy Thursday! Hopefully tomorrow is a holiday for you and you get to enjoy a 3 day weekend! This weekend will be filled with lots of egg hunts, food and a visit from the Easter Bunny! I hope everyone has their camera’s ready and can use one of the great new releases in their layouts this weekend!

From Ponytails

From Craft-tastrophic


From Mags Graphics

From Tinci

From Neia Scraps

From Miss Fish

From JoCee Designs

From Luv Ewe Designs

From Clever Monkey Graphics

Image may contain: 3 people

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, text

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Title Tweaks

Titles are an integral part of fabulous scrapbook layouts, whether they’re done the traditional way with papers, printed photos and glue, or digitally. Having a title on your layout that connects with the topic, means something to either the creator or the viewer and is pleasing to the eye, can elevate a layout from merely “nice” to OUTSTANDING. I received a private message last week from GingerScrapper Lisa (slfam in the forum and gallery) asking me if I knew how anGELLeyes created the title for this layout, and if I did, could I make it a tutorial topic. So here we are!

This tutorial is going to build on some of the techniques from previous tutorials, so for some of you, working through it is going to be really quick and easy. But because there are always new viewers to the Blog, I’m still going to go step-by-step.

I started with a swirly twirly font called Risthi Script.

Before you can make alterations and adjustments to fonts other than those related directly to the text itself, it’s usually required that you Simplify the layer. Right click on the layer and select Simplify from the drop-down menu. Now you can play with it to your heart’s content.

When I looked at the phrase I liked the font but felt like it needed a bit more weight. So I selected the text – CTRL/CMD>click on the layer thumbnail to produce the marching ants – then Modify>Expand.

The fly-out menu looks like this. You can enter whatever number you want into that box where I have the number 4. I wanted to beef up my text a little so I went small.

That move shifted the marching ants out 4 pixels from the edge of the selected object, the text.

Then I used the Fill tool, aka the Paint Bucket (Work Smart Not Hard – just hit the “K” key on the keyboard) to fill in that blank space.

One problem with this little trick is that it leaves some gaps where the marching ants were. To get rid of the gaps, just hit your text with the Paint Bucket again.

After the gaps were filled, I Duplicated the layer (WSNH: CTRL/CMD>J) so that the original layer would remain untouched, as my base layer. You’ll see why this is important in a minute. The multi-step method for duplicating is to right-click on the layer then select Duplicate Layer… which then opens another menu that asks you where you want the copy to go.

On the new copied layer, I wanted to create a white Stroke around the outside. Edit>Stroke opens this menu. As you can see, I chose a relatively narrow stroke but you can choose whatever number makes sense to you for your title. The other thing I want to point out is that I put the stroke centered over the edge of the text. If I were to zoom in tightly on my text, I’d see that the edge of is it actually quite jagged. If I put the stroke on the outside of the text’s edge, those jaggies would be magnified. Putting it inside would emphasize them. There is some degree of smoothing that comes with centering the stroke, so that’s where it went.

It’s hard to see in the image below but there’s a nice white border around the text and it’s applied to the top layer in my Layers panel.

Here we go… see the white stroke now? And the jaggedy edge? It’s not really visible at the size the finished title will be so don’t fret over it. My next step is to CTRL/CMD>click on the layer thumbnail of the base layer. That bottom layer has no white border, so when you click on the thumbnail, the entire text will be selected. You’ll see that in the image following this one.

Because I centered the stroke over the edge, the marching ants are about halfway between the red and the edge of the white, as shown. That’s okay, because what I’m trying to do is create a 3D border and it doesn’t have to be gigantic to look good. Once I had the red text area selected ON THE TOP LAYER I hit CTRL/CMD>X to remove the red text section on that layer, leaving only the white. (The multi-step way is to select Edit>Cut.)

There’s that white border. (Visibility of the red layer is turned off so you can see what I’m doing.)

To get the 3D look that anGELLeyes created, I applied a Bevel from the Effects panel. (You’re getting a real good look at where my money goes… Bevels are default effects that come with the software though.)

The Bevel menu looks like this. When you have a few minutes, play with them and see what they do. It’s fun! I chose the Simple Emboss style for this purpose and double-clicked on it, once I was sure I was on that TOP layer that only had the white outline on it.

The default size on this Bevel style is 21 pixels, which is much too much for this technique. By double-clicking on the fx icon on the layer, I can adjust the size of the Bevel.

When I decreased the size down to 4 pixels, I ended up with a nice, well-defined, 3D border with a tiny shadow for added definition. Other than the multi-coloured effect on our example, that’s really all there is to it. You need go no further, your title is already awesome.  And you can accomplish all of this in about 5 minutes. No lie!

Let’s play with this technique a bit. I created some examples of adding other styles to the same phrase so you can see how easy it is to make your title something really special. For these examples I used a collection of styles from Just So Scrappy‘s Up on the Housetop collection. But first, I again duplicated the bottom-most layer, the one that is only red text.

Red coarse glitter…

…looks like this!

Red glitter gel looks like this. (I LOVE this one!)

This one is the red fine glitter.

Let’s see what the translucent red acrylic gel looks like.

It was really shiny and overpowering, so I pulled the Opacity of that layer down to obtain this effect.

How about changing the colours of some of the words… I used the rectangular Marquee tool (WSNH = “M“) to select the word “Flowers” and Cut it away. (CTRL/CMD>X) Then I Pasted it back onto my work space (CTRL/CMD>V), resulting in it being on its own layer, repositioning it so it lined up with the bottom layer. I did the same with the word “Showers”.

I like to turn the visibility of the other layers off while I play around so I’m not distracted and can see exactly what’s happening. I wanted to apply the opaque red acrylic gel style to most of the phrase so that layer is the active and visible one.

The style gives the text a shiny look, which you’ll see in the image following this one. This is what the base layer looks like without any adjustments.

I like how this looks. So I’m going to leave it alone.

I turned the visibility for the “Flowers” layer on and selected the opaque pink acryic gel style.

Isn’t that cool? It looks like enamel inside a form, which is what I was going for.

“Showers” will go next.

The opaque blue acrylic gel style might be a good colour for something watery, don’t you think?

This is what the final version looks like. I could have played with this for hours, but needed to get all the screenshots edited for the tut, so I stopped there. Total time to actually make all the adjustments to this? 25 minutes start to finish. It’s just that easy!

There were only two entries for the Tutorial Challenge in March, and rather than go through the bother of a draw, I’m going to give both gals their moment in the spotlight. Michelle and Ellen, please send me a message with the topic you’d like me to work up for you and I’ll get on with them right away!

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.

See you all again next week!

April Feature Designer – Neverland Scraps

Wow. We’re already a week into April. I should have gotten this posted for you last weekend. I hope everyone is enjoying the new month and the new challenges.

This month our featured designers are Neverland Scraps and Dear Friends Designs. Let’s talk to Wendy of Neverland Scraps and find out a few things about her.

How did you get started in digital scrapbooking?

After I had my middle child, I started seeing people sharing their digital layouts on the crafting board. I asked a lot of questions, saved a lot of tutorials and scrapped my first layout using Word. It was frustrating and shortly after I attempted my first layout, I discovered I had Paint Shop Pro on my computer, which made things a lot easier.

What made you decide to design?

I figured if someone else could create kits, why couldn’t I? I mean I did teach myself to scrap, why not teach myself to design using the same concept. I worked through tutorials, creating myself a kit. When I shared it with my fellow moms, they kept encouraging me. About a month later, I was approached to sell my products in a store and thus began my designing journey.

What do you use to create your designs (program, additional tools, etc.)?

Mostly Photoshop CS5. I was using a tablet, but that didn’t make our recent move. I’m still waiting a reimbursement, which until then won’t get replaced. Sometimes I’ll scan items in and extract them, however my printer/scanner also didn’t make the move!

Describe your design workplace.

I have an office, however it’s also the spare bedroom. When family is visiting in town, I try not to use my office to give them space. I have a desk that my father bought for me several years ago. It’s large enough to hold two monitors and my computer tower. I love my set-up. I have a calendar just for digiscrapping/designing with due dates and what not, as well as a single notebook with ideas and other things scribbled inside.

What is your favorite thing about designing?

Seeing people using the product in their own projects. Sometimes how they transform a template amazes me. When I see my kits used, I think of all the love that went in to designing that kit and now it’s shining through on their layout. Definitely the joy comes from the outcome of the product being used!

What is your favorite kit currently in your GS store and why?

You Are My Sunshine—many know a few years ago I took an extended maternity leave. That said child is also our 9-year miracle child. Since he’s been born, I’ve been singing “You Are My Sunshine” to him every time I rock him. Those days are getting fewer and fewer, since he is now 4-years old, and I cherish that song and the kit because it was created in love for the memory of singing that song, and others, to my son while putting him to sleep at night.

What was your first job?

I was a cashier at a store called Ames, which has been out of business for many, many years!

How many languages do you speak? What are they?

One – English

What’s your favorite holiday?

Valentine’s Day – it’s the day my husband and I were married!

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

We don’t really have any holiday traditions. We used to go to his family for Christmas one year and then my family the next year. However, with this current duty-station, we are too far for visits to either of our families.

What three things do you think of most each day?

1. God, how I’m thankful He allowed me another day on this earth.
2. Family, how I’m thankful they are mine to cherish and to love.
3. Home, how I’m grateful for the many opportunities that God has given our family.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Warning – Shy, please leave to self.

Is there anything you wished would came back into fashion?

No, I’m not in to fashion. I am still wearing the same clothes from when my oldest was a baby!

Do you collect anything?

My children collect Precious Moments, but they say it’s my collection! I did buy, as souvenirs, the “You are Here” Starbucks cups from all the parks at Disney, as well as from our time in DC, since my son was born there. But other than that, we move too much to collect needless treasures.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

Multiplicity – There are times I need to be in two places at once and it’s hard as a mom to decide what has more value over the other. If there were more of me, I could do more things in a day, without feeling like I had let someone/something down.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

The Bible –The verses are such an encouragement that if I did not have a copy, I probably become a different person, one that would disappoint my Lord and Savior.

How would your friends describe you?

I’m not quite sure and I don’t know if I would want to know!

If you were a fruit or vegetable, which one would you be?

Grape – because they can be both sour and sweet. While I try to be sweet in all that I do and say, sometimes my words/wisdom comes across as sour note to the listener, especially if we don’t see eye to eye. I’m not mean, but I also will stand my ground.

What would you prefer as a second home: Mountain cabin, beach house, or big city condo?

I already live in the mountains and I’m not too fond of the weather that the mountains bring every day. I don’t care for the beach or sand and my children are quite loud to share a condo with my neighboring walls! With that logic, leaves me the big city—if I could have that, can I please go back to Washington, DC?

What would you do on your dream date?

Go out somewhere with money and time not being an issue and I knew the children were being taken care of so I wouldn’t have to worry about them. I’d be game for whatever anyone wanted to share with me, as long as I didn’t have to worry about time, money or the children!

Thanks Wendy!!

Make sure to check out her GS Store, and her FB Fan Group. Also she has a great coupon for you to use this month:

She has also teamed with Dear Friends Designs for this month’s Daily Download.