Happy Wednesday. Are you ready for some sneak peeks? Let’s see what the designers have coming out this week.
I love the colors of these. I can’t wait to go shopping.
Happy Wednesday. Are you ready for some sneak peeks? Let’s see what the designers have coming out this week.
I love the colors of these. I can’t wait to go shopping.
It’s a brand new month, a brand new year and it’s time for a brand new siggie. Signatures… we all have one. Our online presence is greatly enhanced by having a pretty one, or an intriguing one, or a sizzling one. The January 2017 Signature Challenge hosted by CathyK Designs asks us to use glitter in our signature and there’s so many ways we can do that. (psst…. any text that is bold and green is linked to the very spot in the forum, store or gallery I’m talking about… you can just click on it and you’re there!) I know there are some of you who find creating signatures to be a daunting thought – largely due to the very teenytiny size required – so I’m going to give you some tips on making yours fabulous. The guidelines given for these files is that they can’t be bigger than 750 x 150 pixels. But who can create in a space that small? I sure can’t. So I start out with a file size FIVE TIMES the guideline size so I can see what the heck I’m doing.
As I’ve mentioned before, this is my own workflow and it works for me, so don’t feel like you have to follow these instructions to the letter – they aren’t INSTRUCTIONS, they’re SUGGESTIONS. Anyway, I like to make a folder for each of my challenge layouts where I collect all the items I want to use in one place. I copy the elements and alphas from their original folders into the new dedicated folder, as I’ve shown below. Then it’s a simple matter of highlighting all the items in the folder and opening them all at once, as a batch.
As you can see, I’m using a kit from Ooh La La Scraps called In the Frosty Air. I chose this one because it has glittery paper in it and because Katie almost always has an alphabet or six and a collection of styles that coordinate with her collections. My name is short, so I like to use an alpha or font with some presence. This one worked for me. If your name has quite a few letters, you can use a skinnier alpha and still make a statement about who you are. Spacing is up to you, whatever is pleasing to your eye. See that I have all three letter layers selected. This is because I want to centre the letters on my palette; I can move them all together without messing up my spacing.
The easiest way to centre a group of items like this is to pull a guideline out to the centre of the workspace. It’s a bit hard to see it in the image below so I used a honking huge arrow. If you’ve never used a guideline before here’s how: Put your cursor right on the edge of your workspace – either the very top, where I have a ruler visible, or on the left side, where I also have a ruler that isn’t shown below – then click and drag until you’ve got it where you want it. You can also see that I’ve merged my letter layers into a single layer.
I want to put a glitter paper border around my alpha to jazz it up and to meet the challenge criteria. I messed up my screenshots, so let’s pretend I’ve already dragged my glittery paper onto the workspace. Now I’m going to create an outline of my alpha by selecting the edges – clicking on the Layer Thumbnail. That puts some marching ants around the edges.
Then I clicked on Select>Modify>Expand to create a nice border around my alpha.
The pop-up menu looks like this. I chose 20 pixels, after some trial and error. Just enter a number in the box then see what it looks like. You can always CTRL/CMD+Z out of anything you’re not happy with.
See where the marching ants are now? 20 pixels gives me a nice border, visible but not overpowering.
While I still had the alpha layer highlighted, I inverted the selection, since I want to “cut” the excess paper away from my outline. Clicking on Select>Inverse in the Tabs is the same as CTRL/CMD+Shift+I.
Don’t forget to change the selected layer to the glittery paper. If you forget, when you Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD+X) you’ll just delete your alpha from its layer. Not what you’re going for.
So now I have a glittery border around my name. I went ahead and added the various elements I chose for my siggie and was pretty happy with it. BUT… I decided I wanted to glitter up one of the snowflakes in the scatter I used. So I duplicated (CTRL/CMD+J) the layer. Using the Elliptical Marquee tool I selected one of the large snowflakes from the duplicated layer then Cut it (CTRL/CMD+X) and Pasted (CTRL/CMD+V) it onto its own layer. I turned the visibility of the two scatter layers off so I could see what I had. Oh, there’s a sequin there. Don’t want to glitter that up, it’s already glittery! So I created a Layer Mask by clicking on the blue rectangle at the top of the Layers panel. The mask is that white strip to the right of the Layer Thumbnail. You’re probably asking why I didn’t just use the Eraser tool to erase the sequin. I could do that, but if I accidentally had a dog land on my laptop as I was erasing and I erased most of the snowflake too, I’d have to go back to the beginning of the process. This way, if I erase too much, I can paint whatever I didn’t want gone back in. Remember, white conceals and black reveals.
With the Eraser tool and a white foreground colour, I carefully erased the sequin. If I’d slipped and took off one of the points on my snowflake, changing the foreground colour to black (the X key does that for me without having to click on the little bidirectional arrow) and un-erasing over that spot will bring it back. Once I had the sequin erased and the snowflake all perfect, the layer had to be Simplified. Right-click somewhere in the blue area on the selected layer then choose Simplify Layer.
Next I opened up my Effects Panel and chose the Glitter Style from Ooh La La Scraps’ In the Frosty Air styles menu. I decided I wanted the aqua fine glitter style and double-clicked on it to apply it to my snowflake. Woohoo!
Then I went ahead and deleted the duplicated layer of the snowflake scatter… the one that I had cut the snowflake from. The original snowflake scatter layer is visible again too.
Then I shadowed all my layers so they’d have some nice oomph. Don’t forget this step! You still want your siggie to look three dimensional and pretty.
When you love how your name looks with all its finery around it, it’s time to shrink it to fit the guidelines. You can follow the steps shown below, or go the quick way with a keyboard shortcut (CTRL/CMD+ALT+I).
These are the settings I recommend. Make sure you’ve checked those boxes at the bottom. When you do it this way, you can change the pixel counts and all the other settings automatically change too. This is helpful for posting to the gallery, because you can just resize your image to 600×600 this way.
See how teensy the image is now? But I promise, the details have been totally preserved. I like my siggie to have a transparent background. If you save it as a JPEG, it will have a white background. So what I do is select Save As… (CTRL/CMD+Shift+S).
In the Save As menu, I choose PNG and give it a name that I’ll be able to recognize later. And I save it into the same folder I had all my elements in already. Gotta keep it all together in one place…
The PNG menu looks like this. Just save it as I’ve shown.
Now you can add your signature to your GingerScraps Forum profile! First, post your siggie to your gallery. Open up GingerScraps in a new tab to save yourself some work. On that second tab, go to the Forum and select Settings from the upper right hand side of the screen just below the banner. Then select Edit Signature.
I already had a siggie that I’m now going to replace. So I clicked on the old siggie, turning it blue, then hit the Delete key.
Then go back to the first tab, where you have your siggie selected in your gallery. Right-click on the image and select Copy image address.
Flip back to the tab where you’ve got your settings open and click on the Image icon. If you want your siggie to be centred under your forum posts, make sure you have that control selected.
Then paste the image address in the URL box as shown, then click OK.
That’s all! When you see the image of your siggie appear, you just have to click on Save Signature and you’re all done!!
Some tips for eye-catching signature files:
Last thoughts: Last week I mentioned an unofficial Tutorial Tuesday Challenge. There is now a Challenge Gallery on our GS Facebook Fan Page for those who have FB accounts. For those who don’t, a link to your layout in the GingerScraps Gallery in the comments here on the Blog will get you an entry too. At the beginning of each month I’ll check both places for participants and Mr Random will select the winner. So start thinking about what we can learn together.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
We seem to start every New Year’s newsletter that way. It’s a great tradition. This year, changes might happen, but some things will stay the same. We’ll add new designers, but we won’t lose that “it’s like family” feeling you’ll always find in the forums and gallery. Thank you, all of you, for a wonderful year at Gingerscraps, and here’s to a new one filled with so much more!
It is the First of the month, and that means the revel of our new Buffet!!
*NEW Buffet Bundles* Take a look at our all new Buffet Bundles! Each buffet for 2016 will have a sub category for our Buffet Bundles. One easy click to add bunches of Buffet goodies to your cart, and an amazing value too!
The designers all had their own take on what the colors and theme said to them! I love the variety!
The designers definitely each made the palette their own and came up with some gorgeous designs, each unique but working so well with the other designers’ creations
The CT did such a great job showing how well all of the kits blend. They all did wonderful work!
This is just a few of the layouts. Keep an eye out in future newsletters to see more. Maybe even one of yours, if you make sure you put it into the Buffet section of the gallery!
This month, we have several new designers joining the team, and our December Guest is staying through January!
Thank you for sticking around, Rhonda!
Please welcome Jennifer, of Word Art World!!
We asked Jennifer to give us a quick note about herself, and this is what she had to share:
Hello! My name is Jen Arbon and I design under the name Word Art World. I began creating word art designs over six years ago and fell in love with designing digital scrapbooking products and printable wall art. I am married to a wonderful, supportive husband and together we have three beautiful children. Currently, I am studying Web Design and want to teach Web Design at our local high school, against my two teenagers’ wishes. Years ago, I set a goal to "create" something new every day, and that is why I love designing because it gives me the opportunity to do just that.
Here are just a few things she has in her store:
Please welcome Kristina, of Kristmess Designs!
We asked Kristina to give us a quick note about herself, and this is what she had to share:
Hmm a bio? What can I tell you about myself? My name is Kristina Messier, I design under the name of Kristmess Designs, I have been selling at Gotta Pixel since the store opened a million years ago – okay so more like 10!! I am a very shy and quiet person, I was born and raised in England, travelled the world working on Cruiseships for 4 years where I met my husband, a French Canadian, and I now live in Montreal QC Canada, with him and our 3 sons. As you know I’ve been working as a designer for the past 10 years or so before that I worked at Sears PhotoStudio taking photos of the little kiddies! I have a degree in Photography but don’t really use it now since I found my passion is with Photoshop!!
Here are just a few things she has in her store:
And she has a great sale going on, as well.
Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab!
This month’s Monthly Mix is called “Good Vibes Only”! It is a gorgeous kit created by Connie Prince, Amy Stoffel, Pretty In Green, and Trixie Scraps Designs. Don’t be afraid to be you!
A new year means a new Daily Download!
Before I show you this month’s, here was last month’s (last years’?)
A perfect kit for the holidays! Even more perfect for the start of a new year!
And here is this month’s:
Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, 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.
Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!
I know I’m going to make sure I do my 10 challenges for THIS, that’s for sure
Are you ready for the last Fresh Baked of 2016? Where has the time gone? What are your scrapbooking resolutions for the New Year? Personally I want to get my stash organized (I say this every year) and then scrap more (which means getting other areas of my life organized). Leave a comment and let us know what your plans are for scrapping in 2017.
Let’s see what our designers have to offer this week.
This is just a sampling of what will be available this week. Make sure to head over to the store on Friday to see all the goodies.
Kustomize Your Kits!
Are you all ready for another Tutorial Tuesday? You might recall that I mentioned I’m always looking for new ideas for these posts and that if you had something you’d like to try but didn’t know how to get started, you could post to the GingerScraps Facebook Fan Page. Well, Ellen (GingerScraps member name gmae) doesn’t have a Facebook account so she sent me a private message. She wants to know how to recolour elements to coordinate better with her photos. So I used this opportunity to put together a for the December Inspiration Challenge while playing around with colours. I used a kit by BoomersGirl Designs called Good Morning Sunshine and a Tinci Designs template from Autumn Stories 4.
There are several different techniques you can use that produce different results. Don’t be alarmed by the number of screenshots in this tut, most of them are results images. You can easily skim through the whole post and then come back to a specific technique later. These posts are always tagged Tutorial Tuesday and the posts don’t expire, so they’re easy to find. There will also be a link to each of them on the GS Facebook Fan Page.
Let’s start with a button. This one has a variety of different colours in it, and it’s the pink that I want to change a bit.
I selected a shade of pink from one of my photos that has a bit more orange in it for my change. Select the Color Picker (eye dropper) tool and then click on the spot on your photo that you want to pick up.
In the screenshot above, my new pink is in the foreground. It has to move to the background for the next step so to do that I clicked on that little two-pointed arrow and moved it to the background.
Then I selected Enhance>Adjust Color>Replace Color from the tabular menu at the top of my workspace.
This is what the pop-up menu for Replace Color looks like. With the Color Picker selected, I clicked on the pink of the button. Now both colour boxes have the same shade of pink in them.
**Here’s why the more orange-y pink had to be moved to the background. See how the foreground colour has also changed to the pink from the button? I used to always forget to move my desired colour to the background and made a lot of extra work for myself.
To change the button pink to my more orange-y pink, I clicked on the colour box in the Replacement section of the menu, then clicked on the BACKGROUND colour box.
The Color Picker menu pops up and shows how the colour will be changed. If I wasn’t totally happy with the colour I’d already put in the background, I could now adjust it with this menu by moving my cursor.
Once I clicked OK in the Color Picker menu this is how the Replace Color menu looked.
And here is the transformed button. The difference isn’t in your face, but it’s definitely noticeable. (I later decided to change the green a bit too, and used the same technique.)
Let’s do a fairly simple flower next. This is one of the easiest ways of adjusting a colour. If you need to, you can drag and drop the item you want to customize onto your photo so you can see the change and know when to stop tweaking. For this adjustment, I selected Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Hue/Saturation (keyboard shortcut is CTRL/CMD+U).
The pop-up menu looks like this.
Sliding the Hue adjuster in the Master channel to the left did this:
And sliding it to the right did this:
To get a similar orange-y pink as I used before, these are the sliders I moved and their final positions. Notice that the gray and white area didn’t change, but the brad in the centre did. And the shading and highlights are adjusted for uniformity.
The next thing I played with was this spray of leaves. I wanted it to be a caramel colour. Same process as for the flower above to begin with, I did something a bit different in the next step.
This time I only want to change the Yellows, so I clicked on the little triangle of the Channel selector and chose Yellows. (Keyboard shortcut: CTRL/CMD+4)
I moved all of the sliders this time, until I had the colour I wanted.
Let’s change ONE COLOUR in a patterned paper! Using the Color Picker tool again I chose the colour I wanted to change by clicking on a green dot on the paper. When the Color Picker menu opened, I then moved the slider on the little rainbow toward the blue end a little. I didn’t change the saturation or value of the colour, only the hue.
Since I’m going to replace the olive-y green with a more minty shade, I moved my desired colour to the background, just like I did for the button. (Keyboard shortcut for switching foreground and background colours: simply the letter X)
And then I again selected Enhance>Adjust Color>Replace Color.
I had to tell the software what colour I was replacing, just as for the button.
See how there’s a scattering of dots? That’s where the magic will happen.
I then clicked on the bottom colour box in the Replacement section of the menu and clicked on my background colour over on the Tool panel.
Can you see the change?
Let’s look at yet another way of adjusting the appearance of our elements with this star. I used the Magic Wand selection tool to select the pink corrugated centre of this element because I don’t want to change the brown border. The next steps will only change what’s inside the marching ants.
This time I’m going to Adjust Color Curves in the Enhance menu.
This is what the pop-up menu looks like. I stayed with the Default curves to start with. When I moved the sliders for Highlights, Midtone Brightness, Midtone Contrast and Shadows, the graph on the right changed as well. The difference is obvious, but still subtle.
Another adjustment that can be made to slightly alter colour is to adjust the Lighting. I’ll show you how adjusting Levels changes the same area of the star. (Keyboard shortcut CTRL/CMD+L)
This is the pop-up menu for this enhancement. You can change the channel you want to adjust, and you have both Input Levels and Output Levels to adjust. Play with them a bit so you can see what they do.
These are the settings I chose. You can see in the image behind the menu what the changes have done.
The title I wanted to use for my layout was the same bright pink as everything else. So I used Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Hue/Saturation (CTRL/CMD+U) again. Once I had it on my layout I made a few more tweaks, since I could see it clearly close to the more orange-y pink of my other customizations.
These are my initial adjustments.
Last but not least, I wanted to show you how to customize fabric or natural flowers with gradations of colour and shadow. This is just a random flower I pulled from the GingerBread Ladies collab By the Dozen.
The images below are pretty self-explanatory. You can easily see how different adjustments change the colour and appearance of the flower.
Pulling the sliders all the way to one side or the other results in almost identical appearances.
Here are some examples of what little tweaks can do.
You may have noticed that the little centre of the flower also changes with each of these adjustments. You might not want that, especially if it’s a button, brad, or some other item that looks odd when recoloured. So here’s how to avoid that. Use the Magic Wand tool to select the area you DON’T want to change.
As you’ve probably noticed above, you can adjust only what is selected, as I showed you with the star. That’s NOT what we want to do here, so we’re going to INVERT our selection. (CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+I) That moves the marching ants to the rest of the image.
I did exactly the same adjustments on the Reds channel as above, but the centre isn’t touched. Cool, right?
We’ve only scratched the surface here, but I think you’ve got lots of options to be going on with. Give it a whirl!
Ellen also had another suggestion, which was sheer BRILLIANCE! She asked if it would be possible for me to run a monthly challenge, similar to but separate from, the GingerScraps monthly challenges that are already well-established. I mulled it over and this is what I’ve come up with. Each month there will be 4 or 5 different tutorials posted. Everyone who creates a layout using one of that month’s tutorials and posts their layout on the GS Facebook Fan Page, tagged Tutorial Tuesday Challenge, or posts a link in the comments below the month’s final tut, will be entered into a random draw. The results of the draw will be posted in both locations and the winner will get to pick the topic for one of the upcoming tutorials. How does that sound?
Happy New Year, y’all!
Hanukkah! Last week we checked out all things Christmas. Merry Christmas Eve btw. However, this time of the year is also Hanukkah! Our store has some wonderful items to scrap those Hanukkah memories. Just last week, this post is image heavy. I am going to let the wonderful digital scrapbooking products do the talking. All images linked to the store.
Happy Holidays! I can’t believe its going to be Christmas in a few short days! Does Santa know all the Digi Scrap kits you want? Did you make your list? Maybe you should wait until tomorrow to give it to him! There’s some fantastic kits coming out tomorrow to celebrate the season as well as the end of the year!
From Mags Graphics
From Laurie’s Scraps
From JoCee Designs
From Miss Fish Templates
From Neia Scraps
From Tinci Designs
From Amy Stoffel
From Keley Designs
Have a wonderful weekend, Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Merry Christmas week. Have you got your shopping done? I don’t. No matter how well I plan, it seems I’m perpetually out shopping a few days before Christmas to finish everything. At least this year I have part of it done.
Enjoy the peeks that our lovely designers are sharing this week.
From all of us here at GingerScraps – Merry Christmas!!
Season’s greetings all you GingerScrappers! The countdown is on… This year Hanukkah and Christmas collide, making this week probably the busiest of the year for so many of us as we prepare for the celebration of miracles and love. So I’m bringing you another quick and easy technique for jazzing up your layouts, one that won’t take more than a few minutes to try. Let’s get going.
This technique is another digital version of a paper-scrapping and crafting one similar to the inked edges technique I showed you a couple of Tuesdays ago… without the mess. Reverse stenciling is super-simple digitally – the hard part is choosing your tools! For this tutorial I’ve used a gorgeous bundle called In the Frosty Air from the brilliant Katie of Ooh La La Scraps. I’m also using a fabulous template in the Christmas Steps 1 collection from the lovely Krisztina, aka Tinci Designs. The layout is for the Scraplift Challenge, hosted this month by Ginger of Dandelion Dust Designs.
You might notice that I’ve flipped the template horizontally, because that worked better for my photo. We’re going to be working on the background layer, so I’ve turned off the visibility for all the layers BUT the background. That way I can see exactly what I’m doing. If you’re a faithful reader, you’ll remember how to do this quickly, but to review… Roll your cursor over the little eyeball icons while holding down the Left Click button and all the eyes will close.
My background paper is a very neutral grungy gray and I’m using acrylic snowflakes from In the Frost Air, which means they’re VERY hard to see in this step. So I’ve circled them for you below. Squint really hard… there they are! As you might also notice, I have all the snowflake layers selected in the Layers panel. That’s because I’m going to merge the snowflakes into a single layer.
I wanted the paint layer to be this beautiful, cool minty green, so I used the Color Picker to select a spot from the chevron paper.
The next step is to create an NEW layer just above the snowflake layer. DON’T FORGET this step!
I selected a dirty spray paint brush from my collection of free brushes. (Don’t have a spray paint brush? I got mine from Brusheezy.) If you look closely, you’ll see that pretty mint green color I selected in the Foreground Color box, that I have the brush at its maximum Size of 2500 pixels and the Opacity is 100%. By doing this part of the technique on its own layer, I can later adjust both the size of the brush and the opacity later. I can also move it around!
To keep the patches of spray paint from all looking exactly alike, I used the Brush Settings menu to change the angle of the brush. It’s also possible to adjust the roundness of the brush in this menu, but I kept it round.
Once I’d applied some paint over top of each of my 6 snowflakes, I needed to Select the snowflake shapes ON the paint layer. To do that, I made sure the paint layer was the active one in the Layers panel, then I clicked on the snowflake layer thumbnail.
That gave me those delightful little marching ants, as shown in the screenshot below.
The final step to get that amazing reverse stencil look is to delete the areas inside the marching-ant boundaries. CTRL/CMD>X and it’s done. When I played with this using a more solid snowflake png, the difference was much more obvious, but I really liked the way this looked so I kept going. That’s the whole technique, in just a few easy steps.
Now, if you have a few more minutes, I want to give you some tips on making sure the effect is as close to perfect as you can make it. I turned the visibility of my template layers back on so I could see where the spray paint actually goes – where it will be in the finished layout. It wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be – behind the cluster – so I moved the whole layer down a bit using the Move tool.
That created a little problem. Because my sprays went over the edge of the background paper at the top, I now had a pretty sharp line where the paint stopped. And that defeated the purpose! So I used the same spray brush at a much smaller size, and the Eraser tool to soften that edge.
Then I went ahead and finished my layout. You can see the subtle stenciled snowflakes quite easily now, and if you look really closely at the gallery image I’ve linked, you might be able to see that I’ve also used every one of those acrylic snowflakes again in their unaltered form.
Some of you might remember that I told you I always save a PSD form of my layouts until I’m SURE I’m not going to change anything. Look at the screenshot below and you’ll see why! I substituted a piece of ric rac for two paper strips. But in my excitement at how awesome I thought my layout was, I forgot to delete one of the dark brown paper place markers. You can see it, about halfway down on the left side. I didn’t notice it, or the fact that I’d forgotten to shadow the ric rac layers, until I’d posted to the Gallery, the Challenge thread, my Cookie Jar and to the GS Facebook page. Urk!! All was not lost… I fixed it and edited my posts so everyone would think I’m perfect. 😀
I hope you liked this lesson; I’ll be looking for your reverse stencil layouts in the gallery. One more tutorial before the year ends. What shall it be??
Merry Christmas, חג חנוכה שמח (Chag urim sameach), Happy Kwanzaa, Meán Geimhridh Sona Duit… Happiest Holidays!
CHRISTMAS!! It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!! For those of us who celebrate, we are in the full swing of the holiday! Is your tree up? Are your stocking hung with care? How about that shopping? Is it done; and what about…scrapping those memories?! For me…yes, yes, done, and working on it. 🙂 I am also stopping by to absolutely overwhelm your senses with all things Christmas and digital scrapbooking. By the time I am done, you will either not want to see anything Christmas related; or be ready to scrap-scrap-scrap!
Since this will be a image heavy post, I am going to make the chatter short and sweet. All images are linked; and don’t forget we have a section just for Christmas in the store. You know…in case one of these 100 (joking) I am about to show you doesn’t strike your fancy.
Whew. That isn’t even a quarter of the wonderful Christmas goodies in the store. Just some of the most resent. If what I showed you is not what you are looking for, make sure to check out the store. Merry Christmas everyone!