Sneak Peeks Black Friday Edition

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there! And happy Black Friday! Did you see all the awesome sales happening??? Our designers also have some new goodies! Lets take a peek!

From Ponytails

From Tinci

 

From JoCee

From Aimee Harrison

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From Heart Strings Scrap Art

From Pretty in Green

Have a wonderful Holiday weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

More Fun with Fonts – Die-Cut!

Recently I had an image that kept popping up on my Facebook (one of course I can’t find again now that I want to…) showing this great die-cut paper title where the centres of the letters were cut out and the edges were tack-sharp. If I recall correctly, it was an ACTUAL paper title, not a digital version. But since we’re all about the digital here, I set out to find a way to replicate it. Before I get into that, I wanted to share something that I discovered accidentally, since it didn’t work in PSE 12. Did you know that in PSE 15 you can go directly to the font you want to use (if you know what it’s called) just by clicking on the font box as shown below and starting to type the name. I’ve been using Lumberjack Regular for the captions on my screenshots for these tutorials since I made the switch to 15 and this discovery is such a time-saver!

 

First I opened a new file on my workspace. It can be any size you want – I like BIG – because you can resize it later. The colour used for the font doesn’t matter – you can always change it. This technique works best with a chunky san serif font (did you use those tags when you set up Main Type?). The font shown below is called Haettenschweiler Regular. I’m not sure about that capital “R” so let’s see what happens…

I think those of you who read my tutorials regularly could predict my next instruction. Simplify the type! Just make sure you don’t have any spelling boo-boos because once it’s simplified you can’f fix it.

Now you want to Select your text by clicking on the Layer thumbnail in the Layers panel. There are the magic marching ants.

There are some adjustments you can make to that selection by clicking on the Select tab along the top of the screen, then choosing an option from the dropdown menu. In this case, you’re going to select Modify>Contract. What this does is move the marching ants toward the centre of the selected area. Expand would move the selection outward.

This is where you’ll need to experiment a little. Enter a number in the box and click OK to see what your altered text looks like. If you’re not happy, Undo (CTRL/CMD>Z) it and try again until you find the one you like.

Here’s what it looks like Contracted by 45 pixels, and it’s NOT what I wanted. See how the marching ants overlap each other on the “R”? I changed the number I put in the box and carried on. I still didn’t like what I was seeing. For the sake of a learning experience, let’s keep going.

To remove the area outlined by the marching ants, you can click on Edit>Cut or use the WSNH (Work Smart Not Hard) shortcut CTRL/CMD>X.

And I don’t like it at all. Not even a little. The cutout area isn’t smooth and doesn’t follow the contours of the font the way I want it to.

So there are a couple of ways to resolve that issue. One is to use a different font. This one below is called Segoe UI Black and it will work much better. Other default font possibilities are Arial Black, Bauhaus 93 Regular, Britannic Bold Regular, Copperplate Gothic Bold Regular, Ebrima Bold, Konga Pro Regular and Poplar Standard Black.

The second way to resolve the issue is to use a stroke, rather than cutting out the middle. Create a new layer above the font layer to put your stroke on. That gives you a lot more flexibility. Go bold, with a BIG stroke and have it centred on or inside the edge of the font. If you put it on the outside you might end up with a similar look to the failed one above.

I know this image is difficult to see. It wasn’t when I was working on the screenshots. Honest!

Here it is with a patterned paper clipped to it. Nice, crisp, sharp edges. If you want, you can move the letters around and have them overlap a bit. Just remember to merge the layers so they’re moving as one.

There are more ways to play with this. If you want to add a glittery layer or appliqué your die-cut letters onto another paper, you would use the same steps as for creating the outline, only you’d create the new layer UNDER the font layer. Add a stroke of an appropriate size to the outlines. Then you can apply a glitter style to the stroke!

It occurred to me that some of you may not know how to load the awesome layer styles designers like Aimee Harrison, Magical Scraps GaloreMiss Mis and Just So Scrappy/Ooh La La Scraps create. So here’s a quick little tut-within-a-tut. After you’ve unzipped the style files, you can rename them if you like. I’ve done that so I can find them more easily. Then copy those files into the Adobe folder on your computer. Program Files>Adobe>Photoshop Elements #>Presets>Styles. That puts them all in one place. Then in PSE, click on the Styles tab down at the bottom of the Layers panel. Once that panel opens, look at the upper right corner of the panel where there’s an icon that shows a stack of 4 little parallel lines with a tiny arrow to the left of them. Click on that icon. It opens a menu as shown below.

Click on Load Styles and PSE will open up that folder you just filled up with presets. Then you can select the style collection you want to load. Easy peasy!

Okay, so now I’ve created a stroke underneath my title and hit it with a white glittery style.

Looks good, but a little blah. So maybe a Bevel? There’s a fast way to find the Simple Emboss bevel style and that’s to click on the More tab down there next to the Styles tab. Inside the Favorites menu there, PSE has very kindly put a shortcut to the Simple Emboss. A quick double click and there’s a nice bevel on my die-cut.

Don’t neglect a drop shadow for your newly beveled diecut!

Here’s what my finished title looks like on the layout. I used a lovely kit from our November guest designer Day Dreams ‘N Designs called A Snowy Adventure and a template from Dagi’s TEMPtations (her store closes soon).

I hope you give this one a try!

Let’s Celebrate – Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week here in the States; and was last month in Canada. I don’t know about you, I never scrap my photos right after I take them. I usually sit on them for a while. With that in mind, I am stopping by today to show you some great digital scrapbooking supplies for scrapping your Thanksgivings. Be it next week, last month, or years ago! (If Thanksgiving isn’t something you would scrap, but you would like to scrap things you are thankful about, check out THIS POST.) I am going to just jump right into show you the great items. Of course if you are looking for something else besides what is here on the blog today, GingerScraps has a section dedicated to all things Thanksgiving!  All of the images below are linked.

This wonderful Page Kit was made as part of my Count Your Blessings Collection. This fun collection is perfect for all your Thanksgiving digital scrapbooking needs and so much more!

 

 

Thanksgiving is here, and it’s time to gather ’round the dinner table for a turkey feast! This WE GATHER TOGETHER Collection is full of rich colors and traditional Thanksgiving-themed elements and papers to scrap your family memories.

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks November 16, 2017

Happy Thursday! I can’t believe there’s only one week until Thanksgiving and then it’s Black Friday! I am sure our designers will have some awesome sales and new products! But hopefully this week’s new releases will tide you over until then!

From Tinci

From Lindsay Jane

From Heartstrings Scrap Art

From Aimee Harrison

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

~~November Bake Sale~~

Good morning fellow GingerScrappers!! It’s Bake Sale time. Every month our designers pick out kits they want to offer you for a special price. These kits are available at this price from November 15-20 for only $1. Yes…. just $1. Let’s take a look at what our designers are offering this month!

 

Jump over to the GingerScraps store and start shopping. Stop by the GingerScraps Facebook group page and show us what you have made with your goodies.

Happy Shopping!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

You’ve Gotta Know When to FOLD ‘Em

Are you ready for some football? Oh wait, that’s NEXT week…

I have a neat little visual trick for you to add to your digi-scrapping arsenal. Have you ever wanted to know how others get those cool folded papers they use? In 20 minutes you’ll be doing it yourself!

I’m showing this technique against a background of other papers but you can totally do it with a transparent background if you like. The papers below are the ones I’ve pulled onto a template (credits to follow) and if you look closely you can see that I’ve eliminated the shadow from the top, blue sponged paper by Clearing the Layer Style. It’s not an essential step so if you’re working with a paper within a template, don’t worry about it.

The first step is to select the Polygon Shape tool. Then when the tool options menu opens, tell it you want 3 sides. Use one of the colours from the paper, or white for your fill colour.

Don’t be concerned that PSE wants it to be an equilateral triangle, because you’re in control and you can bend it to your will. To make an isosceles or scalene triangle (yeah, I remember a bit of 10th grade geometry – some days I scare myself!) go to Image>Transform Shape>Skew.

“Grab” one of the handles on the bounding box and pull it in the direction you want it to go, and adjust the shape to make a right triangle. That will ensure you’ve got a little smidge of the underlying paper visible later.

Once you have your triangle the shape you want – mine is a narrow wedge – don’t forget to Simplify it.

Now move that triangle over so that one of the long edges is flush with the paper edge. (I turned visibility for the papers underneath off so these steps will be easier to follow.)

For this part of the process, you want to bottom edge of the triangle to extend past the bottom edge of the paper.

Now Select the edges of the triangle by clicking on the Layer Thumbnail to get those marching ants.

Look to see that you’re on the layer with the paper you’re folding and not any of the others. Then Cut the triangle from the paper using the CTRL/CMD>X keyboard shortcut.

Go back to the triangle layer and Deselect it (CTRL/CMD>D) then drag it from one lower corner until that same edge you lined up with the paper’s edge is lined up with the new cut edge. Check that the pointy top of the triangle is exactly positioned on the edge of the paper as shown – zoom in as much as you need to. Then hit the green checkmark.

That should give you a little sliver of your paper visible right at the bottom of the image, as shown below. If you want to, you can adjust the shape or size of your triangle to make it happen, but that shouldn’t be necessary.

Of course, this fold needs a proper shadow. Once again, Select the triangle by clicking on the Layer Thumbnail. Create a new layer underneath the triangle by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the New Layer icon – the single sheet of paper at the top left of the Layers panel – to put your shadow on. Then using the Paint Bucket tool, fill the selected area on that new layer with the shadow colour. If you’re using a template, you can right-click on the fx icon on any of the shadowed layers then click on the colour swatch. Copy the colour number from the menu box. Then click on the Foreground colour on the Tools panel and paste the number into the same box. That way all the shadows will be the same colour. Now you’ve got a dark triangle layer underneath your folded paper. Nudge it over so you can see it.

Apply a Gaussian Blur filter to the shadow then tweak the Opacity down to somewhere around 50%, or whatever looks similar to the existing shadows on your template. You can then change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and your shadow is perfect. You can then Smudge the shadow layer so it’s narrower at the top of the triangle and wider at the bottom, as you’d expect to see if the folded paper isn’t lying directly on top of the paper under it. Another way to accomplish that is to slightly tilt the shadow.

If you’ve Cleared the Layer Style on your paper layer at Step One, add it back now. I almost forgot that step!

Easy-peasy, isn’t it? My layout was created for the November Designer Spotlight challenge using a template from Aprilisa‘s Picture Perfect 155 and Pixelily‘s Daily Stuff kit. This is what it looks like altogether.

Let me know how you like this technique!

Let’s Celebrate Veterans Day!

Today is Veteran’s Day here in the states. What is Veteran’s Day?

In the USA it is observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.

Veterans deserved to be celebrated!! Not just celebrated, but scrapped! Here at GingerScraps there is a great amount of digital scrapbooking supplies to scrap the Military folks in your life. There is an entire section dedicated to all things military.  With that in mind, I am going to show you some great items from our store that will help you scrap those Veterans in your life! (images are linked to their counterpart in the store.)

 

 

 

Welcome Home Soldier is an amazing collection. This collection is great for photos of your Soldier coming home, 4th of July celebrations, or anything Military or U.S.A themed! This collection can also work for other things as well! Packed full of so many gorgeous papers, elements and more! This collection will not disappoint!

 

You don’t have to be in the military to know what they do for us. You don’t have to have family in the military to know they protect our way of life. Celebrate American heroes with this fantastic kit that includes all five branches of the US military (Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force)! It’s also perfect for any kind of all-American fun, patriotic events and so much more! All branches contain both boy and girl characters. The color palette includes red, yellow, greens, blues, browns and white.

 

Few things are more important then the brave men and women that defend and protect our great nation. This collab is perfect to preserve all the memories of Our Troops.

 

Celebrate all your American Heroes with this super versatile, military-themed digital scrapbooking collection from Trixie Scraps Designs. Whether you have Army, Air Force, Marine or Navy photos to scrapbook, American Heroes has got it covered! There’s also plenty of red, white and blue, making this kit perfect for Memorial Day, Independence Day, and other patriotic pages, too.

 

People of the Armed Forces are simply the best, they serve their country with pride. They are brave, loyal, honorable and strong. They make us proud in every way, they are our heroes!

 

Most of these items shown to day lean towards the American side of the military. I think there is plenty though to scrap the other military members of the family (or yourself!) from other parts of the world. If you don’t find what you are looking for in today’s post, make sure to check out that section mentioned earlier in the post. There is more where this came from!

I would like to close today’s blog post with a “thank you!” Thank you to our active members of the military and our veterans! We know that our way of life is thanks to your sacrifice! I am sure that some of our fellow scrappers here at GingerScraps are veterans. I know a lot of us have family that is serving or has served as well. Thank you all for your sacrifices as well.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Sneak Peeks November 9th, 2017

Happy Veterans Day weekend! I hope you have time to scrap with some of the awesome new releases! There are many versatile kits and templates coming out tomorrow! Let’s take a peek!

From Dagi

From Neia

From JoCee

From CathyK

From Heart Strings Scrap Art

From Heather Z

 

From Aimee Harrison

From Miss Fish

From Clever Monkey Graphics and Dear Friends Designs

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Scrapping with Heritage Photos

Whew… I’ve had a frustrating few days. Before I went to bed on Hallowe’en (which should have tipped me off…) I downloaded and installed the Windows 10 Fall Creators update. It’s not like Microsoft really gives us a choice any more – it’s not IF you want to update, it’s WHEN. So I caved. And almost caved in. It changed a bunch of my settings without telling me, the one I was most upset with being my ability to take screenshots of my work for these tuts, and to know where they’re saved. Had to get Microsoft to take over my laptop remotely to get it sorted out. And if that wasn’t enough frustration, it also messed with Photoshop Elements 15, causing it to slow to barely a crawl. I went so far as to remove it from my laptop then reinstall it, hoping that would solve my issue. It didn’t. But strangely enough, at about the (creative) midway point of the layout you’ll see below PSE suddenly started working normally. I’m not sure it’s completely resolved, but I was darned glad when it snapped to! Now, all of that preamble is my apology for the skimpy nature of this week’s tutorial.

You may have noticed that I like to use heritage photos for many of my layouts. As the family historian and keeper of the family tree, I’ve amassed quite a collection of photos of long-dead relatives. And given that we Canadians will pause for several moments of reflection at 11:11 am on Saturday, November 11th to remember those whose sacrifices have allowed us the lives we live, I wanted to do a new layout for Remembrance Day. So that’s what you’re stuck with, me droning on about how to incorporate heritage photos into your layouts.

Let’s start with some tips on scanning that will cut down on your workload. When you’re going to scan old photos, especially the fragile ones that are decades old, make sure your scanner is set to a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi). If you have a choice to go higher and it’s an extra-special photo, go higher. Make sure the glass on your scanner bed is pristine; I use a Swiffer dry dusting cloth to wipe over the surface before and between scans. I also go over the face of my photos just before I put them face-down on the scanner bed. That will really cut down on the dust. Save your scans into a folder you can find again later.

And next, some simple, light edits. We’ve covered these before, so I’ve just put instructions on each photo.

I’ve never really touched on removing colour cast, but I know we all have those photos that are too warm or too cool and they just don’t look right. A lot of old photos are yellowed like this one; it’s especially true about photos scanned from newspaper or magazine articles. So let’s talk about removing colour cast.

The tool asks you to click on something in the photo that is white, black or gray. It’s not always easy to know what’s what in old photos, so you may have to try a few things. I tried the shadows on his pants (black) and it was WRONG! CTRL/CMD>Z to the rescue!! Nothing is obviously white, so I decided the sky was probably overcast and gray. Yep!!

At this point you should look at your photo’s overall appearance and decide if you need to adjust the brightness or contrast. Those controls can be found in Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Shadows/Contrast and Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast. If the image looks well-balanced then move on.

The first photo did need some Spot Healing but it wasn’t as obvious as this one is. In addition to the dust you can see, there are some fairly obvious scratches.

Don’t be reluctant to crop those photos. You’re going to save the changes as a copy, right? So that original will look exactly the same. This photo was scanned on an angle, so I used the Crop Tool to remove the deckle edge and to adjust Uncle Maxie’s posture a little. A soldier would never lean in an official photo.

Although the colour in this photo isn’t as ghastly as the other one, I want them to look like they were taken by the same camera so I opted to remove the colour cast here too. The only snag I ran into was that clicking on the phone receiver, which I KNOW to be black, turned everything really blue! The one thing in the photo I knew for a fact was white was the sclera of his eye. So I clicked on it in his left eye and it did what I wanted.

Then I threw a little High Pass filter over it and voilà!

To create my memorial layout, I used a template from Tinci DesignsJump into Fall collection and a Heartstrings Scrap Art collection called Time Traveller. I know my grandmother, who was Maxie’s older sister, would approve.

Some kits perfect for your heritage layouts:

There are so many more!!

Let’s Celebrate – Being Sick!

Well, let’s not actually celebrate it. Being sick stinks! I had the flu this past week. Man-oh-man! I am 34 years old and never had the flu before. I am usually a trooper when sick. Do all the mom things! No extra sleep! Take some pills and keep moving! Not with the flu. I was out of commission for days!! That did get me to thinking though. Sometimes even those yucky and sick moments need to be scrapped. Our designers here at GingerScraps has just what you need to scrap them too!

Little ones always seem to have boo-boos and owies. I wanted a kit that had child friendly colors, reflecting how the children’s hospitals work hard to make it as pleasant as possible for the children who have to be there.

 

Doctor Visit is a collaboration between Tracey Monette and Alissa Jones. Together we’ve created for you a great kit to cover everything from boo boo’s that Dr. Mom kisses and makes better to visits to the doctor or even the emergency room & hospital!

 

Angels Among Us is in honor of all the men and women, doctors and nurses, who help us (and our loved ones) each and every day. They are never given nearly as much credit as they are due. They are truly .. “angels among us”.

 

We all experience sick days from time to time. This kit is for layouts that capture your loved ones during these stressful times. Whether it be a simple cold, chicken pox, a broken bone or an ongoing condition.

 

 

This medical-themed kit is filled with everything you could need for all sorts of health projects. From injuries and emergencies to sickness and surgeries, this kit has you covered. It’s also perfect for celebrating the doctors, nurses and veterinarians in your life. And even better, it includes animal-themed elements as well! The color palette includes white, rose red, mustard yellow, blue, green, orange and tan.

 

Everyone at some point in time, has those not feeling great days, and this Under The Weather Kit is a super choice to scrap pages of a few of those moments. Whether it is an “oopsy” accident that can be cured with lots of hugs and kisses (and maybe an ice pack or band-aid), or something more serious that requires a trip to the emergency room or a hospital stay, this kit will have you covered.

 

NOTE: Check your stash because this was part of the February 2017 Daily Download

 

It is great for your sick little ones, whether it be a scrape on the knee or a lengthy stay at the hospital. It’s full of fun unique elements for just such occasions.

 

Been sick? Been hurt? Helped heal someone? Then this is the collection for you! DOCTOR ON CALL is for all of your medical photos – and if you’re like me, you totally have photos for this!

Well, that is about all my post flu self can handle. I am going to snuggle back up in bed. Happy Scrapping!