Focus On : Paper Packs

Hello Scrappers! Team member La’Shawn here with another edition of Focus On. That is where we take one thing, that isn’t a kit and focus on it. Our store has amazing designers that work so hard to bring us great digital scrapbooking supplies every week. Sometimes things get lost in the ever changing store. Some people don’t check the new releases every week. Some people are just starting and might not have seen some things from the past. That is where I come in. I am here to go back in the archives and bring you some great stuff.

This isn’t a from the archives post. We do have those! If you are looking for something that was in our store over a year ago, check HERE. This is where we just look at one thing. Today we are going to take a look at some great paper packs. Our designers are some of the best paper designers around! I am going to bombard you with some great examples and tell you how to find more.

There is an entire section dedicated to paper packs in the store. You can find that HERE. Paper packs are a great edition to any digital scrapbooking layout and stash. Sometimes you cannot find that one paper you need. Or it might be made to be an add-on to a collection. You can also mix and match!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was only page 4 into the paper pack section. There are pages and pages of amazing paper packs in the store.  Show us what you have done with an add on or paper pack from the store!

GS_footer_LaShawn

 

Sneak Peeks February 16th 2017

Happy Thursday! Did you enjoy Valentine’s Day? This is a great week for me as it’s my 9 year wedding anniversary! I still can’t believe it’s been 9 years. Time does really fly! I am so glad I discovered scrapbooking so I can preserve the awesome memories of my family and reminisce as I scrap the pictures. To help you scrap your memories, our designers have some awesome new releases!

From Aimee Harrison Designs

From Ponytails

From Miss Fish

From Amy Stoffel

From JoCee Designs

From Tinci Designs

From Little Rad Trio

 

From Lindsay Jane

From JB Studio

Have a wonderful weekend!

February BAKE SALE

It’s Bake Sale time! It’s one of my favorite times of the month. From February 15 to February 20, our designers have some of their kits reduced to just $1. You can’t beat a full kit or template set for $1. Let’s see what the offerings are this month.

Just head over to the Bake Sale area of the GingerScraps store and go shopping.

Enjoy the day!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Creating Clusters… not Clutter

When I first started digi-scrapping, I was convinced I would never be able to create the gorgeous layouts I was seeing from other people. My efforts were so patently amateurish and very simple. I wanted so badly to cluster like a pro. On Day One. How realistic of me! So I started using templates to help me figure out the basics of clustering. Then I started playing around a bit with my software and learning new things with it. And over time, I found my clusters were looking a lot more natural and I was getting closer to my goal. Today I’m going to talk a bit about composition, and show you some of the tricks I’ve learned to make my clusters look more pleasing and real.

There are no rules, but lots of possibilities. Our eyes like to see odd numbers of things, with 3 being an aesthetically-pleasing number, to quote my good friend Sandy. Are any of you gardeners? The way to create pleasing planters is to have a mix of textures, shapes and colours. The gurus of container planting call it the Thriller-Filler-Spiller theory. I use the same theory for my clusters; when I choose the items I’m going to include there’s always something bold and obvious, like the cream-coloured flower in my cluster. The key is also a thriller, as is the tin star. I used baby’s breath, roses, a pom-pom-shaped flower head and foliage as my fillers, and the gingham bow is my spiller. You might recall from last week that the frame I used is from Ooh La La ScrapsIn the Frosty Air collection. All the other items used in this layout/tutorial are in Ooh La La Scraps’ collection called Shabby Chic.

So let’s get started. Once again, this is MY work flow and you don’t have to do what I do. I’m making suggestions based on how I like to work. Whatever process you find that works for you is perfectly perfect. Having said that… I start at the beginning, the bottom. What do I want in the background? Leaves, of course!

Then I add in some filler material. Everything can be tweaked and and adjusted as you go along.

If you’re making a spray of flowers as the base of your cluster and you’re going to add a bow or some other type of fastener later, have the stems cross over each other a little or touch each other somehow so that there’s a natural place for your bow.

See how the bow just nestles right in there? That’s just how it would look if you gathered a bunch of leaves and baby’s breath in your hand and tied a ribbon around the stems.

Remember to use your Zoom In (WSNH tip: CTRL/CMD>+)and Zoom Out (WSNH tip: CTRL/CMD>-) frequently so you can get an up-close look at what you’ve got going on.

Ever wondered how others can wrap ribbon around something, or twine string between letters, or have just a single leaf hang down over the loop of a bow? You could just use the Eraser tool to erase the part that overlaps, but if you make a mistake, you have to Undo a lot to get back to where your oops is. The easier and non-destructive way to to that is to create a Layer Mask and do your erasing on that. Click on the blue rectangle with the gray circle in it and you’ve now got a Layer Mask.

Making sure you’re working on the Layer Mask, select the Eraser tool and have white as your foreground colour. Black reveals, White conceals. Setting the size of your Eraser just slightly smaller than the area you’re going to conceal, paint over the area where the leaf would hang over the loop of the bow. Don’t worry if you erase too much, because you can switch your foreground colour to black and paint it back in. (This was covered in the lesson on Extractions.) WSNH tip: Ctrl/CMD>X to toggle between reveal and conceal.

This screenshot just reinforces the important points of the narrative above.

Once you’ve painted the ribbon back up to the edge of the leaf, it’ll look like this. Try to ensure you can’t see any of the paper or whatever is immediately behind your items. If you have trouble seeing exactly what’s where, you can make a temporary fill layer underneath everything in hot pink, or black or whatever would work, and then delete it later. (WSNH tip: Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color then use the colour picker to fill the area.)

When you’re satisfied with how it all looks, Simplify your layer. You’ll thank me later when you put in your drop shadows. If you forget to simplify the layer, you’ll have some shadowing where the masked parts are and it’ll look awful. Trust me on this!

Now let’s hang a key from the knot in our bow. This sequence can be modified to suspend other heavy items, tags, charms and such.

Once I had the hat pin shrunk down to a size that would work with my other bits, I lined it up so it looks like it’s holding the key up and passing through the knot on the bow.

Yes, there’s another Layer Mask involved. Please don’t be intimidated by Layer Masks. They’re fantastic tools! This one lets me take a little bite out of the knot by removing the part of the pin that wouldn’t be visible.

To keep the realistic look going, you’ll need to use a Drop Shadow brush, which is very different from the Drop Shadow styles we’ve all used. (Yeah, I know… I have a LOT of brushes.)

The reason for using the Drop Shadow brush is to create a little hole or depression where the pin passes into the ribbon. You want it to surround the spot where the pin would pierce the fabric.

See how it makes it look more like the pin is actually going into the ribbon and not just sitting on top of it. Ensure you’re on the BOW layer and not the key or pin layer!

Before I moved on, I wanted to put down a shadow behind the pin. Because it’s overlying a green/tan/gray area I decided to change the colour of the Shadow style and double-clicked on the fx icon on the layer and then clicked on the colour picker box in the Style Settings menu.

I moved my sample source (the circular cursor) to a gray area and then clicked on the rainbow to choose a more golden gray.

The preview shows what the new colour will look like.

I decided not to put the shadow on its own layer and warp it because it looked pretty realistic as it was. Then I tucked my Thriller cream flower in behind it. I was very careful NOT to get any of it in the way of my hat pin.

Then I added in some smaller flowers, tucking them in where they looked good. You can always move them up or down in the Layers panel, and reposition them as many times as you want, until you like how it looks.

As I went along I made sure I wasn’t hiding the hard work I’d already done with the hat pin.

I added a few more things onto the cluster, moving them around until I was happy. (Think about what you like about other people’s clusters as a guide for placement. Also pretend the things you’re using are real, solid, dimensional articles and think about how you’d use them in that realm.)

I wasn’t totally happy with my cluster and felt like it still needed something. So I added in a ceramic heart. It would be very heavy, so it needed to go behind the rest of my things.

The spot next to the tin star was a little underwhelming so I put another rose in there.

Then I decided to tuck one of the points on the star, where it was overlying the leaf to, under the loop of the bow. Layer Mask time again.

Once I had everything where I liked them, I zoomed out and cast a critical eye over everything. The cluster just didn’t have the oomph I wanted it to have. So I made everything bigger. I think I also tilted it slightly. To keep all the things I’d already done in the appropriate places, I selected ALL the layers for the cluster and adjusted them at the same time. (Remember, Work Smart, Not Hard!)

Another close-up inspection suggested there should be some baby’s breath behind the ceramic heart, so another Layer Mask was created.

And then I was happy. I liked how my cluster looked, the various items in it were in a pleasing arrangement and looked natural. The last step was to add in my drop shadows. WSNH tip: I batched them by selecting all the flower layers then applied my drop shadow style to the entire batch in one move. Once all my layers were shadowed. I took another long look, tweaked shadows on a couple of layers to look more real, and opted to shadow the bow on a separate layer so I could warp it a bit. (See how I’m pulling in bits form so many of our previous lessons? 😉 )

The resulting layout was my January Inspiration challenge layout.

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 March I’ll have a random draw of all entries and the winner will be announced at the end of the first tutorial of the month. So far there are two entries, both from the same person… Anyone want to give her some competition?

Challenge Spotlight

With 2017 came some new additions to our amazing challenges we host here every month! The great Connie Prince started a challenge to document the current month! She provides an awesome freebie to use to create a page. This counts towards your 10 challenges to earn this fabulous collab!

That’s right! Complete 10 challenges within the month of February and record them here and you will receive this awesome collab!

But back to Connie’s Challenge. She has a free mini kit to download just head to the #2017 Challenge to pick it up!

 

Check out some of the awesome layouts that have already been posted:

kindness is all around

February Chocolate Cheat

Febrero es vacaciones

Throw Kindness

Have a wonderful week!

Save

Creative Style | Scrapping with Hearts

Good morning scrappers. Valentine’s Day is next week. For those who celebrate, or for those who just want to scrap about love and hearts… We are going to do just that today! (If hearts are not your thing, check out scrapping with triangles!) I am pretty much a square and rectangle scrapper. Every once in a while I will throw in a circle…exciting…I know!! lol. I love to see digital scrapbooking layouts that differ from how I scrap. It is a great way to get inspiration. Today we are going to look at some layout examples, template and digital scrapbooking supplies. All to help us get an idea how to scrap with hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many things you can do with hearts! Huge heart photos, heart patterned papers, papers cut into hearts, and heart elements. The list could go on-and-on. These are just a few examples that I found while looking through just one day’s of layouts on the gallery. If you would like further layout examples, go exploring! 🙂

Now, we are on to look at some template examples to scrap with hearts. There were so many examples. (All images linked!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I told you there were so MANY great heart templates to be found in the store. I know that I have bombarded you with images and ideas. I am not going to stop there though! I showed you some great ideas to scrap your Valentine’s Day layouts the other day. I am going to add a few more items to that list. Mostly geared towards hearts. On to kits and others to scrap with hearts. (images linked)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Baked: February 10, 2016

It’s Friday. Sometimes, it feels like the day will never come. Sometimes, it flies by and you’re wondering where the time went! Hopefully, the week went somewhere in between! The designers aren’t letting the speeding time keep them from designing! This week, they have some amazing new products coming!

Who’s ready for Scrapping Survivor?! I know I sure am!!
This is the 7th season of Scrapping Survivor at GingerScraps. Scrapping Survivor is a scrapping competition inspired by the TV game show Survivor. Each season we "travel" to a far off destination and this season, we are going to be surviving *Digi-Land*! The competition starts February 21st, and sign-ups are OPEN NOW!!

004
Visit the forum http://forums.gingerscraps.net/forum.php and sign up the the Survivor Digi-Land sing ups thread.

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

fwp36
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-I-Believe-In-Love.html

[Read more…]

GingerBread Ladies Sneak Peeks – 2/10/17

My goodness do we have a bunch of sneak peeks (and a few full views) for you this week. I’m just going to jump right in.

Aren’t they all lovely? Make sure to head over to the store on Friday and grab these awesome beauties.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

When Is a Square NOT a Square?

When it’s a rectangle! Two of my fellow Sugar Cookies asked me to talk to you all about how to manipulate frames so they better fit photos that aren’t the same dimensions… but without distorting the frame itself. EvaMarie (mskinsey) and Jen (hclappy), this one’s for you!

The basic principles of this trick work in reverse as well, so don’t think you can only go in one direction. But for today, I’m going to turn this square frame below into a rectangle with a few easy steps. You’ve probably all tried to s-t-r-e-t-c-h a frame only to find that the pieces you’ve elongated are now skinnier and look funny compared to the sides you didn’t play with. And who wants that?!

It’s really noticeable when you use a striped frame like this one. You can see how skinny the top part of the frame is compared to the side, and the stripes…

ONE CAVEAT: The more detailed and complex the frame, the less likely you’ll be happy with the results. So choose a frame with obvious pattern repeats having enough space between details to allow this trick to work for you.

The frame in the screenshot is from Ooh La La Scraps‘ gorgeous In the Frosty Air collection, which is one of my favourites (and is on sale for the fire-sale price of $5!!).

The first thing to do is resize the canvas the frame is on. You want to do this so you have lots of room to make your changes, and so you can see what you’re doing. To me this is about the most important way to ensure I’m doing things well… so I use Zoom In and Zoom Out ALL THE TIME. (W[ork]S[mart]N[ot]H[ard] tip: Ctrl/CMD>+ to magnify, CTRL/CMD>- to shrink)

You can follow the steps as shown below or you can WSNH: CTRL/CMD>ALT/OPT>C.

Key in some numbers in the boxes as shown. You can always resize the canvas again if you find it’s still too small.

The actual size you go to doesn’t matter too much, you just want your canvas to be larger – in the direction you want to stretch your frame – than your frame.

Now select your Rectangle Marquee tool.

Select an area of your frame using the Rectangular Marquee tool as shown. Pick a specific detail of any pattern repeat so when you line things up later you won’t have too much cleaning up to do. I made two of the darker lines my reference points.

Next, Cut your selection out of the middle of your frame. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>X

And you get something that looks like this.

… you can Paste that chunk back onto the canvas for further manipulation. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>V

Now select the left side of the original frame, down there on the bottom layer and repeat the process of cutting and pasting so the three pieces are all on their own layer.

So now it’s time to reposition the two sides of the original frame using the Move tool so that there’s a nice big gap between them.

Take the guesswork out of aligning your layers by selecting all of them then with the Move tool still selected, go down to the control panel underneath your work space. You can use these quick little buttons to align whatever part of several layers that you want. The software will move all the layers into alignment based on the little boxes you see on your bounding box. These buttons can be really handy for aligning alphas, buttons, rows of stitches, paper strips, ribbons, you name it. (And… the Distribute buttons will do something similar, making the spaces between objects the same.) You have to click on the ICON, not the aspect. So go ahead and click on Align>Bottom. Boom!

If the section of frame that you cut out in several steps back isn’t as big as you need it to be*, Duplicate that bit. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>J 

* Put your photo on the workspace and move it to the bottom layer then shift the pieces around to see if the frame will be big enough. You can leave it there when you’ve got the outside edges in place, just turn the visibility off so it doesn’t distract you.

Now you have four layers with frame sections on them. Move the two cut pieces so that the ends butt up against the outside edges. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t match exactly.

When all the edges are butted together with no gaps and most of the details lined up, Merge the layers together. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>E

Sometimes all that’s needed is a little Spot Healing. That’s the band-aid icon in your Tools panel. Use a soft round brush just a little bit bigger than the area you want to blend and click away. Watch carefully so you don’t accidentally make things worse. If you see a whoops, just Undo it. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>Z… my best friend.

But sometimes a little more aggressive editing is necessary. For that you’ll use the Clone Stamp tool. It’s the “rubber stamp” icon just under the Spot Healing tool. To choose the area to be cloned, you’ll need to watch closely when you hold down the ALT/OPT key and click. A little cross hair will show up on your work space that shows you what little section of your image it’s going to copy. When you’re working with stripes like I was, you want to have that sampling spot on the edge of a stripe. Once you’ve “defined your sample” you can very carefully line up your cursor with the area to tweak and click. Do this as often as needed until your two pieces are blended together seamlessly.

Below you can see the result after a couple of clicks. I’ve only worked on the navy stripe so far in this image. I kept on going, carefully cloning the stripes until the seams disappeared.

Work your way around the frame, zooming in as much as you need to so you see what’s happening with your clicks. Just to be sure you’ve made the seams invisible, check again all the way around a couple of times, either cloning or spot healing as needed.

Ta-DA!! Virtually invisible seams, a much larger rectangular frame and it only took about 10 minutes of real time to do. Honest!

You’ll see this frame again next week when the topic is building a frame cluster without a template.

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. (I apologize for putting the Challenge Gallery in an inaccessible spot, so we’re starting fresh from NOW. All previous entries are still in the running.) 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 March I’ll have a random draw of all entries and the winner will be announced at the end of the first tutorial of the month. 

See you all next week!

February Feature Designer – Little Rad Trio

Welcome to February. Our Feature Designer this month is Jennifer of Little Rad Trio. She was gracious enough to answer my questions and even provide a little something for you.

How did you get started in digital scrapbooking?

By accident! I bought Element 7.0 at Costco back in 2007 just for the ability to edit photos. It came with a Learn Digital Scrapbooking CD. I only watched the videos to help learn Photoshop and ended up falling in love!

What made you decide to design?

There were certain themed kits that I wanted and couldn’t find. So I started playing around and took some classes on designing.

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

I used Photoshop 6.0 and Illustrator 6.0. I’m fairly new at Illustrator so I still have lots to learn from that. Occasionally I’ll use a tablet for drawing too.

Describe your design workplace.

I don’t have a typical work space. I do most of my designing anywhere. Have laptop, Will Travel. I also do some occasional designing on my IRL work computer from time to time. Having dual monitors makes a world of difference.

What is your favorite thing about designing?

My favorite thing about designing is seeing people creating beautiful layouts with my products. It is so rewarding when I create something that someone just loves and then creates stunning layouts.

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

Historic USA – Civil War kit is still my favorite. I love how the elements turned out and the color scheme is one of my favorites. Plus I’m a sucker for the Civil War history.

What was your first job?

In between my 10th & 11th grade in High School, I spent the summer working at my dad’s insurance business as a file clerk. All I did was file and pull files for the underwriters. Now, I run the place with a staff of almost 50 people and 3 locations.

How many languages do you speak? What are they?

I only speak English. I’ve taken some Spanish classes, but unfortunately I haven’t even come close to mastering.

What’s your favorite holiday?

4th of July! I love the warm summer days, spending time with the family at the beach or on the lake. And I love fireworks and celebrating our Nation’s Birthday!

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

Christmas Eve! We gather at my parents, eat dinner, then we have to sing Christmas Carols before we can open presents. We then start with the kids. Once they are all done, we spend the rest of the evening with the adults opening gifts. Then, we may watch home movies or old time Christmas Movies like It’s a Wonderful Life or White Christmas

What three things do you think of most each day?

My children, my husband and my parents. They are all whole world!

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

WARNING! Needs plenty of sleep, so let her sleep in!!

Do you collect anything?

I used to collect Precious Moments figures. But once I had children, that stopped. However, now that they are older, I might have to start back at it.

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

There’s so many, I don’t know if I could pick one. Speed was be awesome! Being invisible would come in handy from time to time. Strength would also be a plus. The ability to freeze time would be a benefit too, especially when I have a deadline and I’m running out of time.

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

Water! I’ve been addicted to it. I can’t seem to have enough of it! Of course, Water is a necessity, so next I would say the internet. I’m constantly online for a variety of things from designing, shopping, checking the weather or getting directions, etc/etc.

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

Any kind of fruit! Because everyone loves fruit over vegetables!!

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

Mountain Cabin with a lake. The views would be stunning and so peaceful and quiet. But I would have to have internet!! When I was in high school, my mom painted a picture of a mountain cabin by a lake and this has been my dream place ever since and by far my absolute favorite painting!!

What would you do on your dream date?

There are so many things I could do, that it couldn’t be limited to one. I love the romance with candles and soft music, but I also love doing things like zip lining or ATVing.

Thanks Jennifer!! Make sure to check out her GS Store, her Facebook page, and her blog. Also make sure you are grabbing the Daily Download every day from the GS blog to get all the pieces of this awesome kit.

And, just for reading all the way to the bottom, make sure to take advantage of this great coupon she is offering: