It’s BAKE SALE Time

It’s already the middle of October and you know what that means? It’s Bake Sale time and wow…. have our designers stepped it up this month. Take a look at all these kits available for just $1.

Now, head over to the store and fill up your cart.

Sneak Peeks October 13, 2016

Happy Thursday! There’s some awesome goodies coming out tomorrow!!!

From Amy Stoffel

From Laurie’s Scraps

From JoCee Designs

From Dagi’s Temp-tations

From Trixie Scraps

From Little Rad Trio

From Tinci Designs

From Keley Designs

From Neia Scraps

From Miss Fish Designs

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From Bella Gypsy

Check out all the new releases tomorrow! Have a great weekend!

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Designer Sneak Peeks – October 14, 2016

Happy Wednesday my fellow scrappers.  Fall has definitely come to the Carolinas and it’s wonderful. The temperatures are lower (makes great sleeping) and the leaves are starting to turn. Probably my favorite time of year.

Let’s jump right in and see what we have releasing this week.

Some very cute kits coming out. Make sure to shop for these tomorrow and Friday and then watch for the Bake Sale lovelies starting on Saturday.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Simple Photo Blending

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Last week Carla asked if I would do a quick tutorial on blending photos into backgrounds. There’s always more than one way to do things, some quite easy, others more involved. Today we’re going to look at an easy way to blend photos, with a twist. (Caylynn had a layout in the gallery last week that caught my eye. I sorta kinda copied her example.)

So let’s get started. First, decide what photo you want to blend. I chose a photo I found on Pixabay that had some interesting aspects to it.

Next you want to choose the paper you’re going to blend it into. You can use almost anything for this, but to make it more visually interesting, pick a paper that’s got some grunge, a pattern or an obvious texture. I didn’t know what would appeal to me most so I went to my GS stash and did a tag search for “paper”. A couple of hours later, after I’d gone through them all (well, it took a few minutes) I had several that I wanted to get a feel for. So I stacked up all the papers I’d chosen and turned them off except for the bottom-most. Then I put my photo on top of the stack of papers.

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The first step in the actual blending is to lower the opacity of the photo so the paper under it shows through. So I pulled the photo down to 40%.

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Then I worked my way up the stack of papers, turning them on bottom to top. The screenshots show some of them so you can see the effect each of them had on the photo.

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In the end I went with a solid, soft purple paper from the GingerBread Ladies’ collection By the Dozen. But it was a bit too pink to blend well so I adjusted the colour a little. You can click on Enhance>Adjust Color>Hue/Saturation then pull the sliders, or you can CTRL/CMD+U to get there in one step. (You’ve all figured out that CTRL is for Windows and CMD is for Mac, haven’t you? The keyboard shortcuts are the same otherwise.) In the screenshot below I show you how I adjusted the magenta in the paper to a more blue shade. If you look closely at the edge of the photo you can see that the edge almost disappears when I’ve got the colour right.

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Once I was happy with the colour, I deleted all the other papers… except for one with a pale blue brocade pattern on it from Ooh La La ScrapsCarefree. I moved it on top of my pale purple paper and decreased the opacity to 40%. Now I had a nice subtle patterned paper to blend my photo into.

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I should back up for a moment here. You could enlarge your photo so that it covers the whole 12×12 paper if you want and just decrease the opacity until you’re happy with it… just like I did with the second paper. If that’s what you want to do, you don’t have to read any further. If you’re reading on – what are we going to do about that very obvious edge? You might notice that in the screenshot below, I have two copies of my photo, with the top one turned off. I’ll explain that later.

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The next step, getting rid of the harsh edge, required the use of the Eraser Tool and a soft brush. I have a gazillion brushes, many of which I picked up free from various sources. I chose one of the options from a collection called 20 Spray Brushes. I started off with the brush fairly small and the opacity on the brush quite low. It takes a little longer to get a good effect, but it’s easier to adjust if you go slowly at this stage.

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This part is easy but can take some time. Zoom in (CTRL/CMD++) so you can see where you’re working. Gradually erase the edge of the photo so there’s no obvious demarcation between your photo and your paper. You can click-click-click or click-drag or a combination to make it a bit quicker. [Resist the temptation to increase the opaacity of your eraser brush because it’s a lot harder to undo if you go too far.]  You can also increase the size of your brush as you go.

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Every so often, zoom back out (CTRL/CMD+ ) and take a look at the amount of blending you’ve done. Keep going until the photo looks like it’s part of the paper but there’s still detail visible.

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Here’s where Caylynn comes in. Her layout Wanderlust got me thinking. So I decided to take things a step further and show you how using a watercolour brush can add some punch to your blend. Literally.

I added a new blank layer in between my two photo layers. I went to my Brush Tool and selected a collection of Watercolour Mask brushes. (You could use any brush of combination of brushes for this step.) I tried them out for size and shape until I found one that would cover the girl and most of her sled.

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Brush settings can be adjusted to suit your purpose. You can change the angle, change the roundness and play with the other settings to really customize your brushes. You’re not committed to anything, because there’s always CTRL/CMD+Z!

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Once I had the brush the shape, size and angle I wanted, I made sure the foreground colour was set to white so I’d be able to see it against my layout but it wouldn’t interfere with the colours in the photo. Then I applied my brush to that blank layer. By doing this on a blank layer, you can adjust the size, tweak the angle and even skew the shape to suit your purpose. See how the photo below shows through the brush?

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Now that I was happy with the brush. I clipped the top photo to the brush (CTRL/CMD+G). See how it brightened the area of the blended photo?

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Then, because I wanted her face to be completely sharp and clear, with the brush/mask layer selected, I made my brush smaller, raised the opacity to 100% and painted over the girl’s face and scarf. (I used red for the screenshot so you could see what I did.) As long as you hold your left mouse button down while you use your brush, it will maintain the set opacity even if you overlap your strokes.

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See how much clearer and sharper her face is now?

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This is what my brush/mask layer looked like after I was finished. I decided to sharpen her whole body and a little of her sled. Once I was happy with how it all looked, I went on to finish my layout.

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So there you have some simple ways of blending photos, and a very basic mask-making lesson too! Next Tuesday I think I’ll tackle Danica’s request for some tips on extracting items from photos. It’ll build on this lesson a little, so stay tuned!

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From the Archives Vol. 7

Hello scrappers! Are you fully recovered from DSD and ready to scrap?! I pray that all our scrappy family members that are and have been in the path of Hurricane Matthew are safe-and-sound!

I am here today to help you with just that! We are going to take a look back in the store and look at some oldies…but goodies! What archives? Well, we are going to show you some digital scrapbooking supplies that are in the store that are at least a year old. Usually older than that.  Some of us may be new to digital scrapbooking or new to GingerScraps. Some people don’t check the store every week. Basically, things can and do get lost in the weekly shuffle of the store. With that in mind, we are going to go back and look at some great products. Our hope is that you find some great things you might have been looking for; or find something that you didn’t know you needed but totally do now that you see it! 🙂

This month’s From the Archives, we are going to take a look at Doodles. Doodles are a great addition to any digital scrapbooking layout. Usually they have the hand-drawn (or actually are hand-drawn) look to them. Some doodles have paint look to them; and some doodles have little elements with them. You can check out all the Doodles in the store HERE. Here are just a few of them from back in the Archives. Images are linked to the store.

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Baked: October 07, 2016

It’s time to bundle up! Fall is upon us and it’s getting chillier outside! The days are already starting to get shorter. We won’t let that bother us! That just means more time available for us to scrapbook! The designers have such great kits and template series out this week that you won’t be able to resist!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great collab! It coordinates with our MEGA Collab, which if you missed it, is available in the store now!

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http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Oh-Snap-Cards-Templates.html

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Designer Sneak Peeks – October 7, 2016

I don’t know about you, but it feels like fall is in full force in my corner of the US. Thoughts to everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew this week.

Let’s see what our designers have coming out this week!

Make sure to stop by the store to see everything releasing!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Making Templates Work For You!

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You’ve probably heard a million times that templates really speed up your scrapping, but if you’re new to digiscrapping you might wonder when that kicks in. October’s first Challenge Template from Kimberly of Leaving a Legacy Designs is a perfect way for me to show you how. Why? Because it has several repeating paper blocks!

Once again, I’m going to tell you how I do things but of course you’re going to follow your own practices and do things in your own way. When I’m getting ready to create a (non-CT) layout, I select my photos first.  I create a new folder for the layout so everything I plan to use is in one spot. (Later I delete the copied files and just keep the finished layout. Otherwise I’d need a million EHDs to store everything!) Then I search my (enormous) stash for a template that will work with them and copy it into the folder. Once I’ve decided, I choose the kit I want to use. For this layout I used Ooh La La Scraps’ October Buffet kit Creepy. I count up the number of different papers, represented by different coloured blocks or circles, the preview shows, and then add one or two more to that number just in case my selections don’t work the way I want them to. Then I go to my kit and start selecting papers, flowers, leaves, stitches, staples, and whatever else I want to include. They’re all copied into my working folder… this is the longest part of the process. Then I’m ready to go! I open the folder contents into PSE and get going.

As I mentioned before I start at the bottom. Feel free to do whatever works for you.

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In the screenshot above you’ll see there are 3 papers and 3 paper mats in the layers panel. Below, you’ll see I’ve started clipping papers to the various shapes in the template.

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This is where the time saving comes in. The process is the same for whatever is repeated on the template. Remember I said I use keyboard shortcuts? This is where they really come in handy. Rather than right-clicking on my paper layer then selecting Create Clipping Mask I use CTRL/CMD+G to clip the paper to the shape. The next step is to duplicate my paper layer. Rather than right-clicking on the paper and selecting Duplicate Layer.. or selecting it from the drop-down menu from the task bar, I use CTRL/CMD+J and get the same result.

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The screenshot below shows you the duplicated paper just above the previous paper shape. Drag and drop the new paper onto the layer just above the next template shape of the same colour, in this case, a dark yellow gold. The keyboard shortcut for that is CTRL/CMD+] (Can you guess how to move the layer back down? 😉 )

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Keep doing this series of steps > Copy, Move Up, Clip > until all the template shapes of the same colour have the same paper clipped to them. Then continue to clip papers to shapes in this manner until all the shapes have papers clipped to them. The screenshot below shows what your workspace looks like once the duplicated paper has been created but before it’s been moved into place and clipped. See how it covers up a lot of the template?

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Here’s where there’s another speedy tip that comes in handy. As I mentioned, you can follow the exact same process for those flower shapes, stitching lines, ribbons and so on. The template’s symbols are more for size and placement of objects rather than carved-in-stone directions, so you can cover those shapes with just about anything. Drag and drop your element into place on the template and size it to your liking. Here I’m using a white flower. The speedy secret?

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Copy the layer style > right-click on the shape layer and select Copy Layer Style > from the template’s symbol layer then paste it > right-click on your element layer and select Paste Layer Style > to your element. Do this the first time you add an element to the layout and then you won’t have to do it again later for each individual item.

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This template has a number of identical flower shapes so I copied the white flower – WITH the shadow layer style included – and moved them into place on the template, moving them up the layers panel so they’re in the right order in the cluster or stack. I also adjust the angles on some of them so they look more naturally arranged (shown in the second screenshot below).

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Once the elements I want are in place on the template, I delete the template’s symbol. (Remember to work on a copy so you don’t end up throwing out the whole template!)

Speedy tip – you can delete multiple layers at one time by selecting them all in the layers panel > CTRL/CMD+click on the layers until they’re all selected > then right-click on any one of them to select Delete Layers from the drop-down menu.

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When positioning small items like buttons on templates, it sometimes helps to put them underneath the symbol’s layer in the template so you can have a better idea of size. I like my buttons small so this tip is one I use a lot.

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When you’ve added all your chosen papers and elements to the template, you’re done! All of your layers are shadowed (as long as you’re using a pre-shadowed template like this one, of course) and it’s probably taken you under an hour. My final version of this layout is in the gallery. I hope you’re able to follow along with this speedy tut and come to love templates as much as I do!

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October Feature Designer – BoomersGirl Designs

Welcome to October. Our Feature Designer this month is Lori of BoomersGirl Designs. She slowed down a little from the DSD preparations to answer a few questions for me!

How did you get started in digital scrapbooking?

I wanted a way to preserve the precious memories of my kids so that watching them grow up so fast wasn’t quite as painful. My oldest son is 21 years old and I’ve been scrapbooking since he was a baby.

What made you decide to design?

Although I’ve been a nurse for 25 years now, I had always been blessed not to have to work too much so that I can stay home and raise my kids. I had tried making and selling a variety of items (from flavored lip balms to beaded leather bracelets to soft sculpture dolls) to supplement our income so I could continue to stay home with the kids most of the time. Everything was an epic fail. I finally decided to try my hand at creating my own digital scrapbook kits. It’s been an adventure of continual learning and growth over the past 4 years, but it allows me to be productive while at home, helps provide for our family and gives me a creative outlet.

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

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Describe your design workplace.

A large desk in our living room with my personal computer that I do all of my designing on.

What is your favorite thing about designing?

I have met so many wonderful people from customers to fellow designers to my Creative Team members who I would never have met otherwise.

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

That’s tough – I would have to say either “Lords & Ladies” because the medieval time period fascinates me, “Garden of Eden” because it celebrates God and the Bible or “Totally 80s” because that is the decade I grew up in.

What do you do when you are feeling very sad or depressed?

I like to eat – LOL.

Which is the best vacation you’ve ever had in your life?

We haven’t had the opportunity to take actual vacations because we have a large family (6 kids), a limited budget and several pets. But our favorite family day trip so far has been to Washington DC via the MARC train. Unfortunately, only 4 of our kids (plus the girlfriends of the oldest two boys) were able to come along, but it was so much fun and we can’t wait to go back!

Which is your most cherished childhood memory?

I would have to say that the magic of Christmas was my favorite memory.

Do you believe in ghosts?

I have never personally seen one, so I’m not convinced.

Who is your celebrity crush?

I would have to say Johnny Depp.

What do you order when you go to Starbucks?

I’m not a Starbucks fan.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

Either No-Bake Cookies or my daughter’s Panera Bread-inspired chocolate chip cookies.

How old were you when you had your first kiss?

Mmmm… 16, I think. It’s been soooo long ago!

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I try to be an optimist, but life gets in the way sometimes.

Would you change your name if you could? If so, what would you change it to?

Tabitha. It’s a Bible name that you rarely hear, but isn’t too unusual.

What is your favorite pizza topping?

Banana peppers.

If you could give the world one piece of advice, what would it be?

Your kids will grow up way too fast. Don’t waste a single moment with them, because before you know it, they will be teenagers and not want to be seen with you. 😉

What do you do to wake up in the morning?

Alarm clock and coffee.

What is a small luxury that you treat yourself to?

I don’t think I treat myself to any luxuries as I always prefer to do things that our entire family can benefit from and enjoy.

What did you want to be when you were small?

A nurse or a psychiatrist.

Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?

I’d have to go with vacuuming.

If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?

Definitely cleaning.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would quit my job to be able to stay home with my kids full-time and move us into a nice house out in the country (in a better area with better schools). I would definitely spoil all of my kids with the money – even the grown ones. And go on some awesome family vacations.

What’s the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window?

Probably our “mini” potbelly pig destroying the back yard with his all day grazing.

Share your favorite recipe with us.

These are called “Halfway to Heaven Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies” (yep, it’s a long name – feel free to call them whatever you want). They taste like chewy Nutter Butters!

Cookies:
1 1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg

Filling:
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter

For cookies, preheat oven to 350.

In bowl, mix oats, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix butter, sugar, egg, peanut butter and vanilla. Add the oat mixture, stirring just until blended.

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 cm apart. Pat down to make flat circles. Bake x 8 minutes (or until lightly brown on edges). Cool

Whisk powdered sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Approx. 5 minutes.

Place frosting between 2 cookies and press lightly.

Thanks Lori!! Make sure to check out her GS Store, her FB page, and her blog. And don’t forget to grab the pieces of the Daily Download every day from this blog!

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Scrapping with Pumpkins

Are you in full scrapping mode today?! Today is the official day of DSD. I have been scrapping like mad. Do you know what October also brings with it? All things pumpkins! That is what we are going to talk about today. Scrapping with Pumpkins.

I was looking around on Pinterest and found some really cool ideas on inputting pumpkins in your digital scrapbooking layouts. Here are just a few of them that I love. (Images are linked to source.)

Scrapping with Pumpkins

You will be hard pressed to find any digital scrapbooking kit without at least one button in it. Take a look through your stash. FInd all those orange, yellowish, brown, and green buttons. How cool would this be on a digital scrapbooking layout?

 

I am absolutely going to do this on one of my digital scrapbooking layouts for my sister's book. This is such a cute idea. You can find a lot of pumpkin templates out there (see below) to accomplish this. You can also cut your photos whatever shape you want and just place them on your pumpkin paper with the right shadow work to look like they are cut out.

I am absolutely going to do this on one of my digital scrapbooking layouts for my sister’s book. This is such a cute idea. You can find a lot of pumpkin templates out there (see below) to accomplish this. You can also cut your photos whatever shape you want and just place them on your pumpkin paper with the right shadow work to look like they are cut out.

 

Another great example of a pumpkin shaped scrapping. Just cut out your papers/ photos the size you want and arrange them to look like a pumpkin!

Another great example of a pumpkin shaped scrapping. Just cut out your papers/ photos the size you want and arrange them to look like a pumpkin!

 

There are so many great ideas you can do when it comes to scrapping with pumpkins. I found some great ideas right here at GingerScraps! Our gallery is filled with some of the best layouts around digital scrapbooking town. Here are some lovely ideas you can scrap lift!

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful, right? You know what is next!! Here are some great items from here at GingerScraps to scrap all things pumpkin. Like the images above, they are linked to their counterpart in the store.