Have y’all met our featured designer for July yet? She’s the incomparable CathyK!  If you’re collecting her Daily Download Back to Nature you’re not going to be disappointed. I can’t wait to get busy with it.

I asked Cathy to tell us a little about herself.

1…How long have you been designing?

I opened my first digi shop in 2008, so about 9 years.

2…What is your design process?

My design process varies a little, depending on how I get started. Sometimes, the color palette comes first, then I pick a theme that goes with it. Sometimes, I have a theme in mind, then work up a color palette to go with the theme. Once I have a color and theme, I always do papers first, then elements, then alphas and any other add-ons.

3…What do you use to create your designs? (software, hardware, etc)

I use Photoshop CS4 for the majority of my design work and Inkscape for any illustrations I need to do.

4…Describe your design workspace.

I have a computer desk with a large display in our family room. I’ve tried working on a laptop, but the tiny screen size just doesn’t work for me.

5…What motivates and inspires you as a designer?

I like seeing an idea come to fruition and then seeing how scrappers use that kit to scrap their precious memories. I get inspiration and ideas from color, everyday life, my sons’ activities and interests, magazines, Pinterest, textures, a song, a good quote. Really, anything can be the inspiration for a product!

6…What kit currently available in your GingerScraps store is your favourite? Why?

Oh gosh, it’s usually the latest kit I’ve created! My favorite now is Back to Nature (this month’s Daily Download), because I LOVE the colors! But, since it’s not technically in my store yet, I’d say my Are We There Yet Buffet collection. I especially love how the enamel pins turned out. [I can’t wait to see it. The Buffet is the BEST!]

7…Do you craft outside the digital world?

Not as much as I used to. Sometimes I do still make things to use in my kits.

8…What is the last book you read?

I can’t remember when I last sat down to read an entire book! Mostly I’m reading online articles and magazines.

9…Tea or coffee?

Coffee, for sure. I’ve been making cold brew coffee lately and using it to make iced coffee with Chocolate Stevia.

10…Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Starbucks Coffee Frappucino. The sugar content (even in the light version) makes it just an occasional treat. 

11…If time travel were possible, where would you go and why?

I’d love to go back and talk to my grandparents and great-grandparents when they were younger and meet my parents as kids. 

12…What’s your favourite thing about GingerScraps?

My favorite thing about GingerScraps is the friendly, helpful people that make up this wonderful community and the amazing designers and site staff that I work with!

I can’t argue with that! GingerScraps is a true community, in all the best senses of the word. Thank you Cathy, for letting us have a peek into your life.


Sneak Peeks July 13, 2017

Happy Thursday! Enjoying the heat of summer? This Florida girl wishes for fall when it’s only hot and not insanely hot! But I can beat the heat and scrap! Take a look at all the goodies coming to the store tomorrow!

From Ponytails

From Neia Scraps

From Miss Mis

From JoCee

From Miss Fish


From Little Rad Trio

From Tinci

Tutorial Tuesday (General)

How’d You DO That?!! Fontography Demystified

Have you ever looked at a magazine layout or a scrapbook layout and immediately been captivated by the combination of fonts used? Or, alternatively, looked at one and thought, “Wow… that looks… umm… really weird”? And what about all those Pinterest pins that show font combinations… how were they arrived at? After I put together the tutorial on chalkboard art, I had several people comment on how the fonts I chose looked really good together. But I’d never really broken down the process of choosing font combos. So I’m going to share some basic thoughts about how to pair fonts to make your layouts look pulled together, appealing and well-designed.

The fonts I’ve combined in my examples will be named in the screenshot following for each of these tips. Here’s the first combo.

When you’re thinking about pairing fonts, the first consideration is choosing fonts that compliment each other AND your topic. Think about the layout you’re designing and the mood it creates. Does it have a strong personality? Look for fonts that match the mood and personality of your photos, elements and arrangement. The sample below has two Art Deco era fonts in it. See how they work together? They’re from the same general era, so they should look like they belong together.

These are the two fonts I combined for my sample. They make me think of the Roaring 20s, flappers and bathtub gin.

Now see how the wrong pairing can just look odd? They’re of similar weights (more about weight in a minute) and are both bold fonts, but they have nothing else in common.

Even the names the designer gave them aren’t complimentary!

Next you want to consider something called “visual hierarchy“, which is a $10 phrase meaning “Who’s the boss”. In my sample below I chose a heavy slab-style creepy font for the title and a somewhat less weighty, condensed font for the subtitle. You can easily see that had I done it the other way around, the title wouldn’t command much attention.

I love Hallowe’en so I have a selection of these gnarly fonts for my related layouts. (Sometimes the names the designers give them are a little risqué.)

Here’s another combo, one that isn’t quite right. The two fonts, although they’re both similar in mood, don’t work as well together. It’s not horrible, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. This is where your judgment and your “design eye” come in.

Great names!

Let’s talk a little about context. In this case, the definition we’re going to use is this one: “the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.“. I touched on it briefly when I talked about complimentary fonts. But there are some other aspects that need attention too. For example, subject matter; the first font in the screenshot below would work beautifully for a layout about building a new home, or racing motocross, or even one about guys doing guy stuff. But it wouldn’t do for a wedding layout, or one about a tea party with your grand-daughter. 

Another aspect is what you’re communicating with the font. The swirly, curly, girly font on the second line isn’t readable when all caps are used. It would be perfect for a title or subtitle on a tea party or wedding layout when used appropriately. So always think about how you’re going to use the font, and about readability. If you use a tiny, condensed font like the third line it may be difficult to read. For journaling you’re going to want it to be a clean, easily read style in a size that doesn’t require a magnifying glass, particularly if you’re going to print your 12×12 layouts in a smaller size, like 8×8.

These are the fonts I used in my sample above.

This concept is pretty simple. Serif fonts are the ones with those little extra bits that extend from letters as shown in the top sample, and are absent in fonts described as sans serif. (“Sans” means without in French.) You can think of them as a little bit more formal for serif fonts and a little more casual for sans serif fonts.

These are the fonts I paired above.

Alternatively you could pair a sans serif font with a serif font as I’ve shown below.

Next, let’s talk about contrast. The four fonts I’ve chosen for this sample all actually work together. Size and weight are important when you’re thinking about both context and contrast. I’ve used a 72 point font for all these samples so you can get a feel for these concepts.

The first example is a middle-of-the-road font with a medium size, a medium weight and a solid texture.

The second example is an attractive, light-weight, thin decorative font.

The third example is a formal, serif-style, weighty and highly textured font.

And the last example is a scripty, balanced medium-weight font.

What makes them work? They’re different, but complimentary styles. Their relative sizes vary, even though they’re all 72 point. They have different weights – you can almost feel the pressure they exert on the paper. Their forms are different too; look at the relative length of the parts of some letters that descend below the baseline. Although they’re all quite distinct, they have a similar curviness to them that tie them together. And they have variable directions of movement.

See one you liked? These are the fonts I used.

Now, having said all the preceding things, you still have to avoid conflict. See what I mean?

Individually, they’re all great fonts. Together, they’re a mess!

While you’re avoiding conflict, remember to avoid using fonts that are too similar. See how this example breaks all of the rules we’ve looked at so far?

Again, beautiful fonts, but just a little too close for comfort.

One way to be very sure of your font choices is to use fonts from the same family. The designer has created them to work together by varying their weight, their size and their texture, but sticking to a single form. Many of the fonts your computer came with are bound in families like the ones below.

Again, these examples are all the same point size, but they’re just different enough from each other to keep things interesting.

Don’t go crazy with a dozen different fonts on one layout. There needs to be some unifying quality to them and they need to suit their purpose. A good rule of thumb is to keep them to about 3. No more than 5… except when you’re creating subway art. When you’re journaling, this might help you choose. Serif fonts are better for reading quickly because the characters sort of flow one into the next with those little extra bits they have. But when the primary place your creation will be viewed is on a screen, you might want to choose a sans serif font, for their simpler, cleaner look. And remember that your journaling must be legible!

These three look pretty good together. See if you can figure out which rules they follow.

And lastly, PRACTICE! This is the only way to develop that “design eye” that lets you move from novice methodicality to intuitive, flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants creativity. Consciously look at font combinations everywhere. Magazine layouts, product labels, memes on Facebook, Pinterest boards… the possibilities are endless. See what combinations you find pleasing and which you find jarring. Over time, you’ll find you’re not quite so indecisive about which fonts go together like milk and cookies and which are more like chalk and cheese. I actually play a little game in my head sometimes, trying to guess which fonts the designer has used, and I love it when I recognize a font, or a designer.

These are quite different from each other, but I think they look good!

Before we wrap this up, let’s talk a bit about the fonts you should forget about… This isn’t my list; it came from Douglas Bonneville at Smashing magazine. I’d add a couple, such as Bleeding Cowboys and Myriad Pro. For the article I found this list within, and the author’s reasons why, click here.

Here’s a handy little diagram with these rules all in condensed form. It came from Creative Market, a great source of wonderful fonts at discount prices.

To see a larger image, click here.

Credits: Janie Kliever  ; Creative Market

Have fun with your fonts! There really is no limit to how creative you can be.

Sneak Peeks July 6th, 2017

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend! Hopefully you took a ton of photos (I know I did!) and one of the new goodies coming out tomorrow will help get those creative vibes flowing!

From Tinci

From Craft-tastrophic

From Neia Scraps

From Lindsay Jane

From CathyK

From Neia Scraps

From JoCee

From Miss Fish


From Heart Strings Scrap Art

From Ponytails


From Aimee Harrison

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Templates with a Twist

I’ve been planning this tutorial for a while but the right moment hadn’t arrived yet. Then the June Daily Download broke and there it was! Tinci Designs and JB Studios (sadly Dani is retiring from designing) were together in the limelight with their Hey Man template bundle. It was the first time two template designers were in the Designer Spotlight together and it posed some interesting challenges to the store and to our devoted GingerScrappers. But it played right into my hand…

Did you know that you can combine two (or more) templates into a single layout? Are you shocked? Remember, templates are amazingly versatile tools. You don’t have to slavishly follow the design for them to help you create fabulous layouts. They’re intended as inspirational guides, with symbols as placeholders. With templates, your creativity is only limited by your imagination. I’m going to show you how to do a template mashup right here, right now. Let me begin by saying I probably wouldn’t have chosen this bundle for this technique, but the opportunity presented itself and I ran with it. To have the best results with your template mashup, you should choose two templates with clusters, photo spots, masks or combinations of those that you really like, with a good amount of white space, so you’ll have lots of options.

I decided to use the JB Studios template shown below as my base template. I like the row of circles with the small cluster, and I really like the little wordstrip cluster in the corner. I made a mental note of what the file was named so I could find it later…

Then I chose this Tinci Designs template for my second one. I had 2 photos I wanted to use. Now, I could have resized the centre cluster, which would have actually worked beautifully, but I wanted my photos to be really visible.

I had to make room for the section of Tinci’s template that I was going to move onto the JBS template so I selected all the layers but the background and the little wordstrip cluster then moved them up almost to the top of the canvas.

See how that gave me a lot of room?

The next step is to go to my second template and select all the layers I want to add to the first one. If you don’t have the Bounding Box turned on, you might want to do that. It will help you move only the layers you want by including the shapes you’ve selected inside it. You can see my Bounding Box in the screenshot below.

Once you’ve selected only the layers you want to copy onto your other template, right click on the Layers panel to open the Layers menu. Then click on Duplicate Layers…

A new menu opens with everything you have in your Photo Bin included. Look down the list until you find your first template. If you can’t remember the file name, look for the .psd suffix. When you’ve found it, click on it.

Your dialog box will look like this. You can rename the group of layers if you want, but you don’t have to. When you’ve got the correct file selected, click OK.

PSE automatically centres everything on the canvas, so this is what the new mashed-up template looked like right after I added the Tinci pieces to the JBS base template. Time to fine-tune!

I moved all the Tinci pieces down so the JBS pieces peeked out above them.  Then I had to figure out what to do with that little wordstrip cluster that HAD to be in there.

Once I was happy with how it all looked, I could get my layout rolling. There were some layers from the original template that were completely concealed, so when I came to them in the Layers panel, I just deleted them. (I always work with copies of everything, never the original. That way I don’t have to worry about losing something I might want again later!)

If you decide to try this out, remember that you don’t HAVE to copy everything from one template onto the other. Choose the parts you LOVE. Forget about the rest. I could have copied just one of the photo clusters. I could have only copied the wordstrip cluster. It’s all about what you like most! Have fun!

Sneak Peeks June 29th, 2017

Happy last couple days of June! Fourth of July Weekend is upon us! For me, its my birthday on Monday so it’s nice to have a 4 day weekend to celebrate that =). So not only do I have sneak peeks for products releasing tomorrow, I have a sneak peek with the Buffet debuting on Saturday!

Releasing tomorrow from

From Aimee Harrison

From Craft-tastrophic

From Neia Scraps

From Miss Fish


From Pretty in Green

And heres a peek of the awesome buffet!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Over-the-Top TITLES

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’ve had a ridiculously busy week. Actually, all of June has been ridiculously busy! So this week’s tutorial is a quick-and-dirty little how-to that was inspired by some of the layouts popping up on my Facebook feed. I thought I’d show you how to have your title looking like it’s coming right out of a fantastic panoramic photo. So I went through some of my favourite scenic shots and chose this one of the Crescent City Connection bridge over the Mississippi River in New Orleans. In the screenshot below, the transparent canvas underneath it is 12×12, because I thought I’d use that size canvas… but…

I changed my mind and cropped it down to the same size as the photo.

Then I took a look through my fonts (using MainType 7.0, of course!) and found a meaty, slab-type font that would be perfect for my purpose. It’s called Konga Pro and it’s got that lazy, Deco summer-day kind of look to it. I typed out my title and enlarged it to stretch from one side of my canvas to the other. The photo’s visibility is turned off so I don’t get confused.

Then I copied my photo (CRTL/CMD>J) and moved the copy on top of my title as I’ve shown below.

Visibility of the first photo is still off for this step. Clip the photo to the title; CTRL/CMD>G is your WSNH shortcut.

If you’re happy with the placement and appearance, go ahead and merge your clipping mask and photo layers.  Select both the layers in the Layers panel then WSNH = CTRL/CMD>E

Now to set the title apart from the photo. Choose a colour from the photo to use for a narrow stroke around the outside. I chose one of the dark blue shades. You want a visible separation but nothing really obvious; since my photo is a night shot, dark was my choice, but if you’re using a winter scene or a beach scene, it might be better to choose a lighter colour. You’ll know it’s right when you see it.

I went with 10 pixels for this outline, just to tighten it up and give a bit of definition. I centered it on the edge to smooth out the jagged pixels.

As you can see below, it looks just fine.

Another stroke outside the first one will add a little more distinction. I tried white and 20 pixels.

Not loving it! The white is too much, and too wide. So for my next version, I dropped the width down to 10 pixels again.

I made the stroke a greenish-grey pulled from the horizon. Not really working either.

But this bronze from the lights reflecting on the water is subtle, and it looks much nicer to my eye. I’m going to go with this one.

Pop in a bit of a drop shadow and it’s just the look I was after!

With the shadow, it’s got some dimension. Give it a shot with one of your favourite scenic photos and a hefty font and see how you like it!

Let’s Celebrate – SUMMER!

We are in the full swing of Summer in the northern part of the world. With that comes some summery digital scrapbooking goodies. Man-oh-man…GingerScraps has so much of that in store! We have a section just for those summery goodies. Today we are going to take a look at a lot of those.  Next week we will take a look at some of the lovely winter digital scrapbooking supplies for our friends south of the equator. 🙂 All images below are linked. Get ready. I am going to overload you with summer goodness!

Happy Summer: A collaboration from our GingerScraps designers.



Imagine tropical sunrises, tropical drinks and watching the sunset…that is what this gorgeous collection is all about. With all those reds, oranges, golds and outlined trees, this collectioni is just perfect for those beach vacation photos.


Even though Summer is over in the Northern Hemisphere, those in the Southern Hemisphere will be entering Summer and heading for the beach. No matter your hemisphere, scrap all of your family’s Summer fun with Oh Hot Day, the new digital scrap kit by JB Studio. Created in the same color palette as Today and Everyday, Oh Hot Day is the perfect addition to help you stretch your stash.

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks June 22, 2017

Happy Summer! Our designers have jammed packed a ton of great new releases! So lets get to them!

From Mags Graphics

From Aimee Harrison

From Tinci

From Miss Fish

From JoCee

From Ponytails

From Lindsay Jane

From Craft-tastrophic

From Miss Mis

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Becoming an ALPHA Female

Mary left a comment on the tutorial Chalking it Up to Inspiration where she asked for some tips on using those alphas that come with many designers’ kits. She said she found them difficult to use and needed some tips for using them effectively. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

When I first started digi-scrapping, I didn’t use kit alphas much because, like Mary, I found them cumbersome to work with. So many things about my workflow have changed over the years and I’ve found some methods that really work for me, so I’m going to share some of them with you today. One of Mary’s comments was about finding them. Each scrapper is going to do things differently according to how they organize information in their heads, so the following is meant as a suggestion, not a directive.

I’ve read a lot of posts in various places about organizing supplies and I’ve tried lots of methods. The one that works for me best is to use folders. I make folders for everything! When I unzip my downloads, I try very hard to organize them right away; I rename them with the designer’s name and kit name then move them into the folder I’ve created for the store where I bought them. My GingerScraps  folder is HUGE!! I also take everything out of the folders the designer has put them in so I can see the whole kit when I open the folder. I used to do that with the alphas too, but found that didn’t work for me. Now they go in a subfolder of the kit folder. (Are you confused yet?) I can tell at a glance which of my kits have matching alphas. They appear in the file with a little arrow in front of the kit name as shown below. That little arrow indicates there is a subfolder. Is this making sense?

Here’s where things get interesting. You can let Windows do the work for you. Other scrappers have talked about tagging every. Single. Element. And. Paper… but you don’t have to! Designers usually call their various bits and bobs simple names like “button”, “paper” or “flower” so if you pop that keyword into the Windows search box in the upper right corner and tell it what area of your hard drive to search, it’ll go get everything with that keyword attached to it.

Because I’ve put my alphas into subfolders, my search will turn up both folders and individually named alphas as shown below. Depending on how many folders you have, this search can take awhile, so I usually open another window and start pulling my papers and elements for the layout I’m working on. Some of you may know that I like to mix up items from several kits into a single layout so I might want to use a different alpha than the one the kit provides.

Once I’ve decided on the alpha I want to use and the title I’m going to create, I’ll open a new canvas on my workspace. The size of this canvas isn’t critically important because you’ll be able to resize everything once you’ve put it together to your satisfaction. Just give yourself lots of room.

I use Elements 12, which has an unfortunate glitch in it. Everything that is dragged and dropped onto a canvas is transformed into a “smart object” and it takes on the size of the canvas it’s pulled onto. (A workaround for this is to open the element on the workspace and drag it DOWN onto the layout in the Photo Bin, which sizes it according to the original file.) Adobe has taken care of this glitch in later versions – 13 and above – so if your software is more recent, you won’t have to pay attention to this business. The screenshot below shows what V.12 does, which isn’t a big problem if your alpha is ALL-CAPS, like this one from the Seatrout Scraps collection Maybelle. It’s the kit I plan to create my layout with, so of course I had to try it out.

As you can see from the screenshot above, this DOES present a problem in terms of getting all the letters to fit the canvas. I select all the letter layers in the Layers panel so I can resize everything at the same time. WSNH, right?

You can use the Distribute tool to space your letters but it’s not always the best way to do it. I prefer to just eye-ball the spacing. If it looks right, you’ll know. Sometimes I have to resize a couple of times to get everything to fit on the canvas. It’s easy to move blocks of letters together if you’re only worried about a single space being too big or too small; just select the layers those letters are on in the Layers panel and move ’em.

Take a good look at your title to see if you like it. I think all the letters in lockstep looks blah. So I’m going to make some tweaks.

How does this look? Nah….

So I moved the last 3 letters over so they overlap where the “s”s are, and that looks better.

How about staggering them with a little overlap? Do I like that better? I think I do!

I wanted to try out several alphas for this title, so next I looked at this one from Ooh La La ScrapsShabby Chic collection. It has both upper- and lowercase letters so there’ll be a couple of extra steps.

To overcome the “smart object” issue, I select all the lower case letters in the Layers panel EXCEPT the letters “b”, “d”, “f”, “g”, “h”, “i”, “j”, “k”, “l”, “p”, “q” “t” and “y”. If the “z” has a tail on it, I don’t select it either. The reason for NOT selecting those is that they either supposed to be the same height as the CAPs, or they extend below the baseline. Instead, I use these letters to guide my resizing efforts. This example doesn’t show you what to do with those letters that dangle, the ones that you DON’T resize. I’ll talk about that below.

The screenshot below shows you what I mean. You can use the bounding box to help you get the size just right – the top of the bounding box is just touching the top of the “i”.

Once again, there’s a size/space problem. Or is there?

I think I like the overlap, so let’s leave it there.

Or, creatively, I might tilt one of the letters slightly. I like to do that especially with the letter “o”, but “s” looks cool tipped too.

But let’s try a staggered arrangement… remember to shadow the letters that overlap others. Otherwise it will look odd. Maybe not to your eyes, but somebody will notice – and you want them to be overcome by the beauty of your work, not the wonky missing shadows, right?!

I wanted to try just one more alpha, one that’s sort of a glossy script from WimpychomersPurple is Her Passion. It’s a little hard to see in the screenshots because it’s white, so you might have to move your head/screen around a bit to see what I’m showing you. If you’re not using guides – lines that make it easier to position things, this might encourage you to do it. This tip will help you to align those dangling “g”s, “p”s, “q”s and “y”s. To create a guide place your cursor on the upper (or far left for a vertical guide) edge and click/drag down (or over) to one of your lowercase letters. You can then resize other letters one at a time, and you can align the danglers by nudging them downward until the top of the letter is even with the top of the resized lowercase ones. When you don’t need the guide any more you can click on View>Guides (or CTRL/CMD>;) and it’ll go away.

This alpha looks a lot like cursive writing, especially after I overlapped the swashes a bit.

I think, for this layout, the title needs a little more oomph. So I’m going to make my canvas a little bit bigger. It’s fine side-to-side, but needs to be a bit bigger top-to-bottom. Image>Resize>Canvas Size (CTRL/CMD>Alt>C) brings up the menu shown below. I just added 1/2 an inch to the height. You would need to take this step if you’re using danglers too, because your baseline isn’t going to rest at the bottom of the canvas.

Then I dropped a paper behind my alpha. I dragged it from the workspace DOWN onto the canvas, and then shrunk it to fit, rather than dragging it UP from the Photo Bin onto the canvas and then resizing up but it isn’t important. Then I clicked on the title thumbnail to select the edges of the alpha.

By going to Select>Modify>Expand then keying in 30 pixels, the marching ants will move 30 pixels out from the edges of the alpha.

Go back to Select>Inverse (CTRL/CMD>Shift>I) to invert the area selected to the excess paper. Then Delete or CTRL/CMD>X and all that extra paper is cut away.

It looks good, but still needs something. You might also notice that the paper layer thumbnail looks strange. That’s because the paper layer is larger than the canvas so I cropped the canvas to eliminate that. CTRL/CMD>C activates the Crop tool.

See how different the layer thumbnail looks now?

I’m going to put a glittery edge around the paper, so I added a new layer ABOVE the paper cutout, then clicked on the layer thumbnail to get my marching ants. Then I added a stroke – colour doesn’t matter – to the paper. Edit>Stroke (Outline Selection) and a number in the box – 10 pixels here ON THE NEW LAYER gives me something to attach my glitter style to.

Now we’re cookin’! It has so much more presence now.

The second-to-last step is to put a slight shadow on the alpha layer so it looks like it’s been written with gel. Then as a very last step I merge or link the layers so when I go to drag the title onto my layout, it all goes together.

So I’ve shown you three different kit alphas and three different options for their use. I hope this has you thinking a little more kindly toward those alphas and I hope to be seeing them in use on your creations! Which option do you think I chose for my 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 each month I’ll have a random draw of all entries and the winner will be announced at the end of the first tutorial of that month.