Creative Style | Project 52/365

Happy 2017 everyone! I got a bit overwhelmed at the start of the year; and I failed to bring you your weekly inspiration. Even though we are two weeks into 2017, it isn’t too late to start on our photo projects. I am talking about Project 365 and Project 52. What are those? According to Google

Simply put, Project 365 is committing to taking one photo a day for a year. Whether you’re using a fancy DSLR, or simply using your phone, there is no wrong or right way to put together your own Project 365.

Basically a photo a day for project 365 and a photo a week for project 52. You can capture it however you want, post it however you want (or not at all)…or scrap it! I personally post them on Instagram with my personal hashtag, as well as scrap them.

To help you on your way (and to keep going) GingerScraps has a challenge area just for this, as well as a section in the store dedicated to the products you can use on your layouts. Today we are going to showcase a few of those items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Baked: January 13, 2017

The weeks just keep flying by! The designers are not letting the time get away from them and are putting out beautiful kits and templates this week!

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

fwp32 
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Puttin-On-The-Glitz.html

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks January 12, 2017

Happy Thursday! We had a bit of Winter at the beginning of the week here in Florida but now it’s in the high 70’s again. Hopefully most of you fared well during the first Snowmageddon of the year. If you are still trapped inside, our designers have some great new releases coming out tomorrow to help you pass the time!

From Laurie’s Scraps

From JoCee Designs

From JB Templates

From Dagi’s Temp-Tations

 

From Amy Stoffel

From Tinci Designs

From Little Rad Trio

From LouCee Creations

From Miss Fish

 

From CathyK

Have a wonderful weekend filled with making memories and scrapping them!

 

GingerBread Ladies Sneak Peeks – 01/13/17

Oh my goodness do I have some fabulous sneak peeks for you this week. Our designers have been super busy.

Whew… I am totally excited about the new goodies this week. Make sure you head over to the store on Friday to pick up your favorites. Make sure to check out the blog tomorrow for some sneak peeks from our fabulous store CT.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Journaling INside the Box!

Greetings GingerScrappers! I’m hoping against hope the big server swap-out goes smoothly and quickly so nobody misses out on anything around here. I’m actually at work today – but you know nurses are capable of being in two places at one time (or at least the hospital thinks we are…) so you’re still going to get your dose of PSE instruction. Today we’re going with something really simple and straight-forward. Carol (user name gnana) requested a lesson on putting text inside a shape. Sadly with PSE, we’re limited to the custom shapes available within the software, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be creative! So let’s have a look…

I was putting together a Chanukah layout for the January Recipe Challenge the other day, using Tracey Monette‘s (aka Clever Monkey Graphics) Hanukkah Oy kit and wanted to put my journaling inside a Star of David. (I made this tag out of an element and some paper.) See how I’ve selected the Custom Shape Tool below? The pop-up menu will automatically give you the Default Shapes so go ahead and select Show All then pick a shape that’s close to the one you want to journal within.

The best the software could do for me was a sheriff’s badge. So I went with that. I put my cursor on the tag then left-click>dragged out the shape to the size I wanted. (Make the shape as large as you can without extending past the edges of your item. You can always reposition it once you’ve got the shape and size you want.) The shape will then appear in your Layers Panel.

I don’t know about you, but I have a gazillion fonts and choosing the one I want to use is painfully difficult. So when I heard about wordmark.it I knew I’d use it a LOT! All you do is go to the website and pop some of your text into the box at the centre of the black band at the top. The site will then show you what it looks like in every font on your hard drive. How awesome is that?

Once I decided on the font I wanted to use (which isn’t the one shown in the screenshot… I actually used one called Worship Display, which seemed to be an appropriate choice) I made sure Horizontal Type Tool was selected. Then when I moved my cursor over to the shape layer, I got a slightly modified text cursor that looks a little like I’ve shown you below. That’s how you know it’s going to do what you want.

Sizing your text will determine how well your text fills the space. I could have gone smaller with the font, used more words and extended my text a little closer to the edges but the shape wasn’t huge and I wanted to be able to read it. You may well have to adjust what you want to say to make sure it all fits inside your shape. See how my text fits neatly and has a nice border around it?

I zoomed out a bit so you can see the entire text and how it fits.

Of course, I don’t want that white sheriff’s badge to stay there. When I turn the visibility of the shape layer off, my text remains and is still exactly where I put it. So guess what! That layer can just be deleted altogether. Cool, right?

So now you can go ahead and make your own tag shapes for journaling and have a polished look to your finished layout. The easiest way to do that is to create a shape. Then make a copy of that shape (CTRL/CMD+J) and simplify them (right-click on the layer>Simplify Layer) so you can play with them. Make the bottom one a little larger than the one on top so you have a nice border. Then clip papers to each layer. Bingo!

I hope you’re having fun learning new tricks! See you all next week.

January Featured Designer – Ponytails Designs

Happy 2017. Hard to believe it’s a new year. With a new year (month) comes a new GingerScraps Featured Designer. This month we are talking to Natasha of Ponytails Designs.

How did you get started in digital scrapbooking?

After my daughter was born I was looking for something quiet to do while baby napped. A friend had tried digital and I thought it was a cool idea. I gave it a try and was hooked.

What made you decide to design?

I’ve always been a creative person and so I thought I’d give it a try. I love the whole process from planning to the actual design work itself.

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

I mainly use Photoshop CC. I’ve been trying to learn AI but am finding it really frustrating.

Describe your design workplace.

I have a small desk in the kitchen where I set up my laptop. From there I’m fairly central in the house and can keep an eye on my daughter, as well as be a part of whatever else is going on in the house.

What is your favorite thing about designing?

I love the creative process.

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

My favorite is probably Country Girl. I designed that completely for myself. It reflects who I am and what my life is all about.

What’s your favorite holiday?

Summer holidays for sure. Does that count? lol

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

Our annual summer RV trip we take with friends. We take 2-3 weeks and explore new places and definitely new wineries!

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

Do not attempt to approach in the morning unless coffee has been consumed.

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

Coffee, for sure.

How would your friends describe you?

Friendly, warm, welcoming, and always smiling

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

Beach house for sure. In my dream world I’d have a ranch next to a beach on Maui.

Thanks Natasha!!

Make sure to check out her GS Store, Facebook page, and blog.

Also make sure you are checking out the GS Blog every day to grab pieces of the special kit she is sharing with us this  month.

Fresh Baked: January 06, 2017

Still getting the hang of typing 2017. Writing it, too. The first week of 2017 is nearly over and the designers are already showing that they’re going to do some amazing things this year!

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

fwp3 
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Puttin-On-The-Glitz.html

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks January 5th, 2017

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 brings a lot of scrapbooking time! And to help fill that time, check out some of the goodies releasing tomorrow!

From Laurie Scraps

From Dagi’s Temp-tations

From Miss Fish

From Lindsay Jane

From Tinci

 

From JB Studio

Have a Wonderful first weekend of the New Year!

GingerBread Ladies Sneak Peeks – 01/06/17

Happy Wednesday. Are you ready for some sneak peeks? Let’s see what the designers have coming out this week.

I love the colors of these. I can’t wait to go shopping.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Sizzling Signatures!

It’s a brand new month, a brand new year and it’s time for a brand new siggie. Signatures… we all have one. Our online presence is greatly enhanced by having a pretty one, or an intriguing one, or a sizzling one. The January 2017 Signature Challenge hosted by CathyK Designs asks us to use glitter in our signature and there’s so many ways we can do that. (psst…. any text that is bold and green is linked to the very spot in the forum, store or gallery I’m talking about… you can just click on it and you’re there!) I know there are some of you who find creating signatures to be a daunting thought – largely due to the very teenytiny size required – so I’m going to give you some tips on making yours fabulous. The guidelines given for these files is that they can’t be bigger than 750 x 150 pixels. But who can create in a space that small? I sure can’t. So I start out with a file size FIVE TIMES the guideline size so I can see what the heck I’m doing.

As I’ve mentioned before, this is my own workflow and it works for me, so don’t feel like you have to follow these instructions to the letter – they aren’t INSTRUCTIONS, they’re SUGGESTIONS. Anyway, I like to make a folder for each of my challenge layouts where I collect all the items I want to use in one place. I copy the elements and alphas from their original folders into the new dedicated folder, as I’ve shown below. Then it’s a simple matter of highlighting all the items in the folder and opening them all at once, as a batch.

As you can see, I’m using a kit from Ooh La La Scraps called In the Frosty Air. I chose this one because it has glittery paper in it and because Katie almost always has an alphabet or six and a collection of styles that coordinate with her collections. My name is short, so I like to use an alpha or font with some presence. This one worked for me. If your name has quite a few letters, you can use a skinnier alpha and still make a statement about who you are. Spacing is up to you, whatever is pleasing to your eye. See that I have all three letter layers selected. This is because I want to centre the letters on my palette; I can move them all together without messing up my spacing.

The easiest way to centre a group of items like this is to pull a guideline out to the centre of the workspace. It’s a bit hard to see it in the image below so I used a honking huge arrow. If you’ve never used a guideline before here’s how: Put your cursor right on the edge of your workspace –  either the very top, where I have a ruler visible, or on the left side, where I also have a ruler that isn’t shown below – then click and drag until you’ve got it where you want it. You can also see that I’ve merged my letter layers into a single layer.

I want to put a glitter paper border around my alpha to jazz it up and to meet the challenge criteria. I messed up my screenshots, so let’s pretend I’ve already dragged my glittery paper onto the workspace. Now I’m going to create an outline of my alpha by selecting the edges – clicking on the Layer Thumbnail. That puts some marching ants around the edges.

Then I clicked on Select>Modify>Expand to create a nice border around my alpha.

The pop-up menu looks like this. I chose 20 pixels, after some trial and error. Just enter a number in the box then see what it looks like. You can always CTRL/CMD+Z out of anything you’re not happy with.

See where the marching ants are now? 20 pixels gives me a nice border, visible but not overpowering.

While I still had the alpha layer highlighted, I inverted the selection, since I want to “cut” the excess paper away from my outline. Clicking on Select>Inverse in the Tabs is the same as CTRL/CMD+Shift+I.

Don’t forget to change the selected layer to the glittery paper. If you forget, when you Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD+X) you’ll just delete your alpha from its layer. Not what you’re going for.

So now I have a glittery border around my name. I went ahead and added the various elements I chose for my siggie and was pretty happy with it. BUT… I decided I wanted to glitter up one of the snowflakes in the scatter I used. So I duplicated (CTRL/CMD+J) the layer. Using the Elliptical Marquee tool I selected one of the large snowflakes from the duplicated layer then Cut it (CTRL/CMD+X) and Pasted (CTRL/CMD+V) it onto its own layer. I turned the visibility of the two scatter layers off so I could see what I had. Oh, there’s a sequin there. Don’t want to glitter that up, it’s already glittery! So I created a Layer Mask by clicking on the blue rectangle at the top of the Layers panel. The mask is that white strip to the right of the Layer Thumbnail. You’re probably asking why I didn’t just use the Eraser tool to erase the sequin. I could do that, but if I accidentally had a dog land on my laptop as I was erasing and I erased most of the snowflake too, I’d have to go back to the beginning of the process. This way, if I erase too much, I can paint whatever I didn’t want gone back in. Remember, white conceals and black reveals.

With the Eraser tool and a white foreground colour, I carefully erased the sequin. If I’d slipped and took off one of the points on my snowflake, changing the foreground colour to black (the X key does that for me without having to click on the little bidirectional arrow) and un-erasing over that spot will bring it back. Once I had the sequin erased and the snowflake all perfect, the layer had to be Simplified. Right-click somewhere in the blue area on the selected layer then choose Simplify Layer.

Next I opened up my Effects Panel and chose the Glitter Style from Ooh La La Scraps’ In the Frosty Air styles menu. I decided I wanted the aqua fine glitter style and double-clicked on it to apply it to my snowflake. Woohoo!

Then I went ahead and deleted the duplicated layer of the snowflake scatter… the one that I had cut the snowflake from. The original snowflake scatter layer is visible again too.

Then I shadowed all my layers so they’d have some nice oomph. Don’t forget this step! You still want your siggie to look three dimensional and pretty.

When you love how your name looks with all its finery around it, it’s time to shrink it to fit the guidelines. You can follow the steps shown below, or go the quick way with a keyboard shortcut (CTRL/CMD+ALT+I).

These are the settings I recommend. Make sure you’ve checked those boxes at the bottom. When you do it this way, you can change the pixel counts and all the other settings automatically change too. This is helpful for posting to the gallery, because you can just resize your image to 600×600 this way.

See how teensy the image is now? But I promise, the details have been totally preserved. I like my siggie to have a transparent background. If you save it as a JPEG, it will have a white background. So what I do is select Save As…  (CTRL/CMD+Shift+S).

In the Save As menu, I choose PNG and give it a name that I’ll be able to recognize later. And I save it into the same folder I had all my elements in already. Gotta keep it all together in one place…

The PNG menu looks like this. Just save it as I’ve shown.

Now you can add your signature to your GingerScraps Forum profile! First, post your siggie to your gallery. Open up GingerScraps in a new tab to save yourself some work. On that second tab, go to the Forum and select Settings from the upper right hand side of the screen just below the banner. Then select Edit Signature.

I already had a siggie that I’m now going to replace. So I clicked on the old siggie, turning it blue, then hit the Delete key.

Then go back to the first tab, where you have your siggie selected in your gallery. Right-click on the image and select Copy image address.

Flip back to the tab where you’ve got your settings open and click on the Image icon. If you want your siggie to be centred under your forum posts, make sure you have that control selected.

Then paste the image address in the URL box as shown, then click OK.

That’s all! When you see the image of your siggie appear, you just have to click on Save Signature and you’re all done!!

Some tips for eye-catching signature files:

  • Use a font or alpha with some weight to it so it stands out.
  • Balance your signature: if you centre your name, have something on each side of it so it looks somewhat symmetrical.
  • If you want your name at one side of the signature, have an element that leads the eye either to it or away from it.
  • Don’t forget your shadows! But keep scale in mind. You don’t want your shadows to be all people notice.
  • Adding CT information or other text to your siggie needs a bold font because it’s going to be very tiny when you’re done. You want people to be able to read what you’ve written.
  • Your name is more than just your name, it’s a representation of who you are! So make it fabulous!!

Last thoughts: Last week I mentioned an unofficial Tutorial Tuesday Challenge. There is now a Challenge Gallery on our GS Facebook Fan Page for those who have FB accounts. For those who don’t, a link to your layout in the GingerScraps Gallery in the comments here on the Blog will get you an entry too. At the beginning of each month I’ll check both places for participants and Mr Random will select the winner. So start thinking about what we can learn together.