Sneak Peeks May 18th, 2017

Happy Thursday! Here’s a sneak into the awesome new products releasing tomorrow! Our awesome CT has made awesome pages with them! Check it out!

From Aimee Harrison

From Tinci


From Keley Designs

From Miss Fish

From Amy Stoffel

From Lindsay Jane

From Little Rad Trio

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Behind the MASK

Today’s tutorial came about from a support request Ginger received; a faithful GingerScrapper asked how MASKS are used. So I have some suggestions. For this lesson I’ve used a mask from Seatrout Scraps lovely Tattered and Torn collection (retired) and papers from her Mom to Boys collection.

Masks are really versatile tools for the digital scrapper. They essentially create a cutout of whatever is clipped to them. With a little creativity, the sky’s the limit! They can be resized, flipped, turned, stretched, filled, glittered, glossed, textured, beveled – really, anything you can think of. Let’s start with the simplest use, clipping a paper to a mask.

I opened a neutral patterned paper as my background, then dragged my mask onto it. I use Elements 12, which turns everything into Smart Objects when you drag and drop, meaning it’s the same size as the canvas it’s dropped onto. Sometimes this is a real curse… who wants a button with a 12 inch diameter?? (The work-around is to open the item on the workspace then drag it DOWN onto the page.) But in this situation I left the mask full-sized. Then I dragged a daisy-patterned paper on top of the mask. Right click on the layer, then select Create Clipping Mask, (WSNH: CTRL/CMD>G) to clip the paper to the mask as shown.

Once the paper is clipped to the mask you can play with Blend Modes. Working on the MASK layer, I changed the Blend Mode to Overlay.

And this is what it looks like. For this purpose, it looks kinda blahhhhh. But it might work beautifully with different papers.

Next I tried the Linear Burn mode. (Actually, I tried them all but I’m not sharing the really ugly results.)

As discussed in the tutorial about Blend Modes, any mode that includes BURN in the name DARKENS.

Hard Light doesn’t do exactly what one would think it does.

See how faded it is? So maybe it DOES do what it sounds like it should.

Next I played with a solid paper clipped to the same patterned paper.

To my eyes it looks a little umm… boring? So I played with some Blend Modes again. As before, I worked on the MASK layer.

Multiply darkened but also added some more transparency.

I tried some of the lighting modes and liked Soft Light best.

Soft is a great description for this look. But… it really reduces definition.

I played with the Texture Filter. (Filter>Texture>Texturizer)

This is the menu that opens when you select the Texturizer. There are several adjustments you can make in this menu, starting with the type of texture you want. The selections are Sandstone, Burlap, Canvas and Brick. I selected Canvas. Then I used the sliders to adjust the Scaling, Relief and Light direction. The Preview panel lets you see what you’re doing.

This is what it looks like after I’m finished.

Then I reversed my previous choices, clipping a patterned paper to the solid one.

I tried Soft Light on the Mask Layer.

It looks rather pretty.



You can also clip PHOTOS to your masks. For best results, enlarge your photo so the entire mask is covered. You don’t want the mask itself to be visible.

CTRL/CMD>G and voilà!

If you want to blend the edges into your background, you can use the Eraser tool with a large, soft brush set to a lowish Opacity so it softens but doesn’t erase completely.

All I did was make a circle around the outside with my eraser brush. If you look at the thumbnail of my mask in the Layers panel, you can see how the edges have been lightened.

Another super way of playing with masks is to Fill it with colour. Using your Eyedropper, you can pull a colour from your photo or your background paper. Then select Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color.

The drop-down menu looks like this. Check the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask box.

And you end up with this.

You can adjust the Opacity of the coloured layer by sliding the Opacity slider  on the MASK layer to the left. If you adjust the opacity of your coloured layer the black from the mask will alter the colour you’ve used, darkening it.

But there are more options with Fill Layers! Let’s see what the Gradient… setting does.

Again, make sure you’ve checked that Use Previous Layer box. Otherwise your Fill Layer will cover up everything.

Ooh, that’s really pretty!

What does that third choice in the New Fill Layer menu do?

It opens up this menu…

… which then opens THIS menu.

Wow… that’s an interesting look! I could play with this all day!

So there you have some ideas about what you can do with masks. They’re so much fun! Do you think you can guess which of these little tricks I’ve shown you is the one I used for my May Inspiration Challenge layout? Can you pick out the other tutorial techniques I’ve used?

When I contacted Bekki (bekfek) to tell her she was Mr Random’s choice to challenge me, she was pleased but felt that Ellen (gmae) should have had more entries. So she has graciously passed on her opportunity to Ellen, who is thinking upon it. I’m still working on Michelle’s (belis2mi)  challenge…

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.


May 2016 Bake Sale

Goodness, it’s already mid-May and time for the Bake Sale. Any of these lovely kits are on sale from now through the 20th for just $1 each. Let’s see what our designers are offering this month.

Hop on over to the store to take advantage of these and more!!

Let’s Celebrate the Moms!

It is Mother’s Day here in the states tomorrow. I realize that in other parts of the great big world, Mother’s Day has come and gone. You can celebrate and scrap mothers any time of the year though! With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the great Mother’s Day (or just mom inspired) digital scrapbooking supplies from here at GingerScraps! Hold on to your hats. We are about to blow you away with some great stuff. All images are linked to the store of course.

Don’t forget that there is an entire section dedicated to Mother’s Day in the store as well. In case you don’t find anything that strikes your fancy in today’s post. I’m talking pages-and-pages worth!






Don’t forget the Grandmothers!






Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Can This Photo Be Saved?

Hey there GingerScrappers! I thought this week we’d look at something a little different. With Mother’s Day almost upon us and lots of old photos being pressed into service, I know there are some of you out there who wish your scanned pix were just a little less… blurry. So I’m going to show you a super-duper-simple trick for tightening up those images a bit.

I started with this photo taken in May, 1955; I found it in a box of my mom’s photos. (No, that isn’t me in there.) First I dealt with the dust spots and scratches using the Spot Healing brush then I was ready to sharpen it.

It’s not horrible, but it’s a little… um… soft. So I Duplicated the image (WSNH= CTRL/CMD>J).

Working on the topmost layer I just created, I clicked on the Filter tab, scrolled down to Other and selected High Pass…

The Tool menu opens up a dialog box as shown. I selected a Radius of 1.0 pixels. There is now a gray-scale image of my photo, with some details visible.

To make this filter adjust the appearance of my photo, I’m going to change the Blend Mode for the topmost layer to Overlay. If you don’t feel there’s been enough sharpening, you can Undo (CTRL/CMD>Z) and increase the Radius until you’re happy. But be careful. A word of caution: Don’t keep adding layers with High Pass filters on top of each other because you’ll end up with something quite bizarre-looking.

Can you see the difference between this image and the untouched one? Facial features are a little clearer.

By setting the Radius to 3.0 pixels, there’s more detail visible on the filter layer.

When you get to the point where the Filter layer looks a lot like the original, it might be time to stop. Too MUCH is not better. Less in this case can actually be more.

I was pleased to see that the resulting image was sharp, the contrast was good and my photo now looked a lot better. So I Merged the two layers (CTRL/CMD>E) and saved my photo as an edit.

I can hear you mumbling about colour photos… so I’m ready for that too! This photo was in the same box, and was taken in 1978.

At a Radius of 1.0, there’s faint detail visible, and only gray-scale.

It looks a bit better, but not much!

At a Radius of 2.0, there’s a faint hint of colour showing through, and a bit more detail.

The area that seems to show the most sharpening effect is the window. Notice that the colours are darkening too.

The higher I take the Radius, the more colour shows through.

What happens if I’m tired of inching up and just make a jump to say… 7.0 pixels?

The colours have darkened a lot and some detail is actually lost. To save this one at this degree of sharpening, I’d have to make quite a few tweaks of Lighting, Brightness and Contrast and I run the risk of making the photo look really phony. So I suggest you don’t save this version over the original, but as an edited copy so if you’re sickened by how far you took the image (as I was with some of my Ireland trip photos… blech!) you still have the original and can start over with a lighter hand.

I plan to make a layout with the first image for the Inspired by a Word/Words iNSD challenge from JoCee Designs. When it’s finished I’ll add in a link so you can see it if you want to.

In April there were 4 people who linked me up to layouts where they’d used one or more of these tutorials. Ellen had several, but to be fair, she only is on the list once. Mr Random has selected Bekki Braun Fekete (aka bekfek) as this month’s winner. Bekki, put your thinking cap on!

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.

Next week’s tutorial will be for Michelle (aka Belis2mi). She needs some help with organization, so stay tuned. You might find a tip or two you can use!


iNSD & Fresh Baked: May 05, 2017

It’s International Scrapbooking Day … but one day isn’t enough, we have a whole WEEK to celebrate! The designers have been going crazy behind the scenes and you’re going to have a blast when you see all that is available!

Our theme for this iNSD celebration is Because I’m Happy! There are so many reasons, small and large, to be HAPPY each and every day! Join us May 5-11, 2017 and let the celebration begin! HUGE sales, $5.00 Grab Bags, A Scavenger Hunt and lots of Fun & Games happening in the forum! Of course we also have fabulous prizes and goodies being passed out all week long! Keep an eye on this special iNSD sub-forum… it will be full of posts from our designers, that you will NOT want to miss! I look forward to seeing all of you!! I hope to see a gallery full of layouts celebrating your HAPPINESS! 

Our SITE-WIDE 50% off sale is underway!!! *some restrictions apply*

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


And during iNSD if you spend over $20.00 you will get the above Ice Cream collab AND this HUGE GingerBread Ladies MEGA collab!

 We also have special iNSD $5.00 Grab Bags! GrabBags

Are you ready to see the Fresh Baked Goodies!

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks May 5th INSD Weekend!

Happy Thursday! It’s the eve of INSD! Theres going to be a TON of fun happening this weekend. Check back tomorrow for all the sales, chats, and grab bags! I have a sneak peek of just a tiny bit of the awesomeness coming this weekend! I can’t wait to stock up!

From Clever Monkey Graphics Two full kits, one mini kit and one awesome grab bag!!!

From Miss Fish a bunch of new templates


From Aimee Harrison a new collection

From Tinci a new grab bag and a new template pack

From Little Rad Trio a new grab bag

From Neia Scraps two new grab bags

From Amy Stoffel a new grab bag

From Lindsay Jane a new collection

From JoCee a new grab bag

From CathyK a new collection

From Luv Ewe Designs two new grab bags

Remember this is only a small sampling of all the awesomeness coming tomorrow! Happy INSD weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Keeping Things in Perspective

Ellen (aka gmae) issued me the challenge of helping her with perspective. We think that’s what she wants to learn… we had some difficulty pinning it down since she wasn’t able to find the example she wanted to emulate. She described it as a framed photo that wasn’t perfectly perpendicular to the viewer, or not laying flat on the paper. She said that when she tried to do it herself it looked odd, because the photo didn’t match the perspective of the frame. So this is what I’ve come up with. Ellen, if it’s not what you wanted to learn, we’ll take another run at it.

I started out with a frame (Seatrout Scraps Summer’s End – retired) that is resting partially on a grapevine wreath (Seatrout Scraps Autumn Odyssey). To make the steps more visible, they’re laying atop a paper from Ooh La La Scraps Creepy kit, which I used extensively in the remainder of my layout.

To make this technique work you’ll need PSE’s grid overlay to be visible. If you don’t use this tool, you’re missing out! You can do so many great things with it. To turn it on, click the View tab, then select Grid from the drop down menu. WSNH= CTRL/CMD>’ Line up your frame so that the top and the bottom are either on a line or an equal distance from two parallel lines.

Next step: Image>Transform>Distort where you’ll be moving the corners toward each other just the teensiest bit. I started with the top one and moved the handle (that square at the corner of the bounding box) vertically until it was halfway between two horizontal lines on the grid.

You can see in the detailed screenshot below what I mean. You can also see that I kept the right edge parallel to the edge of the paper.

Then I did the same thing at the bottom. DON’T Commit current operation until you’ve adjusted both corners!

So now the frame is slightly narrower at the right edge than it is on the left, just enough to be visible. And it looks like it’s touching the paper, but raised off it by the wreath.

The photo I chose doesn’t provide a dramatic view of what needs to happen to the photo in this technique in the way a photo of a landscape might, but I still went ahead and adjusted it anyway.

You guessed it… I did exactly the same thing with the photo that I did with the frame.

The amount I shrunk it is the same as for the frame.

Now it’s essential to create perfect shadows for this frame and photo so it looks natural and real. So I created a new layer just underneath the frame. Layer>New>Layer and then moved it down.  WSNH= CTRL/CMD>sheet of paper icon puts it underneath automatically. Then I clicked on the layer thumbnail for the frame to select the outline of it, while my NEW layer was active.

Using the Fill tool (aka the paint bucket) and my shadow colour (2c1901) I filled the selection on that layer under the frame.

This shadow is going to be for the inside edge of the frame. So I resized it a little bit, as you can see by the location of the marching ants. I blurred the shadow layer using Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur set at 7.1 pixels. You can choose what looks good to you.

Then I nudged the shadow into place with the direction of the light source coming from the upper left corner (120°). I turned the visibility of the photo off, since the background of it is dark, and I needed to see where I was putting the shadow.

To make it look more natural, I decreased the Opacity to 44%.

I renamed the layer by double-clicking on the name in the Layers panel and called it Inner Shadow.

Then I repeated the steps for creating a shadow for the frame so that I could have a shadow under the framed photo. It’s on its own layer.

Look at all the practice you’re getting with Transforming images!

I pulled the lower left corner of the frame’s shadow down and away to add to the visual impression that the frame is resting on top of something thick, while keeping the lower right corner fairly close to the frame.

Then I moved that shadow layer underneath the photo and used the Smudge tool to enhance the realism of the shadow. I just pushed some of the edge a little closer to the frame.

After adjusting the Opacity to 50%, I was really pleased with how it all looked.

Does it look to you like the framed photo is lifted off the page where it rests on the wreath? I think it does.

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.

Next week I’ll have the winner of the April Tutorial Challenge for you, and hopefully Michelle will have her challenge for me figured out. I’m having so much fun!


Sneak Peeks April 27, 2017

It’s the last weekend of April! Month 5 is upon us and next weekend is INSD! But before we get to May, we have some new releases debuting tomorrow!

From Neia Scraps

From Tinci

From JoCee

From Miss Fish

Have a great weekend!

April Challenge Wrap-up


I know some of you popped by the Blog to check out Tutorial Tuesday, and are disappointed to see there isn’t one. The power cord on my laptop broke a week ago and I’m still waiting for the new one to arrive. (Who knew I’d have to go to Amazon to get one?!) It’s supposed to arrive today, which is great, but it won’t give me enough time to pull a tutorial together in time. Stay tuned…

Instead, let’s talk about the amazing GingerScraps Challenges. One of the most attractive things about GingerScraps, at least for me, (after the list of fantastic designers and terrific sales that is…) are the inspiring challenges the GS designers host each month. (It doesn’t hurt that there’s a huge collab awarded to those who complete 10 challenges in any given month either.) If you’re a dedicated GingerScrapper, you know all of this, and probably have a huge stash of these collabs to play with. But let’s pretend today’s your first day at GS. What do you need to know?

  1. Challenges are open to EVERYONE, no matter your experience or skill levels.
  2. Some of the challenges include a link for a free template, word art, mini-kit or brush. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
  3. The only rules for winning the monthly Gingerbread Ladies’ Challenge collab are that you complete a total of 10 challenges and that your layouts are made with a minimum of 50% of the items used being products from GingerScraps‘ designers. Oh, and no double-dipping. Each challenge has to have its own, unique layout. Before I forget. you’ll receive the Challenge collab that’s awarded in the month you reach 10 completed challenges. For example, if you did 3 challenges in February and 3 in March, you’d need 4 challenges in April to receive that month’s collab. Be aware: any “extra” layouts you complete after you’ve reached 10 DON’T carry over to the next month… they only carry over UNTIL you hit 10, then the ticker resets. If you did 9 challenges in April as in the example I gave you, you wouldn’t reach the total for May’s collab after 5 more… you’d need to do 10. Don’t be afraid to send missdamsel a message if you’re having trouble understanding the rules.
  4. The designers who host the Challenges (and everybody else!) want to see your work, so you must post a copy of your finished layout into the thread in the Forum.
  5. The Cookie Jar is where you document your challenge work. Missdamsel provides the list of challenges in her pinned post that you can copy into your tracking post. Then when you finish a layout and post it to the Challenge Gallery for that particular challenge, copy the URL for the layout and paste it into your tracking post. Easy peasy! At the end of the month, missdamsel checks all the Cookie Jars to make sure the rules have been followed, then sends out the coupon code for the Challenge collab to each lucky scrapper. Being rewarded for something you’d do anyway is a terrific incentive, don’t you think?

I have my favourite challenges, and there are some I never participate in. But I’ve only NOT achieved 10 challenges in one month twice in the 4 years I’ve been a GingerScrapper. There truly is something for everyone in the Challenges. Let’s have a look at some of them.

April’s Brush Challenge revolves around a brush created by Neverland Scraps.

This is how Judy (aka chigirl) used the brush. It kinda looks like she used one of my tutorials for this one, doesn’t it?

Then there’s the Colour Challenge, hosted by Miss Mis Designs. She challenged us to use YELLOW and WHITE in our layouts.

Glee went this way with it.

April’s Daily Download Challenge, hosted by Trixie Scraps, takes advantage of the free kit Look Who’s Driving provided by Mag’sGraphics in March. (That’s how the DD Challenge works. The previous month’s kit will be in the spotlight.)

Debbie really was inspired by the kit!

One of my faves is the Mix It Up Challenge, hosted by CathyK Designs. There’s no specific theme for this challenge, which makes it all that much more fun! Cathy asked us to create to a layout using a themed kit where the layout is completely OFF-TOPIC. What this challenge shows is that most kits can be adapted to almost any topic without much difficulty.

Lisa (aka slfam) used a wintery kit from Ooh La La Scraps called In the Frosty Air (which is one of my favourite go-to kits of all time!) for a layout about swimming with stingrays.

The last one I’m going to show you is the April Template Challenge. Each month there are TWO templates provided by the GS designers for your use; one is posted at the beginning of the month, the second around the 15th. The first template this month was provided by Little Rad Trio and it looks like this:

I used it for this layout of my youngest grandson and his daddy.

The second template is from MissFish.

Breoni ran with it. (Pardon the pun.)


Did you notice how I slipped in a tutorial on participating in the GingerScraps Challenges? Pretty slick, wouldn’t you say?

There are at least another dozen challenges we haven’t looked at today. Best news?? There’s still time for you to get your 10 challenges finished before the month ends… but you can’t waste any time. Ready? Set! GO!!