Fresh Baked: June 16, 2017

Happy Friday! The middle of the month is upon us! Sunday is Father’s Day and the 20th is the first official day of Summer! It’s going to be a great week, you can tell, just by looking at the kits that the designers have created! Plenty of template series are being released as well! There’s something for everyone!

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

fwp322
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Chillax.html

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks June 15th, 2017

Happy Thursday! Even though Summer doesn’t officially start until next week, it sure feels like Summer! Beat the heat and scrap this weekend with awesome new kits and templates from our amazing designers!

From Tinci

From Craft-tastrophic

 

From JoCee

From Neia Scraps

From CathyK

Have a wonderful weekend!

June Bake Sale

It’s that time again. Our designers have placed some wonderful kits into the Bake Sale for June. All these kits are available for just $1 from June 15-20.

Time to head to the GS store and go shopping!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Chalking it Up to Inspiration

Greetings faithful readers! Today’s tutorial builds on several previous lessons so if you’ve been paying attention, this one will be a breeze. I’m going to show you how to create your own chalkboard journal card. Choose a motivational, inspirational or humorous phrase to match your layout and let’s get at it.

Do you remember how to make a rounded rectangle? (The link will take you to the tutorial if you don’t.) Journal cards use typically a 2:3 ratio so I’ve made my canvas 4×6 and then filled it with my rounded rectangle. It really doesn’t matter what colour you use to make your shape because you’re going to clip a gray or black paper to it.

Remember the tutorial on tools? I showed you two ways to Simplify those shapes.

Chalkboards are typically black or charcoal gray, but may also be green. You can use whatever colour you want, though. Just make sure you choose a solid paper. I used a gray one from the May Daily Download kit Grateful from Blue Heart Scraps and Luv Ewe Designs. If you missed it, you can grab it in the shop.

CTRL/CMD>G clips the paper to the rounded rectangle. Or you can do it the long way by right-clicking on the paper layer in the Layers panel and then selecting Create Clipping Mask from the drop-down menu.

Once you’ve positioned your paper just so and clipped it to the rectangle, you want to Merge the two layers. CTRL/CMD>E does the job. Or…

Then you need to open the Color Picker and choose a light gray colour for your chalk. Or you can go with any pastel colour you want, because chalk comes in LOTS of colours. To change the hue of the sampler, click on the rainbow strip just to the right of the sample box then make tiny adjustments until you get the colour you want. I used a light gray.

Then it’s time to choose your first font. If you’ve organized your fonts in MainType and tagged them for easy sorting, this part will be pretty easy. I have a category called Chalk/Crayon and started by looking at those fonts. I typed what I was going to put on my journal card into the preview (Pangram) box so I could see what it would look like. I also used the tag Handwritten/Printed in my search. Quick and easy!

Oh wait!! What would a chalkboard journal card be without a flourish, curlicue or some other fancy bit to jazz it up? I have a collection of dingbat fonts I bought for a buck a piece years ago that have come in very handy at times. To have both a header and a footer I duplicated the flourish shown and rotated it 180° to create a mirror image. This step just adds a finish to the project.

If you’ve used a separator/flourish/curlicue make sure you Simplify the layer right away, and Simplify EVERY layer AS YOU GO because if you don’t do that, when you select another font for the next line, Elements will change the lines you’ve already typed out to that new font too.

Once you’ve chosen your font for the first line, go ahead and type it out. As you can see in the screenshot below, I haven’t yet Simplified the first line of text. If you’re not sure how to align things and centre them on your journal card, the screenshot shows you how. Select all the layers in your project. (WSNH: Click on the top layer to select it then Shift>Click on the last layer and all layers will be selected as shown below. To select random layers, use the CTRL/CMD key instead of the Shift key and click on each layer you want selected.) Then in the Tool Options panel, where it says Align, click on Middle and everything will line right up and be perfectly centred.

I didn’t screenshot the font I used for “Relax”… it’s called The Goldsmith Vintage. The second line’s font is from Lettering Delights and it’s called Soccer Mom.

The third line of my message was one I thought should be arched, so once I typed it out (using a font called Alphabet Pony Regular) then went to the Text Tool options and clicked on the Warp Text tool as shown below.

The Warp Text menu looks like this. The Style button offers several choices for the shape your text will assume, and you aren’t committed to anything until you click on OK so you can try them all if you need to in order to find the one that looks right. [Move the menu box (click and hold on the gray bar at the top of the box to move it around) so you can see your text as you adjust it.] Then you can adjust the Bend, Horizontal and Vertical Distortion to suit your purposes.

It wasn’t quite how I wanted it, so I went to the Image tab>Transform>Distort  to modify it even more.

I turned on my grid (which I’ve set to have a darker line every inch with 8 subdivisions per square inch) so I’d have a guide for the degree of skewing I was doing. CTRL/CMD>’ turns the grid on and off. Or you can do it the long way by clicking on View>Grid. To get the effect I was looking for, I stretched the line of text vertically a little then pulled the upper corners toward the centre just a bit.

I used Belepotan for the 5th line and Malina for the 6th.

Watermelon Smile Fancy seemed to be the right style for the 7th line. I’d really love to know how they come up with these names! The very last line is Font in a Red Suit. Yeah, it’s a Christmas font, but it works here.

When all the lines of text had been typed and sized appropriately, I aligned them all to the centre of the card then merged them. I didn’t merge the text to the paper yet though. You’ll see why in a minute.

The text was just too crisp and sharp to look realistically like chalk. So I distressed it a little by using a free snow brush I got from Brusheezy and the Eraser tool. I lowered the Opacity of the brush to 45% so it wouldn’t completely erase the areas I touched with it and then I just stamped my brush randomly over the text until it looked… well… more like chalk.

After I had all of that done, I looked at the finished card for a minute or two and decided it needed a thin stroke around the outside as a finishing touch. Do you remember how to do that? It was way back in the photo recolouring tutorial. To refresh your memory: Click on the layer thumbnail for the shape to get those ants marching around the edge. Then go to Select>Modify>Contract and set a number in the box. I used 20. That moved my marching ants 20 pixels toward the inside of the card. Then I used the foreground colour – light gray – to apply the stroke. Edit>Stroke (Outline) Selection>Width 4 (pixels)>Inside>OK. Remember?

When that was done and I liked what I was seeing, I merged all the layers and saved my journal card in the folder for the layout I created it for. The layout turned out just as I saw it in my mind’s eye. Have a look and see if you can pick out all the techniques I’ve used to create it.

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.

Focus On – Paints & Glitter

Who doesn’t need more glitter in their life? Nothing beats digital glitter either. There is no mess!! Yay! I am surrounded by little boys in my life. One son, three nephews, two best friends with boys of their own. Nothing but little boys. I joke around all the time that I need more Princesses and glitter in my life. I get that with my digital scrapbooking!

GingerScraps has a huge variety of all things paint and glitter. You can find them sprinkled throughout kits and collections. You can also find them separately. There is no one section in the store for these goodies. You can search for “paint” and “glitter“. I found the best selection were in the doodles and actions section of the store.

That being said, I did the searching for you. Guys, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg for what is in store for paint and glitter. These are the ones that stuck out to me though. All of them below are linked up for you.

Out of This World is a collab brought to you by Blue Heart Scraps and Luv Ewe Designs! This collection is full of colorful papers and elements for scrapping about the people you love to the moon and back!

 

These beautiful artsy stamps were made as part of my Snap Happy Collection. This collection is perfect for scrapping any type of photos and memories and has a super watercolour artsy feel to it!

 

16 graffiti pieces that coordinate with the Girls Rule pagekit.

 

Be{You}Tiful – Paint Splatters is created by Aprilisa Designs

 

each for the stars, spread your wings and fly. You never know what you can do until you try. Reach For The Stars, the new digital scrapbook kit by JB Studio has everything you need to document your hopes and dreams and those of your loved ones. Scrap your journey as you strive for your dreams and document all the joy of your successes.

 

#2017 June – Inked Bits by Connie Prince.

 

Light Up any layout with this celebratory collection, full of sparkle and light! Great for night time firework shows or any other sparkly layout!

 

June’s Pearl is a beautiful summery kit with pale beiges, blues, pinks and greens. My mother was born in June and pearls were one of her favorites.

 

Livin’ The Dream – Hodgepodge by Mandy King

 

4 fun scatterz to dress up your pages. Co-ordinates with Kitty Cat kit and extra packs.

 

Add a little sparkle to your pages by using some glitter in Photoshop with this set of 4 Glitter Photoshop Styles

 

Seamless PS Styles that coordinate with any of ‘Mommin’ Ain’t Easy’ packs.

So pretty right? I use paint splatter and glitter on nearly every page I scrap. I like bright colors and patterns. I like putting them behind my photos. I feel it draws one’s eyes to the photo and grounds the layout. I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at all things paint and glittery today!

Fresh Baked: June 09, 2017

Happy Friday! Welcome to a new week! The designers have some gorgeous new kits available and they’re super awesome! Don’t forget to check out the templates too!

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

fwp32
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Chillax.html

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks June 8th, 2017

Happy Thursday! There is a ton to show you so I won’t delay!

From Dagi

From Miss Fish

From Tinci

From Neia Scraps

From Lindsay Jane

From JoCee

From Aimee Harrison

Have a Wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Ellen: Talking about Tools

Ellen (gmae) and her sister Carol (gnana96) are really working hard to grow their Elements skills and came to me with a question about Pattern Files. I’ll confess I really wasn’t well-versed about them and I’m still not, but I’ve played around a bit with them and have some basics to share with you. I know you’re wondering what that has to do with Tools and you’ll get the answer to that as I go along. You may also think these tools are things only designers use, and that would be a real shame! Later in our conversation Ellen gave me a list of tool-related topics she’d like to know more about and they’re all coming right up. First thing I did was open a blank canvas so I could experiment.

One of the items Ellen mentioned was shapes. I touched on the Shape tool in the tutorial about rounded rectangles, but there’s a LOT more to it than that. Let’s look at the Custom Shape tool, the one that looks like an amoeba. Below is a screenshot of where to look for the tool in the Tool panel, as well as what the menu looks like. As you can see, there are a number of categories; if you know what kind of shape you’re looking for you can zero in by selecting the category and carrying on. I usually look at them all.

That little window holding all the thumbnails is teeny-tiny and only shows about 12 thumbnails at a time, so I made the window bigger. There’s a wedge-shaped collection of dots in the upper right corner of the window frame that I clicked and dragged on to make the window really big. Now I could get down to business.

For this demo I decided to choose a Grecian key shape. To create your shape, you put the cursor on your work surface and drag it across the screen. You can adjust proportions by moving that cursor around or you can tell Elements that you want to “constrain proportions” by clicking on that control bar I have circled below then entering in the dimensions you want. You can set it to create the shape from the centre out, or from one corner. If you’re particular or you have a specific idea in mind then select the controls you need to make the software work for you.

There are two ways to Simplify this shape layer. You can select it in the Tool options panel, or you can right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and select it there. Why Simplify the layer? That’s how you get a transparent background! With a transparent background, your shape becomes a “smart object” that you can move around, resize, rotate, skew and any other alteration you can think of. You want to have as much control and as few CTRL/CMD>Z moments as possible.

I wrote a tutorial about using Styles quite a while ago, so let’s refresh a little. There are dozens of embedded styles in the software; they’re found in the Effects panel you open by clicking on the big fx button at the lower right of your workspace. We’re focusing on the Styles section of this set. Open up the menu by clicking on that little bar the arrow indicates and select Patterns to see this menu. These files have .asl as their file type. and are stored in the Presets folder of Elements on your computer. Hover the cursor over the thumbnails to see what Elements calls each pattern.

The software needs to know where you want to put the Pattern Style, so CTRL/CMD>click on the layer thumbnail to select the contents of the layer. Voilà… marching ants!

This is what the Copper Pattern Style looks like on the Grecian key shape. To apply the style double-click on it.

I wanted to show you one more of the choices from that menu, so I selected the top strip of the Grecian key shape.

Hmm… dry mud? Why not!

Wow!

Let’s just refresh our memories about those style files several of our GingerScraps designers include in their collections. (Aimee Harrison, Miss Mis Designs, Just So Scrappy/Ooh La La Scraps, Kristmess and Magical Scraps Galore are the ones I can think off right off the top of my head.) I used a different custom shape for this part.

I’m going to apply a glitter-gloss style from Miss Mis Designs’ May Buffet collection called Hustle and Heart.

The menu for that Style group looks like this.

You’ll notice that this type of Style adds some dimension and reflected light to the shape.

There are many embedded Style categories, as I mentioned. What do the ones in the Complex styles folder do? (OMG, I have a typo on my screenshot! Oh well…) This particular style adds dimension, reflected light and drop shadows all with just a double-click.

Here’s another Complex style that looks like enameled or epoxy’d metal. Think of the ways you could fiddle with that!

Ellen also had Swatches on her list. There are a few choices with this one. To see the swatches you can click on the Window tab at the top of your screen and select them from the drop-down menu. Or, if you’re in the Text tool clicking on the Color box as shown will open up the same menu. I rarely use this feature because it’s so much easier and more satisfying to use the Color Picker tool (eye-dropper) to select a colour from either my photo or one of my papers/elements. The sky’s the limit with that method; this one is quite limited.

Here’s a happy little accident I experienced while I was experimenting. I checked out the Wow styles way down at the bottom of my (lengthy) styles list and the Wow Neon style looks like that fancy coloured Niobium wire.

See what I mean?

The style adds a drop shadow, which I felt might be a bit too far from the text for wire, so I opened up the fx menu on the layer to tweak the shadow and noticed that I had the option of changing the colour in there too.

Pulling the shadow in closer to the text looks like this. There are other ways of amping up this look too, by copying the original layer above the one the style is applied to and then applying another style to that layer, playing with the opacity until it looks incredible.

Now to the heart of Ellen’s question. Pattern files. Those ones with .pat as the file type. There are some designers who include a .pat file along with a .asl file in their kits. There are also a number of embedded .pat files in the software. I wasn’t able to find a shortcut for installing these files, so below I’m going to give you the steps for installing them manually. After you’ve extracted the .pat file from your downloads, copy the file (CTRL/CMD>C) then in Windows Explorer, look for the path I’ve shown. C:> Program Files (x86)> Photoshop Elements> Presets> Patterns. then paste the file into the folder. (CRTL/CMD>V)

Now let’s play with some .pat files! When you use a font for anything, you have to Simplify the layer before you can make any alterations to it. Don’t worry if you forget this step, because Elements will remind you. But ONLY with fonts!

Now how do we access those Pattern Files? By using the Pattern Stamp tool, of course! It does the same thing as the Clone Stamp tool, but rather than stamping a sample from the image you’re cloning, it uses a pattern. If you use the keyboard shortcut <S> you can toggle between Clone Stamp and Pattern Stamp easily.

The Stamp uses Brush tool options to select the area it covers. I used a hard square brush for my sample, but it really doesn’t matter what shape you use. You’re just going to click and drag the brush over the item you want to use the Pattern Stamp on anyway. Make sure you have NORMAL selected in the Mode box, otherwise you won’t see the effect you think you should.

This is where Elements hides those .pat files. There are several defaults, and any that you’ve installed into the Patterns folder will appear in the menu.

The Pattern Stamp will cover everything unless you select where you want it to go. So make sure you’ve selected the areas to apply your pattern to.

Do a quick visual check to make sure all the settings are correct.

Click and drag your Pattern Stamp brush over your selection… Bingo!

It looks neat, but I want it to look even neater, so I added a Bevel.

I used the Simple Inner bevel to add dimension.

Then I added a stroke to the resulting rounded text.

And here’s how to find the .pat files you’ve installed. My experience with those that come in kits is that they’re generally just glitter, but I only have the two you see below so what do I know?!

I’m so anxious to see what YOU do with all this creative license you’re discovering. 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.

In May, Michelle (belis2mi) and Ellen (gmae) each showed me several examples of how they used the tutorials to their advantage. They both will have another chance at challenging me!

Challenge Spotlight June 5th, 2017

Where has the year gone? We are in the 6th month of the year! I can’t believe it! This month lets check out a new challenge hosted by Rachel of Pretty in Green Designs called the Back it Up Challenge! This challenge helps remind you to back up your pictures! We don’t want to lose any of our precious photos! I personally take all the photos off my phone every month and back them up to the cloud.  On top of a reminder to back up our photos, she gives you a topic to make a layout. This months topic is Mess! With two kids, I definitely take a lot of photos where a mess is involved, but it could also be a renovation, or art project. Complete this layout and 9 others by the end of the month to receive this fabulous collab!

Lets see some examples!

 

 

So go ahead and play along with this challenge! If you don’t have pics for it, then make a mess and take them!

Be Pinspired – Creative Photos

How insane is it that we are half the way through 2017. I swear it seems just a few weeks ago we were starting this year! That just blows my mind. Anyway, team member La’Shawn here to bring you some fun inspiration for your digital scrapbooking this Saturday.

I am not going to lie. Pinterest is one of my favorite go-to sources for inspiration. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some creative photo ideas for our layouts. I found ten out-of-the-box ideas when it comes to photos on pinterest. All images are linked as well!

You can take this idea and run with it in so many ways! Moons, stars, hearts, and so much more! I absolutely will be using this on a future layout.

 

I love stitches on a layout. To me they add depth to it. I like the almost quilt like look of this! Taking whatever stitches, ribbons, or paper strips and using them to outline paper and photos.

 

This one is adorable! We have a lot of great expecting items in the store as well. I know a few of them have the silhouette you can do this with.

 

I am not much of a traveler myself. This is super cool to me though. Taking photos and clipping them to a state shape for each one you have visited. So cool!

 

You cannot go wrong with some good ol blocking!

 

I just love the idea of taking photos and building them into a shape to go along with a theme. Miss Fish Templates actually has one in her store to get you going with this idea!

 

This one would be pretty easy to do. Some cleverly placed triangles. Really makes those b&w photos pop with all that pretty paper.

 

I absolutely love this idea and will be recreating it. It would be another one pretty simply created. You know what though? Check out this template from Craft-tastrophic!

 

Like I mentioned before, I am not much of a traveler. If I ever take an out of county trip though, this will be in my book! This collab has a template that would work for this perfectly!

 

I have done something like this with my son’s initial and age. I love this idea. Check out these number templates from Connie Prince!