GingerBread Ladies Sneak Peeks – 2/10/17

My goodness do we have a bunch of sneak peeks (and a few full views) for you this week. I’m just going to jump right in.

Aren’t they all lovely? Make sure to head over to the store on Friday and grab these awesome beauties.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

When Is a Square NOT a Square?

When it’s a rectangle! Two of my fellow Sugar Cookies asked me to talk to you all about how to manipulate frames so they better fit photos that aren’t the same dimensions… but without distorting the frame itself. EvaMarie (mskinsey) and Jen (hclappy), this one’s for you!

The basic principles of this trick work in reverse as well, so don’t think you can only go in one direction. But for today, I’m going to turn this square frame below into a rectangle with a few easy steps. You’ve probably all tried to s-t-r-e-t-c-h a frame only to find that the pieces you’ve elongated are now skinnier and look funny compared to the sides you didn’t play with. And who wants that?!

It’s really noticeable when you use a striped frame like this one. You can see how skinny the top part of the frame is compared to the side, and the stripes…

ONE CAVEAT: The more detailed and complex the frame, the less likely you’ll be happy with the results. So choose a frame with obvious pattern repeats having enough space between details to allow this trick to work for you.

The frame in the screenshot is from Ooh La La Scraps‘ gorgeous In the Frosty Air collection, which is one of my favourites (and is on sale for the fire-sale price of $5!!).

The first thing to do is resize the canvas the frame is on. You want to do this so you have lots of room to make your changes, and so you can see what you’re doing. To me this is about the most important way to ensure I’m doing things well… so I use Zoom In and Zoom Out ALL THE TIME. (W[ork]S[mart]N[ot]H[ard] tip: Ctrl/CMD>+ to magnify, CTRL/CMD>- to shrink)

You can follow the steps as shown below or you can WSNH: CTRL/CMD>ALT/OPT>C.

Key in some numbers in the boxes as shown. You can always resize the canvas again if you find it’s still too small.

The actual size you go to doesn’t matter too much, you just want your canvas to be larger – in the direction you want to stretch your frame – than your frame.

Now select your Rectangle Marquee tool.

Select an area of your frame using the Rectangular Marquee tool as shown. Pick a specific detail of any pattern repeat so when you line things up later you won’t have too much cleaning up to do. I made two of the darker lines my reference points.

Next, Cut your selection out of the middle of your frame. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>X

And you get something that looks like this.

… you can Paste that chunk back onto the canvas for further manipulation. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>V

Now select the left side of the original frame, down there on the bottom layer and repeat the process of cutting and pasting so the three pieces are all on their own layer.

So now it’s time to reposition the two sides of the original frame using the Move tool so that there’s a nice big gap between them.

Take the guesswork out of aligning your layers by selecting all of them then with the Move tool still selected, go down to the control panel underneath your work space. You can use these quick little buttons to align whatever part of several layers that you want. The software will move all the layers into alignment based on the little boxes you see on your bounding box. These buttons can be really handy for aligning alphas, buttons, rows of stitches, paper strips, ribbons, you name it. (And… the Distribute buttons will do something similar, making the spaces between objects the same.) You have to click on the ICON, not the aspect. So go ahead and click on Align>Bottom. Boom!

If the section of frame that you cut out in several steps back isn’t as big as you need it to be*, Duplicate that bit. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>J 

* Put your photo on the workspace and move it to the bottom layer then shift the pieces around to see if the frame will be big enough. You can leave it there when you’ve got the outside edges in place, just turn the visibility off so it doesn’t distract you.

Now you have four layers with frame sections on them. Move the two cut pieces so that the ends butt up against the outside edges. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t match exactly.

When all the edges are butted together with no gaps and most of the details lined up, Merge the layers together. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>E

Sometimes all that’s needed is a little Spot Healing. That’s the band-aid icon in your Tools panel. Use a soft round brush just a little bit bigger than the area you want to blend and click away. Watch carefully so you don’t accidentally make things worse. If you see a whoops, just Undo it. WSNH: CTRL/CMD>Z… my best friend.

But sometimes a little more aggressive editing is necessary. For that you’ll use the Clone Stamp tool. It’s the “rubber stamp” icon just under the Spot Healing tool. To choose the area to be cloned, you’ll need to watch closely when you hold down the ALT/OPT key and click. A little cross hair will show up on your work space that shows you what little section of your image it’s going to copy. When you’re working with stripes like I was, you want to have that sampling spot on the edge of a stripe. Once you’ve “defined your sample” you can very carefully line up your cursor with the area to tweak and click. Do this as often as needed until your two pieces are blended together seamlessly.

Below you can see the result after a couple of clicks. I’ve only worked on the navy stripe so far in this image. I kept on going, carefully cloning the stripes until the seams disappeared.

Work your way around the frame, zooming in as much as you need to so you see what’s happening with your clicks. Just to be sure you’ve made the seams invisible, check again all the way around a couple of times, either cloning or spot healing as needed.

Ta-DA!! Virtually invisible seams, a much larger rectangular frame and it only took about 10 minutes of real time to do. Honest!

You’ll see this frame again next week when the topic is building a frame cluster without a template.

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. (I apologize for putting the Challenge Gallery in an inaccessible spot, so we’re starting fresh from NOW. All previous entries are still in the running.) 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 March I’ll have a random draw of all entries and the winner will be announced at the end of the first tutorial of the month. 

See you all next week!

GS Book Club – February – Big Little Lies

It’s time for the February book choice. Since the poll for February’s book ended in a tie, JoyLynn is using the tie to choose our book for the next 2 months. And, since the series associated with this book starts mid-February, I figured we’d start off with this one!

For the month of February, we will be reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

We’re very hopeful that several of you will choose to read along with me (or join us for the mid-month discussion, if you’ve read the novel before).

Want to read along with us? Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or your local library.

Watch in the middle of the month for a Scrap Your Read Challenge. One participating layout will receive a $5 giftcard to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and have their layout featured in next month’s blog post.

Happy Reading!!


February Feature Designer – Little Rad Trio

Welcome to February. Our Feature Designer this month is Jennifer of Little Rad Trio. She was gracious enough to answer my questions and even provide a little something for you.

How did you get started in digital scrapbooking?

By accident! I bought Element 7.0 at Costco back in 2007 just for the ability to edit photos. It came with a Learn Digital Scrapbooking CD. I only watched the videos to help learn Photoshop and ended up falling in love!

What made you decide to design?

There were certain themed kits that I wanted and couldn’t find. So I started playing around and took some classes on designing.

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

I used Photoshop 6.0 and Illustrator 6.0. I’m fairly new at Illustrator so I still have lots to learn from that. Occasionally I’ll use a tablet for drawing too.

Describe your design workplace.

I don’t have a typical work space. I do most of my designing anywhere. Have laptop, Will Travel. I also do some occasional designing on my IRL work computer from time to time. Having dual monitors makes a world of difference.

What is your favorite thing about designing?

My favorite thing about designing is seeing people creating beautiful layouts with my products. It is so rewarding when I create something that someone just loves and then creates stunning layouts.

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

Historic USA – Civil War kit is still my favorite. I love how the elements turned out and the color scheme is one of my favorites. Plus I’m a sucker for the Civil War history.

What was your first job?

In between my 10th & 11th grade in High School, I spent the summer working at my dad’s insurance business as a file clerk. All I did was file and pull files for the underwriters. Now, I run the place with a staff of almost 50 people and 3 locations.

How many languages do you speak? What are they?

I only speak English. I’ve taken some Spanish classes, but unfortunately I haven’t even come close to mastering.

What’s your favorite holiday?

4th of July! I love the warm summer days, spending time with the family at the beach or on the lake. And I love fireworks and celebrating our Nation’s Birthday!

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

Christmas Eve! We gather at my parents, eat dinner, then we have to sing Christmas Carols before we can open presents. We then start with the kids. Once they are all done, we spend the rest of the evening with the adults opening gifts. Then, we may watch home movies or old time Christmas Movies like It’s a Wonderful Life or White Christmas

What three things do you think of most each day?

My children, my husband and my parents. They are all whole world!

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

WARNING! Needs plenty of sleep, so let her sleep in!!

Do you collect anything?

I used to collect Precious Moments figures. But once I had children, that stopped. However, now that they are older, I might have to start back at it.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

There’s so many, I don’t know if I could pick one. Speed was be awesome! Being invisible would come in handy from time to time. Strength would also be a plus. The ability to freeze time would be a benefit too, especially when I have a deadline and I’m running out of time.

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

Water! I’ve been addicted to it. I can’t seem to have enough of it! Of course, Water is a necessity, so next I would say the internet. I’m constantly online for a variety of things from designing, shopping, checking the weather or getting directions, etc/etc.

If you were a fruit or vegetable, which one would you be?

Any kind of fruit! Because everyone loves fruit over vegetables!!

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

Mountain Cabin with a lake. The views would be stunning and so peaceful and quiet. But I would have to have internet!! When I was in high school, my mom painted a picture of a mountain cabin by a lake and this has been my dream place ever since and by far my absolute favorite painting!!

What would you do on your dream date?

There are so many things I could do, that it couldn’t be limited to one. I love the romance with candles and soft music, but I also love doing things like zip lining or ATVing.

Thanks Jennifer!! Make sure to check out her GS Store, her Facebook page, and her blog. Also make sure you are grabbing the Daily Download every day from the GS blog to get all the pieces of this awesome kit.

And, just for reading all the way to the bottom, make sure to take advantage of this great coupon she is offering:

Fresh Baked: February 03, 2017

February! Can you believe it? The designers are kicking it into high gear and really getting out some gorgeous new stuff! Also, Digiscrap Survivor is just around the corner! Are you excited?

Who’s ready for a new season of Scrapping Survivor? It’s time for the Guess & Win contest!
Post your guess in the below forum thread and if you guess correctly, you could win a HUGE collab!
Visit the forum for all the details:!!-Guess-amp-WIN


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


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Sneak Peeks February 2, 2017

Happy Groundhog Day! There’s conflicting reports as to whether it will be 6 more weeks of winter. One groundhog saw the shadow and one did not. I guess that means they cancel each other out! Here’s to a great weekend and there’s great new products to play with!

From Aimee Harrison

From Craft-tastrophic

From Amy Stoffel

From Miss Fish

From Lindsay Jane

From Clever Monkey Graphics

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GingerBread Ladies Sneak Peeks – 2/3/16

Good Thursday morning. I thought I would start your Thursday morning off with some sneak peeks for tomorrow’s releases.

Make sure to check out the blog later to see layouts from our store CT made with these awesome kits. And tomorrow, head over to the store to fill your cart!

Fresh Baked: February 01, 2017

It’s that time of year where everything is decked out in pinks and reds. Well, except for the buffet. The designers are gearing up for spring and mixing it with winter. The perfect color palette for anything you could want to scrap!

It is the First of the month, and that means the revel of our new Buffet!!

Don’t forget to check out the Buffet Bundles, one easy click to add bundles of Buffet goodies to your cart, and an amazing value too!


The designers all had their own take on what the colors and theme said to them! I love the variety!

The designers definitely each made the palette their own and came up with some gorgeous designs, each unique but working so well with the other designers’ creations

The CT did such a great job showing how well all of the kits blend. They all did wonderful work!

This is just a few of the layouts. Keep an eye out in future newsletters to see more. Maybe even one of yours, if you make sure you put it into the Buffet section of the gallery!

This month, we have a guest designer for February and a new designer joining the team!

Please welcome Martine of Christaly Scrap!


We asked Martine for a quick bio and this is what she had to share:

My name is Martine aka Christaly. Why Christaly? A simple combination of the first name of my childrens. I live in Canada, specifically in Quebec. So I speak French but I manage to communicate in English. I’ve been creating Templates and Brushes for a few years now. I currently sell at E-Scape & Scrap and at Scrappy Bee. I am very happy to be Guest for GingerScraps.

Here are a few items that are available in her store:




And she’s having a great sale as well!


Also welcome Aimee of Aimee Harrison!


We asked Aimee to tell us a little about herself and this is what she had to share:

Hi! I’m Aimee Harrison and I’ve been designing digital scrapbook supplies since 2009. I live in beautiful Grand Rapids, Michigan with my 3 cats Dandelion, Shakey and Snuggles. I really enjoy researching genealogy, scrapbooking, photography, road trips, antiquing, music, documentaries, history, archaeology and nature. And many times these interests are exhibited through in my creations.
I absolutely love creating scrapbook kits for you all. My style is lush, vibrant and rich – perfect for those who crave a more traditional approach to scrapbooking but love the realism. I like to give things an artsy feel by incorporating bits like paint, splatters and glitter to my designs. And I love to see the variety of layouts created with my Collections and encourage folks to message me if they have questions, requests or just want to share a creation.
I anticipate getting to know you all through hosting a Speed Scrap chat each month as there is nothing I love more than spending time getting to know people in the digiscrap community and giving them little goodies along the way. I hope you join me soon.
Thank you so much for the warm welcome! I’m going to love it here.



And check out her great sale!


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


This month’s Monthly Mix is called “Snow Princess”! It is a gorgeous kit created by Mandy King, Pixelily Designs, Wimpychompers, and Clever Monkey Graphics. Go have fun in the snow!


The month of love is upon us and we’re spreading plenty of love with the Daily Download!

Before I show you February’s, I want to show off January’s, created by Ponytails.


Isn’t it just gorgeous!

This month’s is fitting as the winter is the time when everyone gets sick!


Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!


I know I’m going to make sure I do my 10 challenges for THIS, that’s for sure

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Only the Shadows Knows… Take TWO

Holy moly! Where did January go? I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the faster time flies.

Two weeks ago I showed you one way to work around PSE’s blah shadows by cutting and pasting it onto its own layer so it can be tweaked to look more real. Today I want to show you another way to do that, along with a quick little trick for adding even MORE realism to your images. If you’re thinking you’ve already seen this tut, you are experiencing a little bit of déjà-vu but only that I’ve made this layout do double duty. (Remember, it’s a lot better to Work Smart Not Hard – WSNH!) I’m using this lovely ribbon and a paper from Seatrout Scraps‘ gorgeous Linen and Lace collection (retired).

I decided I wanted to play with this ribbon after I’d already constructed my layout, so to see what was happening to it, I turned off visibility of all the other layers as you can see in the screenshot below. Then I clicked on the Layer thumbnail in the Layers panel to get my marching ants around the ribbon.

Then I clicked on that little circle icon at the top of the Layers panel that is half blue and half light gray and has a little triangle next to it. That’s how you create a Fill Layer quickly and easily. (WSNH!) I chose Solid Color and then with the Color Picker I chose a gray.

In order to play with the shadow, the next step is to Simplify the layer. You can also rename the layer to help you remember what it is. I’ll confess I don’t often bother. Note that for the moment, this shadow layer is still ABOVE the ribbon, which isn’t visible because it’s covered up.

Okay, so now we can soften the edges of this new shadow layer, and we’ll do that with a Gaussian Blur Filter. Turn the visibility of the ribbon off so you can see exactly what’s happening.

You can see what is happening with your shadow both in the preview pane of the Gaussian Blur menu and on your layout as you move the slider left or right. Just play with it until you like the way it looks.

We haven’t actually touched on Blend Modes yet, partly because it’s a more advanced topic, and partly because we haven’t done anything needing a Blend Mode… until now. The menu for this handy, dandy tweak is found right at the top of the Layers panel under the other icons we’ve used before. Shadows look best when they’re a Multiply or Linear Burn, which I like better, so I selected that.

To keep working on natural and realistic, I decreased the opacity of my shadow to about 50% of its original appearance.

Looks pretty good, right?? Oh wait! We can make it even better! But to do that we need to see the ribbon itself, so turn the visibility for that layer back on, and move the shadow underneath it. WSNH tip: Ctrl/CMD+[ will do that for you. Then you can shift the shadow according to where your light source is coming from on your other layers.

The next tweak we’re going to make is to change the colour of the shadow itself. Because let’s face it, a black or gray shadow isn’t really what one would see against a pink paper. You can make your shadow colour similar to whatever it’s falling on by selecting that colour with your eye dropper Color Picker tool then moving the eye dropper to the right and down to choose a deeper, richer hue of the same colour. Make sense? You can go ahead and choose your colour first but before you move on, lock the transparency of your shadow layer by clicking on the icon shown below.

For my shadow, I chose a colour from the paint splatter I used and then adjusted it as I described above.

Now, with your shadow layer selected and locked down, click ALT/OPT+ Delete and bingo! Your shadow colour is transformed!

Now we can play with how the ribbon touches the paper. So click on the Image tab then Transform>Distort. Skew will work, but it doesn’t give you as much control. To distort your shadow, you’ll pull or push on the handles as shown in the screenshots below.

Pulling will move the shadow out and down in the direction you’ve chosen, while pushing movies it in and up.

The last thing you have to remember is to link the layers together by clicking on that little chain symbol so that when you move one, the other moves too. I know it seems like a lot of steps, but you can do all of this in less than a minute once you’ve got the steps down.

While we’re talking about shadows and the colour of shadows, a loyal GingerScrapper named Jen (hclappy in the gallery and forum) asked about shadowing elements against black or dark coloured papers. Obviously, using a black or dark gray shadow isn’t going to make much of a visual impact. So when I have a dark background, I’ll use a slightly brown shadow just to make some differentiation of colour. If you’re using drop shadow styles, they’re usually already a brownish shade, but if you find you’re not seeing them well, you’ll have to change each layer’s shadow colour individually. Unfortunately there isn’t a WSNH trick for that… I looked. You CAN, however, change one layer style colour then select like items (all your papers or flowers, for example) and shadow them all at once with your new colour by right-clicking with all your layers selected then selecting Paste Layer Style. Then it’s just a matter of tweaking where you see fit to make it all esthetically pleasing. That’s the goal, after all!

So far there is only one entry into the Tutorial Challenge. If you use any of the techniques or tips I’ve shown you this month, post your work to the GingerScraps Facebook fanpage Challenge Gallery, or if you’re not a Facebooker, you can post a link in the comments here for me. Then I can enter you into a draw to have your very own personal tutorial right here in February.

Next week, we’re going to talk about clusters and what to do if you don’t want to use a template but want an awesome cluster or two. Stay tuned!

Let’s Celebrate | Snow!

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! I know there are plenty of you out there that are sick of it already. Coming to the end of January and you have seen enough of it. I however live in the southern parts of the states. We hardly see any. We are lucky to get a dusting once a year; and I LOVE snow! I thought it would be fun to showcase some great items from the store to get those snow-filled photos scrapped.

I also enjoyed looking at all things purple last week; and showing you some lovely photos to get those creative juices flowing as well. I thought I would show you some snow photos to do the same thing. These images are from Pexels. (All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.)




As well as those gorgeous photos, here are some lovely layouts to help you with some snow-tastic inspiration as well!




As always I will leave you with some great products from the store. There is an entire section dedicated to all things winter. Here are just a few of my favorites.