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 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!


[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.


GS Book Club – January – The Shack

Did you know that GingerScraps had a book club? Well, we do. Head over the forum and check out the Hey Good Bookin’ area of the forum. For January, specifically check out the Book of the Month. This month JoyLynn (our own Blue Heart Scraps) has chosen “The Shack by William P. Young“.

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.

Want to help pick out February’s book? JoyLynn has added a poll to the forum. Click on over and add your vote. Don’t put it off. JoyLynn will close the poll on January 10 so that there is plenty of time for everyone to pick up the book voted on.

Happy reading!!


It’s a Fresh New Year @ Gingerscraps

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?

We seem to start every New Year’s newsletter that way. It’s a great tradition. This year, changes might happen, but some things will stay the same. We’ll add new designers, but we won’t lose that “it’s like family” feeling you’ll always find in the forums and gallery. Thank you, all of you, for a wonderful year at Gingerscraps, and here’s to a new one filled with so much more!


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

*NEW Buffet Bundles* Take a look at our all new Buffet Bundles! Each buffet for 2016 will have a sub category for our Buffet Bundles. One easy click to add bunches 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 several new designers joining the team, and our December Guest is staying through January!


Thank you for sticking around, Rhonda!


Please welcome Jennifer, of Word Art World!!

We asked Jennifer to give us a quick note about herself, and this is what she had to share:

Hello! My name is Jen Arbon and I design under the name Word Art World. I began creating word art designs over six years ago and fell in love with designing digital scrapbooking products and printable wall art. I am married to a wonderful, supportive husband and together we have three beautiful children. Currently, I am studying Web Design and want to teach Web Design at our local high school, against my two teenagers’ wishes. Years ago, I set a goal to "create" something new every day, and that is why I love designing because it gives me the opportunity to do just that.

Here are just a few things she has in her store:





Please welcome Kristina, of Kristmess Designs!

We asked Kristina to give us a quick note about herself, and this is what she had to share:

Hmm a bio? What can I tell you about myself? My name is Kristina Messier, I design under the name of Kristmess Designs, I have been selling at Gotta Pixel since the store opened a million years ago – okay so more like 10!! I am a very shy and quiet person, I was born and raised in England, travelled the world working on Cruiseships for 4 years where I met my husband, a French Canadian, and I now live in Montreal QC Canada, with him and our 3 sons. As you know I’ve been working as a designer for the past 10 years or so before that I worked at Sears PhotoStudio taking photos of the little kiddies! I have a degree in Photography but don’t really use it now since I found my passion is with Photoshop!!

Here are just a few things she has in her store:



And she has a great sale going on, as well.


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


This month’s Monthly Mix is called “Good Vibes Only”! It is a gorgeous kit created by Connie Prince, Amy Stoffel, Pretty In Green, and Trixie Scraps Designs. Don’t be afraid to be you!


A new year means a new Daily Download!

Before I show you this month’s, here was last month’s (last years’?)


A perfect kit for the holidays! Even more perfect for the start of a new year!

And here is this month’s:

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