Archives for December 2021

December 31, 2021: Fresh Baked

Happy Friday. We made it to the end of 2021. Can you believe it? We are so excited about the fun things coming to GingerScraps in 2022. Make sure you are reading the blog posts on Fridays and the first of each month. You never know what fun things you will find.

Remember, any $10 spent in the store gets you this great collab for free.

Let’s see what our designers have for the last Fresh Baked of the year.

Have you grabbed the December Monthly Mix? Last chance to get it at this price.

Did you get those challenges done? Make sure you get your thread updated in the forum to get credit. Any 10 challenges gets you this great kit as a reward.

Tutorial Tuesday – on Hiatus!

Hey ladies! I’m is taking a break today – the last week has really kicked my butt – but I’ll be back with a brand-new tutorial for you next year. (Of course, that’s only next week so don’t worry! I promise it’ll be worth the wait.) Stay warm, stay safe, stay healthy. Happy New Year!

December 24, 2021: Fresh Baked and Happy Holidays Sale!

Merry Christmas Eve! Are you ready for Santa? All of us at GingerScraps want to wish you and your family a Very, Merry Christmas!! 

Everything in the Shop by: CHRISTMAS & Shop by: HANUKKAH categories will be 50% off this week!

Remember, $10 spent in the store gets you this wonderful kit for free!

Our designers have some great holiday kits for you this week!

You have one more week to get those challenges done. Any 10 completed challenges gets you this great kit as a reward!

Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Challenge Spotlight: Miss Fish Memory Mix Up Challenge

Here’s the fourth installment of Challenge Spotlight. This month we’re going to dive into Miss Fish’s Memory Mix It Challenge. Every month, Juli (aka Miss Fish) presents us with a different Challenge focusing on preserving our memories. For December, she said, “This month’s challenge is a Recipe Challenge. No, not the kind where I give you different “ingredients” to put on your page. The kind where you scrap your favorite recipe. It can be one for the holidays, a family hand me down recipe or a new favorite. Your choice!” I thought it was the perfect topic for this month and also for this Blog post! I’m going to share a baker’s dozen (plus one – see what I did there? 🙂 ) of YOUR recipe layouts. Some of them sound pretty tasty! [Each layout is hyperlinked to its location in the Gallery in case you’d like a closer look or to leave some love.] Let’s have a look at how this Challenge shakes out!

First up, gmae shares her taco seasoning with us. It’s pretty similar to the one I make, and her “recipe card” is packed with taco-related embellishments.

I LOVE this one from jam-on-toast! The colour palette is so wintery, and that photo makes my mouth water. The tag tucked behind the recipe is telling the truth. And can we talk about the way she created her title – it looks like meringue!!

What caught my attention with curio‘s recipe is the rustic look it has. It’s a brilliant choice for a cobbler recipe, right? But that photo… yummmmmmmmmm!

How amazing is it that linweb has this recipe in her mother’s handwriting? (With one small addition. 😉 ) She has a lovely memory of the first time she made the pie and has embellished her layout with some pecans.

I think most of us have made sugar cookies as children or with children at least once. chigirl has photos to prove it for her family. The kit she chose for this layout is particularly appropriate, and let’s talk for a second about using a striped paper border to pick up on the striped sweater!

Everybody has their own favourite hot chocolate recipe (and some of us make it from a tin) but how many of us has a beautiful winter layout with ours printed on it? I’ll have to try hichchei‘s method one of these days.

CathyS has cleverly provided us with a bakery-worthy recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I love how she’s surrounded her photo with all those baking-related elements.

This one is a historical recipe dating back to 1914! The original pecan pie wasn’t the syrupy custard packed with nuts that we know today, and it had meringue. The way fontaine presents the recipe has a heritage look to it.

<record scratch> Time to move away from the sugar for a second. Daydreamer‘s recipe is a savoury one, set in eye-catching yellow.

Okay, back to sweet! Flighty-188 makes her own animal cookies using a 60+ year-old recipe from her mother-in-law. I love how she found a baking-themed kit to match the cookie colours.

Pups-r-Paps has a savoury recipe for some luscious lemon chicken; it sounds similar to a scampi recipe I’ve made and loved. She kept her layout simple so the photos could be the focus.

Family traditions are what connect us to both the past and the future. Reading alexandergirl68‘s journaling brings that message home pretty clearly! On special occasions when I was a child my mom used to make lime Jell-o salad with apples and celery in it. None of us liked it and it eventually faded into memory to be replaced by peanut brittle, of all things! I found a fool-proof microwave recipe and became the maker-of-peanut-brittle-for-all. I could make it in my sleep.

What could be more “holidays” than snickerdoodles? This is basketladyaudrey‘s version. I notice she doesn’t put nutmeg in them, so I might have to try them! [But I’d halve the recipe, since I should NOT eat 8 dozen cookies before they go stale…]

And lastly, Pixel Palette brings us a recipe for lemon cookies that sound am-AZING!

The Studio Recipe Card II template

I didn’t have lunch and now I’m STARVING!! What family favourite recipe do you know off by heart? Which of these will find their way into your collection?

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December 17, 2021: Fresh Baked

Goodness. Can you believe it’s ONE WEEK UNTIL CHRISTMAS. Seriously, where has the time gone? I am happy to say that I have finally started shopping for gifts. Only a couple of things so far, but I’ve started. That counts for something, right?

Remember, any $10 spent in the GingerScraps store gets you this great kit for free. This is a great kit for those gingerbread house pictures!

Now let’s check out some of the new goodies in the store this week. As expected, there is a lot of Christmas kits here.

Have you grabbed the December Monthly Mix? {santa’s coming to town} (are you ready?)

We’re halfway through the month. How are those challenges going? This kit is just so cute.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

DIY Worn Wood

Last week I asked for some tutorial suggestions and you came through for me. There are some interesting topics coming up, ladies! This week, I went for a quick trick, since I’m super-busy with other things right now. (I bet I’m not the only one, either!!)

Before we get going, I want to thank Lee for the idea of creating custom worn wood papers. I played around and was shocked at how easy it can be. A few tips though… 1. Choose your woodgrain paper carefully. It should have some visible texture and its underlying colour family should work well with the paper you want to rough up. 2. Choose your second paper carefully too. It’ll look best when it’s got a highly-contrasting pattern or when it’s a solid. Some of my examples will show you why. 3. Practice using Undo! (CTRL/CMD>Z) If you pay attention to where the marching ants are you shouldn’t need it a lot, but there will be times when you just have to back up. Let’s get started!

This wood paper came from the GingerBread Ladies‘ collab Pizza Party. I recoloured it because the original is really yellow and it looked AWFUL with the buffalo check paper on it. But it has some good texture and the planks are well-defined. The buffalo check paper is from GingerBread LadiesCrafty Christmas.

So go ahead and drop the patterned paper on top of the wood paper. The following steps may not ALL be required, so take a good look at the result after each Cut stage to see if you’re satisfied with the outcome and stop when you are!

You want the patterned paper on top of the stack, but you don’t want to see it for this part. So turn Visibility off. Make sure the active layer is the wood paper layer. Then click on the Magic Wand Tool. Select the mode that looks like a sparkler. The default for this tool is New Selection, but if you’ve used the tool recently, it may be on the last setting you used, so make sure you’ve got New Selection on. Set the Tolerance slider to 75 and only tick the Anti-Aliasing box.

On the wood paper, click your Magic Wand on an area where there’s visible texture. The marching ants will appear.

Click on the Refine Edge button and when this menu appears, choose these settings: Edge Detection to Smart Radius, Shift Edge to 25% and Output to Selection.

Now turn the patterned paper layer back on and make it the active layer.

To rough up the red paper, Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X will remove the red paper where the marching ants are.

I found that there was still too much red paper visible, so I went back to the first step, turned the red paper off and activated the wood paper layer again. With the Magic Wand Tool, I chose Subtract and set the Tolerance to 50. Then I clicked the Wand on one of the gaps between the planks.

This time, in the Refine Edge menu, I unticked the Smart Radius then adjusted the Contrast slider and the Shift Edge slider to 25%. Output to Selection.

Then I repeated the Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD>X) step.

I still wasn’t happy. In this situation there’s no substitute for trial and error, so I went back to the Magic Wand Tool, Subtract, Tolerance 100. This time I see a lot of marching ants, so it might be the ticket.

But I still decided to Refine Edge with these settings: Contrast 5%, Shift Edge -20% and Output to Selection.

And then I Cut the selection away from the patterned paper again.

It isn’t all I’d been hoping for, although it is very rustic-looking.

Because I’m always trying to “get it right” I thought I’d see what happened if I played with the Eraser Tool to enhance the worn look. I tried a LOT of brushes before I found one that worked the way I wanted it to. I used a (PSE default) Dry Media Brush, the one inside the box (sorry for the cell phone photo but it was the only way I could capture the menu).

Then I randomly followed the contours of the exposed wooden areas to tidy it up a bit. I do think it looks a bit more worn.

But did I really need to do that Eraser step? I tried a few more papers to see if just the Magic Wand steps would be good enough. Interestingly, I got different results each time. For this example and the next I’ve used papers from GingerBread LadiesA Holiday in the Baking.

This sample gave me a headache. It just wouldn’t cooperate! I had to CTRL/CMD>Z so many times!!

In one of my OOPS moments, I forgot to switch between patterned paper and wood when I used the Magic Wand, and had this happy accident when I used the Wand on the patterned paper instead.

I changed up the wooden paper for this one from GingerBread LadiesSweater Weather. It has some roughed-up paint on it and oodles of texture.

It looks really insipid, but I think with a brighter paper it could be amazing!

Let’s see what happens when I use a plaid paper from Sweater Weather.

Or… If I Invert the selection? Magic Wand>[click on the rough part]>Select>Inverse (CTRL/CMD>SHIFT>I)>[activate patterned paper]>Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD>X) and I’m in love!!

Who knew it could be so easy to get such interesting results?

Next Tuesday is the third Tuesday of December so I’ll be dissecting one of the monthly Challenges. It’ll be a little light reading just a few days before Christmas. Stay tuned!

[PS… remember, the coloured bold text contains embedded links that will take you right to the shop!]

PDF Version:

December 10, 2021: Fresh Baked and Buffet Blowout!

Happy Friday my fellow scrappers! Can I just say, it’s been a very long week. My husband was out of town for most of the week and I didn’t realize how much he does for me when he’s here. Mostly cook – and I missed that. I’m glad to have him back home. 

{2021} Buffet Blowout {December 10-16}

Remember, any $10 spent gets you this great kit for free! Doesn’t this look like it will be so much fun to use. 

Let’s see what new items our designers have this week.

Hope your challenges are going well. Any 10 completed challenges gets this fun kit as a reward!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Clearly Complete – Adding Some Background

Whew… we’re in the 2021 home stretch now! Twenty-three more days and it’ll be over. This last week has been a whirlwind for me! Last Tuesday my daughter and I spent 5 hours – the first 90 minutes in torrential rain! – in a car so we could spend 3 hours with my parents on the day before their 65th anniversary. On the first we set a temperature record, 63°F. Now we have 6 inches of snow! And later today I see the ophthalmologist to find out when he can remove my cataracts. [I thought the dramatic changes in my vision were related to having had COVID in the spring. Surprise!] It’s a good thing I already had a lot of the work done for this tutorial! Today I’m going to show how I added some “wallpaper” in the background behind my glass mixing bowl and made it look realistic-ish. We’ll pick up right where we ended last week.

It was a challenge to find the right paper for this part. I tried a few and didn’t like the results, so let me offer some tips on selecting. Pick a paper with some pattern, but not too small or large. Choose something with colour, but not too light or dark. Texture is good, but only to a point. I think I might try to fake some subway tiles later and see how that goes… The paper I liked best was from ADB DesignsAntiques Emporium. It kind of reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen. The way I imagine it, not how it really was – she had no running water! As you can see, the paper is behind everything except the original bowl layer.

I was really glad I hadn’t Deleted the original bowl layer when I started figuring out how to make this work, because it DOESN’T work using the glass version of the bowl at all. With the paper layer active, I Selected the edges of the bowl by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the Layer Thumbnail (that little picture of the bowl in the Layers Panel).

Light changes as it passes through glass. This step adds that effect. Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast.

When the Tool Options menu opens, adjust the Brightness by INcreasing it to 15, and DEcrease the Contrast to -5.

Now, it could be my eyes, but when I was looking at real curved glass with a pattern behind it as I figured this out, the glass created a slight blur on the paper. So Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. But just a little bit, 1.7 pixels‘ worth. Keep the edges of the original bowl Selected until I tell you to Deselect it!

It looks okay, but there are still a few things it needs. I added a new blank Layer immediately above the paper. Click on the sheet-of-paper icon to the upper left of the Layers Panel.

Next, I Filled the outline of the bowl on that blank Layer with black using the Paint Bucket tool. Looks awful, but it’ll be great! Now you can Select>Deselect the original bowl outline (CTRL/CMD>D).

Don’t worry about that black, and don’t be intimidated by this step either. It’s going to work beautifully, I promise! The black is going to become a shadow, and bowls cast very complex shadows. To make it work, Image>Transform>Distort.

The best thing about Distort is that you can adjust the image in a single dimension, or multiple dimensions, depending on what your goal is. I know the light is coming from the top right part of the bowl because of where that big shiny spot is. For the shadow effect I arrived at through lots of trial-and-error, discarded screenshots and Undos, what worked best was just to pull the lower left “handle” straight out as shown. The image comes out from behind the bowl. I clicked the checkmark.

Then I Rotated the black image to the left, keeping the corners of the bowl and shadow layers aligned. And yes, it looks like it’s just a mess.

But not for long! Remember, the outline of the original bowl is still Selected. So now I’m going to Cut out the black that sits inside the outline. Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X.

That wedge of black has to go too. I used the Rectangle Marquee tool to draw a box around it.


And again, Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD>X).

Now to soften it up. Clear glass will never cast a harsh shadow. Ever. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.

This shadow needs a LOT of softening, so I pushed the Blur all the way to 24.9 pixels. See how it spreads behind the glass a bit? Exactly what I wanted to see.

I know I’ve mentioned why I change the Blend Mode on my shadows to Linear Burn, but I think it bears repeating. The Normal Blend Mode remains opaque and doesn’t allow any of the colour under it to show through. Linear Burn will let both the colour and the texture be visible.

Last step for this shadow is to decrease the Opacity down to about 18%. It’s subtle, but quite nice!

All that’s left is to add a smidge of shadow behind the “dough”. Remember the steps for custom shadows?

1- Select the edges of the object by CTRL/CMD>Clicking on the object’s Layer Thumbnail.

2- Add a blank layer underneath the object. CTRL/CMD>Click the sheet-of-paper icon if you have the object’s layer active.

3- Fill the Selection from Step 1 on the new blank layer with your shadow colour using the Paint Bucket Tool.

4- Select>Deselect (CTRL/CMD>D) the object’s outline and nudge the filled layer so that the light source conforms to the rest of the layout.

5- Smudge the shadow layer to change the contours a bit, making the shadow look more natural. This is based on how the light would penetrate to the background. Thick, flat things will be more snugly connected to the background and the shadows here will be sharper and closer. Thin, curved things might be farther away from whatever is behind them and the shadow would be less distinct.

6- Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur the shadow layer to the degree the object will block passage of the light.

7- Change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn.

8- Decrease the Opacity of the shadow layer until it looks “right” and you’re done!

I really enjoy trying to make two-dimensional images look real, and think it’s worth the effort. My next attempt might be a snow globe. If you choose to give this a try, don’t feel like you have to use exactly the same settings and what-have-you that I’ve used. Play a little so that when you’re finished, it looks good to YOU! Because you’re the only one who gets to have an opinion.

Anybody have a great idea for next week’s topic? Drop a comment below and I’ll see what I can do.

PDF Version:

Designer Spotlight: December 2021


Well, here we are at the end of another year. December is probably the busiest month of the whole year for most of us, given there are so many festive occasions on the calendar. I hope you have a few minutes to get to know Christina, who’s nom-de-plume is Wimpychompers. [I wish I would have thought to ask her how she came to choose it! Missed opportunity.] Let’s just dive in!

J: This is probably the one question people are really curious about. What led to you deciding to become  designer?

C: I had started getting interested in digital signatures and started designing those and writing tutorials.  I finally made the switch to digital scrapbooking for my own personal use (it was easier to clean up with little ones).  I loved it and finally became a designer.

J: I think that’s the main reason most of us have been drawn to digital scrapping – the lack of mess! Can you tell us a little about where you do your creating?

C: My couch in the family room with a tv and a laptop desk.  It’s super comfy!

J: Right?! I work in an IKEA wing chair in my living room with the TV on too. I always feel like this question is like asking you which of your kids is your favourite… which of your current kits in the GingerScraps store is your favourite?

C: Just You and Me I think, it’s just sweet and all about love.

J: CUTE!!! Kids on mo-peds, how creative!! This might be a little harder to answer. If time travel was possible, would you go back in time, or into the future?

C: Back for sure, my kids are all teens and I would love to go back and hold them as little babies once again.

J: Omigosh, yes! That would be so wonderful. Mine are all well into adulthood, but I remember when they weren’t. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

C: Swedish Meatballs, our family recipe is a favorite.

J: Hmm. I might have predicted that… being part Swedish myself. But then I don’t know anything about that branch of my family – my great-grandmother is a bit of an enigma, and if time travel was a thing, I’d go back and ask her to tell me all about them! Is there a super power you wish you had?

C: Flight, it would be cheaper to travel.

J: And so much easier! No airports, passports, security pat-downs, middle seats, delays, customs. Yes, please! Although I did meet someone famous on a flight, a country music songwriter who brought his guitar on as his carry-on. Can you play a musical instrument?

C: Yes, I can play the flute!

J: I love the sound of a flute and have an old school friend who plays. Did you want to be a musician when you were small, or something else?

C: I saw myself as a ballerina, a teacher or a children’s book author.

J: Oh, that makes sense! All the little people in your designs… you could have illustrated children’s books too. Now, aside from necessities, what is the one thing you couldn’t get through the day without?

C: My mascara, without it my eyelashes are blond and I look very tired!

J: I wish mascara was all I needed to conceal how tired I look. Last question: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

C: Warning, tired of people’s crap!  (lol)

J: Have you been stalking my Twitter feed? We could be friends!! Christina, thanks for chatting with me; I know how crazy life is for everybody right now. I hope the rest of December is kind to you.

December 3, 2021: Fresh Baked

Happy Friday!! I hope your week has been wonderful. Our weather is gorgeous right now. Mr. Winter has decided to stay away for a little so we can have some nice warm weather. We could use some rain though. 

Remember, any $10 spent in the store gets you this great kit. Love those gingerbread people.

Now let’s see what goodies our designers are offering this week.

Have you gotten started on your challenges for December? Which one do you do first? Any 10 completed challenges gets you this amazing {jingle bell rock} kit.