Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Memory-Keeping with Not-So-Great Photos

I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously lousy at getting good selfies. Maybe I’m too critical, or maybe I just don’t look good in photos. But when the only photos I have of an event I really want to scrap about are those nasty selfies, what’s a woman to do? Such was the day I went to the beach on the Wild Atlantic Way… the ONLY day out of the whole two weeks I was in Ireland this time when it rained. It was also the only chance I would have to walk on the beach at Kilkee, where my 3x great-grandparents were born. So I went ahead to walk on the beach (although I didn’t walk the cliffs – I AM a bit of a chicken) and took the nasty selfies, then scrapped them into a minimalist layout for the January Color Challenge.

When I say it was raining, I’m not talking about the soft, misty rain Ireland is usually known for; it was more like a prairie downpour. My hair was plastered to my head and my jacket was soaked through. (And I was freezing… in July!)

If I was going to do something with these photos that I could live with, I was going to have to think a bit. I made a copy of my photo so I’d be playing with it and not the original.

Then I did something I’d never done before… I checked out the possibilities in the Effects menu. I played with each of the options to see what they do, and some of them will be given more attention in upcoming tuts. Imagine my surprise when I found an even quicker-with-fewer-steps sketch effect than we’ve looked at in other tuts.

Just one click and I had a sketch!

The effect produced another new layer.

The details are pretty blown-out, so I thought about how to find them again. (Although I wasn’t really upset that the crowsfeet are gone!)

I used the Levels adjustment (Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels or CTRL/CMD>L) to darken the outlines. With Levels, pushing the Input Levels dark value slider to the right as shown and the Output Levels light value slider just slightly to the left allowed some colour to leak back in, but also brought the details and textures back. The raindrops on my glasses are more obvious now.

I wanted a tiny bit more sketchiness so I duplicated the sketch layer (right-click on the layer then select Duplicate Layer or CTRL/CMD>J) then played with the Levels again. Can you see the difference in the histograms between the two images?

Just for fun, I played with some Blend Modes too. Some of them give really interesting results… There are no limits on creativity here!

I chose Pin Light. The only difference it makes is to brighten the image up a bit. And maybe sharpen the sketch effect a smidge.

Lowering the Opacity of that layer lets a bit more colour show through without losing the total sketch effect.

But naturally, I have to play a bit more.

I tried all the Modes then settled on Overlay.

That’s more like it! Some of the gray is gone,, the details are sharper and there’s a hint of colour.

After I Merged all the layers, this is what I ended up with.

And my final layout looks like this… The blended photo in the background is simply clipped to a mask then the mask’s Opacity was lowered a bit to blend the background a bit more.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Any Way You Slice It

After last week’s tutorial went out and I posted my Possibilities layout there were several comments about the photo treatment I used. Well, I actually stole it from a paper layout I saw in an old issue of Creating Keepsakes. Sort of. The digital version is a lot less labour-intensive and creates no mess or destruction. No glue either. So I thought that might make a suitable topic for today’s tutorial!

I started out by adding a new blank layer above my photo layer. That can be done simply by clicking on the little piece-of-paper icon at the top of the Layers Panel. Then I activated the Rectangular Marquee tool. (CTRL/CMD>M)

Next I pulled out a narrow rectangular selection along the left edge of my photo, including the parts of the photo I wanted to keep and excluding the part I didn’t – who wants to look at a roof?

Then I added a narrow white stroke around the selected area.

Then I dragged out another rectangular selection from my photo. See that little dialog box with numbers in it? That’s a great tool! It tells you the dimensions of whatever shape you’ve dragged out, therefore allowing you to keep the width or length of your selection identical. (Or you can just CTRL/CMD>J it and make an identical copy that you can then adjust to whatever dimensions you want…)

These are the settings I used for all my strokes: 5 pixels in width, centered over the selection, white and 100% visible.

I made a bunch of copies of my second rectangle and moved them over, which let me really WSNH (Work Smart, Not Hard) by skipping a lot of steps. I left the width the same but stretched or shrunk heights as I went. Once I had the whole photo “sliced” up, I Merged the frames.

Then I moved back to the photo layer and, still using the Rectangular Marquee, I started selecting the areas of the photo I didn’t want to keep. Then I Cut those areas away. (CTRL/CMD>X)

All that was left was to apply a hint of a drop shadow on the frame layer to give the whole thing a little dimension. The shadow settings I used were Angle: 90°, Size: 16 pixels, Distance: 0 pixels and Opacity: 18% with the colour being black. I didn’t add a shadow to the photo itself.

It’s really that easy!

Tutorial Tuesday (Inspiration)

What’s Your Super Power (Word)?

Happy New Year! Are you ready for 2019? I know lots of you, like me, were happy to see 2018 to the door. When I was thinking about topics for this week’s tutorial, I had a few ideas, but my thoughts kept returning to just one. If you’re into social media, I know your Facebook and Instagram feeds have been flooded with chatter about New Year’s resolutions. And if you’re like me, resolutions are just wishes! Experts say it takes three months of repetition for a change to become a habit; how many of us actually stick to those diet plans, those vows to exercise more, that vague promise to ‘be more organized’, for that long? <insert laugh track here> Resolutions are things we have to DO. And I don’t like being told what to do. <wink>

What works better for me is to choose a ‘power word’ for the upcoming year, a word for me to strive to BE. If you’ve seen the annual challenge by the maven of scrapbooking, Ali Edwards, called One Little Word, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Choosing that one little word is harder than it sounds. Like making resolutions, it requires a certain amount of introspection and soul-searching. The first time I chose a power word was at the beginning of 2010. I was going through a very difficult chapter in my life then and had no idea how it would come out in the end. But I’d been through tough times before and I knew I’d come through this one too. So the word I chose was PERSEVERE. Yes, it’s an action, something I had to do, but it was also a state of mind and a state of being. Guess what… I PERSEVERED and came out the other side in much better shape than I expected. This time last year I was in a great mood with a new grandchild on the way and a trip to Ireland to find my roots in the offing. My power word was ANTICIPATE… and ANTICIPATE I surely did! By the end of the year, it had morphed into ENDURE after my husband’s accident in September. Thankfully things are 90% back to normal, and I’m entering into 2019 on a more optimistic footing. I know this year will bring challenges… after all, it’s LIFE, and that’s a challenge all by itself. But with my rose-coloured glasses firmly in place, I’m choosing POSSIBILITY as my power word this year. I usually tend to look at the glass as being half empty, but I’m making a conscious affirmation to look at the POSSIBILITY that things will go well.

Now, how do YOU go about choosing a power word for the year? If you’ve already made some resolutions, you can use them as a framework. Do you see a theme? Is there an impending event in the future that you’re already aware of, either with excitement or dread? Are things going well for you, or are you really struggling right now? There are a number of online resources designed to help choose a power word. One that I particularly like is found at Heidi‘s blog Happiness is Homemade. She has a list of options, and one of them is sure to resonate with you. Another resource is on Jess‘s blog, Cultivate What Matters.

When you go to scrap your power word, the only constraint is your imagination. You could  choose a grungy, moody art journal style if that’s how you’re feeling, you could find a photo or a few that represent the theme, you could put it into a word cloud. You could create an acrostic with it and embellish the meaning using synonyms. So many options!!

I scrapped my guiding word today, with ADB Designs‘ gorgeous Coming to America bundle. My photo was taken in October when my husband, my son and I made a previously-planned-therefore-not-going-to-be-postponed-even-for-a-knee-injury trip to British Columbia. It’s the view from Tower Ranch Hillside Park in Kelowna, a spectacular vista I’ve fallen in love with. To me it’s the visual representation of POSSIBILITY – the sky really IS the limit!

Next week we’ll get back to the nuts-and-bolts of digital scrapbooking. Thank you for indulging my navel-gazing!

PS… for Rochelle (roxyrenders): Your comment on my Happy Holidays layout reads: “Wow- what kind of magic did you work on the wordart stamp? It almost seems as if it is glowing!” Simple little tricks! I first duplicated the mask/stamp layer. I applied a fine glitter style to the bottom-most of the two, then decreased the opacity of the layer to about 50% – that’s what creates the glow. Then on the upper layer, I clipped an ivory-and-gold foil brocade patterned paper (from JoCee DesignsDecember bundle) to the mask, then changed the Blend Mode to Hard Light. It’s just that easy!

Tutorial Tuesday (Tutorials!)

Now Where Did I See That Tutorial About…?

If you read the comments GingerScrappers leave here on the Blog you might have seen a brilliant suggestion from Ellen for a “quick tut” to index all the other tuts I’ve written over the last 2+ years. Lemme tell you, “quick” it ain’t! But it IS brilliant, so that’s what I’m bringing you today. Without further ado, here is a chronological linked index to all the tutorials I’ve prepared for you to date, all in one place.

1. Turn a Font into a Sticker

2. Use a Basic Template

3. Titles Revisited: Alphas Plus Fonts

4. One Photo, More than One Photo Spot

5. Making Templates Work for You

6. Simple Photo Blending

7. Extractions… Choose Your Method

8. Brush Basics: Colour

9. Playing with Text

10. Shadow Basics

11. Text Talk: LETTERPRESS!

12. Titles with STYLE(s)

13. Word Art Wizardry

14. For all you former paper scrappers: INKED EDGES!

15. Getting More Mileage from Your Templates… Easily!

16. Reverse Stencilling with Brushes

17. Kustomize Your Kits

18. Sizzling Signatures!

19. Journaling INside the Box

20. Yes! You CAN Warp Shadows in PSE!

21. Heritage Photos Get a Makeover

22. Only the Shadow Knows… Take TWO

23. When is a Square NOT a Square?

24. Creating Clusters… Not Clutter

25. Build-a-Brush Workshop

26. Blend Modes? Say What??

27. Down on the Border (not the Little River Band version)

28. Carol: Objects Inside Other Objects and Going Incognito

29. Tearing Up the Sheets (of Cardstock)

30. Style Savvy!

31. WSNH Tips and Tricks

32. Title Tweaks

33. Get in SHAPE, Girl!

34. Keeping Things in Perspective

35. Can This Photo Be Saved?

36. Behind the MASK

37. Michelle: Finding Font

38. Putting the “OH!” in Your Photos

39. Ellen: Talking about Tools

40. Chalking it Up to Inspiration

41. Becoming an ALPHA Female

42. Over-the-Top TITLES

43. Templates with a Twist

44. How’d You DO That?!! Fontography Demystified

45. A Little Bit Sketchy

46. More Fun with FONTS

47. Dodge and Burn… NOT an Action Movie

48. Reflections

49. The EYEs Have It

50. There’s a Flag on the Play – Out Of Bounds!

51. Abstract Meets Graphic Art

52. Mixing it UP!

53. Revisionist History

54. The TutOR Becomes the TutEE

55. A Few Quick Template and Shadow Tips

56. It’s a PUZZLE!

57. I Feel the Need… the Need for SPEED (Scrapping)!

58. More FUN with FOTOS

59. Turning a POSITIVE into a NEGATIVE

60. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

61. Scrapping with Heritage Photos

62. You’ve Gotta Know When to FOLD ‘Em

63. More Fun with Fonts – Die-Cut!

64. A(nother) Way with WORDS

65. Playing on Emotion

66. In the RAW!

67. Christmas FONTography

68. Ahead of the CURVE

69. Like Snowflakes… No Two ALIKE

70. The ART of ILLUSION

71. More Fun with Photos!

72. Fun with FONTS & FOTOS 

73. First Past the Post(mark)

74. SKETCHIER!

75. Here’s a Little Clip!

76. The EYES Have It!

77. Facebook Timeline Covers

78. Tiny BUBBLES!

79. Uniquely YOURS

80. DIAMONDS are a Girl’s Best Friend

81. Totally TACKY!

82. UNZIP Me Dahling!

83. Direct Your Own SCRIPT

84. Transforming the Ordinary to the Extraordinary!

85. Making the Most of (inter)National Scrapbooking Day!

86. When SIZE Really DOES Matter…

87. A Road Map for Newbies

88. Throwing the BOOK at Glee

89. Jailbird No More!

90. Alphas Revisited

91. Everything New is Old Again

92. Still MORE Fun with FONTS!! 

93. Where the Boys Are

94. Like a Broken Record

95. Creating ‘Mazing Monograms

96. Vacation Memories Sanitized!

97. Another Way to Have the Photo You REALLY Wanted, Not the One You Got

98. Fontography with Alphas

99. Expanding Your Repertoire

100. Sketchy Simplified

101. It’s Fall, Y’All!

102. Making a Stylish Sandwich

103. Clusters… Have Them Your Way, the Easy Way!

104. Driven to Distraction

105. Are YOU Ready for Digital Scrapbooking Day?

106. Don’t Lose Your Cool… or Your Stash!

107. 8 ball, Corner Pocket!

108. One Hand in my Pocket… and the other one’s holding a Journal Card!

109. Shaving Shadows

110. Cuttin’ It Out – Old-School

111. Let’s All Give Thanks… for AWESOME Photos!

112. Gentle(wo)men, Start Your Ovens!

113. The EYE-lets Have It!

114. Save Me! (methods for saving layouts for gallery posting)

115. What’s Your Super Power (Word)?

116. Any Way You Slice It (quick way to duplicate a multi-strip photo)

117. Memory-Keeping with Not-So-Great Photos

Tutorial Tuesday (Digital Scrapbooking)

8 ball, Corner Pocket!

Last week when I was struggling to find a topic to write about, I asked the GingerScraps Ad Team members for some ideas. Teresa suggested I do something about pocket scrapping. I have to tell you, I was floored. Pocket scrapping isn’t my thing and it’s really not my comfort zone either. I know it was a big part of the digi world several years ago, and I flirted with Project 52 (there’s NO WAY I could commit to Project 365 and I admit it!) but I wasn’t all that successful. So I had some learning to do before I could present myself as an expert. Ha! The EXPERT is Becky Higgins, the developer of Project Life. She has an app for that in addition to a whole paper line for pocket scrapping.

What IS pocket scrapping? Basically, it’s a clean-and-simple style of layout based mainly on a grid. It’s ideal for documenting the memorable (and the ordinary) events of our lives. Each section of the grid or block can hold a photo, a pocket/journal card, art work or a cluster of embellishments.

Why is it called pocket scrapping? It has its roots in paper scrapping, and it makes use of vinyl pockets of mainly two standard sizes, 2″x3″ and 4″x6″. Digital pocket scrapping follows the same format, and it lends itself very well to hybrid scrapping. You can create your page, print it and then attach buttons, ribbons, lace and pockets holding ephemera to the page.

Most of the designers on the GingerBread Ladies team here create kits and templates that work beautifully for pocket scrapping. In fact there are pages and pages of kits tagged for this style of memory keeping. And it’s easy to find them, too! I thought about giving you a list of designers whose products are amazing for pocket pages, but it would be a lot faster just to show you how to see them for yourself.

I’d love to show you some examples I found in the Gallery. This one is from trina513. I like that she’s used her Instagram photos.

minicooper452 created this one. The photos tell a story, and the journaling preserves the excitement of the day.

This one by emscraps is obviously a Project 52 layout. Em has managed to maintain her P52 for years now!

Belis2mi has documented a special day for her children with this layout.

I really like the feel this layout from amyjcaz has, with the photos of how she spent her day at the beach.

Because I live in cowboy country, this one by psychozoe caught my eye right away.

And then there’s this one from firstoscartgrouch that’s so whimsical and fun.

After looking at all these examples of pocket scrapping and seeing the individual stamps of each scrapper on her layout, I decided to give it a shot! It’s pretty amateurish, but maybe if I do a few more…

Next week there will not be a tutorial. We’re going to visit my parents and then our daughter in her new home in the mountains for a few days and I just won’t be able to squeeze in a blog post. I’ll be doing all the driving so I’ll be seeking a horizontal surface!

From the Archives Vol. 2

We are back in the archives this week. If you miss last month’s you can view them here. What archives ? Well, we are going to show you some digital scrapbooking supplies that are in the store that are at least a year old. Some of us may be new to digital scrapbooking or new to GingerScraps. Some people don’t check the store every week. Basically, things can and do get lost in the weekly shuffle of the store. With that in mind, we are going to go back and look at some great products. Our hope is that you find some great things you might have been looking for; or find something that you didn’t know you needed but totally do now that you see it! 🙂

For the 2nd edition of From the Archives, we are going to to back as far as we can. Here are some of the oldest kits in the store. All images are linked so you can check them out in the store. They might be oldies, but I promise they are goodies!!

This is and will probably always be one of my favorite kits from Aprilisa. (I did suggest the colors after-all). It is a great boy kit that you can keep coming back to. What a great price as well!

 

Also one of my favorite kits from Pretty in Green. Yes…it is another boy kit. Such great colors and fun elements. I really like the kraft paper feel to it as well.

 

How about a beautiful kit that is a bit more on the girly side? This makes me think of glass slippers and pretty dresses. I really like the glittery feel to the entire kit.

 

On the theme of Disney, what about this kit from Connie Prince?! This looks like a kit that hardcore Disney lovers or even the average Disney lovers could keep coming back to.

 

I love Pixelily designs. There is always an artsy look to her more traditional designs.


There are 5 kits from the archives. Maybe you have some or all of these (I do!) or maybe these designs and designers are new to you. I suggest taking a look back in the store to see what you can find. I will be back once a month to help you do just that.

Behind the Scrapbook

Good evening scrappers, if you’re still up if not good morning! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I had a quiet day. I drove the hubby to the airport today, he is gone till Friday:( So it’s an all girl week… I feeling some rice, chicken and broccoli coming on and maybe even a little shopping!!! Then I made my hour drive home take about 5 hours!! OK so I spent a little time searching for Geo Caches all the way home! I have found 68 caches to date! It’s really nice to have some quiet time walking around in the bush looking for junk but the quiet time is the real treasure. I’m also getting ready to launch my own caches soon. I made some super cool cache containers and I’ll share some photos next week!

So I was chatting with Amy and she is looking forward to having some quiet time too…. kinda….

Amy is pretty excited that her husband is taking their three year old to the “Big Guy, Little guy and Gal” overnight camping trip on the 10th. She will have one evening with just her one year old (who goes to sleep at 7pm), and the the “big guys” will get a fun experience. (Next year the one year old will be old enough to join them!)

I remember those days!! And look forward to maybe seeing some fun photos!! IDK do dad’s take pictures??

Oh and Jodi had a big week…

Tuesday September 7th Jodi started home schooling Rebekah! Rebekah is 3 and will be 4 in December so is in Pre-School. Rebekah was very excited about starting school and asked if it was time for school yet everyday for weeks before she started. The day after Labor Day was the big day and Rebekah was thrilled to get started. She picked out a backpack that she wanted just a few weeks before.
This week Rebekah learned about the letter A, the state of NJ (where she lives), the planet Earth, the number 1, the shapes heart, diamond, circle, and square and the colors red, blue, yellow, and pink. She also learned from her Bible about creation and Adam and Eve. She painted with paint and water colors, colored with markers and crayons, and wrote the letter A and a and the number 1. Boy she’s had a full week!

Her Dora desk that she loves so much!

The backpack she picked out…

Painting in one of her daddy’s old shirts…

Coloring a heart with markers…

And the letters A she made with cereal (Apple Jacks and Alphabet Cereal)

Jodi realized after she took the picture that she put the lowercase a upside down for the picture. hehe

Wonderful work Rebekah!!! Jodi is such an ambitious mom to take on this big job!! I know there are quite a few of you mom’s out there that decide to home school your children…. my hats off to you!! I have no idea how you do it!! I sure look forward to updates along the way and seeing some more art projects!!

While I’m on the topic of school and kids… my sister an I were talking about school uniforms yesterday. I have to say I’m all for the school uniform. I love that everyone at school would wear the same thing and it wouldn’t cost parents a small fortune buying all the brands our kids love!! My sister on the other hand is totally against it! Her stance is that a school uniform only comes in limited if not only one style and that we are all different body shapes. So the same outfit doesn’t work for everybody!! I can see her point but I have to say that I’m still all for it.

So I’m wondering, did you ever have to wear a uniform and how did you feel about it?? Would you want your kids to have school uniforms??

Behind the Scrapbook

So summer is slowly winding down. Kids are back in school and now the mommy’s have a little more time to do mommy things! I know I’m excited and so is Shannon, A.K.A Shananigans! Here’s what she wrote me when I asked what was her favorite thing about this summer….

My kids start school on the 1st. Officially one more year before my “baby” can go to pre-kindergarten, which really means one more year before I get 2 hours to myself everyday!

My favorite thing about the summer was starting to work for Ginger Scraps!

Awww isn’t she awesome!? It so awesome that she loves Ginger Scraps as much as we do!! I know in the morning GS is my first stop. I have to check out the chatter section and see what you’re all up to!!

I was also talking with Rachel, She’s had a few milestones this summer…

If you remember a few weeks ago Rachel of Pretty in Green shared with us a little milestone of Ana’s, she got a Big Girl bed! Well now little miss Ana is 2!!! She turned 2 on the 31st of August and is officially in the “terrible twos” lol no really she’s always terrible but she knows how to steal your heart and get away with it, lol! Here’s a few pics of here birthday cupcakes, Rachel made the frosting from scratch, she said it was a big hit! Happy Birthday Anastasia!

One other Milestone she wants to share with us, her little boy, Gage, is now a biker! He learned how to work his big bike with training wheels, no more trike for him! We are all very proud of him!

Mandy has had a fun summer… their last outing before school started was the Calgary Zoo!! Here are a few snaps…

Julie, Kelsey and Ben:)

Mandy’s favorite part of the whole day was the butterfly tent!!

And here is the little one carrying the big one…

Poor Kelsey’s feet where getting sore so Julie thought she’d help out!

And of course Mandy’s favorite summertime activity… this was her first ammo box find!!! If she’s not at Ginger Scraps you can find her Geo Caching!!

So what was your favorite summer activity??

Behind The Scrapbook

Oh my gosh!! Has anyone else had a crazy busy week?? Kiddos are out of school, Canada day and Independence Day tomorrow. I know there’s lots of festivities going on.  I was supposed to go to the cabin with my BFF but I just couldn’t get it together in time… real life sometimes gets in the way of my fun life. Although I’m sitting here in the quite… first time I sat down all day and I have to say I’m feeling good. Sure my week was long but I have a great sense of a accomplishment and I can sit here with my feet up sipping my nighty night tea and feel guilt free about sleeping in tomorrow morning!

It’s also been pretty busy around Ginger Scraps this week. I know I’m missing my ladies and looking forward to a new month filled with fun challenges! I’ve been taking pictures like crazy so I’m set!

I have been a little absent but I did check out Rachel’s new store… Hmmm yup that’s right I’m so excited to welcome Pretty in Green to Ginger Scraps. I’ve been a fan of her freebies and LO’s for some time and she is such a welcome addition to the team:) I am so excited about her new puppy love series… I have sooo many puppy photos that still need to be scrapped!

She also has other breeds of dogs as well… which is good because I have a whole pack!!

Rachel also has some good news on the home front. Her dear daughter Ana is really getting used to her new glasses she has even caught her even fixing them on her face rather than taking them off  she just looks so grown up in them, way too cute! Way to go Ana!!

In other goings on… I happened to talk to Mandy and she is recovering from her Ryliegh hangover! She had her niece Rye spend the week at her house… now keep in mind that her kids are 16 (we’ll get to that later!) and 11…

I’m going to copy and paste a post of hers from our private DT thread…. haha shhh…

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Seriously I have no idea how you guys get anything done with little ones running around. I had my niece Rye for the past week and a bit and I am soooo pooped!!

She fun and pretty easy to look after but needs constant supervision! One day when she was running to the potty I was trying to just finish up gathering dishes… like 10 seconds goes by and I’m hot on her heels. I go to the bathroom and she’s not there…I find her in the kitchen … she had dumped a water bottle full of water into my big container of rice! So I made some rice that night for dinner…

She’s also doesn’t not like to be messy so if she gets a spot of mess on her clothes she needs to change…. it got to the point she showed me how to turn on my washing machine!! She’s brilliant! It’s a front load washer so she loads it with all her clothes I just need to do the soap!

Anyways life should be getting back to normal so I can catch up with my scrapping…

While I sit here a have a beer….... <—- that’s my favorite part ha!

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And here’s a picture of the sweetie.. BTW totally getting the potty thing… Yay Rye!

Mandy also had another milestone this week. Her daughter Kelsey turned 16!!! And got her licence!! And a car!!!! That a whole lot for a mom to take in all in one week!!

Here’s Kelsey in her car…

Well I’m off to go dig around for some more juicy gossip…. cya next Saturday!!