Designer Spotlight July 2024

Designs by Lisa Minor

Has all the early July dust settled for you yet? We’ve slid into another heat dome and it’s hellaciously hot here. I know we’re not the only ones facing that right now; I thank heaven we’re not in Tornado Alley or in the path of Hurricane Beryl. Be safe, folks!!

I waited until now to share this convo I had with Lisa Minor because there was SO much going on the last week and I didn’t want it to be lost in the shuffle. Lisa and I have visited before, but we always find a way to keep it fresh. 😉 We started off with the usual ordinary stuff – I asked Lisa to tell me about her design space.

L: My workplace is in my kitchen with a view of our backyard, it’s a huge custom desk my oldest built for me.

J: Ooh, how nice is that? My craft space has a huge custom desk in it that I threw together with pieces from Michaels and a tabletop for Home Depot. I’m still moving things around to make it efficient. I think it’s almost there. I’ve been making a LOT of personalized cards for family members and July is the month with the most occasions. What kinds of things motivate or inspire your creativity?

L: Color, Color, Color! The bolder the better.

J: Yes! Colour is the foundation of art. What colours are your go-tos, and which do you avoid?

L: I love BLUE, it’s flexible and easy to work with as a designer and a scrapbooker. I think my least favorite is yellow. It’s difficult to find a good shade of yellow that goes with everything.

J: Same! But having said that, I made a birthday card for my son-in-law that has a gorgeous blend of Peacock Feathers, Lucky Clover and Twisted Citron Distress inks. Twisted Citron is definitely yellow and I love the way the card turned out. The anniversary card I made for my daughter and other son-in-law also has a bunch of yellow on it, but the main palette is teal. Anyway……….. Tell me about your dream vacation.

L: I would love to go to Ireland! It’s on my bucket list.

J: I think you know that I’ve been there twice, right? Let me know if you need any tips! Don’t kiss the Blarney stone – it’s gross! I really want to get back there one more time before I get too feeble. I’ve narrowed down the area where my mystery ancestor was born and need to see it for myself. It would be so much easier if I had a time machine and could just ask him. If time travel was possible, would you go back in time or ahead?

L: I would go back and spend more time with my Grandma Flo! I miss her and would love to hear more from her about her life.

J: I don’t think I would want to know the future. I think it could ruin the present – but could be useful at the track. Are you a sports fan?

L: I love watching men’s soccer! Those guys are ripped, lol!

J: Not for me, although Canada is playing really well at the Copa América. I’m more of a winter sports person, although I do enjoy baseball. One of my girls played ladies fastball when she was a teenager and was on a AA team until she broke her elbow. Long story… What did you want to be when you were small?

L: I always just wanted to be a Mom – Wish Granted!

J: It’s the hardest job anyone can have, but definitely worth it! Fastball Daughter has always been a bit of a challenge and now she’s an adult, she’s finding out she has allergies, food intolerances and is neurodiverse, so a lot of things finally make sense. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

L: If I could broaden this a little, it would be ANYTHING pasta!

J: How do you feel about gluten-free pasta? 😀 I bet Fastball Daughter would love to be able to eat pasta again. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

L: I would like to be about 6 inches taller.

J: I already tower over my mother and sisters and am nearly as tall as my dad an brother, so that’s a hard pass for me! Now for the sill question most of my guests love to answer. Are you more likely to sing, or dance, in the shower?

L: Sing of course!

J: I love how my voice sounds in my big glass shower. Otherwise not so much. Thanks for chatting today, Lisa! Have a great Designer Spotlight month.

For our readers, don’t go away yet! Lisa has a very colourful Daily Download for us, links here on the Blog. Each segment’s link is active for 5 days, so if you miss a day or two you can still collect all the parts. If you just can’t check the Blog every day or you forget, the entire kit will appear in Lisa‘s shop for purchase at a later date. She is also hosting the Designer Spotlight Challenge this month in addition to her Pinterest Challenge. (Click the links!) But that’s not all! She has a coupon for y’all, so go take a gander at her shop. (Click the link!)

Now, before it gets too hot, I should water my patio pots!


Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Challenge Spotlight: Template

The third Tuesday is the day of each month when I take a moment to shine the spotlight on YOU, the GingerScrappers, and your individual styles. I spent some time browsing the Gallery and chose Scrapbookcrazy Creations by Robyn‘s Template Challenge for today’s Spotlight. Template challenges are perfect vehicles for this kind of spotlight because every participant starts with the exact same blueprint and can interpret it in their own way. And templates are great kickstarters for GScrappers whose mojo is nojo. As of this morning there were 29 layouts posted to the Challenge Gallery! No, I’m not going to make you scroll through 29 separate entries; I instead will show you every second layout, in the order they were posted. If you’ve participated and your layout isn’t here, it’s not because it isn’t worthy, it’s because it ended up being an even numbered entry, that’s all. I’ll offer some gentle analysis of each layout and link it to the Gallery so you can get a closer look, and maybe leave your own comment – just click on the GScrapper‘s user name and you’ll be whisked right to it.

But first, let’s look at the template Robyn has provided to each of us, at zero cost. It’s relatively simple, but with a great deal of potential.

You’ll notice that most of the layouts to follow are oriented exactly as the original template is – there’s nothing wrong with that – but look very different! In fact, there are only 3 layouts in the Gallery ATM that have switched up the orientation. Let’s go…

This layout by alexandergirl68 stays very faithful to the original template. Her colour palette is drawn from her photos, with the houndstooth paper mimicking the brick in the larger photo.

For her layout, domino44 chose to make her floral clusters larger and to keep the layout monochromatic. (Remember colour theory? 😵)

I like that dj_w has used a slightly larger, distressed paper behind her wildlife photos. She too used a colour palette inspired by her photos; keeping her clusters smallish and subdued allowed her photos to be the stars of her layout. That tree is a great addition!

Windswept has created a beautiful monochromatic composition that is perfectly colour-matched to the blues in her photos. The addition of a third cluster and the much larger title add a personal touch.

Alasandra’s layout is the first real departure from the basics. The mat behind her main image is more prominent compared to the template, and she’s created a floral border rather than a paper one around her smaller image – the one I didn’t even see until just now! The two watercolours seem to blend into each other. Lovely!

For her layout, larkd chose to rotate the template 90° to the left. She enlarged and shifted one of her clusters so it’s a bit more central and added some extra flowers. Her pastel palette puts the focus on her photos.

Did you all know Michi likes to travel? 😉 She kept the template in its original orientation, but that’s really it; she’s added some arrows to draw the eye to the map, expanded the lower cluster down into the corner with travel-related elements and added a subtitle.

O.M.G!! I love this layout by greenfiend27. It has so much depth and texture with those frames. Clusters are perfection! She simply rotated the template 90° left and ran with it.

Here, jenniferl75 has kept things simple, letting her photos tell their story – the first things I see are those smiles. The nautical colour scheme supports the subject matter.

Here’s a departure from the basic! I like that fontaine has added two more photos that echo the template’s photo blanks, and that she scaled down the clusters to keep the layout from being too busy. The paint behind the photos and the wordstrip set her layout apart.

Pixel Palette has moved a few things around – the title and subtitle are replacing the clusters, which have moved underneath the photos.

I’m so drawn to that large photo! Using coral as a foil for the desert colours in the plaid paper ties the layout together for trinanne. The addition of the dolies to the clusters gives them an elegance.

Perfect picks on the patterned papers, Got2Scrap! They both mimic the dimples on the dome in the large photo. I also like how she’s chosen elements in the same colours as Stitch – the two blues, the soft purple and the pink really work.

Who doesn’t love photos with cute kids getting Grandpa to make funny faces? RobynC has kept the masculine aspect of her layout with her choice of elements.

And last, we have this soft and lovely layout by andastra. Her upper cluster forms a perfect photo corner, and rather than creating a cluster in the lower left area of the layout, she’s shifted it to the centre. The little happy face flair is so sweet!

Great work, ladies! See you next week when I’ll have a Quick Trick for you.


Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Celebrating Grads and Dads Again

PDF Version :

Are y’all getting tired of font-based posts? Lately I’ve been looking at fonts from a bit of a different perspective, searching for those that would be suitable for cutting with my Cricut for cards. When I was making my Father’s Day cards this year, I ended up using an old standby, Lumberjack Regular – the very font I use to create the text on my tutorial screenshots. I think it worked fairly well, considering the text I cut was only about 1/2 an inch tall…

While I was browsing at, I noticed a few [100% free, no-pennies!!] fonts that I could easily use to create titles for graduation and Father’s Day layouts too. I’m going to share some of them with you today. As with past font posts, each is linked directly to the download to make it easier for me to enable your font hoarding. Just click on the font name, in red.

I think this grungy font Nexa Rust Slab would work for both grads and dads. It might look fabulous with one of the gradient techniques we’ve played with recently.

College Boy has a varsity vibe and could be used for both titling and text.

Reach has several variations included in the download.

Stitch’n School has a letterman’s jacket look to it. I wish I could have put my letter on my varsity curling sweater.

Athletica already has a gradient applied!! I would probably find a way to make it metallic using Styles.

Now for the dads… Hot Winner Team might actually be suitable for both. I like the condensed form and the funky angle on the horizontal aspects of the letters.


This one, Hand Shop Typography A20 is sort of similar, but still different enough. Be advised, the only numerals in the download are the 2 and the 0.

I like the vintage look to Rumble Brave. It’s a bit of a fairytale-hero font, don’t you think?

I love the texture I see with Inlander. It could be zhuzhed up with some Styles for a unique title. Chipboard or felt would be perfect.

Kingston Roman makes me think of gladiators. Who doesn’t love a good toga? 😉

Speaking of superheroes… Smallville actually included the curved title! You can find it by using the tilde [ ~ ] key.

Catastrophic Consequences is perfect for journaling. Clean, upright, legible – exactly what good journaling needs.

Here’s one for the gamer dads. Darks Skyrim has so much potential. I could see it with a shiny shades-of-blue gradient. Yeah!!

And one more journaling font, Philosopher. It’s a little fancier but still clean and clear.

I’ll confess, I’m really struggling with scrapping inspiration and even more with tutorial topics. After almost 350 tuts, it’s really hard to come up with fresh stuff. I may have to make some changes. Stay tuned.


Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Challenge Spotlight: iNSD Mini Kit Challenge

Yep, I know. May is 2/3 over already. It seems Spring is a little behind for us this year; it’s quite cool and damp – I can’t complain about rain though, given the extreme drought we’re stuck in here. But I digress. This month I’m taking us on a bit of a different path for the Challenge Spotlight. Rather than going with one of the usual monthly Challenges, I chose the iNSD Mini Kit Challenge, hosted by CarolW. This was part of the week-long (inter)National Scrapbook Day celebration and it was VERY well-received. The kit Carol provided for the Challenge is beautiful! [editor’s note: There’s an entire BUNDLE that matches the mini in Carol‘s store…] The mini was so well-received, in fact, that I had to stop snagging images from the Gallery when I hit 20. Can’t lose the audience, you know! The layouts appear in the order they were posted to the Challenge thread.

As always, I’ll be linking each of the layouts to the Gallery so you can get a closer look at them and leave some comments, should you wish. Just click on the Scrapper’s user name and you’ll be zoomed right to her layout. Now let’s look at how each Scrapper has used the exactly same mini kit to create a very individual layout…

First up is this clean-and-simple layout from deej. She’s kept her focus on the photo with her minimalist use of papers and embellishments.

Katherine Woodin‘s a scrappin’ machine. She participates in EVERYTHING while also documenting all the moments of her life. She’s augmented the mini with bits and pieces from the full kit to create her layout. By blending her desaturated photos into the background paper, she was able to use photos that might not coordinate colour-wise with the kit while reflecting the theme. I like the precision of her perfectly-spaced button border.

LovelyMissKait makes her first Challenge Spotlight appearance with this beaut! [Welcome!!] The design of her cluster is perfection. The shadows on those papers… the paper looks like it’s lifting a bit in spots. Very effective.

For her layout, greenfiend27 blended some of the papers, threw some paint splashes on, then clustered the elements to draw the eye to her images. That star bokeh adds an almost mystical look. The quote is the perfect addition.

The yellow patterned paper is surely a hit! Here, aquaris has used the wire heart as a frame, anchored by her floral cluster. [Should I tell her I see hummingbirds out my living room window all the time?]

Ah! The grungy, gesso-smeared paper takes its first starring role! The photo of the crocus was a brilliant choice, andastra; it coordinates with the kit’s colour palette beautifully.

There it is again! But this layout looks very different – individual style, amirite? That tumble of paper rounds created by pagefrocks provides movement anc keeps the eye traveling across the page.

And we’re back to the yellow patterned paper again. But that’s the only similarity to the other yellow layouts. KarenDiamond has chosen a photo that coordinates perfectly, then blended it over a paper frame. Her use of brushes and word art to draw the eye while remaining true to the theme is quite skillful.

I see mum23ms has used elements from the full kit for her white space layout. Can you pick them out?

What an artsy look dhariana has given her layout. That grungy paper is the perfect background for this style. She’s made expert use of white space and created a strong horizontal aspect with the arrangement of her elements.

This just screams JOY at me! LidiaG has designed a gorgeous cluster to anchor her photo, and is the first to use the most neutral of the papers for her background. On (much) closer inspection I see she’s also used a mask to blend in the striped paper with a very subtle touch. Love it!

It’s so interesting that two Scrappers can use identical backgrounds and yet have such unique looks. I can see where trinanne got her inspiration – the carriage flair! So far she’s the only one whose extracted the hummingbird from the ephemera.

Cool!! Look at how the way jenasz used the star bokeh sparks her photo! It adds such a magical touch – almost like fireflies. The other unique touch is how she’s twined the vine all the way around the photo, like a frame.

Ooh, where do I start with this? The splotchy ink is gorgeous, the masked photo is perfect and to be honest, it’s really hard to tell where the photo ends and the elements pick up. This is a masterpiece, biche77!

I adore how bagheertje has blended her papers for the background. It looks easy, but getting it right isn’t! She too has extracted the hummingbird and used the loop of twine as a frame, but brings her own style to that beautiful central cluster.

There’s the star overlay again, but with a completely different look. Pippin‘s spray of flowers draws the eye to her photo beautifully blended into the ink splotch. See how the hummie ephemera almost seems like an extension of the ink?

I think this is the first layout to make prominent use of the raffia twine loops. I very much like the font demma_b13 chose for her title – it has an old-world feel, evoking thoughts of European colonization in the late 15th century. The yellow flowers bring a sunny warmth.

How clever is wvufan04? Using the ink splash as the background for some word art in a font very similar to the one on her male subject’s t-shirt… so smart! I like the tiny pops of pink too.

I like how jirsev has amped the ink splashes against that grungy paper. Her layout pops right off my screen.

Our last peep is muted and filled with luscious white space. AJsRandom opted to emphasize the yellow end of the colour palette for her layout and kept her cluster very simple. Lovely!

If you participated in this Challenge and your layout isn’t shown above, I apologize for the omission. It doesn’t mean your layout isn’t stunning and deserving, it means I ran outta gas! I’m functioning on very little sleep ATM and just couldn’t go beyond 20 today. I feel like my brain is melting… But I’ll pull it together and come up with a Quick Trick for next Tuesday!

Designer Spotlight May 2024

Introducing Adrienne Skelton Designs

Adrienne Skelton is one of GingerScraps‘ newer designers, but that doesn’t mean she’s new to designing, as you’ll see when I let you in on our conversation. I wonder if she’s nervous… it being (inter)National Scrapbook Day on Saturday. What pressure! Let’s get to know her better.

J: Adrienne, thank you for chatting with me today, and congratulations on your very first Designer Spotlight! Let’s get the bread-and-butter stuff out of the way first. How long have you been designing?

A: I started to design back in the early 2000’s . In 2010 I had to take a health break due to illness. I have been back since 2021 and love every minute of being back!

J: I’m glad to hear whatever your health issues, you’re not letting them hold you back any more. Distraction can be as good as medicine sometimes. What brought you to designing in the first place?

A: I used to do paper scrapbooking, but at the time I had young kids and being able to afford buying scrapbook kits was expensive, so I decided to put my art skills to use and design something digital using paint shop pro and from that point on I was hooked!

J: Oh, if I had a buck for every time a designer (or digiscrapper) told me the same story… My kids were already grown when I started paper scrapping, and I went right down the rabbit hole. I have a whole room full of paper, stamps, ink, punches, dies, embossing folders and cutting tools. Then I found digiscrapping – no mess, reusable everything, very cool techniques that elevate my layouts… and derailed my own train. But don’t feel bad for my paper supplies – I’m making greeting cards with all of it. What tools do you use for your work?

A: I use Photoshop and Procreate on my iPad, sometimes I will hand craft items and scan and use them.

J: I almost threw my printer/scanner/copier off the mountain the other day. But we don’t need to talk about that. Here’s one of those impossible questions. Which of your current kits in your GingerScraps shop is your favourite, and why?

A: That IS a very hard question! If I had to pick one it would be She’s a Wildflower. I just love how this kit came together. I designed all my drawings and doodles using Procreate ( I love to draw even if it’s digitally) and put it all together with Photoshop. I think because this kit reminds me of nature so much! Being out among the wildflowers.

J: Beautiful! One of my favourite songs from my teenage years is Wildflower by Skylark. “She’s a free and gentle flower, growing wild.” Same mood! And what a segué to my next nosy question… can you play a musical instrument?

A: I am a self taught pianist although I am not very good, I still enjoy plunking on the keys every now and then.

J: I took piano lessons for awhile as a child. I sometimes noodle around on my son’s electronic keyboard, but only when I’m alone. <winkwink> So not into self-humiliation. My friends and family call me a Type A. What one word would your friends and family use to describe you?

A: LOYAL, very faithful and sincere to a fault. I can sense others emotions and am very supportive.

J: Ah. You’re an empath! What would you do if you won the lottery?

A: First I would make sure my family was taken care of. Secondly I would buy a house where I had a lot of land, a lake and plenty of nature.

J: That’s sort of what we did with my husband’s inheritance, but without the land. We lease it, and have a beautiful view, surrounded by wildlife, flowers, birds and bugs. I fall asleep at night being serenaded by crickets and bullfrogs, punctuated occasionally by a coyote choir. So, does your desire to be rural influence your perfect vacation?

A: My perfect vacation would be laying on the beach somewhere listening to the ocean waves, feeling the cool breeze on my face, Or that could also be somewhere/anywhere in nature where I can be at peace with my thoughts.

J: Sounds a lot like my sister’s place! What would your super power be if you had one?

A: I’d LOVE to be able to see the future.

J: Not me! I can dream up the most catastrophic of events without a crystal ball. Nope! If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

A: Be careful and stay away when she is angry!

J: The more angry I am, the quieter I get. My kids were always more afraid of me when I didn’t say anything than they were when I was shouting. On that fine note, I’ll let you get back to your day. Thanks again!

Now, the rest of you, don’t go anywhere! In addition to her Spotlight, remember that Adrienne is providing this month’s Daily Download – the sneak peeks aren’t doing it justice, I swear! I hope you’re picking up each day’s bits; the download links are good for 5 days, so if you’ve missed one, don’t worry!

Adrienne is also hosting the Designer Spotlight Challenge in addition to her regular All About Me Challenge. I’ve linked them so you can check them out. And……

Have a great Spotlight Month, Adrienne!

Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Challenge Spotlight: Daily Download

Today I have a selection of layouts pulled from the Daily Download Challenge Gallery. There’s a bit of a discrepancy between the Gallery and the Challenge thread in the Forum, so not all of the layouts posted to the Forum are here. Sorry! For those of you who are seeing a Challenge Spotlight for the first time, let me fill you in. On the third Tuesday of each month, I choose a Challenge from the long list of options we have here at GingerScraps and put the Challenge participants’ layouts in the Spotlight. Over time, each of us develops our own particular style, sometimes to the point that viewers know without looking whose layout is on their screen. My comments about each of the layouts I’m sharing will point out something specific that reflects the Scrapper’s Individual Style. What makes a Challenge well-suited for this type of Spotlight is that all participants are working from the same starting point: a kit, template, brush, mask, font, word art or image. Where there are too many variables, a Spotlight is a bit more difficult, but not necessarily impossible. Each of the layouts to come will be linked to the Gallery so you can take a closer look and leave a comment, if you’re so inclined. Just click on the Scrapper‘s user name and you’ll be whisked right to the layout in the Gallery. I chose the Daily Download today; this Challenge requires the participant to use the previous month’s Daily Download kit to create a layout, topic of their choice. Last month’s DD was supplied by Connie Prince and it looks like this:

Now, let’s look at how this kit inspired our GingerScrappers. Up first is makeyesup. She has created a minimalist desktop calendar, with what I think is one of the papers clipped to a grid brush. She has also clipped a coordinating paper to a font to create the month header. It has a bright, springy look.

This is the work of domino44. She’s added a solid white paper (included in the kit but not visible in the thumbnail) to her paper stack to provide her neutral background and changed the wording of the title tag. (I feel like that title needs some context. 😉 ) She’s shadowed the paper doily to perfection!

How eye-catching is that embossed brown cardstock lulumoon has used for her background? Her command of white space is stellar; her single photo is very much the focal point. I like that she clipped the same striped paper she framed her background with to the perforated heart; it pulls the layout together into a complete whole. If you look reaaaallly closely, she’s also threaded the ribbon through one of the heart-shaped punch-outs in the heart.

For her layout, katt chose to keep it simple… the maps, location pin, photo and title all tell the story suggested by her journaling.

Here, photocrazy has chosen patterned papers that read more like solids – I usually do that too! That choice lets all the spring elements draw the eye to her photo of hyacinths in bloom. I need Smellovision©!

I LOVE what austin_kellie has done with her layout! The kit coordinates with her photos so beautifully, and her use of the peeling painted wood paper background is brilliant. Her clusters compliment her photos without taking away from them, leading the eye around the page.

CathyS had me puzzling for a second, then I realized she’d used one of Connie‘s papers clipped to a mask for that cheery background – which I think is a blend of two solids, toning down the brightness of the yellow. Keeping the add-ons to a minimum makes that technique even more effective! I even thought she’d created an out-of-bounds look with the sunflower in the upper left… very skillful use and placement of the elements!

DianeInOz has created a beautiful travelogue with her layout. I think this type of layout is perfect for using bold patterned paper in the background. It holds its own with multiple photos but doesn’t distract. I have to give her family props for travelling at a time when COVID was still a major concern (not that it’s gone, it’s just laying low right now); I’ve only done short day trips by car. I’m too chicken!

Now THIS is genius! Look at how chigirl has turned patterned papers into ribbons, then wove them into a frame for the heart of her layout. Her clusters echo the brightness of her photos, making them pop off the page.

The simplicity of willow‘s layout is its strength. By decreasing the saturation of the green curly ribbon, she’s given it a supporting role. The mask she’s used is absolutely perfect with her almond blossom photo.

Clean-and-simple is how I describe alexandergirl68‘s style here. Her photos are driving the bus! The bright pops of yellow really bring the layout to life.

Pocket-scrapping is great for travel photos, or really, any layout with multiple photos. Kristi Martin‘s sparing use of embellishments keeps the layout crisp while the pops of yellow add warmth. The addition of white borders on all her paper blocks is intriguing. I may have to borrow that…..

To round out our baker’s dozen, this layout from trinanne puts a huge smile on my face. I’ve mentioned before that one way to achieve cohesion when your photos don’t quite work with your chosen kit is to convert them to black and white. I might have tried to keep the bunny ears in full colour, though.

There won’t be a Tutorial Tuesday post next week. I have some stuff going on that will need my attention. Details to follow…

Tutorial Tuesday (Dingbats)

Inspiration for the April Scraplift Challenge

I’m very literal (I know, I say that ALL the time) when it comes to the Scraplift Challenge. If I like a layout enough to emulate it, I’m gonna EMULATE it. So I was looking at the April 2024 Scraplift Challenge last night and what resonated with me was the abstract drawing Alexis used for her no-photo sample layout.

Then I started thinking about what I could use to emulate it. Do I have any doodle drawings in my stash? Will they work? What else could I use? And just about the time I fell asleep, it occurred to me that maybe using a dingbat could be an option. So I pored over the dingbat section at and I found a few you might like. All the sets I’m showing you are 100% free for personal use; the bold name of the dingbat (font) is a direct link to the download. Let’s take a look.

First and most closely related to the image above is this collection called Woman Faces. Don’t be fooled… there are a LOT of options with this set that wouldn’t fit into the screenshot. 236 different glyphs, to be exact! Many of them are line-drawings, so very suitable.

If you like a less formal effect Cartoonabha might work for you. This one comes with 66 different options. some of them are very expressive!

This set contains the 12 constellations that make up the Zodiac. If you’re into that kind of thing, Constellations Ostia could provide your non-photo focal point. Or you could use the glyphs as background stamps.

The Goddess gives off a bit more of an esoteric vibe. There are 30 options in this one; the letter X is a fairy!

Art Nouveau Flowers offer a lot of possibilities. They can be filled with the Paint Bucket, Styled to look like wrought iron or lead, have papers clipped to them, or just be left as is.

For a more whimsical take, Country Cuties is your friend. Mostly line-drawn, there are some sweet kittens, cutie bears, a frog, and that hilarious pig.

For the Disney fans, there’s Disney family 1, with all the usual suspects represented.

If you’re more of an old-school Star Wars gal, check out Lucas characters. No Grogu… so if you’re looking for him, skip this one.

These Vintage Mixed vol1 dingbats remind me of print ads from the 60s. There’s even an image of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for elegance. The pointing finger could work for quite a few topics, don’t you think?

I just love the gossipy image! Vintage Mixed vol2 has even more retro images; I think my fave is the cartoon bride and groom on the run.

If you’re in the Path of Totality for this month’s solar eclipse, this set called Galaxia might have something you could put into a photo-less layout. Or you could use the drawings for a border.

These just made me laugh. Smile 2 Me has a huge assortment of expressions; I love the one flashing a peace sign.

From the ridiculous to the sublime… Caligrafia Divina strikes a more elegant chord. The dragon is fabulous.

And last, since we do Takeout Tuesday at my house, there’s a food set called LMS Junk Food Junky. (Of course!) I could see myself creating a layout and calling it In Praise of Pizza.

I had one more for you but for some reason WordPress isn’t allowing me to attach an image of it. I’ve tried several different tricks and failed……… It has a selection of fairy tale images in it and is called Once Upon a Time2.

If you’re not sure you see anything you like, check out the other dingbats at There’s something for everyone there. These are just my picks for what would work as line drawings. (I won’t tell you how many I downloaded today. 😉 )

Before I let you go, I should explain how to use these dingbats as line drawings, shouldn’t I? Install your dingbat set; they take a little longer to install than say a script font, because of the added details. Then open Elements. Dingbats are essentially fonts, so the Text Tool will let you see what’s in the set. I usually run through the alphabet, looking at which image is attached to each letter. For this purpose, I’d use a huge size, like 200 pts. Then I’d Simplify the text (image) so it can be manipulated. Now it’s resize-able to whatever will work best. And then I’d work my layout into the canvas.

For sets that have additional glyphs you can’t access via the alpha keys, check out this tutorial Unlocking the Secret Extras in Your Font Files.

This might be fun!

Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Challenge Spotlight: Word Art

Whew! I wasn’t sure I’d get this tut out to you today. We started the day with an unplanned trip to the dentist – Adam lost a filling that had only been in there a short time and it was RIGHT IN FRONT!! He needs IV sedation for dental work and that adds a ton of time to everything. But in the end, he was awake enough to get him into the car before noon so here I am! I’ve chosen the Word Art Challenge this month; the Challenge is to use the provided word art as inspiration and have it on the page somewhere. The host for this Challenge is Cheré Kaye and this is the word art she created for us. There are so many ways this can be used!

March is a brutal month for choosing a Spotlight ChallengeScrap-a-Thon being in full swing. The Gallery is overflowing!! So, in a bit of a departure, rather than showing you every layout that has been submitted for March I decided to go with every OTHER layout. Otherwise we’d be here all week. 😉 The layouts are in the order they were uploaded, the GingerScrapper‘s user name is the direct link the the layout in the Gallery so you can get a closer look and leave a comment or two (I hope you’ll also look at the others, they’re awesome!) and I’ll be making my own comments as we go.

First up is Karen Diamond. She preserved the gradient colour of the word art, using it as her title, and took colour palette cues from it. It’s a little ironic that she chose the humble dandelion as her focus – they seem to “awaken” earlier than a lot of other plants.

This layout from jojores is a true original. The word art title looks a bit muted, but in the original gradient colours. I like the detail she’s added to the upper corners and how she included food-related elements to riff on the book covers in her photos.

For her layout demma_b13 also used the word art as is, and drew her palette from it. I can almost hear birds singing when I look at her layout, and don’t know how the woman in the photo can sleep through it!

Look at all the white space tillykaye has given us. The simplicity of her layout lets her photo shine. As the others have, she pulled colours from the word art for her palette.

Dhariana has given us more white space with her layout. She’s scaled everything down to draw the eye to the butterfly in her photo. I like the washi tape holding the photo in place. Against the buttery-yellow background the colours in the word art seem a bit brighter.

It’s interesting how the background colour can change the way our eyes see something, as biche57 shows us here. The gradient colours of the word art look more purple. It’s a perfect accent.

Let’s look at photocrazy‘s entry. See?! By putting the word art against a bright yellow background, the colours in the word art pop yellow too! She’s the first one (of this baker’s dozen) to use the wings that Cheré included with the word. The blue provides beautiful contrast.

AHA! AlyciaIN recoloured the word art!! Such a rebel. 😉 In the same way nature changes all the brown to green, she’s given the word art a lovely, shimmery look.

Jill went in a different direction with the “awaken” theme, and it works really well. Her shadows really give the brushes and paintbox realism and dimension. The word art colours appear in the paint splatters to tie it all together.

I like how greenfiend27 created contrast with the teal and blue elements to coordinate with her photo. Using a gradient paper in one of the shades in the word art is next-level thoughtful.

CathyS opted to recolour the word art to pick up the sandy, beachy look of her photos. Good choice!

Windswept has gone Easter-candy with her colour palette. The beautiful pink of her photo demands some drama. Clever girl, she used the same font to build her own addition to the word art, and she eliminated the white border around the words. Pretty!

Lucky 13 belongs to Zanthia. And her layout is stunning! She used the word art as created, pulled colour from it and reinforced the theme with her photos.

We’ve had four days of record-breaking warm days in a row here, and there are already two wildfires in the area. What will it take to awaken people to the climate crisis? I don’t know, but I’m really not looking forward to fire season. Please send rain!

Designer Spotlight: March 2024

Connie Prince

I think everybody already knows Connie. Some of us know her quite well, either as one half of North Meets South Studios (she’s the South half) with Trixie Scraps, or through her Shop at GingerScraps. But a Spotlight is a Spotlight, so she agreed to (another) chat with me. She’s had a hectic year so far, so this was a gracious act on her part… This is how our chat went.

J: Connie, thank you so much for taking a few minutes with me so I can introduce you to all the new folks in the GingerScraps community and to maybe give the rest a bit more of a glimpse into your creativity. I think this is our fourth Spotlight together, so I hope you’re not bored! Let’s talk creativity for a moment and then we can just gab. What are your most favorite and least favorite colors?

C: I love primary, bold colors. Pastels are my least favorite!

J: I think anybody who’s browsed your Shop would know that. <winks> We’ve talked about all the other mundane stuff, like what got you started and how your workflow goes a few times already so let’s talk about fun stuff! Can you play a musical instrument?

C: Yes, piano and it soothes my soul so much!

J: I know I’ve mentioned this before, that I took piano lessons as a middle-schooler. I wish I could have kept it up, but we didn’t have a piano at home and practicing was very challenging. I love music and, like you, I find it very therapeutic. This is a weird question so let me set it up for you. When we moved into our new house back in May 2020, for the first time in my life I had a BIG walk-in shower. I feel like we could have a party in there! I put a waterproof Bluetooth speaker in there and play my Amazon playlists while I’m unwinding. So, are you more likely to dance or sing in the shower? I do both…

C: Definitely dance!

J: Yeah, a good, non-slip base is really dance friendly. But boy am I glad no one can see me doing it! Good thing my family know I’m… um… quirky. What one word would your friends and family use to describe you?

C: Loyal.

J: Well, that’s a lot better than weird! And it’s an amazing quality to have. I wonder if I can guess your answer to this one. What would you do if you won the lottery?

C: Travel, travel, & travel some more!

J: Yep, nailed it! I “travel” vicariously with you through your Facebook fan group. Except when you cruise. I just can’t… the ICU nurse in me won’t. So, let’s shift to what your dream vacation looks like.

C: Anywhere tropical works for me!

J: I’ve done a few semi-tropical vacays – Florida, Louisiana, California – but the only truly tropical locale I’ve visited is Jamaica. I’ve never been a lie-on-the-beach-baking-in-the-sun kinda gal, but I’d absolutely go back to Ireland any time. England, Scotland and France too. Excuse me a second, I’ve got spaghetti sauce needs stirring. Ah. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

C: Steak and salad!

J: Hmm, not very tropical! <winks> So, tell me. Aside from the necessities like food, water, sleep and exercise, what one thing could you not live without?

C: My phone!

J: I know, right?! My husband doesn’t understand how I can use my phone as much as I do; maybe it’s because he needs his text super-huge so he can read it, he doesn’t really know where his phone puts things or how to get to them, and his fingers just don’t behave accurately enough for a phone keyboard. I don’t know. (I’ve had to teach him how to send text messages, and how to attach photos to them, as well as how to use most of the apps he has.) But I use mine for everything! It’s one of my super powers. If you could have a literal super power, what would you like it to be?

C: Manipulate time, I’d definitely make use of that one!

J: YEAH! Extend your tropical vacays!! Push back deadlines. Get out of things you’d rather not do just by skipping over that day. I could use that. Is there any one thing about yourself you’d change if you could?

C: I would love to master the art of being patient. I’m working on it, but it is for sure a big struggle!

J: I’ve been told I have the patience of a saint. I don’t know about that; there are some things that drive me absolutely crazy and my fuse is short when I have to do them. Anyhoo, I’ve taken up enough of your time. I’ll take care of the rest of the Important Spotlight Information. Thanks again for giving our community a little insider 411 on Connie!

As with all of our Spotlight Designers, Connie is the provider of the Daily Download for this month – links are found here on the Blog each day and are good for 5 days – and the host of the Designer Spotlight Challenge in the Forum. She also is the regular host of the #2024 Challenge that is in essence, a minikit challenge. This is what the March kit looks like. And did I mention it’s FREE?

So cute!!! The other Important Info is that Connie has a coupon for y’all… and a GENEROUS one at that!!!!!

Ready? Set? SHOP!


Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Challenge Spotlight: Mixed Media

Today I’m showcasing one of the new GingerScraps Challenges for 2024. Interestingly enough, it’s hosted by a designer who was a guest at GS for many months before she made it her home: Sarapullka Designs. This is the inaugural month for the Mixed Media Challenge. So we’re seeing the very first layouts posted to the Gallery! Larisa (Sarapullka) has provided an artsy paper and a paper cut element as the foundation for this month’s Challenge; participants were welcome to add anything they liked, as long as it came from Larisa’s store. They are required elements, which makes this Challenge an ideal one for my Individual Style analysis.

Because this is a brand new Challenge, there were only 6 layouts in the Challenge Gallery this morning. I hope, by putting a spotlight on it, we can bring that number up before the end of the month – and we do have an extra day… As always, each layout appears here in the order it was uploaded, and is linked to the Gallery so you can get a closer look, and maybe leave some feedback for the Scrapper. Just click on the Scrapper’s user name and you’ll be teleported to the Gallery.

AJsRandom is up first. She used the paper in the background and turned the paper cut into a blended overlay. The layout is simple in its design and compliments her photo very nicely.

I really like how trinanne has used the paper cut element like a black stamp against the paper background. Then she used segments of the paper cut, recoloured pink and green, to frame her photo. The addition of several artsy brushes and a simple cluster in one corner pulls it all together.

This is truly a mixed-media layout from lm44west. A simple still-life with the paper cut used as a stamp in black, a handwriting brush with gold leaf foiled to it and some subtle shadowing round out the design.

Alasandra went green! I’m adoring the blended daisy photo she’s layered over the paper and the 3D effect on the paper cut.

Oh Mylanta!! This is stunning! Yvonne55 has popped a blue paper into the background, added some crosshatched brushes over the required paper and those adorable little chickadees to the dried-grass paper cut. The extracted photo is the icing on the cake.

And last, we have a layout from the Queen of Challenges, KatherineWoodin herself. To give herself lots of space for her diary entry, she greatly downsized the paper cut element and duplicated it to create a stamped border. She changed Blend Mode on the paper to bring out the pinks and blues hiding within. Her photos are works of art in and of themselves.

What do you think? Is mixed media a style you’d like to try? I think I might give it a whirl… I watched a Facebook Live on creating bokeh mixed media backgrounds for greeting cards earlier and feel quite inspired!