Tutorial Tuesday (Potpourri)

UNZIP Me Dahling! Updated 

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3dRjg2U

It’s been a bit of a gong show at our house recently (my parents and 2 of my siblings have been down with COVID) and I’m running about 3 days behind. So rather than give you a nothing-burger tutorial, I’m going to update an older one that might come in handy in the very near future.

I don’t know about you but I will never have too many digikits!! But being a digikit hoarder has its downside… All those kits have to be unzipped and organized. Who has time for that? And then there’s Digital Scrapbooking Day (well, more like DSWeek!) coming up in no time, with all the fantastic new products it brings with it. That you’re going to want to play with right away. What to do, what to do?


I’ll be the first to admit that my downloads folder is a mess.

I’m trying to develop some better work habits, and keeping on top of unzipping is one thing that would really make a difference. So I’m going to show you a terrific app I found that lets me unzip multiple files with only a few keystrokes. It’s called Extract Now (clickable link) and it’s FREE! I work in Windows, but there’s a Mac version too. I’m guessing it’s similar in layout and behaviour, but I can’t say that for sure. I’ve tried a few others, one of which carried a virus… and this is the one I liked best for its ease of use. It’s on my taskbar now for ease of access. The menu looks like the image below. (For newer readers, WSNH is code for Work Smart, Not Hard!)

There are several ways you can customize the performance of the app. I don’t use a lot of them, but the ones I do use include letting it check for its own updates and turning off the sounds. I’m surrounded by noise all day every day (if you’ve ever lived in a housing development under construction, you’ll know what I mean), so I don’t want a bunch of added noise in my environment if I can turn it off.

In the Process tab, you can tell it what to do with the zip folders after they’ve been extracted. At first I had the app delete them as soon as they were extracted, but I had to retrieve some stuff and now I manually delete them.

This is where Extract Now really shines. You can designate exactly where your unzipped files are sent by using the Destination tab. I had it set up to extract everything into a Downloads subfolder, but found I left things in there forever and eventually forgot about them. The Help button is really useful at showing you how to customize the app for your purposes.

I create a new folder for each kit I’ve downloaded. If you’re into keyboard shortcuts, hit CTRL/CMD>Shift>N  and you’ll have a new folder you can call whatever you want.

Over the years I’ve refined how I manage my digikits. They all go into their own folder, which later becomes a subfolder within my store folders. I name them all with the same format, designer’s name and kit name spelled out in full. That makes it so much easier to find what I’m looking for later, and it helps too with credits when I post my layouts to various galleries.

I select all the zipped folders for each kit by clicking on the first one on the list, CTRL/CMD>clicking on the last one and voilà!! Then I can open up Extract Now and drag them onto the menu.

When I click on Extract, a submenu opens asking me where I want the files to go. This is when I find the new folder I’ve created for the kit in my Downloads folder and click on it.

Click on OK to All and the app goes to work.

You can watch the progress as your files are extracted. When all the files are successfully unzipped, you’ll see green check-marks next to each one and there’s a new button activated at the bottom right. Click on Clear and all the files are removed from your app workspace. I can extract several dozen files in a matter of a couple of minutes with this useful tool.

Like I said, I choose to manually delete the zipped folders from my kit folder, which is super-simple because they’re all still selected. After I minimize or close Extract Now, I only have to right-click on the selected files and choose Delete from the menu.

We all have much better things to do with our time than extract one file at a time, right?! Give it a try and see what you think. (You can always remove the app if it doesn’t work out for you.) October 1 will be here before we know it. Now go get your scrap on!

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3dRjg2U

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Realistic Folded Paper Shapes

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3qGmUPF

I got a message from one of my most faithful readers, Karen Hampton, the other day. She had downloaded the Sweetheart template freebie that went out in Neia’s newsletter and was disappointed to find that although there’s a cute folded-paper heart on the layout, clipping a paper to the layer didn’t also recreate the folded-paper effect. She said she thought she could do it herself, but was very unhappy with the results. She was on the right track, but may have missed a couple of nuances. She asked if I’d do a tut, and here we are!

My example will start out showing a newsprint background paper that disappears a few steps in. You’ll probably figure out for yourself why that happened. 😉

Open up a canvas. Mine’s 12×12, as usual. Drag and drop a background if you want. Or don’t. We’ll start out with the Custom Shape Tool, aka the Cookie Cutter Tool. Pick a foreground colour that you can easily see. I’m going with the absolute most simple options here but if you want to, use the Tool Options to get a perfect shape. I’ll use the heart, since the template has a heart, but this’ll work with other shapes too. To more easily see the changes made with each step I’m going to use a plain, solid red paper. The technique works just as well on patterned paper too.

I dragged out a good-sized heart using the Custom Shape Tool. Note the solid line around the edge of the heart. That is one clue that the heart is a Smart Object. Another clue is that there’s a little icon in the lower right corner of the Layer Thumbnail that doesn’t show up on layers containing dumb objects. Before we can manipulate anything about that shape other than to resize it, it must be Simplified. In more recent versions of Elements, there’s actually a Simplify button in the Tool Options.

If your version doesn’t have that, you can accomplish the same thing by right-clicking on the layer to activate it and choosing Simplify Layer from the drop-down menu.

Here’s my red paper. To Clip it to the shape, right-click on the paper layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. If you’d rather use a keyboard shortcut, CTRL/CMD>G works with versions Elements 14 and previous. If you’re using Elements 15 or newer, that shortcut Groups Layers – which could be useful but doesn’t do what’s needed here. For you, the keyboard shortcut is CTRL/CMD>ALT/OPT>G.

Once the paper is Clipped to the shape, the two layers can be Linked by clicking on the little grayed-out symbol on the left edge of the layers, which keeps the layers together if one is moved or resized. I prefer to Merge them into a single layer so I don’t leave part behind or do a bunch or work on the wrong layer. Click>SHIFT>click on the layers to activate them then right-click and choose Merge Layers or CTRL/CMD>E.

To create the appearance of a fold, we’ll use the Burn Tool. The icon looks like an “OK” hand signal (or half of Heidi Klum‘s opera glasses, for those of you who watch America’s Got Talent). Select a small hard round brush from the Brush Picker. 20 pixels is a good size. Set the Range to Shadows and the Exposure to 100%. What this Tool does is darken whatever it covers, but keeps the underlying colour.

This is a hot tip: When using the Dodge and Burn Tools, to get the smoothest transitions, start your action OUTSIDE the object you’re altering. The effect will only be applied to the actual object on the active layer – it won’t touch anything underneath it! And to create a straight line, click>HOLD THE SHIFT>click. So I started my shadowy fold line by clicking off the red paper at the centre-top V on the heart (the upper + sign), held the SHIFT key down while I moved the cursor to below and outside the pointed end of the heart and clicked again (the bottom + sign). As long as you keep the SHIFT key pressed, Elements will know it’s drawing a line between clicks.

Still working with the Burn Tool set to Shadows, change the Brush to a BIG soft brush. You can resize your Brush two different ways. One is to use the slider in the Tool Options. The other is to use the keyboard. [ makes the brush smaller, ] makes it larger. Choose a brush size that covers about 2/3 of one side of the heart.

I like to have the utmost control over everything (Type A/OCD/ADHD??) so for this step I’ve turned on the Grid. View>Grid or CTRL/CMD>’ This way I can be sure the shading is oriented properly and that I’m starting and stopping in a straight line.

This screenshot expands on what I was saying about starting the Burn OUTSIDE the heart. I have my big, soft brush overlapping the fold by a bit (I think it looks more realistic, but you can line up the Burn with the fold if you want). I’ve shifted the left edge over 2 spaces past the fold. Click>HOLD THE SHIFT DOWN>click and there’s a nice shadow there.

If 100% isn’t quite as shadowed as you’d like, simply KEEP THE SHIFT KEY DOWN, move the cursor back to the first position and click again. If you click without holding down the SHIFT key you’ll be starting a new path and will be making work for yourself. Does that make sense?

To make the right side of the heart look a bit curved, change to the Dodge Tool – the one that looks like that paddle the optometrist uses to cover one eye. Keep your big soft brush but make it about 25% smaller than your Burn brush was; set the Range to Highlights and the Exposure to about 20%. Repeat the same steps you used to create the shaded part. One pass should be enough. Can you see the curve?

Once you’ve figured out your light source you can position your heart and add a nice cast shadow. And that’s it!

Let me know how this works for you. I’m always open to questions and suggestions through Private Messages. [User name ObiJanKenobi] See you next week!

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3qGmUPF


Designer Spotlight Bonus Goodies!

Dani and Neia asked if I’d pass this on. For tomorrow (September 9, 2022) ONLY, subscribers to their newsletters will have the opportunity to grab some bonus freebies. Here’s a sneak peek to whet your interest.

Need links? Dani’s newsletter sign-up is HERE.

Neia’s newsletter sigh-up is HERE.

Run, don’t walk!!


Designer Spotlight: September 2022

Neia Scraps and JB Studio

How can it be September already? This month we have a dazzling duo in the Designer Spotlight. Edneia, aka Neia Scraps and Dani, aka JB Studio have joined hands and talents for us and we’re not going to be disappointed! I had a chat with these amazing women and want to share what I’ve learned about them with all of you. Let’s go!

J: First we’ll do the whys and wherefores. Neia, what made you decide to design?

N: When I first discovered digital scrapbooking, I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. Today she is 11 years old. I love drawings and cute little things and I got completely involved with this world. I had time, a computer and a lot of willingness to learn at my disposal. I started making pages and courses and soon I was designing my own products.

J: I’ve been a fan for a long time! Dani, how long have you been designing?
D: Since September 2007.
J: That long? I had no idea!! Happy 15th design-iversary. Neia, what do you use to create your designs (program, additional tools, etc.)?

N: I use a desktop computer, my most used programs are Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC. I still use a scanner, a graphics tablet and I have a Canon camera.

J: Dani, can you describe your design workspace for us?
D: I’m blessed that in the new house I have an entire room for myself. So now I want to make it an inspiring creative studio, I’ll paint the walls and buy furniture and hang art on the walls. I worked in the family living room for long years. So this is a great achievement for me. Besides my laptop, I have lots of notebooks and pens and washi tape and brush pens because I bullet journal.
J: That’s fabulous! I have a dedicated room for my crafting too, but it’s still stuffed full of boxes and badly needs organization. So. Much. Work. So let’s change the subject. What is your favorite kit currently in your GS store and why?
N: Take Note is my favorite kit right now. I had fun creating it and it has elements that I love. I love characters and I love pink.
D: This is such a hard question because I love creating and each creation has its own special meaning to me. Recently, I created Empty Nest which reflects my own thoughts and feelings when I think that my daughter is almost turning 18. I also created a collection I’ll be releasing soon at Gingerscraps named Be Strong which reflects the emotional overwhelming moment I’m living now. It’s more like a reminder to myself to take care of myself and be strong because it will pass soon. Most of my designs reflect my own feelings and thoughts and they are also a way to inspire others.
J: Dani, those both sound quite special. I’ve already bought Empty Nest, so I’ll keep an eye out for Be Strong. What one word would your friends and family use to describe you?
D: Unique. I think that’s because I have a unique view of things and life.
N: Fun!
J: Both are sterling qualities, don’t you think? Now, let’s talk about your perfect vacation.
N: What doesn’t end? LOL … Well, my favorite places are Orlando, Florida and the North Coast of my state of São Paulo.
D: I don’t think I can describe ONE perfect vacation. I like to experiment and experience. So the one I describe would be perfect for the first time and I would like to do it differently in the next one. LOL
J: You’re both in Brazil, right? I have a dear friend who grew up in Porto Alegre who now lives in Canada. I think I should put Brazil on my bucket list. Here’s a curve ball for you. Are you more likely to dance or sing in the shower?
N: I’m sure I can do both, very badly I confess, but yes, I do.
D: Sing, sing, sing. I love singing.
J: Do either of you have a green thumb? What do you grow?
D: Not yet. This is in my plans to have a beautiful garden here in the new house, too. I cannot dedicate myself to that now and we have a young dog who would destroy it all. So, when it’s the right time I want to start gardening. I want to grow flowers and also some vegetables because I like cooking.
J: Having a blank canvas where you want a garden to be is both a blessing and a curse! So. Much. Work. Can you tell my Long-COVID fatigue is getting to me today? Pshhh.  Here’s a thought… If you could have a super power, what would you like it to be?
N: I wish I had the power to heal any kind of illness or injury or anything that might be wrong on any neurological/psychological level.
D: I too would like to be able to heal people. My daughter has diabetes and my mother has a rare type of rheumatism. Sometimes I feel useless, there’s nothing I can do to avoid their pain.
J: Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just make it all go away? What about food? Dani, do you have a favourite meal, one you could eat every day for the rest of your life?
D: This is easy – Japanese food: especially sushi.
J: Nope, not for me!! Tempura maybe, but sushi is not for me. Neia, If you had a warning label, what would your say?
N: Beware, it looks harmless but bites if provoked! 🙂

J: What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
N: In 1995 a band called “Mamonas Assassinas” was very successful in Brazil. I was 15 and I couldn’t go to any of their shows. They were a very irreverent and fun band. It was a meteoric success that lasted a year and they tragically died in a plane crash at the height of their career. To this day I miss them because it felt like they were part of my life. I would love to sit down with them, have a coffee, have a good laugh and say goodbye. They were great and made the childhood and youth of millions of Brazilians much better!! and i just wanted to say thank you!!!
J: They sound amazing! I think they could be compared to Canada’s Bare Naked Ladies. What did you want to be when you grew up?
D: A singer and actress.
J: Lots of little girls were right there with you, I think. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
N: My daughter said I’m a great mother. Not because I let her do whatever she wants, but because she feels like talking to me and knowing that I love her.
J: Aw, that’s so sweet! One of my daughters said something similar years after she became an adult. It almost made up for all the years she thought I was a witch. 😉 I’ve taken up enough of your time, so I want to thank you for chatting with me. Best wishes for a very successful September.
Before I end this post, I want to remind you all that not only are Neia and Dani providing the September Daily Download called One More Chapter, they’re also hosting this month’s Designer Spotlight Challenge! And….. being the generous souls they are, they’re also discounting their stores, 40% off with NO COUPON CODE needed. I think I need to go shopping… See you all in October! <editor’s note: I apologize for the formatting on this post. I’ve played with it for nearly an hour trying to fix it, but without success. Sorry!>


Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Turning a Font into a Sticker: Reprise

PDF Version: https://bit.ly/3BgqBlm

Did you know that my very first Tutorial Tuesday Blog post appeared on August 30, 2016? Six years!! So I thought it might be fun to re-run that first post (with maybe some tiny updates) just to see how far we’ve come. Ready?

Aug 30 2016

GingerScrapper Heather requested some help with creating eye-catching titles, so this little lesson will focus on turning a font into an outstanding sticker. Over the next few weeks we’ll go into more detail on how to really jazz up your layouts, so stay tuned!

The very first step is to figure out what to call your layout. You want to choose something that works with the topic, but you don’t want it to be “Joey’s 8th Birthday”… where’s the excitement in that? Instead you could go with “Today He’s 8!” For the layout I created to help with this lesson, I looked up some surfing terms, looking for a hook. I came up with “Rippin’ the Foam”.

I like to build my titles on their own work space – there are fewer distractions and I can see clearly what I’m doing – so I always open a new file <CTRL/CMD+N>. (I use keyboard shortcuts, they really speed things up, but if you’re not comfortable with them, go ahead and do things as you usually do.) The size of the work space can be whatever you want, because you’ll be able to resize your title when you’re ready to use it.

As you can see, I’ve already chosen the colour for my title. I decided to work with the two fonts selected by Jennifer of Leaving a Legacy Designs for the August challenge, since I hadn’t done it yet. Using Sacramento I typed out “Rippin’” but found it to be a little anemic for a title. To beef it up a bit, I simplified the text <right-click on the layer and select Simplify Layer from the drop-down menu> then I selected the text by <CTRL/CMD+click> on the thumbnail (the little image in the Layers Panel). Once I got those little ants marching around my text, I went to the SELECT tab menu and chose Modify>Expand and put the number 3 in the box.

That pushed the line of ants out by 3 pixels, which was just enough. (Sometimes you have to play around to get it right, so don’t forget that CTRL/CMD+Z is your best friend.) Next I used the Fill Tool (the paint bucket) to fill in the space created in the last step. You’ll notice that there’s a very thin line inside the filled space so just keep moving the paint bucket around and clicking until all the space is filled in. Now I had a nice, fat word but it was a little umm… meh. So my next step was to change the foreground colour in my colour picker to a medium-dark gray.

In the EDIT tab menu, I chose Stroke (Outline) Selection

… set the value to 1 and chose Center.

2016-08-29 (9)

That puts a very thin gray line around the edge of the text. To continue on achieving the sticker look, I changed the colour of my foreground to white (ffffff) and I again selected the EDIT tab menu, only this time I put 6 as the value and selected Outside for the location.

And this is the result.

Now we’re cookin’! I changed the font to the other featured font for August, RNS Camelia and added the rest of my title in black. It needed a little nudging to get it where I wanted it – that’s part of the process. deciding what looks good. I chose not to include that part in the sticker because I wanted it to look like I’d written it on the layout.  At this point, I had two layers on my work space. With the Rippin’ layer selected, I added a Drop Shadow Layer Style and tweaked it so it was close to the sticker, sort of sharp and fairly dark. <Double-click on the fx icon on the layer in the layers palette, then use the sliders to adjust the size – sharpness of the edge, distance -width of the shadow and opacity – darkness of the shadow until it looks good to your eye.>

Once that was done, I merged the two layers together so I could move the title in one piece onto my layout. Now, knowing that I didn’t want my title to “float”, I selected the background paper layer of my layout to drop the title onto. It needed to be adjusted for size and placed where it looked best then ta-da! it was done! As you can see in the very first photo above, if I’d just used the font by itself, my title would have been lost against the patterned paper in the background. With a few simple steps, I made it so much better!

There you have one very basic method of adding interest to your titles. The tutorials to follow will build on this lesson and add a lot of cool techniques to your skill set. I hope you’ll continue to suggest topics for future lessons so you can grow your skills to match your imagination. (This part made me LOL. 273 tutorials and counting!!)

PDF Version: https://bit.ly/3BgqBlm

Designer Spotlight: August 2022

Magical Scraps Galore

The year is just winging by, isn’t it? It was my great pleasure to chat with Marina, aka Magical Scraps Galore, over a cold drink recently. It’s her turn in the GingerScraps Designer Spotlight so let’s get to know her better.

J: Let’s start with the bread-and-butter stuff. How long have you been designing?

M: I’ve been designing for 11 years now!

J: That’s a long time in the digi-world. What made you decide to design?

M: I started creating my own digital papers and embellishments for scrapping our second trip to Disney World, since the digital offerings were very limited back then. It didn’t take long to realize that scrapbook design was my passion, and I started participating in the design challenges hosted by MouseScrappers. I opened my first shop in 2013 and I’ve been part of the wonderful GingerScraps family since 2014.

J: There’s nothing better than creating exactly what you want but can’t find. What tools do you use to create your designs?

M: I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Procreate and ArtRage.

J: Kudos to you for blending all those platforms! I have enough trouble with just one. Can you describe your design workplace?

M: I design in my studio at home, with my two cats sleeping by my computer or on my lap. Sometimes they like to sleep ON my computer and they mess with my designs, LOL! I have to be very careful!

J: Too funny! My dogs see me pick up my laptop and go somewhere else. What kinds of things motivate and inspire you as a designer? I mean, other than Disney… 😉

M: My main motivation and inspiration are my kids and my trips around the world.

J: Those two things seem to be the launch pads for many of the designers I’ve chatted with. What is your favorite kit currently in your GS store and why?

M: It’s hard to pick just one, that’s mean, it’s like choosing your favorite child, LOL … I have several kits that I love, especially my travel collection, but one of my favorite kits is Magical Memories, it’s all about my happy place and it’s a reminder of all the magical moments I spent there with my family.

J: That’s how I feel about Ireland. I’d move there if I could! If you were given a super power, what would you like it to be?

M: Teleportation, so I can travel anywhere in no time and with no jet lag!

J: Wouldn’t that be amazing?! I used to wish I could teleport home from work after my 12 hour night shifts. Have you ever met anyone who’s famous?

M: Yes, I met Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films)

J: I’m not much of a HP fan, but I know who he is. That must have been a special moment. You clearly enjoy things that relate or appeal to children. What did you want to be when you were small?

M: I wanted to be a flight attendant or a rock star.

J: I can’t sing or play an instrument so I never dreamed of being a rock star, but I did want to be a flight attendant for awhile. They work pretty hard and put up with a lot. I think my sarcastic evil twin would take over and I’d be fired. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

M: Warning: Crazy cat lady!! LOL! I’m a huge cat lover, and if my family would let me, I’d have 10 cats or more!

J: Ooh. That would be overwhelming to me. I have enough trouble keeping track of two dogs. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me; I’m just going to fill our readers in on all the awesome August goodies you’re a part of before I finish up.

Of course, Marina is hosting the Designer Spotlight Challenge this month. She’s also the Daily Download Diva for August, so make sure you look for the links here every day or two. (Links are active for 5 days, so you can condense your time:effort if you want to.) If you don’t have time or miss some pieces, the kit will be for sale next month in the Shop. AND… Marina is permanent host of the monthly Surprise Challenge! If all of that isn’t enough, she’s offering a lovely coupon that’s good for the whole month. Be sure to check all of this out. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Quick Trick: Transparent Titles

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3oHPCP7

If it’s Quick Trick Tuesday, this must be Belgium. I mean, this must be the last Tuesday in July. (Lame joke for the Boomer set… it’s a riff on the title of a 1969 movie with Suzanne Pleshette. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) RESET RESET RESET! Today’s Quick Trick is truly quick, max only 5 simple steps. Check it out! My layout is built on a Seatrout Scraps template with GingerBread LadiesSunny Days collab.

This technique comes with two rules. For best results, choose a font that’s relatively simple but substantial, with smooth, unfussy lines. I used this month’s Challenge font, Garlic Shrimp, in my sample. Other good choices would be Impact, Comic Sans (if you must), Alef, Arial, Lucida, basically most of the system fonts pre-installed on your computer, or any purchased/free sans serif font. 9A lot of the Kimberly Geswein fonts would be perfect!) But having said that, don’t be afraid to try fonts you like – it won’t be that big a time suck. The second rule it that you must type your title in white.

Next, click on Styles at the bottom of the Layers Panel and choose Bevels from the drop-down menu.

Choose one of the Bevel Styles. You’ll see how it looks instantly so it you don’t love it, CTRL/CMD>Z it and try another. I like Simple Emboss for this. The default size for Bevels is 21 pixels, but don’t stress about that.

Now, change the Blend Mode for the text layer to Multiply. The Blend Mode picker is at the top left of the Layers Panel, as shown.

And it really is THAT easy! but…

Last, completely optionally, if you think you want to adjust the Bevel, double-click on the fx icon on the text layer as shown below. When the control panel opens make sure the lighting angle is the same as for the rest of the layout. It’ll really look weird if it isn’t. And then use the slider to make the Bevel bigger or smaller. I made mine a bit smaller. And that’s it!

Wondering about that “Version #1”?

Just for fun, I rearranged my papers to see how I’d like it.

And again…

Which version did I decide was the one I liked most? (There was a Version #4, but it was so awful I rejected it immediately.) You’ll have to check the Gallery tomorrow!

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3oHPCP7

Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Challenge Spotlight: Daily Download

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3zE9jwD

GingerScraps is, without a doubt, the most generous digital scrapping store on the web. There are SO MANY freebies!!! The monthly Daily Download is just one of them. Each day for the entire month, pieces of a FREE kit are provided to readers on the GingerScraps Blog (right here!) so by the end of the month, you have a whole kit. (Don’t worry, If you missed a few days’ DLs, the kit will be available for purchase in the GS Store later.) But it gets even better… the following month, that same free kit is the basis for a GingerScraps Daily Download Challenge. For the month of July 2022, the kit in question is CarolW Designs‘s Way to Grow (linked to the bundle).

It looks to me like Carol‘s kit was a huge hit with our scrappers. There are 20 layouts in the Daily Download Gallery already and there are still 12 days in the month! Let’s check them out – in random order. (Each layout is linked to the Gallery via the scrapper’s user name so you can drop in a little praise for the ones you like best.)

Our first sample is from willow. I love all the white space here. She’s taken only a small handful of the elements in the kit and created a beautiful, calm layout.

I like how chigirl has melded some grunge via her choice of papers and paint splatters with the flowery prettiness of the elements into this loveliness.

wendeeds has pulled colour from her photos and used coordinating elements and papers to create her fun Date Night layout.

I salute the dedication of people like makeyesup who create a new themed desktop for their computer every month!

202207 Calendar

How sweet is this? PixyGirl has used the Artsy Bits from the bundle to create a secret garden with a delightful little person in it.

This layout by NHSoxGirl is another gorgeous white space layout with a sparing use of elements. When you don’t have photos that work well with a kit, but you’re dying to use it anyway, you can always convert a fave photo into black and white.

Lucky for hiddenartist, she had a perfect photo! Her clusters and shadowing are top-drawer.

This layout from Danissa makes good use of the Artsy Bits and one of the grungy Edges in the bundle combined with a lovely cluster.

Sweetpea2020 lets the papers do the heavy lifting here. The stitching adds an earthy touch.

Look at how Alasandra has clustered these flowers so the kitty seems to be sniffing one. Beautiful!

The paper strips tie all of roxana‘s photos together and the clusters enhance them, leading the eye from photo to photo.

The vintage feel of this layout from kabrak1207 is quite pleasing. I’m such a sucker for old photos…

But then… bagheertje pops up with this brand-new photo of a brand-new human showcased by a lovely, grungy but extremely simple layout.

The kit’s palette seems tailor-made for this chipmunk’s portrait and bumblebeee has framed it exquisitely with papers.

For another delectable white space layout, look no farther! The photo dhariana chose pulls colour from the kit, her choice of background paper makes it pop, and her brush use enhances the overall image. Spectacular!

LidiaG has created another grungy-gorgeous-great-white-space layout here. The large cluster draws the viewer right to the eyes of that sweet child in the photo.

I’m at a loss for words when I look at this layout from Jill. She’s skillfully clustered the elements in a natural arrangement, and divided the photo over two frames in such a way that it’s the focus. There’s a lot going on, but in the BEST way!

Every picture tells a story, but sometimes it needs a little support from the wings. AJsRandom explains and balances her photo in a minimalist layout full of movement.

in her layout, wvsandy has created a beautiful frame for her prayer, and I’m pretty sure she’s used every element in the basic kit but the flair, bead spill and bottle cap.

Last but not least, alta2014 has pulled from various parts of the bundle to create a lovely, soft layout that enhances her photo. The messy stitching adds a nice casual touch.

Are you enjoying the monthly Individual Style/Challenge Spotlight posts? I find myself inspired every time I write one. Seeing how others interpret a challenge and use a defined set of tools so creatively really gets my mojo motor revving. Time to get some scrappin’ done!

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Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Celebrating Dads and Grads

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This past weekend I was making a Father’s Day card for my dad and birthday cards for my oldest grandson and only granddaughter. Do you think I could find a font I liked for my Father’s Day card? Because I HAD to get the card in the mail, I went with something lackluster and decided I’d find some better options for next time. And while I was at it, I looked for some fonts to celebrate graduations too. All the fonts to come below are free at dafont.com and I’m barely scratching the surface; have a look around and you’ll see. Each font’s name is linked directly to the website for quick-and-easy downloads. Enjoy!

Let’s start with the grads, since a lot of those have already happened. First up is Sports Jersey. It’s pretty generic school-wise, and can easily represent any level of education. I could see it working well with the title echo tutorial.

XII Don’t Mess With Vikings is similar, but narrower and bulkier. It would be easy to echo too!

I like Striped Campus because it reminds me of old-school lettermen’s jackets. Each of the grad fonts are suitable for both titles and journaling.

In a way, Fine College does too. I think these two serif fonts could be echo-able if there’s enough space between the letters and the echoes. I might have to try it. All of these fonts are Father’s-Day-worthy as well.

Now for the Dads… Wrestlemania would be a great title font and is legible enough for journaling. (In our family though, wrestling is more of a gal-thing: my grandmother was a huge fan, while a (female) cousin and her daughters are all champion wrestlers.)

This Glimmer of Light font is so classy and elegant! As you can see, it’s an all-caps font with some swashy letters.

With a hint of western flair, Dakota is masculine without being toxically so. It’s another all-caps font, and is good for both titles and text.

Here’s another classy but masculine font called Baroneys. It’s got a bit of an art deco look to it and zoomed in, there’s some flannel texture too.

I chose this one because it’s so much fun. The Amazing Spider-Man brings Peter Parker to life!

These extra characters can be used for all kinds of things.

If your Dad is the rugged, outdoorsy expert in antiquities type, Indiana Jonas has you covered.

Or… if he’s a gear-head robot master in his early 40s, there’s always Transformers.

Woodcut is for the man who likes camping, fishing or woodworking. There are so many ways this font can be customized too.

And rounding out our baker’s dozen, Sherlock Press is masculine but urbane, like Holmes himself. I think it might lend itself to the echo technique too.

Which one is your favourite? I can’t choose.

Next week will be a Challenge Spotlight tutorial, and your turn to shine.

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Designer Spotlight: June 2022

Introducing CarolW Designs

I had a lovely chat with one of GingerScraps‘ newer designers, CarolW (Wen Xin) and would like to share what I learned about her.

Of course, we need to start at the beginning… Thanks for the visit, Carol. How long have you been designing?

C: Starting in 2018, I came to GingerScraps in July 2021.

J: So about 4 years designing, and almost a year with GS. Thanks for sharing your talents with us! What tools do you use when you design?

C: I mainly use Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

J: I’m working really hard at being proficient with Photoshop Elements. Thanks to GingerScraps, I have the opportunity to continually learn new things. But I don’t have the bandwidth right now for multiple platforms. I commend you. Can you tell me what your workspace looks like?

C: My work is mainly done in the study, which is also the place where the cat and dog play. When I work in the study every day, the cat and dog also join me in the study.

J: I bet they can be quite distracting. but in a good way. What motivates and inspires you when you sit down to design (other than your deadline 😉 )?

C: Love. I’m crazy about scrapbook and everything, and when I’m designing it, I’m in a great mood and feel really relaxed. I’m happiest when clients email me and tell me they like my designs. 

J: Positive feedback is always so good for the ego, isn’t it? Do you have a favourite kit in the GS store right now?

C: Write a Letter. I’ve always liked light colors. When I was packing my things the other day, I saw a letter written to me by a very good friend many years ago, which reminded me of her. She had passed away because of illness. So when I read that letter, I missed her. So I created this kit.

J: Ooh, I can see your melancholy and sadness over her passing in the vintage look of this kit. Your Creative Team did a beautiful job with it. [Click on the name of the kit for a direct link to the bundle in the shop.] Let’s do an about-face and talk about something fun… If you won the lottery, what would you do?

C: I would buy a big estate in the mountains and live there every day.

J: Wow! That’s pretty much what we did when my husband inherited a large sum of money. Our “estate” isn’t large – it’s actually pretty small – but we have a brand-new house on the side of a mountain and have an incredible view. We’re surrounded by orchards and there’s a winery under construction on the edge of our subdivision. Here’s another fun notion. If time travel was a possibility, would you travel into the past, or the future?

C: I want to go back in time. I especially want to go back to the time when there were dinosaurs. Or I want to go back to ancient Egypt. I like history very much and I like to study the history of every country. 

J: History is fascinating and we could perhaps make our future better if we paid more attention to our past. Did you ever think of becoming a historian, or did you have other dreams for your life when you were growing up?

C: I wanted to be a doctor. But because I was not good at chemistry, I studied liberal arts.

J: I was never good at math or science but I ended up a critical care nurse. If there isn’t a way through, there might be a way around. What one word would your friends and family use to describe you?

C: Very kind.

J: Carol, that’s two words. 🙂 Last question… What celebrity would you like to meet for coffee at Starbucks?

C: Woooo, I love this question!!If I had the chance, I would have coffee with Alexander Skarsgård! I like his TV plays and movies very much.

J: He’s so easy to look at! I can see why you’d like to meet him. Thank you for letting us into your world a little. Enjoy your Spotlight month!

Check out the Designer Spotlight Challenge in the Forum where Carol has a TON of gifts for you!! And before I close this post down, I want to remind you that Carol is also hosting the Daily Download this month. Carol‘s designs are both traditional and fresh; I love the colour palette she chose for her DD kit with lavender, blush pink, ivory and shades of green. Every day for the month of June you can pop over here to the Blog and pick up the day’s piece of the kit; the download links are active for 5 days. But if you’re not able to commit to all that Blog visiting or you miss a few days, the kit will be in the store later in July for purchase. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going shopping.