Fresh Baked: DECEMBER 25, 2020

Merry Christmas everyone!! Hopefully Santa brought you everything you wished for.

Hop over to the store and check out the great sale featuring the Christmas and Hanukkah categories.

40% off these two categories : December 21-31
Shop by: CHRISTMAS
Shop by: HANUKKAH

When you spend $10 in the store, you get this great kit for free. Perfect for those tree photos.

Let’s see what the designers have for us this Christmas Day.

How are your challenges going? One more week to get them done. Any ten completed will get you this kit as a reward.

All of us at GingerScraps wish you and your families a happy holiday season and hope for a happy and healthy 2021.

Tutorial Tuesday – Happy Holidays!

Take a Break! You Deserve It!!

I know every last one of you is exhausted and looking at the next few days thinking you’re never going to make it. (Because that’s how I feel EVERY year!) I also know that nobody is interested in a long, wordy tutorial filled with new information right now. To be honest, I don’t have one ready, so it’s like fate. Instead, I’m going to revisit the last-tut-before-Christmas-2019 with you. Because although Christmas is definitely different this year, it’s not cancelled, and there will still be memories to preserve. And… there’s still time to make sure everything is ready for that. Beyond the Ordinary – Holiday Photos is filled with tips for making the most of your photo ops.

Next week, when the dust has settled and all those photos are demanding their moment in the sun, I’ll have a new tut for you (hopefully!) just in time for the beginning of a new and hopeful year.

Be kind to yourself. Take a break. Watch a Christmas rom-com, drink a glass of wine. Anything that doesn’t get done isn’t going to be noticed by anyone but you. It’s all good. From my house to yours, happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Belated Happy Chanukkah!

Designer Spotlight: CathyK Designs

We’re slipping Cathy in just under the wire here! I know we all understand how hectic December is… So settle in for a few minutes and get to know a little bit about CathyK.

J: How long have you been designing?

C: About 12 years.

J: What made you decide to design?

C: I started making some freebies just for fun, then got hooked!

J: What do you use to create your designs (program, additional tools, etc.)?

C: I use Photoshop CS4 and Inkscape, though I am planning to move to Creative Cloud hopefully soon now that I have a new laptop.

J: Describe your design workplace.

C: I have a computer desk with a desktop computer and large display in our family room. My work area tends to be pretty cluttered, plus I always have my paper planner and paper notebook open on the desk to scribble down ideas.

J: What motivates and inspires you as a designer?

C: I like seeing an idea come to fruition and then seeing how people use that kit to scrap their precious memories. I get inspiration and ideas from color, everyday life, my sons’ activities and interests, magazines, Pinterest, textures, a song, a good quote, our camping trips. Really, anything can be the inspiration for a product!

J: What is your favorite kit currently in your GS store and why?

C: It’s so hard to answer that! I guess my current favorite is my Nature Walk Collection. I absolutely love how the collection turned out! The peach and purple looked fantastic against all the neutral greens and browns. I think that nature/outdoor collections are my favorite to design.

J: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

C: Steak with Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce.

J: What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

C: I like watching college football, especially Ohio State. Go Buckeyes!

J: What did you want to be when you were small?

C: An architect

J: Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

C: Well, if people are included, I’d say my hubby for sure. If not, then I’d say coffee.

J: Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

C: Um…maybe Sandra Bullock.

J: If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

C: Caution: tends to ramble on!

J: What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?

C: Tom Hanks

Thanks for sharing with our readers, Cathy! Before I forget, Cathy has generously put her ENTIRE STORE on sale at 30% off for the whole month of December and she has a terrific kit in the Daily Download. Don’t worry if you’re late to the party, because the whole kit will be in the store in January.

Next month the Designer Spotlight will be a little different. There are some fun new questions and our designers get to decide which ones they answer! I’ll be chatting with Cheré Kaye and Aimee Harrison New Year’s Day so be sure to check in.

 

Fresh Baked: DECEMBER 18, 2020

It’s ONE WEEK until Christmas. Are you done with your preparations? Sadly, I haven’t even started. My Christmas tree is up though. That definitely counts as something.

Before we jump into other goodies, remember the Bake Sale is on-going though Sunday. Some great full kits or template sets for just $1 each.

And also remember, when you spend $10 in the store you get this awesome kit for free.

Now let’s see what is new in the store for this week.

Have you picked up the Monthly Mix Collab for December? I think this kit will be very beneficial to scrappers in the northeast US this week.

How are those challenges coming? Just 10 completed challenges gets you this great kit as a reward.

Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Christmas is Coming… Get Your Fancy Fonts HERE!

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one whose having a hectic time right now. Even though Christmas will be a little different this year, it’s still coming and there are still lots of jobs to take care of. I haven’t had much free time this week to do something wildly creative to share with you, so I went for the low-hanging fruit – free Christmasy fonts! (It’s been a while since I shared some wintertime fonts with you, after all.) I have a baker’s dozen for you, and four sets of dingbats that I think you’ll love. They’re all from dafont.com and are 100% free for personal use. The bold blue test links you right to the download area, so have fun! (I won’t tell you how many I downloaded while I was doing my “research”.)

We’ll start with this brand new font called Christmas Bell. It has a bunch of glyphs (swirlicues, doodles and tiny ornaments) that turn the letters into something really special. If you’re unsure how to find those fancy add-ons, I have a tutorial for you called Unlocking the Secret Extras in Your Font Files and one for Mac users here.

Next up is Snowy Christmas. It’s a cute one, with lots of potential. It too has some little add-ons like that adorable snowman.

The third one has the very imaginative title of Merry Christmas. But those snowflakes! And the reindeer!!

Holly and Berries looks similar to Snowy Christmas, but it’s got lots of its own charm.

The Perfect Christmas is also similar, but is a cursive font that looks almost hand-drawn. And it has snowflakes.

Sorry, I got sidetracked there for a second. I was watching a red-tailed hawk looking for lunch! PW Joyeux Noel is font #6 on my list today. It’s more wintery than Christmasy, but it’s fun. (Joyeux Noël is Merry Christmas in French.)

This one has a delicious distressed, grunge look. Miraculous Christmas would be ideal for layouts with a farmhouse or rustic theme.

Christmas Lights is like a font/dingbat hybrid. It has two different looks: the “outside” version reminds me of all the times hubby and I were outside in the freezing cold, putting lights on the gutters without enough clips and freezing our fingers off. Yep, it’s good enough, now let’s get inside! Then the “inside” version looks like the lights have been carefully strung on a mantel or around a door, with plenty of attention to detail.

This one, Christmas Time, comes with two versions, one with stars and one without.

I think I might have shown you Candy Cane before. But it’s cute enough and has so many possibilities, so here it is (maybe) again.

Next Tuesday, December 21, is the first time in nearly 800 years that the “Bethlehem star” (a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that will look like a huge star) will be visible to the whole world. (Astronomers say those living near the Equator will have the best view.) If you’d like to know more about why I’m calling it the “Bethlehem star”, drop me a comment and I’ll expound. What made me think of it is the way the stars in Christmas Sparkle look a lot like artistic portrayals of the original New Testament star.

I like this next one for its title-potential. Hello Christmas has a calligraphic style with a scatter of glitz.

What can I say about Christmas/Flakes? It’s a very formal, very upright, very elegant all-caps font with snowflakes!

Now on to the dingbats. There are so many things that can be done with these!! You could create a customized coloring book for a special little person, create a brush you can use over and over, turn them into Christmas cards or gift tags, really the only limit is your imagination.

Xmas TBF Christmas is filled with festive images. That reindeer cracks me up!

I think this one is really creative. The outlines can be done in one color, the fillers in another. Hello Christmas Icons is simple but interesting.

I think Merry Christmas Go would be perfect for the littlest kiddos as coloring pages. The outlines are thick and dark, the shapes aren’t overly fussy and they could be used to teach new words to little readers.

I saved the BEST dingbat set for last. It’s crammed with images both spiritual and fun. There are 3 dingbat sets in one collection called WM Christmas. Pro tip: This one takes a lot of time to queue up to install, so make sure you verify a successful install before you want to use it.

Hopefully next week I’ll have something new and creative for you, but I’m not making any promises. I’m going to make a drive-by visit at my parents’ house on Sunday, just to see them with my own eyes. It’s a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, but the weather should be good. Maybe inspiration will strike while I’m driving… To my Jewish friends out there, may the last days of Hanukkah be blessed.

$1.00 Bake Sale & $2.00 Tuesday NOW OPEN at GingerScraps!

 It’s one of those rare days when the $1.00 Bake Sale and $2.00 Tuesday both start at the same time!!

Come on over and check out what our designers are serving up for the $1.00 Bake Sale (December 15-20) AND $2.00 Tuesday (ends Tuesday at 11:59 pm Eastern Time)!

I promise you will not want to miss these deals!! 

$2.00 Tuesday LINK

$1.00 Bake Sale LINK

Have a wonderful day!

Fresh Baked: DECEMBER 11, 2020

Hey there. Welcome to another Friday. We’re so close to the end of the year. It’s hard to believe it’s finally here.

Remember you get this kit for free just for spending $10 in the store.

If you love Christmas, you are going to love the new kits this week. Christmas abounds.

Remember any 10 challenges completed gets you this awesome kit as a reward.

Fresh Baked: DECEMBER 4, 2020

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you all made it through the week happy and healthy.

Have you put up your Christmas tree? The Free with Purchase kit is perfect for those tree photos. It’s yours for just a $10 purchase in the store.

Let’s look at a few of the new kits available in the store this week.

Have you gotten started on your challenges this month? Any 10 completed challenges gets you this great kit as a reward

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Stuffing that Envelope!

Did you ladies enjoy the tutorial on Reflections, Perspective and Shadows from a few weeks back? I hope you did. I know the ladies on the creative team for Ginger at Dandelion Dust Designs did, and becky_a wound up with a Layout of the Week with her version of the scraplift. After such success, the team has brought me another technique challenge after they found this beautiful layout by Blackkathy.

That envelope is to die for, isn’t it? It looks three dimensional and so real! So challenge accepted. Let’s hit it!

I looked and looked through my stash for an envelope or pocket I could transform and came up empty. So I created a template, which I’ve zipped up for you to download if you like. You can find it here. Then I clipped a paper from CathyK‘s Christmas Delight kit to it. (It’s rotated 90° to have the stripes running diagonally instead of the original vertical.) When you go to use the template, clip your paper to the base layer BEFORE you move your envelope onto you layout. That way you’ll have both the paper layer and the stitching together.

Then I loaded up the envelope with pretty seasonal goodies that will work with my photo. (It’s from Pixabay, the photographer is Terri Cnudde.) I used more of the elements in Christmas Delight as well as from a couple of CathyK‘s other kits. Remember when you’re putting objects “inside” pockets or envelopes that are stitched down that your objects have to sit within the stitched border. They shouldn’t rest UNDER the stitching, unless they’re flat or you plan to warp your pocket/envelope around them. In this screenshot you can sort of see the bounding box for the crocheted snowflake I’ve tucked in there. (More about THAT choice later…)

To achieve the dimensional look of a stuffed envelope we’re going to use the Dodge and Burn tools. I’ve shown several ways to use these tools before and if you’re already comfortable using them, you’ve probably figured out where I’m going. first up is the Burn tool. If you remember the basics, Burning darkens or burns the where you apply it, while Dodging lightens. I’m going to use a LARGE (367 pixels) soft brush with the Burn tool with the Range set to Shadows and the Exposure set to 55%.

Make sure the active layer is the ENVELOPE and keep it the active layer all the way to the end! I’m right handed and work toward myself rather than away, but you’re welcome to start with either corner, depending on your own preference. I’ve placed the cursor as shown to centre the tool over the actual corner of the envelope. Click and drag the brush down, across and back up along the edge of the envelope to darken it where it would be more tightly attached to the background.

Now you can see the difference. It already looks more contoured. And you could stop here and it would be just fine!

But that’s not my jam… so I’m going to highlight areas where the paper of the envelope would be stretched by the things inside it. I started with the chocolate dipped spoon. To know exactly where the handle is touching the paper on the inside of the envelope, I CTRL/CMD>clicked inside the layer thumbnail for the spoon – don’t click on the layer itself, just the thumbnail. You don’t want to change your active layer! The marching ants show me where the edges of the handle are and I can adjust the size of my brush to fit inside. This time I’m using the Dodge tool with the Range set to Midtones, the brush size is much smaller (65 pixels) and the Exposure is 30%. I click-dragged the brush down the centre of the handle.

And this is the effect it gave me.

Then I moved on to the candy cane, which is sitting underneath the spoon. It *might* be pushing the spoon into the paper a little harder so the area where they intersect is a smidge lighter.

This springerle cookie mold is a bit more complex. It has a significant ridge in the centre of the outline and so I’m going to do the Dodging in two steps. First I’ll do the whole width of the metal, then with a smaller brush I’ll go over the high ridge again. I’m not going to be too picky here, just close enough.

I think it still needs something. So I’m going back to the Burn tool with a smaller brush and I’ll go around the outside of the star to add a bit of shading.

It doesn’t have to be right there in your face, but perceptible if you know what you’re looking for.

This little gingerbread house cookie has holes in it. So I think it needs the same treatment.

See what I mean? It’s subtle, but definite.

I kept working down the layers, adding contour as I went. This paper strip really only needed a tiny bit of shading/Burning along the edge, since it’s flat and probably a bit stiff.

Ah yes. The crocheted snowflake. What was I thinking? Dodge the high spots, burn the low spots. Zoom out. Look at it. Zoom in and add a bit more. Zoom back out. Repeat until I’m happy.

There, I think that’s good enough!

Here’s how it’s looking so far. I think I might add a bit more shading to the outside edges of the envelope, and in between the thicker objects.

I’m really pleased with how it looks. So now to finish the layout!

 

 

 

Fresh Baked: December 1, 2020 & NEW Free With Purchase, Monthly Mix and More

Happy December everyone. Can you believe we finally made it?

Before we jump into the Buffet for December, don’t forget to check out the Black Friday sale that is still going on. There are some great deals to be had.

Don’t forget to check out the Buffet Bundles. One easy click to add bundles of Buffet goodies to your cart.

Look at these Buffet colors. So beautiful and perfect for the holidays.

Let’s see what the designers have. I see the start of the holiday season starting to show up in the kits.

Remember any $10 spent in the store gets you this great collab. Get ready to scrap those Christmas Tree photos.

The December Monthly Mix collab is beautiful. It’s time for some {winter magic}.

The beginning of the month means a new Daily Download. December’s DD is provided by CathyK Designs. How many new Game Night photos have you taken during the pandemic? This kit will be perfect!

And finally, any 10 challenges completed (and there are over 25 to chose from) will get you this {sugar plum fairy} kit as a reward.

And now a few samples from our store CT. Take a look in the Gallery for more beautiful layouts.