Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

More Hearts and Flowers Fonts

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3k05qOr

It’s been a rough week at our house, meaning no time for me to do anything really inspiring. But I’ve been seeing a LOT of inspiring Valentine’s Day projects so I had a thought… Surely there are some great new Valentine’s Day fonts and dingbats that y’all can use those Styles we talked about last week to make REALLY fabulous. And there are!! I’ve got eleven FREE fonts and six dingbats for your scrapping pleasure, from dafont.com. (If you want any of these, just click on the font’s name and you’ll be linked up.) Ready?

Couple Valentine is a fancy, all-caps font that would be perfect for pretty much any application. Titles, subtitles, journaling – all of it! I love that.

This romantic script font, Mybook Again, is another multipurpose gem. I could see this on wedding invitations, all kinds of wedding favours and Valentines. It’s beautiful, don’t you think?

I really love these bubble fonts like Romantic Love. There are SO many ways to use them and so many things you can do to zhuzh them up.

Pink Valentine is so retro and cute! It brings me right back to my teenage years when I still had rose-coloured glasses.

This font could be right out of a fairy tale. Lovaline Story is another versatile font that is suitable for any purpose.

Candy Kisses would make beautiful titles. Beyond Valentine’s Day and weddings, I’d probably use it for baby layouts.

Beauty Heart is a lovely farmhouse-type font. I’d love to see it with a glossy Style so it looks like candy.

I like the heart ligatures on Finding Love. It’s yet another all-purpose font with infinite options.

Ooh, here’s a swashy script called Jully Julia. It’s perfect for subtitles and journaling.

I don’t know that I’d use You Are My Valentine for journaling, but it would be good for titles and subtitles.

I was looking for dingbats when I found Quirky Love. It’s already pretty fabulous, and has potential to be even more so! Doesn’t it look like leather?

Now for the dingbats. Heart Salads is the first set I’ve found that has an anatomical heart in it.

I can see so many things that can be done with Romantine Dingbat. Yes, most of them involve hitting them with a Style… or three.

I love these heart emoji dings, don’t you? Fluffy Hearts Ding just makes me smile.

PW Little Hearts covers the gamut of things we love. That heart-with-the-ball-of-yarn would make a great element for a cat layout.

These are pretty romantic hearts in Vanlentines Day TBF. I think my favourite is the solid heart with the stars along the right side.

Last, but not least, we have Merciful Heart Doodle. I might use this one to create a border. What would you do with it?

Now I must run… gotta deal with all the errands I’ve put off for the last week while my son has been sick. Hopefully I’ll get ’em done before the rain turns to snow…

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

It’s the Snowy Season! (Fancifying a Font)

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If you’ve thought about taking part in the Font Challenge this month, you probably live in North America and have lots of snowy photos you can work with. Snowy Season is a showy font with lots of visual interest. It’s an all-caps font with scaled lower-case characters, a full set of numerics and the most commonly-used punctuation, which makes it a great title option. I think it would make for difficult reading as a journaling font though. Today’s tutorial will show you how to make the snowy parts of the font look like actual snow! Read on…

Before we get into the meat of the tutorial I want to welcome all the new GingerScrappers who have joined us in the last while and give an overview of Tutorial Tuesday. The first two Tuesdays of the month will focus on techniques that elevate our 2 dimensional layouts into 3D masterpieces. The third Tuesday is Challenge Spotlight day, when I share YOUR layouts and discuss what makes them special and interesting. On the fourth Tuesday, I provide a Quick Trick that will speed up your workflow. When I create these tutorials I want them to be achievable by anyone, with any amount of experience with digital scrapping. To that end, I typically provide both written and visual instructions of every step in the process I’m demonstrating. If you already are proficient you have my blessing to skip over all the extra instruction. I try to use free or software default fonts and styles wherever possible so you’re not having to shop before you can play. Most tutorials are for Photoshop Elements, which is the most commonly used software and what I work with. There are usually multiple ways to accomplish a task. I like to Work Smart, Not Hard, so I’ll show you the easiest/fewest keystroke ways, and include keyboard shortcuts where they exist. I work in Windows but recognize that there are a lot of Mac people out there. So any keyboard shortcut will include the appropriate function keys for both PC and Mac. For example, the keyboard shortcut for Merge Layers is CTRL>E for PC users and CMD>E for Mac users. So when I include Merge Layers in a tutorial it will look like this: CTRL/CMD>E. The other function keys that are part of keyboard shortcuts are the ALT (PC) and OPT (Mac) keys. Make sense? Now for today’s tut!

Our winter began a full 6 weeks early than usual and brought us a LOT of snow. I like to think outside the box when it comes to titles for my layouts and sometimes will do a Google search for related words, phrases or synonyms. That’s how I came up with this one. Notice the transparency inside the snowy bits. If I just used the font as is, whatever is behind my title will show in the snowy areas. Not what I want!

Before I can manipulate this title, the text needs to be Simplified. The actual text itself will no longer be editable so make sure it’s spelled properly and it says what you want it to say before you Simplify. One way to do this is to click Layer tab on the taskbar that sits at the top of your workspace then choose Simplify Layer. Or right-click on the text layer and choose Simplify Layer from the drop-down menu.

I made a Copy Layer of the title so I could work on a Copy and not the original. There are several ways of doing this. Click Layer>Duplicate Layer… on the taskbar. Or right-click on the layer then choose Duplicate Layer… from the drop-down menu. Both these will open another menu where you’re asked where the duplicate layer will go. In this instance, it’ll go into this project, so all you’d need to do is click OK on that pop-up. Or easiest for copying layers within the same project, CTRL/CMD>J will just do it all.

Here’s the pop-up I mentioned above.

Now I’ve made the original title layer invisible so I can see what I’m doing to the Copy Layer. Just click on the eyeball to close it.

I’m going to remove everything but the snowy areas from the title. I added a Layer Mask to it by clicking on the icon at the top of the Layers Panel that looks like a gray circle in a blue square. Why a Layer Mask? It lets you hide parts of a layer but not make them actually disappear. It gives you the most control you can have over what happens to your image. More later.

This is where Elements puts the Layer Mask. You want to be sure you’re working on the MASK and not the LAYER itself. When you look at the Layers Panel you’ll see a blue line box around the active part of the layer. Be careful to make sure you’re on the MASK.

Next, activate the Eraser Tool. You’ll have another reminder that you’re working on a MASK because the Color Picker will show black and white. It there are any other colours there, you’re NOT on the mask. If you remember “White REVEALS and Black CONCEALS” it’ll help with your task… but this mnemonic is referring to what’s BEHIND the object you’re masking. The magic of Layer Masks is that it lets you erase things, but if you accidentally remove a part you wanted to keep, it’s not really gone. For example, sometimes my track-pad sticks and my cursor goes haywire, erasing EVERYTHING it touches. To recover that stuff, I just toggle my colour from white to black and reveal it again by rolling my cursor over the oops. Toggling between foreground and background colours is easy, just click the X key.

Make sure your snowy areas are completely enclosed with a thin border of your font colour. It’ll save you a lot of grief later.

This is what you’ll be left with on the Copy Layer once you’ve concealed all the non-snow areas. Zoom in and go over all of it while you still have the ability to correct any little issues. Once you’ve moved on to the next step it’ll be too late…

Now, to be able to play with this layer, the Layer Mask has to be integrated into the layer by Simplifying it. Same steps as for the initial title.

As soon as your Layer Mask was integrated, your Color Picker will have returned to whatever colours you’d had there before. Set your foreground colour to white: you can either click your cursor on the upper left corner of the palette or you can type “ffffff” into the hex code # box.

Now to fill the snowy areas with white. I tried my preferred method of New Fill Layer>Solid Color>Use Previous Layer as Clipping Mask but all it Filled was the outline. In retrospect, that might have worked just as well as what I ended up doing. Keep that in mind as we proceed. I used the Paint Bucket to click-and-fill the snowy areas. This method is imperfect, sometimes leaving areas unfilled around the edges. That can be overcome by Filling again. As you can see from the screenshot, there’s still a navy blue outline that detracts from the look I want. Here’s where it might have been better to use the Fill Layer process, THEN the Paint Bucket. Live and learn!! Instead, I worked unsmart…

I essentially did the same thing that using the Fill Layer>Paint Bucket method would have done but with WAY more steps. I covered up the blue outline with a Stroke. Edit>Stroke (Outline) Selection…

To expand on the EXTRA steps I took, I had to experiment to find the right size and location for the Stroke. I settled on 6 pixels and Inside to conform to the contours of each snowy shape.

Okay, that looks a lot better. Still a few areas where the Stroke didn’t quite cover the outline – another reason to advocate for using the Fill Layer>Paint Bucket route.

Now to add some dimension! I experimented to find the right combo for this step. Click the Styles button at the bottom of the Layers Panel then go up to the drop-down menu at the top of the Layers Panel and choose Bevels. These are stock Styles that came with the software.

I got the best results with the Simple Inner Bevel as shown. I know it makes the snow look like toothpaste, but Styles are adjustable! Double-click on the fx icon on the layer to open the adjustments menu then push the Size slider to the left until it stops looking like it’s sitting in your bathroom sink. To reduce the glaring shadows, decrease the Opacity of the beveled layer to 66% or so.

Now make another Copy Layer of the snow. We’ll add some glitter to it so it glistens like real snow. CTRL/CMD>J. (Learn the keyboard shortcuts! They’re amazing!!)

Ugh. Let’s get rid of the glop. Right-click on the layer then choose Clear Layer Style. That’ll remove the bevel from the Copy Layer.

You may already have some fine white glitter loaded into your Styles collection. I didn’t have the one I wanted so I went to my Styles folder by clicking on the stack of lines to the top left of the Styles Panel and chose Load Styles. This is where your software stores Styles; if you’ve purchased some to coordinate with your kits this is where Elements will look for them. I’ll put together a tutorial on managing Styles later. For right now I’ll just give you the bare bones.

Here’s the result of applying fine white glitter, then decreasing the Opacity of that layer to 60% so the contours of the layer below are visible.

The finished title! I’m really happy with how it looks. Next time I’ll learn from my errors and skip a few steps!

See you next week. Which Challenge will be in the Spotlight?


Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

October-y Fonts

PDF VERSION : https://bit.ly/3MB8f2u

The calendar says it’s fall, although where I am it’s still quite summery – I’m wearing shorts and flipflops, which is very much NOT October in Canada. The leaves are changing and the nights have a chill to them. So much inspiration for layouts, right? How about we look at some autumn-themed fonts for titles and journaling. And some dingbats too. All of them are free, from dafont.com and are linked so you can go right to them if you choose to grab them.

Autumn looks a lot like a vine, and is legible enough for journaling. It includes numerals and symbols as well as some alternate characters.

Autumn Pumkin is a more streamlined script that is also very versatile.

I like Autumn Leaves as a title font. It’s all upper-case, with a bunch of alternate characters and can be customized in so many ways.

Sketchy Autumn Dingbats can be incorporated into titles, filled with colour and turned into stickers or just resized and used much like a brush. The dingbats attached to the upper-case characters are different from the lower-case ones, so there are 52 sketchy little pics.

I like the simplicity of A Day in Autumn. It looks a little twiggy, a little leafy and is very legible so suitable for journaling. It has numerals and punctuation but no alternate characters.

LCR Autumn Harvest Dings is a limited collection of sketches. The characters A-P have dings attached. Don’t you love that scarecrow silhouette?

Falling is just a nice, curvy, script font; the only flaw is that it doesn’t include numerals.

KR Fabulous Fall is another 26-dingbat collection filled with leaves and other symbols of fall.

I think Harvest Fall would be ideal for subtitles, journaling and wordstrips. It has numerals, symbols and alternate characters galore!

WM Leaves 1 is another A-S dingbat font that includes a perfect Canadian-flag maple leaf. Yes please!

Tanaestal Doodle Leaves 01 looks like folk art. It includes 54 different shapes – upper- and lower-case and the period and comma keys have shapes attached.

Now, let’s do Hallowe’en! CF Halloween is up first. It’s an all-upper-case font with numerals but no punctuation.

I think Halloween Witches Script it my favourite, even though it doesn’t include the witch’s hat, spider or ghosts. It’s elegant and can (obviously) be combined with dingbats to make really fun text…

Dingbats like these! Freaky Halloween has it all.

Freaky Story is both creepy and refined. It’s another all-caps font, with the special characters hiding in the lower-case keys. It includes numerals and punctuation too.

Halloween is another fabulous assortment of dingbats you could use to customize your other fonts. What’s neat with this one is that the B, C and P keys give you the word “Halloween” plus some ghosts, bats, spiders and drippy blood. And it’s the only dingbat set I’ve seen that also has images attached to the number keys. Check it out!

Halloween Bell has 26 more themed dingbats.

I can see Spooky Halloween as a title font, can’t you? Unlike the other fancy fonts, this one DOES come with the fancy characters and you don’t even have to hunt for them. Numerals only though, no punctuation.

Halloween Rules doesn’t include those funky little skulls. I think it’s a cute-but-creepy, legible option.

I like Tricky Night for titles or subtitles. But don’t exclude it from journaling – it has numerals, punctuation and a bunch of alternate characters.

Last but not least, Spooky Webbie is cute, but still Halloween-y. It’s also the full package so you can use it for whatever your little heart desires.

Did you see anything that inspires you? I hope so!! Next week is Challenge Spotlight time, so I’ll be doing a Gallery crawl as soon as I recover from Canadian Thanksgiving…

PDF VERSION : https://bit.ly/3MB8f2u

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!!)

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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 (Photoshop Elements)


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

I think we’d all agree that the title elevates the layout. That could be why I’ve created so many tutorials on creating wow-worthy titles. Ellen (gmae) had a great suggestion after my last title tut (the echo technique) – she thought it may be helpful to have a master list of title tutorials in one place. So that’s where we’re going today. A few words before I get started. I’ll provide the name of the tutorial (since I don’t always use succinct language) linked to the tutorial on the Blog -just click on the tutorial’s name – and a thumbnail photo of the finished product. These tutorials include a broad range of techniques; I write from the premise that the reader is just beginning their digital scrapbooking journey, so there will be review and repetition. If you’re an intermediate or expert user, you can skip the parts you already know, but the new learner can’t fill in the blanks if they don’t know there are blanks. And finally, I don’t always create layouts with the things I Blog about so many of the images I’ll be adding below are screenshots from the actual tutorial and not nice, tidy layouts. (In some ways, the screenshots give a more detailed look at the finished title than the layouts do.)

Up first is Titles Revisited: Alphas plus Fonts which is one of the first tutorials I wrote almost 5 years ago. It touches on a few tips for mixing fonts with designers’ alphas to create eye-catching titles.

Titles with STYLE(s) gets into using Style effects to take fonts from ordinary to awesome, as well as adding paper backing to simulate those fancy title stickers you can buy at the craft store.

In Title Tweaks the technique is a riff on stickers, with some added weight. It builds on the previous two tutorials and has several variations included so you can truly customize your work.

Over-the-Top TITLES sounds a bit grandiose. The technique incorporates a title into a large photo, making it appear to rise out of the image.

A really fun way to add interest to a large photo layout is to use the title as a divider, as shown in One BIG Word – Using a Title as a Divider. This technique can be used horizontally, as shown, vertically or diagonally – it all depends on what the large photo is showcasing.

The name of this tutorial – Another Take on Titles – is pretty nebulous. What you’ll see is a title with an assortment of papers clipped to individual letters, with a beveled outline.

With A 3D Title with Punch! the punch refers to a curving title that seems to grow as it crosses the page.

How Did They Do That? (Outlining a Title with Paper Cuts) was another request from a reader. It can be achieved with either a font or an alpha, and can be combined with some of the other techniques to really boost its impact.

This is the tutorial that led to Ellen‘s suggestion (she also suggested it as a topic in the first place): Creating a Title Echo for Your Layout

There are a few tuts that don’t include “title” in the name. For example, Fancifying Those Fonts is one of my earlier efforts. Part of my brain is always assessing how something might be worked into a layout or a tutorial, or both. This is one of those assessments!

This one is another of the early days’ offerings. Alphas Revisited describes placing a title around a circular photo. I like to think my skills have improved and my ideas more expansive since then.

One thing I really enjoy is coming up with digital versions of paper scrapping looks. I dabble a bit with mixed media for things like greeting cards, using commercial die-cuts (or now that my daughter has a Cricut, custom ones) along with printed digital elements and sentiments. That’s where More Fun with Fonts – Die-Cut! comes from.

The final addition to the list is Another Font-to-Alpha Option that uses a perforated bubble font. It also includes some instruction on using Styles.

I’m sure there are others that I’ve missed. If you know of one, please link me up in the comments so I can edit this list to include it. And, of course, if there’s a title you’ve seen somewhere that you’d like to duplicate but can’t figure out the steps for, shoot me a Private Message through the Forum. My user name is ObiJanKenobi and I love getting requests! (Glee, your recent request is a work-in-progress… not forgotten! And Karen Hampton, your request is also cooking. Stay tuned!)

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

Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Celebrating Dads and Grads

PDF VERSION: https://bit.ly/3mRG9nD

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.

PDF VERSION: https://bit.ly/3mRG9nD

Tutorial Tuesday (Fabulous Fonts)

Romantic and Corny… Valentine’s Day Fonts

How is it even possible that January is almost over already? It’s not even like I got anything accomplished this month. Except getting back on the one med that controls my “functional dyspepsia” and also treats my insomnia… that was a good thing. Anyway, I thought we’d get a jump on Valentine’s Day and check out some new(er) fancy fonts that would be useful for layouts, wedding invitations and cards so I popped in at DaFont.com and had a look. They’re always adding new fonts (and dingbats!) so there’s often some new and unexplored (FREE) goodies there. Each of these is linked through the name of the font – bolded and in red. Just click on it and you’re there. I’ve got a dozen fonts and three sets of dingbats, so let’s have a look!

First up is Xhers Alove. As shown, both regular and italic versions are included. It would be good for titles and to draw attention to your message. Look at all those cute little heart cutouts!

Ready Lover can be manipulated in SO many ways. I’d throw a Bevel at it to bulk it up and maybe put it on top of pink or fuchsia paper. It’s a title font, without question.

I’m such a sucker for swirly script fonts. Billy Bella ticks so many boxes for me. I can see it as a subtitle or without the extra glyphs, as text. What are your thoughts?

I adore this upright script font, Hanifah. It’s sophisticated, pretty and only a little fussy. It would work nicely for journalling, I think.

This one, Romantic Dates, is a bit sturdier but swirly. It’s versatile like Billy Bella, with many options for use.

Beauty is another very useful font. Pretty, swirly but highly legible, you can use it for anything your heart desires.

Isn’t Love Match quirky? With or without the glyphs, it’s got potential.

I think I swooned a little when I saw Hello Valentine. That cupid-heart dot over the “i” is so fun! The uneven baseline and the scripty look are so current.

Valentine Soul has a broader wheelbase than some other script fonts, and it’s a great all-purpose font too!

This font is such a contradiction… compact AND zaftig at the same time! I can see it on a wedding invite pretty clearly. Lovea Hegena could even be used as a divider.

Love Story has those cute little cutout hearts, and would be a perfect title font. I might apply an acrylic Layer Style to it, and then stick it on a contrasting paper to give it real presence.

This is an older font, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else. Don’t let it throw you, it’s Kinkee in name only. It’s got so much potential too. Layer Styles would turn it into a phenomenal alpha!

Now for some dingbats. These are little pictograms tied to the alpha keys. Hey Babe looks a lot like graffiti and could be stunning on a chalkboard paper.

Loveya Doodle is chock-a-block with doodly hearts. They could be used like brushes to jazz up your background papers.

Last, but not least, Romantine Dingbat is a more solid doodly set, and I think they’d make amazing scatters. Maybe with a glitter-gloss Layer Style?

For next week’s tutorial, I’m planning another paper-to-digi technique very appropriate for Valentine’s Day. It’s coming together in my head, I just have to translate it into something approaching coherence. Til then,

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

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Custom Word Art using Only Fonts!

Greetings and salutations! Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada, which isn’t quite the event our neighbours to the south have grown into, but I still spent part of the day in a food coma. Let me offer you a little tip – don’t wait too long to buy your turkeys. Demand here was significantly greater than supply; even Costco didn’t have any turkeys this weekend. If you see turkeys in your supermarket, grab one! But I digress…

As you may recall, at the end of my last tutorial (with the childish fonts and dingbats) I said I’d show you how to use fonts and dingbats to create your own word art. You might also recall my inspiration was my grand-daughter. The little girl who eats like a lumberjack… I’m using Cookie Dough, Amateur Comic Regular and MTF Sweet Dings Regular today. For more guidance on how to choose fonts that will look good together, I have a tutorial for you here.

When I’m creating things like this I always use a 12×12 canvas with a transparent background. I like the larger image so I can see better how it all works together and the extra room for tweaking. The end result can easily be resized later.

I’m going to start with Amateur Comic Regular. It doesn’t matter what colour I use, because I’m going to change it later. But I do want it centered and I want both Asian Text and Anti-aliasing on. The Asian Text control helps with kerning – spacing between individual characters. In later versions there is a kerning control, labeled Spacing but it doesn’t work quite as well as actual kerning. The Anti-aliasing control gives your fonts smooth, clean edges; it just diminishes the jaggedy pixels you’d see with larger text.

When using fonts the resulting layers need to be Simplified before you can manipulate them, so that any changes to that layer only affect that layer. If I typed out this text but didn’t Simplify the layer, then changed the font (as I’ll be doing in a minute) this layer would change to that font too. So always remember to spell-check. grammar-check then Simplify by right-clicking on the layer in the Layers Panel and choosing Simplify Layer from the dropdown menu.

I may need to make some further placement adjustments to this text, so I opted to break up the layer into two chunks of text. With the Rectangular Marquee tool, I outlined the second line.

Next, I Cut that line away from the first line: Edit>Cut [keyboard shortcut: CTRL/CMD>X]

And then without any further ado, I Pasted it back onto the canvas: Edit>Paste [CTRL/CMD>V]

Now I can move each line around, resize and reposition as needed.

I changed my font to Cookie Dough. For this word, I’m going to put each letter on its own layer for now. (If you don’t intend to make many changes to the text, you won’t need to do these steps.) So I typed a D, Committed the Operation and then carried on. You can toggle between the Move Tool and the Text Tool by clicking [V] for Move, [T] for Text.

I wanted the letters to be a little off-kilter and shifted them around until I was happy with their positions.

At this point, I’m planning to turn the letters into donuts so I’ll need to Simplify each layer. Because I was only rotating the letters before, I could wait until everybody was where I wanted them then I could Simplify in one step instead of 6. I Activated all 6 layers by clicking on the top letter layer, holding down the SHIFT key and clicking on the bottom letter layer. Then I right-clicked and chose Simplify Layer. Boom!

The layers can now be Merged into a single layer.

I added a MTF Sweet Dings Regular donut. Dingbats are drawings that correspond to the alphabet. The donut’s the letter W.

And of course, I Simplified the layer…

… made a Copy layer: right-click>Duplicate Layer>OK [CTRL/CMD>J] and used the Paint Bucket tool [K] to Fill the bare donut part with a golden brown colour. More about that step in a bit. I made some Copies of the DONUTS layer [CTRL/CMD>J] so I can separate out certain elements of the text for enhancement. I added a Layer Mask – click on the icon at the top of the Layers panel that looks like a blue square with a white circle in the centre – to the bottom DONUTS layer so I can remove parts of the image without actually deleting the pixels. This is the best way to remove parts of an image because if there’s an OOPS!, the accidentally-erased part can be painted back in. Remember, black conceals, white reveals – THE BACKGROUND. Using the Eraser tool and with white in the foreground I removed all the sprinkles. To paint back an OOPS, toggle to black in the foreground [X] and fix it.

To make the Layer Mask part of the layer just Simplify Layer. Right-click in between the mask and the image thumbnail.

Next, I just want an outline of the frosted area of each letter. With a Layer Mask, I removed the sprinkles and the cakey parts. It doesn’t have to be perfect because the other layers will conceal any wobbles.

I like to make more Copy layers than I think I’m going to need, which usually is a good idea. Here I’m going to just leave the sprinkles, but I’ve already done the hard work.


I CTRL/CMD>clicked on the layer thumbnail (the tiny image of what’s on each layer at the far left of the layer in the Layers panel) for the first DONUTS layer with no sprinkles. That Selected the edges of that layer. See the marching ants?

Then with the topmost Copy layer active, I just Deleted what I Selected. [CTRL/CMD>D or just hit Delete] and voilà! All that’s left are the sprinkles.

Now to get some colour into the picture. With the first of our DONUTS layer active, I’m going to add a Fill Layer. The reason for this is that the results are much cleaner than if I used the Paint Bucket. Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color.

Tick that Use Previous Layer to Create a Clipping Mask box and let Elements do the work.

The Color Picker opens and I chose a nice golden brown.


The Fill Layer and the layer it’s clipped to need to be Merged, so click>SHIFT>click on the two layers, right-click and choose Merge Layers [CTRL/CMD>E]

The frosting layer will be Filled with white using the Paint Bucket tool [K].

Make sure you’re not going to leak!

I also used a Fill Layer to make the sprinkles layer pink. I won’t show screenshots of those steps because that’s unnecessarily repetitive! But I will show you screenshots of the Fill Layer for the Amateur Comic text. I want it to be pink too.

I decided the pink text lacked a bit of presence so I’ve chosen to add a white Stroke to the outside. Edit>Stroke (Outline) Selection.

8 pixels makes a nice stroke for titles. I’ll position it to the Outside so it doesn’t hide any of the pink.

I think it looks good now.

I went on to use the Paint Bucket to frost the dingbat donuts, change some of the sprinkles to purple and position the layers so they look right. Then I Merged all the layers. To have my word art (and work!) saved for later, I’m going to Save As> [CTRL/CMD>SHIFT>S].

I have a Jan’s Elements folder on my laptop, so that’s where I’ll put it. I named the file Donuts Word Art and will save it as a PNG so the background stays transparent.

Smallest/Slow Compression and No Interlace will preserve the word art for me in the cleanest and neatest format so I can use it as the title for my layout.

I’ve been told there are a LOT of new members of the GingerScraps family, so I’m going to do a few basic tutorials in the coming weeks to help them feel more comfortable here. Stay tuned!

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

Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Fun Fonts for Layouts about Kids

It’s been a while since I did a post about fonts. I didn’t really think there were that many more “types” of fonts to explore but Ellen (gmae) pointed out to me that there are categories I’ve overlooked. I have to tell you about this because it blew my mind totally. Ellen has created a spreadsheet of ALL the tutorials I’ve posted here – all 240-some – and made it sortable by a bunch of different terms. The amount of work she put in just boggles my mind! An unintended result of all her work is that she’s made some very important suggestions about where I could take you all next. One of those suggestions was to explore some fonts specifically suited to layouts about children. So I spent some time at dafont.com, looking at hundreds of fonts and selected this baker’s dozen along with five sets of dingbats I think you’ll like. (And while I was there, I came up with some new categories to share later!) Okay so let’s get a look at what I like. PS… each font name is linked to the website for one-click access. And they’re all FREE!

First up is Cookie Dough. What kid doesn’t love cookies (other than my second daughter)? This would be a great choice for a title or for some custom word art.

Eye Monsta made me think of my two grandsons right away, especially A-boy. J-man is more cerebral and a bit less inclined toward monster-like behaviour. It’s another title-suitable font but is legible enough that it could be used for both subtitles and journaling too.

I like how solid Childhood is. It looks like it’s been filled in by a child and has a bit of grubby awesomeness too. Multi-use fonts are worth the download.

Space Out comes in two different styles. It’s another good title/word art font, don’t you think?

This font, Crayon Kids, looks like an older child was the writer. It can be fun for journaling and subtitles. It would also be a good choice for word art, when combined by a more fancy font.

I LOVE Calvin and Hobbes!! Did you see the cross-over to Bloom County? An adult Calvin (click to view) is tracked down by Opus and it’s perfect!

This cute font would make a good title, but is also legible enough for journaling. Helloo Kidos will be joining my collection.

Tiny Friends is like Eye Monsta… very child-oriented and fun. And it has so much potential for creative alterations!

I think Childhood Memories looks like it was hand=printed by an older child/teen. Great choice for journaling.

I like Amateur Comic for journaling too. It’s a bit less organized than Childhood Memories, but still easily read.

Another good font for journaling and subtitles is Gilles’ Comic Handwriting. It’s a nice blend of careful and a bit rushed.

Who doesn’t adore Lego? Toys comes with four different versions and has a lot of potential.

I think the name of this last font is totally appropriate. It’s Kindergarten!

Now I’ve got some dingbat collections for you. What are dingbats? They’re accessed as fonts, but instead of letters, each character is a drawing. They’re really a lot of fun and have a multitude of possibilities. The first set is called Seaside Things. The drawings are child-like, but not necessarily childish.

When my own kids were small, they all loved the Mr Men books. We had a box full of them and when I saw this set of dingbats, I was transported back to bedtime stories.

We can’t leave the girls out. Little Miss is a companion set to the Mr Men books and the dingbats too!

DT Rachel’s Toys is a bit more of a detailed set. I think there are a lot of ways these can be used.

And our last dingbat collection is MTF Sweet Dings. They’re all so cute!!

I’ve barely scratched the surface of the incredible choices you can find at dafont.com. There are other sources for free fonts too, if you’re interested. Next week I’m going to use two of the fonts and one of the dingbats to show you how to create your own word art. See if you can guess which ones. [Hint: I’m going to use it as a title for a layout featuring my granddaughter.] See you soon!

PDF Tutorial: https://bit.ly/3iBte7w