Tutorial Tuesday (Fabulous Fonts)

A Baker’s Dozen of Father’s Day Fonts

It’s been a while since I showed you some new fonts, and with Father’s Day coming up I thought I’d look at the selection at dafont.com to see if I could find some more great masculine fonts to share. I have so many frilly, scripty, swashy fonts, but not so many that are more suited to the men in my life. I found a dozen that fit the bill very well and have a bonus set of dingbats at the end. (I also downloaded <coughcough> fourteen others…) Each font name is linked to the dafont.com website so you can quickly and easily grab the ones you want. Let’s have a look at what I’m liking.

First up is this one that made me laugh out loud. Daddy Cartoon is cute, but still would work for those layouts where Dad’s being silly.

Next is this Indiana Jones-inspired font Adventure. Great for titles and easy to read, this could be your go-to for your manly layouts.

Pac-Font took me right back to the early days of my marriage, when we had one little person in our house. My husband has always had a deep and abiding love for video games, and this one would be right up his alley.

I like the grunginess of Campus. It makes me think of workshops, garages, paint shops and that sort of stereotypically male environment.

This serif-style font is pretty grungy too, but in a less formal way. It’s called Sketchzone and I could see it working well for both titles and subtitles.

For some reason, this one made me think of tree houses and forts with “No Gurlz Allowed” signs. Don’t you think Drift Type would fit right in?

Woodcut immediately made me think of chisels and carving tools. A bevel added to this would turn it into a stunning alpha and it’s already shadowed!

I could see Sherlock Press as a stand-out title font for heritage layouts, with photos of men with handlebar moustaches and neatly parted hair.

Sketchup is another font that looks hand-drawn and would look wonderful on any layout about creativity.

I think Rumble Brave has a steampunk look to it. I’d probably use it for layouts filled with gears, nail heads, staples, maybe a pocket watch… Yes?

To me, 1-2-3 Go! suggests car racing, with the checkered-flag bits embedded in the characters. With a little manipulation it could be a smashing alpha.

The last font on the list is one I HAD to include after my tutorial last week. Decaying Felt Pen just made me laugh.

Now for the one dingbat that has the incongruent name Tool Font. It’s not really a font… but the silhouettes are pretty sharp!

I’ll be making a Father’s Day card and some birthday cards soon for my grand-daughter, whose birthday is June 29th, and her big brother, birthday July 1st, Maybe I’ll make one for my son-in-law whose birthday is July 3rd……. we’re THAT family. You may see one of these turn up in a tut in the coming weeks, if inspiration strikes and it’s worth sharing.
Link to PDF version of this tutorial: https://bit.ly/2SCNmfD

Designer Spotlight – June 2021


First, I want to apologise to Marina (the creative mind behind Magical Scraps Galore). We were supposed to do this chat over coffee a couple of days ago but I got knocked off schedule. So without further ado…

J: Thanks for agreeing to share a little bit about yourself and your creative process with our faithful GingerScrappers. Let’s start wit how long you’ve been designing.

M: I’m celebrating my 10th anniversary this year!

J: Wow! That’s a long time. You clearly have a passion for it! How did you get into designing?

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: Well, that explains how you named your shop, doesn’t it? I came to GS in 2013 and quickly found it to be the friendliest digiscrapping site on the Web. What tools do you use to create your designs?

M: I use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Procreate.

J: You must be very proficient, using three different platforms. That must mean you have a dedicated design workshop. Can you tell us about it?

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: I’m not a cat person but have two dogs. One of them likes to “help” me too, by flipping my elbow up when she thinks her input is needed. She’s one of my favourite subjects though; my inspiration for scrapping comes from a lot of places. What provides your design inspiration?

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

J: Do you have a favourite kit in your store? I know, it’s an unfair question.

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: I’ve been to Disneyland twice, but a long time ago. The memories we made on both visits are definitely magical. On a somewhat related note, if you could have a superpower, which one would you want?

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

J: YES! That would be amazing!! I used to wish I could teleport home from the hospital after a long day at work. It would be even more valuable for travel. With all the globetrotting you’ve done, have you ever met anyone famous?

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

J: Interesting! The famous people I’ve met haven’t been that kind of famous. Did you ever want to be famous when you were growing up? What did you want to be?

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

J: Ah! So fame was in there! You might have met more rock stars as a flight attendant though. I once met a songwriter on a flight from Chicago to Edmonton, Alberta. His SONGS are famous, but not many people know who HE is. So, last question: If you came with a warning label, what would it 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: I should have seen that coming! Thank you so much for the visit. I think our readers know you a bit better now. But ladies, don’t forget, Marina has the Daily Download throne this month as well as being in the Designer Spotlight. She’s created a beautiful summer-fun kit and oh wait!! Stop the presses!!! She’s also got an add-on bundle for even more amazingness!! Look at this sneak peak…

Cats and flamingos!! Before I forget, Marina also has a coupon for y’all. Check it out!

Thanks again, Marina! I love bringing good news to the GingerScraps world!

Fresh Baked: June 4, 2021

Welcome to the first Friday in June. Have you checked out the June buffet? It’s still going on through June 5th.

Remember, if you spend $10 in the store, you get this great collab for free.

Let’s see the goodies from our designers.

Have you started on your challenges yet? Complete 10 challenges and you will get this great reward!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Digitize your Handwriting!

Last week’s digital colouring tutorial had me thinking about how I could make better use of some of my digital stamps. If you recall, I talked about the ones with white backgrounds and how that would make the technique I showed you very difficult. So I did a little snooping and found a terrific tutorial on digitizing handwriting that would work perfectly for those stamps of mine. It’s from the blog of Kelly Leigh (herecomesthesunblog.net) and it’s easy to follow, although I’ve expanded on a few steps for the beginners in our midst. Let’s proceed!

How many of you have really wanted to have journaling in your own handwriting on your digital layouts but not had a clue how to do it? This is for you! But it’s not only good for journaling… if you’ve got some mad calligraphy skills you can create your own inspirational word art, titles and whatever your imagination comes up with. All you need are a piece of white paper and a (new) black marker. And Photoshop Elements, of course. I chose a message that resonated with me for my demo. I wrote it out on my paper; my marker had seen better days and I was writing much larger than I usually do, so it’s a little ragged looking, but as a demo, it’ll work just fine. Then I took a photo of my finished writing with my cellphone. It might have looked better and been a bit less work if I’d scanned it, but that would have meant a trip downstairs and after I’d moved my (not inconsiderable) weight in potting soil yesterday, I just didn’t want to do that.

I Cropped away as much of the paper and my countertop as I could. I wanted the demo image to be large and easy to work with so I filled the entire 8.5×11″ sheet of paper. But that wouldn’t be necessary for most applications.

Here I’ve Zoomed in on my marker so you can see how less-than-awesome it looks up close. I’ll fix it with a black brush later; I could have saved myself a lot of work by using a new marker, but I didn’t have one at hand…

But first, I want to make what black there is as black as I can, and the white as white as I can. The better the contrast, the easier the technique is. I used Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels for this step.

I only adjusted the Input Levels. The left-most slider adjusts the black areas; by moving it to the right, the black gets darker. The middle slider controls the midtones, and by moving it to the right as well, it helped blacken the text too. The slider on the far right brightens the white areas so it was shifted to the left.

There are still gappy areas in the text, but that’s okay.

I just used a solid round black Brush at 100% Opacity to eliminate the gaps.

Now to the good part! To eliminate the paper, I’m going to want a transparent layer UNDER my text layer. Elements won’t allow a layer to be placed under a Background. (The italics are actually displayed for all layers Elements has determined are background layers.) So to get past that, right-click on the layer and choose Layer from Background…

The dialog box that opens allows for the layer’s name to be changed, if desired. I’m not going to bother. Make sure the tick box for Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask is NOT ticked and Color is NONE.

Once that’s done, it’s possible to drop a blank layer underneath the text layer. It’s quickest and easiest to hold down the CTRL/CMD key and click on the New Layer icon at the top of the Layers Panel to create a blank layer under any other active layer. Then I don’t have to move the new layer down the stack.

Now I’m going to use the Magic Wand tool, as shown in the Tool Panel and Tool Options menu, to remove the paper. Click in the white area and it Selects a chunk of the paper. If my paper was perfectly clean and my image too was perfectly clean, this step would probably Select ALL of the paper, But my paper and image aren’t so this will take a few clicks.

Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X removes all the paper that the Magic Wand Selected!

I went over the rest of the image and removed the paper. Where there are loops in my letters, the paper was a bit clingy, but after a few minutes I had all the paper removed. The edges of the text looked a little raggedy up close, so I CTRL/CMD>Clicked on the text layer’s thumbnail to Select the edges of the text then clicked Select>Refine Edge…

This menu looks intimidating but it really isn’t. Experiment a bit by pulling the sliders and watch what happens in the Preview pane. Don’t worry, the white you see here isn’t actually there, it’s only part of the Preview so you can see what the adjustments are doing.

However… this method of adjustment DOES produce a new layer with a Layer Mask attached. Also notice that the original text layer’s visibility is turned off. To make things easier, right-click on the new layer and choose Simplify Layer. That adds the layer mask to the layer.

What about the original layer? It’s not visible, and its invisibility doesn’t affect the text at all, so it can just be Deleted, either by right-clicking on the invisible layer then Delete Layer, or just by hitting the Delete key.

Again, that layer we added underneath the text layer isn’t necessary any more (although it was VITAL when we were removing the paper) so it can either be Merged (CTRL/CMD>E) with the text layer or just Deleted.

There! That’s all you need to know to digitize your handwriting, or to remove the background of a digital stamp. I spent some time cleaning up the text using the Brush tool and the Eraser tool but you might not need to do any of that.

If you want to change the text’s colour, that’s easy to do by filling the layer with your new colour. Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color 

This time check the tick box for Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask so that your new colour is applied to the text without any extra steps.

When the Color Picker opens up, go nuts! I like purple. The colour is applied to the text via Clipping Mask as you can see in the Layers Panel. 

The digitized text can also be Resized, Rotated, Warped, Skewed … whatever you want!

If you want to Save your new image, it should be Saved As a PNG so the background stays transparent. Save it to a folder where you can find it again, and give it a good name.

Compression should be Smallest/Slow so the details are preserved. And it doesn’t need Interlacing.

That’s all there is to it! I think I should digitize my signature so I can add it to documents. Give it a try!

PDF Link: https://bit.ly/2Ug19cH

Fresh Baked: June 1, 2021, NEW Guest, NEW Free With Purchase, Monthly Mix, and More

Welcome to June everyone. There is a lot in the Buffet post this month, so make sure to read all the way to the end.

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

Look at these rich colors for June. You are going to love what the designers created with these colors. Also check at the bottom to see some samples from our talented store creative team.

Remember any $10 spent in the store gets you this great collab. Do you feel {sunkissed}?

I love these bold colors for the June Monthly mix.

Now to the June Sneak Peek. This month’s Daily Download is from Magical Scraps Galore.

I have two exciting store announcements.

I’m excited to announce that Designs by Lisa Minor is staying and becoming a permanent member of the GingerScraps family.

I’m also super excited to announce that we have a guest designer for June.

Meg Scott Studio

Hi! This is Megan from Meg Scott Studio. I am excited to be a guest designer here at GingerScraps for the month of June!! You may know my work from other stores since I have been around now for almost 10 years but have been on a hiatus because of school and work. Even though I am still in school (keeping fingers crossed – graduating in December), I have missed designing and the community of digital scrapbooking! I am an empty-nester. Hubby and I have been enjoying the quiet but also remodeling our home. We celebrate 8 years of marriage this year as well as our furry babies turning 8. As for other things about me – I am currently learning resin art and how to make my own calligraphy ink. I enjoy gaming, spending time with family and friends; and this year I hope to add more outdoor activities to our lives – like kayaking or paddle boarding. We hope to explore more of Arizona before we leave for ‘Greener’ pastures.

Take a look at the new challenge reward kit. I think I need to kick up my challenges for June. If you complete any 10 challenges this month, you get this gorgeous collab as a reward!

And to complete a wonderful Buffet post, let’s see some samples from our talented store CT. You can find more samples in the Gallery.

Fresh Baked: May 28, 2021

Well here we are at the last Friday of another month. Crazy how these things are just flying by. The way it’s going, the holidays will be here before we know it. I know…hush, right?

Have you shopped and gotten your Free with Purchase kit for May? Look at all these food elements! Makes me hungry just looking at it.

And let’s see what our designers have. I see a few in here I want to grab!

Dear Friends Designs by Trina

Dear Friends Designs

Just a few days left to get those challenges done. Any 10 completed challenges gets you this great kit as a reward!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Digital Stamps in Living Colour

Do any of you belong to Font Bundles or Design Bundles? I love their monthly Dollar Days sales, although I already have more than 1600 fonts and I don’t have a Cricut… I’m also a sucker for digital stamps in addition to my enormous collection of rubber and acrylic stamps. But so far I haven’t found the right combo of paper, stamping ink and coloured markers so my stamped images always end up smudged and smeared. I thought, “Is there a way I could colour a digital stamp or a PNG image from Design Bundles using Photoshop Elements?” I had a podcast I wanted to listen to and some free time so I played with an image from Tiddly Inks, drawn by Cristy Croll, and figured out a method that worked really well. It can be adapted for doddles and brushes too. Read on!

First off, the image used for this technique must be a PNG on a 100% transparent background. You can see in the screenshot above that only the outline of the space alien is visible. While it IS possible to use a digital stamp with the outline filled with white, it’s a lot more work, as you’ll see as I work through the colouring process. I made a Copy (CTRL/CMD>J) of the untouched stamp and turned off visibility (for now). It will become the “clean” outline later.

This step won’t work as readily with a white-filled outline. It would involve Magic Wand selection and lots more steps. Doable, but time-consuming. As the screenshot below says, as long as the areas I’m planning to fill are completely closed by the outline, I can use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the area. If the outline has even a microscopic gap in it, when the Paint Bucket is dumped, the paint will escape and fill the entire canvas. (UNDO!!) If that happens, I’ll switch to a small, hard black Brush and close the gaps. I’m going to do all the solid Paint Bucket filling on the bottom outline layer. My little green man has some exposed skin around his ankles.

I found that the Paint Bucket sometimes didn’t fill right to the outline, leaving a faint blank rim around everything. So I switched to a smallish hard round Brush with my green colour in the foreground and painted away the blank spots. I didn’t worry about colouring outside the lines, because I have that lovely, clean outline layer set aside.

As long as my painting didn’t actually go outside the outline, I didn’t worry about it. Where I couldn’t quite get into tiny spaces cleanly, I switched to the Eraser tool and tidied up. I toggled back and forth between Brush and Eraser quite a bit.

I decided I could work with the top layer visible. See how the outline is much cleaner? I used a black Brush on the top layer to make the eyes a little less jaggy.

Once I had all the green areas filled and neat, it was time to add some dimension. Working with alcohol inks on paper, this step can be a real challenge for those just learning how to blend and add depth. Digitally, if I make a mistake, I just have to Undo until I’m back at the point where I messed it up. Up to this point in the process, I’d say not more than 10 minutes had passed. I clicked on my foreground colour to open the Color Picker tool and chose a darker value of the original green to begin shading.

For the technique to work well, all the shading and highlighting will have to be done on its own layer. You’ll see why as we move along.

Before I did anything else, I had to decide where my light source was, the same as when creating custom drop shadows. I chose the upper right corner, so shadows will fall to the lower left. Then I Brushed on my shading, based on what my eye saw as contour.

I felt that there needed to be a bit more depth to the shaded areas, so I chose another, darker value of my green and Brushed a narrower area right at the edges of the contours.

I realized that if I added a new blank layer BEFORE I opened the Color Picker, I wouldn’t forget to put each new colour on its own layer. The beauty of having each colour on its own layer is that I can move the layers up or down the stack to achieve the best look. You can see the added depth from the new darker colour quite well.

Now for some highlights! I added a blank layer then selected a light value from the Color Picker.

This colour will go on the areas of the image that are rounded or raised, and therefore reflecting more light.

When I was happy with the skin areas, I moved back to the bottom image layer to Fill his uniform.

Following the same steps as for the skin, I shaded and highlighted the uniform. Don’t worry about how stark these steps look. They won’t be when I’m done!

I continued Filling and contouring the image, moving between layers as needed. I went with a magenta planet, and then used deeper values to add a drop shadow to my alien.

Now for the really fun part! To blend all these edges, I’m going to use a Gaussian Blur Filter. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. The Preview will show what’s happening to the edges, and I can watch it on my actual image as I go along. If the edges of the layer I’m Blurring aren’t visible in the Preview pane, all I need to do is click my cursor on the actual image somewhere that overlaps the edge and it’ll appear. Using the slider, I adjusted the Radius of my blur so that the edges began to blend nicely. 12.5 pixels looks good.

The highlighted area of the planet would be softer in real life, so for that layer, I pushed the slider hard to the right. 23.5 pixels looks right to me.

Those lumpy spots needed some deeper shading, and Blurring this layer too much will make the effect pretty much vanish. So the Radius here is only 4.3 pixels.

Blurring isn’t the only way to make this technique look good. Don’t forget the power of Blend Modes!

I tried several Modes before settling on Multiply. I haven’t Blurred these layers yet, and it looks pretty ghastly, but not for long.

I did the same with the darker green shading layers. These steps are completely personal preference. If it isn’t making your image look better, don’t do it!

I worked my way up the green layers and Blurred them.

The skin dimensional areas only needed a Radius of 4.5 pixels.

I moved from segment to segment, Blurring as I went.

When I got to the last layer of the planet and the alien, I was pretty satisfied with how it looked. Now to add a starry sky to the background!

To make less work for myself, I added a Blank Layer BEHIND the bottom image layer so I could Fill it with colour and let the image do the hard work.

I found a starry brush in my stash. It’s from Key Lime Digi Designs (it was a Challenge brush) and it’s the perfect touch! The stars are, of course, on their own layer. Then I applied a glittery Style from the GingerBread LadiesDream Big Monthly Mix collab to the stars to make them even more twinkly.

When I was finished, I Saved my creation as a PSD, just in case I look at it later and want to tweak it further. I plan to use it for my grandson’s birthday card, so it may need a little touch-up. I know this isn’t going to be widely popular, but I enjoyed the process and will be doing it again. It took me about the same amount of time it would have taken with alcohol inks or coloured pencils – not taking into account the versions I ruin before I get one  like – so there’s that…

PDF Link: https://bit.ly/3q7sQQU

Fresh Baked: May 21, 2021

Happy Friday!! I hope you have had a great week.

Remember, when you spend $10 you get this great kit for free.

Let’s see what our designers have this week!

Polka Dot Chicks

Memory Mosaic

Have you grabbed the May Monthly Mix yet?

And how are those challenges going? Any 10 completed challenges gets you this collab as a reward.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Updating the Custom Cluster

Regular readers might recall a tutorial from a long while back on interweaving elements into a more complex and natural looking cluster. They may also recall another tutorial about “shaving” drop shadow styles. Somehow it never occurred to me that the two could work together to make the task of customizing clusters much quicker and easier. But here we are! I know this is going to up my game a lot, especially when I’m weaving ribbon into the alphas I use in my signatures. Let’s see what I’m talking about.

Here’s a cluster I tossed together using Aimee Harrison‘s Secret Garden kit. It’s okay, but it could be better.

After I took a good look at the various components of my cluster I identified a few spots where I could add some interest. First, I’m going to tuck the burlap ribbon in behind the petal I’ve indicated. The blue flower layer is the active layer. I CTRL/CMD>clicked on the layer thumbnail for the burlap ribbon to Select the edges of the ribbon. Then I double-checked that I’m working with the correct layer, the blue flower layer.

Rather than having to be super-careful about what parts of the blue flower I remove with the Eraser tool, as I would with my previous method, I only have to Zoom in and move cautiously on the area where the blue flower’s petals overlap. With the edges of the ribbon Selected, only those parts of the active layer inside the marching ants will be Erased!

Let’s bring the ribbon in front of these petals. The only sticky spot is right at the intersection of all those petals.

One swipe with the Eraser tool completely revealed the ribbon, putting it on top of the petals.

I’m also going to tuck the ribbon behind the edge of this leaf.

Did you notice that I also put the small white flower’s petal behind the leaf? I just had to change the active layer to the white flower and Erase where the leaf is. There are a few other spots where I’ve made some tucks or lifts. Can you see them?

**So what happens when it’s time to add some shadows? Well… parts of the layers may have been removed and the shadow will look funky, like this one. I’ve used a custom shadow on its own layer here, but this also will happen with drop shadow styles so be aware of it when you’re working.**

After I’ve Smudged and Blurred the shadow layer, I CTRL/CMD>Clicked on the large white flower layer to Select the edges. Then I Erased the shadow that shouldn’t be overlaying the petals.

With all the elements in the cluster Shadowed, I felt the (very OCD) urge to add a suggestion of a shadow where the leaf overlays the small white flower at the lower left. But it’s probably something no one will notice so feel free to omit this step! What I did was activate the shadow layer for the leaf then used the Marquee tool to enclose the part of the shadow I wanted to move into place. I made a Copy of that part of the shadow (CTRL/CMD>C) then I Pasted it (CTRL/CMD>V) onto the layout, which created a new layer. I moved that layer up the stack of layers until it was on top of the flower layer. Some additional Erasing was needed so I CTRL/CMD>Clicked on the leaf’s layer thumbnail, activated my little new shadow layer and Erased the part that wasn’t in the right place. Easy peasy!!

There are so many ways this will elevate your layouts! Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. And of course, if you have tips for making it easier or better, our readers will be thrilled!

Here is the PDF version of this tutorial: https://bit.ly/3oyB8QR

Link to PDF: https://bit.ly/3gL52On

$1.00 Bake Sale NOW OPEN at GingerScraps!

It’s time for the monthly $1.00 Bake Sale at GingerScraps!! The perfect time to pick up some beautiful goodies for only $1.00!! 

Remember when you spend $10 in the store you get this super fun collab as a gift!

Now it’s time for the amazing $1.00 Bake Sale items!!

We are at the half way point for the month! Time to get busy on all the monthly challenges. If you complete 10 challenges will get you this great collab as a reward.