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Scrap Girls Digital Scrapbooking Newsletter

Save 40% off ScrapSimple Paper Templates in the Scrap Girls Boutique until Midnight MST on February 24, 2012!

Two Days Only! Save 40% off all ScrapSimple Paper Templates, including Commercial Licenses! This sale ends tomorrow at Midnight, MST!


What's New

Digital Scrapbooking Layout by Durin Eberhart

Layout by Durin Eberhart
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* Value Pack: Valencia *

Commercial license versions of Value Pack: Valencia are also available.


Digital Scrapbook Layout by Angela Blanchard

Layout by Angela Blanchard
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Birdsong Collection * Christmastide Collection Mini

Commercial license versions of Birdsong Collection and Christmastide Collection Mini are also available.


Digital Scrapbook Layout by Durin Eberhart

Layout by Durin Eberhart
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* Value Pack: Horizons *

Commercial license versions of Value Pack: Horizons are also available.


Digital Scrapbook Layout by Elisha Barnett

Layout by Elisha Barnett
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ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Courtship Courtship Collection ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Hodgepodge Collage Biggie
  Collage Art Collection Biggie  

Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Hodgepodge Collage Biggie are also available.


Digital Scrapbooking Layout by Durin Eberhart

Layout by Durin Eberhart
larger view

* Value Pack: Just Before Dawn *

Commercial license versions of Value Pack: Just Before Dawn are also available.


Digital Scrapbook Layout by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin

Layout by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin
larger view

Take Time Collection Mini Assemble Your Own Zoom Pages: Jubilant Take Wing Collection Biggie
  Take Time Word Art Mini  


If you have praise, comments, or questions for any of our Product Designers or Layout Artists, did you know you can send them a PM (private message) using the Message Board? It's easy!

If you are a registered user of the Message Board, just click on the "PM" box at the bottom of any of their posts to send them a message. Or, to check out more of your favorite Scrap Girls team layouts, visit the Scrap Girls Design Team section and the Scrap Girls Layout Artist Team section of the Layout Gallery.

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Using Gradients in Photoshop Elements
Thursday, February 23, 2012


  • 2 Days Only! 40% off ScrapSimple Paper Templates!
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  • Scrap Girls, Etc.
  • ScrapSimple Club
  • Tips From The Pros: Using Your Camera's Self-Timer to Get Family Photos
  • Designer Freebie
  • What's Happening at Scrap Girls?
  • Ongoing Opportunities for YOU


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  • 500-900 word essay about your experience with digital scrapbooking, Scrap Girls, and specific examples of how we have helped you.
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Suggest a Challenge, Win a Prize! Have a great idea for a Gallery layout challenge? Submit it to If your challenge idea is chosen, you will win a prize! Friday will be Customer Challenge Day, so keep an eye out on the Message Board calendar. It will be fun to see what YOU come up with for us to do!

divScrap Girls is giving away birthday gifts to our Message Board members!

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Scrap Girls Etc.

Syndee Nuckles
Syndee Nuckles

Using Gradients in Photoshop Elements to Color Papers, Embellishments, and Photos

Tutorial written with Photoshop Elements on a Mac running OS X Lion

Last week, we talked about using Gradients in Photoshop, and this week we are going to be using Gradients in Photoshop Elements.

Gradients are an often overlooked but easy-to-use tool. They are perfect for adding multiple colors to a photo, embellishment, paper, or just about anything! I'm going to show you how to add a gradient to a paper template, a seashell embellishment template, and a photo. Grab your favorite drink and let's get started!

Adding a Gradient to a Paper Template

First, let's add a gradient to a paper template. I have used a paper from ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Picturesque 2.

Open up your template and make a duplicate copy and close the original. This is a good practice each time you use any kind of template; that way, you always keep your original intact.

Create a new blank layer by holding down Ctrl+Shift+N. Make sure that layer is selected in your Layers Palette.

Now, go up to your menu bar and select "Layer," then scroll down and select "New Fill Layer." Then select "Gradient."

A little box will pop up; hit "OK."

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Add a new Gradient fill layer above a paper template.

The Gradient Fill dialog box will open up, so click on the little arrow to the right of the Gradient box and choose a gradient.

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Select Gradient.

If you click the double arrows on the right, another drop-down menu will appear. You will find even more gradients to choose from; just select one and they will load into your Gradient Fill box. I chose the Pastels.

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Select a gradient category.

Now you will see the new gradient fill choices, so pick one and hit "OK." The gradient will fill the blank layer you just created.

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: A gradient layer is added.

Now, in your Layers Palette, click on the arrow on the top left where it says "Normal." These are your Blending Modes. Scroll down and select "Overlay." (Play around with these to see all the different effects the Blending Modes can make on your template!)

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Change Blending Mode of gradient fill layer.

Now, look how pretty this is! There are several gradient styles that you can choose from. Open up the Gradient Fill dialog box by double-clicking on the Layer thumbnail in your Layers Palette.

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Open Gradient Fill dialog.

Click on the little arrow next to the Style button. You can choose between Linear, Radial, Angle, Reflected, or Diamond. I usually stick with the Linear, Radial, and Reflected.

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Gradient style can be changed.

Below you will see examples of Reflected and Radial.

The third paper is an example of playing with the Angle setting. The default angle setting is 90 degrees; I have set this to 0. The fourth paper is an example of checking the Reverse box; this reverses the direction of the gradient blend. Look at the fabulously different effects that you can get with a few easy tweaks!

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Examples of gradient style patterns.

Adding a Gradient to an Embellishment Template

You can apply gradients to ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates using the same technique above. I added a Radial Gradient and increased the Scale to 150 to apply more yellow to the shell.

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Example of a gradient added to an embellishment.

Adding a Gradient to a Photo

Now, let's see what effect a gradient has on a photo! Following the same technique above, I added a gradient and used the "Overlay" Blending Mode on the top photo and a "Color" Blending Mode on the bottom. I think this is such a cool effect!

Digital Scrapbook Layout Tutorial: Example of a gradient added to a photo.

I hope you have as much fun playing with gradients as I did!

Until next time, Happy Gradients!


Products used in this tutorial...

ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Picturesque 2 * ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Seashells

Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Picturesque 2 and ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Seashells are also available.


Scrap Girls, Etc. is a weekly column pulling bits and pieces from all over Scrap Girls. Stay tuned each week as Scrap Girls' team members bring you tutorials, musings, recipes, interviews, design/software tips and tricks, layout walk-throughs, and who knows what else!

ScrapSimple Club

The February ScrapSimple digital scrapbooking club selection by Pebbles Jones and Shalae Tippetts.

Exclusive content from February's ScrapSimple Club

Join the ScrapSimple Monthly Club and you can enjoy the newest ScrapSimple looks while saving! (A $13.95 value for $6.99 or less!)

The new ScrapSimple Club contents are released on the 15th day of the month (or the closest business day to the 15th).

A commercially licensed version of the ScrapSimple Club is also available here.

With the ScrapSimple Club, you will receive:

  • 1 ScrapSimple Paper Template Set
  • 1 ScrapSimple Embellishment Template
  • 1 Brush Set
  • 2 Designer's Choice Item
  • CLUB EXCLUSIVE! Nano Collection
  • CLUB EXCLUSIVE! Designer's Choice Item
  • CLUB EXCLUSIVE! 2 Tutorials

February's ScrapSimple Club has been created for you by
Pebbles Jones & Shalae Tippetts

Nano Collection
Club Exclusive! Nano Collection

ScrapSimple Club Designer's Gift
Club Exclusive! Designer's Gift

Computer scrapbook layout by Pebbles Jones
Layout by Pebbles Jones
using February's ScrapSimple Club
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Computer scrapbook layout by Shalae Tippetts
Layout by Shalae Tippetts
using February's ScrapSimple Club
larger view
Computer scrapbook layout by Pebbles Jones
Layout by Pebbles Jones
using February's ScrapSimple Club
larger view

Tips From The Pros

Using Your Camera's Self-Timer to Get Family Photos

Tutorial created using Photoshop CS 4 with Windows XP

Do you find that you are often missing from the family photo album because you are the one behind the camera? Using the self-timer on your camera is a simple way to solve that problem.

First, you'll need to know where the self-timer is on your camera and how to use it. Consult your camera's manual for the specifics, but most camera manufacturers use this icon for the self-timer.

Digital Scrapbook Photography Tutorial: Self-Timer icon.

Next, I'd suggest using a tripod. You, like my husband, may be really good at positioning the camera on a rock or table to frame a shot, but a sturdy tripod is more reliable and gives you greater control over the framing of your photo. You'll want to choose a location with an uncluttered background and adequate light. After you've set up the camera, have one person direct the pose and push the camera shutter release. If you have your photographer standing at the side or back in the pose, they can get into position quickly.

In these photos, my daughter, Cathrine, was our designated photographer. She left an open space in the photo composition so all she needed to do after she clicked the shutter release was walk over to her spot and smile. We like to do silly photos as a little reward at the end of our shoot, and they are often our favorites.

While our last use of the self-timer was for a family portrait, using your self timer is a great way to include all the participants or family members at holiday dinners, family reunions, birthday parties, or any occasion. If you are the main photographer for your family, using the self timer on your camera will ensure that you are in more of your photos!


Digital Scrapbook Layout by April Martell

Layout by April Martell
larger view

Bookshelf Solids Paper Mini Frame Clusters Embellishments Love Honor and Cherish Collection Biggie
  ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Stackers Biggie  

Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Stackers Biggie are also available.

April Martell
Article written by April Martell

Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed: Photoshop Elements Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed: Paint Shop Pro (PSP) X Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed: Photoshop

Learn to make digital scrapbooking layouts and more! – Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Find out how easy it can be to learn how to create digital scrapbook layouts, edit photos, use and make brushes, recolor papers and embellishments, make your own simple backgrounds and embellishments, save and share your layouts and much more!

Ready to learn advanced techniques? – MORE Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Learn to use paper templates, embellishment templates, custom shapes, styles, and brushes to make your own supplies. Learn advanced clipping mask and lighting blend techniques. Learn to make and use patterns. Learn to make brushes from your own doodles. Learn to extract images from photos. Learn work flow techniques that will speed up the layout creation process and advanced photo editing skills and much, much more!

Today's Freebie

Digital Scrapbook Layout by Elisha Barnett

Layout by Elisha Barnett
larger view

Brush Set: Life Stories Embellishment Special

Designer Freebie by Elisha Barnett coordinates with her Brush Set: Life Stories

Brush Set: Life Stories ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Barely ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Barely Edges and Overlays
Pumpkin Head Collection   Life Keeping Collection Biggie

Elisha Barnett
Today's freebie designed by Elisha Barnett

* There is a "free download" button on the details page for each gift. You don't need to put them in your shopping cart unless you are shopping for other items. Also note that if you are slow reading your newsletter, you may find this freebie has already been retired, as the freebies are only available as gifts for about two newsletter cycles.

What's Happening at Scrap Girls

Crops and Chats

Sketch Challenge Chat
Tuesday, February 28th - 7:00PM MST

It's time for the Sketch Challenge and Crop! Join Cheri (Cheri T) on Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm MT in the Scrap Girls Chat Room! Enjoy getting a little creative boost for your pages? Are you needing help getting started? Then this is the challenge for you! A few hours before the chat begins, Cheri will post a link for you to download the sketch. Use it as the starting point for your page; be inspired by the basic arrangement; flip things around or scraplift the whole thing hook, line, and sinker;) This month our inspiration piece is ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Photo Masks Vintage Valentine from Amanda Fraijo-Tobin. All interpretations of the design are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry about any deadlines... post your layout when it works with your schedule. Hope to see you there!


East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, February 29th - 10:00AM MST

Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 10am MT for the East Coast High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes, simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week. On February 29th, we'll have a "Change it Up Challenge." Reverse a template, rotate a frame, change the color of an embellishment or paper - it is up to you! Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!


Speed Scrap Crop
Wednesday, February 29th - 6:00PM MST

It's time for some Speed! Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) at 6pm MT for the Speed Scrap Crop! She will give you six tasks, spread out over an hour. Then, you will have an hour to get it finished and posted in the Forum Gallery!


February's Message Board Game: Posting Contest!

February is Posting Contest time on the Scrap Girls Forums! You can win a Scrap Girls Gift Certificate by simply being chatty in the Scrap Girls Forums and Gallery. This contest will run from February 1st when we post the thread until 11:59pm MT on February 29th.

To enter the Scrap Girls Forum Posting Contest, you MUST reply in the Posting Contest Thread with your CURRENT post count. Your post count is the number under your avatar that shows when you post. (NOTE: The number found on your profile is a number which is calculated differently.) During the month, post your fingers off! At Midnight on February 29th, we will calculate your post count based on the numbers posted in the game thread.


  • Those with 50-99 posts will be entered in a drawing for a $5 Scrap Girls Gift Certificate.
  • Those with 100-249 posts will be entered in a drawing for a $10 Scrap Girls Gift Certificate.
  • Those with 250-399 posts will be entered in a drawing for a $15 Scrap Girls Gift Certificate.
  • Those with 400 or more posts will automatically win a $5 gift certificate and will be entered in a drawing for a $20 Scrap Girls Gift Certificate!

For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.


February Monthly Layout Contest: This February we have a Leap Year Day. For this month's contest, we want you to scrap about what makes you "Leap for Joy." Let us know in your journaling why you leap for joy. Post your layouts in the February Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MST on February 29th. Be sure to list your layout's product credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. Two layouts will be selected to win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!

Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!


Check our message board calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in Mountain Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-Utah-Salt Lake City' as the location for the Mountain time zone.)


Haven't received your prize as a contest winner? Please send an email to and we'll get it out to you right away!

Copyright Scrap Girls, LLC 2004-2012

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Stop! Before you unsubscribe... Did you know we have a Weekly Round-Up newsletter?

This action-packed newsletter is sent out on Tuesday afternoons and summarizes what has happened in the past week. It's perfect for people who feel that they are too busy to read the daily editions! If you would like to receive our Round Up Newsletter, scroll to the bottom of this email and use the "Update Profile/Email Address" option to join the Round Up list and/or change your subscription options to our newsletters.

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