I've been using Studio J for a good 2 years now and I thought I pretty much knew all the ins and outs. Turns out though that there is SO MUCH MORE you can do with this program. For instance, I did know that you can use any paper pack to suit your photos, even if the theme of the paper didn't quite match. I never really branched out much farther than changing the colors of certain background papers to fit the color scheme of my photos, but as I prepare for another CTMH Convention, I was given instructions on how to use Studio J to it's fullest potential. So I gave it a shot. First task was to use the Mischief (Halloween) paper kit and transform it into a layout of a completely different occasion. I chose my daughter's 6th birthday. Halloween paper for a birthday? Are you crazy? That's what I thought, but check this out: I went from this...
I even used the Halloween table that had a candelabra on it, cropped it out and was left with a blank table. The halloween candy was cropped down to one end of a wrapper to make the cupcake holders! So simple, yet so very creative, giving my scrapbooks a new look with a well used paper kit. And that is why Studio J is just the best idea. Ever!
Since I go to such great efforts to coordinate the whole family for a photo, I can't just throw those beautifully coordinated pictures onto just any old paper. It. Must. Match! So, when I got the disc with all the photos on it, I ran down to my scrap room and prepared to ignore my kids for an afternoon so I could memorialize these cherished pictures. But, 2 hours later I still couldn't find the right paper to use. One pattern was almost an exact match to the pattern on my daughter's shorts, but was the wrong color. Then I looked through all my cardstock colors and determined that not a single hue was perfect. What to do??? Finally I turned to Studio J, searched for the "paper kit" that had the damask patterned paper (the one that was the wrong color) and CHANGED THE COLOR. Voilia! How easy was that?
Sometimes I forget just how perfectly easy Studio J digital scrapbooking is. And sometimes (I hate to admit this because I'm a "classic" scrapbooker at heart) it is just so easy I'm not sure why I don't do more of it. There's no mess, there's nothing to put away, no glue on my hands, and no finger prints on my pictures, and it takes so much less time. The patterns are preloaded, so it's like browsing through a catalog of already finished artwork and plopping my pictures into the photo wells. I can add "ribbon" or "brads" even stickers. No extra product left over. No waste. No hassle. Just beautiful pages.
And just in case you were wondering just who took these fabulous photos (I wish I could say it was me) check out http://jennwagnerphotography.com She is amazing and talented, and I wish she took all of my photos, because with her skill and the ease of Studio J, every layout I did would be perfect!
For more Studio J layouts of this photo session and more, check out my Studio J artwork at http://www.scrapinasnapaz.com/studio-j-digital.html
Oftentimes, I hear the excuse, "but I have so many photos, I just don't know where to begin!" and I completely understood the hesitancy to get into scrapbooking. I used to be the one who HAD to work in chronological order. I'd start at the beginning of my first daughter's birth and progressively work through the years. But then around year 2 of her life, I came upon a group of pictures that didn't really fit into the chronological milestone arrangement of her album, and I was stuck. With no creative juices left, my layout sat on my scrap table for a month. Then two months. After three months with no progress, I no longer felt the joy in creating. My hobby became a dreaded chore. Every once in a while, I'd stare at the layout and just feel frustration. This one batch of pictures became a big ol' monkey on my back and I fretted day in and day out as the pictures piled up.
And you know what? I never did find inspiration for that layout (it's still sitting in my closet unfinished). However, I did learn to let go and work from my heart. If I took a picture and was excited to scrap it, then I did. It was difficult at first to work out of order, but over time I found it more refreshing! No longer was I "forced" to finish a layout before moving on. As a result, I now have 16 partially filled albums (about 6 or 7 of my girls' yearly chronicals, 3 Disney albums, 4 or 5 family vacation albums and my wedding album).
Recently, a friend asked if it bothered me to have so many incomplete works sitting in my closet. My first thought was, "yeah, I have a lot to catch up on!" But, then I realized that the recent photos I made into a layout for my wedding album was so much fun. See, if I had completed my wedding album a long time ago, I never would have pulled out those pictures and re-lived those memories. My album would be sitting nicely on a shelf and probably never looked at. But since it was "a work-in-progress" I browsed through the pages I already completed and smiled at the memories of my favorite day. As I orgainzed the pictures I needed for my current layout, I sifted through my box of photos and re-lived all those fun moments that made this day so fantastic.
So, even if you are like me and you have tons of shoe boxes full of memories stashed in the back of your closet, go ahead and pull them out. Don't look at it as a "chore to be completed" but instead memories to be re-lived! Eventually, I'll complete the album, and I suppose that is my end goal; but, until then, I'm just going to enjoy the creative process.
I'm famous! At least that's what I keep telling myself :) A couple of weeks ago, someone at CTMH contacted me asking if they could use one of my Studio J layouts for a blog. I was flattered, so of course I said yes! It's a very rare occurrance to receive kudos for the pages I create. Usually my husband will give me the obligatory oooh and ahhh when I finish a layout, but unless he wants a grumpy wife, he has to say that! My girls are too busy looking at themselves in the pictures to notice the "art" I've created around their smiling faces. So, I wasn't passing up this pat-on-the-back. Studio J really is easy to use, although the blog makes it sound like I created this myself. I didn't. I used their design, their kit mix, and their embellsihments. I tweaked a few things here and there to make it "mine" but the basics were already there. Here's the link to check out the blog: http://www.studioj.com/blog/post/2011/09/13/Back-to-School-Scrapbooking.aspx
If you haven't tried Studio J, you must try it. Those pictures on your hard drive are just waiting to be uploaded and made beautiful by all that Studio J has to offer/
For those who know me, you KNOW I love a good deal. And, when free stamps set from Close To My Heart are to be had, you just know I'm passing on this fabulous deal to you too! Okay, so this month (that's August), if you reach $50 in purchases from CTMH you can buy the August Stamp of the Month for just $5. AND, if you buy the Stamp of the Month for $5 you get the A-size "Typeface" stamp set for FREE! Yup, I said free.
But wait, there's more! Starting today (August 15), if your total purchases reach $75 (but not including the $5 SOTM) then your deal just got a whole lot sweeter! At $75, you now qualify to receive the first ever double D-size (tee hee) "Pair A Phrase" stamp set valued at $35.95 for FREE!!! Again, I said free. I just love free stuff!
SO, let me break this down: If you spend $75, you are going to recieve over $55 in FREE Close To My Heart Product! How can you beat that?
Go ahead and place an order with me or on my site http://joannew.myctmh.com.
It's guilt free - you're SAVING money! At least, that's my story. And I'm sticking to it!
Well, hello there. Welcome to "From the Heart!
I'm Joanne and I'm a bit of a scrap-a-holic. I can scrapbook anywhere I have a few minutes of idle time. I've been scrapbooking for years, meeting up with friends, holding monthly classes, and escaping regular life with the occasional weekend getaway. Now, I'm going to try out this blogging thing so I can share all the fun things to be made with paper with as many people as I can. I'm new at this so go easy on me. I can create with paper, but computers scare me. I never thought this old dog could learn a new trick, but I thought I'd give it a go. With that said, my hope is to make this blog not just about scrapbooking, but also about life, friendships, and good times. Of course, for all you die-hards out there, I will always be here to show you the deals and savings (I love free stuff and I like others to get free stuff) as well as other typical scrapbook-y things like artwork, how-to's, tips and techniques
So first, a little about me: Besides a scrapbooker, I'm a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend (in no particular order). I do have to say my most fun job is being a mom to my girls. I have two very lovely and lively girls that I just love to pieces. They are smart and funny and stunning (forgive me...I'm biased), but they are girls so naturally, there's a bit of drama in my house on occasion. And while no one really wants drama in their lives, I do happen to be a scrapbooker. So given those lemons, I try to make lemonade! It helps if I'm armed with a camera though, because really, what's the point of drama if you can't make fun? And, oh I will. Just try me. You gotta be careful around here or your drama will become my next layout:
Anyway, for me scrapbooking is a rather fun hobby, and I find it relaxing to turn on some tunes and open up a new paper pack (love the smell) and figure out how to make art. But, I am quite serious about it. I am not kidding when I say I will crop you out of my photos if your outfit doesn't match my paper. My husband and I were recently on a cruise and before we started each day, he'd go to the closet, peek out from behind the door to see what I was wearing. Why should he care? Because if he dressed in something that clashed with my outfit or was "wrong" for the type of excursion we were heading to, I just turn him around and make him re-dress. He knows the drill.
Once, we were at Disney and he had to switch outfits so many times in one day, he just learned to ask," What color am I wearing today?" Because everyone knows, unless you are meeting the princesses, there is just no place for pastels at Disney. Not that I'd EVER let him wear pastels, but you get my point. See at first, my mom didn't quite get it. She dressed in red for the Princess breakfast. No. No. No. When we are all meeting Cinderella, pastels are THE ONLY choice. You change into red AFTER the breakfast (there's lockers at Disney)! I made her stand at the end so I could crop her out later. (For the record, I did include some pictures of her with the grandkids in the photo album, but I had to turn the photos to black and white). It's just best to not mess with my process. She now dresses appropriately :)
In my circle of scrapbooking friends, I am not necessarily known as the clothing-police. Mostly I drive people nuts by trying to match my pictures with the perfect paper colors. And why not? You wouldn't fame a lovely natural-colored landscape photo with bright pink would you? Thought not. So why wouldn't you match your photos with complimentary papers? It's not that crazy of an idea. However, with that said, I do take it a tad further. I have been known to fall in love with a piece of paper and THEN go out and buy an outfit specifically to match. A little obsessive you say? Kind of. Probably. But I'm sure there are other closet-color-schemers out there... right?
I am also not averse to bribing my children with treats or withholding dinner until I get the shot I want. What's the point of creating a beautiful layout with just so-so pictures? A few years ago at Thanksgiving I wanted a nice family picture that proves we do all love one another on such a blessed day. But, no matter how cold that bird got waiting on the dinner table, I could not for the life of me get every one to focus. Finally, I just announced that no one eats until the photo is perfect. My girls now KNOW that if there are multiple cameras taking pictures they are to focus on MINE! There is nothing worse than eyes going every which way in a photo. They also know that just looking at the camera is not enough: They must smile, look angelic and have their eyes open, or we are doing it again. Might as well get it over with on the first shot so they can get on with their day. A few weeks back we did a family photo shoot and the photographer kept saying my girls were perfect models. My oldest daughter mutters under her breath, "Well, we should be. We've had lots of practice." True that.