CTMH Studio J Quick Tip #5 (Unlimited My Stickease)

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[svp]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lyDQlot464[/svp]
Welcome to Studio Scrapping with Amy Ulen! This quick tip video shows you how easy it is to create a custom border using unlimited My Stickease in Studio J. As always, you’ll find more information on my blog at http://studioscrapping.blogspot.com/.
I hope you will follow my blog & “Like” my Facebook page while you are there.


Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #10—PNG Files

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Did you know that Studio J accepts transparent PNG files?  This is so fantastic for those of us who download or purchase digital products online. When you drop a PNG file in a photo well, the background paper shows through.  Here is an example using Katie Pertiet’s Postage Frame Clusters
I’ve had so much fun playing with these transparent files that I decided to create my own and offer them as a freebie on my blog.  I hope you will download the file, watch the video, and make your own creation.  Please post it on my Facebook page to share with the Studio Scrapping community!
Learning how to use PNG files will also help you get the most out of the No Limits layout as I did in these layouts about Hawaii.
Don’t forget to visit the 30 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Studio J + a Giveaway blog post to enter my giveaway for a FREE Studio J 5-pack! There are several ways to enter but you must post on that blog post to win. The drawing will be held on November 30, 2011.

Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #9—Fits into a Busy Life

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The number one complaint I hear from people who would like to scrapbook is that they simply don’t have time. That makes perfect sense…most of us are busy living our lives and creating the memories we want to scrapbook. This is yet another reason why I’m so thankful for Studio J! It saves me time in that I don’t have to figure out sizes or get my photos printed ahead of time, I don’t have to lug out my scrapbook supplies, and I don’t need hours at a time to create one layout. In fact, by simply devoting 5-15 minutes a day, I can complete a few layouts in a week!

Here is my process:

  1. On the weekend when I have a little more time, I go through my photos from the week and decide which stories I want to tell. I then create a new project in Studio J for that story and upload the photos. If I’m not inspired or don’t have many photos from the week, I’ll take a look at some of my older digital photos. 
  2. The next step is to record the memory I want to keep. I open a Word file and type my story. I save it in a Journal folder using the same name as my Studio J project name. 
  3. Those two steps are the “hard” part; with them out of the way, I can start creating my layouts! 
  4. If I’m really short on time, I simply place a project or two in my cart and go through the approval process. If I decide I need to come back to it later, I remove it from the cart. My approved layouts simply hang out in the cart until I’m ready to purchase them at the end of the month. 

Again, with nothing to put away, I can spend 5 minutes on a layout, log off, and come back to it the next day. I don’t lose my train of thought, because the journaling was completed on a different day in one sitting. By completing each task on a different day, I’m able to get my daily scrapbooking fix without devoting a lot of time I don’t have. So, no more excuses about not having time, Studio J fits in to even the busiest schedule!

As I’m exhausted from my busy week and 8 hour drive home today, I decided to focus on journaling. I was reminded of the time my tire had a blowout on the way to Portland and wanted to tell that story. I’ll share the next step of the process with you tomorrow.

Don’t forget to visit the 30 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Studio J + a Giveaway blog post to enter my giveaway for a FREE Studio J 5-pack! There are several ways to enter but you must post on that blog post to win. The drawing will be held on November 30, 2011.


Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #8—Journaling

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Okay, raise your hand if any of this applies to you:

  1. You hate your own handwriting, so you don’t journal.
  2. You hate your own handwriting but don’t have time to type up your memories, so you don’t journal.
  3. You eventually plan on typing up your journaling, so you have a pile of partially completed layouts waiting for that finishing touch.
  4. You figure a picture is worth a thousand words, so why bother journaling!

Well, I’ll tell you why…our photos only tell part of the story. If we are really amazing photographers, they may be able to get the emotion of the story across, but they usually need the help of our unique points of view.

I scrapbook to remember. It really is as simple as that. I don’t want to forget my life when I’m old, so I’m documenting the things that are important to me now. They may not be important to me then, but I will see how my life has progressed through both photos and words.

That is yet another reason why I love Studio J. Prior to purchasing my layouts, I must complete my journaling. No longer do I have piles of layouts waiting for journaling (well, not entirely true, I still have the piles from my pre-Studio J days!), Studio J helps me record my memories now. I can write as much or as little as I want thanks to the ability to add text boxes or convert text boxes to photo wells.

In this layout, I added text boxes to create strips of cardstock that I adhered to the layout using stitching, staples, and brads in the same way I would a classic layout.

Journaling can help us work though loss, and Studio J made it so easy to tell this story about the final great adventure of my cat, Kit.

My wish for you is that you share the stories of your life by embracing all the journaling options Studio J has to offer. I’m also looking forward to giving away a free Studio J 5-pack, so visit the 30 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Studio J + a Giveaway blog post to enter! There are several ways to enter but you must post on that blog post to win. The drawing will be held on November 30, 2011.


Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #7—Image Editing

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If you have followed my blog or watched my YouTube videos, you will know that I’m a Photoshop fan. I love manipulating photos and have developed some mad skills…here is an example of my lovely hourglass figure courtesy of Photoshop!

Yet, even as a diehard fan, I don’t always want to take the time to edit my photos in Photoshop. That is why I’m so thankful for the editing tools in Studio J!

Studio J allows us to quickly adjust brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and sharpness. We can also create our own presets to use later. Studio J provides us with great tools to touch up our photos. My favorites are redeye remover and the toothbrush…I love being able to freshen up a smile in my photos so that my family is focused on the memory and not the color of their teeth! Other editing tools include airbrush, blemish, glare, and wrinkle.

CTMH hasn’t given us the liposuction tool yet, so I won’t be giving up Photoshop anytime soon, but I sure do appreciate the time I save by doing my basic photo editing inside Studio J.

If you would like to see the editing tools in action, watch my CTMH Studio J Tutorial #4 (Photo Editing).  I demonstrate the blemish remover, how to brighten smiles with the toothbrush, ways to reduce glare, and magically erase a wrinkle with the wrinkle tool!

Don’t forget to visit the 30 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Studio J + a Giveaway blog post to enter my giveaway for a FREE Studio J 5-pack!  There are several ways to enter but you must post on that blog post to win.  The drawing will be held on November 30, 2011.


Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #6–My Stickease as Templates

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I’ll share a few more tips about how you can use My Stickease this month, but one of my favorites is to use it as a template for creating other shapes with embellishments.  Prior to Close To My Heart releasing the stitching embellishments, I used a heart My Stickease to create a stitched heart.  Watch CTMH Studio J Tutorial #7 (A Few Quick Tips) to see an example of how it was done. 
I also used a large My Stickease to create a heart out of buttons on the High School Graduate layout.  The steps are very simple:
  1. Choose the My Stickease image you want to use as a template and place it on your layout.  Remember that you can grab the rotate button in the upper left corner of the image to rotate the My Stickease.
  2. Select Buttons from the embellishments toolbar and start placing your buttons around the outside edges of the My Stickease image.  Speed up the process by placing the thread in your button, select both the thread and button, copy, and paste.  Both the new thread and button will be selected, so move them into place together.  Don’t forget that you can use your arrow keys to nudge items into place! 
  3. Once your buttons are in place, delete the My Stickease image.  You are left with a perfect heart of buttons.  Add a little more flair to your button heart by replacing a button with a couple flat knot ribbons.
  4. If you want to make sure that all of your buttons are evenly spaced, simply pull a brad onto your layout and use it as a spacing guide between buttons!
Don’t forget to leave a comment on the giveaway blog post to have a chance at winning a FREE Studio J 5-Pack (includes 5 layouts, page protectors, and shipping)!

Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #5–Stitching

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My favorite quote of the day came from my sister who is recovering from open-heart surgery. She stated emphatically, “no one in their right mind should have their chest cracked open.” You think?! Speaking of things that need to be stitched–how do you like that transition–I’m thankful for the stitching tools in Studio J.

Prior to the stitching tools, we had to use the threads from the button embellishments toolbar to lay down stitches one at a time.  It was such a long process that I added the Creating Stitched Patterns on Cardstock tutorial to my Fussy Techniquesplaylist.  Several days after I posted the tutorial, Close To My Heart released the stitching toolbar under embellishments!  I couldn’t even be upset that I had wasted time creating the video, because I was so happy to have stitches in Studio J.

Now we can easily add several types of straight stitches (cross, zig-zag, back, running, blanket, and scallop) to our layouts.  We also have pennants (banner, triangle, and scallop) and specialty shapes, such as stars, hearts, posy flowers, blossom flowers, squares, and circles, in a variety of sizes.

By clicking on the layout of my sister in Hawaii last summer, you will see a variety of the stitches in action. 

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the giveaway blog post to have a chance at winning a FREE Studio J 5-Pack (includes 5 layouts, page protectors, and shipping)!


Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #4–Free JPGs

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There is so much to love about my Studio J membership.  From the 1/2 price layouts to exclusive content to free shipping, what’s not to love?  But my favorite part of the membership is the fact that I get free JPGs of every layout.  Within roughly 20 minutes (depending on how backed up the servers are) of ordering my layouts, I’m able to log into my account and download the free JPGs.  I’m then able to instantly upload the web-ready version to my blog and Facebook pages.  I can also easily email my layouts to friends and family to share memories with them.

Yet, it gets even better as Close To My Heart also sends me high-resolution JPGs of each side of the layout.  If my mom wants a copy of this layout, I can simply send her the high-resolution JPGs which she can drop in the No Limits layout on her Studio J membership and order her own copy.  We can also upload the JPGs to her photo frame so the whole family can share in the fun!

I also enjoy making 6×6 gift books using our board book and reducing the JPGs to 6×6 images in Photoshop.  I’m able to get 8 pages of the mini-album on one layout to drop into No Limits for printing.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of membership, be sure to watch the following:


Don’t forget to leave a comment on the giveaway blog post to have a chance at winning a FREE Studio J 5-Pack (includes 5 layouts, page protectors, and shipping)!

Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #3–Crop Bag is Always Packed

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My crop bag (aka laptop) is always packed with Studio J!  Life is hectic.  Emergencies happen.  Yet, I want to capture memories in the moment.  Because all I need is the camera on my cell phone and a laptop with an Internet connection, I can scrapbook wherever I am!  This is a layout I created tonight from photos my mom took this morning as my sister was being admited to the hospital to have open heart surgery.  All I needed to bring from home was my laptop.  I now have a record of how we all felt today…so very grateful that her heart is beating and she is breathing on her own!  I love that this kit is called Miracle, because that’s how I feel today.  The doctors perform these miracles every day…I hope they know how much families appreciate what they do.  My sister means the world to me, and I’m so thankful that she is on the road to recovery.  I’m also thankful that Studio J allowed me to capture this moment in time as it happened.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the giveaway blog post to have a chance at winning a FREE Studio J 5-Pack (includes 5 layouts, page protectors, and shipping)!


Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #2—No Hassle Photo Developing

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I don’t know how you feel about it, but I don’t think there are enough hours in the day.  For about ten years after college, I could live on 4 hours of sleep a night, but things change once you hit your mid-thirties.  I still don’t get enough sleep, so I can’t be bothered with a lot of pre-planning when it comes to my scrapbooking time.  When I have a minute, I want to get right down to crafting.  I certainly don’t want to spend time figuring out what size or color my photos need to be, place an order, and then go pick them up or wait for them to be mailed to me.  Life is too short, people!  With Studio J, I have the perfectly sized photo every time!

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the giveaway blog post to have a chance at winning a FREE Studio J 5-Pack (includes 5 layouts, page protectors, and shipping)!


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