Makes Me Happy Free Printable

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6 Things That Make Me Happy!

Make Me HappyThe Rediscover Close To My Heart campaign makes me happy, because they are providing us a free printable download every month!  This month we get to download 5 journaling prompts:  20 Fun Facts About Me, 6 Things That Make Me Happy, 4 Foods I Love, My 3 Greatest Blessings Are…, and This Makes Me Laugh ‘Till I Cry.

I opened the file in Photoshop and cut out this card and added my journaling.  I can now drop this into Studio J to create a digital layout.  The other option would be to print the page of prompts and use my own handwriting.  I’m looking forward to February when CTMH releases pocket pages with 3×4 sleeves…the perfect size for these journaling prompts.

You’ll notice that I didn’t include people in my happy list.  I did that on purpose and even had to go back and replace “Scrapbooking with Friends” with “Singing in the Car!”  I like my friends enough not to sing when they are in the car with me.  🙂  I’m taking Inspired Scrapbooking with Stacy Julian and I want to spend my time this year scrapbooking more than the events.  Don’t get me wrong, I love event scrapbooking and am not giving up on it, I simply want to expand my story telling and use some of my older photos.

Watch this space later in the month when I start sharing sneak peeks from the new Idea Book.  You’ll see what I have planned for the Picture My Life program!


Transform Photos into Memories

Posted on in Education, Random Thoughts, Scrapbooking Leave a comment

“Is Facebook making us forget?” Review

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Earlier this week, I was wasting time on Facebook and happened across the UK article “Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories.”  As you might imagine, my interest was piqued, so I stopped aimlessly perusing and read the article.

It briefly recounts a psychological study where university students were asked to either photograph or simply look at art in a museum.  The next day, their memory was tested and it was concluded that “the subjects were less able to recognize the objects they had photographed compared to those they had only looked at.”  Yet, the study also concludes that zooming in on a subject enhances memory since the photographer is focused on the object as opposed to mindlessly snapping away.

I'll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas...I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

I’ll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas…I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

Clearly, I love photographs.  Yet, I’ve been guilty of seeing an event through the lens of my camera instead of fully experiencing it in the moment.  So, I’ve been trying to be better about handing the camera to someone else.  In fact, I decided to leave my DSLR at home for Christmas and simply snap a few photos for my album with my phone…more on that in a moment.

The final paragraph states that “research has suggested that the sheer volume and lack of organization of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them…In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.”  The educator in me started jumping up and down at this point, because teachers know that “learning requires active involvement. Learning happens when students actively process information through writing, talking, and transforming by using a variety of organization strategies” (Duke & Pearson, 2002).  We must get our photos off the camera/phone and transform them into something new.

Transform Photos!

This is why I scrapbook.  I reflect upon the photos I take, organize them either by event or person, and capture my memories through journaling.  I transform the photos and stories into blog posts, digital or paper scrapbook pages, and even home décor.  The time I spend with those photos allows me to relive the event, so I take my time when making layouts.  I love that process.

The day I didn't take the photos...thank goodness for Photoshop!

The day I didn’t take the photos…thank goodness for Photoshop!

So, what happens to me when someone else takes the photos or I leave my camera behind?  In the moment, I may enjoy myself more, such as when my husband took photos during our day trip to Positano, Italy.  Yet, when I later saw the photos, I agonized over the fact that they all had a blue tint. The act of reliving the event through my scrapbook was not nearly as enjoyable.  The same thing happened to me this year at Christmas.  I snapped a few photos with my phone, but the poor quality of the images distresses me and makes me wish I had taken my good camera. 

In 2014, I will strive for a happy medium.  I will take my DSLR to events and capture several photos that I know will make me happy.  I’ll also let other people take photos so that I’m in the story, as well. I’ll experience the moment with my own eyes, but I’ll also let the camera help me capture the moments that I want to remember the most.  When I get home, I’ll organize, reflect, and transform! 

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about this study. 


Star Trek 47th Birthday

Posted on in Random Thoughts 2 Comments

Walter Koenig of Star TrekHappy Birthday Star Trek!

Today marks the 47th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek!  On this day one year ago, Larry Nemecek and I escorted Walter Koenig and a group of his most loyal fans around the Hollywood Walk of Fame to visit the stars of those actors and directors most closely related to the Star Trek franchise.  Walter Koenig of Star TrekIt really was an incredible experience, and I’m so glad that I got to be a part of Walter’s celebration on the 46th anniversary of Star Trek.  The weekend included a fantastic lineup of Star Trek and Babylon 5 stars.  We had an incredible banquet and roast in Walter’s honor.  Some of Walter’s long-time friends, such as Jamie Farr from M*A*S*H, attended the banquet.  Jamie Farr of MASHIt was a pleasure to sit by Mr. Farr during dinner and hear him share stories about Walter and his current acting jobs.  It amazes me that I haven’t scrapbooked this weekend yet.  I need to get on that!

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend Walter’s Star Ceremony, here is a video that I found on YouTube.

So, why is the 47th Anniversary so important?

Visit TREKLAND for more info!If you are a Star Trek fan, then you probably already follow Larry Nemecek since he knows everything about Star Trek…plus, he is just an all-around great guy! In his TREKLAND blog post today, he lets us know why the 47th birthday is so important in Star Trek lore.  Be sure to check it out!

Remembering the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek

I can’t end this post without a little trip down memory lane.  groupPlanet Xpo celebrated the 40th anniversary of Star Trek with a convention in Seattle.  I curated a blog post a day for the the 40 days leading up to the event with our final blog post by Arthur C. Clarke!  Be sure to check it out at http://startrek40.blogspot.com/ .  I did cover the 40th Anniversary for StarTrek.com, but they pulled all my articles after a change in management.  I need to find them all and post them on my own website.  I’ll add this to my gigantic To Do list…LOL!

Seattle Star Trek Con 2013I have to tell you, I feel really blessed as a Star Trek fan to be able to do all that I’ve done as a result of winning a radio contest and appearing on an episode of Enterprise!  I really enjoy working at the conventions and on special events like Star Trek: Of Gods and Men and Walter’s Star Ceremony.  Yet, I have an equally fun time just being a fan like I was at the Seattle Star Trek Convention a couple weeks ago!  As a fan, I’m looking forward to celebrating Star Trek well into the future.  Just think, we only have a few more years until the 50th Anniversary.  It will be a Thursday of the first week of school…I’m sensing that I may just have to use my personal days that week.  I have priorities, you know!

May Star Trek live long and prosper!  And may I live long enough to celebrate First Contact Day on April 5, 2063!  😉

 


Creating Keepsakes to Stop Publishing

Posted on in Scrapbooking 2 Comments

CK-Sept-Oct2013-200pxSaying Goodbye to Creating Keepsakes

As the Internet gained in popularity, the publishing industry suffered.  Many newspapers moved to an online only format and magazines closed shop.  The scrapbooking industry has been hit especially hard by this recent trend.  As sad as it may be, it really does make sense.  Companies have moved their advertising dollars online, because they can hit a wider and larger audience than print advertising.  Magazines such as Creating Keepsakes responded by decreasing the size of their print magazine and moving a lot of the content online.  This frustrated consumers, so many stopped subscribing.  Why pay for an online magazine when there are millions of layouts/ideas on Pinterest for free?!  So, Creating Keepsakes announced today that it will cease publication after the November/December issue.  Those of us who subscribe will receive two monthly issues of their new online magazine, Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking, for every issue left on our Creating Keepsakes subscription.   Lots of subscribers are upset and would prefer a refund.  I’m looking forward to seeing the format of the online magazine, but I know that I won’t subscribe to it.  Even though I have access to Creating Keepsakes’ online editions, I don’t use them that often.

So, here is what I’m wondering…will Creating Keepsakes continue sponsoring their conventions (CKC)?  I remember when I wouldn’t miss a CKC.  In fact, for several years, my friends and I attended the Seattle AND Portland CKCs.  Yet, again, I think the Internet is hurting business.  People expect a good deal when they go to these shows.  Yet, I often found that vendors were selling REALLY old product that was only slightly discounted.  Why would I spend my money on old product when I can buy new product online for a greater discount.  Since most online stores don’t have a brick and mortar storefront, they can afford to discount their product since they have less overhead to cover.  Convention vendors have the expense of travel and lodging on top of shipping their inventory from show to show.  I think these shows will eventually go the way of the magazines.

So, goodbye Creating Keepsakes!  It has been nice knowing you.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this news.  Are you disappointed to see the magazine go?  Will you read it online?  Do you still attend CKCs?  If not, why?


National Stamping Month 2013

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You Are My HappyNational Stamping Month is Here!

That’s right!  It is time to break out your stamps and get inky!  Close To My Heart is making it easy for us with this darling stamp set trio, You are My Happy.  It is only $10 with a qualifying purchase.  Check out this video for a look at the stamp set and some projects you can make when you get your hands on this great set.  Mine will be here on Wednesday…I can’t wait!


Artbooking in August #4

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 10 Comments

Artbooking Blog HopThe End of My First Blog Hop

Well, I have to admit that I’m a little sad that our blog hop is coming to an end with this 1/2 completed project!  I was busy at a Star Trek Convention in Seattle this weekend and ran out of time.  I’m posting this anyway, because I think it shows you that Artbooking makes even a partially completed project look good.  It helps that I’m using some of my left over Dream Pop papers as they are super cute! 

If this is your first visit to my blog and the Artbooking in August Blog Hop, know that nearly 40 consultants were challenged to create four projects with the Artbooking Cricut Collection this month. We posted either a layout, card, home decor, or mini-album on each Monday in August.  I’m far more proud of what I posted earlier in the month, so be sure to check out the other projects on my blog. 

If you are coming from Jody’s blog, you are in the right place.  Now, let’s finish out the Artbooking in August Blog Hop with a little look at how easy it is to create the pages of a mini-album.  I used keys 3 & 4 on pages 40 & 41 to created the base pages of an 8×6 Snapshots Mini-Album.  

 When you set your page size to 8″, all the other elements will cut at the proper size.  The overlay and title are great examples.  I encourage you to save all the “bits” from your overlays, because they just might come in handy later in your project.

BlogHopMiniAlbum02For instance, prior to adhering the circle overlay to the cover, I used it as a guide for placing the leftover circles on the inside cover.

BlogHopMiniAlbum03Here is where the “decorations” end…LOL!  Yet, look at how awesome the right page looks as a result of the cute Dream Pop paper.  I loved lined paper because it makes journaling by hand so easy.

snapshotsMiniAlbum04The Artbooking Snapshots Mini-Album also includes pocket pages.  Close To My Heart’s fantastic, double-sided patterned paper makes it easy to create darling pockets every time.

snapshotsMiniAlbum05I backed the “My Favorite Photos” flags in black and then added a little Liquid Glass to give them the look of epoxy stickers.  This is such a fun and easy technique.

BlogHopMiniAlbum06Here is a 2nd pocket page style.

BlogHopMiniAlbum07There are even little envelopes you can create to store fun little treasures in your mini-album.  I used a Hook & Loop Dot to keep the flap closed.  I can see creating a bunch of these for My Crush Album, as well.

Even though our Blog Hop is coming to an end, I will finish this album and post it later.  Until then, continue on with the Artbooking in August Blog Hop by visiting Rebecca’s Stamp & Scrap Studio!

Remember, if you ever get lost along the way, visit this page for a list of all the blogs on the hop.

 


Cricut Craft Room CTMH Display Tray

Posted on in Tutorial 1 Comment

[svp]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Fhi4c0QWg[/svp]
Welcome to Studio Scrapping with Amy! This video shows you how to create a Close To My Heart Display Tray in the Cricut Craft Room. Visit my blog at http://amyulen.com/
and click on the Freebies link to download the CCR file for this project.


Artbooking in August #3

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 7 Comments

Cricut Craft Room and ArtbookingArtbooking Blog Hop

Can you believe it is already the 3rd installment of the Artbooking in August Blog Hop?!  Where is the summer going?  As a teacher, I’m seeing these days fly by and realizing that I have so much more to do before school starts.  I need to budget my time wisely these last couple of weeks, so that’s where the Cricut Craft Room comes in handy!  I knew that I wanted to complete a display tray for my home decor project as part of the Artbooking in August Blog Hop challenge.  I pinned a bunch of ideas to my Printer’s Tray board on Pinterest, yet none of the ideas were exactly what I wanted.  I knew I wanted to use the Surf’s Up paper line and Artbooking (of course!), so, I opened up the Cricut Craft Room and created a tab for each color in the kit.  I then placed 3×4 blocks on the page to represent my display tray.  Once I started pulling in the Artbooking images, the design fell into place in no time!  

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayFor those of you joining me from Katy’s blog, welcome!  You are in for a big treat today, because not only am I going to write about this project, I’m going to share a video tutorial and free CCR file!  I can’t wait to see your projects and hope you will post them on the Studio Scrapping Facebook page

The video below walks you through the steps I used to create this project in the Cricut Craft Room, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here.  What I will say is that it is so easy to work with images from different cartridges if they are linked in Cricut Craft Room.  Once it comes time to cut, you don’t even need the cartridge in the machine when they are linked.  This is such a great time saver!

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayAs you can see from this screen shot of my Cricut Craft Room file, it looks very similar, I only changed a few of the color blocks when I was putting the final project together.  I’m so happy with the way it turned out!  In fact, when I showed it to my husband, he said, “Oh, that’s nice!”  That was seriously high praise from him!

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TraySo, now for some detail shots.  I cut the banner, tree, and tree top out of a used cereal box using my deep cut blade.  I then cut the same images from cardstock.  This allowed me to add more dimension to my project and made the tree sturdy enough to flow off the edge of the display tray.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayI cut the tree out of chocolate cardstock but felt it needed something, so I pulled out the stamp set from the Huntington WOTG.  I stamped the woodgrain on the trunk in 2nd generation chocolate.  It is super subtle, but it gives enough texture to make it look like a tree.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayThe only other stamping I did on this project was on the sun.  I cut it from the Surf’s Up Gold and then used a stamp from Patterned Pennants (it’s the same one I used on my card last week…I’m a fan!).  I used honey ink so it isn’t as orange as the patterned paper that comes in the kit.  I finished the sun off with a yo-yo from the Surf’s Up Assortment.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayI used foam tape on the grass and flags to make them pop.  One of the things that I want to do on my next display tray is to add more depth to the various rectangles.  I think it would add some really cool visual interest.  Everything else was adhered with Liquid Glass.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayI finished off the project by adding clear sparkles.  Just that little bit of bling makes me so happy!

If you don’t want to watch the video below, you can hop on over to Rebecca’s blog for more crafty goodness.  Remember, if you ever get lost along the way, visit this page for a list of all the blogs on the hop.

Cricut Craft Room Tutorial & Freebie!

I’m so excited to share my video tutorial and CCR freebie with you.

 


Stitching on Paper

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[svp]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6SIu8gXOt8[/svp]
Welcome to Studio Scrapping with Amy! This video walks you through the different options for sewing on paper from using a sewing machine to hand stitching to faux stitching to stamping. You’ll see all four styles and get to decide which is best for your project. If you have any questions, please visit my blog at http://amyulen.com/
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Artbooking in August #2

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 17 Comments

Artbooking Blog HopWelcome to Week 2 of the Artbooking in August Blog Hop!

If you are joining me from the super talented Scrappin’ Katy, you are in the right spot.  This week, 36 Close To My Heart Consultants are taking on the challenge to create a scrapbook layout, card, mini-album, or gift item using the new Artbooking Cricut Collection.  I gave myself the added challenge to “shop my stash.”  I put away all my new products and dug deep to come up with papers I haven’t used for years.  They are so old, I can’t remember the name of the kit!  That really is one of the things I love best about Artbooking, it is breathing life into papers I was getting ready to donate to my school.

Sunburst Overlays 1Artbooking Overlays

Of the 700 images on the Artbooking Cricut Collection, nearly 90 are full or half page overlays!  The overlays range from themed for holidays/seasons to geometric shapes used for everyday projects.  The Cricut book suggests that you cut the overlays at 11″ for a full page layout, but don’t forget that you can use the Real Dial Size to cut your overlays to fit your projects.  That’s exactly what I did for this Hello card.  I designed my card in Cricut Craft Room, but you don’t need it to modify the size of your overlays.  Simply hit the Real Dial Size button and set your dial to 3″.  This will give you a 3″x6″ sunburst overlay to fit the front of your card.

Sunburst Overlays 2My final card measures 3.5″x6.5″.  I placed the sunburst overlay onto a rectangle of blue patterned paper and mounted them both onto 3.25″x6.25″ White Daisy cardstock.  I used foam tape to adhere it all to my card base.

Sunburst Overlays 3Since I used our older, lighter weight paper, I cut the sentiment several times to make the title stand out more.  This experience reminds me that I really love the weight of our patterned paper!

Giving Overlays Character with Stamping & Stitching

Sunburst Overlays 4Whenever I cut overlays out of cardstock, I feel like they are a little flat.  I want to add some dimension to the overlays through stamping or inking.  In the case of the sunburst overlay (page 81), I added stamping using the Patterned Pennants (D1534) stamp set.  I masked the center of the sun and the border of the overlay so that only the rays of the sun were stamped.  I love the contrast that this provides even though I stamped tone-on-tone with Buttercup ink

sunshineCard05This stamp set also had the perfect sentiment to use with the overlay!  On my next card, I’m going to move the “You’re a ray of” to the left a bit so it doesn’t overlap the “sunshine.”  But, frankly, I spent way too much time on this card to change it now!

Sunburst Overlays 5So, you may be asking, what took so much time?  Hand stitching!  Our new Stitch Guide (Z1852) made it really quick work of punching holes, and the new 15″ Foam Mat (Z1859) is amazing!  Even so, stitching by hand takes time.  It was totally worth it though, because I love the look of this card!

Sunburst Overlays 6Thank you so much for visiting my blog; please feel free to leave a comment and say “Hello”!  Then click on over to the start of our blog hop at Rebecca’s Stamp & Scrap Studio!  If you get lost along the way, be sure to visit this link to see the entire list.

4 Stitching Techniques Tutorial

Watch the following tutorial to learn 3 more techniques to add stitching to your projects in addition to hand stitching!


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