LOAD #21

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Like I said yesterday, I’m a huge fan of the exclusive True Friend kit in Studio J!  These frames are so fun.  You can watch the video tutorial below to see how I created this layout.  If you click on over to the Freebies page, I’ve even provided the layered PSD files so you can add your own photos and recreate this layout.  Be sure to save the files as PNG after you use the clipping masks for your photos.  Once you load the PNG files into the No Limits layout, they will be transparent so that you can see the background paper below.

To create the chevron paper, I drew a 12×12 text box and filled it with Chocolate.  I then copied the border 23 times.  By selecting all 23 borders holding down the Shift key while clicking, I was able to use the align and distribute tools to make sure my pattern was even.  I then selected the background paper, copied all 24 items, pasted, and dragged the newly pasted paper to the other side of the layout.  With everything still selected, I was able to send it backward beneath the actual photo.  If you do this prior to dropping in the PNG file, all you will see is the big, grey X of the No Limits “pattern.”

On a related side note:  when I showed my husband the layout, the first thing he asked me was why I didn’t do a better job lining up the chevrons where the two pages meet.  REALLY?!  That’s what he notices.

On an unrelated side note:  when we were in Micahels on Friday night, I was looking at the Smash books, and he said, “Couldn’t you just make your own smash book?”  That guy cracks me up!

I really hope you will use the free download and post the page(s) you create on my Studio Scrapping Facebook page!

LOAD #20

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I seriously can’t believe that I haven’t played with the new, True Friend, kit is Studio J until today!  It is AWESOME!!!  As soon as I saw the hybrid layout on page 12 of the new Idea Book at convention, I knew I wanted to recreate it.  Yet, I never bothered looking at the rest of the kit.  You have to log in to Studio J to check it out…I’m not even joking!  The papers are darling, but the My Stickease is even better.  I can’t wait to use the super cute frames and borders.  I have a feeling this is going to be my go to kit for awhile.  LOVE IT!

What I learned from Stacy Julian today.

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When signing up for Stacy Julian’s Twelve at Big Picture Classes, I was excited and apprehensive about the prospect of taking 12 photos on the 12th of each month during the year 2012.  My doubt stemmed from the fact that my life is really boring.  Trust me, this is not a complaint…I love my life!  The problem is that I’m a homebody; other than work, I don’t get out much.  So, I simply couldn’t imagine that my 12 photos were going to be very interesting.  Yet, amazingly, each day has given me memories I’m looking forward to recording.  For instance, school was released at 10am today because we didn’t have power after the wind storms last night.  That meant that I was free to attend Stacy’s chat this afternoon!
During the chat, one of my classmates asked a question regarding the use of templates or sketches.  The text moved by too quickly, so I didn’t read the entire thing, but it sounded like she may feel a little guilty about using these tools.  Stacy and several of the other participants chimed in with some great analogies.
Stacy likened the use of sketches to using sheet music.  Sheet music provides musicians with the foundation they need until they can compose their own music.  Some musicians never get to that point, and that is okay, too.  The other analogy was that of a cook.  We don’t criticize or look down on cooks for using recipes.  We certainly don’t expect them to become accomplished chefs that can create a delicious meal without a recipe.  So, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves as scrapbookers?
This is one of the things that I love best about Close To MyHeartJeanette’s How-To Books lay out the patterns and tell me how to cut my papers.  She gives us helpful tips along the way and beautiful art that I can scraplift or modify as needed to tell my story.  None of my family members are going to care that I scraplifted the page; in fact, they probably won’t ever know unless I tell them.  It simply isn’t an issue for them.
Now, the one sad thing is that CTMH is discontinuing the How-To Program, and once the books are sold out, they are gone.  If you haven’t picked up your copies, I wouldn’t hesitate.  One of our last updates said that some of the books may be sold out as early as this month.  L
I am a proud scraplifter and embrace that it is part of my process.  Scraplifting and using sketches helps me complete pages because I don’t have to think too much.  It also teaches me new techniques that I can apply to my other projects.  In case you missed it the first time, I’m posting my Confessions of a Scraplifter tutorial.  

After I first posted this, I received a long note from a gal who was trying to build me up and tell me how creative I am.  I do appreciate her kindness, but I think she missed the point.  So many people use the excuse of “I’m not creative enough” as the reason why they don’t scrapbook.  Our great How-To Programs and Studio J have creativity built into them.  I never stress about it.  Instead, I get to focus on preserving my favorite memories and photos!

Now, if you asked me to cook or play an instrument…that would stress me out!

Why I’m Thankful for Studio J #25—Layers

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Like our classic layouts, Studio J lets us layer papers and embellishments to create clusters that enhance the visual impact of our layouts.  The key to successful layering is the right-click button on your mouse!  Right clicking allows you to send items to the front or back of your layout.  You may also send items forward or backward one layer at a time.  It often takes many right-clicks to send items forward or backward, so it does take a bit of patience.  This video tutorial gives you a quick example of layering in Studio J.
Don’t forget to leave a comment on the giveaway blog postto 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 #23–Studio J Art Department

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I’m really thankful that Close To My Heart has such amazingly creative people working in their Art Department.  I so look forward to scraplifting the layouts they post on the Studio J blog, Studio J splash page and in the Idea Book.  The Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book includes a Studio J layout for every paper pack…I love that!

By scraplifting these darling layouts, I not only get great pages for my albums, I often learn a new tip or technique.  Here is one of my favorite scraplifts from page 11 of the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book.

Today, they posted the “An Attitude of Gratitude” layout on the Studio J blog, and I can’t wait to scraplift it this weekend!  I have been wanting to try the Honeycomb pattern, so this is a perfect time to create an awesome layout celebrating all the blessings in my life.

Notice the cute ribbon technique?  I’ll share a video tutorial on that later this weekend.

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

Creating Stitched Patterns on Cardstock Tutorial

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The Close To My Heart Art Department created this darling layout to advertise the June Free-for-All special and lots of people want to recreate the look.  This video shows you how to use My Stickease as a guide for stitching a pattern, crop/resize borders to get a perfect scallop edge, add extra matting to a focal photo, modify the intensity of patterned paper by changing the color (even though the color is the same as the original paper!), create a bow and “wrap” ribbon around paper, and place My Stickease across two pages.  I hope you will let me know what you think by leaving a comment here or on my YouTube channel.

CTMH Studio J Tutorial #16 (Stitching Patterns)

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Creating Stitched Patterns on Cardstock!
Welcome to Studio Scrapping with Amy! In this video, I scraplift a design from the CTMH art department using stitching to create a pattern on cardstock. I also show you how to crop/resize borders to get a perfect scallop edge, add extra matting to a focal photo, modify the intensity of paper by changing colors, create a bow and “wrap” ribbon around paper, plus place Stickease on two pages.

CTMH Studio J Tutorial #13 (Confessions of a Scraplifter)

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Confessions of a Studio J Scraplifter!
Welcome to Amy’s Creative Corner! In this video, I admit my deep, dark secret…I’m a scraplifter! I’ll show you how Close To My Heart makes me look creative when I’m really not! I walk you through viewing the Idea Book online. We take a look at the Studio J splash page and copy that layout with the addition of photo mats. I also show you what I learned through the act of scraplifting: clustering embellishments, creating a visual triangle, and cropping/resizing My Stickease. We also revisit an old Studio J scraplift, and I show you how I learned to create my own patterned paper using textboxes! Please visit http://www.youtube.com/createwithamy
and become a subscriber. Also, leave a comment and let me know what you think and/or what you would like to see in upcoming tutorials.


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I went classic style for today’s Layout a Day!  The challenge was to focus on photography and create a layout with a photo that tells the story…no journaling!  As I’m in a bit of a journaling mood, this was actually a real challenge.  Yet, once I remembered this photo…I’ve been wanting to scrapbook it since 2008…it was easy.  The photo and the title say it all!  I’m a little bummed that the weather is so crappy today, because this layout (including the photo) are much more vibrant in real life.  My picture doesn’t do it justice.  This layout was inspired by a layout in the Summer 2009 Idea Book.  I used Daydream Level 2, Blush ink, Fresh Shapes DE, Booksmart DE, Clear & Bitty Sparkles.

This is a little note to myself to remind me that I don’t have to complete all of Lain’s daily challenges for LOAD 2010.  I had a great time doing it this weekend, but my time is at a premium during the week, so that’s when I’ll go back to completing some of my partially created layouts.  I have so many that I want to finish, so that is my personal challenge this month.  Anything extra is simply a bonus.

1st Order as a Studio J Member!

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I’m so excited about my Studio J Membership!  I just ordered four layouts (8 pages total) for 1/2 off with FREE shipping, FREE page protectors, and FREE JPG files for the web and for printing.  Studio J membership seriously rocks!

Although one of the main goals of Studio J is to do layouts quickly, I actually spent a lot of time on these two layouts about Kit.  After losing her a week ago, I needed to scrapbook her stories to process my grief.  I wanted to take the time to make sure these layouts honored her and expressed my love for her.  I think they are pretty amazing…just like my sweet Kit!

I also took a bit of time with this layout earlier in the summer, because I was trying to figure out how to make my own B&T paper with text.  This is a direct scraplift from the Studio J website!  I posted a screen shot of it earlier, but now you can see the details.

Now, this layout is what Studio J is all about!  I modified my old, out of focus photos in Studio J.  I used the embellishments that came preloaded on the page and simply added a few My Stickease as a title and to cover up a Diet Pepsi can…LOL!  This layout took me less than 1/2 hour and most of that time was spent editing my photos.
If you want some of this scrappy goodness for yourself, let me know and I’ll hook you up with a Studio J membership!  I’m going to demonstrate it at the THS FBLA Scrapbooking Crop on October 23rd; I can’t wait to share Studio J with everyone I know!

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