Monday, June 27, 2011

loving layouts everyday

Close To My Heart has the great digital scrapbooking  Studio J. If you come here regularly you would have already read some great stuff on this. I appologize for the recent week longish absense, I take my math final tomorrow! So I can get some more work done here.

Meanwhile, I have wanted to continue sharing info, and tips on how to use and utilize studio j to make your scrapbooking experience easier, and faster.

Here is a recent video from Corporate on loving your layout with studio j.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June Card Swap

June is almost gone, but don't you worry my info on Studio J and quick scrapping has not come to an end, it just will not always be my focus. With that I have a few more days to give you some great info!

Card Swap!

I am apart of a great card swap, and I want to applaud all the ladies that participated this month. I was unfortunately unable to participate this month, but I have set some days aside to make some great stuff for next month. Just because I couldn't participate did not mean I was going to leave you with out eye candy. I hope you enjoy these cards as much as I have enjoy looking at them.

Friday, June 17, 2011


To recap some this month, I have been emphasizing on the importance of making scrapbooking faster and easier to make it so you have more time to make memories and use less time preserving them. With this I have touched on digital scrapbooking ( more to come on studio j), pre-designed layouts (there is nothing wrong with copying), stickers, and pre-packaged kits.

Today I would like to re-visit using pre-designed layouts. The beauty of these layouts is you just copy the messurments of the papers, glue, and then attach your pictures. Making it so there is minimal thought process on how to design a layout with your paper or where to put the pictures. While this is great sometimes, it doesn't always work. When it doesn't work, I have rotated the design 90degrees or altered the design some to suit my needs.
There are times however where the design fits perfectly with my pictures, but I have more pictures I want to add than there is place on the layout while keeping it pleasing to the eye. In situations such as this I use Flip Flaps.  Since typically I am scrapbooking 4"x6" prints the flip flaps work perfectly and can just be stacked over n over till I have enough on this page. Another thing I have done is made an envelope to go in place of where a picture was going to be on the layout, then just fill it with the extra pictures.
These techniques along with others can be found in the magic book, which is also a great source for layout designs.
While flip flaps don't necessarily make scrapbooking faster, they can make it easier and less stressful.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pre-packaged layouts

I first got introduced to these by Micheal's, I am sure you have seen them. They are scrapbooking kits, with paper, and some sort of accessories with instructions to make easy quick layouts. If you look at them you will see that everything in the kit goes together making a nice theme.
Well then before becoming a Close To My Heart consultant my up-line introduced me to the same type of kit, only with all close to my heart products.
So the purpose behind this entry is to introduce you to these wonderful kits!

While you may just go to Micheal's or jo ann's to get one, I am also going to show you how to make your own.
Before I get started I would like to take the time to mention I sell these kits in a variety of paper options for $10, which gives you accessories, enough papers for 2 two page layouts, with instructions and ideas for your layouts. Filled with nothing but Close To My Heart products.

Now put on that tank top and dig around in your crafting room!
the easiest way to convert your supplies in to these nice kits is to first have 13X13 bags, or holding space of those measurements to hold your kits till you put them out to work on them. Also you can get clear bags for your accessories in the adhesive isle and jewelry isle at Micheal's.

Next you want to pull out 4 peices of card stock for layout bases.
2 pieces of colored card stock

4 sheets of designed papers (B&T otherwise known as) ** sometimes i will cut 4 different designed 12X12 sheets down to 6"x12" and have two sheets the full 12"x12" to add variety to the kit.
add 1 6"x12 white  card stock for stamping.
Now all you need are some accessories and instructions.
for accessories: i will usually pick between flowers and die-cuts... pending on the paper and purpose i will pick between sparkles, opaques, and brads which sometimes i will add sparkles or opaques +the brads.
then buttons and string or ribbon.
These options are all based on what i have that matches the paper to add flare but not over saturate the layout in accessories since I like to stamp images for it as well.

Instructions: as making the layouts go fast I would encourage finding layout recipes you like to put on a piece of paper and stick it in this kit. For this you can check out the books from pre-designed layouts post, blog hop other scrapbookers, you tube, or find other books at Micheal's. The last thing you could do to find instructions is go to scrapbooking events, while I have not been to an event recently for Micheal's or jo ann's, know they hold events, and at my events I provide a packet with layout direction.

Pictures! This wouldn't be complete with out pictures. (I linked 2 examples, the pictures are kits I prepare for myself and for purchase.)
Micheal's kit example
Joann's kit example

This kit is made with wings paper, buttons, black ribbon, and flowers.

Monday, June 13, 2011

What summer has to offer

I gotta say I have been loving summer already. Though a part of me feels like we haven't done a lot, and we don't currently have any vacations or big family trips planned I am ok with that.
This summer has brought us to swim lessons, a beach trip,and a fun Dream Night under the stars at the zoo. So the picture opportunities have been plenty, and I know we still have the 4th, and Aiden's birthday before school starts. Can't wait to see the picture opportunities from this.

Swim lessons have brought me to terms to getting a swim suit... its been many MANY years since I have had one, and boy it was time. The boys also both got life jackets this weekend. So the family has decided to make water events happen more often in our lives. woohoo!

Now the question is which paper to use for these memorable photos... what do you think?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pre-designed Layouts

I was not a fan of these at first, since where is the creativity if you are just copying something!After I spent several hours making a layout from scratch, and then perhaps 30 mins on a layout where I was just copying detentions from a  book.(that is excluding stamping images for it. The accessories are what make it time consuming for me.) Then maybe 10 to 20 mins. making a digital layout, I decided maybe pre-made layouts aren't so bad.

There are ways to keep these layouts unique, which is important if you like variety in your scrapbooks. Here are three you can purchase that use Close To My Heart Products.
Magic Book

 Imagine book
Reflections Book

Going to any craft store you will find a variety of books on different crafts. You should be able to find several for scrap booking.

While just going from the instructions over and over can make your scrapbook feel boring. Altering how many pictures are on a layout, to turning a page 90 or 180 degrees can spice it up just enough that the layouts no longer all look the same. It is little things like this, while using your creativity that will allow even a pre-designed layout to be unique, but allow the process to be less time consuming.

Here are 2 layouts I have taken from the books above. Sticking to the general dementions, but primarily changing how journaling was done, or how many pictures or picture sizes were on the layouts.

For this layout I used "Card Trick" from the Magic Book.

For this layout I used The "conclusion combo" from The Imagine book.

More speedy scrap-booking for summer to come, including more on digital scrap-booking!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Idea for Father's Day

There are always things that you could do to show dad how much you appreciate him. Sometimes gift giving at this time is hard, especially if you are dealing with a dad that is very happy and doesn't have a lot of wants.
Whether has a office desk at work or home this would be a great idea to put on it, so he can see the family he loves everyday!

I would like to point you to Jennette Lynton's Blog for this idea, as it is where it originated for me. Also while I will be putting up pictures for the steps to create this fun little project, sometimes it is better to reflect over other directions. The post on this on Jennette Lynton's page is from June 10th, 2011, as of today it is the latest post. However, if it is no longer the most recent when you go, just check her archives.

Take the My Acrylix blocks, and emboss on them. Then attach a picture cut to the size of the block. It makes a durable long lasting picture display!

So you may be asking how this is done, here you go!

Pick a My Acrylix Block that you would like to use, and make sure you have a picture that is of appropriate size or that can be cropped to fit the size of the block.

Next use cornstarch, wipe it over the block so it isn't covered in static. This makes the embossing powder not stick all over the block. Then blow off the starch.

Now you will decide where you would like to emboss on your block. Use Versamark  to stamp the images on your block.

If your image doesn't look right, or the powder doesn't properly cover your image, just wipe it off and try again!

You will use your heat gun as normal on the embossing powder. Let the block cool and embossing dry.
I used Krylon Preserve It! to "glue" my picture to the back of the block. While the spray is still drying you can rub your finger over the back of the image to get any air bubbles out.
Last I added a few opaques for accent.Quick, easy, and special in under 20 minutes. The longest part was actually finding a picture I wanted to use.
Below is the finished image Jennette Lynton did, which inspired me to try it out, and give my block as a gift for father's day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Did you know?....Studio j

While I have talked about studio j in some detail previously I have never taken the time to show you what this program can do for you to make your scrapping experience better.So please take the time to read the info below, it will be benefits and disadvantages to digital scrap-booking in general and with Studio J. (why the disadvantages you ask. Easy... I want you to know what you are getting in to and what it can and can't do for you and your memories.)

  • No more waiting to do a layout because photos need printed.Being in the digital age, most people are using digital cameras and uploading their photos to their computer and a lot of times to social sites. So since the photos are already there you just upload to studio J and go.
  • It's quick! Studio J has many layouts pre-designed for you to pick from. The designs come from books the owner (Jennette Lynton) has published. Imagine, Reflections, and Magic. While these layouts are great, using them over and over would get dull. Which is why you can rotate the pages and alter how many pictures are on the layout. (more details on that later)
  • Variety.... There is a variety with studio j because you get control over your layout and how it looks. From how everything will be placed on the layout to the colors, and what accessories you are going to use.( you can distress your paper)
  • Being that the program is free you can actually use it to design layouts to make with traditional scrap-booking.
  • you can do it anywhere so long as you have your photos uploaded on studio j.
  • With digital layouts its easier to share these fun memories with loved ones that live far away.

  • Cost- These layouts are no more expensive than an average traditional layout, and a lot of times cheaper. The issue with cost is when  you go to buy them you have to have the money. Traditional layouts you can spend a couple bucks here and there to finish them. 
  • They are not dementional. They come to you like a 12x12 photo well protected from being bent. However, you can place accessories on it after you receive it.
  • Typos.. It is easy to write the wrong thing for a traditional layout and just get a new piece of paper. Doing that or miss spelling on a digital layout can be a waste of money.( While I have had this happen to me, I can say every digital scrap-booking program I have used has a spell check built in. It then comes to checking and double checking. Which studio J makes you approve the layout before you can purchase it. Again double checking is important.)
  • Digital scrap-booking can be addictive and cause all your traditional supplies to lay around and get dusty.

 While this is a great program that I could go on and on about I felt it appropriate to only hit the high points about it and remind you that it is always been looked at for ways to improve it. Also digital scrap-booking isn't for everyone, so since the program is free to use, I would encourage you to try it.
Also keep in mind I did not fill you in on all the cool things that you can get by purchasing through studio J. This was strictly looking at it as a digital scrap-booking program to make scrap-booking faster and easier over the summer.
Keep a look out for my next studio J post! 

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Studio J

    Digital scrap-booking has become popular over the last year or so. As technology has advanced it has allowed this to become more and more detailed and intricate like a "traditional" or hand made scrap-book. Also with technology it has allowed the print and picture quality to look fantastic.

    While if you look at my products that I have hand made, or in the Close To My Heart Idea book you will still mainly see traditional scrap-booking, card making, and stamping. We do however have a great FREE program for digital scrap-booking.... Studio J.

    On top of it being free it is also user friendly. You do not have to be super technologically savvy to use this program. To show you how easy it is, I have included a video below made by the people at corporate on how to use studio j.

    Having used this program several times, I can whip out a few layouts within 30 minutes no problem. Do not be discouraged if it takes you 30 minutes to do your first layout in Studio J, because it will get quicker. This all means that you get more layouts done in less time, giving you more time for all the things that are important in your life, while still being able to preserve your memories ANYWHERE!

    I have wrote on studio J previously, please look at those for more information. Also if you have tested Studio J, and like it but want to know more, then keep a look out for my next post: Did you know?... Studio J

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Stuck on You

    Stickers Stickers Stickers!!

    Stickers are a classic accessory, and sometimes looked at as a simplistic outdated accessory.

    I have dressed up a few layouts using mainly stickers. For Close To My Heart they are called Stickease. Linked are the set I used on the layouts below.

    These stickease are thick and come with layout examples on the back to give you ideas on how to use them.

    Now one thing you should keep handy in your scrap room is baby powder. With our stickease if you rub baby powder on the back you make them no longer sticky. Now you may be asking why on earth would you want a sticker to not stick! Easy... if you put some 3d foam on the back you can make those stickers pop! Which will then give dimension to your layouts.
    Another great aspect of stickease is price, for 4.95 you get 2 sheets of "stickers" and 2 two-page layout examples to work from. Typically you will also have a few stickers you don't use so you can save them for a card or another layout later on.

    Below is 2  layouts I did with the FanFare lvl 2 stickease. The layouts were the same layouts shown on the back of the stickease, with only slight alterations to work with my picture sizes.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Hello June

    May Came and went so fast! I hope you all had a wonderful mother's day, and if you had someone you knew graduation that those festivities were wonderful as well.

    With June being here there are some great things to look forward to: summer activities, vacation, and father's day. Check out my June Newsletter Here to get some great ideas, deals, or events to go to for this month.

    While the summers are suppose to be relaxing for some people this time they are busier than ever. So this month I am going to show you some quick easy ways to get those layouts done in less time. This way you can spend more time making memories than preserving them!

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    You and Me for another month!

    No I am not going anywhere, but this awesome kit is. In may the "you and me" kit was available for $35 or after a $50 purchase it was available for $15 dollars.

    Well not only are we getting the option to buy this kit through the month of June but it is only $15! This is because Close To My Heart took the time to listen when we said we love this kit, and when everyone expressed desire to want to help those that have been effected from the severe weather hitting different regions. So they made both possible with this great kit.

    Above is the contents in the kit, and below are the details on this great offer.

    During the month of June, order a You & Me kit for only $15 US/ $16.50 CAN (a retail value of $34.95/$38.95), and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross 2011 Floods and Tornadoes relief operations. Simply use item number CC1012B to place your order for this sensational kit and help those in need at the same time. The You & Me: Stronger Together campaign will continue until June 30 at 11:59 pm (MDT) or while supplies last.
    Offer valid June 2–30, 2011, or while supplies last. No qualifying purchase required. Tax and shipping/handling charges apply. The placement of the donations is prioritized by the American Red Cross, with all money earmarked for disaster relief from the tornadoes and flooding in the midwestern and southeastern United States.

    you can purchase this kit here.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Father's day

    Father's day is just around the corner on the 19th. Have you made your cards yet? I have and I had a fun filled event with kits for everyone to get their cards made on memorial day.

    The cards were super easy to make, and everyone left happy. Below are the 3 cards that were made, if you are interested in making these cards just contact me and I can give you the care recipes!

    May Card Swap

    For the card swap I am apart of we made interactive cards as I mentioned in a previous post. I also shared with you my card. Now I want to go a step better and show you all of the cards!
    Hope these help get your ideas flowing for the rest of the week!