I've been terrible as a blogger, but I'm making tremendous headway in the unpacking my life in just a month category. And with two preschool-age children, that is no small feat! I've been working on my paper crafts and finally found the cable to connect the camera and the computer, so soon I will have another tutorial for you.
In the meantime, I'll post what is turning about to be a strong passion of mine. Close To My Heart launched its Studio J online design software earlier this year. In the fall, they introduced Studio J memberships, and I am taking full advantage of mine! I encourage anyone to go to my website, JuliAnne.MyCTMH.com and click on the Studio J link. You set up an account and start playing. You don't even have to upload photos to begin to play, although it is really fun to look at the assorted photos you've uploaded and make decisions about the paper, the number of photos per layout, the designs. It is free of charge to do this. Try it out. For any mothers of young children, families with extended branches and a desire to connect through the story of your shared lives in scrapbook form (but no desire to be the one to make X-number of the same layouts), or anyone who is interested but doesn't want to have to have a room (or house) full of scrapbooking supplies, it is a clever little development!
Once you begin playing and find a satisfactory layout that you would want to have printed, you would make a purchase then. The two-page layout costs $12.95 (plus shipping and tax). Order between 5 and 10 layouts and you also get free memory protectors that fit into a 12x12 post-bound album (these can be purchased from my website too). Order 10 or more layouts and you get 10 memory protectors and free shipping. It's a pretty good deal. But the membership...now that gets even better! An annual membership is $99 and entitles you to half-priced layouts ($6.50 per layout, or $3.25 per page), free memory protectors, and one free shipping per month so long as that order has at least four layouts in it. You also get FREE .jpg files in two sizes - large (each one is sizable and has only one page of the layout so you could go to a photo place an print your own 12x12 page if you wanted, or if you wanted to print extras for family members who adore your layouts!) and small (each one contains both pages of the layout and is suitable for sharing via e-mail, FB, or even on your blog!). The printed page is durable enough so that you could embellish with classic scrapbook embellishments like brads, ribbon, etc. So you can even create embellished studio layouts.
Here are the layouts that I made this weekend. Yes, I said this weekend. (Remember, I couldn't find the connection between the camera and the computer!?) The layouts taken in Clarkston, Michigan (with photos by Amy Peterson, soulfuldancer.blogspot.com) were all done today. In under two hours. That included the uploading of the photos. Which isn't an eternity, and while you are uploading photos you can select more to upload!
Okay, so there they are! I placed the order at 5 PM Pacific time and had an e-mail within the hour (CTMH is on Mountain time) that the files were ready to download. For members who don't want to wait for their shipment or pay CTMH directly for the prints, there is an option to buy just the .jpg files. So if I were trying to get some Christmas presents made and put into an album and ship back to friends or family in Michigan, I could just order the .jpg files, go to Kits Camera up the street and have them printed within an hour. It just occurred to me to create a terrific Studio J layout and leave the photo wells empty. I could print multiples for each individual family within the extended family...and then we could have matching layouts for Christmas. A little corny, yes, but it's a little toned down from the matching pajamas the kids all had one year, no? Oh, who am I kidding? I love that kind of corny stuff! Bring on the matchy-matchy outfits. That's one of the things that makes this the most wonderful time of the year!
Now, off to work on the cards (and my tutorials) for this season! Merry merry!