Faded Shabby Blogs

22 January 2012

A few more Studio J layouts

I know you might wonder, "Why does this woman, who claims to be a paper crafter, LOVE Studio J so much?" If you had asked me six years ago about digital scrapbooking, I would have scoffed. About five years ago I tried it for the first time. It was with a company (I'll allow it its anonymity) that had a required number of pages before you could set to print (or you'd end up with blanks at the end) and it was a hardcover book with full color glossy print pages. It was a gift for my husband for Father's Day. It was an incredible keepsake. Although I felt pressured by the number of pages I had to complete in a short time, I got it done and was pleased with the results.

And then a child looked at the book. Not my own child, but one of my nieces. They were lovingly turning the pages. And I noticed little creases in the page and that the ink was kind of rubbing off where there were creases. So after that little look, I put the book back in its protective sleeve and have kept it there. It only comes out under strict supervision. Because I meant for it to last, and it is clear it isn't going to.

The thing I love about scrapbooks is that they are meant to be handled. They are intended for visiting and revisiting memories. When we moved into our new house, we moved into the family room this piece of furniture we bought last year with a bunch of other items from some guy on Craigslist. It happens to be a type of a bar - with spots for glasses to hang, a retracting board from which to serve, drawers to store corkscrews and other items associated with a bar, and two wine rack grooved levels at the bottom. The feet of the stemware we have doesn't fit in the spot to hang the glasses, so it can't function that way. It had turned into a strange catch-all in our rental. But placed into our family room - in a spot I can see from the kitchen while preparing meals and from the table we eat most of those meals - I couldn't stand the idea that it would just gather clutter. I formed a hypothesis and then I tested it. Lo! The area where the glasses should hang perfectly fits my scrapbooks!

So I placed the scrapbooks I have thus far made in that area. There are some from other companies (I think all paper crafters and scrapbookers dabble in everyone's products at least for a time). There are books of traveling I have done solo or with my husband and family. There are some with photos from weddings I've attended or have been a bridesmaid (I did that 10 times, after all!). There is even one entirely devoted to my husband because I just couldn't stand knowing his photos were in envelopes in a box. Since I have placed them in this spot, not one week has gone by without the Vs pulling out that little bar drawer to "take an order" for which book we'd like to look at today. It is so much fun exploring our shared history - and the history before their time too. It's a way to stay connected with family in another state or those who have passed away (always too soon, it seems). I remember one scrapbook consultant sharing information about how, "Your scrapbooks should live where you live." It's true in my house now, and I love it.

But sometimes I am so engaged with what is happening in our lives or even trying to paper craft some little 3D project or some other excitement of the moment (drat that beloved Pinterest for showing me so readily all sorts of projects I should try!), I started neglecting my scrapbooking. When Close To My Heart introduced Studio J, I was skeptical. Then I tried it. It's so easy. I can do as much or as little as I want at a time. I can put together pages entirely out of sequence and then place them in the right order in my book. I can rearrange. My goodness, I even took the JPG image I get as a Studio J member and made my new home announcements by having the store print 4x8 prints (they do it for cards) - AND I got the envelopes for the low price! I have a full size printed layout that matches my announcements, as members get the JPGs for free with a print (which only costs me $6.50 for two 12x12 pages - or I could buy the JPG alone for $3). [For the remainder of January, Studio J members get the tenth layout FREE after purchasing nine layouts!]

With Studio J membership I also get free shipping once a month, so that gives me a little incentive to get at least four layouts done every month. I hate wasting money. :) Having a monthly deadline helps me keep "current" with my scrapbooking. And the Vs really love seeing the latest pages added to the books!

Of course, I gave myself an added deadline of finishing my layouts before the end of January. I didn't want to feel pressured next week. So here are some of the latest layouts, from November and December 2011 [there are a couple of great ones I've omitted as they have friends' children pictured and I haven't asked permission to put them on my blog]. If you haven't yet tried Studio J, go to my website (you can get there from www.ctmh.com/JuliAnne and click on the Studio J link). You just create an account (email and password), upload a few photos (or skip this part and go right to setting up layouts), and go! It's pretty easy to navigate, but I'm happy to show you how! I love that I can change the colors of any papers (I can't do that with real paper) and can easily add coordinating embellishments (without having to store extras), but perhaps my favorite part is that Studio J resizes my pictures to fit into the wells on the page (AND I can edit those pictures to improve color, soften wrinkles, even whiten teeth and correct blemishes!). Or maybe I love best looking at a collection of photos for an event and saying, "There are seven," and then clicking on the drop-menu for examples of layouts with seven photos (or two or fifteen) and seeing the options. That really eliminates a lot of brain work.

I'm babbling. I promised JPGs. Please forgive. You see, I'm passionate about Studio J! I hope you feel it!

14 January 2012

Repurposing a Tin

One concept I carry as I call my little corner of this electronic (and real-life) world "Paper Crafting with Purpose" is that I try to repurpose and recycle items that come through my life and make them prettier and practical as well. Here are some pictures of a tea tin that I have re-worked as a three-dimensional mini scrapbook. I am using up some "old" papers; these are the Grace collection from Close To My Heart (still available on Studio J, by the way).

You know I just can't resist embellishing with some Cricut Art Philosophy shapes. Here are some 3D flowers I cut using this exclusive to CTMH set!

Oh, I'll admit it...every one of the "tiles" for the inside were Cricut cuts too. The font, the circles, the rounded-corner squares, the scalloped squares. I would be a fool to try to make projects without this great resource, since I have it!

This shot shows the back of the lettered "tiles". I tried to make each one like a little scrapbook page. Ready for a photo or a journaling spot with a memory. I cut two times the number of tiles I needed and ran the ribbon between each shape to secure it.

Here you can see that I cut a square the size of the interior of the tin and punched a hole in the center. I adhered the end of the ribbon to the bottom of the tin UNDER the square, just to make it look a little neater to lookers. Because I suspect people are going to look inside this tin and check it out!

I'll admit, I'm having an issue uploading my photos on blogspot. It's me, really. And I'm too lazy to figure out the fix. But now it looks like I'm neatly tucking all the parts of this 3D scrapbook back in the tin (rather than just extracting them). Right?

Yes, of course. I wanted to leave you with a clean shot of the concept and contents. That's what I meant to do! I should tell you all a little bit about repurposing your tins. Just one little tidbit that I find helpful: you can use StazOn inks to "distress" the inner lip of the top (that the lid sits and fits on), but don't try to paint it or just use water-based inks. The former makes it too thick to fit and the latter smears off. So learn from me, folks, and you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Speaking of learning from me...I'm going to start holding real, live workshops! My first is going to be at the beginning of February - trying to firm up the date so I don't leave my hubby in the lurch (since he'll have to watch the Vs) and making sure I avoid some key birthday parties (because I'm hoping the moms of the would-be birthday-goers will come to my first workshop!)! More soon on this front!

01 January 2012

2012 Begins!

I've promised some pictures once I actually uploaded them from the camera. Here's this year's smattering of Christmas cards:

And a medallion that is hanging in our front window:

All are made with CTMH's awesome and versatile Wonderland paper. I put the medallion in the front window as I thought I could extend its display through the winter, as it has snowflakes and isn't just "Christmas" themed. I'm pleased with how these look!

In our family room, I had a more Christmas-y looking set of decorations, shown here:

The paper crafted pieces were made with CTMH Mistletoe papers, no longer available but still a classic Christmas look. I think the Believe papers would work equally well, in case any of you are looking to get a jump start on creating decorations for Christmas 2012!