Sunday, March 28, 2010

Studio J Preview!

What is StudioJ?

StudioJ is a new product from CTMH! Put simply, Studio J is online design software that allows you to create custom-printed two-page layouts you put in your albums. There is no software to purchase and install; instead, simply log in to Studio J and start designing your layouts! You can create and immediately purchase your layouts, or you can save them for up to 90 days in an active folder for later completion and purchase.

No need to fill up your hard drive or use up your RAM. This is an ONLINE program that is FREE to use! You only pay for the layouts you order, and CTMH prints them and sends them right to your door! How's that for convenient?

I got a chance to preview the website before it goes live to customers in April.  I've been playing around with it (short learning curve) and I gotta say I'm impressed!

Here's a preview of the layouts I did today: (note: I did a screen capture from the layout preview window, the watermarks you see here will not be printed on the layouts)
You can click on the layout for a larger view.

My most productive scrapbook day EVER!
And, I got to play with some other papers/layouts without even uploading photos. So now I have some layouts ready to use when I decide what pictures I want to scrap next.

The software is extremely intuitive and easy to use. The software walks a user through five simple steps:
1. uploading photos;
2. choosing the desired themed kit;
3. selecting an exclusive layout pattern;
4.adding photos, embellishments, title, and journaling;
5. purchasing custom-printed layouts.

Here's what I like best about the software....
* I got 10, 2-page layouts done in an afternoon!
* I prefer the look of traditional 12x12 layouts, but I like the ease of digital...this combines the best of both!
* I didn't have to drag out all my crafting supplies, or clean them back up.
* I didn't run out of adhesive or get ink all over myself.
* And...I can do this from any computer with an internet connection! Downtime at work? hmmm
* My layouts are stored for 90 days so I can log in and out on my own time to work on them.
* Did I mention it's FREE? Play with it, what have you got to lose?

This is going to be BIG! For anyone who wants to scrapbook, but doesn't have the time, the ideas, the money to invest in products, or the space to spread out a bunch of supplies, this is for YOU! Want to do multiple copies of a layout for friends and relatives? Just order multiple prints! If you prefer the "feel" of a 3D layout, you can embellish the prints with brads or flowers before putting them into your albums.

Studio J goes LIVE to customers in April, 2010.
Watch here for an announcement.
You can only access it through CTMH consultant websites (my link is on the right sidebar, at the top).
You can view the video demo NOW from the StudioJ link (also on the right sidebar).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Treasure Life Birthday Card

My mom asked me to make her a card for a special lady who turns 70 this month...

This is a large card, the base is a 8.5"x11" white cardstock folded in half.
I used CTMH My Acrylix stamp set D1306 Treasure Life. The main image and sentiment was stamped in versamark and heat embossed in black.  I then sponged the background to look like a sunrise in Sunkiss Yellow, Blush, Amethyst, Crystal Blue and Twilight.
This was matted with white and black cardstock, embellished with a white satin ribbon,
and centered on the white card base, which was first heat embossed in Silver Pearl with the same stamp set.
(I love CTMH Silver Pearl embossing powder, it isn't bling bling silvery, but more like a pearl finish. It just looks so elegant on white!)

The sentiment on the inside is from the same stamp set D1306 Treasure Life. I stamped it in black StazOn ink onto vellum. I then embossed the flower images (in Silver Pearl) onto the vellum on the left side, and also in a couple of places along the center fold to hide the adhesive. 
The envelope was also stamped in the matching image, and I used chalk to softly accent it with the sunrise colors as well (but it doesn't show up so well in this photo)

I wanted this birthday card to be
elegant and artistic like the recipient...
who is also celebrating 50 years with the convent this year.
This woman has always made handmade cards,
 long before split coast stampers and mega craft stores!

Happy Birthday Auntie Marie!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Flower girl!

I have a couple of special cakes to do in the next few days and need some flowers. Since the flowers have to dry before I use them, I have time to play. Now, I am new to sugarpaste. I have watched a few tutorials and am ready to dive in, but  please don't ask me for advice...I won't pretend to know what I am doing!

First I wanted to make some calla lillies.  I watched a terrific tutorial by Edna de La Cruz of "Design me a Cake" fame on you tube. (If you are interested in gumpaste flowers, you have to watch her videos!)  Apparently, I already had everything I needed right in my kitchen! No need to buy any special tools, yay!
No, these are not hats! I don't have flower cones to dry the flowers on, so I wrapped some cling wrap over some ice cream cones. (Please excuse the nasty pan, it's been well loved! It has been retired from actual food duty.)

Here is one almost finished! The stamen was done with a "sausage" of gumpaste fondant rolled in cornmeal. Looks real doesn't it? Wait until I color it a bit, I'll post the cake when it's done.

Now for the best part! My 11 year old daughter Jenna, wanted to try some flowers too. I let her watch a rose making video by David Cakes of "CAKINCRAZY" on you tube, and off she went!

Her very first try!  She is a natural! See that perfect rose? No tools used, no rolling pin, no cutters...just her talented little fingers. And, it only took her about 3 minutes. Guess who's making my roses from now on?
I'm so proud of her I could burst!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy St.Patrick's Day Birthday Pop-Up Card Tutorial

So here is my very first tutorial! (Constructive criticism welcome!)

Our niece's birthday is on St. Patrick's Day. I wanted to make a card to celebrate both occasions, but I didn't want it to be too "green". I've seen several pop-up cards on SCS, and wanted to try one. So, follow along with me and make one of your own. This card could also be used for valentines day with different papers.

You will need:
2 patterned papers ...I used CTMH "Boom-di-ada" B&T duos (CTMH Background and Texture duo papers have a coordinating solid color on the back side)
2 or 3 colors of coordinating cardstock
Coluzzle circle template and swivel knife
sharp detail scissors
scalloped edge scissors
***(the circle cuts could be made with a circle cutter, Cricut or die cuts if you prefer)
scrap paper and pencil
stamps, ink, ribbon, stickles to embellish

To make the card base, place circle template on folded edge of Sweet Leaf cs and cut out, leaving a bit of the fold uncut as shown.  I used the largest circle (about 4.5" diameter)  (See my colorful Coluzzle? I used permanent sharpie markers to highlight the tracks, I find them easier to see and keep track of this way.)

Cut slightly smaller circle from pattern paper for card front.

 Trace this circle onto coordinating pattern paper, then cut out slightly larger than traced line with scalloped scissors to get a pretty edge. I'll be using the back of the striped paper which is a solid pink.

You will also need 2 more circles of the pattern paper for the inside of the card.

Now cut out a coordinating cs for the card front in a slightly smaller circle than the rest. This will be for the stamped image. I used CTMH Sunkiss Yellow cs.

Now for the pop-up part: I made a simple heart shape #1 by folding a piece of scrap paper and cutting out a heart, be sure sure to make the sides straight as shown. Then take this heart shape and trace it onto a larger pice of scrap cs 3 times to make a shamrock shape as show below. Cut this out, avoid cutting where the red and green lines are! These are just folding guides for later.

Trace the shamrock shape onto solid color paper, I find cardstock a bit heavy for this part and it makes the card bulky, so I prefer to use the backside of the B&T duos papers, but you could use cs if that's all you have.

and cut out! Score and fold along the lines, red lines are valley folds, green line is mountain fold.
Should look like this:

You should now have pieces like this. Time to put the card together!

Attach inside liner pieces first with adhesive.
Lay folded shamrock on inside of card to test placement,
don't glue down yet!

Close the card to make sure the pop-up part is completely hidden.
 Move shamrock pop-up around and play with it a bit to get it right.

 Then use a strong adhesive to glue down the SIDE hearts only. Don't put glue on the center one!

Try standing the card up. With the weight inside, the card may roll. To prevent this, just run the bottom of the card along a sandpaper block to flatten it a bit to help it stand.

Now it's time to embellish the card! The best part!
 I used CTMH My Acrylix stamp set C1299 Butterfly Kiss. Stamped the sentiment in Olive ink on the Sunkiss yellow cs, then stamped the buterflies in Hollyhock ink onto the solid pink of the B&T duos paper, then punched them out with a Martha Stewart butterfly punch. Added some bling with pink Stickles on the edges of the butterflies and added a ribbon tab.

For the inside, I put the Happy Birthday sentiment on the part thats pops up. Added a ribbon shamrock stem.  Put a few glittery butterflies inside too. I think this makes a great Happy St.Patrick's Day Birthday card that's not to "leprechaun-y".

What do you think of my first tutorial? 
Now it's your turn! This template could easily be used for Valentine's Day as well.
It can be changed up with different colors/papers/embellishments.  

Please leave a comment here with a link to your original creation using this tutorial.
 I'd love to see what everyone comes up with!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yay! Making progress on the kid's School Days album!

OK, so I blew off my January scrapbook goal of 10 pages. Please give me a break, I was in New Year's Resolution mode. How many of your new year's resolutions did you manage to keep? But...goals are supposed to motivate you right? Well, I AM making a bit of progress on my kid's school albums, so I'm trying to stay positive. I've re-set my scrapbook goal to get these school albums up to date this year. Follow along with me if you like, and positive reinforcement in the form of your comments would be very helpful!

These are the first pages of my daughter Jenna's school album. She's in grade 5 this year so you can see how far behind I am! For the cover page, I used CTMH Notebook Level 2 paper and Stickease and retired September Word Puzzle stamp for the images. (I don't know why they retired this series of stamps, they are so useful!).

I used CTMH Daydream Level 2 papers for this 2 page layout. I accented the pages with C1343 Happy Endings stamp images, sewing machine stitiching and pink orgundy ribbon. There isn't alot of journalling on these pages, but the pictures sort of speak for themselves.

I forgot how cute she was with her halo of curls! Now she has a waist long blanket of thick frizzy curls that is usually in a braid to keep it from becoming dread locks! 
I can see now why you want to keep up to date with the photos. I keep reminiscing over all the pictures and because of that, these layouts are taking me for-ev-er!

Thanks for checking out my blog!