Thursday, December 30, 2010

Face lift courtesy of Studio J's wrinkle tool!

I'm so excited about sharing this video with you today.  The photo editing tools in Studio J are awesome...especially if you don't have Photoshop or another editing program on your computer.  I demonstrate how I can remove an unsightly wrinkle with one of the editing tools built into Studio J...cheapest face lift ever!!!! I'm also happy to report that this video didn't take me very long to produce and I'm far more relaxed.  That makes a big difference in my ability to find my words.  :-)



Comments and suggestions for future topics are appreciated!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Getting Started with Studio J Part 2

I finished the second half of the tutorial tonight!  I think I did a much better job with avoiding the "um"s, but there is one really long pause as my mind was searching for a word.  I really wanted to say "rotation thingy!"  I eventually settled on "rotation symbol"--still not the right word, but at least I didn't say thingy.  :-)

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting Started with Studio J Video Tutorial

My login video is a little long winded with an annoying clicking sound.  I think I figured out what that was and fixed it, but now I'm "um"ing all over the place!  I will get better at this with more practice!  This tutorial walks you through uploading photos, choosing a paper kit & pattern, coloring embellishments, and converting a photo well into a journaling box.  Now I'm going to record finishing up the layout!

Again, please let me know when you start playing around with Studio J.  I currently have one friend who is a member, but I would like to hear from more of you.  Send me your questions/needs and I'll work them in to future video tutorials.

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Sign Up for Studio J Online Scrapbooking...it's FREE!

Here is my first Studio J tutorial using Camtasia Studio.  There is an annoying clicking sound periodically; I promise to figure out what I was doing and will make it stop.  This tutorial simply shows you how to log in.  I'll start posting the good stuff tomorrow!  Please let me know when you create an account.  These tutorials will be so much easier to create if I feel like I'm talking to real people.  :-)

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Amazing Giveaway on Teresa Collins' Blog

Check out the amazing giveaway on Teresa Collins' blog!  You can enter as many times as you want.  The drawing takes place at midnight MST on Monday.  Good luck, everyone!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mockingjay and Scrapbooking

I finished Mockingjay, the final book of The Hunger Games trilogy, tonight and was reminded of the power of scrapbooking.  Here is a passage from the final chapter:

"I got the idea from our family’s plant book.  The place where we recorded those things you cannot trust to memory.  The page begins with the person’s picture.  A photo if we can find it.  If not, a sketch or painting...Then, in my most careful handwriting, come all the details it would be a crime to forget."

It’s all there!

I scrapbook to remember.  I scrapbook because I don’t want time to fade my memory.  If I don’t have a photo, I can draw an image or use memorabilia.  Heck, I can simply use words if that’s all I have.  I use my handwriting because it is a part of who I am, and that’s an important piece of my story.  It would be a crime to forget the people and little moments that make life worth living.  I scrapbook to remember.

The Hunger Games is a great series; I highly recommend it!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite CTMH Product?

Close To My Heart is running a contest on Facebook asking us to blog about our favorite product.  Are they kidding me?  How can I choose a favorite?!  I love the My Acrylix stamps and have several favorites, but I couldn't choose only one.  I love the How-To books, but would have a tough time choosing the one that I like best.  CTMH has so many paper packs, embellishments, and My Creations products that make me giddy...they can't ask me to choose only one!  Don't even get me started on the 60 Exclusive Colors...oh, okay, Twilight is my favorite, but there are about 20 other colors that run a close second!

Okay, if I have to choose, I'm going to select the Workshops on the Go kits...talk about a perfect product!  Each kit includes a level 2 paper kit, an exclusive stamp set, embellishments, and a how-to guide.  It's everything I love in one coordinating packet...how awesome is that?!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

LOAD #7

The 2nd page to the layout I posted a couple days ago.  Pressed for time, so I'm glad I had this one started.

These photos were taken in Charlottesville, VA in July.  I was in DC for a CTMH event and had a week to kill back East before the Folger Shakespeare Library reunion the following weekend.  I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to visit the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA.  Well, it just so happened that Jan and Eric were at a conference in Charlottesville that same week!  Seriously, what are the odds!  They let me stay with them for a couple days, and we had a great time exploring the University and town.  I love spending time with them and am so glad we shared this experience.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LOAD #6

The challenge was to create a filmstrip on the page.  I ran with prompt and created a layout that explains why I love photography.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

LOAD #5

Thank goodness for Studio J!  I would never be able to finish a layout a day without it.  Well, I guess I can't say never since I did complete LOAD 2008.  My point is that I wouldn't be able to finish it THIS month without Studio J.  The most time consuming part of this 1/2 of the layout was choosing the photos.  I'll add my journaling and the rest of the photos tomorrow.

Now I need to get to bed since I need to get up early to figure out a plan B for my Web Design class until we can get our web server set up.  We were eating up too much space on the school hard drive!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

LOAD #4

This layout has given me fits since the day I started it!  It was a WOTG that a club member selected, and I wasn't fond of the paper used in the sample.  I switched patterns and actually really liked the layout.  We were planning on spending Christmas 2008 with my mom in Boise, so I made this layout with specific photos in mind.  I was going to take a photo of the tree for the large focal point on the first page.  I was then going to take photos of the three couples and one of Katie and Kyle.  I had it all planned out and then our flight was canceled.  We were snowed in.  So, I went to plan B after building a snowman.  I had Neal take pictures of me playing in the snow; I even took a self-portrait with my snowman.  I uploaded my photos for printing, but they didn't print.  I tried printing them again but couldn't find them when I wanted to finish the layout.  After printing for a third time, I gave up...that was two years ago!  I ran across the photos last night and decided that it was time to finish this layout!  I almost had a fit when my journaling came out with uneven margins.  Yet, I'm so ready to be done with this that I pulled out a stamp set, stamped Merry and Bright a few times and am calling it good.  I will say that, even though this layout has been a bit of a curse, I absolutely LOVE this photo of Neal!

The journaling reads, "This wasn’t the Christmas we had planned.  Nature thwarted our trip to Boise to spend the holiday with my family.  Neal and I were at the airport when my mom called to say our flight had been cancelled.  I was so disappointed.  During our trek home, we debated driving but didn’t want to risk it.  In the end, we spent Christmas with Kit and Tanis.  Neal tried to salvage his plants, and I spent an afternoon building a snowman!  The snowman lasted for over a week.  He eventually melted and we had to go back to work, but we will always remember the winter we were snowed in!"

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

LOAD #3

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.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

LOAD #2

Another digi layout for the LOAD 2010 Challenge.  The prompt asked me to spend some time thinking about what made my life situation unique.  I instantly thought about the fact that Neal and I don't have kids and that our attention is solely focused on each other.  We have a unique bond as a result.  Here is my journaling:


"We buried Kit on September 21, 2010. When we finished, we stood looking down on the graves of our “babies,” Kit and Tanis. We realized that, after over 18 years, we are alone. Like parents whose kids go off to college, we are empty nesters. I don’t think I truly understood the depth of that phrase, and I probably still don’t, but I have a better understanding of the emptiness parents must feel when their last child moves out. Neal asked me if I regretted not having children, and I can honestly say that I don’t! We are childless by CHOICE, and I think that makes all the difference. I shared that a friend told me that I don’t know what I’m missing, and she is absolutely right. I don’t know, so I don’t miss it! What I do know is that Neal and I gave more love and attention to our cats than some people give their children. We also have a love that many married couples don’t have because our focus is entirely on each other. So, we may miss the joys of raising children and watching our grandchildren grow, but we will also miss the heartache. Instead, we get to nourish our love and experience a depth of commitment to each other that is beyond words. Our house feels empty right now without the pitter-patter of kitty paws, but my best-friend and soul-mate is still here, so I know I will never be alone!"


On a side note, I'm cleansing today because I was really sick last night.  Not fun!

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LOAD #1

Lain Ehman's Layout a Day challenge started today!  I was at school late and didn't have much time, so I used a digital quick page to create this layout.  Lain's challenge to us this time is to focus on storytelling, so I'm less worried about the products I use and more centered on crafting a good story.  The prompt today was "Once upon a time."  As I'm still mourning the loss of Kit, my guess is that many of my layouts over the next week or so will be about her!  The journaling reads:

"Once upon a time, there were two beautiful cats named Kit and Tanis. On a fateful day in May, they were rescued from a garbage can, and their people knew that Kit and Tanis must come live with them. The two kittens brought so much joy to their people, and the people fell deeply in love with the little fur balls. Over the next 18 years, Kit and Tanis made the house feel like a home and were the children their people would never have. Yet, Tanis was the first to go, and Kit mourned her loss right along with her people. Kit wandered the house at night, searching, searching in vain for a sister that was forever gone. This sadness took its toll on Kit, and she ended up leaving her people 8 months later. The emptiness their people felt was profound, and loneliness swept through the house. Yet, as they shared stories of Kit and Tanis, the people began experiencing joy again. Memories of Kit and Tanis will help their people live happily ever after."

I'm going to be out of town for several days this month, so I need to get my digital files organized and placed on my laptop so that I can continue with the challenge on the road.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

1st Order as a Studio J Member!

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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Sunday, September 12, 2010

You Make Me Happy

I discovered a Sketchabilities contest last night and fell for sketch #20!  Even though I have a ton of school work to do, I decided that, after the stress of the past couple of weeks, I needed to relax and scrapbook.  So, I've been working on this layout on and off throughout the day.  I know the lighting on this photo is horrible, but I'm past my 10pm computer cut-off time, so I need to hustle and get to bed.  I had a great time playing with my Silhouette for this layout.  I purchased all the die cuts through the Silhouette store, the background paper is Scenic Route, and everything else is Close To My Heart.  I resisted the urge to further embellishment; I'm trying to simplify my process.  Anyway, this layout makes me happy, so that's all that really matters!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Autumn/Winter 2010 Idea Book Sneak Peek

I'm not really a Halloween person.  For years, Neal and I ignored the holiday, turned off the porch light, and went to a movie to avoid having candy in the house.  Luckily, our house was never egged by disgruntled trick-or-treaters!  Even so, I find it amusing that, for the past two years, I've had a Halloween stamp for the new Autumn/Winter Idea Book swap.  In fact, I won 2nd place in a CTMH contest with last year's card!  Here is the card I submitted for the current swap and a little sneak peek at some of our awesome new colors!  The paper I used is called Hooligans (X7129B); I love this paper!  The colors are fantastic and will look great with a variety of photos, not just Halloween pictures.  The stamp set is called The Boo Crew (C1421) and comes with 6 darling pumpkins.

The new Autumn/Winter 2010 Idea Book launches September 1st, so contact me to reserve your copy!

Amy

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Family Photos

We had a fantastic family photo shoot in Moscow at the end of July, and the CD with all the photos arrived today! I've been having fun playing with Photoshop and then importing the photos into Studio J. My 12-month Studio J membership starts next month, and you can be sure that I'm going to take full advantage of all the member benefits...such as FREE shipping once a month! I can't wait! My goal is scrapbook at least one Studio J layout a week since they are so quick and easy...assuming I don't spend a ton of time in Photoshop first. These quick layouts will (1) allow me to capture memories I don't ever want to forget, (2) help me to scrapbook more frequently, and (3) motivate me to use my classic supplies since I'll be in a scrapbooking groove.

In case you don't know, Studio J is FREE! That's right...FREE! Log in through my website and try it for yourself. You can test your photos against different paper packets and sketches before scrapbooking with your classic supplies. You don't pay a thing unless you want to purchase the layouts you created. If you love it as much as I do, let me know and I'll share the membership options with you.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

I need more time!


My "To Do Before School Starts" list is absolutely overwhelming. I'm trying not to stress out because that only makes matters worse. Neal sent this comic to me today and it made me laugh. I think he is trying to tell me something. I did start a new cleanse today and am carving out time for exercise to help manage my stress level.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CTMH Customer Appreciation Sale Starts Today!

$2, $4, $6 for 8...It’s You We Appreciate! Amazing deals at more than 50% off to show our thanks to you! We are shouting from the rooftops how much we love and appreciate you! It only makes sense to pass along our appreciation with amazing deals. So for 8 days, August 4 through August 11 (while supplies last), you can purchase select My Stickease® Assortments for only $2 US/CAN, My Reflections® Level 1 kits for only $4, and My Reflections® Level 2 paper packets for only $6 online. Click on the “$2, $4, $6 for 8 Sale” link to the left to shop these amazing deals for yourself. You’ll want to shout for joy, too!

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

More Studio J Layouts

I completed another batch of Studio J layouts and they are waiting to be filed away into albums. I love how quick and easy each layout comes together. The quality of the photos I used on the "Love Story" layout were really bad--complete user error--but the layout still looks great. I did journal about the fact that the photos are blurry so that anyone looking at the layout will know that they were used intentionally. My favorite LO is "Enjoy" which is a CTMH scraplift!







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Monday, May 24, 2010

Zippidee-Doo-Da!

I finally had a chance to sit down and scrapbook some of my spring break photos this weekend! My sister and I took our mom to Disneyland in April, so I couldn't wait to use the new Zippidee Workshop on the Go!








I wanted to make this a more traditional Disney layout, so I covered the Indian Corn Blue stripes with strips of black cardstock!


I also had fun layering my journaling stamps using the masking technique.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Help me enter a CTMH contest!

Close to my Heart recently announced that they will be giving away an all expense paid Scrapbook Spa Getaway to 8 lucky Consultants. The catch is that in order to be eligible I have to have a certain amount of sales this month and attend Convention in July. I am already registered for the Convention, now I just need to make sure I get enough sales this month to qualify for the drawing. As the month is ½ over and I’m less than ½ the way to my goal, I am shamelessly asking for help. I would be soooo grateful if you might be willing to help me qualify. Here's what you can do to help:

1. Place an order on my website for regular and discounted products.

My friend Kim is participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk and is hosting a CTMH fundraiser on Thursday, May 27. I'm donating 20% of the retail sales to her fundraising efforts! If you would like your order to be included in this fundraiser, follow this link to place your order!

2. Place a Studio J order on my website.
3. Host a catalog party that closes before May 31st. (Contact me for more details.)
4. Host a Home Gathering that closes before May 31st. (Contact me for open dates and details.)
5. Call or email me with an individual order.
6. Pass this information on to everyone you know!

I am having a special drawing of my own at the end of the month for all of my customers. So, if you place an order this month, you will be helping me reach my goal and you will be entered into my special drawing as well. It's a win-win situation!

Thanks so much for your help and support!

Amy

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A couple more You Rock layouts!

Here are a couple of the layouts I worked on last night while scrapbooking with my friends. I have more details about the layouts on my Close To My Heart Art page.













This layout was created using the artwork on the back of the You Rock My Stickease...did you know there were pictures on the back of the Stickease?! Check it out, because this LO was fast, easy, and oh so cute!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Library of Memories Week 1

I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that I'm only a few days behind in my Library of Memories class; I finished week 1 yesterday! My assignment was to complete a personal page assessment and draw some conclusions based on my current pages. What I found most striking during this exercise is the fact that I really don't have that many albums/layouts considering (1) how long I've been scrapbooking and (2) how many supplies I have! I've always known that I'm a slow scrapbooker, but this is ridiculous! Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting pressure on myself to complete X amount of layouts each month or year, but I do realize that I need to step it up if I'm going to tell the stories that I want to tell before I forget them all!

During the Sticky Note Exercise, I also realized that 44% of my current layouts are travel related. I have entire albums devoted to trips to NYC, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Disneyland. I have theme albums that do contain a few layouts about the people I love, but the rest of the layouts focus on the places I've been. Now, this wouldn't be a problem if I had more layouts that are all about us. I'm counting the cats in my "All About Us" category, so 14% of the layouts are about us. If I take the cats out, then only 6% are about me and/or Neal. That is pathetic! I want to record our stories and the funny things that happen in our lives. It can't all be about the places we have been...especially since most of those trips didn't include Neal!

Finally, I discovered that I do a good job of journaling the "what" and "where" of my pages, and I usually name the "who" and "when". My area of weakness is the "why"! Why are these moments in time so important to me? Why am I taking the time to document this memory? What was I feeling and why does it matter? Wow! These exercises really got me thinking. So, our final assignment was to create a "Least Common Layout" and mine was an "Us--Why" page.



As I am incredibly far behind in my Design Your Life class, I decided to use an asymmetry sketch from week 2. It made me feel good to complete two assignments at once. I've already scrapbooked our hike, so my focus for this layout was why I'm so thankful that Neal joined me in becoming more fit and how days such as these strengthen our relationship. This layout is simple with a clean design, but it says a lot in a few short words. I will complete more layouts like this in the future!

As I finished the Personal Page Assessment, I created a few goals for myself: include journaling from the heart, always answer the "why," and showcase my relationship with Neal more often. On a product level, I have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many stamps and embellishments, so I will include some type of embellishment on EVERY LO and will include stamping as often as possible. For this LO, I added a simple bookplate (Z1277) and stamped the sentiment from Soul Mates (D1254). I'm so excited about where this process is going to take me in developing my creativity!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Finished Photo Freedom & Started LOM!

I finally finished Photo Freedom this morning and started the Library of Memories class tonight! My first step is to complete a personal assessment. The first question asks about my scrapbooking strengths. I honestly had a hard time with this because I'm such a scraplifter! I think my greatest strength is my photography and then finding a layout to scraplift that will fit my needs. I'm growing in my journaling skills as I become more confident in telling stories that matter instead of simply recording events. The next question had me focus on my weaknesses. Again, I bring up scraplifting because I rarely design my own pages, but I don't know if this is a bad thing. I may not be the most creative or publishing-worthy individual, but I'm able to take other people's great ideas and make them my own. I love my pages and the stories I tell; plus, I didn't spend hours coming up with original ideas, so it leaves me more time to scrapbook! I love the CTMH How-To books for this very reason; they save me time and make me look creative when I'm not! It makes me happy, so I guess that's all that matters. Perhaps I should put as a weakness that I'm the world's sloooooooowest scrapbooker...LOL!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Scrapbooking Matters

To stop her suffering, Neal and I made the painful decision to put Tanis down Friday evening. This has been an awful weekend. After we brought her home, I posted a photo on my personal journal/blog. Neal copied the photo onto his computer and then asked me if I had pictures from when the cats were young, because he doesn't have any. I looked at him a little funny and said, "I have scrapbooks of the cats!" He said, "Oh, I guess scrapbooking is good after all." Really? It took this moment for him to realize why scrapbooking matters?! Perhaps this will motivate him to actually look at some of my scrapbooks from time to time.

I started this page a couple weeks ago as part of the Design Your Life class at BPS. I knew the cats were getting old, and I wanted to tell their stories while they were alive so it wouldn't be so painful. I thought I could also use this project to practice my digital scrapbooking skills. I had no idea that Tanis was going to leave us so soon! Now it is more important than ever that I tell her stories before the memories fade.




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Monday, January 4, 2010

Live Out Loud!


We had such an incredible time doing this photo shoot in Seattle in July of 2006! I made poor Katie jump in front of the Space Needle over and over again until I got the perfect shot. I would have preferred if she had been slightly to the right in the photo, but I wasn't going to make her do it again. Fun times!

Again, this is a sketch from Design Your Life at BPS and I'm using You Rock papers.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Design Your Life @ BPS


I'm taking Design Your Life with Cathy Zielske at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I wanted to take this class the first time it was offered but didn't have time. Well, I still don't have time, but I'm choosing to make the time. I am so excited to learn about design principles. Plus, she is providing PDF files for all the lessons, so I'm going to get to practice some digital scrapbooking along the way! Here is my first layout. The assignment was to use the grid pattern but to add our own touches to tell the story of why we love to scrapbook. I played around with a bunch of techniques on this one since I know I won't have time to do much playing once school starts. Once again, I'm using the You Rock WOTG kit!

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Friday, January 1, 2010

New Paper--You Rock!

I absolutely love the new paper kit, You Rock! The colors and design are fantastic. This is my version of the You Rock Workshop on the Go. This awesome LO took less than 1 1/2 sheets of B&T, so I still have a ton of paper, cardstock and embellishments to play with this weekend!

This paper is perfect for this LO about my niece, Kate. We took these photos in Seattle and at my house in 2006. Today she is gearing up to go to New York for a job interview! I’m so proud of and excited for her! I used this LO to write a letter to her. In addition to the Just Be You exclusive stamp set that comes with the Basic WOTG kit (G1006), I used Comments (D1359) for the journaling lines. Comments is a must have stamp set!

Unfortunately, this photo is a bit blurry, but I'm sure you get the idea. For my LO, I used the "Best" option and added the Rockin' Top Coats™ (Z1272) and White Hemp (Z281). I forgot to order the Bitty Sparkles (Z1263), so I'll just add them later for a little bling on the page!

The Rockin' Top Coats™ (Z1272) include 14 fun and funky, colorful overlays! They do have a plastic film covering the top so the image doesn't get scratched. Be sure to take the film off before using the Top Coats™.

Okay, I'm off to make another LO with this kit, because You Rock rocks!

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About This Blog

For the past few years, I have been striving to add more creativity to my life through scrapbooking, acting, web design, and writing. This blog allows me to document my ongoing journey. I'm also a Close To My Heart consultant, so I will share specials and post new product ideas. Watch out for a contest or two, as well!

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