I have been busy discovering CTMH's digital scrapbooking software, Studio J! It is so straightforward and user friendly, that it didn't take long to make this layout of my kids playing in our backyard last spring.
If you're not familiar with Studio J, let me introduce you! It is completely free to use the software - you only need internet access. All content and features are available to you from the start so you'll never have to purchase new kits, accessories, etc. You design away and only pay per layout. I chose to have my layouts printed through CTMH, but you can also download the files and print them on your own. After approving my layouts, I clicked purchase and they were sent to the printer. I did that on Monday evening and received an e-mail Wednesday morning telling me they are on their way!
The best value when using Studio J is to purchase a 5-pack. The cost is $39.95 and includes 5, 2-page layouts (so 10-12x12 pages) created and delivered to your door. Shipping is already included in that price!
There are two options when designing your pages. The Express Collection is predesigned and you just pop your photos in and you're done! I chose to go with the custom layout option. You start by selecting your kit (the papers and their coordinating embellishments) - there are over 100 to choose from! Because of the purple and blue in my daughter's dress, I selected the Sarita kit. The next option is to select your pattern (this is the basic layout of the page). There are about 90 to choose from, but I narrowed it down by having the program show me the options for layouts using 9 pictures. This provided me with 6 options. I chose the one I liked best and was shown 3 different versions of that layout using different combinations of the paper I selected. That whole process took just a few minutes and I had the basic framework for my page.
Then, the fun began! I added pictures in the photo boxes, added embellishments (the pennant banner, buttons, arrow, quotes), and tweaked the background colors a bit to better fit my style. I loved using this option of the Studio J because I wasn't entirely creating a page from scratch, but had the flexibility to change things around and make it my own!
If you are a digital scrapbooker, or have been considering giving it a try, head on over to Studio J to try it out - there is no cost to use the software. You will have to create an account if you want to save or print any pages, but for now, you can just sign on as a guest to play around a bit! There is also a whole page of tutorial videos showing you how to use different aspects of the program if you get stuck or want to try a new technique. Enjoy!!