Back-to-School Scrapbooking Layout Ideas

Posted on September 13, 2011

Have you sent all your kids back to school? If you're like most scrapbookers, you didn't let them leave the house before snapping a few pics showing off their new backpacks, hairstyles, or braces. Maybe you caught your kindergartener's last wave before the school bus drove off, or perhaps the rolling eyes of an impatient teenager who was refusing to wear her brand new school clothes, at least until the second day of school (she'd hate to look too eager, you know?). Time to scrapbook those back-to-school photos!!

Take a peek at this this back-to-school Studio J® layout by Joanne Watchak using the Class Act kit. We love her layout's pared-down color scheme and the way she added journaling along each of the two strips of ribbon. To get this look, just click on the Text toolbox and drag two new text areas onto your page, resizing them to fit along the ribbon. Change the background of each text box to "none."

Back to School, by Joanne Wastchak

Pattern: Snapshot™
Kit: Class Act
Courtesy of: Joanne Watchak

The middle box on the right page that Joanne filled with journaling was originally a photo well, while the vertical photo to the right of her journaling was originally a text well. If you'd like to change a photo well to a text well or vice versa, click on the well. From the pop-up menu, click on one of these buttons:

Converts a photo well to a text well

Converts a text well to a photo well.

You can switch back and forth as many times as you need until you decide what balance of photos and journaling works best for you. Remember, though, you can only change text wells to photos—new text areas that you drag from the Text toolbox cannot be converted to photos.

Have you taken any back-to-school photos this year? Or maybe you have some photos from yesteryear lurking in the hidden corners of your hard drive. Either way, go into Studio J to preserve your schooltime memories. Once you've created a layout, post it online and leave us a comment with a link to your artwork. We'd love to see what you come up with!

Technique Tutorial: Turning Digital Photos into Polaroids

Posted on July 12, 2011

It’s easy to convert your digital photos into Polaroids when you use Studio J!

Pattern: Portrait Collection
Kit: Take the Cake

Love that dreamy look of a vintage Polaroid photo? It’s easy to create in Studio J®. The trick is to add new text areas that mimic the white write-on strip of a real Polaroid photograph. We’ll show you how to get the Polaroid look—no Instamatic required!—in this step-by-step tutorial.

1. Add a 1/4" White Daisy mat to the photo you’re converting to a Polaroid.

2. Add a new text area extending across the bottom portion of the photo and mat. Change the color to White Daisy and don’t type in any text (we’ll do that later).

3. Zoom in to 400% to check that your new text area matches up exactly with the sides of the photo mat. This step is important, as you want the photo mat and new text area to seamlessly overlap.

4. Add a second new text area and type in your photo caption. Change the background to "none" and position the caption over the “write-on” area of your Polaroid. Use the J Script font and rotate the caption slightly for a more handwritten look.

Ready to try out this quick and easy technique? Enter Studio J to get started!

What Software Should I Use for Digital Scrapbooking?

Posted on June 23, 2011

If you’re just getting started with digital scrapbooking, you probably have one central question: What software program should I use for digital scrapbooking?

The answer? It depends on what you like. Are you looking for pre-designed, non-customizable templates where you just drop in your photos and you’re done? Are you more interested in endless creative options and the ability to control every aspect of your layout? Or are you somewhere in between?

Digital scrapbooking programs are available in a range of levels of creative flexibility and control. Typically, the more control a user has, the more difficult the program is to use and the more time it takes to finish a page. Programs that offer little to no customization options are much easier to learn and quicker to use. You’ll often find this sort of software on photo book websites, where you simply drop your photos into the predefined spaces in the set of layouts you choose, but the downside to these types of programs is that you may be stuck with a title, pattern, or accents that just don’t work with the story you want to tell.

If you’re looking for a happy medium, one that’s both fast and flexible, try Studio J® online design software by Close To My Heart. Studio J software has just five steps from beginning to end: Photos, Kits, Patterns, Personalize, and Buy. After uploading your pictures, you choose the paper kit and layout pattern that best fit your photos, then drop your photos into the photo wells. At that point, you can decide to use the pre-placed default accents to finish your layout right there (that’s where the “fast” comes in).

And here’s the flexible part: In the Personalize step, you have all kinds of options. Use all or part of the toggle accents, or toggle them off and add your own. Rotate or swap the pages to get a different look for the pattern. Add embellishments, journaling, and a title. Swap paper around in your layout to get just the right look. You can even distress the surface or edges of the paper using a variety of “ink” colors. You have an amazing array of options, if you’re feeling creative. But if you’re in a hurry, you can finish up a professional-looking layout in under ten minutes!

Are you ready to see for yourself how fast and flexible Studio J really is? C’mon into the studio! You can create an account right away, or just go on in and start playing around—and create an account when you’re ready to save a layout. There’s no charge for the software; you only pay for the prints you purchase. And since Studio J is online, you can access it from any computer connected to the Internet! So what are you waiting for? Enter Studio J now to find out if Studio J offers you the ease and speed you need in your busy life, coupled with the creative flexibility you crave.