Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Craft Daze "til Christmas: 42 days Photo Holiday Cards.

This month Close to My Heart is Celebrating five years of Studio J.  Now if you haven't seen Studio J, you need to try it and it is no cost to you just to play!  Here is a link to a getting started video and you can read the details of this month's special on my blog here.   This will explain all the ways you can WIN with Studio J this month but right now, I want to focus on Photo Holiday Cards.  

Yes you can use Studio J to create your own unique family holiday cards and best of all, Studio J layouts are on sale for $5 this month.  

Here's how:

1.  Go to, click on products and choose Studio J from the drop down menu.

2. Once in Studio J- either log in or create an account if you are a new user.

3. Once in- begin a new project. I called mine Christmas Cards 2014.

4. You will then be prompted to upload photos- upload the ones that you would like to use on your cards (I did two different photo styles)

5. The select “create your own custom kit”

6. At this point you will be given lots of options for paper- my recommendation is to go with one of our holiday themed papers so that you will have access to the holiday ‘stickease’ and images that go with that pack.  You can put "Christmas" in the search bar and it will show you all the Christmas/Winter related paper packets.  For mine I chose the Yuletide Carol kit.  Choose your kit and click continue.

7. Next you will be given your choice of patterns, chose the ‘No Limits’ pattern and then click continue.

8. Your next option is for a kit mix- yours will all be blank – just click on one and continue to the next screen.  

9. Now you will start to create your cards! On the left you will need to click on the text and photo areas.  You want to add journaling areas to your layout- just drag the ‘add journaling’ option onto your page.  Once it is placed you will have a box appear where you can adjust things- you can choose your card size.  Regular envelope sizes are 5x7, 4x8, or 4.25 x 5.5.  I created mine 5x7 this year.   Once you have one box sized and placed (see the sample above for how you can place them to optimize space) you can click on your journaling box and the click copy at the top of the screen.  Then hit paste- this will give you a second box of the same size  that you can click and drag (and rotate) anywhere on your layout.  Do this 8 times until you have your page full.  It may look like the left side when you are complete this step.

10. Next click on the paper tab on the left.  From here you can drag and drop any of the patterned paper or cardstock options for the kit.  Have fun with this and feel free to use a variety- after all, you can!  Once you have those all in place you will want to get rid of the prompt to add journaling- just click on the box, select edit text, and delete the text.  Then click on the next box and do the same.  When done you may have something like shown on the left side.

11. At this point I think it is easiest to go in and begin to add photo boxes- go back to the add text and photo tab. Once there, drag and drop photo boxes onto your cards- I made mine a 4x4 size but you can do whatever size works for you and your pictures.  The toolbar that appears with each photo box will allow you to add a photo mat if you would like- and you can pick your desired color.  Once you have your boxes and place (and you can copy and paste them as we did earlier) then you can drag and drop your pictures inside them.  In the photo toolbar you can add a filter and make your photos black and white or even sepia- have fun with this!

12. Now your photos should all be placed and you are ready to decorate! You will find all the fun things to decorate under the My Stickease tab- use the drop down menu to navigate between different embellishment sizes but remember that you can always resize them by dragging down the bottom right corner of any image.  You will also find Holiday quotes and tags in this section that could make your card really come together!  

13.Then I added our family name.  To do that I added a smaller journaling box (you should be a pro at adding this by now) and just typed in the box with the font they suggested. I colored my boxes black and then chose a white font.  I also went to the distress menu and added sanding so it would look a bit like a chalkboard. 

14.  I added some ribbon and knots by using the embellishments tab, selecting ribbons, choosing my color, and then dragging and dropping them onto each card.  When you right click on the embellishment, you can send it back, which allowed me to put the ribbon behind the chalkboard journaling spot. 

Once you are happy with your card you are ready to order them! You may notice that I have two small photos on mine in the middle space- it was empty space so I dropped some photos in to fill it out. Once my pages arrive I plan to use those photos in some base and bling projects.  When ordering you can order as many copies of that page as you will need for your cards. Your pages will arrive in the mail within a week or so and you are ready to go! 

I hope you are inspired to give it a try.  If you would like a one on one personal tutorial, I am happy to schedule one with you.  Don't wait too long, you will want to take advantage of the special before it ends November 30th.  And just think, you will have one thing DONE on your holiday to do list. 


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