Thursday, June 30, 2011

That Was Easy!

Where is my Staples "EASY BUTTON" when I need it??

Yesterday we learned a little about how to navigate in Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio (if you took the bait and watched the training video I sent you to).   Pat yourself on the back if you watched Holly Linford's video about navigating through the MDS software.

<pause for patting on the back> 

All done?  Perfect!  So now that you're getting the hang of moving around and finding what you need in's the simplest page ever that you can "case" (copy and share everything).  Sometimes, the perfect scrapbook page is super simple and this one is a perfect example!

Have you figured out which page elements I used?  A Kiwi Kiss background with 9 photo boxes (matted in Chocolate Chip), a Baja Breeze grosgrain "ribbon" embellishment with Chocolate Chip stitching and a title.  Voila!

*TIME SAVING TIP!*  Make the larger photo box first.  Then make one of the smaller photo boxes (with mat and shadow, if desired).  Then use the key strokes CTRL+C (to copy) and CTRL+V to paste.  Repeat until you have 8 of the smaller size photos.  This way they'll all be identical in size!

Until tomorrow...

P.S.  You won't want to miss Friday, July 1st!  The *NEW* 2011-2012 Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue goes LIVE @ 2pm Eastern time (12noon Mountain time).  I'll post links to the .pdf and/or online version the second that Stampin' Up! makes them available.  Keep a tissue're going to drool over all of the gorgeous new goodies in the "catty"! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Learning the Lay of the Land

My Mom used to use this phrase periodically when I was growing up.  I'm not sure if the "youngin's" of today's generation would even know what this means (figuring out how a new place is laid out) but I'm assuming most of the potential readers of my blog will know what I mean!  Today, I'd like to help you learn the lay of the land in My Digital Studio.

I don't know about you but if I can avoid it...I don't like to read instructions.  I prefer to "learn as I go" or have someone give me a quick tour or tutorial of whatever I'm about to learn and once I've seen things in action then I'm off to the races! I'm posting a link to a video from Holly Linford at the Stampin' Up! home office.  There are 3 videos on the web page...pick the one in the bottom left corner with no title.  I'll warn's 9 minutes long however...that 9 minutes of your time, patience and attention will mean that if when you pick up a copy of My Digital Studio, you'll be able to dive right into having fun because you'll know how use the software already!  Woo hoo!


Take care...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oops! No MDS-Related Posts Today...


I'm sorry I didn't have an MDS post ready for today.  My wee dachshund, Daisy broke a tooth several weeks ago and today was our second visit to our provincial veterinary college to repair it.  The poor thing went into mild shock on the way home in the car (it's an hour and a half drive) and then almost choked on her dinner tonight, probably due to a sore throat from being intubated.  It's been a stressful day!
I finally managed to get her pain medicine into her and she's now resting comfortably in my lap.  Normal posting will resume tomorrow with a later-than-normal post after dinner.

Take care everyone...and give an extra hug to your animals,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Photo Layouts-Your Second Best Friend

Previously, I talked about how Stampin' Up!'s Designer Templates in My Digital Studio make digital scrapbooking SO easy that anyone from 5 to 105 could make a scrapbook page in minutes!  Well, hopefully you've installed your MDS software and played with a couple of Designer Templates to get the hang of things so...let's take another step and try a photo layout page.

When you're creating a new project and you're at the screen with 3 horizontal rectangles titled (from top to bottom) "Designer Template", "Photo Layout" and "Create Your Own", click on the Photo Layout option.  In this case, instead of all of the work being done for you already...only some of the work has been done for you.  There are a number of layout options to choose from ranging from 1 large photo on the page to 9 or even 16 photos on a page.

Choose the layout of your choice and once your page has loaded, you can drag & drop your pictures like you've done with Designer Layouts.  Now here comes the good get to choose whether or not to add any colour, patterns or embellishments!  Now come on!  I think I heard a collective groan spread right across the "blogosphere".  Don't give me those excuses "that you're not creative" or "that you don't know where to start".  Sure you do!  You've already chosen a layout and your pictures! 

Here's a little trick.  Sit back and look at the pictures you've chosen.  Are there any colours that stand out to you?  Does the colour palette of the photos evoke any particular feelings, emotions or memories?  When you take a moment to look at what you've chosen, you're likely to find a couple of colours that are more prominent than others.  So...pick a patterned paper for the background with one or two of those colours in it then pick some solid coloured text and maybe a ribbon or a few buttons. 

Voila!  You just "DESIGNED" a scrapbook page!  Congratulations! 

Here's a little sample of a photo layout that I pieced together for my vacation scrapbook.

Take care!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Testing The Water...

Over the past 5 years since my sister-in-law Jenn introduced me to the "blogosphere" (the world of blogging) and thanks largely to my Google Reader (oh, Google I love THEE!), I have read probably upwards of 250,000+ blog entries.  Many of these are news articles, some are short stories, anecdotes, little nuggets of wisdom, random thoughts, questions plaquing humanity and the list goes on and on and on and on (you get the idea!).  Those stories have run the gamut from happy, sad, congratulatory, tragic, heart-wrenching, victorious, persistent, uplifting, thought-provoking, agitating, compelling and so much more...

Now, sitting on the other side of the fence I can't help but there anyone out there who's plunked themselves in front of my little piece of blog-property?  If no...that's okay.  I've got to start somewhere, right?  Plus, I haven't "written" since high school and I quite enjoy it so it's nice to let my mind ramble for a few minutes each day.  If yes, though...please feel free to introduce yourself in the comments!  What part of the world are you in?  Are you a paper-crafter?  Have you ever tried MDS?  Do you have wiener dogs like me or any other pets? (If you're a cat person-I promise I'll still like you anyway.  Just teasing...I do like cats but not as much as dogs.) How did you find me?  Is there something about paper-crafting, Stampin' Up!, My Digital Studio or dachshunds that you'd like to hear about?  Come on in...and say Hi!

I think it might be fun to get some audience input each week and produce a Funky Friday MDS creation from YOUR suggestions!  So...leave me a comment with your 3 favourite colours...and I'll pick one set, produce an MDS page and post it on Friday and give you the credit for the inspiration!!!

Can't wait to "meet" you and see what colour combinations you suggest!

Take care,

Friday, June 24, 2011

There's A Little Martha Stewart In All Of Us

Have you ever been through a model home in a new neighbourhood or toured through one of those "dream homes" that are prizes in big charity lotteries?  If so, then like me you've probably dreamed of have such a polished, cohesive, warm, cozy decor like many of these homes do.  The professionals that decorate and "stage" those homes to present to you (the consumer) have made those decorating choices very carefully.  They want each prospective buyer to feel comfortable in these homes...they want you to want to live there.

My Digital Studio is a cost effective tool for making those dreams a reality for you!  You can use MDS to make all sorts of projects, art pieces, decorative 3D items, etc for your lovely home.  Plus, the results will be much more meaningful and much more affordable than decor items from your local art or decor stores.

Here's another brief video from the Stampin' Up! home office in Riverton, Utah to show you what I mean!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

No Creativity? No problem!

"I'm not a creative person."  "I wouldn't know where to start." "I don't have a crafty bone in my body."  You can admit it've probably said or thought at least one of those little statements!

I mentioned before that one of my favourite features about My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up! is their designer templates.  Their WONDERFUL staff have done all of the creative work for you and all you have to do is drop in your own pictures and maybe change the title or description to your own.

Here's a great example!

This is one of the designer templates from the "Hoppy Memories" Digital Kit that comes in the the My Digital Studio software program.  My daughter took these photos on a hike to Grassi Lake in Alberta with my brother and his family and all I had to do was literally "drag & drop" the photos into each spot.  I'm not kidding...this page only took 5 minutes to make and it would have been even quicker if I'd been able to make a swift decision on which photos I wanted to choose.

You can use these templates as many times as you want and you can change the colours, features, photo sizes, etc if you need to "tweak" it to fit your needs!

It doesn't get much easier than that.

...until next time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The What, Who, Where, Why & How of My Digital Studio

Well, hello again!

Here's a few answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up!

What is My Digital Studio?
  • My Digital Studio (MDS) is a Windows and Mac compatible software program from Stampin' Up! 
  • It turns paper, stamps, ribbon, buttons, etc into a digital format that allows you to create dynamic "paper-crafting" projects right in your computer  
  • Publish your creations through Stampin' Up!'s print services, print from home or through the print supplier of your choice
  • Also...display and share your projects in a variety of multi-media formats (burn a slideshow to a dvd, play your slideshow through your television,  upload your creations to blogs or social networking sites, etc).

Who can use My Digital Studio?
  • This answer is simple...ANYONE with a computer!  
  • You do not need to be tech-savvy or a creative whiz to enjoy and master My Digital Studio.  
  • I've seen everyone from school children making posters for school, brides making wedding invitations, sports teams making flyers for fundraising and grandparents making "brag books".
  • I'll always be available to help you get the most out of your MDS software!

Where can I buy My Digital Studio?
  • Shop online (in your pj's!) 24 hours a day at my website  Once you've created an account, you can purchase the downloadable version (available for use INSTANTLY) or you can order the DVD version of MDS which will ship right to your door.  When UPS arrives, I always joke that Santa wears a brown suit in the "off-season"!  It's the same program and content either way...the choice is up to you!
  • Alternatively,  if you want a little more fun and could host a workshop! Whether at my home or yours, I can demonstrate how MDS works, give everyone a chance to make a couple of simple projects and if any of your friends or family make purchases you may qualify for reward benefits for free products!

Why would I choose My Digital Studio over traditional papercrafting products?
  • MDS is completely contained on your computer.  You won't need storage shelves for oodles of craft supplies and tools.
  • Never ration your favourite supplies again!  You'll never run out of designer paper, buttons, ribbon, etc in MDS.  If you want to put 400 buttons on a page...go for it!  
  • Since digital content doesn't take up space in Stampin' Up!'s warehouse, your content will never retire!  Use your favourite colour schemes or supplies forever.  
  • Make "hybrid" projects to combine digital crafting with traditional.  Let's face it...there's nothing quite like the sheen of satin ribbon or the glint of glimmer brads.  Do some of your creating in MDS, print your project and add some of these goodies afterwards.

How much is My Digital Studio?
My Digital Studio currently retails for $106.95 (a little birdie might know that it is decreasing to $99.95 starting July 1st!)  I fully recognize that the price is a sizable purchase.  For the price you receive over $600 worth of exclusive Stampin' Up! digital content.
  • 400+ designer series paper patterns
  • 62 digital "stamp brush" sets
  • 650+ embellishments (buttons, ribbon, etc)
  • 25 "punches"
  • 140 designer templates (these are gorgeous ready-to-use templates, just drop in you're pictures and you're finished!)
To ensure you're confident with your purchase, I encourage you "test-drive" the software (at my home or I can come to you) or if you want to ease into MDS, Stampin' Up! offers an MDS Express option which is a scaled-down version that includes 12 designer series paper patterns, 1 stamp brush set, 81 embellishments, 26 punches & 5 designer templates for $49.95.  If you fall in love after playing with MDS Express, you can purchase an MDS Booster DVD for $49.95 to add all of the other content that comes with the full program (total cost of MDS Express & Booster DVD is the same as buying the full program outright).

One last question...Am I limited to the content that comes with the software?
  • Absolutely not!  There are other digital crafting software programs on the market and many are compatible with My Digital Studio! 
  • Free fonts are also abundant on the internet so you can download those and use them in MDS, too.  
  • Also, Stampin' Up! releases new digital downloads regularly (on most Tuesdays) so you can increase your options virtually every week when additional content becomes available.
Squeeeeeal!  It's too exciting!  Give me a shout if you want to check it out and remember...I'm a paper crafting (and now digital) addict, NOT a salesperson.  I'll always be here to help you get the most out of anything you want from Stampin' Up! but I do it because I love it!  No sales quotas, no pressure...just fun!

Introducing...My Digital Studio!

Good day to you!  This is a quickie post to introduce my new addiction (drum roll, please!)...My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up! 
It's a little commercial from the website which was developed by Stampin' Up! to encourage the "MDS" community to share their projects, ask and answer each other's questions and problem solve with tips, tricks and ideas.  The site is sort of like Facebook for crafters!

Take care!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It Was Bound to Happen Eventually...

Hmm...where do I start?  I guess in this first blog entry I'll tell you all about myself and what possessed me to start a blog after years and years as an extensive blog reader. 

I'm a widowed Mom to my wickedly funny 16 1/2 year old daughter Mackenzie and we have 2 dachshunds Hunter (right) & Daisy (left).  My best friend/husband Ian passed away unexpectedly in the fall of 2010 and so day by day, Mackenzie and I are trying to get accustomed to the gaping hole that exists now in our lives.  Ian and I were best friends and teammates first, parents (a close second) and spouses third.  Ian was a huge ray of sunshine to anyone he met.  His sarcastic, cock-eyed sense of humour never failed to entertain and he was an absolutely exceptional father. 

On top of that, I'm scheduled to lose my bank job of 18 years at the end of 2011.  We've known about this for 2+ years and the company's been very good about keeping the employees informed and providing lots of transition support but it's still a wild concept to "start your life over again" after nearly 2 decades with an employer.  I've gotten past the fear of this pending upheaval and now I'm excited to have the opportunity to try something new and pursue some of the loves of my life instead of just working to pay the bills.   One of the things I try hardest to teach Mackenzie is that no matter how many times life keeps knocking you down, you must shake it off, get back up and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I've been a creative, crafty-type person forever but it was a co-worker that introduced me to card making with Stampin' Up! in 2009.  My family and friends have come to expect my hand-made cards for special occasions and I'm delighted to oblige!  I took the plunge and became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator a few months ago to save money on the craft supplies I was buying.  Then, a printing promotion in May 2011 prompted me to try the My Digital Studio scrapbooking software that I'd purchased 18 months prior and hadn't been using.  I don't know what I was waiting for (maybe a smack up-side the head?!) but I am absolutely, head-over-heels in LOVE with My Digital Studio!  I managed to scrapbook a 100-page album from our trip to Alberta in July 2009 in only 20 days during May.  It's now a coffee table book in our living room and one of our most prized possessions.

Needless to say, it was this sudden addiction to My Digital Studio that spurred me into finally starting a blog of my own.  I've learned the value of documenting our lives through my sister-in-law Jenn's blog  Since Jenn, my brother Darryl and their boys (and pets!) live across the country, Jenn's blog has always allowed me to feel like I'm just down the street instead of a  4 hour plane ride away! 

I've tried traditional scrapbooking in the past and I still think it's an incredible art form but I don't have the patience for it.  Digital scrapbooking is so much quicker and easier that it really meets my "have-very-little-time-and-want-instant-gratification" lifestyle!!  Plus...and this is a BIG PLUS, in the digital world, you NEVER RUN OUT of designer series paper, your favourite ribbon, hardware or embellishments!  If you want to make a digital scrapbooking page with 400 tiny pearls and rhinestones, do it!  You'll NEVER RUN OUT!

So, needless to a frugal crafter who hoards her favourite patterned paper, trinkets and embellishments, Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software was practically designed just for me! ( least that's the neurosis I've settled on in my mind).  Tee hee!

So...for today, I'll finish up with a .jpg file of the cover of my first digital scrapbook from our Alberta trip.  Over the coming weeks I'll post links to lots of great beginner "how-to" videos to introduce My Digital Studio and help new users get comfortable with their new software.  Stick with me for a little while...I promise you'll fall in love with "MDS" just as much as I have!!!