OK, so I tried it. And I liked it. And I'll probably do it again. And I can't wait to get the FIFTEEN layouts I ordered. Oh, my world is in total chaos!!!
Some of you out there in scrapbook blog world may be like me . . . every layout you do you create one for each child. So every time I need to preserve a day's memories, I need to do it three times. And sometimes I don't really even want to do it once. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to push a "duplicate" button and have it done for you?
This layout here, Baby Cousin, was my first attempt at going digital. I spied this cute little Studio J exclusive paper, Hippity Hop, and I really wanted it for the pictures that I have of my kids meeting their new little cousin last month. I uploaded all the pictures I wanted on all three of the kids layouts, inserted Anna's into the layout first, typed in special journalling personalized for her into the journalling box, and I set the page up exactly as I wanted. It was SOOOOO easy. Seriously, almost insulting. At first it bothered me that it was difficult to personalize with different stamps and title styles like I'm used to doing with paper but then it dawned on me . . . these layouts and papers have been designed by professionals to be perfect. They were beautiful and it didn't take me 7 hours to come up with it. All I did was change a few background colors to taste, add some digital distressing, pick the My Stickease that I liked, change the ribbon and brad colors, copy twice, and insert the other kids' pictures (which you can can soooooo easily crop and zoom in and center at will) and journalling on their duplicate layouts, and DONE! And then is when it hit me . . . all those pictures of events from years past that I've been avoiding - I could get layouts done for all three kids in under an hour. And so I did. And before you knew it, I had four more layouts designed - Camping 2008, Camping 2009, Memorial Day 2008, and Pumpkin Carving 2009. And one for each child for, yes, a total of FIFTEEN layouts. And I'm proud of myself for everything I accomplished in such a short amount of time.
And so what about the cost? Honestly, I was kind of worked up about the cost when Studio J was announced. But after reflection, I've obviously decided it's worth it. On nine of my pages I had 8 x 10 photos. At a minimum, those photos cost between $2-$5 to develop. Add in the photo processing you would need for the other complementary pictures and I've probably got about $3 of photo development costs that I didn't pay (although I'm a chronic overdeveloper so I probably saved much more than the average person). Factor in a Level 2 Paper Packet for $12.95 for each set of layouts. Plus three sets of Stickease or a new stamp set (let's say between $15 and $22). Then there are the ink pad colors for the distressing that I have but you may not. No stylus, sanding paper, trimmer and refill blades, liquid glass, craft knife, corner rounder, punches - none of that extra cost. There is the journalling that you don't have to carefully measure in Word, print, trim, and adhere to your page. Consider all the ribbons, brads, photo clips, and other accents that I didn't have to purchase. I didn't have to spend any time cutting out a title or trying to crop my photos to fit to perfection. All of my paper lines are straight, all of my edges perfectly distressed for me. I didn't have to pay shipping as I ordered more than 10 layouts and I received free page protectors for ordering more than 5 layouts. And NO ADHESIVE COSTS - no tape runners, liquid glues, or even glue dots. But best of all, if time is truly money, I got a real bargain at $12.95 per layout.
So for about $200, I am COMPLETELY finished with 15 layouts. Paper, embellishments, photos, journalling, title, and page protectors - ready to add to my albums when they arrive. No mess, no scraps, no leftovers I won't use. Hey, we all know scrapbooking is expensive. And even more convincingly, we probably don't REALIZE that we are spending $200 on 15 traditional layouts but I'd bet we spend more than that more often that we think.
So, if you've made it through my musings then you've witnessed the birth of a sometimes-digitial scrapper of the future. There is no way I can give up traditional scrapbooking - EVER. But, man . . . this sure was a nice way to play a little catch up.
And so, it is on that note that I'm finally ready to announce and endorse the launching of CTMH's Studio J digital scrapbooking software for public use on Monday, April 26th. This new program is completely free and you don't have to install it on your computer. You can play around and design until your heart's content and only make a purchase if you decide you want the layouts printed and shipped to you. To get to this free software, simply go to my website at www.tanya.myctmh.com and check it out next Monday.
I hope you all enjoy it too! Please let me know if you have any questions.