Angie Lucas's picture

5-Hour Flash Sale!

Let the sale begin!


As we teased in Monday's email, we're now kicking off a 5-hour Flash Sale. From noon to 5:00 MST today only, you can save 40% on any eBook purchase! Buy one or buy three, but you've got just one chance to use the coupon. One coupon per customer. Coupon only good on eBooks (excludes all Ella Fun items). Cannot be combined with any other coupon or gift certificate.


But to get the exclusive 40% off code, you must be either a Facebook fan or a Twitter follower. 

Like us on Facebook here.

Follow us on Twitter here.


Once you have the coupon, here are a few ideas to get you started, or you can shop our entire eBook catalog.


Double-Page Design: Creating two-page layouts that really shine (featuring Write.Click.Scrapbook.)

Price:  $5.99  

Peek inside before you buy!

Book Crafting: Layouts, decor, and more made out of old books, plus 76 pages of printable journaling lists included!


Price:  $12.99  

Peek inside before you buy!

Don't Say Cheese! How to get great, natural photos of your kids


Price:  $9.99  

Peek inside before you buy!

31 Thank You Cards: Try 138 card-making tips, tricks, and tutorials

Price:  $7.99  

Peek inside before you buy!
Wendy Smedley's picture

Dear Photograph: In the Backyard


Dear Photograph,


The wooden fence still stands tall and is just as strong as it was 6 years ago when this family photo was taken. The trees and plants have grown taller as have my five sons. Our family has grown and changed immensely, mostly good, but some not so good.


Now I have to get used to fewer people at home, less time with my grown children, less time looking out the window and watching my children playing, less time with just my boys. And that will take time to grow used to.





Happy National Photography Month! Read about Ella's Dear Photograph challenge and join in by linking up your Dear Photograph post here.

Angie Lucas's picture

You Can Do THAT with Shaving Cream?

Yep, I marbled that decorative paper using Barbasol shaving cream and four colors of acrylic paint. It's like magic! Learn how on this week's installment of the Books & Crafts weekly web show. It's a super fun idea to try with your kids this summer. Watch Simple Crafts for Girls now.


Oh, and you'll also see how to make these darling Chinese lanterns too, plus a fun extra party trick that will amaze anyone under age 36. ;)

Supplies & measurements needed for perfect sized mini paper Chinese lanters:
Outer paper (7 x 4)
Inner paper (6.5 x 4)
Handle (6 x .5)
Tiny attacher
Brads (optional) for handle


how to marble paper using shaving cream


This week's ideas were found in The Double Daring Book for Girls.

Angie Lucas's picture

Dear Photograph: Under the Apple Tree


Dear Photograph,

The grass is not as green as it was the year before Ruby died, and the wild rose bush is not yet in bloom, but there always seems to be a dog underneath the apple tree. That blur in the corner? That's Jovie. She doesn't lie there in the shade as long as Ruby did or as often, but she loves the apple tree, too. Maybe she can sense Ruby there. I think they would have gotten along. After all, don't they say that opposites attract?




Happy National Photography Month! Read about Ella's Dear Photograph challenge and join in by linking up your Dear Photograph post here.

Angie Lucas's picture

May Take Twelve Roundup

With the arrival of May 19 comes the arrival of another crop of awesome Take Twelve layouts. If you didn't complete your layout yet, don't fret. The important part is taking the pictures. Everything else can be done after the fact. I'd also like to remind you that even if you didn't take your May photos yet, YOU STILL CAN. Don't let one missed month throw off your whole project. Either take your photos on the 19th instead, or simply choose 12 photos you've taken throughout the month and feature them on your May page instead. This is your project, so you can make the rules!


As for me, I was thrilled to have had family in town from Arizona on May 12, with a niece's dance competition to attend at a local theme park. Although I had a few morning pictures and evening pictures of everyday activities, I decided to focus my page entirely on the trip to Lagoon Fun Park, especially since it was Keira's very first trip to a place where I spent many happy summer days as a child. I kept the background relatively simple, since the pictures are so busy.


Click image for larger view


Now that I'm 5 months into this challenge, I've noticed how very grid-like many of my Take Twelve layouts have turned out. (Usually because when I'm short on time, that's the easiest way to plan and print a page that includes so many pictures.) Have you noticed any recurring themes in your Take Twelve pages?

As fond as I am of grids, the layouts from our talented Take Twelve team have inspired me with the desire to bust out of the grid next month and maybe even try (gasp!) some circles. But I'm not making any promises. ;)


Take it away, team!


Jennie McGarvey rocked the circles on this baseball page, as 11 circles of varying sizes radiate out from her focal-point image. I don't know about you, but I'm bookmarking this design as one to try on a future layout.

Click image for larger view



Aliza Deutsch captured things she loves about Shabbat without taking any pictures on the actual Jewish sabbath—another great reminder that you can adapt this challenge however you need to. Her page is organized and linear without being locked too strictly into a grid, and there are plenty of curved elements on the page to offer contrast and variety.

Click image for larger view


Stephanie Medley-Rath arranged a staggered grid of square photos on either side of a central line. I love how the shaped background paper groups everything together in a unified whole.


And finally, Lisa Ottosson gave her page a vintage Poloroid feel that adds fun and whimsy to a page that has a quiet, neutral color palette. It totally works.


Also check out these layouts from more Take Twelve team members:

Monica Bradford

Janette Kincaid

Valerie Bishop

Angie Gutshall

Van Nguyen
Margie Scarpignato



This month's Take Twelve giveaway winners, who will each get a print copy of Everyday Storyteller (click image below for more information), are:

Katherine Willis Pershey

Well, we'll see you back here on June 12 for round #6 of the Take Twelve photography challenge. We're almost halfway there, folks, and I know I'm enjoying the journey thoroughly. I hope you are as well!

Bobbi-Jo Grunewald's picture

Dear Photograph: On the Sofa

My home would be empty without these girls that fill each room with laughter and joy. They make every house we live in a HOME!

Dear Photograph:

My home would be empty without these girls that fill each room with laughter and joy.

They make every house we live in a HOME!


Bobbi Jo


Happy National Photography Month! Read about Ella's Dear Photograph challenge and join in by linking up your Dear Photograph post here.

Elizabeth Dillow's picture

Dear Photograph: A House in Cheyenne

Dear Photograph,

I stood here on the hotel steps on a house hunting trip to Cheyenne in April 2000, wishing like anything that I could live in one of these beautiful historic old houses (but knowing the two year waiting list made that impossible). I never could have imagined that 12 years later, my home would be the house with the side porch peeking out from behind the cottonwood trees on the most beautiful circle imaginable. Even though it's only temporary until the Air Force sends us somewhere else, I am grateful.

Thank you,



Happy National Photography Month! Read about Ella's Dear Photograph challenge and join in by linking up your Dear Photograph post here.

Wendy Smedley's picture

Dear Photograph Challenge

In case you haven't heard, May is NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY MONTH, and we're celebrating with photography ideas and fun all month long here in our blog, in our eZine, and even with the release of a new book from Rebecca Cooper, Real.Life.Photography.

And on that note, I have found the coolest photography site ever! And I just had to share it with you. It's called Dear Photograph.



The Concept
The idea behind Dear Photograph is simple: hold up a photo from the past in front of the place where it was originally shot, then take a picture of the picture, adding a dedication about what the photograph means to you. The results, however, are astounding. By turns nostalgic, charming, and poignant, Dear Photograph is a stunning visual compilation that evokes childhood memories, laments difficult losses, and above all, celebrates the universal nature of love.


If the concept looks familiar, it seems to have inspired a popular television ad for Chevrolet, as was pointed out in an article from AdWeek.


About the creator of Dear Photograph:
Taylor Jones, at just 22 years of age, was inspired to start his website Dear Photograph as he flipped through old family photos at his parents' kitchen table. When he came across an image of his brother sitting at that very same table, he lifted it up and snapped a picture of the picture. In a moment, the idea for was born. After taking more photographs, Jones posted them on a website and asked people to submit their own renditions -- but he had no idea how overwhelming of a response he would get. In just six short weeks, millions of people had visited, hundreds had submitted, and Jones had created an internet phenomenon that captured the world's attention.


Are you in?

To play along, post your own, Dear Photograph, on your blog or any hosting service (Flickr, etc.) then link it back to this post.


We are *hosting the challenge here on our blog until the end of May. And check back because we will be posting our own Dear Photographs throughout the rest of the month from members of the Ella Publishing staff and the Ella Friends team.


*All participants will be entered into a random drawing to win a copy of the book, Dear Photograph, and some other surprise goodies, too.


Oh, and you can listen to an interview with the author here.


The winner of a copy of the book is Kym Tsukamoto- thanks everyone!

May Take Twelve: Weekend Edition

Good morning, everyone! It's time to pull out your cameras and keep them handy all day for this special Saturday edition of the Take Twelve photography challenge! Do you have a lazy day planned? Is it full of errands or fun or a little bit of both? We're looking at a crazy day filled with work, gymnastics, birthday parties, and hopefully a little time to squeeze in some laundry. (You know it's busy at my house this month when I am hoping for some laundry time.) Whether you have a wild ride or an ordinary routine ahead of you, have fun capturing it all today.

We love to see what you're sharing in the Take Twelve Flickr group pool! Check out Aly Dosdall's great photo collage from Aprill:

Can you spot Aly in the blue cardigan? Have you made an appearance in your own Take Twelve photos yet? No? Get on it. Ahem.

We've featured a page by Take Twelve Flickr group user MajiclnOz before, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this page that followed along with April's theme of technology:

What a nifty look it adds to round the photo corners in this way...

And how much fun is this Easter-y page by Kathleen Ducharme?

A whole lot of fun, that's how much. It's also a great reminder that you can interpret your twelve photos however you'd like: a photojournalist's approach to the day or a feature photographer's editorial approach to Peeps (or whatever else). Your choice—we love to see it all!

Be sure to regularly check out the Take Twelve Flickr group for inspiration, and if you haven't purchased a copy of the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit you might want to consider that, too—it's filled with ideas and checklists and sketches and more to make the 12th of the month even more fun.

This month our prize comes hot off the presses: two lucky winners will receive a brand-new print edition of Everyday Storyteller, a new book from Jennifer Wilson/Create More Media with a slate of amazing contributors. I already have a copy and I can say it's an excellent resource full of beautiful pages and reminders about why we scrapbook.

We've been so busy with Spring Training (which was SO fun!) and our upcoming eBooks (need some extra photography help anyone? Stay tuned for a fun annoucement later this month!) that we may have neglected to tell you about our FIVE newest episodes of Books & Crafts!

Yesterday, we released our 6th and final episode from season 3. And we're busy working on our 12 awesome installments for season 4. We have more ideas than we'll ever be able to film, but we'll give it the old college try anyway.


Our newest episode, Stamping Secrets, includes a special $2 coupon if you listen closely...

And here's another favorite from season 3, Glass Plate Collage inspired by the book Crafting a Meaningful Home:


To watch the rest of these fun, quick and simple videos (which include plenty of great ideas for Mother's Day, which is coming up this weekend), just click here.

Angie Lucas's picture

Everyday Storyteller eBook


We're pleased to direct your attention to a new eBook (with print copy option as well) brought to you by Ella Friend Jennifer Wilson! She had a brilliant idea, and we love supporting scrapbookers who turn their ideas into reality, especially when they're on our team of contributors. This fun new title was released this past Saturday in honor of National Scrapbooking Day


Jennifer has put together a fabulous group of 33 scrapbookers (some truly BIG names included!), who each share real-life scrapbooking solutions in 33 articles contained in the 81-page eBook. And one of those contributors is yours truly, along with Ella Friends Katrina Kennedy and Jennifer Wilson. In my exclusive article, I share a peek into my journaling and journal-keeping process that I hope will inspire you to pick up paper and pen more often.


It's beautifully designed and full of rich, inspiring content. Watch the trailer below then head on over to Everyday Storyteller to grab a copy for yourself!



Here are the contributors:

Cheryl Ashcraft
Anna Aspnes
Katie Clemons
Elise Blaha Cripe
Paula Gilarde
Sara Gleason
Michelle Hernandez
Debbie Hodge
Katrina Kennedy
Amy Kingsford
Cindy Liebel
Crystal Livesay
Angie Lucas
Robyn Meierotto
CD Muckosky
Nancy Nally
Christine Newman
Ashli Oliver
Amanda Padgett
Renee Pearson
Elle Price
Heather Prins
Traci Reed
Lauren Reid
Amber Ries
Kristin Rutten
Betsy Sammarco
Jenn Smith-Sloane
Jessica Sprague
Melissa Stinson
Amy Tan
Tiffany Tillman
Jennifer Wilson


I'm sure there are some names on this list that you've heard of and others that you haven't, but all are definitely worth getting to know!


Happy Monday, everyone.

Angie Lucas's picture

National Scrapbooking Day Events

Well, folks, today is the last day of NEW content for Spring Training 2012. But our Craft-letes still have a week to finish up each daily challenge and upload them to our exclusive gallery for a chance to win one of 13 prizes (over $1,000 of prizes in all!) Then it will be "graduation" time for our Craft-letes.


In the meantime, we hope you'll check out these awesome events for interNational Scrapbooking Day, which is Tomorrow! Our Spring Training Craftletes are surely in top scrapbooking shape by now, and ready to tackle a marathon OR a sprint of crafting creativity.


Here are a few things to do tomorrow:

In Celebration of interNational Scrapbook Day

Big Picture Classes and Creating Keepsakes Magazine are teaming up to bring you our 2nd annual, fun-filled Creative Crop for National Scrapbook Day! The online event will kick-off Saturday, May 5th at 9am PST. You can look forward to 12 jam-packed hours offering creative challenges every hour, live chats with industry professionals, amazing giveaways, and constant inspiration and interaction!

The best part? It's all FREE! Sign up HERE.



If you know of anything else, feel free to add it in the comments!


kelly vandermolen's picture

Embellished Embellishments! (Day 11)

If you have been to the craftnasium today you know that our creative coach, Nichol, is suggesting we tamper with what might otherwise be seen as perfection! And, why not? Seasoned scrapbookers are very likely to have drawers, cute little pails, and even metal strainers (wink to Wendy on that one!) full of embellishments but we all know that sometimes even with an embarrassment of embellies, we still cannot find just what it is we are looking for.


That is where today's video challenge comes in...if you do not have the embellishment you are looking for then alter, adjust, colour and play to your heart's content and change what you have into what you need! I used 'blank' embellishments but you can just as easily use embellishments that are patterned and you can change or alter the patterns any way you like! Now, let's get started.


The letters on this wee card started out as bare, plain chipboard but they did not pop off of the background the way I wanted them to so I used some chalk ink and coloured them a deep, lovely navy blue colour. Presto, but, not quite. It still needed something so I coloured one of my arrows with the same chalk ink and I am very happy with the finished result.
Nichol also suggests stamping on wood veneer. I love wood veneer probably for the same reason I love plain chipboard; both are beautiful blank canvases.
See that cute little wood veneer heart? A wee stamped impression makes all the difference in how it works on the front of my card. 

And, because altering bare chipboard letters is really one of my favourite 'technique-y' things to do, I wanted to share one more idea with you.

The letters on this layout started out as bare chipboard. I ran them through my humble Cuttlebug with an impression plate (oh, how I love my Cuttlebug) and then I sprayed them with Mr. Huey's Shine. In case you are unaware, if you spray buck naked chipboard with Mr. Huey's Shine, you are left with the most lovely, muted, pewter-y, silver colour. I know. It really is that good.

Anyway, this is just a small sampling of the wonderful things I have learned from the spring training videos. Oh, and, just as a little aside, I photographed the two cards on top of my scrap desk which is something I have never done before because, are you ready for it, before I completed Wendy's organizational tasks, I could never see the top of my desk! Go forth and train, my friends. Stretch those creative muscles and have fun. See you in the 'nasium!

Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Bobbi-Jo Grunewald's picture

Misting With Masks (Day #10)

I have a little secret. I am a misting virgin. Yes, I have seen it being done on many layouts. I have noticed the pretty bottles lined up on the shelves at my local scrapbook store. I have even BOUGHT some bottles of the glorious stuff...but have I used it? No. I guess I had some jitters about the whole thing. I was worried about wasting the mists, ruining my paper, and just generally making a mess of things.

Enter Ella Publishing's Spring Training Coach Nichol Magouirk! In just a short 12 minutes, she had me inspired and encouraged to give misting a try. I loved her fun video and how she showed me just how to use masks to created beautiful effects with my glimmer mists. I had never thought of creating my OWN masks, and I immediately went to work cutting out a mask on my Silhouette craft cutter on vinyl. I was going to DO this!!

I decided on a beautiful lace background shape from the Silhouette Store, and cut two pieces out of adhesive vinyl. While I was waiting for the intricate pattern to cut, I pulled together my papers and embellishments and planned out my page. I loved the idea of using a die cut shape as a mask to use with my mists. I hadn't thought of that, and it opened up a HUGE world of possibilities! If you are like me, you have a lot of die cut shapes, punches, etc to make quick work out of creating custom masks. Besides that, it felt a little "naughty" spraying mists all over my paper! I loved it! Here is what I came up with:


Click image for larger view


Am I a misting pro, now? I’d say ‘no’, but (and here is the important thing) I can’t WAIT to try it again! I will definitely be getting out my mists for my next project. Thanks, Nichol!

Supplies: Tattered Angels “Peppermint Stick” Spray Mist, Becky Higgins Project Life 'Clementine' patterned paper, Silhouette shape “Grandma’s tablecloth background”, and various ribbons and bling from my stash.


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Ashley Harris's picture

Card Creations Inspired by Layouts (Day #9)


Hello there!  Today I get to share what I have been doing with this fabulous Spring Training!  Are you feeling a bit more fit in your techniques, ideas and overall paper crafting?  I am!  LOVE IT!  


So many of you who know me, know I am a card maker first, scrapper second.  So it really never occurs to me to take a layout of mine and use it to inspire a card.   It is a total, DUH moment for me for sure.  After watching Lisa's fabulous video, I was totally inspired to do this.  So here is my inspiration layout:



I chose to take the layout and make a sketch out of it.  So here is my card:



This came together so fast and easy.   It probably took me less than 10 minutes to complete this card as I already had the design "guts" to get me started.  So fun!  I loved this and I hope you have been inspired by this as well.  Have an amazing day!


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor: